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SHADES OF DEEP PURPLE

Deep Purple

Proto-Prog


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erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is Deep Purple their debut album, it contains a lot of covers. The first line-up featured Ritchie Blackmore on guitar, Rod Evans on vocals, Jon Lord on vocals/Hammond organ,Ian Paice on drums and Nick Simper on bass/vocals.

1. And the address (4:38) : This instrumental track has obvious hints from CREAM and VANILLA FUDGE delivering a propulsive rhythm, fiery electric guitar and powerful Hammond organ waves.

2. Hush (4:24) : A typical Sixties song with a warm atmosphere, vocal harmonies and pleasant vocals from Rod Evans. The Hammond solo is excellent, Jon Lord prooved to be a master on this vintage keyboard!

3. One more rainy day (3:40) : The intro contains the sound of rain and thunder, then a slow rhythm featuring Hammond organ and Rod Evans his fine voice, we are back in the Sixties!

4. Prelude: happiness / I'm so glad (7:19) : The first part has floods of Hammond and a dynamic rhythm-section in a bombastic climate, then again the pleasant 'Sixties' sounding vocals from Rod Evans and nice twanging electric guitar. It's followed by a raw guitar solo, supported by strong drumming.

5. Mandrake root (6:09) : A powerful and catchy song (influenced by Jimi Hendrix) delivering a compelling Hammond organ solo, accompanied by splendid drumming (like Nick Mason on "Pink Floyd at Pompeii"). Then a heavy guitar solo, this was the exciting heavy progrock sound Deep Purple would stretch to almost half an hour of improvisations!

6. Help (6:01) : Twanging electric guitar, mellow organ and warm vocals in this legendary song from The Beatles, witten by John Lennon/McCartney. Halfway heavy Hammond floods, powerful drums and a fiery electric guitar solo save this version from a mediocre level.

7. Love help me (3:49) : A propulsive and catchy rhythm, the bass sounds very powerful. Pleasant vocal harmonies and organ, this music is the bridge from The Sixties (THE WHO, THE YARDBIRDS, CREAM) to the heavy progrock sound from later Deep Purple. Blackmore delivers some biting wah-wah drenched guitar runs.

8. Hey Joe (7:33) : It starts with alarm sirens, then a Hammond organ sound in the vein of JOE COCKER'S "With a little bit help from my friends", the guitarplay has a Spanish undertone, very compelling early heavy prog! After a few minutes this song turned out to be the cover "Hey Joe", written by WM Roberts but known because of Jimi Hendrix his version. Rod Evans does well but he lacked the melancholy from Hendrix his voice. The waves of Hammond organ and powerful guitar interpretation give an extra dimension, GREAT! The final part features a howling electric guitar solo, soon the world would praise this dark man on his Fender guitar!

THIS IS PLEASANT AND POWERFUL EMBRYONAL HEAVY PROGROCK FROM DEEP PURPLE!

Report this review (#46596)
Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
PianoMan1401J
4 stars It's not the same as the screaming Ian Gillan's era of albums, but this album is a great example of DP's prog/R&B roots. With the original lineup of Rod Evans (vocals), Jon Lord (keyboards), Ritchie Blackmore (guitars), Nicky Simper (bass), and Ian Paice (drums), they made a brief charting success in America with their first single, "Hush." Other than their commercial success on that one song, the rest of the album is also quite good. "And The Address" is an intro to the DP philosophy of their mix of hard rock and classical influence, "One More Rainy Day" is a very dreary "poppy" ballad as well as the lengthy "I'm So Glad", but "Mandrake Root" really kicks into the traditional DP prog-rock. Their cover of the Beatles "Help" converts to a bombastic ballad, thanks to Jon's keyboard orchestration, but what got me pissed off was that Ritchie got really cheesy on the guitar solo. Could've been better! Then, skip to the final track, a cover of "Hey Joe" done bolero-style with haunting vocals by Rod and classical keyboard interludes. All in all, a great start to their music career.
Report this review (#46620)
Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Deep Purple. - Shades of Deep Purple (1968) The remarkable debut in Lp of Deep Purple mixed influences of people like Cream, The Who, The Nice or Jimi Hendrix. This sonorous conjunction defines the eight compositions of a disc that sometimes glimpses facets of pop psicodélico and others surround the same ones in a sieve of progressive rock. The great sonorous titan of this disc, in addition to its great vocalista Rod Evans, is Jon Lord, whose keyboard of classic infusion is omnipresent in all the subjects of the album, being the great definidor of all atmospheres of the same one. Ritchie Blackmore perfectly fulfills its task in the six cords, but its protagonism in this disc is quite inferior to later works of the band. The rythmical section, composed by Nick Simper and Ian Paice recalls shining passages of Redding/Mitchell and Entwistle/Moon. Pop, progressive rock, blues-rock and psicodelia occur the hand in all the pieces of the Lp, disfrutables in their totality. "And the address" is exciting instruments of clear style Jimi Hendrix Experience, "Hush", version of a subject of Joe South and first success of the band, is a rythmical and psicodélica piece with a great vocal work of Evans, "One dwells rainy day" demonstrates that the first Deep Purple could do pop of quality with similarities to sounds supplied by groups like The Nice or The Herd, with a sticky refrain and one obtained melodía. "Prelude:Happines/Ím under glad" is a magnificent piece of psicodélico rock influenced by the work of Rimsky- Korsakov "Scherezade", whose fragment "Ím under glad" is a version of one of its maximum sonorous ancestries, Cream, that had updated a subject as well of bluesman Skip James. "Mandrake Root" is shameless a plagiarism of the "Foxy Lady" of Hendrix, whereas "Love help me" is one of the best cuts of the Lp, a magnificent song of power-pop to the Who or The Nazz. Finally, two rich versions perfectly to its essence. "Help" of the Beatles to afflicted, unfolded thematic his like a sad ballad and "Hey Joe", adaptation to which it is insufflated to him of Spanish aroma, because they use a fragment of "the Hat of Three Tips" of the great classic composer Manuel de Falla. Enough moved away of found future sounds in "In rock" or "Machine Head", this valuable album debut of Deep Purple is product of its time, being satisfied like one of best British discs of year 1968, which already is to say enough.
Report this review (#46623)
Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 3 2/3

Even if the band is not very 'prog' in terms of the elements listed on this site, Deep Purple is an influential band in the genre of Hard Rock. The musicians are as virtuosic as a whole as a top notch classic rock band or good prog rock band, especially the keyboardist and the guitar player.

In this album, they have not found their 'sound' yet, except for the classical hammond playing of Jon Lord. They have big influences of Cream and Jimmi Hendrix (And the Address, Mandrake Root) in some of their songs, sounding like rock&blues and Mandrake Root partially ripping off Jimmi Hendrix's Foxy Lady (yet redeems itself with great instrumental sections). Some songs sound very 'sixties' like Hush (neat vocal lines), One More Rain Day (sounds like Moody blues), and Love Help Me (a beatlesque pop song). There is also a mini epic divided into 2 sections. That is in my opinion the strongest song of the album, and showcases the talents of the musicians and their abilities to compose catchy melodies. The 2 songs I have not yet mentioned are cover songs. Help! is very different from the original version from the Beatles. I prefer the original, but the keyboard solo in the middle is amazing! The last song is a cover of Jimmi Hendrix, but you don't notice it until that spanish-rodeo keyboard riff stops.

Recommended!

1. And the address (7/10) 2. Hush (8/10) 3. One more rainy day (6.5/10) 4. Prelude: happiness / I'm so glad (8.5/10) 5. Mandrake root (8/10) 6. Help (7/10) 7. Love help me (5.5/10) 8. Hey Joe (7.5/10)

My Grade : B-

Report this review (#46644)
Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars What a debut album that was ! And to think Purple will be almost unnoticed in its homeland until the In Rock album. Outside of the debate: Prog Or Not, Purple is one hell of a rock band and kicked more than one arse throughout their career.

Starting out with a superb (and very prog ) instrumental And The Address sets the tone right out with Lord wailing on his Hammond organ and Blackmore ripping the strings out of his Stratocaster guitar. Hush is the only time England will notice these guys until Speed King , but what a superb cover and proof if needed that Rod Evans had also one hell of a voice. Happiness is the intro to the Elmore James cover of I'm so Glad (just covered by Cream back then) and they do sound not just glad but plainly thrilled!

Mandrake Root starts side 2 in a superb manner and this track will eventually become the live favorite and become extended to almost 30 mins. Help is IMHO an ill-advised cover of the Beatles and the next track appears to be an addition to it , not anymore succesful either. Then comes one of the cornerstone of the album , the Joe South track Hey Joe (also recently done by Hendrix) but it comes with a full-blown dramatic sound that owes much to Spanish music. The dramatic vocals get a full lift from the suspense tringed intro and outro.

Although hardly perfect, this is one of those 60's psych rock pivital albums that lead indirectly to the full birth of prog rock. Essential as the first Procol Harum , the Nice's debut of Moody's Days Of Future Past!

Report this review (#47627)
Posted Wednesday, September 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I like the nice analog sounds on this old album. The hit song "Hush" is a nice rocker, but my personal favorites are the instrumental starter "And The Address". "One More Rainy Day" is also a decent 60's pop song, but the highlight moment of this album for me is the "Mandrake root", which has very good psychedelic influences in it. Sadly, there's maybe too many boring cover songs on this LP to make it a truly classic album.
Report this review (#49573)
Posted Friday, September 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Deep Purple was great! This, their first, is somewhat good. I was first introduced to this record on the compilation "Purple Passages", (as I bet many were). I really wasn't aware of the chronology until revisiting this album. "Mandrake Root", "And the Address", and "Hush" are top-shelf, but unfortunately they were extremely mired in the '60's. Rod Evans was a particular casuality of the sixties, even into his tenure with Captain Beyond. Check "Mandrake Root" with Gillan on what I think is called "Raw and Live",( or something of that nature). Gillan rips it like it should be done, of course. But for 1st album in the sixties embarassment, this is not that bad.
Report this review (#49798)
Posted Monday, October 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
federico2_bar
3 stars REALLY: 3,06

With this album the Deep Purple entered in the world of the music business. And there they entered enough well. I should say that Simper and Evans are the weak ring of the Purple MkI. To the same time I should say that "And The Address", "Hush", "One More Rainy Day" are good songs. Besides here it is contained "Mandrake Root", one of the most well-known song of Purple. Aged badly, bur capable, still, of pleasure.

Report this review (#63001)
Posted Tuesday, January 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars ONE OF THE MOST UNDERRATED ALBUMS I HAVE EVER HEARD IN MY SHORT LIFE

Maybe i am the only one of my age who likes DP's lineup one a as much as the second one. I like both of them, but lineup 1 is far more progressive, altough i must admit lineup 2 is more virtous at their instruments, especially Gillan.

the only songs i disilike are "one more rainy day", and "love help me". all the other tracks are great, especially "and the adress"," hey joe", and "Prelude: happiness / i 'm so glad".

i highlight Jon Lord's keybord introductios, he's one of the finest keyboardist i rock music (IMHO). sadly i feel his importance in writing material for the band diminished as time passed.

4 stars because it only contains 2 weak songs, and in the years prog wasn't so predominant, having a great proto-prog album is a nice achievement.

*PD* it doesn't get 5 stars partially because the sound production is really mediocre. (i the booklet it says that its because the mater tapes were lost, though)

Report this review (#79192)
Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is great album, and very progressive! Just listen to "Hey Joe" and wonderful organ solo in spanish manner. "Mandrake Root" is another song that will drive you mad. Pay attention to rythym and virtuosity of all instruments! In summary, SODP is very underrated album, and bigger shame is that lots of DEEP PURPLE funs have never heard of it. From me it recieves five stars.
Report this review (#86044)
Posted Monday, August 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This historic Purple debut was mainly a cool 60s pop album - which is exactly what the formative band intended it to be. Shades did not make much of an impression in their home country of England, but it was wildly popular here in the states. Probably because the vocal harmonies on the short songs are so awfully similar to those of the Beach Boys.

Prog-wise, what the fuss is all about is a dramatic instrumental which closes the song "Mandrake Root." This instrumental section was a high point of their live shows well into the 1970s, when it had been expanded to the point that it almost served as a separate show in itself. (On 1973's Made in Japan, it is attached to the end of "Spacetruckin'").

Innovative and classy organ work by Jon Lord gives the image of a person running up a steep hill, only to be faced with extreme danger when they finally reach the pinnacle. Then the instrumental suddenly shifts into a highly-distorted, pre- Fripp solo by Ritchie Blackmore. Its topped off by Ian Paice pounding on his drum kit for a few climactic seconds. If this isn't prog, nothing is.

No modern listener in their right mind would shout about this album from the rooftops. But listen to it just for "Mandrake Root."

And.if you really know your prog music.you'll find that a snippet of "Mandrake"s instrumental was later carbon-copied onto Yes's "Astral Traveler." Listen for it.

Report this review (#87840)
Posted Monday, August 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I entered the Purple catogue in 1971 with "Fireball". It is only during 1973 that I discovered the Mark I era. The core of the band is there : Ritchie, Jon and Ian. The singer Rod Evans will never be at par. His monocord tone is boring at times. It is obvioius here that the influence of Jon Lord is enormous throughout the whole album (and in the Mark I era which is the only one to be related with prog). I must honestly admit that I was quite impressed with their first work. Some fantastic covers ("Hush" - their first hit, "Help" and "Hey Joe" ) in the style of what Yes did it with "America" if you see what I mean. They were more a re-interpretation than a cover. it is quite remarkable to know that the Mark I wxill be very sucessful in the States : "Hush" will reach Nr. 4 in the US and sell more than one million copies while the album will peak at the 24th spot. "And The Address" is a solid piece of instrumental music. "One More Day" starts with a thunderstorm "like" sound and is a melodic ballad. Not really representative of DP's music. It is different with "Prelude" : Jon is fantastic on the keys, and the rythm section is excellent. This intro to "I'm so Glad" is one of the best moments of the album. "Mandrake Root" will be a classic live track (exceeding 15+ minutes - even more than thirty on Scandinavian Nights - with wild improvs). There are some bonus tracks on the remastered version, but frankly they are not really worth (Top Gear version of "Wring that Neck" is above average though). They are live or alternate versions from existing songs. "Shadows" was a left over from the studio sessions. Three stars for this work.
Report this review (#105060)
Posted Sunday, December 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is one fantastic album !!! Along-side 'Crazy World of Arthur Brown' (from 1968 also - no other relation...), this Deep Purple release show-cases the sonic extremes of the Hammond Organ. To me, it's absolutely wonderous what this line-up have come up with - whilst the Mark II line-up is heralded as the 'penultimate' version of the band, I, personally, have grown tired of Ian Gillan's vocal histrionics, though one of his later albums, 'Clear Air Turbulence', is an amazing prog-related item with wonderful musicians and virtuosic performances, and I really enjoy Black Sabbath's 'Born Again' - it's just the same problem as I find with Robert Plant - often-times the vocals are just too overdone...but then we have Hammill, who I just envy, one of the best voices in history.....

The problem I find with Purple mk I, is the roughness of the production ; it really sounds sixties, but the quality of the music, the high standard of playing, and the arrangements themselves are just mind-blowing. The album features many sound effects and clever over-dubs, giving the album a strong psychedelic feel, Ritchie Blackmore's sound and style takes the electric guitar's potential to a higher plateau. Jon Lord emerged as a force to be reckoned with his whirlwind organ playing (with his only major rivals at the time, Keith Emerson, whilst in 'The Nice', and Vincent Crane from Arthur Brown... ). I don't wish to ramble on about the the charateristics of each song - the album is certainly a masterpiece, depending on your taste, but this LP deserves much more exposure than it currently has. For lovers of embryonic hard-rock/metal, lovers of guitar and organ, and for those interested in some truly inventive music beyond the norm. 5 star.

Report this review (#112307)
Posted Friday, February 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Shades of greatness to come. Humble beginnings for the band as half of this album is made up of cover tunes. It did yield their first hit though in "Hush" a Joe South song and my favourite on the record. It has a good beat and some great organ work from Lord. And did you hear the wolf howling in the intro? The opening song "And The Address" is a very sixties sounding instrumental. "One More Rainy Day" opens with a sample of a storm and is quite mellow, not that good imo. "I'm So Glad" is such a good psychedelic song. "Mandrake Root" is a blues song with a good organ solo. I like the extended instrumental play and the guitar solos from Blackmore. "Help" is THE BEATLES song that they cover here, but instead of being a 2 minute uptempo song like the original this is a slow paced 6 minute version. It's ok. "Love Help Me" is another really sixties sounding song. "Hey Joe" is a cool cover song. It has a Spanish feel to it that works quite well.

A good record with some interesting songs, but not essential by any means. Barely 3 stars.

Report this review (#112362)
Posted Friday, February 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I like this album very much. It's full of covers, but who cares. Great version of I'm So Glad, Help, Hush and Hey Joe. The best DP line up in my opinion. Psychedelic, hard rocking. Way ahead of ost bands of thier era. This is my favourite DP line up, with the best DP vocal. I know, that Gillan is a good singer, but I just don't like him:) If ypu want a solid rock album from the 60's here it is. 4 stars.
Report this review (#113420)
Posted Saturday, February 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars DEEP PURPLE version of "Hush" provided on this album was one of the big hits during my teenage rocking growin-up. But, only years later I found out that this debut is a much more than that. Obvious product of the psychedelic/acid rock movement in England in late 1960s, it contains amazingly inspired musicianship (if not songwriting, judging by the quantity of covers) by Lord, Blackmore, Paice and Simper, while Rod Evans is surely one of unjustly neglected vocalists of the rock scene; if you ask me, I prefer his strong singing than the later Gillan's screaming acrobatics during the popular (populist?) Mark II era.

"And the Address", "Mandrake Root", "Prelude: Happiness/I am So Glad" and "Help" are all excellent tracks showing enormous musical talents of these guys, which unfortunatley were to be largely abused in their later career. The musicianship performed in these moments can be matched by the equally stunning achievements of the era, such as the best moments of CREAM, JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE or VANILLA FUDGE. "Shades of Deep Purple" is a definite "proto-progressive rock" album by all means and should therefore be checked by the general prog community.

Report this review (#130915)
Posted Tuesday, July 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Back in the late 60s Deep Purple were a typical but above average band for that era. These early albums haven't aged very well what with the passé hairdos, Evans' voice (eerily similar to Neil Diamond) and the simple pop-rock structures (albeit slightly enhanced by Jon Lord's classically-inspired hammond work). Blackmore is not the guitarist he will once become, still having that rough tone, and sloppily intoned bends that were a common feature in those days. On some tracks, especially "Prelude: Happiness" the band already started venturing into the territory of classical rock, which they would elaborate on a year after this, on their live opus "Concerto for Group and Orchestra". Such compositions might have been seen as inspired back then, and maybe they were, but they were also naively simple, and Procol Harum and Nice had already gambled with similar endeavors a year before this album. The two favorites from this album are definitely "Hush" and "Mandrake Root", the former having been a successful single in the U.S., the latter a concert staple featuring extended solos. These are the best tunes on the album, especially "Mandrake Root" with its energetic jamming and a great hammond solo. The Beatles cover is also an interesting take on that classic song, challenging even Vanilla Fudge's covers from across the pond. Despite the venturesome disposition of the band, Shades of Deep Purple remains a fans-only album.
Report this review (#134039)
Posted Tuesday, August 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
obiter
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Madrake Root and Hush are still personal favourites. Like many I was introduced to Deep Purple Mk II and discovered this album after. 1968 was too early for me to remember and it's always hard to palce such an album in context: comparing it to the albums in the harder and heavier environment of the 1970s is a tad unfair.

The covers of Help (dodgy) and Help (better) are best avoided. I find I'm So Glad hideuosly annoying and inane, but that's probably a product of Thatcherism and middle-aged scepticism, or maybe it is inane

For the most part the album is unremarkable: however, Jon Lord is stamping his Hammond across the board, and the outrageous talent of Ian Paice is hinted at. Blackmore while impressive is yet to emerge as the force which is unleashed in Mk II.

it's a good album but by no means essential.

Report this review (#137496)
Posted Sunday, September 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars The birth of Mandrakeroot!

We have to go back some 40 years for Deep Purple's debut album. While Blackmore, Lord and Paice are already on board, Gillan and Glover have yet to arrive, the vocalist and bassist here being Rod Evans and Nick Simper respectively.

For an opening track to a debut album, "And the address" is a wonderfully brave instrumental featuring blistering Hammond organ and occasional lead guitar bursts. The organ sound is clean and exciting, any psychedelic overtones being largely suppressed by the heavy rock. This is an immediate statement of Deep Purple's prog credentials from the proto prog era.

Things take a quick turn towards mainstream when Evans sings for the first time on a cover version of The Beatles "Help". This early interpretation may now sound prosaic, but it should be recognised that back in 1968 few people had heard the song performed as a slow ballad with a rich organ backing. The reworking has obvious implications that Deep Purple had discovered the way Vanilla Fudge were converting pop songs into heavy rock classics, and liked what they heard.

Lord and Evans team up to write "One more rainy day", a straightforward 60's pop song with tight harmonies. While pleasant, the song is anonymous, offering little indication of the band's future direction. Another clear indication of the band's early influences is the cover of "I'm so glad", a song made popular by Eric Clapton's Cream (but not a Cream original). As might be expected, Blackmore takes the opportunity to include a workout on guitar for the solo section. Blackmore's contribution to the album as a whole is somewhat muted, Jon Lord being by far the dominant partner instrumentally. The rendition of "I'm so glad" is preceded by a "Happiness" prelude (helpfully listed as part 2 of the track on my cassette sleeve) which allows the band to include another improvised organ driven instrumental workout.

"Mandrake Root" (surely not named after an esteemed member of our site) would be developed by early line ups of the band into a 30 minute monster. Here though, they confine themselves to a mere 6 minutes. The songs is very Jimi Hendrix like in its style of delivery, Evans even doing a passable imitation vocally. The latter half of the track is effectively an early glimpse of the unwieldy jam the track would become.

Deep Purple enjoyed early singles success with their cover of American singer songwriter Joe South's "Hush". The song, more recently covered by Kula Shaker, is transformed by Deep Purple into an exciting up-tempo pop number with a fine vocal arrangement. The fact that this is the only song from this period of the band's history to still feature in their live performances and to appear on Best of compilations is witness to the longevity of the recording.

Blackmore and Evans combine to compose "Love help me", a straightforward pop rock song saved only be a brief wah-wah solo by Ritchie. The album closes with a lengthy rendition of "Hey Joe". The true composer of this song seems to be a matter of some confusion, with Dino Valente (AKA Chet Powers) sometimes receiving he credit. (Coincidentally, I mentioned Valente in my last review of the "Rock machine I love you" sampler). It appears however that the song was actually composed by American Billy Roberts, who may have assigned the copyright to Valente to help the latter whilst in prison. The song is also sometimes assumed to be traditional, and on that basis Deep Purple conveniently claim the writing credit here. This version is similar to Jimi Hendrix's interpretation, except that here the organ plays a much more dominant role. It certainly makes for a powerful ending to the album.

"Shades of Deep Purple" deserves recognition for the pioneering nature of the music it contains. While by no means entirely original, indeed the evidence that they were to a large extent following a path already trodden by Vanilla Fudge is undeniable, it must be remembered that this album predates by several years the music made by many of the prog bands who appear on this site. On that basis, Deep Purple's classification as a Proto prog outfit is already secured by this album alone.

Note that this review reflects the order of the tracks as they appeared on music-cassette.

Report this review (#142601)
Posted Monday, October 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It's always been a joy listening to vintage rock music especially those that came out before early 70s. This album by Deep Purple is by no exception. With Rod Evans on lead vocal this was the embryonic phase of a band that later would be called as the loudest band in the world. The opening track "Hey Joe" (Jimi Hendrix) contains symphonic elements through the organ work beautifully delivered by Jon Lord. The sound quality was still quite raw because at that time recording technology relied heavily only with analog equipment. However, the band has successfully composed and arranged the music in such a way that makes the listeners enjoy it very much. I especially love the way Jon plays his organ in eastern style.

"Help" intro falls into the same style with the intro of "Hey Joe". This cover of The Beatles has been made richer than the original version with more symphonic touch demonstrating soaring organ work, powerful drumming and atmospheric vocal. The chorus line has been made different and it's really nice. The music interlude showing Jon Lord organ solo is also stunning. Ritchie provides his guitar in its raw format and makes it pleasurable for listeners. By simple definition these two opening tracks are prog.

"Hush" brings the music into uplifting mood with upbeat music in relatively fast tempo. The organ solo exploration in "And The Address" of the track is excellent. Nick Simpler's bass guitar lines are quite dynamics and tight. Ritchie provides his solo nicely. "One More Rainy Day" brings The Beatles style of Deep Purple even though the organ work is different than any of The Beatles style. Again, I notice Nick Simpler bass guitar work is excellent. "Mandrake Root" is a good track with powerful riffs, dynamics drums and relatively fast tempo. Ritchie had not shown his powerful guitar solo yet. The music interlude in the middle of the track filled with Jon Lord's stunning organ work augmented by powerful drumwork by Ian Paice.

Overall, talking about Deep Purple album I think this one has reasonable number of prog elements in the music especially through the work of Jon Lord and dynamic bass guitar lines by Nick Simpler. It's an interesting album in the band's early days. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#157004)
Posted Saturday, December 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Not listened to this before today. I'd missed it on the Deep Purple 'must listen to' list. Its there now and though deemed Proto-Prog its sits in that shadowy genre wheref Psychodelic and Progressive meet (think debut Jefferson Airplane and Arzachel). Though Deep Purple followed the hard rock, proto-Metal route, along with Uriah Heep, this LP is an excellent.

For the youngest reader, its amazing how much Kula Shaker didn't change Hush. Jon Lord keyboards and Ritchie Blackmore guitar are great. Obviously the signature vocals of Ian Gillan are two years hence and this is the first time i've listened to Rod Evan's voice (and realised that's what I was listening to). As for the covers of Help and Hey Joe; we'll there are just different but pleasing to the ear. I guess I have a soft spot for this type of sound and lots of albums between 1967 and 1970 (can we are argue that The Kinks are the Village Green Society is a prog album?).

The whole album has a more polished feel than more debut's, but has an atypical sound of the time and is familiar to the new listener. Give it a spin.

Report this review (#158336)
Posted Friday, January 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Certainly not the best album in the back catalogue of DP, but it has its charms. It is also interesting to watch - or hear - five individuals, who did not know each other that quite well at the time of recording, to try to become a band and invent some music and to imprint their own style on the hits of others.

I like the beginning of the opening instrumental AND THE ADDRESS- the growls of the organ always reminds me of a waking animal (not necessarily a fierce one). This track is humble but great because of the musicianship. Then comes HUSH, DP's first ever hit in the U.S., and therefore of historical interest. The next three titles are IMHO for the skip button and we arrive at the marvelous MANDRAKE ROOT. This great track shows what the band could do in the right mood and when equipped with enough confidence. Ian has a bash with Lord and Blackmore soaring over it - a real classic that was pumped up in live performances to mind-blowing 30 minutes. The cover version of HELP! is mildly interesting because DP take on it from a completely different point of view: it is very slow and the middle section gives us a fine organ solo. I always skip the next song and here comes the last track of the original album: a 7 minute version of HEY JOE. The lengthy introduction has a menacing feel to it, conveyed mainly by keyboard and drums. Paice is playing a Bolero-like pattern which led many to think of Spanish influences here. I always thought of a Mexican tinge because there is a reference to that country in the lyrics. But what the heck!

This is a decent album with some great moments and more than one hint that they could do more than they had achieved here.

Report this review (#162045)
Posted Sunday, February 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Controversial debut album by one of the most influential bands ever! They're still trying to find themselves. Shades of Deep Purple is full of great songs, but regretfully most of them - covers. Here we can find the first and one of teh biggest hit single of the band - Hush. It's not song of their own, but they had made it famous. Some other famous covers and some original songs. The style is unformed - rock & roll, psychedelic rock, classical music, progressive rock and blues-oriented sound. In my opinion, nothing close to their main genre - hard rock. The sound is almost amateur-classed quality! The vocals by Rod Evans and keyboard works by Jon Lord are solid, but the other instruments are nothing special! 2.5 stars
Report this review (#192671)
Posted Friday, December 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars ".vibrant flashes in my mind remind me of a foregone time."

Most members of the archives are about two decades removed from the sixties; twenty years of proposed retrospect that, in the eyes of metal's hardened beast, only sporadically enjoys reconsideration. A time of bell-bottoms, drug-culture, and 15 color TVs, so what does this epoch offer a musical style that barely existed even in the seventies, right up to its far-off cusp of the '80s? Punk never fails to realize its '60s roots, embracing even the most miniscule and transitional of influence like victory, bruised chin held high, from The Who and The Kinks to Les Goths, Deviants, The Ugly Ducklings, The Breakers, Richard & The Young Lions, and many more that strafed the bottom layer of radar. Apparently, metal doesn't want anything to do with the decade that sprouted the universe's most celebrated concert, fired the first shot in a revolution of sexuality, and saw us take the Moon as our own.

Commonly a victim of youthful repression nowadays, the '60s was a significant one-way, multi-dimensional cycle in music's lifetime. Music's lifetime.one-way in its horizontal surge forward that has looked back over forty five years but never returned, multi-dimensional in its groundbreaking musical contraption that stumbled bravely across rock's primary colors of beat, r&b, psychedelia, and progressivism. Time, steadfast in its livelihood, shows no mercy. Change folds and draws another unavoidable, unsympathetic hand. Soon beat and psych dwindle as r&b and progressive flourish. Elementary rock hardens, becomes jagged, more unforgiving. And eventually dark. Alas, it's unfortunate some musical styles are often judged not by what motivates them intrinsically, but what the lyrics are about. "All they ever sing about is love and tulips, man". Yep, and teddybears and picnics and '66 Corvettes - oh so metal. Well, in a short time to come, certain attitudes toward rock will transmute, evolve with a bitter edge, and relocate to dangerous, foreboding places the endless summer of The Beach Boys would never have admitted existed, let alone tread. But this is still in the future, and I'm getting ahead of myself. Come '68, very few bands were shroud in darkness. Hard rock itself barely eked out an existence, still crimson with the blood of new life that was (in fact) always present, conscious in a diluted state of oppression, shackled by the chart-born chains of 'pop' that were rattled fleetingly by the style's brutish underbreath. But instead of concerning ourselves with how dark or ominous a style is, let's just worry about the style's base self.

Oh, and early '80s metal isn't winning any awards with its lyrical gravity either.

Shades of. is the band at their most simplistic and expected, the line-up (now known as the Mk 1 line-up) coalescing from less-than-haughty sources, the most prominent being Nick Simper and Jon Lord coming off a '67 hit single with The Flower Pot Men while Ritchie Blackmore shortly backed Screaming Lord Sutch. Recorded in a single weekend in May '68, this hurried album fuses rock's four corners to the same foundation, offering minimal leadership to new styles and is steeped in cover tunes. Ordinarily a description such as this would be an album's death knell, or at least the average and forgettable arrival of one, but somewhere within these grooves stirred a questionable chemistry that somehow got off the ground, ignored the abusive number of non-originals that was the common result of a band insecure in its own songwriting wares, and managed to survive until the vaunted Mk 2 membership. I'm not going to sit here and tell you there are ocean voyages of cognition swirling throughout Shades of.. At a time when innovation wasn't the day's top order to record companies and a few catchy hooks ornamenting an original work or found premeditated in a cover could aid a group's chart ascension (as "Hush", the Joe South invention, already had), songwriting may have only been as good as the ears that heard it.

Shades of. is a testimony to the cover's widespread acceptance even then, adorned with no less than four rewrites, some more daring than others, the most prevalent being the near chart-topping (#4 in the US) "Hush", a more keyboard-laden rendition I'm sure everyone has heard at one time or another. The cover of Skip James's "I'm So Glad" glides smoothly over the verses and chorus, but during the instrumental phase extrapolates an already tempestuous song (for '31), meanwhile "Hey Joe", already recorded to the hilt by other artists that wound up a freak hit for a new-on-the-solo-scene Hendrix, is redirected at times with bolero-style keys and a Holst-like march, but much of the time travels parallel to Jimi's blues-wrought arrangement. The best would come with the Beatles's "Help", depressing the original's eager pop appeal with Rod Evans's melancholic drawl, a wicked keyboard blur, and a more cerebral ideal more suited toward the lyrics, remindful of Vanilla Fudge 's dreary, mood-enervating rendition of The Supremes's "You Keep Me Hanging On" of the previous year. Word has it the band received a praising call from Paul McCartney shortly afterward, a thrill for them no doubt.

Despite some recollections, with the dreamily plush "One More Rainy Day" and up-grooved "Love Help Me" the only full-blown original pop tunes on the disk, Shades Of. isn't the sugar snack it's sometimes regarded as. But even these songs are well constructed if not mainstream-ly so, sounding like any one of the hundred or so songs populating a Nuggets box set.

"Mandrake Root" and "Prelude: Happiness" are epic in their holographic daze as sure-handed Jon Lord, perhaps the most toweringly-executed player on this thing, lays down the songs' non-corroded progressivism with his mazy Hammond, Ian Paice backing him up with chaotic tribal percussion while Ritchie Blackmore, not yet the renown string sorcerer, throws some fuzzy garage chops into the fray. It's within this pair of tunes that this lp's weight of hard rock is hatched through a creation of keyboards and drums that oddly succeed over guitars, heaviness yet blind and writhing like most newborns, somewhat realized previously by the likes of Blue Cheer, Velvet Underground, and some valiant efforts from Hendrix, and great monolithic side-starter "Mandrake Root" holds the only fleeting, pre-patented "Smoke on the Water"-like sneer on the platter. Opening instrumental "And the Address" allows Lord and Blackmore to share equal ground, spotlighting a guitar-driven element that isn't as invasive on the lp as one would have expected nowadays, hindsight withstanding.

For what this album is, it's quite good. For what this album isn't, well, what can you expect from five guys that, prior to this, had only been playing with each other as a whole for about five months, rushed by two London businessmen to record not only a debut single, but a debut full-lengther (that would peak at #24 in the US, mind you). Only briefly with keyboard-urged zaniness does Shades Of. scrape itself on hard rock, let alone metal, but the brainstem for it all is here, and I don't mind looking upon this era as not only a metal victory, but in gracious, magical retrospect that I can only consume within the confines of stories told by those who were there.

Report this review (#202382)
Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "Shades of Deep Purple" is the debut full-length album by UK hard rock act Deep Purple. When I was younger and the internet was only a thing the really nerdy guys knew how to use I thought that "Deep Purple in Rock (1970)" was the debut album by Deep Purple and it was only later that I discovered that Deep Purple had actually released three studio albums before that one. Imagine the surprise. The original lineup on those three albums featured lead vocalist Rod Evans (later of Captain Beyond) and bassist Nick Simper. It wouldn´t be until "Deep Purple in Rock" that Ian Gillan and Roger Glover would join the band.

Deep Purple recorded a lot of cover songs for their early albums and three out of eight tracks on "Shades of Deep Purple" are not written by the band. A bit of a shame really as all three cover songs drag the album down IMO. The cover of The Beatles track "Help" is especially awful. It borders blasphemy IMO. The original songs are much better and I have to mention "Mandrake Root" with it´s extented organ and guitar solo as the highlight of the album. A great track that one. The most adventurous moment on the album is the first two minutes of "Prelude: happiness / I'm so glad" which is a direct translation of the first movement of "Scheherazade" (Nikolai Rimsky- Korsakov). Other than that the music is greatly influenced by hard rock artists like Cream and Jimi Hendrix. There´s also some psychadelic leanings.

The musicianship is pretty good and Jon Lord´s organ is already a dominant part of Deep Purple´s sound. Ritchie Blackmore shines a couple of times too. His trademark guitar sound is already in the making. There are not many memorable riffs though (maybe except for the Hendrix like main riff in "Mandrake Root").

The production is raw and I imagine that the album was recorded within a short time frame.

"Shades of Deep Purple" is a pretty good but not wildly impressive debut album by Deep Purple but I wish that they wouldn´t have included those cover tunes. An album full of original tunes would have earned them a 3 star rating but with the cover tracks I can only give the album a 2.5 star rating.

Report this review (#203308)
Posted Tuesday, February 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Nice debut album by Deep Purple, but not comparable with the rest of ther career. In this album and in the next two albums we are in the period of Deep Purple Mark 1. The sound is very classical - keyboard oriented, and that means the leadership of Jon Lord in the band's musical tastes. The tracks are good, but the sound quality is quite bad. The nice tihing of this album is the atmosphere that it creates: it makes you feel you are back in the late sixties. I appreciate Rod Evans vocals very much. It is not in Deep Purple style, but it fits the taste of this album very well.

In the end, something far away from the real Deep Purple, it is a good album to have if you want do thiscover the origins of this great band, in particular the classical tastes of Jon Lord's arrangements. 3 stars are perfect, i think.

Report this review (#207975)
Posted Sunday, March 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Since discussion of Deep Purple is inevitably very lineup-specific, that's a good place to start. The guitarist is one Ritchie Blackmore, who would eventually become one of the fastest, most intoxicating guitarists in the rock world, but for now hasn't grown too far past copped licks from Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix (though to be fair, he really did his homework well). The keyboardist is one Jon Lord, a solid (and eventually amazing) keyboardist whose one possible fatal flaw is a bit too much ambition - he apparently saw the band as a symphonic rock band, even if the other members didn't necessarily agree. On this album, this vision is limited to some lengthy pseudo-classical passages, while on the next couple of albums this vision would largely dominate the band's direction.

Ian Paice is behind the drums, and from the beginning proves to be the absolute perfect drummer for this group. Why is that, you may ask? It is because he has the technical skills and creativity to keep up with the rest of the group and follow the non-trivial rhythms that come with Blackmore and Lord solos, but also has the restraint to keep his drumming as the support of the band and to not attempt to dominate the sound (except, of course, for the occasional drum solo, sigh). In other words, none of this nonstop "Me Bonzo! Me see drum! Bonzo smash!" stuff that gets on my nerves with Led Zeppelin. But I digress. Rounding out the group are bassist Nick Simper, who is ok but largely indistinguishable, and Rod Evans, the lead singer, who sure does a good croon when the songs finally come around to vocal parts.

So what do all these parts add up to? They add up, in my opinion, to a band that's both quite impressive and quite average all at once. On the positive side, this band can play just fine - not only do the band members have solid technical skills, they sound and seem confident in their abilities to pull off their styles, not too creative amalgamations of other sources they may sometimes be, with a good understanding of what the hell it is they're doing, as well as with a nice amount of flair. On the minus side, both the originals and covers often feel a bit too much like exercises in style and technique; the originals sound like the band thought that having a song in a "poppy style" or "rock style" is enough, and the covers sound like the band just wanted to show off the cool things they could do with other people's tracks. This isn't to say the covers are necessarily bad exercises, of course - their cover of "Hush" by some guy named Joe South is freaking great, a nice upbeat pop song turned into a cross between a nice upbeat pop song and a trippy-as-hell anthem with all sorts of cool keyboard sounds and guitar wails and all those other things that make Purple Purple. Their cover of Cream's "I'm So Glad" is also quite enjoyable, even though it requires sitting through a lengthy Lord-driven introduction, which isn't awful but doesn't hold my attention long beyond a minute or so. The song itself kinda rules, though, if only because it's so faithful to the feel and vibe of the original, even though it doesn't sound like a carbon copy at all.

The other two covers are a little worse, though. "Help!," by John Lennon (of course), gets a pleasant-but-not-really-necessary intro and outro (consisting of the band slowly puttering on a quiet guitar theme), while the actual song is turned into a slooooooooow ballad climaxed by (of course) Jon and Ritchie each getting a chance at an anthemic solo. It's not bad, but six minutes is a bit much for such a thing, in my opinion. A bit much would be an understatement for the closing "Hey Joe," though, which starts off with a two-minute+ introduction that works off the rhythm of Ravel's Bolero (with all sorts of usual organ and guitar puttering - not that it's bad, just a bit aimless), before finally getting into the song, done at a slooooooow tempo as a soul ballad. Except for the parts that work off the themes of the introduction, of course. In other words, it takes 7:29 to get through freakin' "Hey Joe."

As for the originals, well, they're ok in their own way. "And the Address" is an alright opener, an instrumental that opens with a minute of organ effects before turning into acres of solos based around an occasional riff and subsequent groove. Fortunately, the riff is ok, and the solos are as entertaining as anything else on the record, so while this "song" is a bit too self-indulgent wanky, it's at least a decently done self-indulgent wanky. "Mandrake Root" is a straightup ripoff of "Foxey Lady," but a disturbingly enjoyable ripoff nontheless. And hey, the surf-rocker "Love Help Me" has some more great guitar wailing to go with the standard surf elements. On the other hand, "One More Rainy Day" is too sappy and flacid for my tastes, especially in the vocal parts, and definitely shows that the band didn't really know what it was doing in "conventional" songwriting. Not yet, anyway.

For all that, I wouldn't want to give this less than a solid ***. For all the ripoffs and unrestrained soloing, there's nevertheless a great deal of enthusiasm coming out of this album, and competent enthusiasm at that, that's quite infectious to yours truly. They kinda remind me, at this point, of the very first incarnation of Yes that would come into being a year later, albeit with their songwriting skills a little less developed, and that can't help but make me smile. At least a bit. Don't go running out to get this, but if you've filled up on Mk. II and want more Purple, this is a good place to turn.

Report this review (#279791)
Posted Thursday, April 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars The debut album from Deep Purple and the Mark I of Deep Purple. A Deep Purple line up which did not set the world on fire. The remnants of Mark I (ok, only the vocalist) later ended up as Captain Beyond who released three albums with similar sounding music.

This album contains of some cover versions and some own produced stuff. Deep Purple's version of Hush, the second song on this album, gave them a minor hit and kept the band afloat. I think this is a pretty substandard song and it was a mystery to me why this song was released as a single again in the 1990s and included on a live album. Deep Purple's version of Help (Beatles) is also deeply unimpressive. One of Deep Purple's most played songs on gigs, Mandrake Root, is also on this album and it is the best song on this album. The rest of the songs are pretty dire though. Deep Purple's version of Hey Joe is OK, but totally lacks the balls and the magic Jimi Hendrix gave it.

The problem with this album is the lack of any really good songs, with the exception of Mandrake Root. Even Ritchie Blackmore plays like a neutered cat on this album, with the notable exception of his work on Mandrake Root. The only good thing about this album is the organs by John Lord.

In short, this is a pretty substandard debut from a band who went on to release some great albums some years later.

2 stars

Report this review (#308454)
Posted Friday, November 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars considering the time factor ( 43 years now) , and so many other issues while reviewing this category of music from the psychedelic era of the sixties , no one can believe that these bands , with their real talents , and the urge of competing at that time , gave the real path for more generations to grow up and believe that this kind of music can stand for that long , and develop itself every single day . when we review any particular album without knowing or living the right circumstances behind the making of this album , our review will be misleading to others . there was no competition between bands on the late 60's , there was a case ! Drugs , wars , economical crisis , and so many other things Led to what was called as Progressive rock music revolution . Everything in the world has an end , life itself has an end ! but music , without development will also be living only in memories ! Jazz , Blues , classical , pop had to be accepted by new generations , and the idea of Progressing took the right paths because of some guys , talented , well trained , and willing to do anything against the idea of wars . this line - up of Deep Purple was the best in my opinion , Gillan didn't get anything new to the band , we all know that John was behind the creativity of DP , not even Ritchie . this album was only one from thousands at that time of the sixties , i was 16 , and really lucky to live their moments second by second , day by day , year after year , and if i say something now , after 43 years i say it Loud and Clear in front of you all my friends , this album along with many others excellent ones , gave you the right pair of shoes to walk into the Hall of Fame ! <<<<<<<<< a Masterpiece of OUR MUSIC >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Report this review (#374319)
Posted Thursday, January 6, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars I am a fan of Deep Purple debut album called "Shade Of Deep Purple", probably the more fresh album of Mk1 (Evans, Lord, Simper, Blackmore and Paice) because too Hard Rock side of Deep Purple Mk1 oriented. It is also true that this album is not distant from Prog but remain a good Hard Rock album. "Hush" (by Joe South) and an incredible version of Lennon/ McCartney penned "Help" plus "Mandrake Root" and "Hey Joe" are the best and imortals track in this album. "Hush" because a great Hit in USA and Purple's evergreen, since that this song is perfect for MK1. "Help" because with new arrangement that d a great grip on Lennon and McCartney that praised this version, slower than the original. "Mandrake Root" is the first Deep Purple's penned song that is a masterpiece and evergreen. "Mandrake Root" is a great Heavy Rock song, a sort of true Proto Heavy Metal song. "Hey Joe" please me more in this version that in Jimy Hendrix version because more Prog and Psychedelic. The rest of "Shades Of Deep Purple" (that I have in 1989 CD version) is good but nothing of special.

In good substance this album is good also today. But remain only the debut of Deep Purple Mk1.

Report this review (#379256)
Posted Thursday, January 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 'Shades Of Deep Purple' - Deep Purple (6/10)

The debut album from this massive hard rock band, Deep Purple's 'Shades Of Deep Purple' is met with some ambivalence. Setting aside the fact that this is an album without the band's best singer Ian Gillian, 'Shades Of Deep Purple' is often overlooked for the fact that it is composed greatly of cover songs rather than original material, although there are still a few songs here that the band wrote themselves. Taken for what it is, this debut is actually quite good, and really sets the stage for more successful music in the future.Surprisingly enough, the cover songs are the real draw to this album, but as the inventive rockers that they are, the covers are really made their own, taking 'Shades' from the forgettable album that many deem it to be, to a fairly interesting place in rock history.

While the bluesy 'Mandrake Root' will attract the most attention from Deep Purple fans (due to the fact that it has met a great deal of performances in live settings), I find myself most attracted to the covers that the band has done here. 'Hush' is a fairly well known single that got the band out there, and Deep Purple does it well; a memorable track with a catchy hook or two. The cover of the Beatles song 'Help!' is likely my favourite pick from the album though; it really shows what I mean about Deep Purple making these songs their own. While the original track was fairly upbeat and catchy, Deep Purple turns the song into a drawn out psychedelic experience. This is very refreshing to hear, especially from an album that is almost half a century old by this point.

The band was certainly heavier than most at the time, but they still have ample loads of British pop in their sound, especially when it comes to the vocals. Although not as good as Gillian, Rod Evans does a good job of fronting the band.

'Shades Of Deep Purple' is a nice start for this band, and while the abundance of covers is certainly controversial, I really think that Deep PUrple goes beyond reprising the hits of the day and makes these classic tracks into something new oand original, sometimes almost to the point where they could be considered originals unto themselves. There is nothing particularly excellent here and Deep Purple would certainly go on to much better things, but this should be an interesting experience for anyone wanting a nice piece of hard rock from the late 60's.

Report this review (#475747)
Posted Monday, July 4, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars A not very progressive first effort from Deep Purple fails to float my boat. HUSH is of course an essential Deep Purple classic and MANDRAKE ROOT is interesting but the rest is too bluesy for my taste and pretty straight forward late 60's early 70's rock with a smattering of pop thrown into the mixture. Nothing groundbreaking here. A high number of cover tunes also detracts from the enjoyment. While there is no doubt that the musical ability and skill is here, the vocal sound is not nearly as excellent as it would become when Ian Gillian joined the band. True lover of Deep Purple or collectors and completionists may appreciate this release, but I can give it no more than 2 stars as a progressive rock album. The best was still to come from Deep Purple. And what a long strange journey it turned out to be! 2 stars because of HUSH and MANDRAKE ROOT.
Report this review (#603600)
Posted Thursday, January 5, 2012 | Review Permalink
stefro
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Before morphing into the hugely-successful proto-metal outfit that produced such hard-rockin' classics as 'In Rock', 'Machine Head' and 'Burn', Deep Purple were very much a group whose early sonic style was rooted in both the short-lived psychedelic phenomenon of the late-sixties and the emerging progressive rock scene of the early-seventies. Largely ignored in their homeland during these formative years, the group - at this time featuring the MK 1 line-up of Rod Evans(vocals), Jon Lord(organ), Ritchie Blackmore(guitar), Nick Simper(bass) and Ian Paice(drums) - would nevertheless manage to strike commercial gold throughout the USA thanks to the shrewdly-picked single 'Hush'(latterly covered by psych-pop outfit Kula Shakur during the mid-nineties Brit-pop boom). 'Hush' reached no.4 on the US BIllboard charts, yet despite this surprise success the UK proved a much harder nut to crack, and it would be several more years before Deep Purple became a name-brand in their own country. However, the USA was different. Thanks to 'Hush', the group's resultant debut album 'Shades Of Deep Purple' would also prove popular, thus laying the foundations for a four-decade long career that has seen the name Deep Purple become synonymous with both hard rock and heavy metal, the group in the process becoming one of the most successful and famous of all British rock bands. But what of their debut? A flowery, organ-soaked albeit hard-edged slice of rough 'n' ready psych-tinged rock, 'Shades Of Deep Purple' is indeed a curiosity, though at the same time and despite the stylistic differences from their later, better known material, this is still unmistakeably Deep Purple. The upbeat and catchy 'Hush' apart, 'Shades Of Deep Purple' is a genuine mixed bag of covers and original material, organist Jon Lord the dominant force throughout. The group's slightly anaemic cover of 'Hey Joe' suffers from poor quality production, a factor which hampers much of the album, whilst 'Help' - which was released as a single in the UK to little fanfare - also fails to set the pulse racing despite a ballsy display from original vocalist Rod Evans. However, despite the slightly uninspired nature of these tracks, the superior original material does provide occasional nuggets, with the Ritchie Blackmore-penned 'Mandrake Root'(the name of the guitarist's previous group) showing off some impressive organ-guitar interplay. Very much an album caught between several stylistic stools, 'Shades Of Deep Purple' is a fascinating glimpse of group caught in their embryonic stage of development. The mixture of hard-rock riffs, jazzy organs and lucid psych-pop may well turn fans of the group's classic sound away, though this is much more than just a dated curiosity. The weak covers - and 'Hush' - aside, Deep Purple's debut is a solid slice of hard-edged psychedelia for those who find The Beatles just a little bit too soft.

STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

Report this review (#652559)
Posted Saturday, March 10, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars I'm not very knowledgeable of the band and just because of that I decided to listen to their first album. What I found? Did not like remakes as "Help" and "Hey Joe". "And the address" even though repetitive is a good song, where individualism of each member stands out ... "Blackmore", "Paice" and "Lord." I choose the song "Love help me (instrumental)" more than the version of 'original'. "Mandrake root" is one of the bests moments of what happens on this record, no doubt. The clash between "Lord" and "Paice" is a magical moment, even better as "Blackmore" decides to show up at the party. It was possible to see the scope of the band through "Shades Of Deep Purple" but it certainly would still be necessary to polish a lot.

Report this review (#784205)
Posted Saturday, July 7, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars 8/10

Before Smoke on the Water, was the psychedelic ...

Shades of Deep Purple is a perfect example of the musical ferment of the late '60s, the rise of mergers and their psychedelic rock with blues rock that will generate both hard rock and heavy metal itself as progressive rock. Using distroçőes, trials and soils demonstrates that these men wanted nothing with that silly and childish rock of the 50s and early 60's - music is a mature, daring, the symbol of an era.

Half of the album is made ​​up of covers, but they owe nothing to their originals. A version of Beatles' Help!, is simply fantastic. Slow, emotional ... this song hit me. Also impressive is their instrumental adaptation of classic piece Scheherezade, from russian composer Rimsky- Korsakov. For a change, here the star is Jon Lord, the master of the Hammond Organ. His sound is unmistakable, and I think that's what makes Deep Purple as distinct from other bands of hard rock / heavy metal (besides, of course, the great taste of Lord for classical music). Other highlights include a cover of Hush, and the opening instrumental And The Adress.

4 healthy stars. an example of why I love this period of history.

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Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars More rooted in hard-edged psychedelia than the early metal they would eventually be known for, Deep Purple's debut album finds the band relying heavily on their highly distinctive arrangements of various 1960s counterculture standards. Some of these are more successful than others; they give a decent rendition of the slow version of Hey Joe (but few bands worth their salt back then couldn't pull off a Hey Joe if they had a mind to), whilst their version of the Beatles' Help feels a little heavy-handed and pompous, the stridency of the band striking an incongruous note next to the fragility of the lyrics. Still, their take on Hush is downright excellent.
Report this review (#1017464)
Posted Tuesday, August 13, 2013 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A rather primitive and uncharacteristic album from what Deep Purple became famous for. They relied heavily on covers and the music in general is not very different from much of what was coming out of bands at the time. However, there are plenty of moments hinting the potential they had from the get go: Jon Lord´s powerful Hammond runs were up to any other virtuoso keyboardist of the day (Keith Emerson included) and Ian Paice drumming is simply terrific, showing a rare very unique musical personality so early on. Only Blakmore´s guitar playing is a little green compared to what he´d do very soon, but it is very fine and tasteful even at that stage. I also liked Nick Simper bass runs. Rod Evans is a good singer, ok.

Of the tracks, most are tentative although again their virtuosity was already showing, as the instrumental opener And The Address clearly makes this statement. Hush is a classic and is a nice rock tune, very well connected with the time and still standing well after all these years. Some arrangements are a bit too pompous and a bit pointless, like in their cover of the Beatles Help. Others are too typical 60´s pop (One More Rainy Day). Still, their energy and talent are visible and as a first efford, quite strong.

Deep Purple would easily surpass this CD in a very short time - Book Of Talesyn, incredibly recorded just a few months after this is a great leap forward - but I found it quite interesting and more than just a curio for fans and collectors. They were always special.

Rating: between 2.5 and 3 stars.

Report this review (#1126666)
Posted Monday, February 3, 2014 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The first song that I listened from this album was "Prelude: Happiness / I`m So Glad" in 1969-70. It was released in my country as a single (divided in two parts, with the Side One of that single having at the end a fade-out at the start of the guitar solo, and at the start of the Side Two a fade-in at the other parts of the same guitar solo). My father bought it. Maybe he listened to this song in the radio some day and he liked it.

This album was recorded with a low budget, and this can be listened in it, really. It was recorded in a three day period in May 1968. The recording is not very good, and it sounds like it was mostly recorded live in the studio, with very few overdubs. There are some sound effects used between each song which were used as "links". They gave to this album a psychedelic sound. But this album really has some different musical styles: Hard Rock, Psychedelia, Pop Rock, Progressive Rock. The band sounds really very at the start of their recording career, but it sounds very well, Still, there are some mellow arrangments and songs, like "One More Rainy Day" and "Help" (this last one is a song from THE BEATLES). There are also some Prog Rock influences with the use of some Classical Music parts in "Prelude: Happiness / I`m So Glad" (using a part from "Scheherazade" by Rimsky- Korsakov) and in "Hey Joe" (with some parts with music by Manuel de Falla). Hard Rock can be listened in "And the Address" , "Mandrake Root" and "Love Help Me". Pop Rock can be listened in "Hush", "One more rainy day" and "Help". Drummer Ian Paice and keyboard player Jon Lord both shine in playing their instruments. Ritchie Blackmore plays well too but his guitar playing style was still not very clear for DEEP PURPLE and his guitar parts were not very well recorded and mixed. Lead singer Rod Evans had a voice maybe more oriented to Pop Rock and Ballads than to Hard Rock, and bassist Nick Simper plays well. There are some backing vocals by Lord and Simper which sound more oriented to Pop Rock too. Anyway, as a whole, this is a good album, with four original songs ("And the address", "One more rainy day", "Mandrake root" and "Love help me") and four covers ("Hush ", "Prelude: happiness / I'm so glad", "Help" and "Hey Joe").

I think that this album and YES`self-titled album have some things in common: both had a combination of original songs and some covers; both albums still sound very "sixties" in musical style and influences; both were not recorded with big budgets; and both show very good bands with very good debut albums. Maybe YES` first album sounds better, but both albums are very energetic. Maybe both sound a bit dated now, but still are enjoyable.

Report this review (#1258845)
Posted Sunday, August 24, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars Their debut comes with tributes to their "teachers" and a huge hit; which is a tribute!

Let's see the first ever DP attempt track-by-track:

And The Address: Prog meets Brit Pop in this instrumental, which could actually be a long intro for Hush, since it's riff is kinda related.

Hush (B.J. Royal): It was 1968, it's 2016. They still play it live. Gigantic hit.

One More Rainy Day: Clearly inspired by The Beatles sound, it's a nice bittersweet song. Jon Lord's keyboards are the most fancy element.

Prelude/Happiness/I'm So Glad: Typical British psychedelic/prog song with hyper-simplistic lyrics, could belong to early Pink Floyd or Genesis too. I don't like the genre, and quite frankly I find it as pointless as punk rock sometimes.

Mandrake Root: The riff sounds very close to Jimi Jendrix's Foxy Lady, so close one could say they "borrowed" from him. At around 2:20 it changes (after a thunderbolt sound) into a fast instrumental jam. Nothing special.

Help (The Beatles): A very interesting, mid-tempo prog-ish cover of the huge Beatles hit. They reveal elements of their greatness on this one, a very good adaptation and execution. The second best song after Hush (also a cover).

Love Help Me: Another Brit Pop song with Psychedelic elements. An OK song, but no special.

Hey Joe (traditional): A song synonymous to Jimi Hendrix, since he played the most well known and probably best version of it. Here, Deep Purple see it through the prog glass, with 2,5 minutes of epic Latin (!) intro that could be the soundtrack of Zoro fight scenes or something. Afterwards, the "regular" song begins, close to the Hendrix aesthetics, but they constantly blend the elements, creating a magnetic result. Arguably the most creative song of the album.

RATING: 3 stars for a very interesting debut, one of the few 60s albums that contain a huge rock hit worldwide known today (Hush) and doesn't belong to The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. It shows only glimpses of the greatness Deep Purple would reach in the future.

Report this review (#1378706)
Posted Friday, March 6, 2015 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars What strange beginnings for one of the three unholy trinity bands that together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath would introduce the world to a new universe of music in the forms of hard rock and heavy metal. Despite their contributions they started out much like The Monkees in formation, meaning that members were recruited by Chris Curtis who had visions of creating a supergroup called Roundabout which was to have a rotating cast of musical members. He approached the business tycoon Tony Edwards for funding and the first members he managed to woo into the project were none other than keyboardist Jon Lord and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. Also fulfilling what is now referred to as the Mark I era of DEEP PURPLE, were Nick Simper on bass, Ian Paice on drums and original vocalist Rod Evans who was definitely no Ian Gillan but did suit the 60s psychedelic leanings of the sound the band were engaging in at this stage.

This album starts off with the groovy instrumental "And This Address" which gives me flashes of partying with Austin Powers in somewhere 60s London which also has slight references to the following track and single "Hush." This single is one of those songs i never dug too much but i have to admit it's played very well and the instrumental exchanges are fairly complex for psychedelic music of this era. It's not really as bad as i've always made it out to be. I have to admit that i've had a change of heart on this debut album. I used to despise early DEEP PURPLE but as i've grown more fond of 60s heavy psych and the sound that surrounds it, i have gained an appreciation for album number one of one of hard rock's most famous offerings. While there are still many things i dislike about this one in comparison to later releases, there is still a lot to like here. This is 60s psychedelic rock through and through and on this one Jon Lord is the star with his classically infused keyboard runs and i can only admit that this music is played extraordinarily well and quite sophisticated for this era in rock history. The musicians gel together beautifully. Nick Simper's bass playing is surely a major factor as he displays a passionate energy that seemingly holds the whole thing together. Surprisingly Blackmore's guitar contributions are quite subdued.

The reasons this album fails to blow me away are manyfold. Firstly, i'm not a huge fan of Rod Evans vocals. Although he gets the job done in tune and all he still fails to be a charismatic lead vocalist and is no Jim Morrison or, you guessed it - Ian Gillan. Secondly, i'm not a huge fan of cover songs unless the band can take the bull by the horns and lead it to strawberry fields forever. While i admire their attempt on this one to conquer huge hits by The Beatles ("Help") and Jimi Hendrix ("Hey Joe") and i quite love the instrumental embellishments, i simply feel these tracks derail the momentum of the album as a whole. Thirdly, while the musical equation of the album is fairly well done, the lyrical contributions have some serious lameness at times. Perfect example is the instrumentally competent "Prelude: " which delivers "Happiness" in the beginning but once it gets to "I'm So Glad" and repeats that phrase ad infinitum, it makes me want to gag myself with a pitchfork and orally excrete my stomacal contents. In the end this is too much of a mixed bag and the bad makes me enjoy the good less than others seem to. For all the positive elements on this debut release, i'd rather just fast forward to the Mark II phase and be issue free.

Report this review (#1591412)
Posted Monday, July 25, 2016 | Review Permalink
2 stars Going into this album, anything I knew of Deep Purple's music was centered around all the hits they released during their MKII and MKIII eras. Meaning, of course, I knew 'Highway Star', 'Smoke on the Water', 'Burn', and all the other classics that are featured on countless compilations that all have the exact same tracklist. So I was intrigued to get started from the beginning. To head back to 1968 and check out the album that kicked off the career of one of rock music's most legendary bands.

"Meh".

Compared to the material the band would later release, this album is pretty boring, with no sense of identity. It just completely lacks that instantly recognizable Deep Purple vibe. It sounds like any generic rock album from the late 60's. It's not terrible. There's a few catchy hooks here-and-there, but the album as a whole just doesn't do anything for me. It's no wonder these songs are usually neglected from all the compilations. In fact, the only song that really even gets any recognition these days is their cover of Billy Joe Royal's 'Hush'. It says a lot about a bands material when the best song on the record is a cover.

So yeah, that's Deep Purple's debut. It was probably an incredible, ground-breaking game-changer in 1968. But this isn't 1968, and these songs have not aged well at all. I'll give it two stars because it's not awful, it's just not really very good, either.

Report this review (#1776833)
Posted Wednesday, August 30, 2017 | Review Permalink

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