Grand Hotel (album)

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Grand Hotel
Studio album by Procol Harum
Released March 1973
Genre Progressive rock, Symphonic rock
Length 41:09
Label Chrysalis
Repertoire (2000 German reissue)
Producer Chris Thomas
Procol Harum chronology
Procol Harum Live with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
(1972)
Grand Hotel
(1973)
Exotic Birds and Fruit
(1974)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone (negative)[dead link][2]

Grand Hotel is the sixth studio album by Procol Harum. Released in 1973, it signalled a change of direction for the band. Guitarist Dave Ball who had joined the band for their live album the previous year left shortly after the photo shoot for the proposed album's cover to be replaced by Mick Grabham. Grabham's head was superimposed on the front and back cover of the album on Ball's body. Although the band had gone through significant personnel changes in previous years, the band would enter its most stable phase with this line up.

The album reached No. 21 on the Billboard album charts.

Although on the surface "Grand Hotel" appears to be a concept album according to lyricist Keith Reid the "concept" doesn't extend beyond the title tune.[3]

The single "A Souvenir of London" was banned by the BBC for its reference to venereal disease in the lyrics of the song. Reid claimed that the song was really inspired (regardless of how it turned out and was interpreted) by a visit to a souvenir shop near George Martin's Air Studios. "Almost every album has had at least one comic song...and this one was a bit tongue in cheek" Reid stated as part of an interview for the 2009 CD reissue.[4]

2009 Salvo reissue[edit]

In 2009 Salvo reissued the CD remastered by Nick Robbins. Vocalist/keyboardist/composer Gary Brooker and lyricist Keith Reid supplemented the original CD with two bonus tracks. Both were "raw" tracks i.e., they did not feature overdubs. "Bringing Home The Bacon" one of the bonus tracks is the only one to feature former guitarist Dave Ball. The 2009 reissue also featured an essay by Patrick Humphries and was reissued in a cardboard sleeve.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Gary Brooker and Keith Reid.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Grand Hotel"   6:10
2. "Toujours l'amour"   3:31
3. "A Rum Tale"   3:20
4. "TV Caesar"   5:52
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "A Souvenir of London"   3:23
2. "Bringing Home the Bacon"   4:21
3. "For Liquorice John"   4:27
4. "Fires (Which Burnt Brightly)"   5:10
5. "Robert's Box"   4:45
Salvo Bonus Tracks
No. Title Length
1. "Grand Hotel" (Raw Track) 6:07
2. "Bringing Home the Bacon" (Raw Track featuring Dave Ball on guitar) 6:06

Personnel[edit]

Art direction for album cover and jacket done by Spencer Zahn, including internal booklet drawings, photographed by Jeff Weisel

Legacy[edit]

Douglas Adams came up with the idea for The Restaurant at the End of the Universe while listening to the title track.[5]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Rolling Stone review
  3. ^ Keith Reid Interview by Patrick Humphries for 2009 reissue booklet
  4. ^ Keith Reid interview by Patrick Humphries for 2009 reissue booklet
  5. ^ Adams, Douglas. The Salmon of Doubt.