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SHADES OF DEEP PURPLE

Deep Purple

Proto-Prog


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Deep Purple Shades of Deep Purple album cover
3.29 | 343 ratings | 38 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1968

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. And the address (4:38)
2. Hush (4:24)
3. One more rainy day (3:40)
4. Prelude: happiness / I'm so glad (7:19)
5. Mandrake root (6:09)
6. Help (6:01)
7. Love help me (3:49)
8. Hey Joe (7:33)

Bonus tracks:
9. Shadows (album outtake) (3:38)
10. Love help me (instrumental) (3:29)
11. Help (alternate) (5:23)
12. Hey Joe (live) (4:05)
13. Hush (live) (3:53)

Lyrics

Search DEEP PURPLE Shades of Deep Purple lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search DEEP PURPLE Shades of Deep Purple tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Ritchie Blackmore / guitars
- Rod Evans / Lead vocals
- Jon Lord / Hammond organ, backing vocals
- Ian Paice / drums
- Nick Simper /bass, backing vocals

Releases information

LP EMI/Parlophone PCS7055 (1968)
Remaster released in 2000. Tracks 9-13 are bonus tracks.

The album was also released as EMI-Executive cassette TC2EXE-1017 with "The Book of Taliesyn" in 1972.

Thanks to momomo for the addition
and to Tarcisio Moura for the last updates
Edit this entry

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DEEP PURPLE Shades of Deep Purple ratings distribution


3.29
(343 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(8%)
8%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(32%)
32%
Good, but non-essential (46%)
46%
Collectors/fans only (13%)
13%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

DEEP PURPLE Shades of Deep Purple reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by 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!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#46596) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Review by 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-

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Send comments to Zitro (BETA) | Report this review (#46644) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Review by 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!

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#47627) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
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.

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Send comments to Eetu Pellonpää (BETA) | Report this review (#49573) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, September 30, 2005

Review by 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.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#105060) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 31, 2006

Review by 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.

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Posted Friday, February 16, 2007

Review by 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.

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Posted Friday, February 16, 2007

Review by 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.

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Posted Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Review by 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.

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Posted Sunday, September 09, 2007

Review by 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.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#142601) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, October 08, 2007

Review by 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

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Posted Saturday, December 29, 2007

Review by 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

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Posted Friday, December 12, 2008

Review by 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.

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Posted Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Review by 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.

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Posted Thursday, April 29, 2010

Review by 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.

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Posted Monday, July 04, 2011

Review by 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

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Posted Saturday, March 10, 2012

Review by 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.

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Posted Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Review by 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.

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Posted Monday, February 03, 2014

Latest members reviews

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 dis ... (read more)

Report this review (#868691) | Posted by voliveira | Thursday, November 29, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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" an ... (read more)

Report this review (#784205) | Posted by Vobiscum | Saturday, July 07, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#603600) | Posted by mohaveman | Thursday, January 05, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 albu ... (read more)

Report this review (#379256) | Posted by 1967/ 1976 | Thursday, January 13, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 generat ... (read more)

Report this review (#374319) | Posted by trackstoni | Thursday, January 06, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 v ... (read more)

Report this review (#308454) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Friday, November 05, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Far from being Deep Purple's biggest fan, I didn't go into this album expecting much, but then I suppose that's probably a good thing, because it's a lot easier to be surprised that way. I was actually shocked at how much I was enjoying some of the songs on this album. Whilst all the tracks are ... (read more)

Report this review (#232134) | Posted by Valarius | Monday, August 17, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 track ... (read more)

Report this review (#207975) | Posted by Progghettaro | Sunday, March 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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-cultur ... (read more)

Report this review (#202382) | Posted by Mogorva | Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#162045) | Posted by strayfromatlantis | Sunday, February 17, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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, pr ... (read more)

Report this review (#158336) | Posted by malcra | Friday, January 11, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#134039) | Posted by Salviaal | Tuesday, August 21, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#113420) | Posted by Deepslumber | Saturday, February 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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 s ... (read more)

Report this review (#87840) | Posted by ldlanberg | Monday, August 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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 tha ... (read more)

Report this review (#86044) | Posted by coa190 | Monday, August 07, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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, esp ... (read more)

Report this review (#79192) | Posted by Progressive! | Wednesday, May 24, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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 so ... (read more)

Report this review (#63001) | Posted by | Tuesday, January 03, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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 unfo ... (read more)

Report this review (#49798) | Posted by fuqxit | Monday, October 03, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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 surrou ... (read more)

Report this review (#46623) | Posted by MANTICORE | Wednesday, September 14, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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 su ... (read more)

Report this review (#46620) | Posted by | Wednesday, September 14, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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