Eagle RecordsProcol Harum is set to release its first studio album in 14 years, Novum, on April 21. The record will arrive nearly 50 years after the May 1967 release of the pioneering British prog-rock group’s debut single and signature tune, “Whiter Shade of Pale.”
Founding Procol Harum frontman Gary Brooker tells ABC Radio that his band’s 50th anniversary was a motivating factor in making the new album. He notes that contemplating his long history with the band led to “a reawakening in my own head…’we’re still here — we better give people something a bit more special.'”
Novum features 11 original songs that, for the most part, were written collaboratively by Procol Harum’s members, while most of the lyrics were penned by longtime Cream and Jack Bruce collaborator Peter Brown. Brooker is the only original Procol Harum member in the group’s current lineup, which has been in place for more than 10 years. Rounding out the band are bassist Matt Pegg, drummer Geoff Dunn, guitarist Geoff Whitehorn and Hammond organ player Josh Phillips.
Asked whether the band’s new music is reminiscent of its trademark classical-influenced sound, Brooker tells ABC Radio, “We actually are rather looking forward to moving forward.” The singer/pianist points out that while his band mates initially focused on playing the group’s songs the way the original Procol Harum performed them, “[n]ow they all play how they play, and it’s been a true awakening for me.”
He adds, with a laugh, “I didn’t know they were that good.”
The first single from Novum, a song called “Sunday Morning,” will be released on April 7.
Prior to that, Procol Harum will launch a 50th anniversary tour with a special symphonic show on March 2 at the Royal Festival Hall in London.
Here the track list of Novum:
“I Told on You”
“Last Chance Motel”
“Image of the Beast”
“Don’t Get Caught”
“Can’t Say That”
“The Only One”
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