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


Deep Purple



3.22 | 549 ratings

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3 stars This album was published in October 1968, a mere three month after the first DP record (I am talking of the U.S. releases here). It is therefore obvious that THE BOOK OF TALIESYN is basically in the same vein as its predecessor: self-penned material is alternating with cover versions. IMHO this second offering is a bit stronger because the bad tracks are not as weak as the ones on the first album.

I always liked the opening track - LISTEN, LEARN READ ON - the melody is not ordinary, the snare drum is very fast (too fast?) but gives the whole thing a special tinge. Next comes the fine instrumental WRING THAT NECK, which had to be re-titled for the U.S. release as HARD ROAD. KENTUCKY WOMAN (by Neil Diamond) is the first of the three cover versions. It is suprisingly aggressive but at the same time a bit thin, as if the band were not really convinced of that number. EXPOSITION steals a few characteristic bars from the Romeo & Juliet Overture by Tchaikovsky and leads into WE CAN WORK IT OUT. This version is so bad one can only say: let it be. Next come the DP compositions SHIELD and ANTHEM, what a relief and 12 minutes of pure bliss. This is MK I at their best, those numbers are equal to the 3rd (April) album. The last track is a 10 minute version of RIVER DEEP, MOUNTAIN HIGH. Its bombast is ridiculous but at the same time necessary, because else the album would have ended with a whimper.

So, LISTEN, LEARN READ ON, WRING THAT NECK, SHIELD and ANTHEM are the essential tracks here. The over all impression is that the band was still without direction, but beginning to find it. As said at the beginning of the review, this album is better than Shades of Deep Purple. There are more good songs on it and the failures are not as hefty as on the first one. The development that led to the overwhelming 3rd album is recognisable, .

Three well earned stars.

strayfromatlantis | 3/5 |


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