Home Extra tracks, Import, Original recording remastered
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Digitally remastered and expanded edition of this 1970 album. From the driving 'Whisky Train' to the watery depths of 'Whaling Stories' and all points in between, their brilliant fourth album (here featuring two bonus cuts) further demonstrated what Procol Harum fans already knew - that the band had a world class singer in Gary Brooker, one of the greatest drummers around in B.J. Wilson, a vastly underrated guitarist in Robin Trower and a fantastic lyricist in Keith Reid. 12 tracks. Salvo.
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Released in 1970 "Home" follows the band's three previous albums with much the same sound--except that Trower's guitar takes center stage on a number of tracks. The band's sound has taken on a more powerful overall sound that gives the songs some needed firepower. Chances are if you're reading this you're already a fan and know the music on this album, so dissecting each track is pretty pointless. About the only reason to purchase this edition is for the sound--which is open and seemingly more spacious sounding, and for the extra tracks. But if you're happy with the 2009 edition there's no need to upgrade except for the bonus tracks. Plus these new editions are not as tall as the 2009 packaging so they fit alongside other CD cases with no trouble.
The quad-fold cardboard packaging is nice. The discs snap inside and the CD trays have some nice graphics. Included is a poster that's an ad for the album with song lyrics on the backside. The booklet has some period photos and individual track information taken from Henry Scot-Irvine's book on the band.
The two extra tracks on the 2009 edition are here along with a demo of "Your Own Choice", a different take each of "Barnyard...", and "...Dead Man's...", a George Martin mix of "About To Die", an extended remix of "Your Own Choice", a Chris Thomas remix of "Piggy...", a U.S. radio edit of "Whiskey Train", and two unreleased performances from a BBC Radio One session, "Your Own Choice", and "About To Die". All tracks are from 1970 except the demo which is from 1969.
So if you're a deep fan and/or a collector of Procol Harum's albums you'll probably want to add this to your music shelf. But as I said, if the 2009 edition suits you fine, and you don't care about the extra tracks then save your money. But saying that I have to say that I really like this band and have since the days of vinyl, so I like having this 2015 edition of the album--along with the first three albums. Procol Harum was a great band that should be more well known than just for a couple of singles that helped define the "summer of love".
Home was a turning point for the band as the softening influence of Matthew Fisher's organ and occasional vocal was history and Robin Trower's searing guitar came more into the fore. Also Chris Copping came on board replacing Fisher on organ and doubling as bassist. Copping's keyboard style was more muscular than that of Fisher, so with all the changes the band's music took on a harder edge.
My favorites have remained the same over the years: the creepy The Dead Man's Dream; the plaintive Nothing That I Didn't Know; the rousing About To Die; the enigmatic Barnyard Story; and the soaring Piggy Pig Pig which gets so much from Copping's organ. Many people I know never got beyond Whisky Train and many others think Still There'll Be More and Whaling Stories are the most memorable cuts. My opinion is that Whisky Train, while good, is pretty basic and repetitive. Still There'll be More has a good theme, but I find it lyrically weak from the first couple of lines and that detracts from the rest of it. As for Whaling Stories, it is too drawn out and also lyrically weak at times. Your Own Choice sounds like an afterthought and seems out of place on the album.
Those quibbles aside, of course Home is a great album overall. And if you already own it in a variety of formats, the best reason to buy this one is the informative and attractively illustrated booklet that accompanies the CD. The booklet is helpful to the listener in many ways, not least because it discusses each song. Overall, I think Salvo is doing a fine job on the PH remasters. I am certain to buy an example of each.