Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Whiter Shades of R N B
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock, Classic Rock
BEFORE THEY GREW UP TO BE PROCOL HARUM....
Patrick Earley | Edmond, Oklahoma USA | 02/09/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Just about every member of Procol Harum played in the Paramounts at one time or another. But if you pick up this high price import thinking your going to get some early sounding Procol Harum, your going to end up like the last reviewer, very dissapointed. However, if you like early R&B music mixed with a bit of rock and roll twist, you've come to the right place. The best way I can describe the Paramounts sound is basically the Dave Clark Five on a good day meets Otis Redding lite. The singing of Gary Brooker here is what really makes this thing go. His piano playing isn't bad either. As for Robin Trower, who looks like he's 12 years old in some of the photos in this, his guitar is nowhere to be found except for the last song on here called "Freedom". They let the kid loose on this song to do a little soloing along with some nice organ work for a bluesy song that's way different than anything on here. Besides this song though, this is a vocal album all the way. As for the songs: Their first single was a decent version of Poison Ivy. They do a killer version of "Little Bitty Pretty One" and "A Certain Girl" which was the B-side to this, that I remember Warren Zevon later covered. I also liked Jackie de Shannon's "Blue Ribbons". But I liked the B-side even better, "Cuttin' In" which has been covered by many blues and R&B artists over the years including the hot new blues talent Sean Costello. There's a lot of covers here, mainly because Brooker hadn't figured out yet that there was money in songwriting. But Brooker credits his good friend Guy Stevens and his extensive collection of obscure R&B records that he used to listen to and then perform live at the local club the Shades. Of course Stevens later went on to become the most legendary producer in rock music history. The Paramounts were one of the first white bands to perform R&B on stage. Even before the Stones got a hold of it. It's not great R&B, I mean it's white guys doing black music. But they don't embarass themselves either, like the very white Pat Boone did back then attempting to do this stuff. I'm just filing this one in P next to my Procol Harum as a reminder that everybody had to start somewhere. For Brooker, Wilson, Trower and Co. this was a good beginning."
Fun -- and for those who like Pro Harum, interesting as well
mere_mortal | Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | 08/12/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"These performances not only show Procol Harum in its formative stages, they demonstrate the fun, pub-ready side of the band and its (especially Brooker's) real R&B soul.
The Paramounts as a band is nothing like Procol Harum. Different, and just as good. But it's the same musicians! The "Abbey Road Decade 1963-1970" proves that the lads always had a swingin' little pub in their Edmonton Symphony Orchestra 'earts. You don't have a full understanding of the musicians in Procol Harum if you don't hear these tracks.
For completeness, you may want "Abbey Road Decade 1963-1970" instead.