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DEEP PURPLE

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

3.61 | 624 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Probably Deep Purpleīs most obscure record ever. Their third Mark I release would also be their last: singer Rod Evans and bassist Nick Simper would be soon sacked to be replaced by Ian Gillan and Roger Glover respectively. I was always curious about this album, but for some reason only recently I found it in a friendīs record collection and he was kind enough to let me borrow it for some time. Upon hearing it two things were quite clear: first, they still didnīt have their own sound. Second, they were already so good (technicly) they could have tackled almost any style of music.

Deep Purple, the album, is a good collection of tunes that shows the group growing bolder and more confident in terms of songwriting and arrangements. Thereīs a lot of experimentation here and most of them succeed in one way or another. The percussion driven opener Chasing Shadows is a good example of their willingness to try different things. Blind is another, with Jon Lord adding nice harpsichord lines while Blackmore does a quite Hendrix-like solo. Their version of Donovanīs Lalena is good too: nice ballad featuring maybe Evans best vocal perfomance ever.

There are some hints fo the future DP sound in songs like Painter and, specially, Why didn't Rosemary? (it could have been on Fireball). But the recordīs highlight is surely the 12+ minutes opus April. This is their most challenging song so far, some parts foretelling their next move, Concerto For Group And Orchestra. Great acoustic guitar intro, long and inventive instrumental parts, some of Lordīs most interesting orchestral arrangements and a stunning perfomance by all involved. This track alone is worth the price of the CD. Not that is a masterpiece, but it was an incredible bold move and a tour de force for a band that was still sharping their talents.

Conclusion: a (very good) transitional record. Deep Purple tried some new things and some of them would not be used again, but the lessons were well learned and it is no wonder they became so huge. They had the potential since they arrived and this CD is clear proof of their evolution. April is their most progressive track ever, I guess, and any proghead should hear it. Deep Purple was one of the fathers of Heavy Metal, but they also could have been a prog band. And, in a way, they always were.

Rating: 3,5 stars.

Tarcisio Moura | 3/5 |

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