Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
There is an interesting divide in the reviews here…some think masterpiece, some fairly unenthused. I think this is Procol Harum’s best album. Every song is a winner, although the presence of three vocalists does provide a scattered feeling.
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection
“Broken Barricades” is the 5th full-length studio album by UK rock act Procol Harum. The album was released through A&M Records in April 1971. “Broken Barricades” was recorded at AIR studios in London and produced by Chris Thomas. This would be guitarist Robin Trower´s last album with Procol Harum before pursuing a solo career.
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection.
Although admittedly a posthumous release, I was very surprised at the rather dismissive tenor of many of the reviews of this album to date. Hopefully this record will be reappraised soon as being a release worthy of anyone's consideration as I feel it does enhance an already rich legacy left behind by this very fine and innovative band. (So what if Charisma wanted to ride the slipstream of the lucrative ELP juggernaut?)
Gary Brooker wrote music and lyrics for all the songs on his second album and acted as his own producer, resulting in perhaps his most personal statement as an artist. Unlike No More Fear Of Flying, on which he sometimes just seemed to be the singer on his own record, here Brooker delivered his songs with feeling, enabling him to overcome the star power of his backup musicians, who included Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and Phil Collins. This was partly because Brooker no longer felt the need to separate himself from The Procol Harum sound that was so much a part of his natural musical identity. Brooker's lyrics weren't as philosophical as longtime writing partner Keith Reid's, but they could be just as intriguingly oblique.
After 10 albums with Procol Harum, lead singer, composer, and keyboard player Gary Brooker launched his solo career with this album. Of course, there were Brooker's familiar characteristics – the steady piano work, the butterscotch soul voice. But he switched lyric partners for this set (except for the title track), trading longtime Procol wordsmith Keith Reid for Pete Sinfield, who had performed the same function for Procol contemporaries King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Brooker also tried a couple of tunes by Stiff Records pub-rocker Mickey Jupp (Jupp's versions are better) and Murray Head's "Say It Ain't So, Joe" (Roger Daltrey's version is better). The result was a varied set that succeeded in sounding like something other than Procol Harum's 11th album, although it did not demonstrate that Gary Brooker solo was going to be an improvement over the group.
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection.
There are a lot of people who'll champion the Grand Hotel album, but as far as I'm concerned, it is Exotic Birds And Fruit that is the most complete album in the latter half of Procol Harum's career. In fact, I'd say this album is the best one outside of the classic first trio of albums.
One of the reasons for my unqualified seal of approval is the absolutely gorgeous As Strong As Samson, which is a heart-breaking, nihilistic song of beauty. "Psychiatrists and lawyers/destroying mankind/driving them crazy and robbing them blind" sings Gary Brooker as Chris Copping turns in his best ever organ solo … another tearing, searing, yet emphatically melancholic piece. B.J. Wilson's drumming is top-notch on this one, rolling us all the way to heaven and back again. Every little nuance of this perfect, perfect song melts me. When Gary sings "there ain't no use" as the tune fades out, you know he's right.
Essential: a masterpiece of prog-rock music.
The Moody Blues "Days of future passed" represents one of the earliest collaborations between band and orchestra. Deep Purple's "Concerto…" also offers an early example of a live album involving both. For me though, Procol Harum's "Live in concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra" was the first truly successful integration of the sound of an orchestra into the music of a band. Both the albums mentioned above tend to segregate the two factions, with either orchestral pieces or band performances, but the two do not perform together throughout the album. The music tends to be either symphonic or rock, not a true blend of both.
Anne-Sophie Mutter obviously had fun making this disc. In the quiet pieces (Massenet, Ysaÿe, Fauré) which serve as interludes, she plays with her usual exquisite taste. In the showpieces, though, she goes to town, sliding, scooping, exaggerating, & letting all the stops out. The gypsy inflection she uses in Ravel’s Tzigane & Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen is delicious. Even a ridiculous orchestral arrangement of Tartini’s Devil’s Trill Sonata is more amusing than offensive. With James Levine & the Berlin Philharmonic providing uncommonly alert & powerful support, & Deutsche Grammophon’s realistic sound, this disc is a real treat for violin lovers.
Buffalo Daughter is a three member group consisting of Sugar Yoshinaga, Yumiko Ohno and MoOoG Yamamoto, often augmented by a drummer and other guests. Their sound is heavily influenced by German progressive rock and techno pop, but also includes bits of dub, club, shoe gaze and post-rock influences. Given their mix and match style, and that they emerged in the mid-90s, they are often considered as part of the Shibuya-kei movement.