Sunday, November 01, 2009

Procul Harum: Pandora's Box



1973 and 1974 were the years when I obsessively followed the singles chart. Looking back, they were two very poor years for music - glam rock, Chinn-Chapman and all that. What followed was even worse, with several novelty records (Billy Connolly, Typically Tropical, Windsor Davies and Don Estelle) getting to number one while we waited impatiently for punk and new wave to be invented.

But there were some good songs in 1975. This was Procul Harum's last single (it made no. 16) and I liked it at the time, suggesting that even then I recognised that the sixties bands were better than the ones I was hearing on Radio One. I remember buying "Substitute" by The Who when it was re-released in 1976.

"Pandora's Box" goes some way to recompensing rock's neglect of the possibilities of the xylophone. The lyrics are every bit as obscure as in the band's most famous song "A Whiter Shade of Pale".

If you are interested in their meaning, a page on Beyond the Pale will probably tell you more than you want to know.

4 comments:

wolfi said...

Hey Jonathan!

You should know better...

The title of that song was "a whiteR shade of pale"

Keep up the interesting work and "nix für ungut" as we say in Germany

Jonathan said...

That was mistyping not ignorance.

wolfi said...

That type of mistake has happened to me too - may be a sign of getting old(er)...

I really enjoy your blog - hope to visit my sister again next year in Haywards Heath, also a very nice part of England.

chris said...

You missed a chance for some cat-blogging. Procol Harum were named after a Siamese cat:
http://www.procolharum.com/young_cat2.htm