After 10 albums with Procol Harum, lead singer, composer, and keyboard player Gary Brooker launched his solo career with this album. Of course, there were Brooker's familiar characteristics – the steady piano work, the butterscotch soul voice. But he switched lyric partners for this set (except for the title track), trading longtime Procol wordsmith Keith Reid for Pete Sinfield, who had performed the same function for Procol contemporaries King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Brooker also tried a couple of tunes by Stiff Records pub-rocker Mickey Jupp (Jupp's versions are better) and Murray Head's "Say It Ain't So, Joe" (Roger Daltrey's version is better). The result was a varied set that succeeded in sounding like something other than Procol Harum's 11th album, although it did not demonstrate that Gary Brooker solo was going to be an improvement over the group.
Gary Brooker wrote music and lyrics for all the songs on his second album and acted as his own producer, resulting in perhaps his most personal statement as an artist. Unlike No More Fear Of Flying, on which he sometimes just seemed to be the singer on his own record, here Brooker delivered his songs with feeling, enabling him to overcome the star power of his backup musicians, who included Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and Phil Collins. This was partly because Brooker no longer felt the need to separate himself from The Procol Harum sound that was so much a part of his natural musical identity. Brooker's lyrics weren't as philosophical as longtime writing partner Keith Reid's, but they could be just as intriguingly oblique.
The fourth album by Procol Harum was released as the band was in the midst of a significant shift. With the departure of organist Matthew Fisher, guitarist Robin Trower stepped more to the fore. The two-keyboard approach was still being utilized, with singer Gary Brooker's piano being joined on some selections by the organ playing of multi-instrumentalist Chris Copping. However, the stately grandeur that had been previously applied with grace and subtlety gave way to a band that rocked much harder…
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection
“Broken Barricades” is the 5th full-length studio album by UK rock act Procol Harum. The album was released through A&M Records in April 1971. “Broken Barricades” was recorded at AIR studios in London and produced by Chris Thomas. This would be guitarist Robin Trower´s last album with Procol Harum before pursuing a solo career.
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
There is an interesting divide in the reviews here…some think masterpiece, some fairly unenthused. I think this is Procol Harum’s best album. Every song is a winner, although the presence of three vocalists does provide a scattered feeling.
Reissue of 3 CD box set that includes "Procol Harum", "Shine On Brightly", "A Salty Dog" & "Home" two on one full lengths. Disc 3 is a 17 track collection of rare A & B side single mixes, outtakes & alternate takes.
Procol Harum's Grand Hotel- recorded in 1973 - is a masterpiece of progressive rock. You all know about the other classic from the same year- Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon ( for this reviewer, ELP's Brain Salad surgery also qualifies). Like Dark Side of the Moon, Procol's Grand Hotel album has excellent production and sound quality. It also represents a step further for this band on every level- as noted by another reviewer- this is where it all came together for them…
Despite the departure of organist Matthew Fisher, Procol Harum survived, and this album is ample proof. Fisher was one of the prime architects of the Harum sound, and his work on such classics as "Shine on Brightly" and, of course, "Whiter Shade of Pale" underline that. Procol continued as a four-piece, and it was indeed a good thing that they decided not to replace Fisher…