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3.22 | 572 ratings | 34 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Comin' Home (3:52)
2. Lady Luck (2:45)
3. Gettin' Tighter (3:36)
4. Dealer (3:49)
5. I Need Love (4:22)
6. Drifter (4:01)
7. Love Child (3:05)
8. Medley (6:07) :
- a) This Time Around
- b) Owed to 'G'
9. You Keep On Moving (5:18)

Total Time 36:55

Line-up / Musicians

- David Coverdale / lead vocals (1,2,4-7,9)
- Tommy Bolin / lead guitar, lead (4) & backing (1) vocals, bass (1)
- Jon Lord / keyboards (piano, synth)
- Glenn Hughes / bass, lead (3,8,9) & backing vocals
- Ian Paice / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Castle, Chappell & Partners with Peter Williams (photo)

LP Purple Records ‎- TPSA 7515 (1975, UK)

CD EMI ‎- CDP 7 94032 2 (1990, Europe)

Thanks to The Miracle for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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DEEP PURPLE Come Taste the Band ratings distribution

(572 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

DEEP PURPLE Come Taste the Band reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dick Heath
3 stars I was shocked when it was announced Tommy Bolin had joined Deep Purple. I had been well aware of Bolin's work for some time before this, having first come across him as Joe Walsh's replacement on the James Gang's 'Bang' album (which has several of my favourite rock tunes from the early 70's sit on this record, written by Bolin, plus providing some good examples of Bolin's successful experiments with the Echoplex - e.g. check out 'Standing in the rain') and then on the weaker 'Miami'. And of course at the same time Bolin's tour de force on record appeared, featured in equal partnership to maestro Jan Hammer on Billy Cobham's essential 'Spectrum' album(1).

Having progressively got bored with DP's output since 'In Rock', (IMHO they had become too popular, and so too often played on radio for my tastes!). I had avoided buying their albums after Gillan had left (and indeed Gillan had made a couple of good jazz rock albums himself, e.g. 'Clear Air Turbulence'). But then I found 'Come Taste The Band' in a dumper bin in a local W H Smiths and was tempted into buying. First play and I liked the album, (still do); it was different from the earlier DP albums. Whether it was a "heavy funk" albums (as some pundits claimed, because of the sometime musical preferences of both the vocalist and lead guitarist) rather then a "heavy rock" one, I didn't care? However, what I heard was Tommy Bolin doing a rerun of those two James Gang albums tune-wise (i.e. through his contribution to tune compositions and arrangements to 'Come Taste The Band'). Reinforced by what other critics had claimed, that Deep Purple were in awe of Bolin and couldn't understand why he wanted the lead guitarist's chair, I've held the opinion from the 2nd week of owning this album, is a really a Tommy Bolin record which happens to have Deep Purple as the backing band, (I suppose, rather like Paul Rodger currently has Queen to back him when he does old Free and Bad Company tunes!). Therefore the reference points are not earlier DP albums, but rather 'Bang' and 'Miami'. The belatedly released double album (why isn't listed here by October 2005?), 'Days May Come And Days May Go' , gives a very different sounding Purple and Bolin combination jamming and making good heavy blues, (claimed to be recorded during the original Bolin "audition")(2).

With hindsight, you have to suspect with the combination of touring and success with Deep Purple, may have accelerated Tommy Bolin drug habit and very premature death. While playing reasonable to good music with Purple, I never felt he was being stretched, as you will hear on 'Spectrum' or even Alphonse Mouzon's 'Mind Transplant' (a rather second rate attempt to do 'Spectrum' over again), or on a handful of jazz rock tunes on his first solo album 'Teaser' (check out the line-up on 'Marching Powder'(3), for who Bolin could attract into the studio) or the straight rock of 'Private Eyes'.

What might have been, what might have been?

Footnotes: (1) Check out the jam on the most recent CD reissue of 'Spectrum', called 'All 4 One', to hear Bolin's confidence in the company of first class musicians; as tight with Hammer and in his improvising, as John McLaughlin had been in Mahavishnu. (2) 'On The Wings Of A Russian Foxbat', a live recording gives yet another aspect of the union, when Bolin was in free fall. (3) While rough around the gills, the demo of Jan Hammer's composition 'Sister Andrea' - to later to appear on the third Mahavishnu album, in a very different form - finds Bolin in company of jazzers yet again. Speculation: did Jan Hammer take Jeff Beck under his wing, because he had lost Bolin to Deep Purple?

Review by Raff
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars First of all, let's get one thing straight: this album has little if anything to do with prog. That said, it is a great album, much better than its predecessor, "Stormbringer" - a blend of hard rock, blues, soul and funk. After Blackmore's departure, Glenn Hughes was free to stamp his personality on this record, supported by the fact that Ritchie's replacement, the young American guitar whiz Tommy Bolin, had become a fast friend of his. Both were more attracted to other kinds of music than straightforward hard rock, and this shows quite clearly at a compositional level. Unfortunately, both musicians had also become seriously addicted to drugs, Hughes to cocaine and Bolin to heroin, which would ultimately result in his untimely death, soon after the band's demise.

For a long time "Come Taste the Band" was an extremely underrated album, considered by many to be nearly worthless. Fortunately, in more recent years its value has been reassessed, which is a very good thing, for it contains quite a few unexpected gems. Being a Glenn Hughes fan, my personal favourite is the intensely romantic "This Time Around", a towering vocal achievement where Hughes sings accompanied by Jon Lord's piano, which segues into the instrumental tour de force that is "Owed to G". The closing , mid-tempo "You Keep On Moving" showcases the considerable talents and sharply different styles of Coverdale and Hughes; while the brisker, funkier "Gettin' Tighter" is another great Hughes moment, which the bassist still plays live with his band.

Overall, a strong album, with great musicianship and stunning vocal performances - one I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who loves great rock music and keeps an open mind.

Review by Sean Trane
1 stars I never could quite bring myself to buy this album, but over the years, I have heard it (way too) many times , especially from Purple unconditional fans trying to convince me that this was a worthy album. To no avail, I am quite glad to confirm! Bolin, as talented a guitarist as he was, is simply not doing the job and along with his partner in crime Glen Hughes (an excellent bassist himself), they just divert Purple into a meaningless funk whereas they could've headed a jazz rock/fusion alley that could've been much more interesting.

A sad end to a great group!!

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Well well well .. I really love this album. With new guitarist Tommy Bolin (ex James Gang) this is a solid album by Deep Purple. You may be wondering why I love this album as for most people this is a mediocre one - especially after the departure of guitar master Ritchie Blackmore. It's basically for simple reasons: All songs contained herein are excellent ones. Nothing is masterpiece but each individual song is interesting to enjoy. I enjoy each individual song from the hard rock "Coming Home" and "Lady Luck" to simple one like "You Keep On Moving". My best favorite track is "Getting Tighter" because I do enjoy the guitar rhythm excellently performed by Tommy Bolin. "Drifter" is another excellent track with powerful opening. Medley "This Time Around" and "Owed To G" is also fantastic. Glenn Hughes gave his best vocal shot here in this album.

It was with the release of this album Deep Purple came to my country, Indonesia, for a concert. Unfortunately I stayed in Madiun and I was just 15 years old, so I could not afford to watch them on stage. God Bless was the opening act for the concert.

It's an excellent hard rock album with a bit of funky touch. Recommended.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Exit Blackmore, welcome to Bolin (RIP) and mark IV. This was second shock for me in 1975 (after the departure of Gabriel from Genesis). It seems that the three youngsters (Bolin, Coverdale, Hughes) have brought a new dynamic in the band. The newbies are in control and the old guard is just playing what they are told. Coverdale will co-sign seven tracks, Bolin six, Hughes three. Lord and Paice only one ...

The opener "Comin'Home" starts almost like "Speed King" for eighteen seconds, then continues like "Highway Star" : well that's not a bad start, right ? A great opener like the Purple are used to. Lord is pumping his keyboard again like a devil. I just have wished that it would have last longer... "Lady Luck" is a short hard rock tune with powerful vocals (but that will be the Purple's trademark after their Mark I era). I guess that Coverdale / Hughes is one of the best duo of the rock history. "Gettin' Tighter" is in the same vein, but with some strong keyboards and good guitar work from Tommy. "Dealer" closes side one. It is quite hard rocking : great vocals and superb guitar work of the young talented Bolin.

Side two starts with "I Need Love" and is similar to "Lady Luck" : a standard hard-rock Purple track. The rythm of this song (but this is a global remark for the whole album) is slower than previously. Lord is more in the background (it was already noticeable on "Stormbringer"). The end of the song is rather funky. "Drifter" is a very heavy track : slow tempo with good background band to support very strong vocals. At times, the rythm increases and make this tune quite a decent one. The next track, "Love Child" shows the lack of inspiration of the Purple at this moment. This song is really too close to "Drifter". Therefore this album sounds a bit repetitive. "This Time Around" (the sole Lord's contribution co-signed with Hughes) is a romantic ballad followed by the intrumental "Owed To G". This will be the appetizer for the best and the last (already) track of the (short) album.

"You Keep On Moving" : starts very slowly with keys, bass and cymbals. Then the rest of the band is joining : vocals and guitar entering the scene beautifully. The singer duo (and composers of this song) just sounds fabulous while the tempo increases. The song builds crescendo and turns into a brilliant Purple classic. Lord plays one of the too few keyboard break with great conviction. What a great manner to close this album ! One of the all time best Purple song (like another twenty as I already have mentioned in another Purple review) !

Although this album will not be remembered very muchne, it is a good one. It will peak at the 19th spot in the UK charts (Nr. 43 in the US). Three stars and ready for Mark V (actually the come back of the Mark II line-up) with Perfect Strangers in ... 1984.

Review by russellk
3 stars This is not DEEP PURPLE as you know it. The hard-rock firebrands have mellowed, and they are one of the first white bands to pour funk over their sound. It would have been fascinating to have seen where they went with this - had the band survived.

The album is a mixture of sub-par rockers (none of the tracks rock out, really), some funky numbers ('Gettin' Tighter' grabs you at first listen, as does 'I Need Love') and a few bluesy pieces. And is that soul I hear in 'The Drifter'? Then, just when you're about to consign the album to the 'Stormbringer' pile, along come the last two tracks.

Oh my. 'This Time Around/Owed To G' is worth the price of the album. This is how rock should sound. The track begins with a very Stevie Wonder-sounding Glenn Hughes vocal, glorious on its own, but which segues into a sensational Bolin instrumental track. Only a few minutes long, but its one of those tracks that outmuscles many an overblown prog track. DEEP PURPLE had done little with progressive sensibilities in four years, until now. Get hold of this track; you absolutely must listen to it. Must.

'You Keep On Moving' is an excellent closer, and the track most often gathered on to a Greatest Hits package. I see it as of a piece with the previous track, and ensure they follow each other on my DEEP PURPLE playlists.

If you can make it to the end of this album, you'll be rewarded.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars The last studio album of the '70 of this great band.

Not bad in my opinion but far from what they done in the early '70. Here they sound much more like a funk band with hard rock elements. Bolin and Hughes were the to blame in the end and not Coverdale who has as always a magic voice. Still a good album, because only for the last two tracks Medley (6:07) and You Keep On Moving (5:18) the rest is a banal hard boogie with funk elements. 3 stars i think is corect. P.S. I was surprised to see that this album has much more higher notes then Stormbringer wich i find it much better then Come taste the band, just my opinion.

Review by Gooner
3 stars While I am Tommy Bolin fan(especially his work on Billy Cobham's "Spectrum") and a Deep Purple fanatic, I can't say Tommy fits in with Deep Purple. This album might have worked if Steve Morse were on it(he DOES fit into Deep Purple). A few highlights, though "This Time Around/Owed To G" where Bolin does get to stretch out with some fantastic soloing...and "Love Child" which is the blueprint for Coverdale's band WHITESNAKE. If this were anyone else's hard rock album, it might garner 4 stars. Not a bad way for DP to go out on in the '70s. They return to form with Perfect Strangers in 1984.
Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Much better than its predecessor, "Come Taste The Band" was the swan song of the classic era Purple.

Blackmore was replaced by excellent guitarist Tommy Bolin who had a difficult task filling the key position of a heavy rock guitar hero. He did his job well and in some parts his slide guitar solos are more than excellent. The songs are still short, almost radio- friendly, and quite accessible for listening (although not entirely on the first listen!). The style can be described as progressive hard rock with funky elements present in Hughues' strong and groovy bass parts and Lord's synthesizers solos (replacing partly the signature Hammond organ). The playing is strong and confident, although one can notice the lack of original ideas. The ending part of the album takes you instrumentally closer to typical prog rock with extended solos and slow tempo moods ("This Time Around"/"Owed To G"/"You Keep On Moving").

Hardly an essential album in any way, it is a worthy record that should be checked in order to taste the band for the last time during their break-up.


P.A. RATING: 3/5

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars Burn had been a rebirth for the band after the lacklustre Who Do We Think We Are album. Stormbringer was basically a Xerox of Burn. Here with Ritchie Blackmore out of the picture (he would go on to greater things in Rainbow) They made yet another watered down copy on those albums. Sounds often like Whitesnake, which is never a good thing.

Only good song here is the Medley: This Time Around / Owed to 'G'. The rest is mediocre at best and even Stormbringer is better than this.

Only for fans and collectors.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars A good, but quite inferior album done by one of the great bands of the 70's. When I heard Come Taste The Band for the first time I could almost tell they were in their last legs. The songs are short, there are few good solos and few real good moments. Tommy Bolin was a great guitarrist alright, but it's hardly the best choice for Deep Purple, since his style is so different from Ritchie Blackmore. Bolin's fans may expected something jazz rock, and DP fans (like me) wanted them to go back to the glorious old days. In the end you got neither. This CD showed the band not really knowing where to go.

However, there are some brilliance here and there. The opener is a good rocking number, Drifter has a good riff and a great middle part, but the only true gems are the rare times Jon Lord had the chance to come out and show his skills: This Time Around (great Glenn Hughes song and his voice here is absolute gorgeous), the instrumental Owe To 'G' and the last track You Keep On Moving (a rare Coverdale/Hughes colaboration, with a shinning Hammond solo by Lord). The rest is ok, hard rock/funk numbers with excellent musicanship but way below everything the band has done since DP MK II started.

Given time they may have gotten the act together and release something better, but internal feuds, some member's heroin addiction and bad timing would prevent that. And sadly it would be one of Bolin's last records, since he would soon die of drug overdose by the end of 1976. What a waste!

Good, but not essential. Get all their earlier CDs before tackling this one. I rate this album between 2,5 to 3 stars.

Review by The Quiet One
5 stars Come Taste The Funk (''And said man your music is really funky'')

Believe me or not, Come Taste the Band was my first purchase by Deep Purple. I had already heard lots of their singles, and really enjoyed the whole band; Ian Paice's heavy use of the hi-hat became an instant favorite thing of mine; Lord's Hammond-Organ both in the riffs and solos made me a fanboy of both, the Hammond and Jon Lord himself; and then of course Ritchie Blackmore's riffs and solos were always stunning and powerful for me, but always thought he missed some emotion and groove. And as for the vocalists on board, each were pretty original and strong generally. So why did I purchase this hated and maligned album by them? Simply because I had never heard a single song from this album, while from the others(that were in the CD shop) I had at least heard two songs, and what I really wanted was something completely fresh, with no previous listens.

What were my first impressions of the album? Well, I'll be sincere and say that at first I thought it was pretty heavy, yes, laugh if you want, my brother laughed too at that comment, he was already listening to Black Sabbath and The Who at that time. I could barely stand the riffs of Love Child or Dealer, they just seemed to me way too heavy, the only song that grabbed me at first listen and that I became an instant fan of, was the funky rock single from the album, Gettin' Tighter, with that irresistible catchy guitar riff and Glenn's voice, it just couldn't get better than that, could it? Yes, it could actually, with time and more knowledge about the band and music, I've pretty much understood why had my brother laughed at that comment, and also discovered that this album was rather hated by the fans due to the inclusion of Tommy Bolin, and dominance of David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes. But that was not the only thing I discovered, I started to really appreciate the music that this album presented for what it really was; every song showed me something that made me rock-out, either a simple catchy riff or Coverdale's strong voice, or a funky section with a groovy guitar or synth solo, or simply the delicate and well arranged piano/synths and Hughe's voice delivered on This Time Around.

The album as a whole resulted as an incredible mixture of two of my favorite genres/styles of music: Hard Rock and Funk. And now I can really say that it couldn't get better than that, with under-appreciated guitarist Tommy Bolin on board, like Jon Lord said: "He made the band sound so fresh and new I just had to play with this guy. He made the band sound so different and exciting. " While obviously he was very different to Ritchie Blackmore in style, delivering the already mentioned groovy, though maintaining some kind of heaviness, riffs and solos, as well as having a very unique sound, he definitely added to the band something really exciting and fresh. Also with David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes as lead vocalists, I really couldn't ask for more; both turned into some of my favorite vocalists of all-time, which soon lead me to discover the early blues/hard rock-esque era of Whitesnake and the funky/soul-inspired hard rock of Trapeze. Both having very singular voices, Coverdale's bluesy and throat-powered voice which could easily match Gillan's in that sense, while Hughes' soul-esque range of voice also could match and even surpass Gillan's range, but don't get me wrong Ian Gillan is one hell-of a vocalist. Jon Lord, on the other hand, is the only member that I can state that wasn't on par with what he had done on previous Deep Purple albums, his infrequent use of the Hammond-Organ is a big loss for common Deep Purple fans, however he had moved towards the synths that Prog bands had so much popularized, and as a result giving some really nice funky synth solos never heard before by him. Last but not least, Ian Paice, like he had always done, played flawlessly with that dominating and proficiency on the hi-hat that obliges me to play air-drums and go out of control.

Come Taste the Band ends up being an odd-ball in Deep Purple's catalogue, such as Stormbringer, with a pretty radical change of style compared to what Deep Purple was/is known-of(luckily you may think? For me it's unfortunately), but what a fantastic odd-ball it is! While Deep Purple MK II fans would be disappointed for the funk style, as well as for the lack of the Hammond-Organ, these type of fans should have predict it, since Deep Purple was no monotonous band which stayed always firm to the classic Hard Rock roots, and that's already shown with the Mark 1.

The one-of-a-kind blend of funk and hard rock, with Tommy Bolin's dominating and singular riffs and solos makes this album a masterpiece for fans of either Coverdale, Hughes or Bolin.

Review by Kazuhiro
3 stars "In Rock" DP was formed, and it made to year seventh and the band faced the maximum crisis though their activity from now on looked gone a glance. They have grown to existence that the world of the lock of Britain is pulled with Zeppelin etc. and the existence of DP is called a pronoun in the world.

Secession to the band of Gillan and Glover also influenced the music character and directionality. And, the ditch of the band extends gradually and finally causes the secession of Blackmore by the route of Hughes-Coverdale and the dissension of Blackmore.

It was Tommy Bolin to try the guitar in place of seceding Blackmore. At that time, he guesses knowing in the United States comparatively well compared with other countries. In the first half in one's twenties, Bolin was already active in the band that was called "James Gang". And, the work that informed the world of the name of Bolin was "Spectrum" of Billy Cobhum. Impression is received to the guitar of Bolin with this album that Jon Lord that proceeded to the house of Ian Paice heard. This "Spectrum" greatly influences the work of the following Jeff Beck, too.

There is an opinion made that it is Blackmore according to a certain theory to introduce Bolin to the band, too. However, the real intention is not certain. However, it might be certain that a new wind for the band was sent including various details. The fan to be disappointed at the performance of the extent band that is listened to "Stormbringer" of the former work is not few. When Bolin joined the band, the fan might have had the element of hopes and fears. "In Rock" If the flow from now on is considered, DP at this time might considerably revolutionize the route. However, they surely transformed and established a more original route here. The fact that Bolin is almost related to the composition might be appearance of his talent. The start as new DP existed certainly here as a result in this album though the composition of a straight lock stood out.

Review by Chicapah
1 stars By the time the weary Deep Purple released this, their 10th studio album, they were hardly recognizable from the dark violet, world-class luxury liner (that had sold nearly 15 million LPs) they once were, looking and sounding more like a lavender tugboat in dry dock. When tumultuous in-fighting nearly disemboweled the band at the peak of their popularity a few years earlier they jettisoned two miscreants from the ranks and brought in vocalist David Coverdale and bassist Glenn Hughes. This resulted in their showpiece effort, the supercharged "Burn," that gave the group's flagging career a much-needed shot of adrenaline. But, like many revived marriages, the same differences of opinion, overblown egos and bad habits eventually resurfaced to wreak havoc. This time it was their revered guitar god, Ritchie Blackmore, who filed for divorce and joint custody of the hits. The remaining quartet broke with their Brits-only tradition and recruited his replacement from the colonies, wisely enlisting the services of a heralded gunslinger from Sioux City named Tommy Bolin. They figured this handsome shredder and his respected rock & roll pedigree/credentials would give their troubled band a major kick in the caboose (and he did to an extent) but, unfortunately, he couldn't fix what was ailing Deep Purple. Their illness had gone terminal ere he even crossed the pond.

The cause of the crippling deficiency in their creativity can be diagnosed by taking a gander at the writing credits. I picture the initial welcome-to-the-club meeting with Tommy going something like this. "We're totally blown away by your flashy licks and your groovy threads, Yank, so we want you to join up pronto. You will? Right on! By the way, do you have any song ideas? We're fresh out." Bolin, not known for his writing abilities per se, thus was saddled not only with the daunting task of filling Blackmore's stilettos but also with providing seeds for the newest crop of songs. Add to this the jaded Jon Lord's preoccupation with waiting for someone to buy a copy of his personal "Gemini Suite" from the year before, and you have poor Tommy left to work with the dubious penmanship of Glenn and David. Not surprisingly, therefore, this haphazardly-constructed album is as dull as its cheesy cover design. Small wonder they called it quits for 8 years after this one. And, as far as it goes for finding any remnants of their progressive rock roots? Fuggit about it. That Deep Purple sleeps with the fishes.

You know you're in trouble when the strong, bold "we are here to rape and pillage" opening chord with Bolin's trademark Echoplex whirling into the beyond like a screaming banshee is the apex of the entire album. That's no exaggeration. It slopes steeply downhill from there. That confident promise made at the start of "Comin' Home" proves empty as they proceed to bore you into a coma with this lifeless specimen of below-average formula rock. Coverdale's high-pitched, neutered Chihuahua wail is vapidly emotionless as he delivers juvenile lyrics along the lines of "now that we're all back together/gonna shiver 'n' shake all night/I just gotta say the music I play/will sure 'nuff make you feel alright." (Somewhere Yeats feels threatened. Not.) What really strains your patience, though, is the middle 28 bars (yes, I counted them) they consigned to newbie Tommy forthwith to fill with razzle-dazzle guitarisms. Hey, the kid's good but that would be a tall order even for the likes of Jeff Beck, if you catch my drift. Alas, it proves to be too much canvas to paint for Bolin and you kinda feel sorry for him. It's a noisy mess.

"Lady Luck" is next and though Tommy can't be blamed for its composition, it still lays there dormant, drawing flies like a ripe cow patty. It suffers from the despicable disco beat that was all the rage in '75, the song structure is as tired as a first year law student and there's absolutely nothing of interest going on unless you're fascinated by words like "c'mon give me what I want/pull me up, lady luck/if I see you again/I will call you my friend/c'mon shake me." Git down wid your bad self, David. (James Brown, your "Godfather of Soul" status is secure. R.I.P.) "Gettin' Tighter" does have an energetic guitar riff going for it and, while helium-timbered Hughes is no Paul Rodgers, he manages to sing with a little grit and passion throughout. The Anglo-funk bridge is clever and Glenn actually lets fly with a pre- Michael Jackson "woo-hoo" long before its time had come. (Hughes, you should've nabbed the patent.) Despite the stupid lyric content ("You say you're feelin' fine/it's getting' tighter all the time.") this cut comes closest to being listenable even though Bolin tries too hard to wow us on his guitar ride and ends up being sloppy. Someone should've told him sometimes less is more.

"Dealer" follows and it's a prime example of ho-hum, run-of-the-mill rock and lousy arranging. The sappy bridge they force into the midsection is ridiculously out-of-place and it kills whatever trace of momentum they'd mustered at that point. Here Tommy cranks out one of his better solos but the song is too tedious to give a flip. The track could've benefited from some hot organ but Jon is AWOL for most of this project. Oh, and then there's the scary words that Coverdale delivers ever so seriously. "If you fool around with the dealer/remember soon you'll have to pay/he'll creep behind you like a hunter/just to steal your soul away," he warns us. Just say no, youngsters. "I Need Love" is next and the nothing-a-chimp-couldn't-whip-out riff, the uninventive two-chord verse, and yet another Caucasian funkfest will have you nodding off into your Rice Krispies. This was intentionally aimed at the mindless dance crowds of the day but they wouldn't have given this stinker a spin on a $10 dare. Bolin throws in some spiffy spasms toward the end but they can't save it from the stigma of David refusing to keep his pony in the barn and reeling off sexist zingers like "your body was honey/I tasted a lot/but let me tell you babe/I need more than you got." Let's act like we didn't hear that, mm'kay?

"Drifter" sports a heavy, plodding beat that's as much fun as a migraine. These guys in their laziness recorded one of the most drab cookie-cutter rock numbers I've ever heard. It makes no impression on the listener at all. Coverdale sums it up best when he sings "takin' air, an' movin' 'round/is all I can see that I'm doin'/an' it is bringin' me down." You and me both, brother. "Love Child" is a sort of throwback to Purpler days with its dense, droning atmosphere. The backsliding Lord actually makes an appearance but he only mucks up the tune with an extremely lame and reedy ARP solo. At this juncture it becomes noticeable that David sings exactly the same on every song on this album. Probably cut them all in one day before noon. The same morning he penned all these fabulous lyrics. "You can walk thro' fire/make the north wind blow/squeeze 'n' tease me honey/when you shake your body/you move my soul," he screams with faux conviction. Sounds like an Austin Powers line to me.

Jon must've brought in some leftovers from his solo thing because they clearly state in the liner notes that he played all the instruments on "This Time Around." It doesn't help to know that, though. The piano is a nice change of scenery, for sure, but it's sorta Gino Vanelli-ish and way, way too lounge act schmaltzy. The second half of this cut is an instrumental by Tommy called "Owed to G" and it possesses a sliver of attitude and swagger, making it almost worth a spit. They let the record die an agonizing death with 5:18 of filler junk entitled "You Keep on Moving" that has no direction, no punch, no power, no excitement and no purpose for being. Yet there, right in the middle like a tiny pearl in a sty, is a swell Hammond organ ride from Jon that's completely wasted in this quagmire. David and Glenn have the audacity to sing "you keep moving far away, far away." Do tell. Can you blame us, fellas?

I know, I know, I can hear the dedicated Purps out there saying "Chill out, Chica, these guys didn't get famous because of their poignant prose in the first place so why crucify them here for their lack of literacy?" The answer is that if I limited myself to critiquing only the music contained on this disc the review would be two paragraphs long and what's the fun in that? As far as quoting lyrics goes, I merely let them hang themselves with their own shank of rope. The fact is, this doomed-to-fail incarnation of Deep Purple asked their fans to "Come Taste the Band," without sampling the fruit of their own weedy vineyard beforehand. If they had, they would've found that this watered-down, puny vintage had a dearth of character and body. This bottle of wine is of the screw-top variety that's imbibed only to get drunk on, not for savoring the bouquet. I'll admit I didn't expect much from this album and I wasn't disappointed. Yet it never ceases to amaze me that groups of this caliber are willing to put their name on baskets of road apples such as this. Shame on them. It belongs in the same category as their abysmal "Who Do We Think We Are?" fiasco and that's about as low as a band can get.

Review by Negoba
4 stars This is not your Daddy's Deep Purple

COME TASTE THE BAND is the only studio offering by Deep Purple Mark IV, but the album's significance really is all about the new member, one legendary Tommy Bolin. Bolin was brought in from the James Gang to fill the dark boots of Ritchie Blackmore, but instead Bolin and Bassist Glenn Hughes took hold and changed the band into their own creation. The new band resembled the James Gang more than Purple during the majority of the rock cuts, and was its own beautiful entity at the end of the album. Interestingly, veteran Ian Paice seems to love the new ride, and his work is varied, interesting, and energetic. Alternately, Jon Lord's offerings are limited but solid. David Coverdale's talented pipes and impaired lyric writing skills are his usual, though at this point he's mimicking Paul Rodgers rather than Robert Plant.

I picked this album up in the early 90's as part of my Tommy Bolin obsession, and had it pretty much memorized. Like many of my old albums, I lost it around the turn of the millennium, and only recently downloaded it. My first impression of the album was being surprised at just how much it rocks. Surely, bands doing this style of music were a dime a dozen in the mid-70's, but few or none had this level of talent top to bottom. The band is tight, and the level of swagger and attitude are on full display. This is rock n' roll to move your backbone! It is no surprise Bolin funked up the signature "Smoke on the Water" riff live, for this band just didn't seem to have that degree of plodding linearity in them. The peak of this is the US single "Gettin' Tighter" which features Glenn Hughes singing over a Bolin riff straight from his James Gang days and including a purely 70's funk-fest for a bridge.

This is not Tommy's best work, but it's not bad. (His tracks on Alphonse Mouzon's "Mind Transplant" are my favorites.) By the time of the recording of this album, he really wasn't growing much as player. Drugs already were occupying a bigger and bigger part of his life and would all too quickly wreck his playing and then take his life. Part of him knew this, as addiction was a frequent theme in his songwriting. His angelic vocal bridge on "Dealer" sounds exactly like what it was, a singular soul being torn away. But before that terrible descent, we get some last morsels in the closing of the album.

Starting with "Love Child," the riffing becomes more serpentine, syncopated, complex, and nastier. The line grooves, but it's more of the forboding crunch Bolin would use on his solo works like "Teaser" and more notably "Shake the Devil." Jon Lord adds a rare synth solo spot to the mix on a song that would be great had the lyrical content not been so out of line with the tone of the music. From there we get the gospel-like Lord-Hughes duet "This Time Around," the best vocal spot on the album. This morphs into Bolin's "Owed to G," the only prog song on the album. Undoubtedly inspired by some of his depths with drugs, the piece is another composed piece of heavy texture that is what made Bolin such a monster.

In all his career, Ritchie Blackmore has never created a musical world as lush and beautiful as the few minutes contained in "Owed to G." People, guitarists especially, sometimes fail to get Bolin's genius. It's easy to say "I could play that." Though his technique was strong when he was sober and focused, it was pentatonic and his bag of tricks was easy to hear. And yet, his tone and attack were singular. Even without his trademark echoplex, one can instantly tell when Tommy was playing. Along with a remarkable ear and a true rock bravado, the energy he added to music was unmatched. Every record he played on was as much a Tommy record as the artist, whether it was Purple or Billy Cobham or Zephyr (his first major band and the one where he really developed into himself.) There was a reason he was in demand, a reason he got the high profile gigs he did.

There is really only one song that sounds like what this group would have been had they tried to make a real Deep Purple record. The final track, "You Keep On Moving" is a slow burner that finally features Lord's Hammond which mixes well with Bolin's echo-ey texturing. But the song is really a feature piece for Glenn Hughes, whose interplay with Coverdale is quite good. The song is one of the few that actually sounds great on the live "Last Concert in Japan," which was marked by Tommy faking his way through the set with a half working arm wounded by a bad needle stick.

COME TASTE THE BAND has a special place in my history and my heart. It's a great rock n' roll album, a strong Tommy album, and contains tastes of what the immensely talented Deep Purple Mark IV could have become. I'm going to give a biased 4/5 stars though it's probably between 3 and 4 somewhere.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars SNAFU (Situation normal, all funked up!)

Upset with the direction Deep Purple had chosen with their previous album "Stormbringer", lead guitarist Richie Blackmore left Deep Purple for the first (but not the last) time. The Glenn Hughes led funk orientation of that album had also left many fans cold, Blackmore's departure seeming to indicate that any hope of a return to the band's signature style had been well and truly killed off.

In Blackmore's place came Tommy Bolin, "Come taste the band" being the only studio album by Deep Purple on which he would appear. With Gillan and Glover also still missing from the line up, fans were justified in questioning whether this should have been marketed as a Deep Purple album at all.

Bolin wastes no time in getting involved, his co-writing credit on all but two and a half tracks immediately showing that he was not just there to play what was put before him. This does mean though that the band is pulled even further away from both their roots and their classic years. The brevity of most of the tracks means that Bolin does not get that many opportunities to break free on lead guitar, but when he does so on tracks such as "Dealer", he proves himself proficient. His guitar sound is less technical than Blackmore's, and as such fits in well with the chosen style of music here.

Tracks such as the sub 3 minutes "Lady luck" and the following "Gettin' tighter" leave me pretty cold, being similar to the pop funk of the previous album. Things plunge even further on the anonymous filler "I need love", where the strutting lead guitar and pregnant pauses are little more than painful clichés.

Tracks like "Drifter" are more pleasing; here there is some genuine energy. Even then though, Glen Hughes voice is just too soul based for my taste. Even with the broadest of minds, this is not what Deep Purple are all about.

The final tracks are the best on the album. The two part "Medley" is a pleasant (if out of place) rock ballad and a Bolin guitar solo joined as one. The "medley" aspect of the track appears to have been added simply to ensure the writing credits were split correctly, it essentially one piece. The closing "You keep on moving" is the longest stand alone track on the album (the "medley" is slightly longer) at just over 5 minutes. This bluesy ballad offers some fine organ work by Jon Lord and good vocal performances from the writers Hughes and Coverdale.

In all, for me "Come taste the band" ranks alongside "Stormbringer" as a low point in the Deep Purple discography. Admittedly, there a couple of decent if unremarkable tracks, but here Deep Purple once again explore an inappropriate path. Plenty of other bands with better pedigrees in their chosen field were making music such as this.

History records that after this album and a long hiatus, the classic line up would reconvene for the superb "Perfect strangers" album, but for almost a decade "Come taste the band" appeared to represent a rather indifferent end to the career of a legendary band.

Review by tarkus1980
3 stars Instead of splitting up when Blackmore swore off and at the band, Deep Purple soldiered on, replacing Blackmore with one Tommy Bolin. I honestly don't know that much about Tommy; I know that he was once a guitarist for The James Gang (not that I've heard any of their stuff), and by and large is regarded as a good fusion guitarist who achieved legendary status upon dying of a heroin overdose a year after doing this album. Were I to judge him solely by this album, I'd have to say he's pretty danged alright; I don't enjoy him as much as I do Ritchie, but he certainly adds a good deal of life and color to the proceedings.

It's largely for that reason that I somewhat prefer this, the only studio release of Mk. 4, to the two Mk. 3 albums. Tommy may not be quite the guitar god that Ritchie is often considered, but given the choice between an apathetic Ritchie (who seemed to loathe the funk cliches forced upon him) and an enthusiastic Tommy, I'll go with the latter any day. The other band members may not be that much better at making funk rock interesting than they were before, but at least now the guitarist and bassist are obviously happy with each other and with the band's direction, as opposed to the guitarist wanting to chop the bassist's balls off.

Still, it's hard to give the album too high of a rating when that's the main thrust of my arguments in defense of the album. This album is actually reasonably enjoyable when it's on, but I just can't get my mind to treat Deep Purple playing 45 minutes of funk as much more than background noise, and that's a tough hurdle to get over. Once again, Lord and Paice may as well be any of a billion session musicians, not making any truly interesting or unique contributions, and Dave's still Dave.

That said, Tommy does his best to keep everybody enthused, and that at least somewhat rubs off on me. The opening "Comin' Home" is kind enough to start with cool feedback noises, and at least is a fairly up-tempo funk number (nothing like the metallic blasts we've become accustomed to as openers, though). "Lady Luck" has a hook or two, "Gettin' Tighter" manages to occasionally get my booty shaking (a MAJOR accomplishment), and ... well, the rest of them are enjoyable when on, even though I haven't the slightest idea which song is which from looking at song names, or how any of them go. Oh, wait, I remember that "This Time Around" is a fairly low point, with Glenn trying to deliver a moving, anthemic soul ballad, and sounding just as horrible as that prospect looks on paper. And come to think of it, the closing "You Keep on Moving," atmospheric and anthemic as it could have been with some other bands, just makes me giggle when I think that it's Dave and Glenn trying to be atmospheric and anthemic.

In short, if you can get past the fact that the only improvement here is that the guitarist actually cares, while all the previous flaws are still in place, you might actually enjoy giving this a whirl. Don't pay too much, though.

Review by Guillermo
2 stars For this album, Tommy Bolin replaced Ritchie Blackmore. Bolin was a very good guitar player and he also composed most of this songs in this album with other members of the band, particularly with David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes. There is a mixture of musical styles in this album. By one part, the band played songs with some Heavy Metal / Hard Rock inlfuences but with a Funky taste, and by the other part there are some songs which are more influenced by Funky and Soul ("Getting Tighter", "I Need Love", "This Time Around / Owed to G"). The bands sounds very well, but it is not easy to say that this is an album from a band called DEEP PURPLE. The remaining original members of the band (Jon Lord and Ian Paice) really sound like they acted more like background musicians, leaving to Bolin, Coverdale and Hughes to do most of the songwriting and arrangements . Even if there are some Hard Rock / Heavy Metal influences, this album sounds even more far than their "Stormbringer" album from their original musical stye. Even Coverdale sounds a bit like Sammy Haggar in some parts, which is not bad but it is not very related to DEEP PURPLE as a band. Unfortunately, Bolin had substance abuse problems which increasingly affected his guitar playing on tour, and the band finally split in March 1976 after the tour for this album. This album looks and sounds more like a last attempt to keep the band alive. But even if Lord and Paice gave the band that opportunity to survive for more some months after Ritchie Blackmore left the band, the band was a tired band, maybe working more to satisfy contractual obligations and management demands than to be really happy to work together. Bolin died in late 1976. The "Classic line-up" of the band (Blackmore, Gillan, Glover, Lord and Paice) reformed in April 1984 and lasted for several years playing together, with some problems which finally made it split again, first in 1989, and later in late 1993.
Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Prior to the release of "Come Taste the Band", Deep Purple had lost their iconic vocalist Ian Gillan a few years ago and had added the soulful vocals of David Coverdale, which basically changed the classic DP sound. However, sales were still positive and DP's management pushed for more tours and more albums. The band was getting worn out and Ritchie Blackmore hated the new sound, especially the line-up's 2nd album "Stormbringer". He hated the funky and soulful vibe the music had taken on so much that he left the band. Only two members, Jon Lord and Ian Paice remained from the famous Mark II line-up, and now they found themselves missing a lead guitarist.

Everyone know the story, and Tommy Bolin was hired to replace Blackmore, who had gone on to form Blackmore's Rainbow. Bolin had a background of having played for The James Gang and had released a solo album, so he was somewhat known. However, his guitar style was completely different. Coverdale and Hughes were now more free than ever to pursue their different sound for the band, and both of them were surprisingly open to allowing Bolin to help in writing the songs. Bolin was afraid that he wouldn't be able to handle the famous Blackmore solos, so he was allowed to make a huge contribution to the sound. Hence, the unique sound of this record among the other Deep Purple albums.

Many would argue (and still do) that this is not really a DP album. But, the fact is, it is a DP album. This album is a direct result of where the band was headed. The songs are heavy, lyrically driven, and, thanks to both Coverdale and Hughes, more soulful, funky and radio friendly. For me, the first side of the album is full of forgettable tracks, with nothing standing out much except for a cool, funky section of "Gettin' Tighter", which ends up being too short with the funkiness being quickly lost in Hughes smothering vocals. Coverdale and Hughes both had the same styles of voice, so other than that small section, even with two lead singers, the songs sound way too similar and nothing seems to pull the listener in.

Nothing much changes on the first half of the 2nd side of the album, it's just more of the same style, same smothering vocals and not enough in the instrumental area that would capture the love of the earlier fans. It's not until you get to the last two tracks that anything interesting happens. The first highlight comes in the "melody" track which still doesn't sound much like the DP of previous years, however, it is an excellent unique style that stands out from the rest of the repressed sound of the rest of the album. The best part is the 2nd part of the Melody which is called "Owed to G", an instrumental track that shows off Bolin's own playing and writing style, proving that it is much different from Blackmore's, and also proves that maybe without Coverdale and Hughes influence, Bolin really needed to be in a different band. The final track "You Keep on Moving" is also very good, with great hooks and an overall sound that stands out from the rest of the album.

None of the music on this album is progressive, but the last two tracks are good enough to raise this album up one star above the previous album "Stormbringer" which only had a nice looking cover going for it. Yes, CTtB ended up getting great sales at the beginning, but soon took a nosedive and ended up being one of DP's lesser known albums, with no singles that performed well and with sales dropping quickly. Bolin was correct in saying that he wouldn't be able to handle Blackmore's solos on the older songs that fans demanded be played in concert, and fans would "boo" when he messed them up. This whole thing was unfair for Bolin because he was a good enough guitarist, but he had his own style that was very unlike Blackmore's. Also, a lot of the blame can be put on Bolin's impairment due to his reliance on drug use, which would end up taking his life after he released his 2nd solo album soon after CTtB was released. The band ended up breaking up after this and management said they would not play together as DP again. It would be almost 10 years before DP would reappear, reuniting under the classic Mark II line-up again, and prove that this is really what the fans wanted.

In the meantime, you have this weak album that has two great tracks on it, but sounds nothing like the DP from before, and because of this, the fans and the band have basically disowned it. However, in my opinion, it is a little bit better than "Stormbringer", but still a long ways from the excellent material that was produced during the Mark II phase. It's a sad story and one that could have had a better ending if it had been released under a different name, but the public and management wanted the name for recognition. The album is not a complete throwaway, but it's not one that anyone should search high and low for. 3 stars.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Purple is hardly a real prog band though they sure had their moments with longer compositions like "Burn" and "Highway Star" and "Child In Time". By the time this album came out they were stripped down to originals Lord and Paice but still had that Purple sound. Ian is unmistakable in his drummi ... (read more)

Report this review (#2849887) | Posted by Sidscrat | Friday, November 4, 2022 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Tommy Bolin replaces Richie Blackmore and instantly becomes one of the most unlucky guitarists ever. How can you fill such gigantic shoes? You can't... Let's see why this album is mediocre, track-by-track: Comin' Home: Fast Rock 'n' Roller that offers nothing fancy, and it's probably the less ... (read more)

Report this review (#1378714) | Posted by BigDaddyAEL1964 | Friday, March 6, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 7/10 And once again I'm not disappointed ... Blackmore exits, Bolin enter. This was the only album the band with him, but I say that your work leaves nothing to be desired. Also influences funk / R & B continue weight here. It's weird to give a high rating on the albums with low ratings, b ... (read more)

Report this review (#890853) | Posted by voliveira | Thursday, January 10, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars When Tommy Bolin entered Deep Purple everyone was very curious how he could replace Ritchie Blackmore's seat, a really big task indeed... Tommy Bolin made his first steps with James Gang, where he played a mix of hard rock with southern rock (together along with Joe Walsh - Eagles - ) and had som ... (read more)

Report this review (#497623) | Posted by Silent Knight | Friday, August 5, 2011 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Only the name remains.... If this album had been recorded under another name than Deep Purple, I seriously doubt a record label would had even touched it even with a bargepole. The music here is pretty spectacular devoid of any quality. It is a pity that this is the only Tommy Bolin era Deep ... (read more)

Report this review (#298324) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Friday, September 10, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars "Come Taste the band" is the only Deep Purple Mark IV's studio album and to be honest is much, much better than "Stormbringer". Released in 1975, it features Tommy Bolin on guitar, replacing Blackmore, after he quit forming Rainbow; the album is absolutely more energetic than its predecessor, wit ... (read more)

Report this review (#283453) | Posted by Malve87 | Tuesday, May 25, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This album is definitely better than Stormbringer and much more pleasant to listen to either. But Come taste the Band sounds more like a forerunner to Whitesnake and that means the band wasn't coming even close to the standards of the masterpieces of 1970-72. But The Black Beast on guitar went a ... (read more)

Report this review (#165829) | Posted by strayfromatlantis | Sunday, April 6, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In one single word : perfection. Ritchie Blackmore is gone, but the power is still here. Tommy Bolin is a good guitar player, Glenn Hughes is very talentuous (and he sang well on Gettin' Tighter and This Time Around), David Coverdale is a great shouter (Comin' Home, Lady Luck). This is one of th ... (read more)

Report this review (#164752) | Posted by Zardoz | Sunday, March 23, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars What's the context here ? Blackmore left the band (his last live appearence on 7th April 1975 at the Paris Olympia), we've no Gillan and no Glover. The only formers of the classic line up are Ian Paice (who is the only member who was in ALL Deep Purple albums) and Jon Lord. It was David Coverd ... (read more)

Report this review (#99415) | Posted by Barla | Saturday, November 18, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Generally considered the lowest point in DP '70 history. And yes, I agree. But there are at least 2 great tracks, Love Child and You Keep On Moving. Blackmore went away, but Tommy Bolin was an excellent replacement (I suggest to hear him play in Billy Cobham's Stratus, great album indeed). It' ... (read more)

Report this review (#80745) | Posted by giuliano | Friday, June 9, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The sequence "This Time Around" and "Owed To G" is, in my opinion, the best of this good album of hard rock (it is a good exemple of how this style of rock is or was influenced by the Blues). As the majority of the previous albuns of Deep Purple, you will not find progressive music there. Mayb ... (read more)

Report this review (#71519) | Posted by claudss | Thursday, March 9, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars First off, this is not progressive rock. What it is is fairly decent, competent hard rock. There is the usual hard rock with bluesy influence, characteristic of Deep Purple. It is a step up from the previous studio effort Stormbringer, and even better than Burn, in my opinion. Actually, I' ... (read more)

Report this review (#56289) | Posted by | Monday, November 14, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars If ever their was an album,that was totally overlooked and massively underated "Come Taste The Band" is it.This album is so different to anything Deep Purple had released up to this point,yet it's still powerful yet it has so much style and is very much on the funky side,something blackmoore h ... (read more)

Report this review (#56274) | Posted by | Monday, November 14, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A great album! Tommy Bolin is one of the most underrated guitarists in rock in my opinion. He proved to be a talented songwriter, an inventive rhythm, and outstanding lead guitarist. It's a bold statement but I think Bolin is a better guitarist than Blackmore. Tommy's songwriting and playing c ... (read more)

Report this review (#56109) | Posted by | Sunday, November 13, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Come Taste the Band is a GREAT ROCK ALBUM, probably the most consistent of the Coverdale/Hughes era and with no shadow of a doubt the hardest rocker they released since Machine Head. Tommy's playing is inspired and lot more diverse than Blackmore. You have hard rock in the shape of Comin Home, ... (read more)

Report this review (#47978) | Posted by | Friday, September 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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