Sunday, 18 September 2016

Grand Hotel (Procol Harum, 1973)

I confess I'm always been partial to the majestic melody of this Procol Harum's song and to its classically-sounding arrangements. It opens the 1973 album bearing the same name and it's difficult to imagine a best way to start a collection of good songs. IMHO, this is an underrated and influential song: not only it inspired (as they say) Douglas Adams's SF novel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, but it opened the decadent and magniloquent way the likes of Queen and Supertramp will soon follow.

Welcome to the Grand Hotel, my friends!

Everything is in tune here, from the brilliant grand piano to the chamber orchestra interlude and from the lyrics about dinners at Hotel Ritz and Hotel Grande to the posh cover art, featuring the band in their most elegant tail-coats in front of a sumptuous building. Aristocratic, that's the word.