Procol Harum releases Novum, its first new album in 14 years, today (April 21).
The 11-song set features the British group's current lineup, including founder and lead singer Gary Brooker as well as former Jethro Tull bassist Dave Pegg -- with lyrics by Pete Brown of Cream fame.
Brooker tells us that a combination of factors helped prod the "Whiter Shade Of Pale" group into action for the album:
"What spurred it on as well, apart from, we have been playing together 10 years live so it was about time we did something in the studio. We suddenly realized, 'cause people started saying it, we've been going 50 years this year. Fifty years! Well, you can't just let that go by. If ever there's a good moment to do something new, fresh, write new songs and get in the studio it's now. So we finished off the writing and then we went in the studio and recorded what we had."
Brooker is the only mainstay from the group's original lineup in 1967; Some 26 members have passed through the band during the intervening years, including Robin Trower, Elton John band bassist Dee Murray and Big Country/Pete Townshend drummer Mark Brzezicki, Procol Harum begins a U.K. tour on May 6 in Edinburgh, Scotland, with European dates in the fall and more shows likely to be added to the list.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.