The Bach-derived Psychedelic Rock anthem remains one of the most popular songs of all time
Procol Harum’s classic “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” enters the UK singles charts for the first time in 1967
Written by Gary Brooker, Keith Reid, Matthew Fisher, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” it’s one of the most popular and memorable songs of the 1960’s. The Procol Harum’s signature song was released on 12 May 1967 and entered the U.K singles charts soon after on May 25. By June 8, it was number 1. The success of the song was so big in 1967 that Without much promotion, it reached number 5 on the Billboard pop chart in the United States, becoming one of the anthems for the famous Summer Of Love. With its Bach-derived instrumental melody, soulful vocals, and unusual lyrics, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” it’s the perfect fusion between Psychedelic Rock, Classical Music and Baroque Pop. It has become an enduring classic and was the most played song in the last 75 years in public places in the UK. The song reached No.1 in several countries and it’s one of fewer than 30 singles to have sold over 10 million copies worldwide. Having been originally released as a single on Deram, the song was included on the US release of the Procol Harum self-titled debut album, in September 1967, but not on the original U.K or European versions of the album. In a 1981 article on the musical and societal developments of 1967, for The History of Rock, sociomusicologist Simon Frith described “A Whiter Shade of Pale” as the year’s “most distinctive single”, through its combination of “white soul vocal and a Bach organ exercise” and enigmatic lyrics that “hinted at a vital secret open only to people in the right, drug-determined, state of mind”. Two of the biggest fans of the song was Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Lennon (that when hearing the song for the first time thought it was a Traffic or Steve Winwood song) was reportedly so obsessed with the song that would play it in a loop in his car. “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” it’s a timeless song that remains an airplay favorite and will likely remain that way for future generations.
Watch the1967 promotional film for “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” by Procol Harum
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