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

THE BOOK OF TALIESYN

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

3.17 | 369 ratings

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Salviaal
2 stars "Book of Taliesyn" follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, however it is even more adventurous with less pop covers and more original compositions of extended forms. "Listen Learn Read On" is heavy track dominated by heavy guitar and hammond, with archaic reverb on the vocals, nevertheless it's an enjoyable tune considering the sheer energy present in the band. The Neil Diamond cover "Kentucky Woman" is a standard fare, maybe because Rod Evans' voice was so close to Diamond's. Aside from this hit single (and I feel it's not necessary to celebrate such ephemeral singles 40 years after they are recorded, because styles evolve, and there is much more impressive stuff on this record), there is the concert staple "Wring That Neck", much like first album had the pair of "Hush" and "Mandrake Root". "Wring That Neck" sampled the proto-hard rock part of Deep Purple in a big way, being an explosive boogie of hammond-guitar duels, which would become the standard during the classic Mk.II line-up. On the other side the proto-prog sound of the band that was undecided about its direction is best indicated by the 6+ minute long "Anthem". Starting with a hammond motif inspired by the baroque master Bach, and evolving into a lyrical ballad with some lovely mellotrons (the instrument's last appearance in DP discography), followed by a fugal exposition played first by hammond and organ, and then by a string quartet, "Anthem" is not some kind of a transcendental masterpiece, but it is in the same class as proto-prog contemporaries like Procol Harum. "River Deep Mountain High" is the longest track clocking in at 10+ minutes, and evolves slowly, like the best prog epics, but the absolutely antiquated heavily-reverbed vocal harmonies are simply laughable. Taliesyn is an interesting evolutionary step between DP's first and third albums, but much like the first album, remains a fan-only release, simply because there are so many more well-rounded DP albums to add to your colossal prog-rock collection.
Salviaal | 2/5 |

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