Tag Archives: prog
Gentle Giant had lost a brother … literally.
After touring in support of perhaps the British progressive-rock voyageurs’ finest hour, that sublime fusion of classical and rock elements that magically combined in 1973’s Octopus, Phil Shulman, feeling the tug of familial obligations, decided to part ways with the band he’d helped found.
Surreal, dreamy, opaque — all are words that could describe the evocative lyrics of Procol Harum’s “Whiter Shade Of Pale.” Emerging from the mists of England’s late-’60s progressive-rock bog, “Whiter Shade Of Pale” — with a little help from the offshore pirate radio station Radio London — unexpectedly shot straight up to #1 in the U.K. and stayed on top of the charts for six weeks. Stateside, it climbed to #5 and sold more than a million copies. The man responsible for the impressionistic imagery of the song’s lyrics is Keith Reid.
Van Der Graaf Generator, wrote the editors of the “New Musical Express Book Of Rock” in 1975, “failed to make much of an impression on [the] British public. However they managed to accrue a small, but dedicated cult following for their heavy, doomy music.” It was not much of an epitaph for what that same small cult following would have declared was one of the most ambitious, adventurous and, above all, challenging rock bands of the early 1970s.