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

THE BOOK OF TALIESYN

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

3.20 | 358 ratings

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tarkus1980
Prog Reviewer
2 stars So apparently the band thought that their first album was good enough to warrant a "concept" album for their sophomore effort. What a bunch of maroons. The "concept" is actually limited, more or less, to the opening track, which strangely turns out to be the most enjoyable thing here. Yeah, the voice-of-God speaking sounds like a bad parody of contemporary Moody Blues poetry, but at least there's some crunchy guitar sounds here and there, and the chorus is disturbingly fun to sing. If you're a total dork, that is.

The rest of it, though, just sounds like the first album gone slightly sour, only forgetting to rock. Except for the good instrumental "Wring that Neck," based around a nice organ riff, there isn't a single piece here that can keep my mind from wandering more than, say, 50% of the time of the given track. Lessee, we have a Neil Diamond cover, "Kentucky Woman," which is ... ok. We have an extremely mediocre Beatles cover, "We Can Work it Out," preceded by an introduction that sounds to me like Jon had decided that keyboard parts that would sound like the blueprint for the more mediocre Van Der Graaf Generator organ breaks would be a good idea. It also shows Paice, in a rare lapse of judgement, trying to make his drum parts more "profound" by making them as loud and echoey as possible. Meh.

Lessee, then there's "Shield," which starts off with a nice bassline, decent minimalist guitar, a decent vocal melody ... and just gets insanely tedious over six minutes. Then there's "Anthem," which is actually quite pleasant, even though it's dripping with schmaltz (and since it's over six minutes, naturally, this becomes a problem, which isn't really remedied by the sudden appearance of a string section in the middle). At least it has a pretty guitar solo, one of very few on the album. And finally, there's the band's cover of "River Deep, Mountain High" (by whom, I have no clue), which, excluding yet another silly, tedious, long organ-based introduction, is ... ok. Not memorable at all (except for the chorus), but pleasant in the slow parts and amusing in the fast parts.

You know, looking back at this review, I'm amazed that I give it as high a rating as I do - some reviewers absolutely trash the hell out of this album, and I can definitely see where they're coming from. Still, I don't outright hate anything on this album, except the disgraceful Beatles cover, and besides, the total hilarious naivety of the band in regards to what actually consists "good" music is at least somewhat charming. At the same time, it's still a rather tepid massacre of good taste, so I can't really put it in the "so awful it's great" category, like I do with ELP's Pictures at an Exhibition. If you see it in a cutout bin, consider it, but otherwise, don't bother.

tarkus1980 | 2/5 |

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