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Deep Purple - Deep Purple CD (album) cover

DEEP PURPLE

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

3.62 | 574 ratings

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FragileKings
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Still in elementary school but already getting into classic- and roots-of-metal bands like Deep Purple, I sought to find the earliest recordings of proto-metal bands, and a cassette copy of DP's self-titled third album happened to be on the shelf of a local record shop. Already familiar with the classics In Rock and Machine Head, and the then recently released Perfect Strangers, I was surprised to hear the very tinny guitar sound of the opening track, Chasing Shadows. But I approached the album with an open mind and to this day I still rate it among my top five Deep Purple albums.

Chasing Shadows has some very innovative percussion work by the remarkable talents of drummer Ian Paice, coupled with a bass line that frantically works to keep up with the pace of the drums. The guitar chords are simple but the wah-wah solo is very typical of the work Ritchie Blackmore was doing at the time and interesting in its stops and bursting starts. The organ solo comes in at the end and seems to follow its own course while the rampant percussion session ploughs on full steam before abruptly ceasing with the end of the song.

Blind is a remarkable rock piece most notably because Jon Lord plays harpsichord throughout with a dramatic, very classically-influenced finale. One person somewhere once pointed out that Ian Paice treats much of this song as a drum solo.

Lanena, if I recall correctly, is a cover of a Donovan song and features the smooth balladeer voice of Rod Evans. It closes with a bit of what sounds like guitar tapping in a gentle classical style by Blackmore.

Fault Line is the band experimenting with backwards recording and is perhaps interesting but thankfully just long enough at 1:46. It leads into the rocking track The Painter where Blackmore shreds his guitar neck and Jon Lord gives his Hammond a serious pounding.

Though more of a 12-bar blues track, Why Didn't Rosemary? (ever take the pill, as the lyric goes) gives Ritchie a chance to really show off his soloing skills and it's my opinion that he slowed down on later albums, going more for style than fast-fingered technique.

Bird Has Flown is another wah-wah pedal track but at a power-pushing pace at times with sudden drops into slow, dreamy moods and Rod Evans' deep, silky voice.

Where the album really moves boldly into prog territory is on the last track, April. In three parts, April features a choir alongside electric and acoustic guitar, organ, and the Deep Purple rhythm section, a movement performed by a quartet including an oboe and composed by Jon Lord, and a closing movement performed in rockin' 69 Deep Purple stylings.

Both an early metal album at times and an early prog album at times but never really either all at once, Deep Purple by Deep Purple was really an interesting venture in modern rock music at the time. I would personally choose to give it 4.5 stars overall but based on the rating system on this site, I give it 3 - good (even very good) but not totally essential.

FragileKings | 3/5 |

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