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Procol Harum — Conquistador (live)
Album: Greatest Hits
Avg rating:
7.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1052









Released: 1972
Length: 4:02
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Conquistador your stallion stands
in need of company
and like some angel's haloed brow
you reek of purity
I see your armour-plated breast
has long since lost its sheen
and in your death mask face
there are no signs which can be seen

And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind

Conquistador a vulture sits
upon your silver shield
and in your rusty scabbard now
the sand has taken seed
and though your jewel-encrusted blade
has not been plundered still
the sea has washed across your face
and taken of its fill

And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind

Conquistador there is no time
I must pay my respect
and though I came to jeer at you
I leave now with regret
and as the gloom begins to fall
I see there is no, only all
and though you came with sword held high
you did not conquer, only die

And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind
Comments (170)add comment
Good 70's rock. Bloviating lyric. IMHO.
Saw Gary Brooker perform this just a few weeks ago in NYC. He still sounds great!
 
 Hasan wrote:
I did the whole Canadian sixties suburban basement weekend hippy loser escapist trip listening to Procol Harum among other groups.  Conquistador was one of the songs that sent me dreaming of exotic foreign lands.  Now, having lived in South America for 20 years I know what the conquistadores were really all about.

Excuse me but the lyrics are simply asinine clueless drivel. (and the pronunciation is con-kee-sta-dor, not con-kwis-ta-dor, doh!)

"... and though you came with sword held, you did not conquer only die."    For pity sake!  At Cajamarca, Pizarro and a cohort of around 200 massacred thousands in an afternoon with almost no casualties themselves.  At 5% interest the gold Pizarro "borrowed" from the Inca would today be equal in mass to the Martian moon Deimos !!!  Meanwhile, the conquistador's slaves rarely survived their first month in the silver mines.

I like the music, more or less, but even 40 years ago I knew the lyrics and the music had nothing to do with each other. Now? They remind me too awkwardly of the self-important vacuity of those years.

 
Maybe I'm stupid, but I always saw it as a reference to Don Quixote.
Maybe I'm just being obtuse. 
 Proclivities wrote:

  Most rock 'n' roll tunes which addressed history were pretty inaccurate, with the possible exception of Johnny Horton's "The Battle Of New Orleans" - they really did use a 'gator as a cannon.
{#Propeller} 

 
 I'm off to google "gator cannon"...
Historical inaccuracies and other criticisms aside, an outstanding example of classic rock.  A 10 in my book.
 LizK wrote:

Which is why I never relied on rock 'n roll for my historical information.   Kiss

 
  Most rock 'n' roll tunes which addressed history were pretty inaccurate, with the possible exception of Johnny Horton's "The Battle Of New Orleans" - they really did use a 'gator as a cannon.
{#Propeller} 
Excellent version of this great song (live). Energy level is off the chart. A big fan of Gary Brooker's vocals.
A good ROCK example of when Music was used more often to express complex events or ideals in the context of Literature/ History...
Intro used in Goonies?
What is the difference between Edmonton and a bowl of Yogurt ?       The Yogurt has more culture.


msymmes wrote:
Maybe the only good recording to ever come out of Edmonton in the history of recorded music.
{#Dancingbanana} 

 


Classic. One I love.


hey folks, it is a tune, not evangelical rubbish, just a tune.............jezzz
 Grammarcop wrote:
Why does this always seem to come on as I am preparing dinner?

 
Dr. Pavlov likes your cooking. 
Ditto

 
Boy_Wonder wrote:
8  >  9

 


Maybe the only good recording to ever come out of Edmonton in the history of recorded music.
{#Dancingbanana} 
It is kind of enigmatic and ecclectic.  The Hammond B3, the brass, the classic rock band vibe.......  pretty cool stuff {#Dance}
Why does this always seem to come on as I am preparing dinner?
8  >  9
i love this song! i love that you play it here!
 LizK wrote:

Which is why I never relied on rock 'n roll for my historical information.   Kiss
 

Perhaps the lyrics are to be seen as metaphor.......The noble Christian ideals of the conquistadors were tarnished upon contact with the indiginous people.....I will give Procol Harum the benefit of the doubt concerning their knowledge of history..
 LizK wrote:

Which is why I never relied on rock 'n roll for my historical information.   Kiss
 

Maybe the lyrics are ment to be seen as metaphor..... Their noble Christian ideals died with contact ....
 AndyJ wrote:

There was a very lovely young lady I met in Edmonton. T.O. Le Bon always much colder to me... Music filled the miles and spiced the memories... She is much more a Melissa Etheridge/Brave and Crazy,  memory than Procol Harum... And then we went to Regina and Winnipeg... on into the winter... There is a lot of winter on those plains... In small amounts it's romantic and pretty. In large doses it gets old fast... Brave people inhabit those places... and crazy too
 
Yes it gets old, but there is something wonderful in heading home from listening to a pub-band with your ears still ringing looking up at the ice halo ringing the moon.  Air so crisp your face doesn't feel cold - just painful and your nostrils stick together a little with each breath.  Snow squeaking under your feet with each step as you walk backwards to keep the wind from freezing your face.  I never thought there was anything strange about walking around backwards until I left.  Do I miss it?  Yes.  Do I want to go back?  Well, ummm.....
Can't wait for Kid Rock to perform this with the Detroit Symphony.

(He said with tongue planted firmly in cheek.) 
 msymmes wrote:
The only good thing ever to come out of Edmonton...?    This recording.
 
There was a very lovely young lady I met in Edmonton. T.O. Le Bon always much colder to me... Music filled the miles and spiced the memories... She is much more a Melissa Etheridge/Brave and Crazy,  memory than Procol Harum... And then we went to Regina and Winnipeg... on into the winter... There is a lot of winter on those plains... In small amounts it's romantic and pretty. In large doses it gets old fast... Brave people inhabit those places... and crazy too


 Hasan wrote:
I did the whole Canadian sixties suburban basement weekend hippy loser escapist trip listening to Procol Harum among other groups.  Conquistador was one of the songs that sent me dreaming of exotic foreign lands.  Now, having lived in South America for 20 years I know what the conquistadores were really all about.

Excuse me but the lyrics are simply asinine clueless drivel. (and the pronunciation is con-kee-sta-dor, not con-kwis-ta-dor, doh!)

"... and though you came with sword held, you did not conquer only die."    For pity sake!  At Cajamarca, Pizarro and a cohort of around 200 massacred thousands in an afternoon with almost no casualties themselves.  At 5% interest the gold Pizarro "borrowed" from the Inca would today be equal in mass to the Martian moon Deimos !!!  Meanwhile, the conquistador's slaves rarely survived their first month in the silver mines.

I like the music, more or less, but even 40 years ago I knew the lyrics and the music had nothing to do with each other. Now? They remind me too awkwardly of the self-important vacuity of those years.
 
Which is why I never relied on rock 'n roll for my historical information.   Kiss
The only good thing ever to come out of Edmonton...?    This recording.
I did the whole Canadian sixties suburban basement weekend hippy loser escapist trip listening to Procol Harum among other groups.  Conquistador was one of the songs that sent me dreaming of exotic foreign lands.  Now, having lived in South America for 20 years I know what the conquistadores were really all about.

Excuse me but the lyrics are simply asinine clueless drivel. (and the pronunciation is con-kee-sta-dor, not con-kwis-ta-dor, doh!)

"... and though you came with sword held, you did not conquer only die."    For pity sake!  At Cajamarca, Pizarro and a cohort of around 200 massacred thousands in an afternoon with almost no casualties themselves.  At 5% interest the gold Pizarro "borrowed" from the Inca would today be equal in mass to the Martian moon Deimos !!!  Meanwhile, the conquistador's slaves rarely survived their first month in the silver mines.

I like the music, more or less, but even 40 years ago I knew the lyrics and the music had nothing to do with each other. Now? They remind me too awkwardly of the self-important vacuity of those years.


And the crowd in Edmonton applauds politely as they wait for the puck to drop.
Recorded live with (of all places...) The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

"Procol Harum Live In Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra" was Procol Harum's best selling album. 

https://www.edmontonsymphony.com/about/recordings/procol-harum-live-with-the-edmonton-symphony-orchestra/ 
 
Love the start and some of the details throughout.....but the package just doesn't flow to my liking.


More Procol Harum please

 Zoonhollis wrote:
Want another good PH tune? "Power Failure"

...and Leo Kottke's version is very good as well
 
Didn't Leo Kottke write "Power Failure"?  It's the only version I've ever heard of that song, and I love it!

And this one just sends shivers of happy down my spine... It's such a STORY song, and the music is rather awesome.... I've always liked it, and it led me to Robin Trower's "Bridge of Sighs," and then Jeff Beck's "Wired," and then.... I sort of abandoned mainstream radio once this happened, and I swan-dived into the dark basement of FM, where Frank Zappa, Iggy Pop, the New York Dolls, and a passel of other bands proudly strutted their music.  *sigh* I miss those days.  Thank you, RadioParadise, for bringing those memories back and for creating new ones...

oh please... don't stop
 Proclivities wrote:
I was under the impression that Lothar & The Hand People were Paul's favorite band.  Good tune, btw.
 Well, they did share the same label for a while.


 ThePoose wrote:
Many years ago, Paul, before he was knighted, was asked for the name of his favourite group (not including the Beatles).
His answer? Procol Harum.

Then he was asked for the name of his favourite singer. Procul Harum again.
 
I was under the impression that Lothar & The Hand People were Paul's favorite band.  Good tune, btw.


I always liked this because it was with an orchestra.  I would have loved playing rock with an orchestra backup.
One of the best rock groups of all times! ... pure quality! {#Cheers}
This is one of my favourite songs (note the spelling {#Cool}) from them! {#Notworthy}
Nope  never liked this one
 ThePoose wrote:
Many years ago, Paul, before he was knighted, was asked for the name of his favourite group (not including the Beatles).
His answer? Procol Harum.

Then he was asked for the name of his favourite singer. Procul Harum again.
 
Gary Brooker.

Many years ago, Paul, before he was knighted, was asked for the name of his favourite group (not including the Beatles).
His answer? Procol Harum.

Then he was asked for the name of his favourite singer. Procul Harum again.


Want another good PH tune? "Power Failure"

...and Leo Kottke's version is very good as well
Saw them a couple weeks ago. Stellar...Tight.... no slippage!
I've never heard this LIVE before (and you'll see that comment from me a lot!) but I love Procol Harum, no matter what.  This version of Conquistador was actually merciful - not drawn out or overly-dramatic, even with the orchestra.  I rather like it.

And, having said that, I think I just hit the wall, but what better way than to grin to Procol Harum? (Well, "The Rain Song" by Zep would be the absolute perfect sign-off, but since we've already heard that, I have no suggestions.)

G'night, RP. Thanks for all the wonderful music.

I have ALWAYS loved this song. Nice to hear it live.

Gary Brooker 2006 by ~Kissa21
Pyry Haukkavaara  ©2007-2010 ~Kissa21

Gary Brooker ja Procol harum esiintyi vuonna 2006 Järvenpään puistobluessissa

.

 inindian wrote:

I don't think Robin Trower was underrated, more under-known through not playing particularly commercial music. Most people I know who know him at all think he's fantastic.
 
He is fantastic! When it became more and more apparent that PH was a keyboard-oriented band, he wisely struck out on his own.


Like your spin on how the collaboration may of helped the symphony out financially. Clever.
 
nagsheadlocal wrote:
Ah, I remember the controversy over the Edmonton Symphony taking part in this - the symphony was criticized for taking part in "low brow" activities.

My take was that it was a great record, and I'm sure the money helped keep the doors open at the symphony hall in the days of low or non-existent financial support.
 


{#Bananapiano}Would like to hear some more rare tunes by these guys.
Stellar.

>10
Ah, I remember the controversy over the Edmonton Symphony taking part in this - the symphony was criticized for taking part in "low brow" activities.

My take was that it was a great record, and I'm sure the money helped keep the doors open at the symphony hall in the days of low or non-existent financial support.
Flashback to elementary school, learning about the Spanish conquest of Mexico.  Thought it was so cool to hear this song, brought my classwork to life! {#Roflol}
                     {#Boohoo},,strikes my heart every time !

Classic !!!
lovin it

much better tension in this version
This is the worst song from one of my favorite groups.
Play "A Salty Dog" instead.
I was just thinking the horns are the ONE redeeming part of this track!  Reminds me of Cake or Calexico or a Spaghetti Western.....

 
Hannio wrote:
Great song except for the horns.  I understand they are used to invoke the trumpet calls of military charges as well as giving the song an Iberian aura.  I just don't like brass in my rock and roll.
 


Part of the problem here - hence the adverse comments - is that the studio version is SOO much beter than this live version, which is at the wrong pace, and sounds a bit rubbish by comparison. In it's original, it's a lovely song
 hasben wrote:
a wider shade of stale
 
{#Lol}

I wasn't going to comment, but I think RP can take this one off the playlist
One way of telling one none music-lover is looking for the ones rating this song less then a 10 !
                                                       {#Moon}
a wider shade of stale
 Fooboy wrote:
this song sucks donkey-balls ... please never, ever play it again.... please, please, never.......
 
This song is the dogs bollocks ... please play it over and over again!
this song sucks donkey-balls ... please never, ever play it again.... please, please, never.......
 Misterfixit wrote:

I think it was Dave Ball.  And., yes Trower is vastly underrated.  He was at the Cannery here last March  — awesome guy and performer.

Bridge of Tears never grows old.

 
*Heavy "Sigh."* Ya got the album title wrong.......

 bluedot wrote:
like i said below...it isn't robin trower on this cut...

 
I think it was Dave Ball.  And., yes Trower is vastly underrated.  He was at the Cannery here last March  — awesome guy and performer.

Bridge of Tears never grows old.

 blades wrote:
Think it was Focus
 
Not quite sure. Did Akkerman and the boys make another version (besides Jeff Beck) of the Sabre Dance?

'Ken & Bainy', are you listening?

Except that at least, this song, once was good...
 
bugleboy624 wrote:
I swear this sounds just like ELO.
 


I swear this sounds just like ELO.
Great song except for the horns.  I understand they are used to evoke the trumpet calls of military charges as well as giving the song an Iberian aura.  I just don't like brass in my rock and roll.

Follow up with Neil Young's 'Cortez' maybe?  c.


Someone said earlier that just because a song is popular and on constant radio rotation that that doesn't necessarily make it a bad song.  In this case, just because this falls in the "classic rock" category, it is still not a very good song.
like i said below...it isn't robin trower on this cut... inindian wrote:
I don't think Robin Trower was under-rated, more under-known through not playing particularly commercial music. Most people I know who know him at all think he's fantastic.
My second favorite song of all time! nuf said
nate917 wrote:
Robin Trower on guitar and Matthew Fisher on Hammond Organ -- two extremely underrated musicians of that era.
I don't think Robin Trower was under-rated, more under-known through not playing particularly commercial music. Most people I know who know him at all think he's fantastic.
bpkengor wrote:
Just to spice up the conversation: This is finger nails on a blackboard music to me. I liked it just a bit when I was a teenager and like it a lot less now. the melodies are pedestrian and repetitive, the horns are a silly gimmick, the vocals are boring, and the lyrics are inspid, imo. Gentlemen, light your flamethrowers! (Seriously, i kept trying to like PH when I was young but it just never engaged me. I was big fans of ELP and Yes and Renaissance and others of similar styles. I could just never really enjoy PH. Good thing we all have different tastes. If we didn't, there would only need to be one of us.)
Mathew Fisher is an ordinary geezer these days who writes computer programs for a living; I even saw him catch a bus once on his way home in South London.
Decades ago Sir Paul (before he had been knighted) was asked for the name of his fave group. He instantly replied, ''Procul Harum.''
Please follow this with the White Stripes' Conquest ; That'll hurt a few sensitive ears.
nate917 wrote:
Robin Trower on guitar and Matthew Fisher on Hammond Organ -- two extremely underrated musicians of that era.
actually, robin trower isn't playing guitar. he had already quit the band. i think that the guitarist's name in this version of PH is david ball. personally, i like the original studio version of this song better. trower was definitely in the band for that. it wasn't all orchestral.
Just to spice up the conversation: This is finger nails on a blackboard music to me. I liked it just a bit when I was a teenager and like it a lot less now. the melodies are pedestrian and repetitive, the horns are a silly gimmick, the vocals are boring, and the lyrics are inspid, imo. Gentlemen, light your flamethrowers! (Seriously, i kept trying to like PH when I was young but it just never engaged me. I was big fans of ELP and Yes and Renaissance and others of similar styles. I could just never really enjoy PH. Good thing we all have different tastes. If we didn't, there would only need to be one of us.)
Great organ!
Recorded here in Edmonton at the Northern Jubilee Auditorium with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, back in the day.
nate917 wrote:
Robin Trower on guitar and Matthew Fisher on Hammond Organ -- two extremely underrated musicians of that era.
Aye, 'twas no wonder they were so fine, the drummer ain't so bad either...........
In memory of adult progressive rock FM radio from days past, this favorite "B-side" of mine gets "8." :music:
Bleyfusz wrote:
Your observation has almost a double sense, considering the fact that PH was - among Emerson, Lake & Palmer, King Crimson and one Dutch group whose name I don't remember - one of those symphonic based bands.
Think it was Focus
I was ape-shit over this when it came out. Great album too. I remember Whiter Shade of Pale from another world, it seems. It remains one of my favorite songs of all time.
Procol Harum is the source of one of my greatest thrills and hugest disappointments. Seeing them here in the Twin Cities in the late '60's shortly after the release of their epic "Shine on Brightly", I was given an profound understanding of well produced music and live music mix. God were those Brits Good! Then, decades later, Gary Brooker came back to town with his little horse and pony show and trotted out all the old standards (bored to tears) and proceeded to spill out 40 minutes of tripe. The ravages of time and group infighting were not kind and a small cherished teenage point of light was doused. Happily I have the complete music library of PH and every now and then will play my own concert to try and recapture that once upon a time.
Awake this time! Full blast ! #10 !   And 15 #1 ratings, WTF!!!!!!!!!!

Alafia wrote:
a true classic!
Your observation has almost a double sense, considering the fact that PH was - among Emerson, Lake & Palmer, King Crimson and one Dutch group whose name I don't remember - one of those symphonic based bands.
One of my absolute favorites, one of the great things about RP is the memories it brings back, and the reminders of what songs to load on MyPod. Just so much life and joy jammed into this :good-vibes: song!
Nothing short of excellent..a classic.
Robin Trower on guitar and Matthew Fisher on Hammond Organ -- two extremely underrated musicians of that era.
a true classic!
Great song, are they new?..LoL
I have never heard this before. It rocks. I like it!
Following the truly horrendous ELO, this is lotion for the brain. Beautiful.
Shiiit,asleep!! :sleep: And it was LIVE to!! :frustrated:
This always takes me back to \'73 when I saw Procol Harum in L.A. We were sitting second row and just in front of us in the first row were these three Mexican dudes who started yelling \"ConeKeesTe Door, ConeKeesTeDoor!\" as soon as they walked onstage. They continued with this after each song. The band broke into this about the fourth song. The guys in front went crazy! ... then left after the song was over! :roflol:
Great band, outstanding song :roflol:
Is this really live? It sounds pretty tight. EDIT: cue applause at end....
Nice, A memory burn. First girl, first kiss, first uh... :naughty:
yes...great segue: from ELO to the ESO
Tasty. And not yet ground into a fine, Classic Rock, dust like Whiter Shade of Pale. 8
The layers upon layers of horns, explosive guitar, organ, voice, orchestration... awesome! Brilliant!
A perfect seque....from ELO.
ChardRemains wrote:
Consider it an English one-fingered salute to the perpetrators of the Armada!
LOL!
FAY wrote:
I guess you have to have been around when this one came out... Oh but I was. Oh never mind. :eh:
I dunno, I wasn't around and I like it. :cheesygrin:
Just before Conquistadore Bill played an ELO song. one. If you are going to play ELO before it then it has to be Across The Border from Out of the Blue - A perfect segue in my opinion anyway. Give it a shot next time, Bill
rklein wrote:
... It is (almost) Latin for "beyond these things".
Kind of like it's almost Spanish to say "con qwis' tador."
FAY wrote:
I guess you have to have been around when this one came out... Oh but I was. Oh never mind. :eh:
Yeah
I liked this until a roomate played it over and over and over. That was 20 years ago. I still hate it.
I guess you have to have been around when this one came out... Oh but I was. Oh never mind. :eh:
Gregorama wrote:
IMHO, one of the greatest voices in rock. Yeah, Whiskey Train was a rockin' album. Can anybody upload some?
Still touring with Bill Wyman And The Rhythm Kings* and still sounding awesome.1 of the 2 best gigs of my life.The other was Jeff Beck's 60th birthday gig at the Royal Albert Hall *Bill Wyman, Georgie Fame, Gary Brooker, Martin Taylor, Albert Lee, Beverly Skeet,and sundry others who's names I didn't know.Surely the most talented group of musicians and singers ever to walk onstage as an ensemble?
This should be followed by Cortez the Killer by Neil.
Gregorama wrote:
IMHO, one of the greatest voices in rock. Yeah, Whiskey Train was a rockin' album. Can anybody upload some?
I totally agree...my favorite was "Broken Barricades".
Mari wrote: I learned something today. :clap:
Long live the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra!
''Who is the victor; who is the victim?'' Speak! -- Also sprach Zarathustra