45-7507 A Whiter Shade of Pale
Produced by Denny Cordell
Released on May 1967
UK CHART POSITION #1 (RE-CHARTED #13 in 1972) . . . US CHART POSITION #5 (charted June 24, 1967 for 12 weeks) . . . ROLLING STONE TOP 500 SONGS: #57
Find it at GEMM
45-7507 wo. picture sleeve
[high resolution scan]
 

T hen her face, at first just ghostly, turned a whiter shade of pale. Played out with a solemnity rarely seen in rock, Procol Harum’s first single struck the same collective chord as The Moody Blues’ “Nights In White Satin.” Keith Reid’s lyrics offer tantalizing bits of imagery that dissolve on close inspection (shades of Cream’s Peter Brown) while Matthew Fisher borrows a line from J.S. Bach and ends up with something that sounds an awful lot like “When A Man Loves A Woman” as sung by Van Morrison. I was never crazy about this song, and yet inexplicably Harum has never escaped its shadow. The closest they came to the US Top 20 again occurred with the unlikely live version of “Conquistador,” the two songs being released together as part of A&M’s Forget Me Nots reissue series in the ‘70s. For more on “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” visit Songfacts. The original B side, “Lime Street Blues,” is no more than a period piece: slightly psychedelic blues that may appeal to the people who buy Elvis Presley’s film scores. It later appeared on The Best of Procol Harum (undeservedly). Of very minor interest, the Deram #45-7507 single spells Keith Reid's last name as "Reed" and gives no track times for the songs. (In case you're wondering, the A side remains unchanged at a little over four minutes, the B side clocks in around three minutes.)

8559 wo. picture sleeve
8559 wo. picture sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. A WHITER SHADE OF PALE    (Keith Reed/Gary Brooker)
  2. LIME STREET BLUES    (Keith Reed/Gary Brooker)

    UK Magnifly 7-inch reissue
  3. A WHITER SHADE OF PALE
  4. A SALTY DOG
  5. HOMBURG

    A&M Forget Me Nots 7-inch reissue
  6. A WHITER SHADE OF PALE    (Keith Reid/Gary Brooker)    4:10
  7. CONQUISTADOR (LIVE)    (Gary Brooker/Keith Reid)    4:16

    GER 12-inch picture disc
  8. A WHITER SHADE OF PALE
  9. HOMBURG
  10. CONQUISTADOR

    UK Old Gold 7-inch reissue
  11. A WHITER SHADE OF PALE
  12. HOMBURG

CREDITS

return to PROCOL HARUM discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK May 1967 Deram 7" DM126  
US June 1967 Deram 7" 45-7507  
BRA   Deram 7" XDR 40348  
CAN 1967 Deram 7" DM 7507  
FRA 1967 Deram 7" 17000  
UK April 1972 Magnifly 7" ECHO 101  
US/CAN December 1972 A&M 7" 1389 picture sleeve
UK   Cube 7"/12WHI BUG/HBUG77 see Old Gold track listing
US   A&M 7" 8559 Forget Me Nots reissue
GER 1979 Cube 12PIC INT 136.300 picture disc
UK 1982 Old Gold 7" OG9225  

 

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