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Grand Hotel [Original recording remastered]

Procol Harum Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 44.95
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Grand Hotel + Exotic Birds And Fruit + Live With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
Price For All Three: CDN$ 75.01

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Product Description

Product Description

Digitally remastered reissue with 2 bonus tracks: 'Grand Hotel' (single version) and 'Robert's Box' (single version).

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Grand Harum June 25 2004
Format:Audio CD
Coming off the success of their "Live With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra" album, which hit #5 on the U.S. album chart, as well as a successful tour playing more concerts with full orchestra accompanyment, it was probably preordained that Procol Harum's next album would have a decidedly more orchestral, classical feel to it. And such was 1973's "Grand Hotel." Featuring new guitarist Mick Grabham, "Grand Hotel" is an instant Harum classic. The songs are so musically rich, and the orchestral arrangements perfectly compliment the band note for note. The big, lush title song is one of the group's best-known tunes, and is still a staple in their live repertoire today. Other favorites include the driving "Toujours L'Amour" and "TV Caesar," the lighthearted fun of "A Souvenir Of London" (with drummer B.J. Wilson playing 22 mandolins!), the classic Harum rocker "Bringing Home The Bacon," and the beautiful "For Liquorice John," which singer/pianist Gary Brooker wrote for a late friend. One of their very best releases, "Grand Hotel" is a sparkling Procol Harum album that tastes like a fine wine.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Penultimate Procol album! Dec 25 2003
Format:Audio CD
This is the Procol Harum album that fully realizes the voluptuary, Orson Welle-sy aspect of the group. Songs glorifying a holiday in a French, Monte Carlo, or Riviera hotel or restaurant, singing about "peach flambé" and "bursting grapes"....This is Procol for Tauruses! After first hearing this album in the early 70s, it quickly became my #1 favorite among their albums, with "Broken Barricades" perhaps a co-ranker or a VERY close second.
"Fires (Which Burn Brightly)" is a depressing tune seeming to express the futility of a long forgotten cause and what ennui and overexposure have done to dull it's import. The arrangement of this tune is remarkable because of the use of one of the Swingle Singers for a bit of scat in the beginning, background and end of the song. The title song is described above, and has a gorgeous mazurka for a bridge. "Bringing Home The Bacon" is a teasing complaint about the burdens of raising a gluttonous infant, with a howling vocal by Brooker and some great organ work and recurring crescendos. Still madmen, they have songs like "Toujours L'amour", which speaks of a split-up and a contemplated suicide. "Robert's Box" could be the mandatory visit to the doctor to see about "A Souvenir Of London". "A Rum Tale" talks about an artist's attempt to sell his works, his frustration at not being able to, and his empty threat to "burn down the town". "T.V. Caesar" is a great song singing the praises of good ol' Mighty Mouse! It has one of the lushest arrangments on the album!
All in all, a very rich album, with very unusual arrangements all around for Procol...(they NEVER used an orchestra outside of their "Live" album before!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Procol Harum Album of the 70's June 18 2003
Format:Audio CD
I have read several of the Amazon reviews about this album and I agree with many points made by Procol Harum scholars. However, here is my take on "Grand Hotel". I bought this record upon it's release in 1973 and I believe it is still one of the finest collections of classic rock that I have ever heard. For this effort, Gary Brooker and Keith Reid put forth their best collection of material with a combination of superb melodies and satirical lyrics. Examples include "A Souvenir of London"; a snappy and somewhat tilted folk song about a lad that contracts a well-known social disease after his visit to the big city. "Toujours Lamour" is a lamentation of lost love, which conveys the ultimate negative response to a Dear John note. "Grand Hotel" is an elegant rocker and describes lying in bed, drinking fine wines and savoring cuisine not typically featured at the Motel 6 continental breakfast. Other memorable songs include the Caribbean flavored "Robert"s Box" and the moody "Fires that Burned Brightly", a very cool track offering the vocal talents of Christiane Legrand from the French vocal group the Swingle Singers. This lineup was my favorite PH configuration; and included the very underrated guitar playing of Mick Grabham. On "Bringing Home the Bacon" and Toujours Lamour, he laid down two of the best guitar solos that I have ever heard. As a journeyman drummer, I cannot say enough about BJ Wilson's orchestral drumming, which is put to great use on the title track. His drum beat on bacon remains a masterful demonstration of rock percussion. Brooker's voice, as always, was soulful and powerful and still has very few peers. Finally, this album has no filler material and displays the band at the peak of their artistic talents.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  47 reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Progressive Rock Masterpiece June 8 2003
By Christopher Henrici - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Procol Harum's Grand Hotel- recorded in 1973 - is a masterpiece of progressive rock. You all know about the other classic from the same year- Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon ( for this reviewer, ELP's Brain Salad surgery also qualifies). Like Dark Side of the Moon, Procol's Grand Hotel album has excellent production and sound quality. It also represents a step further for this band on every level- as noted by another reviewer- this is where it all came together for them. Aided by Producer Chris Thomas and the use of strings and a chorus, Procol creates a luxurious wall of sound for many of the songs on Grand Hotel. The superb production, musicianship and compositions represent the zenith of Procol Harum's achievement... nothing they did before or since was as good. Other than Broken Barricades, many of the Earlier Procol albums were pretty lightweight and patchy compared to Grand Hotel...they just don't have the power and sonic sophistication that this recording does. I agree with the people who feel that this was the classic line up of the band (though I'm sure there are plenty of Matthew Fisher proponents)- Mick Grabham proved to be a much better guitarist for Procol Harum, his sound and style being more compatible than Trower. Grand Hotel's title track alone makes it worth owning, but there are plenty of other nuggets to be found here...it is consistently good almost throughout. Even TV Ceaser is a musically great song, once you acclimate yourself to its lyrics..other than the title track, "Bringing home the bacon" is the showstopper of the album, featuring some of the best drumming and guitar work of any Procol song. "For Liquorice John" and "Fires which burnt brightly" marry lyrics with music perfectly- they also provide the albums most emotional songs. I really like the Chris Thomas produced period of Procol Harum, and this one is the best of the lot (Exotic Bird's and Fruit is also excellent). Anyone seeking a slightly different flavor of progressive rock would do well to start with Grand Hotel...an album which manages to be both sophisticated AND heavy. It also deserves mention that Repertoire Records did an outstanding job with both the audio remastering and graphic artwork for this reissue...pick it up and discover a diamond in the rough.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grand In Every Way... Feb. 4 2010
By 4-Legged Defender - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Following the huge success of their prior LP, 'LIVE WITH THE EDMONTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA', # 5 on the Billboard Album charts, Procol continued similiarly w/ use of orchestrations on this, their 6th release, with spellbinding results. Every track is a jewel, every word is a gem, and this one has always been one of my favorite Harum LP`s even after all these years. It`s grand on every level, magnificent perhaps, and caters to their strengths like no other. The album cover and title track remind me of the Greta Garbo movie of the same name that came out in the mid 1930`s - it reeks of a lush, languid, elegant decadence and despair, as does the film. Brooker wrote some of his most memorable melodies for this LP, and Keith Reid penned indelible lyrics to further burn the tunes to permanent memory ('Grand Hotel' and 'Fires Which Burnt Brightly' in particular). The vastly underrated B.J. Wilson (RIP) provides some of his most superlative, muscular drumming - why more people don`t acknowledge his skills as a drummer has always irked me to no end - listen to the incredible foundation he provides on 'Bringing Home The Bacon' and the powerful accents he uses to diffuse and dissect the orchestrations on the title track as proof. Unfortunately, when this LP came out in 1973, Glam-rock was all the rage, so this one slipped between the cracks for many listeners, though it did go to #21 on Billboard, but was never going to stand toe-to-toe w/ the likes of Ziggy Stardust or 'Dark Side' or Roxy Music (another fave of mine). If hindsight teaches us anything, this Lp deserves a re-examination like few others do.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Classic Rock Album - 30 later years - still the best Dec 18 2005
By Bob Grandcolas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
One of the greatest adult classic rock albums of all times! The album is like a tour of a Grand Hotel where every room contains a demonstration of a human depravity - over-eating, drinking, obsessive love, mindless TV, drug addiction, suicide, sex and war. Classy, forbodding, sad, angry, funny and purposefully campy.

Fantasitc lyrics, music and musicianship. A wild and crazy use of orchestras, choirs, pianos, electric guitars, organs and drumming. Along with the lyrics (real poetry!)- its a roller coaster ride. The experience is greatest when the album is played loud!

The record sounds fantastic. There is almost no hiss and the base sounds great. Crystal clear sound! Brookers piano can be heard clearly and his voice is one of the best in any music anywhere.

Requires only a little patience, but numerous listenings. Analyzing the Keith Reid metaphors in the poetry is challenging but fun and his bidding you enter the hotel on the inside cover is classic. Grand Hotel is an absolute must for mature thinking people who want more then the usual dribble in their rock.

Friday Music's booklet has all the lyrics. The CD includes the wonderful addition of a live version of Grand Hotel with lots of Garry's piano and his diversion into Over The Rainbow!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection May 8 2007
By Lawrence A. Strid - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Procol Harum is difficult to categorize in the annals of classic rock. Were they prog rock? Blues/R & B rock? It really doesn't matter, as they had a sound all of their own, that no other group of their age could duplicate. Their emphasis was on a "song format", as opposed to a "performance format", wherein the latter the song was just a vehicle for various soloists to do their instrumental break on. Keith Reid's lyrics add both elegance and humor to each composition on this outing. Grand Hotel captures the band at their best: the production is top rate, the strings and choir highlight but don't overshadow the band, the songs are magnificent; and the performances of the individual band members are enthralling, especially Brooker's dramatic vocals and elegant piano work and Mick Grabham's restrained but inspiring guitar work. Procol Harum had class, intelligence, and inspiration; qualities desperately lacking in many of their contemporaries and even more so with what is on the charts in the 21st century. There will never be anything like them again, and Grand Hotel presents them at the pinnacle of their creativity.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent - after 30 years - still great Nov. 27 2005
By Bob Grandcolas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
One of the greatest adult classic rock albums of all times! The album is like a tour of a Grand Hotel where every room contains a demonstration of a human obsession - over-eating, drinking, love gone bad, mindless TV, drug addiction, suicide, sex and war. Classy, forbodding, sad, angry, funny and purposefully campy.

Fantasitc lyrics, music and musicianship. A wild and crazy use of orchestras, choirs, pianos, electric guitars, organs and drumming. Along with the lyrics (real poetry!)- its a roller coaster ride.The experience is greatest when the album is played loud!

Get the Repertoire or Friday Music lable only!! Repertoire's and Friday Music version have the best sound. There is no more hiss and the base sounds great. Crystal clear sound! Garry's piano can now be heard clearly and his voice is one of the best in any music anywhere.

Requires only a little patience, but numerous listenings. Analyzing the Keith Reid metaphors in the poetry is challenging but fun. Grand Hotel is an absolute must for mature thinking people who want more then the usual dribble in their rock.

The Repitoire version has the more beautful booklet with the classic photo of Ketih Reid introduing the band and bidding you enter the hotel on the inside cover.

The Friday Music version has an excelent addition of a live version of Grand Hotel with lots of Garry's piano and a diversion into Over The Rainbow!
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