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Matt’s Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs: #13: A Whiter Shade of Pale covered by Black Label Society/Zakk Wylde


pianoI bet by now you’re starting to notice a trend in my covers list.  I tend to prefer covers of older classic, mainly non-metal songs, brought up to the modern age.  Can’t say exactly why, but I just really dig it.  Anywho, today’s entry seems a bit off kilter because it’s not exactly a ‘metalized’ cover of a song even though it is covered by a very prominent voice in the metal realm.

If you had parents who grew up in the 60s or are grew up in that time period yourself, you probably heard Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” countless times.  It was a big hit then, and even today it is one of the most played and requested tunes on classic rock radio.  It’s a very sad song, but damn if it isn’t beautiful.  If you’ve followed Black Label Society you’ve noticed by now that every so often they release an off the path album filled with more chill and mellow music instead of their groove laden, guitar theatrics album.  On those records, branded as the Hangover Music series, it’s Zakk Wylde who takes even more of the forefront and shows off a different vocal style (and IMO, better) and utilizes his stellar piano skills.  On Hangover Music vol. II he finds himself delivering one of his best performances ever as he tackles Procol Harum’s classic tune.

The soul he shows in both his vocals and piano playing is simply staggering.  The emotion he pour into the song feels like nothing he’s done before and his rendition of “A Whiter Shade of Pale” totally outdoes the original in every aspect IMO.  Having the piano at the forefront adds so much to the song and his rough and rugged vocals transform the song’s theme into something I can much easier connect with.  So, check it out, let us know what you though, and have a great day!  Peace Love and Metal.

Black Label Society/Zakk Wylde Version:

Original Procol Harum Version:

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