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Deep Purple - Deep Purple CD (album) cover

DEEP PURPLE

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

3.61 | 551 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars This is without doubt the best realized of their early albums. It is better produced and sounds less rough than the first two albums. Here for the first time they wrote almost all the material themselves and it is all the better for it. No Beatles covers this time.

You could argue that this is also the most progressive Deep Purple album. Chasing Shadows features interesting percussion, giving it an almost Latino feel. It comes to a very abrupt ending, and Blind takes over - a harpsichord driven ballad with some classical influences. Great! Again, with interesting drums, not your regular rock beat here! The song ends with the harpsichord playing without any backing by other instruments.

Lalena follows, another ballad, very mellow and the only cover on this album (originally a Donovan song, I think). This song is driven by floating Hammond organ and mellow electric guitar with quiet jazzy drums in the background. Good, but not exceptional.

Fault Line opens with an effect that could have been on a rap album!! Then a guitar solo comes in on top of it, very psychedelic. Then The Painter kicks in, the first real rocker on this album, it sounds very much like the songs from the previous two Deep Purple albums. Again, good but nothing outstanding. Fortunately, at only just under four minutes, this song doesn't drag on for very long. Why Didn't Rosemary follows in a similar style with several organ and guitar solos.

Bird Has Flown is another rocker that tends to drag a little bit with its improvisational organ workout. Probably the least good track here. April, a 12+ minutes symphonic piece with grand piano, acoustic guitars, choir and full orchestra ends the album on a high note. It is certainly not a masterpiece, but probably the best of all of Deep Purple's symphonic attempts. The vocals don't come in until almost nine minutes into the track!

This album is the place to start if you want to discover Deep Purple's early pre- heavy metal days. We must keep in mind that this was 1969 and neither prog nor heavy metal existed yet. Deep Purple would go on to create heavy metal with their next album, but here they were as much proto-prog as proto heavy metal. In 1969 Deep Purple were not too far away from what Yes were doing on their debut album. As with Yes' debut album, this album too has mostly historical value, but it is still a very nice addition to any prog collection if you want to know about the roots of progressive rock.

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |

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