Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Classic Song 36 - Procol Harum "In Held 'Twas In I"

Let's talk about classic music.

And when I say classic, I mean progressive.

Introducing the very first 'prog rock' masterpiece:
"In Held 'Twas In I" by the immortal Procol Harum.

Recorded and released in '68, "IHTII" is a five movement,
17 minute suite that set a new standard for rock music,
heralding the coming of a vital and very complex 
style of music, which came to be known
as progressive or prog rock.

When my brother Rod bought and brought home 
Procol Harum's second album, Shine On Brightly,
neither he nor I had any inkling as to the content
on side two of the LP, since side one consisted 
of five powerful, yet concise compositions,
including the single,"Quite Rightly So".

As with their debut album (as well as with 
all of their subsequent releases), all lyrics were 
penned by Procol Harum's sixth band member, 
leader/composer Gary Brooker's trusty and 
enigmatic writing partner, Keith Reid.

Originally entitled "Magnum Harum", 
Reid retitled the piece, using the first lyric 
of each movement to form the acronym,
"In Held 'Twas In I".

Cited by The Who's Pete Townshend as a 
major inspiration for his band's masterpiece, 
the rock opera Tommy, "IHTII" hit this very
impressionable British Columbian square between 
the ears. During my very first listen (through Rod's 
headphones), I can still remember getting totally 
swept away by the emotional, near-symphonic 
fifth movement, "Grand Finale".

To say I was completely overwhelmed 
would be a major understatement.

As the final notes of the piece faded and I 
took off the headphones, I started to cry.

I guess I'm still just a sappy, ol' prog dawg.

Here's one of my all time favourite 
pieces of music, "In Held 'Twas In I", 
posted for you in two sections.

Mozz the Elder


1 comment:

  1. One simple word: A W E S O M E !!! (OK - two more: Thank You!)