"With a structure reminiscent of Baroque music, a countermelody based on J.S. Bach's Orchestral Suite N° 3 in D Major by Fisher's Hammond organ, Brooker's soulful vocals and Reid's mysterious lyrics, "A Whiter Shade of Pale" reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart"
Trev Teasdel The music was constantly progressing each back then, experimenting with new sounds, poetic conceits, new musical influences unlike the early 60's when most pop songs had the same chord sequences such as C Am F Gas in Teenager in Love. Whiter Shade came out just as we were finishing GEC / CSE exams and chillin out a bit more before the end of term - it seemed to be a relaxing summAry sound to chill to! I was cutting hedges to fill in time and the radio was blasting from the New block.
Love was in the air! It didn't last unfortunately! We all crowded around a black and white set where the table tennis table was to watch this momentous occasion in July 1967. "Nothing you can do that can't be done!"
Things were getting psychedelic and heavy - remember hearing this for the first time in the coffee bar by the swimming pool. Walker, the art teacher, helped us create a popart / dada college in the coffee bar to help make it our own. This was something new for the school - something we could contribute to creatively.
Things were more laid back somehow in the new block and in 67 and I first heard this in the changing room of the new block. Daydreams were the only place you could get any privacy and peace at boarding school and were a favourite place to escape to during a boring lesson without being absent without leave!!
You know they really didn't need to give Cleobury lads any more ideas - many were already doing this stuff aready!! Non the less, we cradled around the black and white TV in the coffee area to watch this new weekly programme..
In the new block, they would borrow my portable record player and play this as we all got up - you knew had to get up when you heard that cock crow!. Some of us first heard Sg Pepper at the head's cottage thanks to Aileen. Music was exciting, everything was new and fresh and experimental and had attitude and rebellion at its core. "Everyone you see is half asleep" - it was the wake up call for a new generation but where did it all go!
Then there was the social documentary yet surreal vibes of the Kinks. Lyrics were no longer just boy meets girl. They looked down at and commented on the social malaise "Millions of people swarming like flies round Waterloo underground'. Even at boarding school the change of consciousness was getting through via pop music.
I was stopped in my tracks in the recreation room when Arnold Layne came on the radio earlier in the years. Then came See Emily Play. Nothing like had been heard before - those spacey sounds and surreal and whimsy lyrics.(Doesn't seem to be a decent version on youtube - this is a bit sped up but it will remind you of the spacey sounds therein!)