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Deep Purple - Come Taste The Band CD (album) cover


Deep Purple



3.20 | 499 ratings

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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.

tarkus1980 | 3/5 |


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