Thursday, September 26, 2019

Power: Power Failure

purchase [Broken Barricades]

There are probably few people on Earth who have never heard <A Whiter Shade of Pale> in some variation, and most of those listenings would be the Procul Harum original. Curious that that is probably the only Procul Harum song most people could name. (File under "one-time wonders". 10 million copies sold. Bing Crosby's <White Christmas> has sold 50 million.)

If, like myself you were actively listening to rock music back then (~1970), you likely would have listened to more of the band's work. Aside from <Broken Barricades> where the song was originally released, you might have listened to/owned copies of <A Salty Dog>,the eponymous <Procul Harum> and if you continued beyond ...maybe some more because they kept the show going for some time. At present, they're planning tours into 2020. With some of the original members!

Life on earth has come to where a power failure means a near total collapse of everything. No lights, no freezer, no internet. You're aware that 100 years ago it wasn't this way. But how many of us today would know how to survive/deal with this calamity: make your own candles? Preserve your food beyond a day or two? Communicate with anyone beyond your (shouting) immediate circle?
Probably not possible without power (of the electric variety).

There are a number of reviews of Power Failure, but probably none better that this (link), where the authors detail most everything you can imagine: specific choice of lyrics, recording situations and much, much more.

I recommend you visit the link, but if you choose not to, a few hi-lites (highlights?):
- the lyrics make extensive use of gerunds: climbing, crashing, falling ...
- the original (live) conceit was centered around a lengthy drum solo (as in: the power goes off and only the drum is able to make sound)

Leo Kottke's version:

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