Exotic Birds and Fruit

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Exotic Birds and Fruit
Studio album by Procol Harum
Released April 1974
Recorded late 1973 / early 1974
Genre Progressive rock, Symphonic rock
Label UK, US, Europe: Chrysalis
Australia, New Zealand: Festival
Germany: Repertoire (2000 reissue)
Producer Chris Thomas
Procol Harum chronology
Grand Hotel
(1973)
Exotic Birds and Fruit
(1974)
Procol's Ninth
(1975)
Singles from Exotic Birds and Fruit
  1. "Nothing But The Truth"
    Released: 1974
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone (not rated)[2]

Exotic Birds and Fruit is the seventh full-length studio album by British progressive rock band Procol Harum. It was released in 1974. Of special note is the release of the album in Argentina, calling the album "Pájaros Y Frutas Exóticas" (literally translated as "Birds and Exotic Fruit"). The cover artwork for this album is from Jakob Bogdani a noted Slovakian artist whose paintings centred around exotic birds and fruit.

Recording[edit]

Collaborating again with producer Chris Thomas, Procol Harum the band recorded the album at George Martin's Air London Studios in London. According to singer/songwriter/piano player and band leader Gary Brooker the album was recorded in reaction to the two preceding albums which used extensive orchestration. Brooker stated "We made the live album with an orchestra. We'd then taken the orchestra into the studio for 'Grand Hotel'...we'd had enough of orchestras".[3]

This back to basics approach worked well given that there were regular power cuts during the power struggle between Edward Heath's government and the UK unions. The band used an emergency generator during the blackouts which forced three-day working weeks during the so-called "winter of discontent" of 1973–74. New member Alan Cartwright joined on bass freeing up bass player/organist Chris Copping to devote himself full-time to organ which returned to a prominent role in the band's sound.[4]

The album features the song "Butterfly Boys" written about the founders of the band's record label at the time Chrysalis. The band were unhappy with the terms of their contract and expressed that frustration in song.

Reception[edit]

"Exotic Birds and Fruits" met with a good critical reception[5] but only rose to No. 86 on the Billboard album charts.[6] The album was preceded by the single release of the opening track "Nothing But The Truth" back with the single only b-side track "Drunk Again".

2009 Salvo Reissue[edit]

In 2009 Salvo reissued Procol Harum's entire discography on CD remastered by Nick Robbins. The reissue for "Exotic Birds and Fruits" included two bonus tracks personally selected by Brooker and Keith Reid. "Drunk Again" the b-side to the single "Nothing But The Truth" appeared on CD along with an alternate mix of "As Strong As Samson".

Track listing[edit]

All music by Gary Brooker, all lyrics by Keith Reid.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Nothing But The Truth"   3:13
2. "Beyond The Pale"   3:03
3. "As Strong as Samson"   5:05
4. "The Idol"   6:38
Side two
No. Title Length
5. "The Thin End of The Wedge"   3:44
6. "Monsieur R. Monde"   3:40
7. "Fresh Fruit"   3:05
8. "Butterfly Boys"   4:25
9. "New Lamps For Old"   4:07
Bonus tracks on 2000 and 2009 reissue:
No. Title Length
10. "Drunk Again (B-side)"   4:31
11. "As Strong As Samson (Single Version)"   3:46
Bonus tracks on 2004 reissue:
No. Title Length
11. "The Blue Danube (by Johann Strauss II, arranged by Gary Brooker)"   9:12

Personnel[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Produced By Chris Thomas
  • Engineer: John Punter

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
Spain 1974 Chrysalis Records stereo LP 63 07 531
North America 2004 Friday Music remastered CD Friday Music 1021

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William (2011). "Exotic Birds and Fruit – Procol Harum | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Niester, Alan (2011). "Rolling Stone : Procol Harum: Exotic Birds & Fruit : Music Reviews". web.archive.org. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  3. ^ Brooker interview, Patrick Humphries 2009 for Salvo reissue of "Exotic Birds and Fruits"
  4. ^ Patrick Humphries, notes for 2009 reissue of "Exotic Birds and Fruits"
  5. ^ Patrick Humphries, 2009
  6. ^ http://www.allmusicguide.com

External links[edit]