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


Deep Purple



3.22 | 568 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars This is the one in the middle of PURPLE's three early albums, before their rise to fame with the new heavier direction (which was to produce some of the most respected classics of heavy rock genre). Having heard 'Anthem' in the radio I thought this early Deep Purple stuff would be quite pleasant, and more arty, with Jon Lord's leanings to classical music. But I was perhaps expecting too much for my anti- heavy rock taste.

The vocals are not Ian Gillan's yet, but the singer Rod Evans actually has very similar vocals to Gillan. Also the bassist was to change. It's so easy (and it wouldn't be very wrong either) to say that these early albums are done by a band who haven't yet found their musical direction - or even the right line-up. Well, I just wish they would have continued developing things heard here instead of becoming heavy legends. If only Jon Lord's creative participation wouldn't have taken the back seat (after the Concerto For Group & Orchestra, of course)... There are glimpses of classically influenced innovation, but no more than that. The rather under- developed state of their writing skill is also visible in the large portion of recycled song material. It seems that with the songs 'We Can Work It Out' (Beatles) and 'River Deep, Mountain High' they dared to stretch boundaries more than with their own compositions.

Ritchie Blackmore (whose biography I read recently) always needed to show off his skills as a guitarist, and here he does it most openly with the hard rocking instrumental 'Wring That Neck'. I think in the end already here Blackmore with his ballsy playing is more dominant musician than Lord. A pity. The CD reissue has several bonus tracks (three live ones and two studio outtakes). Maybe this album is best described as promising. It's kind of a fall-in-between case. I like the fantastic cover drawing more than the music. But 'Anthem' is a fine ballad-ish song anyway, and 'Exposition' (instrumental long intro to the Beatles cover) is surely Proto Prog worth noticing.

(I want to remind you of the subjective nature of my ratings, and this is not such a classic that makes me rate it higher than I personally enjoy it. Done that too as a PA reviewer...)

Matti | 2/5 |


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