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Deep Purple - Deep Purple CD (album) cover

DEEP PURPLE

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

3.61 | 624 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is the swan song for Rod and Nick. The descent in the chart position which goes on dangerously ("Shades" (24), "Book" (54) and this one only peaking at Nr. 162 in the US - still no appearance in the UK) and the weakness of the lead singer will lead to their sacking (Rod could never convinced me as a leading vocalist though).

This album, is much better than "Book" and features more original work than "Shades". The cover of the record is a copy of the fabulous painting from the Dutch painter Hieronymous Bosch :"The Garden of Eartly Delights". Great artwork. Their US record distributor will go bankrupt while the record was issued. It is said that this led to the cancellation of a tour in which Purple would have been the supporting act for ...The Rolling Stones !

"Chasing" is probably their first "hard-rock" attempt. It has lots of percusions (reminds me at time ... Santana). It ends quite abruptedly. "Blind" keeps on with the pysche flavour. The song ends with a good and almost classic keyboard work.

The Donovan cover "Lalena" is quite emotional. I like this song very much. For this rendition, I do recognize that Rod's voice is very good. Melodious and quiet. Their most "lyric" song of the Mark I era, definitely. Again, the keyboard break is wonderful. "Fault Line" is a short instrumental quite dispensable. "The Painter" intro sounds like "Hush". Same feeling and flavour. Good guitar solo from Ritchie and again a great Jon. A very decent number. Next song " Why Didn't Rosemary" is also very good : pure rock & roll like the Purple has never produced before. At times bluesy as well (specially during the solos). The rythmic work is very strong : Nick and Ian are doing a great job here. "Bird Has Flown" was meant to be a single B-side (this says enough ...). Not great. It sounded familiar to me but I did not realized why at the first hearings. My entry album from the Purple was "Fireball" which I purchased in 1971. This song will influence "No One Came" an awful lot.

"April" is a wonderful epic. It is a very long song (more than twelve minutes). Actually, this is the Purple longest studio track. I would say that it is a suite made up of three pieces : Part one, commences on a flamenco mood with great acoustic guitar work. It turns into an electric part which is very emotional (I like emotions). Part two is classical piece of music of about another four minutes (and indicates maybe the next "In Concerto"). Although classic music is not my cup of tea, I admit that this part is really good. The type of choir introducing this part around minute four is gorgeous. Part three is more in the vein of a standard Purple song (Mark I). The finale is bombastic, with a great guitar solo and good backing vocals.

This song is the most prog one of the band. It will pave the way for bands like ELO (only ELO could have produced this if the Purple had not done it before). It is the absolute highlight of their whole Mark I era. The remastered version has five bonus tracks. A short alternate version of "The Bird Has Flown" which works better than the full blown one (which was too long and boring). So, from time to time a cut version might be a good choice. Their tentative hit single "Emamaretta" which will be a complete flop (reaching Nr. 128). One understands why when listening to it ... The last three tracks comes out of the BBC Top Gear sessions. The sound is much better than the ones on the remastered "Book". The highlight of these three, is of course "Lalena" even if it is substantially shorter than the official version (same for "The Painter"). During their Mark I period, Jon Lord has dominated the band and is really the key person. His organ play is fabulous (even if it sounds a bit outdated at times). Ritchie is much more in the "shadow" but this will soon change. By the time the album will reach Europe (during Mark I, they were first released in the US) the band was already rehearsing with Ian Gilan and Roger Glover (you know, Mark II). But this is another story. Three stars for this effort (although "April" deserves five).

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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