Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Within Our House
Genres: World Music, Pop, Rock, Classical
When Procol Harum's Gary Brooker wanted to organize a concert to help raise money for the beautiful 13th Century church of St. Mary & All Saints in rural Surrey, England, he not only chose some of his finest musician fr... more »
When Procol Harum's Gary Brooker wanted to organize a concert to help raise money for the beautiful 13th Century church of St. Mary & All Saints in rural Surrey, England, he not only chose some of his finest musician friends to help out with the cause, but he also went on to record the event and release it on a fan club cd in a very limited run of 1000 units. This rare release Within Our House went on to become a highly collectable recording when the obvious happened as it sold out in a matter of days. However, with Gary Brooker's blessings, Friday Music is now releasing this fine live recording for the first time in North America, to go along with the extensive Procol Harum Remasters series. Procol Harum classics like "A Salty Dog" and "Holding On" get the five star treatment from this eclectic group of musicians. Brooker's vocals and piano work are stellar throughout the recording and his emotional readings of the gospel and religious material is second to none, as his interpretation of the classic Elvis Presley hit "Peace in the Valley" really conveys the true meaning of this charitable event. Other Procol Harum favorites like "The Long Goodbye" and the classic "Nothing but the Truth" are truly inspiring in the church environment, as the album closes with a heart rendering version of their number one classic "A Whiter Shade of Pale." The applause you will hear from this lucky audience will attest that this was a successful night for everyone involved with this wonderful event. This newly remastered Friday Music disc bring this fine concert to light for the first time in North America. Procol Harum fans rejoice!
Fantastic recording quality & excellent singing
synchro1 | San Mateo, CA | 08/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I waited years to get this. The price is somewhat steep (although quite fair for an import). I agree with all the reviews except the one that suggested Mr. Brooker was inadequate to sing "negro-type" spitirtuals (I guess that also eliminates soul, R&B, etc. - oh wait, Gary has always been described as a blue-eyed soul singer of the first order).
Two things I wish to comment on:
- I have a sophisticated home recording studio with pretty high-end amps and speakers. This sounds fantastic and well above any recent release I have heard for fidelity, volume dynamics, and spectrum width. I consider it one of, if not the, finest live recordings and it stands as a superb sonic treat, live or in the studio. This is one CD that was not crammed through the compander to achieve maximum volume while adding clipping and removing dynamics. I would bring this to demo in stores when I purchase my next speakers. It also sounds superb through an mp3 player at 320 kbs and Koss Porta-Pro headphones.
- The singing and arrangements are excellent. I have always enjoyed Mr. Brookers voice but I think this one release stands head and shoulders over his entire catalog for the great phrasing, pitch control, vocal range, and clarity.
So buy it. You won't regret it even if you don't really like Procul Harum.
I rarely write a review. I save it only for the finest of the finest. I think this ,my 4th review in 7 years. I avoid criticizing what I didn't like and only mack the effort in rare raves."
Thomas P. Olbrich | 01/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wasn't going to write any more reviews. Seems my reviews generally just piss people off. When people buy albums, they usually choose recordings by artists they know and like, and somehow, criticism of the album seems to translate to criticism of the buyer. This time however, I agree with the many 5-star reviews. I have been a Procol Harum fan since Whiter Shade of Pale was a single on WLS Radio in Chicago, and a hard core fan since the release of Shine on Brightly.
This is the best work Gary Brooker has done since Grand Hotel. It is an unbelievable surprise, given the size and scope of the concert, just over 100 people in attendance. The sound quality is unsurpassed by anything I have heard - you can clearly hear each instrument, and are left with the sense of being there at the church in the front pew. Some rock vocalists, as they age, should give up singing (Roger Daltry comes to mind). Gary's voice has improved with age. The song selection is different, and interesting. The renditions of Salty Dog and Whiter Shade of Pale are as good or better than any he's done, complete with the Procol Harum type grand ending to Whiter Shade of Pale. I have never been a fan of church music and choirs, but the performances are excellent, and the given the song mix and the overall ambience of the evening, they work. This is a little known gem. Those of us lucky enough to have discovered it are harboring a real treasure."
Brooker's Voice and Whiskey -- Both Get Better with Age
Todd and In Charge | Miami, FL | 02/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have always loved Gary Brooker's voice, deep, resonant and expressive, particularly when matched with the mystical lyrics, organ, guitars and songwriting of his mates in Procol Harum.
Here, Brooker steps out in 1996 to raise money for an historic church near his home. The results are fantastic -- a unique pairing of classic Procol songs, old church hymns, a few gospel standards, all wrapped in exceptional sound fidelity and beautiful backing harmonies. It was obviously a special night for those in attendance, and I for one am very glad it's now available for the rest of us."