We skipped the light fandango,
And turned cartwheels across the floor,
I was feeling kind of seasick,
The crowd called out for more,
The room was humming harder,
As the ceiling flew away.
When we called out for another drink,
The waiter brought a tray.
And so it was, that later,
As the miller told his tale,
That her face at first just ghostly,
Turned a whiter shade of pale.
She said,"There is no reason and the truth is plain to see."
But I wandered through my playing cards,
And would not let her be,
One of sixteen vestal virgins,
Who were leaving for the coast,
At the moment my eyes were open,
They might just as well have been closed.
And so it was, that later,
As the miller told his tale,
That her face at first just ghostly,
Turned a whiter shade of pale.
PROCOL HARUM: "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" / "Lime Street Blues" 45 UK.
THE VERY FIRST UK PRESSING, ISSUED ON THE 25th MAY,1967, IN MONO ONLY.
ON THE WHITE AND BROWN DERAM LABEL: DM 126.
MAITRIX: XDR 40348 - T1 - 1C / DR 40349 - T1 - 1C.
The 'first of the first' pressings, with the label straight, naturally enough the maitrix numbers are printed inverted above
the upright catalogue numbers, like all 1960's Decca singles, they owned and pressed all Deram records.
JUST TO CONFIRM THAT, '1' & '2' 'Mother' DIGITS AT 9 O'CLOCK REFLECT THE LOWEST POSSIBLE MAITRIX.
ORIGINAL 1967, FLUTED/WAVY TOP OPENING DERAM SLEEVE, UNSPLIT AND UNTORN, BARELY ANY AGEING, ONLY
A FEW RECORD IMPRESSION RELATED GENTLE CREASES, OTHER WISE ALMOST LIKE NEW. WITH TWO 1967 ORIGINAL
RECORD SHOP ADDITIONS, TOP RIGHT HAS A HAND WRITTEN PRICE STICKER, '7/6d' WAS THE PRICE OF A SINGLE
THAT YEAR. WRITTEN IN PENCIL THAT IS NOW VERY FADED BUT VISIBLE, THE BACK HAS A HANDWRITTEN STOCK
NUMBER IN BLUE INK, '153'. THE SLEEVE IS THICKLY TEXTURED AND STILL HAS A CRISP, STARCHY FEEL OF
1967, IN OUTSTANDING NEAR MINT CONDITION.
THE RECORD HAS ONLY BEEN PLAYED ONCE, LEAVING NO MARKS, SCRATCHES OR SCUFFS, EVEN ANY HANDLING
IS NEAR INVISIBLE TO INVISIBLE,JUST ONE TINY FEATHER LIGHT TRACE.
I usually count spindle alignment traces as actual plays, but there had to be a placement and removal for one the play, for such
a stunning condition 1967 single, I feel I have to read the ultra faint traces as one play, because that all there was.
WITH PERFECT SOUND QUALITY, THE GRADING IS MINT CONDITION.
When discussing the greatest singles ever made,"A Whiter Shade Of Pale" deserves to be in the same company as anything that
achieved true greatness, not just in the 60's, in any decade. Being a psychedelic 1967 record though, during a year so musically
inspired, you can in fact compile a whole list of simply staggering singles without even leaving 1967! "A Whiter Shade Of Pale"
most certainly belongs alongside these, "Purple Haze", "Strawberry Fields Forever" & "Arnold Layne", to name a few, I restricted
it to just three singles or I could fill this page with title after title. As a teenager I never desperately wanted to buy more
records than in any other other year I have ever experienced! The uniqueness of them was unprecedented in the 20th century,
hopefully with still 86 years stretching out in front of us, the 21st century will produce at least one year when such inspired,
innovative music and sounds, here is how it all happened for one of the most atmospheric, mood intensive single of them all.
From 1962 Gary Brooker was a founder member of The Paramounts, a highly respected r&b band, one among so many flourishing in
Britain at the same time as the Beatles led the charge. When they split up in 1966, Gary Brooker made a very fateful decision,
to concentrate on only the writing side of songs, teaming up with lyricist Terry Reid, Brooker set a Reid poem to music, basing
the melody on "Bach's Suite No.3 in D Major". 'Procol Harum' were formed and they signed with Decca's recently set up Deram
label in May,1967, who's noble intention was to take in unestablished, untried talent, without even realising it at the time,
they had really struck gold this time! After Procol Harum recorded Gary Brooker's melody with the Terry Reid poem forming the
lyrics to "A Whiter Shade Of Pale", one of the most famous demo's of all time was sent to the pirate radio ship, "Radio London,"
in order to gauge a reaction. Decca/Deram were not prepared to start pressing standard singles without a positive feedback from
the demo's airtime, which in theory might have been limited to one play, if even that. After fantastic listener's response, Deram
heard all they needed to know, their pressing plant went into mass production and they rush-released the record in May,1967.
The debut single from a previously unknown band who had literally just formed, started to sell.... & sell, becoming a No.1 record.
"A Whiter Shade Of Pale" was also the catalyst that helped to spark off the "Summer Of Love" and was acknowledged as having a
massive influence over the rest of that glorious year of new and amazing music of the mind.
Such a huge selling single meant many, many re-pressings were of course being made during 1967 alone, but it is really simple to
trace "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" all the way back to the very first records pressed and delivered to record shops. Made simple by
how Decca sequenced their maitrix endings, their singles and Deram's are identical, the very first made batch rushed into record
shops, always had '- T1 - 1C' as the suffix, with that on both sides that is the very first pressing made. Outside of the demo's
of course, but that would have been the records directly pressed before this record and they also had the same 'T1 - 1C' maitix
endings. Also the vinyl itself is extremely thick, heavy and deep grooved to qualify as a 1967 pressing, as usual with 60's first
pressings, you can hear the difference in the staggering power of the first mastered mono mix. This superb Mint- first pressing
has that very sound in stunning audio perfection.
The labels are in outstanding condition, completely unstained and unaged, the bottom half is white with the top half in brown
around the white 'Deram' lettering. This was only three years before the 1970's began and there were pressings made in that
decade, so to confirm originality, above the bold black catalogue number to the right of the centre hole, the maitrix is printed
inverted or 'up-side down' inside brackets in smaller print. The gleaming shine of mint vinyl is a rare sight for this single, so is
not seeing any marks, scuffs or scratches, a barely played record and as noted earlier any handling is near invisible/invisible.
Great to see without the usual heavy marks on either side, it also means that beautiful organ intro is as clean and clear as the
day it was pressed. Most first pressings today are in a much loved and very heavily played condition, in other words, completely
worn out with the music signals absolutely shot!
Of course I realise such a well known and deeply loved track doesn't need me to describe it, but I will say,if you have not heard
a UK "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" first pressing, you have not heard how it actually sounded in 1967 mono. Right from the run-in
grooves there is no more than natural static, in fact, at such a a low level, I should not have even mentioned next to nothing!
That wonderfully atmospheric, beautiful intro is powerfully projected in fantastic audio clarity,the cleanness of that organ intro
is that only found on Near Mint/ Mint vinyl. 1960's Mint vinyl like this was designed for the heavy tone arms of mono record
players, but heard on my modern stereo system, this sounds absolutely superb, a 'thick' sound but the individual instruments
and vocals are sensationally clear. The drums really stand out, the first made mono 45 mix is an amazing way to experience this
mood intensive song performance, particularly that organ and the vocals. A track with lyrics you never quite place because they
were surrealistic and contributed to the feel that cathedral like organ tones created. An incredibly powerful sound was intended
to give the maximum impact to the listener and this listener is really enjoying that impact!, The 45 mono mix has overwhelming
power, as a Decca pressing the clarity of the vocals and all the backing instruments are to be expected as well as extremely sharp
edged audio detail. The sound quality of that majestic organ is awesome, it powers out from the speakers and the purity of this
first pressing from the earliest part of the 1967 "Summer Of Love," contains the very reason I only ever want to hear singles in
all their their original glory.
'1' & '2'
Singles are two sided affairs and this has a really remarkable B-side, "Lime Street Blues" has the same low level insignificant
natural static in the run-in grooves, now the fantastic powerful mono sound quality is heard for a very different style of music.
Written once again by Brooker and Reid, as the title suggests, this is into the blues and r&b of Gary Brooker's former band,
The Paramounts from earlier in the 1960's. This always reminds me of Traffic and in particular Stevie Winwood, because the
blues element veer towards the looseness of blues/ jazz, I constantly say psychedelic music evolved from blues and this single
is the living testimony to that. Fantastic keyboards from Gary Brooker, gone are those long and drawn out notes of a dream like
quality from the A-side, Gary's fingers fly over the keyboard, on both an organ and a piano. This side of the single always gets
overlooked and underrated, shame, with such an excellent production, perfectly capturing the energy of their performances.
Once again, really outstanding audio clarity allied to really powerful mono sound, an unworn absolutely perfect pressing.
R & M RECORDS.
My lifetime's love of music and records began at a very young age, the arrival of the Beatles and the 1960's decade
in general had a very profound effect. It was only natural to bring all my first hand experience of collecting vinyl
into becoming a professional record seller. Over twenty years ago now we entered into the wonderful atmosphere
of record fairs with the highest possible standards set. When the Internet became the world's new market place for
vinyl, in 2001 it was time to join ebay. Those standards were rigidly adhered to as they will always continue to be,
the basics of honesty and integrity were very much part of the era the music I love originated in, so here is our friendly
and very efficient service we are proud to provide;
EVERY RECORD IS FULLY PLAYED AND COMES WITH A 'NO ARGUMENT' MONEY BACK GUARANTEE.
I USE GOOD OLD COMMON SENSE AS WELL AS A GLOBALLY ACCEPTED GRADING TERMINOLOGY
FROM THE U.K. "RECORD COLLECTOR PRICE GUIDE" BOOK.
THERE IT CLEARLY STATES "Sound Quality" AFFECTS EVERY GRADING LEVEL AND THAT IS THE ONE
AND ONLY POSSIBLE WAY TO ACCURATELY GRADE RECORDS. i.e. COMBINING A STRICT VISUAL
INSPECTION WITH VERY CLOSELY LISTENING TO EVERY SECOND, UNLESS PERHAPS IN THE CASE
OF GENUINELY UNPLAYED VINYL. EVEN THEN WE STILL TAKE FULL RESPONSIBITY FOR A RECORD
WHEN A CUSTOMER RECEIVES EITHER A SEALED OR AN UNPLAYED RECORD.
MY DESCRIPTIONS WILL ALWAYS BE 100% HONEST AND TOTALLY ACCURATE ON ALL GRADINGS
FROM 'V.G.' ( VERY GOOD), TO THE ULTIMATE 'MINT' CONDITION.
ANY QUESTIONS ON OUR ITEMS ARE WELCOMED AND WILL BE PROMPTLY REPLIED TO.
WE ARE FULLY EXPERIENCED AT SHIPPING WORLDWIDE AND NO EFFORT IS SPARED TO PROTECT
RECORDS AND COVERS ETC. WE WELCOME BIDDERS FROM ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.
ALL RECORDS ARE REMOVED FROM THEIR SLEEVES AND PLACED INTO NEW PROTECTIVE CARD
SLEEVES AND THEN PLACED INTO NEW, HEAVYWEIGHT PLASTIC OUTER SLEEVES.
THE GREATEST ATTENTION IS PAID TO MAKING THE PACKAGING EXTREMELY STRONG & SECURE.
EVERY POSSIBLE EFFORT IS MADE TO ENSURE A SAFE DELIVERY AND WE ONLY USE THE VERY BEST
QUALITY PACKAGING MATERIALS, THE COST OF THE ITEM IS IMMATERIAL, EVERY RECORD IS
TREATED EXACTLY THE SAME.
WE DO NOT TREAT POSTAGE AS A MONEY MAKING PROJECT, POSTAGE IS LESS THAN COST, USING
ONLY PROFESSIONALLY PACKED BOXES WITH SUBSTANTIAL PROTECTIVE PACKAGING THAT DOES
WEIGH A LITTLE EXTRA.
UNDER PAYPAL & EBAY'S GUIDELINES, ALL RECORDS WILL BE SENT VIA A FULLY INSURED TRACKABLE
We have kept all our charges at the same level for years now, but due to the Post Office's new price increases, regretfully we
will have to increase the cost of LP's, however, singles will remain unchanged. Ebay were aware of that happening and have
increased their minimum postal cost for LP's to £7.00, that figure has been enforced by the UK Post Office and it will become
our UK First Class, Recorded Delivery cost for albums up to the value of £46.
For LP's valued above £46, the cost will be £9, we are unhappy about either increase but our high standard of packaging has meant
in 12 years of ebay trading, there has not been one record damaged, we are determined to maintain that in the present and future.
IN THE UK RECORDS UP TO THE VALUE OF £46 WILL BE SENT RECORDED DELIVERY, OVER £46 WILL BE
SENT SPECIAL DELIVERY.
FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD ALL RECORDS WILL BE SENT VIA 'INTERNATIONAL SIGNED FOR.'
POSTAGE COST FOR LP's
UK: UP TO VALUE OF £46, FIRST CLASS RECORDED DELIVERY £7.00
UK: OVER VALUE OF £46, FULLY INSURED SPECIAL DELIVERY £9.00
EUROPE: FULLY INSURED VIA INTERNATIONAL SIGNED FOR £15.00
USA,JAPAN & REST OF THE WORLD FULLY INSURED VIA INTERNATIONAL SIGNED FOR £20.00
POSTAGE COST FOR EP's & 7"
UK: UP TO THE VALUE OF £46 FIRST CLASS RECORDED DELIVERY £3.00
UK: OVER THE VALUE OF £46 FULLY INSURED SPECIAL DELIVERY £6.00
EUROPE: AIR MAIL VIA INTERNATIONAL SIGNED FOR £10.00
USA, JAPAN ETC. AIRMAIL VIA INTERNATIONAL SIGNED FOR £12.00
WE WILL SEND ALL WINNING BIDDERS AN INVOICE WITH THE FULL PAYMENT AND POSTAL DETAILS,
AS NEAR TO THE AUCTION ENDING AS POSSIBLE.
OUR AIM IS TO MAKE YOUR PURCHASE SMOOTH AND TROUBLE FREE.
FOR UK BUYERS;
WE ACCEPT: PAYPAL, CHEQUES, POSTAL ORDERS & BANK WIRES.
FOR OVERSEAS BUYERS;
WE ACCEPT: PAYPAL, INTERNATIONAL MONEY ORDERS IN POUNDS STERLING ONLY.
OR BANK TO BANK WIRE TRANSFERS.
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CONDUCT ALL OF OUR BUSINESS WITH TOTAL HONESTY.
AS MUCH AS WE SYMPATHISE WITH THE WAY SOME COUNTRIES CHARGE SUCH HEAVY IMPORT
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