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

THE BOOK OF TALIESYN

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

3.17 | 370 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

eddz
4 stars A milestone in hard rock. This, besides representing proto-prog, represents the very first of heavy metal. If it were any other time period, I'd give it a 3 star, but this is the late 60's, an original, organ-synth, hard rock riff driven rock sound. What this album lacks in creativity, sheer brilliance and talent take over. The Book of Taliesyn also includes a few of my favorite songs, including Anthem and It's All Over. Listen, Learn, Read On is an excellent first song and really sets the tone for the entire album, with its reverberous vocal effects and the lyrical theme behind the mythics of The Book of Taliesyn. Wring That Neck is one of the worst on the album. It really shows how talented the musicians are, but it isn't captivating. Kentucky Woman is an instant classic, a great cover of Niel Diamond's song. It starts out energetic and organ-driven with a great guitar riff from 0:01 to 0:14. At 3:00, we hear arpeggios and scales on the synth, pretty typical for the entire album. The introduction of Exposition is what caught me, the heavy beat, then the old-age guitar picking. I really get a baroque feel at 1:40 with the synthesizer solo. The climax is great, as is the ritardando at the end, which leads perfectly into We Can Work It Out, a cover of The Beatles' single released with Day Tripper. The cover is great, and Deep Purple added their own originality with the guitar riffs and the keyboarding. Shield is one of the best tracks in the album. I especially like the piano part after the verse, and the distorted guitar playing during the whole song. The bass part adds some identifiable rhythm to the entire track. Anthem is probably the high-light of the album. Many have noted its influence from baroque music, as part of it actually quotes Bach's famous organ fugue. But what I find that's equally masterful about this song is that it's a bridge for rock lovers to cross into prog rock and even classical music. The entire song is accessible and still sophisticated. River Deep, Mountain Is An Example as to how Deep Purple was setting the bar for early progressive rock. It has a lengthy introduction, which reminds me of the popular song Also sprach Zarathustra, composed in 1896. This leads into an exciting accelerando, and then again the lengthy part. The song changes at 4:17 to the verse. This track is a great example of their hard rock, along with the hard-to-listen-to songs of their early years. Oh No No No is another great rock sound complimented by organ synth. This song sounds stagy, but it relaxed with a great guitar solo by Blackmore at 2:02. I had the good fortune to buy this album without the live tracks of It's All Over, Hey Bop Re Bop, and Wring That Neck, but BBC Session outtakes. It's All Over is a very touching track with such lyrics about "crying his life away". And it's apparent this takes heavy blues influence and even gospel music. Hey Bop a Re Bop has a nice blues heavy guitar riff for much of it, but again, it's a little less original than what I was expecting. Playground has a similar sound, a complete instrumental, nice progressing melody, an influential hard riff. The entire album can be described as energetic, psyche and blues oriented, and highly influential for hard rock and progressive rock. A journey I recommend taking, for sure.
eddz | 4/5 |

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