Saturday, August 10, 2013

Procol Harum: Song for a Dreamer

I’ve been in several conversations during the past few weeks where 8-track recordings were discussed. It wasn’t the ideal technology, but many ‘60s and ‘70s autos were outfitted with this technology that was invented by the same guy who invented the Learjet – William P. Lear. I had a 1976 Monte Carlo equipped with an AM radio/8-track player and although I hated the technology, I succumbed to the craze in a minimalistic sense.

When I traded my 1973 Olds Omega in 1981 for the Monte Carlo, I succumbed to the temptation to buy about a dozen 8-track tapes. One of these was my favorite album by Procol Harum: “Broken Barricades.” It was the last Procol Harum album that featured the original guitarist Robin Trower before he embarked on a fairly successful solo career.

Trower and lyricist Keith Reid penned one of the two tunes on the album in which Trower sings “Song for a Dreamer.” The tune is replete with a variety of effects and was a tribute to Jimi Hendrix who had died six months before the album was recorded in 1971. “Song for a Dreamer” is different enough from the standard fare for Procol Harum, as it did not feature Gary Brooker’s characteristic vocals and was not written around piano and organ as was so many of the better known Procol Harum songs.

I am not sure if “Song for a Dreamer” received much airplay, but I like it nonetheless and I’ve selected it for our Saturday Bubbling Under cut. The album by the way, charted at #32 on the Billboard Top Album chart.

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