Something Magic

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Something Magic
Procol Harum Something Magic.jpg
Studio album by Procol Harum
Released March 1977
Recorded Late 1976
Genre Progressive rock, Symphonic rock
Length 40:33
Label Chrysalis
Repertoire (2000 German reissue)
Producer Procol Harum, Ron Albert and Howie Albert
Procol Harum chronology
Procol's Ninth
(1975)
Something Magic
(1977)
The Prodigal Stranger
(1991)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[1]

Something Magic, by Procol Harum, was released in 1977.

Electing to work with producers Ron and Howie Albert when Leiber and Stoller (who had produced the band's preceding album) were not available, Procol Harum flew into Miami with more than enough material for their album. After the Alberts rejected more than five tracks and only having four songs to fill out the album, vocalist/composer/piano player Gary Brooker offered up the epic "The Worm and The Tree," a piece by lyricist Keith Reid that Brooker had been toying with on and off for several years. Under mounting pressure to complete the musical composition and orchestral arrangements for the 19-minute epic (which according to Reid was about "how the press tried to break up the band"[2]) Brooker turned to local Miami arranger Mike Lewis to complete the orchestral arrangements for the title track "Something Magic" and band member Chris Copping to complete the woodwind arrangement for "Skating on Thin Ice."[3]

With work completed on "The Worm and The Tree" Brooker previewed it for co-producers Ron and Howie Albert who approved of the piece (a surprise given that it had a lot in common with the epic orchestral/progressive rock piece, "In Held Twas I" from Shine on Brightly). Guitarist Mick Grabham offered up his only composition set to Reid's "The Mark of the Claw" to help fill out the album (on the 2009 Salvo reissue Grabham is incorrectly credited with writing the single "Wizard Man" with Reid in the credits). The Alberts insisted that the band's steady drummer B.J. Wilson use a click track for the album, an unusual demand given his work on the band's previous releases. After this album was released, Copping left the band. Dee Murray (Elton John's bassist) replaced him for the North American tour promoting this album.[4]

Reception[edit]

The album was preceded by the single "Wizard Man" (backed by the single b-side only release of Gary Brooker's instrumental "Backgammon" in the UK but paired with the title track "Something Magic" in the United States) but didn't chart in either the United Kingdom or the United States. The album rose no higher than No. 146 on the Billboard charts.[5] "Something Magic" would remain the last album released by Procol Harum until 1991 when Gary Brooker reunited with lyricist Keith Reid, Robin Trower and Matthew Fisher (drummer B.J. Wilson died prior to the reunion) for Prodigal Stranger.

2009 Salvo Reissue[edit]

In 2009 Salvo reissued the entire discography of Procol Harum remastered with bonus tracks. Something Magic was remastered by Nick Robbins. The bonus tracks included the b-side "Backgammon" as well as a demo of two tracks rejected for the album played live by the band "You'd Better Wait" and "This Old Dog." The bonus tracks were personally selected by Brooker and Reid for the reissue.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Gary Brooker and Keith Reid except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Something Magic"   3:37
2. "Skating on Thin Ice"   4:49
3. "Wizard Man"   2:41
4. "The Mark of the Claw" (Mick Grabham, Keith Reid) 4:39
5. "Strangers in Space"   6:08
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "The Worm & The Tree" Part One
  • "Introduction"
  • "Menace"
  • "Occupation"  
7:50
2. "The Worm & The Tree" Part Two
  • "Enervation"
  • "Expectancy"
  • "Battle"  
5:29
3. "The Worm & The Tree" Part Three
  • "Regeneration"
  • "Epilogue"  
5:20
Salvo bonus tracks
No. Title Length
1. "Backgammon"   3:23
2. "You'd Better Wait"   4:44
3. "This Old Dog"   3:41

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Something Magic – Procol Harum | AllMusic". allmusic.com. 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Interview by Keith Reid conducted by Roland Clare for the booklet of "Something Magic"
  3. ^ Roland Clare, booklet notes for "Something Magic" reissue, 2009
  4. ^ Roland Clare, booklet notes for "Something Magic reissue, 2009
  5. ^ http://www.allmusicguide.com

External links[edit]