by Bobby HarrisonBobby Harrison


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Two generously stuffed CDs trace the long, livid career of Bobby Harrison through a wealth of names that are long familiar to fans of his particular breed of '70s funk-rock -- but, by one of those wry ironies of musical fortune, barely nod their heads toward his best-known act. Bobby Harrison was a founding member of Procol Harum, playing on both their first hits ("Whiter Shade of Pale" and "Homburg") and most of their debut album. But he departed with fame still only beginning to flower and, while he does look back with a solo rendition of "Pale" itself, the anthology begins with his next band, Freedom. Formed with fellow ex-Harumer Ray Royer, Freedom eschewed the traditional path of rock bands and debuted with a movie soundtrack; by the time they got round to cutting their debut LP, Harrison was the sole surviving member. And that is the flavor of this collection, a series of stylistic and personnel changes that ensure mood and momentum shuffle as brutally as Harrison's own playing, peaking with selections from Snafu's albums and Harrison's first solo effort. All Funked Up, lest we forget, was recorded with the likes of Tony Iommi, Ian Paice, Mick Moody, and Matthew Fisher on board, and it pounds on your skull like one of Fisher's own solos. Some anthologies are simple collection of songs. This one is a battering ram.

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