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Deep Purple - The Book Of Taliesyn CD (album) cover

THE BOOK OF TALIESYN

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

3.17 | 366 ratings

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Barla
3 stars I haven't heard any of Deep Purple's oldest stuff before. From the Psychedelic Pop era (Proto Prog), if've only heard before "Wring That Neck", "Shield" and the most known of that era, "Hush". Capitalising on the success of the first record, a second album, "Book Of Taliesyn", was recorded before their first visit to the US, where they played support on Cream's farewell tour. Blackmore and Lord wanted a progressive rock band on those times, so maybe that's why it's proggier that the MK II albums. Again, I had the strange sensation this was not Deep Purple, maybe I'm too accustomed with their Hard Rock sound, and it's still the sound I like more from the band. Here we've no Gillan, the vocalist is Rod Evans, who impressed me with his habilities and the psychedelic echoes, he's a more that decent vocalist, but not as good as Gillan, IMO. Glover wasn't on this line-up, Nick Simper was in bass, I'm surprised by the sound the bass had, it may be equelized to have that sound, that gives a special feeling on the album. The prevalence here was by the keyboards (Lord), as well as some solos. The guitar (Blackmore) is very in the background, except on the solos, which are great! Ian Paice was on the drums, again doing a very good job, and providing, to my surprise, some orchestral-like percussion.

The highlights are: "Shield", with an amazing catchy and very melodic vocal performance, a nice neo classical guitar and violin solos in the middle and lots of keyboards, giving that neo classical touch mixed with psychedelic pop and some prog elements. A great song, the best one of the album! "Wring That Neck", oh I love that one, it's instrumental with a cool guitar-keys unison rock n' roll melody, which is repeated a lot of times during the song, with blues' solos improvisation in the middle; a very enjoyable track on every listen (at least for me) and the second highlight on the CD. "Kentucky Woman" is a cover (well, a version actually) of Neil Diamond I've never heard before, which was the first single of the album and their second US hit. That song, despite it's not prog at all, always gives a big smile on my face and has a ver 60s and hippie feeling, with cool backing vocals (which are awesome along the album) and some applauses on the background, a party song. "Exposition/We Can Work It Out" starts with an excellent neoclassical intro with excellent organ playing and orchestral precussion, and one of the finest moments here; then follows a version of The Beatles' classic "We Can Work It Out" (which, as some reviews said before, has no relation with the intro), that is certainly the best DP cover, which is very well done and differentn and fatures again nice backing vocals on the tasty "Life is very short, and there's no time ...", a very nice moment; also the keys and guitar solos are very good. The other song, which is not a highlight, but would deserve a special mention is "River Deep, Mountain High", which is composed again by an intro, an excellent interpretation of Richard Strauss' "Also Spracht Zarathustra", very progressive and symphonic at the same time, again with orchestral percussion and a very neo classical feeling; after that enters a voice , almost speaking, a bizarre moment IMO, then followed by Evan's rocking voice and maybe the most rocker moment on the album, and a catchy psychedelic chorus with nice backing vocals. The other tracks are decent, but nothing very good.

Overall, this is a different Deep Purple, definitely more prog and psychedelic, organ driven music, and for me, a very enjoyable album. It's very good but non-essential, because you must (if you haven't them yet) have "Machine Head", "In Rock" and "Made In Japan" before.

Rating: 3.2/5

Barla | 3/5 |

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