Procol Harum is an English rock band formed in 1967. Their best-known recording is the 1967 hit single "A Whiter Shade of Pale", one of the few singles to have sold over 10 million copies. Although noted for their baroque and classical influence, Procol Harum's music is described as psychedelic rock and proto-prog.
In 2018, the band was honoured by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when "A Whiter Shade of Pale" was inducted into the brand-new Singles category.
"A Whiter Shade of Pale" is the debut single by the British rock band Procol Harum, released 12 May 1967. The single reached number 1 in the UK Singles Chart on 8 June 1967 and stayed there for six weeks. Without much promotion, it reached number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. One of the anthems of the 1967 Summer of Love, it is one of the most commercially successful singles in history, having sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.
With its Bach-derived instrumental melody, soulful vocals, and unusual lyrics – by the song's co-authors (the music by Gary Brooker and Matthew Fisher, and the lyrics by Keith Reid) – "A Whiter Shade of Pale" reached number 1 in many countries when released in 1967. In the years since, it has become an enduring classic. It was the most played song in the last 75 years in public places in the UK (as of 2009), and the United Kingdom performing rights group Phonographic Performance Limited in 2004 recognised it as the most-played record by British broadcasting of the past 70 years. Also in 2004, Rolling Stone placed "A Whiter Shade of Pale" 57th on its list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".