Procol Harum: “Whiskey Train” (1970)

The cowbell as a solo instrument? Yeah, whiskey’ll do that to you.

Kronomyth 4.1: Cowbell harum.

As proof of my peculiar mania, I asked my brother for a stopwatch this Christmas. (Ask and ye shall receive, which I did.) The attraction to time? Labels are notoriously bad about listing the correct track times, particularly on singles. Case in point: “Whiskey Train” is listed at 2:27 but runs about three minutes. (I could give you an exact amount, but why rub it in?) I know, who cares? Me and my stopwatch, and we couldn’t be happier together.

In A&M’s defense, the B side has the correct time. But what does the single sound like? Bah! Minutiae to a mind that has tasted the Tardis of time! If you’re really interested, “Whiskey Train” is a heavy blues-rock song that reminds me of Mountain or Edgar Winter but with waaayy more cowbell, while “About To Die” is more in line with Procol’s chunky prog (think of a heavy Traffic).

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Original 7-inch single version

A1. Whiskey Train (Robin Trower/Keith Reid) (2:27 – actually more like 2:57)
B1. About To Die (Robin Trower/Keith Reid) (3:37)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single in 1970 in the US (A&M, 1218) and Canada (A&M, AM-1218).

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