"A Whiter Shade of Pale" is the debut song by the British band Procol Harum, released 12 May 1967. The single reached number one in the UK Singles Chart on 8 June 1967, and stayed there for six weeks. Without much promotion, it reached #5 on the US charts, as well. It is one of the fewer than 30 all-time singles to have sold 10 million (or more) copies worldwide.
With its haunting Bach-flavoured instrumental melody, soulful vocals, and unusual lyrics—by the song's co-authors Gary Brooker, Matthew Fisher, and Keith Reid -- "A Whiter Shade of Pale" reached #1 in several 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" #57 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
More than 900 recorded cover versions by other artists are known. The song has been included in many music compilations over the decades and has also been...