A Whiter Shade of Pale: PROCOL HARUM

Australian singles charts:
A Whiter Shade of Pale first entered the Kent charts on 17 June 1967 and was a #1 hit . A re-release of the song entered the Kent charts on 10 July 1972 and peaked at #18. The song was #9 on the Top 100 of 1967.

Gary Brooker, Keith Reid, Matthew Fisher

Denny Cordell

Record labels of Australian releases:
1967: Deram
1972: Cube

BONUS CLIP BELOW – the story of A Whiter Shade of Pale

Keith Reid got the title and starting point for A Whiter Shade of Pale at a party. He overheard someone at the party saying to a woman, “You’ve turned a whiter shade of pale”, and the phrase stuck in his mind.
Gary Brooker said of his composition in Uncut magazine (2014):
“If you trace the chordal element, it does a bar or two of Bach’s Air on a G String before it veers off. That spark was all it took. I wasn’t consciously combining rock with classical, it’s just that Bach’s music was in me.”
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Procol Harum’s lyricist Keith Reid explained: “It’s sort of a film, really, trying to conjure up mood and tell a story. It’s about a relationship. There’s characters and there’s a location, and there’s a journey. You get the sound of the room and the feel of the room and the smell of the room. But certainly there’s a journey going on, it’s not a collection of lines just stuck together. It’s got a thread running through it.”
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If you’d like to dig deeper into the story behind A Whiter Shade of Pale, check out this short video featuring Procol Harum singer, keyboardist and composer Gary Brooker and lyricist Keith Reid.

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