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DEEP PURPLE

Deep Purple

Proto-Prog


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Kotro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars If there is an album worthy of inducting Deep Purple to the Archives, it's this one. The Mark I formation is still my favorite to date, and despite the quality of other line-up's, I do regret the departure of vocalist Rod Evans (I must say I do prefer Glover to Simper). Although quite different from the high-pitched Gillan, his voice fits perfectly in Jon Lord's and Ritchie Blackmore's playing and composing. "Deep Purple" is indeed a Progressive Rock effort, although sometimes with a heavier edge. Songs like "Blind", "Fault line/Painter", "Bird has flown", and the fantastic "April" remind me of what would later be known as "Italian Symphonic Prog", although, well... in English... I would love to give it a 5 star rating, but I'll have to settle for a 4. I do this because, although in the general musical panorama it deserves a 5-star rating, it is not a Progressive Rock masterpiece, the kind to define the genre.
Report this review (#46634)
Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars 2 1/3 stars

The Second album from Deep Purple has more original material, but the musicianship of this album is much weaker than DP's debut album.

Chasing Shadows is a mediocre hard rocker that is not a great way to start the album (for me). Blind is a good symphonic rocker. Lalena is a nice mellow track with a good keyboard solo. Fault Line is extremely repetitive and weak. The Painter follows Fault Line and it is a better track. "Why Didn't Rosemary" is driven by a simple rhythm and has good guitar playing all over the song. "Bird has Flown" is a rocker with a mellow keyboard solo close to the end. April is the closer and easily the best track of the album. As reviewer Kotro pointed out, this song sounds like Italian Symphonic rock. There is also something unique about it : This is 1969 and this song is purely progressive rock!

1. Chasing shadows (3/10) 2. Blind (6/10) 3. Lalena (6/10) 4. Fault line (1/10) 5. The painter (6/10) 6. Why didn't Rosemary? (5.5/10) 7. Bird has flown (4.5/10) 8. April (7.5/10)

My Rating : D+

Report this review (#46648)
Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars A big 5 out of 5 for this one, but good luck finding it on vinyl. At this point in America, their first label, Tetragrammaton (owned by Bill Cosby), went deep in bankruptcy and only sold this album for two or three months. Bummer! Anyway, this marks the change from their R&B/Vanilla Fudge influence to heavy metal rock. Very dark tunes (listen to the first track Chasing Shadows, really creepy) and beautiful ballads as well, like a jazzy take on Donovan's Lelena (sounds better than Donny's original) and Jon's full-blown classical opus April (almost had me to tears). Even The Bird Has Flown has Jon and Ritchie throw amazing solos with a crescendo finale. You won't regret picking up this gem. It also marks the end of Roddy Evans tenure as lead singer.
Report this review (#46717)
Posted Thursday, September 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Lest anyone be deceived, this is only an OKAY album, and certainly no masterpiece. It's good to see people supporting Deep Purple - a band's I've admired for over 25 years - but this isn't representative of their later work, and isn't even very progressive.

What you'll find here is decent late-60's rock. The sound is dated, but there is competent guitar and keyboard work. With singer Ian Gillan not yet in the band, and the band trying to find it's sound and songwriting skills, one should not expect too much at this early stage of the band. Better to get into their later material before settling with this.

Report this review (#46760)
Posted Thursday, September 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is probably the most progressive - and best IMHO - Deep Purple album.

There's not one single bad track in this album, though I usually don't feel like listening to Lalena, but even that one doesn't take away anything. I was stunned when I first heard Blind, and Lord's magnificent harpsichord solos in it. For years it remained my fave DP track, and one of all time faves. The transition from Fault Line (a very original track for the time, with reversed tape) to Painter is something like an early DP trademark (remember Happiness to I'm so Glad and Exposition to We Can Work It Out) this time with the exception that the vocal track is not a cover!

The conclusion, April, is the first of DP masterpieces, and probably their only suite (with the exception of Concerto, which may not be regarded as suite..), showing hints of what was to come: Concerto. This one is even better than Concerto (though, unlike many, I love Concerto) and has everything you might expect from a multi-part prog-rock suite. April alone is worth buying the album, and the only weakness is that it is too short.

Those who aren't yet acquainted with DP's exceptional music will find a good place to start here. And warning: after this, things change totally, though the spirit will remain!

Essential!

Report this review (#47630)
Posted Wednesday, September 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars Purple's third album comes to peak in its own genre: proto-prog! The awesome Jerome Bosch gatefold sleeve was arresting enough , but some of the music is the album is really outstanding!

Starting with the great Chasing Shadows (a fave of mine) with Ian Paice showing us a few tricks notably a cow bell and the calm and moody Blind with spine-tingling harpsichord, the album comes to a beautyful stop with the superb rendition of Donovan's Lalena. A bit lenghty , but does Evans have a great voice! Then comes a real treat with Fault Line and its reverse drums recording as a prelude to the explosive The Painter, Purple shows us some real gifts in moody and climatic music.

Why Didn't Rosemary is certainly the kind of track Blackmore was really pushing for as he was becoming a bit restless and felt it was time for changes (to come soon). Bird Has Flown is probably the weakest track around on this album (and I never knew whether there was a link with The Beatles's Norwegian Wood track), but it appears to me as rather lenghty! But then comes the real treat: the three part April which can be deconstucted as an almost Acoustic Purple with Blackmore and Paice taking the show with Lord underlining a superb melody as the Overture. After some 5 minutes, comes the "Pičce De Résistance" when Jon Lord finally dares writing classical music and what a job he does with a reduced unit (as he completely missed out for the Symphonic Orchestra in the Concerto , their next album) and rivetting writing (abeit a bit derivative odf Classical masters) . The orchestra then pause a second than gives a chord once , then twice (as if Purple had missed out on the cue the first time) and comes the explosion. They really blow my mind with this Finale , where they manage in threeminutes to giveof their best of themselves and a superb farewell to the album (and as it turned out to the now-named MK I line-up and toprogressive rock in general). Stupendous and some 30 years later , I cannot listen to this track once, I have to replay it again!

Then after this album will come the changes we all know and Purple will be one of the creators of Heavy Metal (as Zep and Sabbath will also) and some proghead see them as the grandfather of progmetal , something I am not all trhat sure about but why not? Anyway they will kick arse severely ! But I do have a soft spot in my heart for this first line-up who in three albums , managed a superb Oeuvre noew defined as Proto-prog! Great job , guys!!!

Report this review (#47634)
Posted Wednesday, September 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This was the weakest album by Evans/Simpler line-up of DEEP PURPLE. I think that the only good songs on this one are the excellent "The Bird Has Flown" and "April", which is a prelude for the coming "Concerto for group and orchestra". The song is divide in three parts, where the first is a classical influenced music played by the band, second part being a classical composition for chamber orchestra, and the third part being a basic blues rock version of the theme by the band again. Somehow most of the tracks sound uninspired and weak, and some musical experiments like parts being played backwards sound horrible. The painting by Hieronymys Bosch with the guys added in it is a quite neat cover though.
Report this review (#48438)
Posted Sunday, September 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The zenith of the Mark 1 version of the band and the last album to feature Simper and Evans who were fired in favour of Glover and Gillan.

To those doubters who say Deep Purple were not progressive, I say check out this album. Imaginative playing and inventiveness abound, Lord plays hapsicord on Blind and there's backwards organ and drums on Fault Line. The extended suite April has a mellow opening and features Blackmore on acoustic guitar!! A woodwind section in the middle and a triumphant ending. In fact it's much more effective that Lord's own Concerto which he completed soon after, the track is the high point of the album. Let's not forget Paice as there is some great drumming. Chasing shadows is one of the most effective and original album openers ever.

I don't own the remsater so can't comment on the additional tracks. Essential Purple listening and 4.5 stars really.

Report this review (#49722)
Posted Sunday, October 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars a good good album, with very high moments, the best album of the mark I. it starts with chasing shadows (8/10), a really moved song with a great work of ian paice and nick simper. blind (9/10) is a nice song with emotive keyboards. lalena (5/10) is an uninspired song, the ballads are not too compatibles with deep purple. fault line is more a nexus between lalena and the painter than a real song. the painter (6/10) is another moved song like chasing shadows, but not is good as the opening track, it's a rock n' roll as each other, anyway it has a great moog solo and is very well played. why didn't rosemary (3/10) is a mediocre rock n' roll with uninspired guitar solos, just some lord arranges makes that this song doesn't be an absolute waste of time. bird has flown (10/10) brings back the good moments to this album. maybe it doesn't be a masterpiece of music, but i like very much this song and that is a good reason to give it perfect rate. april (20/20) is truely a masterpiece of music, an incredible jon lord's effort. he shows here that he probably can't make "hits", but he can make amazing songs like this.

total: 61/80 very good!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Report this review (#54311)
Posted Tuesday, November 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars To me, this is the album (along with the following orchestral album) that tipped the scales for DP. Up to now they had been very progressive and experimental but probably not very profitable. When this approach failed to generate massive sales they turned to being a lot more ROCK oriented with the aptly named LP "Deep Purple in Rock." Not that there's anything wrong with that in any way, shape or form. I'm very glad these recordings are still around because you can hear the early prog influence that they were dispensing to impressionable young ears at the time. Not all of it works, but then you can say that about early Yes and Genesis albums, too. No matter what, you've got to dig Blackmore's highly "metallic" tones and the group's over-the-top arrangements. And the cover art rules.
Report this review (#70159)
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
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).

Report this review (#105145)
Posted Monday, January 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Was April not the first ever group & orchestra collabaration. When will Deep Purple ever get the credit for being one of the first ever 'Progressive Rock' bands as they were called in the 70's. Everyone calls it 'prog rock' now but that never existed back in the 70's - all that existed then was 'Progressive' - think ELP, Yes etc & Progressive Rock of which Purple were the finest exponents.

They were brilliant in this formation even before the thoughts of Gillan & Glover, this album set the standards for orchestra collaboration which Purple themselves continued with Concerto & as such should be one of the higlights of any 'prog' fans collection.

Report this review (#108751)
Posted Wednesday, January 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chris H
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The end of an era!

Deep Purple's third studio album, the self-titled "Deep Purple", marked the end of the under-appreciated Mark I era of the band. Lead singer Rod Evans and bassist Nick Simper were kicked out the door to be replaced by the screeching Ian Gillan and the steady handed Roger Glover. Although the Mark II line-up has the far more popular albums and individual songs, this Mark I line-up is miles ahead of the other line-ups in terms of being able to keep a steady beat and have the backing rhythms all in order. Set aside the fact that Rod Evans can't even begin to compare with the vocals of Gillan, and you realize the Mark I line-up deserves more credit. Now, this album was their first major output of original material. Only containing one cover song, this time it being Donovan's "Lalena", their music did get a tad repetitive, but hey every band starts somewhere with new material. Most of this album seems like a letdown if you hear the Mark II albums first, but compared to the first two albums this a huge step forward.

The album kicks off with the incredible "Chasing Shadows", which features an excellent tribal drum beat and some nice bass work by Simper. The vocals are repeated a few too many times, but the massive Ian Paice drum solo that closes the song is well worth the wait. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Ian Paice is THE greatest progressive drummer hands down, and he does it all on his little Ludwig kit. Skip the uneventful "Blind" and arrive at their only cover song, "Lalena". Rod Evans is at his career peak here, still nothing special but he gets the job done. Certainly no comparison to Donovan, but a lot worse justice could have been done to the song. "Fault Line" contains nothing of interest, and then we come to the A side finale, "The Painter". Ritchie seemed to have been sleeping on the previous songs, so your ears aren't prepared for the riff ambush the erupts when "The Painter" kicks into gear. This is probably the song that gave birth to your favorite Mark II songs like "Speed King" and "Smoke On The Water". The B side contains the boring "Why Didn't Rosemary?" and the straight forward rocker "Bird Has Flown". Make it past these and their 12 minute three part suite, "April" beings. The first two parts have a very operatic feel, probably the base of their live album to follow. The last part is the only way to end this album, loud and heavy with great riffs and more amazing drumming. The first 9 minutes is worth sitting through to hear this piece.

The best of the three Mark I albums, without a doubt. However, it is still not essential to a casual Deep Purple fan. if you are interested in big hits, look elsewhere. If you are interested in hearing the sounds that the early line-up cut their teeth on and how the "classic" line-up got their inspiration, this is the album for you. Any rock n' roll fan should pick this up if you come across it, but don't go and search for it.

3 stars for the music, and add another half for Ian's amazing solos.

Report this review (#113406)
Posted Saturday, February 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The third, self-titled, album of DEEP PURPLE is by far the best of the early period including the Mark I line-up. The band were finally capable of making their own developed original songs, with only one cover - the excellent rendition of Donovan's psychedelic ballad "Lalena". There is no weak track on the album, starting from strong heavy rock opener "Chasing Shadows" up until the symphonic leanings of "April". There are still a lot of psyche elements mixed with jazzy, improvisational hard rocking and real proto- progressive expansion of the sound. Even the cover design incorporating the band members into the Bosch's XVI century surreal painting "Garden of Joy" is very good!

Unlike many similar work of the era, "Deep Purple" is never boring; each track has its own identity and the listening experience is diverse and challenging. Hard-rocking boogie of "The Painter" and "Rosemary" (anyone mentioned Roman Polanski?) combines nicely with wonderful psyche prog of "Blind" (perhaps the best moment on the record) and "Bird Has Flown". In fact, if you are to investigate low points of this album, the most obvious flaw is too extended symphonic orchestral piece that somehow breaks the integrity of "April" composition.

As someone who is not a fan of the band's most popular Mark II period that spurred the development of heavy metal, "Deep Purple" comes as a big surprise and shows how many pieces of wonderful music are still buried in the vaults of history. It is a shame that none of these songs have been properly introduced to the public, always giving preference to the undisputed classics of metal genre but also largely outdated and quite banal juvenile works such as "Speed King", "Child in Time", "Smoke on the Water" or "Highway Star". This album is probably the most "progressive" album in DEEP PURPLE catalogue (and along with "Burn" most unfortunately neglected), therefore it is highly recommended to listen.

PERSONAL RATING: 4,5/5 P.A. RATING: 5/5

Report this review (#132044)
Posted Monday, August 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars On their third self-titled outing Deep Purple start sounding more confident about their future direction. Compared to the first two, here the amalgalm of adventurous proto-prog and boogie hard rock is much more wholesome, without the sentiment that they had to throw on a bunch of fillers and covers to make the album reach 40 minutes. Furthermore, Rod Evans mostly decides to get rid of that awfully affected voice, and he sounds great here, very similar to youthful Greg Lake. The album starts out strongly with three proggish tracks. Out of these "Blind" really stands out with the harpsichord riffing and a very good vocal performance by Rod Evans. These three songs are followed by a simpler bunch three blues-rock songs, similar to Cream, Jimi Hendrix Experience, etc...Out of them especially "Why Didn't Rosemary" and "Painter" foreshadow the hard rock direction the band would take with the classic Mk.II, however the musicians still sound a bit too restricted to groove convincingly. Finally we get to the 12-minute full-on proto-prog track "April", dominated by neoclassical sounds of Jon Lords organ and Ritchie's acoustic guitar (which unfortunately didn't make an appearance on any of DP's classic string of albums). In the middle there is a detached section featuring string and wind arrangements by Jon Lord. Altogether the whole attempt at classical rock sounds amateur and awfully dated, but perhaps the Purps should be given props for trying so hard. This album is the one to get for those wishing to explore DP's early proto-prog roots! Unfortunately, the band was losing commercial base despite their musical growth, only reaching #162 on U.S charts, full 138 places behind their debut! The fellas saw a need to revamp their sound completely, resulting in the next two releases, that were basically purified versions of this album, one being in the classical rock style of "April" and the other building up from the hard rock foundation.
Report this review (#135636)
Posted Friday, August 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Transitional

Deep Purple's eponymous album was in fact their third, and the final part of the Mark 1 trilogy. The growing confidence of the band is reflected in the almost complete exclusion of cover versions, the sole exception being the relatively obscure Donovan song "Lalena". Within the band, the writing credits are reasonably well spread, with Jon Lord having a hand in all the other songs, and Ritchie Blackmore in five of the eight tracks. The songs themselves are generally kept shorter and tighter than on the first two albums, the 12 minute closing suite "April" being the only song to last substantially beyond 5 minutes.

The opening "Chasing shadows" has early hints of the direction Blackmore and Lord wished to take the band in, the basic rhythm being vaguely reminiscent of "Black night". Blackmore's wah wah guitar solo, the echoed vocals and the driving Hammond organ are all reminiscent of the sound of the fledgling Uriah Heep who appeared around the same time. "The painter", preceded by the experimental "Fault line" is similarly heavy, displaying Blackmore's growing confidence as a virtuoso rock guitarist.

There are a couple of more ordinary and now dated sounding songs such as "Blind", which is a dull harpsichord backed pop ballad. Likewise, "Why didn't Rosemary" is an average plodder saved only by Blackmore's fine intervention. "Lalena", the Donovan cover, is a delicate ballad in the "Come away Melinda" mould, which affords Rod Evans the chance to add one of his best vocal performances. The song is a straightforward crooner, but it is a fine one nonetheless.

The final track "April", is an adventurous, largely instrumental piece featuring an orchestral arrangement, vocalising and some fine instrumental work. It is quite unlike the rest of the album, and indeed anything else the band have recorded with the possible exception of Lord's "Concerto" and the stillborn "Gemini suite".

It is significant that the album was released in the USA over six months before its appearance in the band's UK homeland. By this time, Deep Purple were making good progress in the States while still virtually ignored at home. That said, the album sold in poorer numbers than its predecessors. Significant changes were required in personnel and direction, and these would being to be emphatically addressed before the album had even been released.

The remastered version of the CD includes 5 bonus tracks. Two of these ("Lalena" and "The Painter") are alternative versions of tracks on the album, recorded during a BBC session. The third is a single version of "Bird has flown" which preceded that which made it onto the album. The two remaining tracks are different versions of "Emmaretta" which was a non album single B side (of "Bird has flown", the songs were reversed for the US version of the single).

The sleeve illustration is taken from a painting called "The Garden of Earthly Delights" which is owned by the Vatican. The original painting is actually in colour, the use of black and white on the album being the result of a printing accident.

Report this review (#143287)
Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This one is among my favorite Deep Purple albums, I don't like much the so called classic period with Ian Gillan (I just can't support his voice). However we must be honest with history, none Deep Purple's releases can be considered as part of progressive rock roots. This is classic rock with heavy tendencies and some nice instrumental sections, but there's nothing really innovative or revolutionnary in the way of composing and playing instruments. The same thing can be said about others 70's hard rockin' bands mentionned in the archives. Shades of Deep Purple was a weak album, The book of Taliesyn was just correct and this self title is certainly the most personal, refined of the three. This album contains certainly their most proggy moments despite some naive pop aspects. "Chasing shadows" is an effective acid pop song with a nice groove and cool fuzzy guitars. Blind is a beautiful nostalgic ballad mixed into a dreamy- psych vibe, with enigmatic neo classical arrengements (clearly among the best, my personal favourite and definitely progressive for this time). "Lalena" is an other emotional, langorous composition with a nice keyboard accompaniment and brillant hammond organs solos. "Fault Line" is a trippy psychedelic piece instrumental with weird effects and fuzzy guitars, short but essential. "The painter" is a punchy rock'n roll composition with a strong groove. "Bird has flown" is a bombastic heavy rockin' exercice with wha wha guitars, nothing really suprising and rather basic despite some epic Hammon organ interludes. April figures among Deep Purple forgotten classics, a vibrant neo-classical epic composition wih a really original musical aesthetic. This album is the supreme reference if your are looking for the most progressive / eclectic / emotional side of the band.
Report this review (#160141)
Posted Tuesday, January 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars So this is it, the first album to teach me that there are records out there I can enjoy from the first note to the very last one. This album is perfect, at least IMHO.

CHASING SHADOWS capitalizes on the frenetic drumming. The lyrics deal with one of Jon Lord's nightmares. The end of that song comes as a comlete surprise - either the guys ran out of tape or Jon comes suddenly awake. BLIND is the secret highlight of the whole Purple catalogue. The atmosphere of this song - created mainly by the vocals, the harpsichord and the drumming - is unforgettable. Donovan's LALENA is the only cover version on this album. It is a slow, mellow song that fits Ron Evans' vocals perfectly. Pure beauty, this one. The backwards tape of FAULT LINE leads into THE PAINTER, which sets a faster pace and is a hilarious song with excellent drumming. WHY DIDN'T ROSEMARY is the most obvious rock song of the album with a long guitar solo in the middle and tongue-in-cheek lyrics on birth control. BIRD HAS FLOWN displays a heavy side mostly neglected by DP (I can only think of NO ON CAME from the FIREBALL album as a similar example). And as if all these tracks weren't perfect enough, we are offered APRIL, the much hailed prog suite. What a giant step from the band that relied heavily on cover versions to this daring approach. Here DP show that they got guts.

I think MK I got better from one album to another. The same goes for the artwork. The artwork of the first album I find dull and uninteresting, the second one has an artwork by a modern artist inviting the eye to explore the details. Using a section of a painting by Hieronymus Bosch for the 3rd album we have a masterful artwork for a masterful record.

5 perfect stars.

Report this review (#162179)
Posted Tuesday, February 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars First step in creating symphonic progressive rock in 1969 was this album . Many bands at that period , specially italian , french & german bands did a thanksful job in this prospect . But , for Deep Purple it was their best achievment ever in 40 years . Apparently they got the credit in later stages , but still this album contains one of the best tracks ( April ) as far as progressive concern . In fact April convinced me in 1970 that Classical / Jazz & rock can be matched , if talented artists such as , Roger Glover is involved in the making of this Masterpiece . Yes , in fact 3 songs in this album was enough for this critical rating imoo , Blind , April , Lalena 5 Stars , bird has fown , chasing shadows 3.5 stars . - n.b = Taking into consideration the weakness in this album , still it's more then excellent & essential for all proggers , so , just enjoy it ................................. Tracks Toni .... 4.5 Stars really .
Report this review (#168726)
Posted Saturday, April 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars This is without doubt the best realized of their early albums. It is better produced and sounds less rough than the first two albums. Here for the first time they wrote almost all the material themselves and it is all the better for it. No Beatles covers this time.

You could argue that this is also the most progressive Deep Purple album. Chasing Shadows features interesting percussion, giving it an almost Latino feel. It comes to a very abrupt ending, and Blind takes over - a harpsichord driven ballad with some classical influences. Great! Again, with interesting drums, not your regular rock beat here! The song ends with the harpsichord playing without any backing by other instruments.

Lalena follows, another ballad, very mellow and the only cover on this album (originally a Donovan song, I think). This song is driven by floating Hammond organ and mellow electric guitar with quiet jazzy drums in the background. Good, but not exceptional.

Fault Line opens with an effect that could have been on a rap album!! Then a guitar solo comes in on top of it, very psychedelic. Then The Painter kicks in, the first real rocker on this album, it sounds very much like the songs from the previous two Deep Purple albums. Again, good but nothing outstanding. Fortunately, at only just under four minutes, this song doesn't drag on for very long. Why Didn't Rosemary follows in a similar style with several organ and guitar solos.

Bird Has Flown is another rocker that tends to drag a little bit with its improvisational organ workout. Probably the least good track here. April, a 12+ minutes symphonic piece with grand piano, acoustic guitars, choir and full orchestra ends the album on a high note. It is certainly not a masterpiece, but probably the best of all of Deep Purple's symphonic attempts. The vocals don't come in until almost nine minutes into the track!

This album is the place to start if you want to discover Deep Purple's early pre- heavy metal days. We must keep in mind that this was 1969 and neither prog nor heavy metal existed yet. Deep Purple would go on to create heavy metal with their next album, but here they were as much proto-prog as proto heavy metal. In 1969 Deep Purple were not too far away from what Yes were doing on their debut album. As with Yes' debut album, this album too has mostly historical value, but it is still a very nice addition to any prog collection if you want to know about the roots of progressive rock.

Report this review (#177490)
Posted Sunday, July 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This third album by Deep Purple represents significant milestones for the band in three things. First, it was the last album when the band's American record company went bankrupt so the band was in limbo while they were basically broke. Second, it was the first time that Deep Purple explored their musical horizon using string arrangement in track called "April". Third, it was the time when Deep Purple fired Rod Evans and Nick Simper, so it was the end of Deep Purple Mark I. The rest is history that they entered Dep Purple Mark II which was then considered by many music critics as the peak line-up for Deep Purple. In my case, when I was teenager, actually I was not aware about the term "Mark I" or "Mark II" which actually meant "line-up". At that time, it was like the terminology only applied to Deep Purple.

Personally I like this album even though it's not considered as great albums by many people. But if we look at the foundations of Deep Purple music in the later stages, this album represents key elements that letter characterize Deep Purple music. Blackmore's stirring guitar and backward effects on `Fault Line,' foreshadow the same techniques used on `The Mule' from the 1971 Fireball album. This third album was influenced by classical music like Bach and Rimsky-Korsakov. This album did not yield a hit single and was not categorized under rock album. The material did not receive enough airplay or limelight. The music represents a blend of psychedelic, experimentation (observe "April"), and British rock. The cover of Donovan's `Lalena' is so well performed that it should have been considered as the band intention to go pop (?). The experimentation is rampant in Ian Paice's heavy percussion of the opener `Chasing Shadows'. Actually, in the history of prog rock, "April" contributed as milestones in progressive rock movement as it contains Deep Purple experimentation with string arrangements. Overall, this is a good album that represents critical milestones of Deep Purple. As we all know that after this album Deep Purple released "In Rock" (1970) which then was used as blueprint for their later music making, instead of pursuing the "experimentation" elements in "April": bein a true progressive rock band. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Report this review (#182177)
Posted Thursday, September 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Oh, what DEEP PURPLE could have gone on to become had Richie stayed with the band and they had continued on this path but alas, they are forever to be known for the easiest guitar riff played at least 12 times a day on any local classic rock station. Don't get me wrong, I like Smoke On The Water but we are just friends. It took me years do discover Purple had a prog side. When I first heard this album it was like a blessed angel had delivered it to me, telling me to go forth, let the people know that there is DEEP PURPLE outside of Machine Head!. I listened over and over again to this album till alas, I buried my car with this CD forever stuck in its mangled body, good friends gone, DAMNed be the snow! Despite horrible, disorienting memories flying back to me everytime I hear the build for April I can push past it and still listen fondly, in the comfort of my own home. Anyway, if you are prog inclined than this album should easily represent to you DEEP PURPLE's musical peek. And spread to good word if you will, let the people know there was a self titled! LET THEM KNOWWWW! I am torn by rating definitions because while I believe this album to be essential listening for all rock fans, prog or otherwise, I wouldn't call it a complete masterpiece. 4.4444444444444444444 turnpike spins ending in the guardrail, only to be hit by a truck and end up in the median out of 5.
Report this review (#192129)
Posted Sunday, December 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The homonymous album by Deep Purple is the best one of the 60s for the band. The good news become more and more for Deep Purple. There is only one cover - Lalena, the songwriting and musicianship credits are much better than the previous releases. This would be the last album for Rod Evans and Nick Simper with the band. They were fire after the album. It's strange for me, because of the progress of Deep Purple at that time. On this album Ritchie Blackmore is already proven guitarist. The genre is still the same with the previous two albums with little harder nuance. But it doesn't show what is yet come - the true hard rock period for the band. Probably, because of the line-up changes - the genre of the band had changed dramatically after this album. Being a 1969 release Deep Purple has a strong psychedelic influence. The best songs on the album are Blind and April - the longest and one of the best Deep Purple's compositions. Why Didn't Rosemary contains strong rock & roll structure, while Bird Has Flown revealed big musical potential by the band members. Blind is one of the best ballads made by Deep Purple - contains strong artistic vocals made by Rod Evans and dramatical feelings. April shows the whole band collected in one composition. Classical/rock mixture arranged in mature manner. But after the changes late in the same year, the band have to wait for its first and biggest masterpiece - In Rock one more year. Deep Purple - Deep Purple: 4 stars!
Report this review (#194634)
Posted Monday, December 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Legend Of Zelda soundtrack?

I bought this cd for 3 dollars from one of those drug-store discount bins. Best impulse buy of my life! At the time I was unfamiliar with anything from Mark I (except Hush), but Mark I is easily my favorite now. Although keys take a role on much of their catalogue, never were they utilized with such power. It's a shame the band altered their direction after this release, for they had a great psychadelic/blues thing going.

I come from the Nintendo generation, and the original Legend of Zelda was a staple back then. I don't know who wrote the orchestral parts of April (the closing track), but the Legend of Zelda has almost identical music and sound effects. I can't listen to the beginning of that song without picturing a sword-weilding elf fighting various dungeon creatures on his quest to save the princess. Youtube it, you'll agree.

On with the album- Chasing Shadows is a fun song with a great driving rhythm and is a solid opener, followed by Blind, my personal favorite. The ending to Blind is perfectly intense. Lalena is a Donovan cover, and not a bad one. Moody and fitting here. Faultline is an effects filler, but I like it and it leads well into the Painter, which is a decent rock song. Why Didn't Rosemary? is my least favorite track on the album. Not a bad song at all, just out of place and sounding of later Deep Purple works. Bird Has Flown is a pretty song with an enchanted feel, much like the epic closer.

Chasing Shadows(9/10) Blind(10/10) Lalena(7.5/10) Faultline(7/10...for a filler) The Painter(6/10) Why Didn't Rosemary?(3/10) Bird Has Flown(7/10) April(10/10)

Although not a masterpiece by any means, this album is absolutely underappreciated, and will likely be one of my top 25 favorites for life. A true gem. 4.25 stars.

Report this review (#199648)
Posted Sunday, January 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars When Listening to "April", try not to forget that you are listening to a Deep Purple album !

Purple's eponymous album is the last one with Rod Evans as singer and Nick Simper as bassist and then the last studio album before "In rock" (excluding the Concerto for Group and Orchestra).

It starts off with a very catchy hard rock number named Chasing Shadows. There is a highly present section of assorted percussion in this song. I do have to say that I have found Evans and Simper brilliants in this one. It is one of the highlight of the album.

Then the album goes in a collection of songs very reprensentative of the sixties : "Blind" is surely a tipical song of those years, "Lalena" is very intersting, and "Rosemary" more bluesy.

Then come "Bird Has Flown" which is a good blend of hard rock music shifting from a mood to another remaining consistant.

And finally, April which worth the price on its own. It starts as a psychadelic moody instrumental for the fist third of the piece. Then it switch for a (about) 5 minutes middle section played by a string ensemble. The 3 last minutes is a harder Deep Purple finale ; harder but still moody. We can see in "April" what will be some of the future Blackmore's interest.

In conclusions, a lots of very good moments album concluding by a fantastic 12-minutes instrumental.

Surely worth the listen.

Report this review (#212218)
Posted Thursday, April 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars the third album of the British Hard Rock band "Deep Purple", this Psychedelic Masterpiece, not Progressive masterpiece, but The book of taliesyn and the Concerto, was the most progressive albums of the band.

1-Chasing Shadows Very unusual song, with african percusions and Psychedelic Wah-Wah Guitar Solos, it's a masterpiece of the Experimental Rock of the Mid of the '60s (1967-1970), very excelente song.

2-Blind a Proto-Prog song, this song have influence of the Medieval and Baroque Music, combined with pop music, this song it's pretty good.

3-Lalena the only cover of the album, before was a Folk Ballad of Donovan Leitch, but Deep Purple was made of this song a Jazzy Ballad, and the Riffs was the embryonic Riffs of When a Blind man Cries of the '72.

4-Fault Line the most unusual song was purple ever made, was a very short song, 1 and ?, what a Rare song, the song it's a Experimental Psychedelic Song, with a Recoding of the Drums, Cymbals and Organ in reverse, the psychedelic Bass of Nick simper and the Fuzzy Psychedelic Wah Vibratto ES-335 guitar of ritchie Blackmore, was a Really, Really Unusual song.

5-The Painter The Painter, a Psychedelic Hard Rock explossive song, with a Acid Guitar Solos, and Lisergic Sound, was a perfect combination of Hard Rock and Psychedelic Pop, 3 stars.

6-Why didn't Rosemary? other unusal song of the band, the song it's a 100% bluesy song, not Rock & Roll, the song have 0% Rock & Roll and a 100% Blues, very excelent song, with fabulous solos.

7-Bird has Flown the most Psychedelic Song of the Hard Rock of that Era, after Iron butterfly was made In-A- Gadda-Da-Vida, Jefferson Airplane in '67 was made Somebody to Love and other songs, This song was more psychedelic than Somebody to love and in-a-gadda-da-vida, the song have a Very Psychedelic Wah Guitar, and a Ethnic sound of Drums and Heavy Beat, was one of the first songs of the Hard-Psych, very Psychedelic song.

8-April a medieval, renacentist progressive song, it's a suite of 3 Parts.

1-the medieval part the first part have a medieval rythm, it's pure medieval music., very beautiful.

2-the renacentist-symphonic part the second part it's pure symphonic music with violin, chelos and other wind instruments, very good.

3-the progressive part the progressive part, it's a part of pop-Rock music combined with the same Medieval Rythm of the first part, very excelent.

9-The Bird has Flown II it's a more Agressive version that the LP version, very excelent.

10-Emmaretta very Hippy song, with Psychedelic wah Guitars, Flower-Power Rythm and very romantic lyrics, excelent song.

Conclution.

very Psychedelic album, (Not Progressive).

Calification: 5 stars

Report this review (#241235)
Posted Friday, September 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
Kazuhiro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The power of this album might be a work in the work of the first stage of Deep Purple by which Rod Evans and Nick Simper were on the register that should be called very excellent Art Rock. The popularity might be a little few for the music of the band at this time. However, the music that they had already done might have been in the region of artistry and high Music. There is a part where the shadow of the performance that the member of the second stage did as making the sound has already been seen, too. And, it is an element of Blues and an element of psychedelic in the music characters of them done at this time. And, it will have the flow from which essence as Art Rock is splendidly shown.

It was also true that the discord of the member of the band had already surfaced at time when this album was announced. The directionality of the band that the member thought about became a dissension and appeared. In Rod Evans, the fact that relations Nick Simper are related to the work of "Warhorse" is a well-known fact to the formation of "Captain Beyond". And, Tetragrammaton Records of the sales agency of this album is driven in in the state of the bankruptcy. Various factors enclosed the band as a situation of a band at that time. Various ideas of the band that found directionality the way it should be of the band and to have to face from the album and the selections might have become preparations of one Hard Rock of the following Deep Purple to the part.

The guitar of Blackmore might give the impression of keeping from in this album. However, the flow that the music at which Blackmore and Jon Lord had to aim at that time and the idea are made an embodiment as a band will have been a flow connected with the legend and the masterpiece.

Flow of part in which "Chasing Shadows" Hard Rock and Blues Rock. And, "Blind" etc. where the taste of the song of Rod Evans is expressed well splendidly express the composition of the album. "Why Didn't Rosemary?" where good feeling of Blues is expressed might be suitable for the flow of the album. "April" etc. expressed as a part of Hard of "Bird Has Flown" and perfect Art Rock might succeed as very high-quality Art Rock.

Flow that band rushes into in age of the second stage. And, the situation and it is likely to have groped at that time at the time of surrounded the band. However, Deep Purple might make the directionality of the first stage in announced the album of very artistry and high Art Rock in this album succeed and receive one the top if it thought about the artistry of the work besides those situations.

Report this review (#244687)
Posted Wednesday, October 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Probably Deep Purple´s 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 friend´s 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 didn´t 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. There´s 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 Donovan´s 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 record´s 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 Lord´s 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.

Report this review (#279580)
Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars They say that strong personalities create magnificent artistry and Deep Purple is definitely a prime example of this phenomenon. Unfortunately there is also a dark side to this saying and right now I honestly can't think of another band that fluctuated as much on both sides of this extreme scale. This basically meant that Deep Purple could deliver magnificent performances which then could be followed up by equally horrendous flops.

Jon Lord and Ian Paice co-founded Deep Purple in 1968 and were also the only constant band members during the golden period from 1968 to 1976. The original lineup (a.k.a. MkI) consisted of Lord, Paice, Nick Simper, Ritchie Blackmore and singer Rod Evans. By the time of their band-titled release the band had already achieved a hit with Hush and Jon Lord continued to dominance Deep Purple's sound and direction. This was the time when Lord's trademark sound emerged and thanks to his frequent experimentation with the Hammond organ he became one of the great innovators of the early prog scene right next to Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman. Unlike those symphonic wizards Lord's style was heavily rooted in the blues sound which he embraced fully on the recordings. To me this basically explains why Jon Lord was a doomed progressive rock artist from the start so there isn't really a need to speculate on how his career would have turned out if he was instead a member of a high profile prog rock band. Incidentally, this is also why most of the early bands like the Moody Blues and Procol Harum could never really cross the barrier into Symphonic Prog territory.

Between 1968 and 1969 Jon Lord had a short lived experimental phase where he tried to fuse classical music with rock. A prominent example of this is the song April which is easily this album's stand out composition. The rest of the material consists mainly of groovy blues rock music without the upbeat compositions that MkII lineup would make Deep Purple famous for in the next couple of years. Blackmore's speed and virtuosity on lead guitar hasn't yet achieved anything noteworthy although there are a few interesting occasions, like The Painter, Bird Has Flown and the first minutes of April, that can be of interest for his fans. Lord's organ sound is often more prominent than Blackmore's guitar which can be considered somewhat of a rarity for a band that features both guitar and keyboard in the lineup. It's almost like Blackmore is playing rhythmic guitar with only few instances where he takes the spotlight.

The band-titled third album might not be as significant to the fans of Deep Purple as some of their '70s output but this is easily the most consistent release from MkI-lineup which is a great place to start for anyone who is interested in that formation of the band. To everyone else this is still a good, but non-essential release.

***** star songs: April (12:10)

**** star songs: Chasing Shadows (5:35) Blind (5:26) Lalena (5:06) Fault Line (1:46)

*** star songs: The Painter (3:52) Why Didn't Rosemary? (5:04) Bird Has Flown (5:36)

Report this review (#280389)
Posted Monday, May 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The first lineup's peak, no less. Apparently, while casual fans of the group have likely never even heard of it, there are many fans who (no kidding) consider this the band's best album ever; while I obviously don't agree with this assessment, I can definitely see where those fans are coming from. Whatever may be, this is definitely Deep Purple's "art-rock" peak, often effectively combining a restrained-yet-mature rock attack with classical passages and interesting studio tricks. Sometimes it gets dull (in my opinion) but there's really not one bad track on here.

The opening "Chasing Shadows," for instance, combines a very crisp, punchy pop song with an incredible percussion rhythm, the first real sign that Paice had developed a style of his own (as opposed to being a really good imitator of Mitch Mitchell). I'd like a little more Ritchie here, who's basically shoved into the background except for one nice solo, but what's here is fine, and Lord's organ solos show that he'd figured out how to make his endless solos go somewhere. Besides, Rod Evans sounds more convincing as a "rocker" on this track than he had on any part of the first two albums, so that's definitely something.

"Blind" is a pop ballad doesn't entertain that much (except for the harpsichord throughout - hey, if a good melody was attached, it could pass for Kinks! Well, maybe not), but the cover of the Donovan track "Lalena" is plenty entertaining, thanks to Evans' delivery. Oh sure, the lyrics have some lousy rhymes, but Evans makes the track emotional despite them almost by his lonesome; sure, the soft melody and organ solo help, too, yet it's definitely Rod's show here. No significant Ritchie dose, but I only notice that after the fact, as I'm too busy enjoying the track when it's on.

Up next is the traditional instrumental-leading-to-a-pop-song track, this time breaking the pattern by doing an original instead of a cover for the track. It also somewhat breaks the pattern by making the instrumental section really interesting - what the hell are these backwards cymbal noises (I think that's what it is, correct me if I'm wrong) doing back in 1969?? Add in a great fuzzy bass riff, some eerie organ noises and a quiet, menacing guitar part (before ending in a really whacky way), and you have something a hundred times as interesting as the corresponding instrumentals on the last two albums. The main song, "The Painter," then manages to rock like a mother in parts, with a fine groove augmented by (you guessed it) great guitar and organ solos that preview the entertaining work of Mk. II well, albeit at about half-speed.

And then ... more rock! "Why Didn't Rosemary?" is a fine fine piece of blues rock, a practically textbook example of how to make generic mid-tempo rock entertaining. Great guitar solos (Ritchie was getting ready to explode, you see)? Check. Great singing? Check. Great organ? Check. Great drum groove? Check. "Bird Has Flown" is a bit weaker to my ears, since I don't dig Evans' singing here as much as before, but it's definitely worth it if only for the background wah-wah.

Finally, there's "April," the big classical-meets-rock suite. Well, sorta - it's more a band- plays-moody-theme/leaves/orchestra-plays-classical-theme/leaves/band-comes-in-and- rocks suite. The ending "rock" part is a bit too tepid for my tastes (that is, it ostensibly "rocks out," but I can definitely agree with the assessment of some that there's not enough real fire to be found), but the initial theme that the band plays is extremely interesting - that is, if you're into slow, moody electric guitar notes over a somewhat martial acoustic- guitar+organ theme. The choir is a bit of a tacky touch, if you ask me, but whatever. The orchestra section is ok, too.

So that's the end of Deep Purple Mk. 1 - very, very good in some places, no worse than ok in others. Evans and Simper got fired sometime after this album was released, which is probably a good thing (considering that the "classic" Purple albums would hardly be possible with them in the lineup), but it should definitely not be said that they exited after a poor album. Unless, of course, you reeeeeally crave headbanging, in which case you should probably stay away for a while.

Report this review (#283542)
Posted Wednesday, May 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Deep Purple" is the first album of DP Mk1 and in my opinion (but not only mine) is the more close to Prog (with "Concerto..." and "Fireball"). But "Deep Purple", in my mind, not sound so better that his predecessors. After all this is the last album of Mk1, the final battle between Blackmore (Blues/ Heavy Rock) and Lord (Classic Music/ Prog Rock). This album not have great songs but "Blind" and the Donovan's cover of "Lalena" was great songs for 1969 (and "Lalena" is a masterpiece also today). For the rest good is "The Painter" (that is a Proto- Punk song!) and "Bird Has Flown". "Emeretta" is only a single and this song is another DP song that I love. For this motive I love the 2000 remastered version.

So, in my opinion, "deep Purple" is a good album but the Lord/ Blackmore's dualism ruin the final result, in my opinion. It is trur that from "Concerto..." and more fron "In Rock" is another story. And that story!!!

Report this review (#395820)
Posted Monday, February 7, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars The final album of Mark 1 before Gillan/Glover took over and Deep Purple released the utterly brilliant In Rock album. ....... And that orchestra album too. But less said, the better.

Deep Purple still had this heavy hippie sound from the 1960s. But changes were a foot with Blackmore imposing his guitar sound more and more. That was a sound largely carried over to In Rock. The vocalist here, Rod Evans, though got the boot and started up the very good band Captain Beyond. In hindsight and retrospective, this album is more in the direction of what Captain Beyond did than a true Deep Purple album. That is soundwise.

I have rated the first three Deep Purple albums, I have to admit. But this album is actually very good. The keyboards is very good, Blackmore does a great job on guitars, the songs are more coherent than on the previous two albums. This is a true album within a progressive concept. The best song here is April. A very good song. The rest is in the same ballpark too.

This is a good 1960s heavy prog album. For those who wants more of the same; please move to the three Captain Beyond albums.

3 stars

Report this review (#466390)
Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Deep Purple' - Deep Purple (7/10)

The year 1969 could be said to be when the band Deep Purple finally hit their stride. Cutting down on their covers of other artists material and developing their sound into the bluesy behemoth that would pioneer heavy metal, Deep Purple's self-titled third album shows the band somewhat moving out of their cage and doing some pretty adventurous things. Not to mention that they had a symphony and concerto in the works by this point, Deep Purple was meeting their artistic mark, and this record does tend to indicate this. However, as is evident from the numerous throwback tracks here, Deep Purple had not completely moved out into the open yet.

'Deep Purple' is essentially a mix between straightforward bluesy tracks, and more left-of- center art rock. Naturally, the artistic side of Deep Purple shines a little more brightly than does the blues, but overall, the band has a fairly tight grasp on both sides of their side. 'Chasing Shadows' has some very nice psychedelic undertones to it over a blanket of hard rock, and 'Shadows' gives a baroque classical vibe. Keyboardist Jon Lord's contributions really shine here, including an incredible orchestral arrangement in the middle of the largely instrumental final track 'April'. Apart from that, he really douses the songs with some great classical charm, made quite evident by his use of arpeggios and rich organs.

While pieces like the indomitable 'April' really show the band breaking free of rock convention (with parts that sound like they are paying homage to composer Ennio Morricone), there are still moments on this album where the rock is kept straightforward and energetic. While Deep Purple is still as rocking here as they are with their more complex moments, the musicianship doesn't feel quite as good and organic as it was on earlier albums. However, taken into consideration that the self-titled shows Deep Purple trying out new things, this can be excused. Ron Evan's voice is here instead of Ian Gillian who would join shortly after, but while this may not be the Purple's vocalist that we consider to be part of the canonical lineup, he does a good job here, hitting his mark and achieving a warm tone to his voice during the more mellowed moments.

Deep Purple's self-titled is a very good album, and a step forward for rock music at the time, although I would say that the band gets even better with their subsequent 'classic' records. A great piece of proto-metal and art rock.

Report this review (#473251)
Posted Thursday, June 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars And in the end, everything changed. I want to say: after this album the music of Deep Purple is not been the same.

Third album of the training Mark I. A beautiful work. The opening tracks: Chasing Shadows and Blind, slip on the blues, on the rhythm (perhaps without great emotion) and the solo by Ritchie Blackmore. Evans manages to create magic. And we makes enchantment.

Is the stupendous ballad Lalena. A song of the great Donovan.

Then comes Fault Line and Blackmore's guitar begins to dialogue with the Lord Hammond. There are The painter, Why Did not Rosemary? and Bird has flown ... But later, immediately after, arriving April. The masterpiece. The poignant farewell. Or a new renaissance. The organ of Lord, the notes acoustic ... there, in the air ... and after the orchestra ...

And the valley's filled with pain And you can't tell me quite why

Evans singing. A real suite. A perfect combination of rock, classical and 60's. Was finishing something. Was starting something.

In the dark of my mind I can see all too fine, but there is nothing to be done when I just can't feel the sun

Was finishing something. Was starting something.

The cover shows a detail of "Triptych of Garden of Earthly Delights" by Hieronymus Bosch, to which were added to the band members. Grey sky where it should be blue, Grey sky where I should see you? Evans sang, and with good reason ... the cover had to be in color but a printing error had it come out in black and white. But these are only curiosity.

After this album the music of Deep Purple is not been the same.

Report this review (#557944)
Posted Thursday, October 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
FragileKings
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Still in elementary school but already getting into classic- and roots-of-metal bands like Deep Purple, I sought to find the earliest recordings of proto-metal bands, and a cassette copy of DP's self-titled third album happened to be on the shelf of a local record shop. Already familiar with the classics In Rock and Machine Head, and the then recently released Perfect Strangers, I was surprised to hear the very tinny guitar sound of the opening track, Chasing Shadows. But I approached the album with an open mind and to this day I still rate it among my top five Deep Purple albums.

Chasing Shadows has some very innovative percussion work by the remarkable talents of drummer Ian Paice, coupled with a bass line that frantically works to keep up with the pace of the drums. The guitar chords are simple but the wah-wah solo is very typical of the work Ritchie Blackmore was doing at the time and interesting in its stops and bursting starts. The organ solo comes in at the end and seems to follow its own course while the rampant percussion session ploughs on full steam before abruptly ceasing with the end of the song.

Blind is a remarkable rock piece most notably because Jon Lord plays harpsichord throughout with a dramatic, very classically-influenced finale. One person somewhere once pointed out that Ian Paice treats much of this song as a drum solo.

Lanena, if I recall correctly, is a cover of a Donovan song and features the smooth balladeer voice of Rod Evans. It closes with a bit of what sounds like guitar tapping in a gentle classical style by Blackmore.

Fault Line is the band experimenting with backwards recording and is perhaps interesting but thankfully just long enough at 1:46. It leads into the rocking track The Painter where Blackmore shreds his guitar neck and Jon Lord gives his Hammond a serious pounding.

Though more of a 12-bar blues track, Why Didn't Rosemary? (ever take the pill, as the lyric goes) gives Ritchie a chance to really show off his soloing skills and it's my opinion that he slowed down on later albums, going more for style than fast-fingered technique.

Bird Has Flown is another wah-wah pedal track but at a power-pushing pace at times with sudden drops into slow, dreamy moods and Rod Evans' deep, silky voice.

Where the album really moves boldly into prog territory is on the last track, April. In three parts, April features a choir alongside electric and acoustic guitar, organ, and the Deep Purple rhythm section, a movement performed by a quartet including an oboe and composed by Jon Lord, and a closing movement performed in rockin' 69 Deep Purple stylings.

Both an early metal album at times and an early prog album at times but never really either all at once, Deep Purple by Deep Purple was really an interesting venture in modern rock music at the time. I would personally choose to give it 4.5 stars overall but based on the rating system on this site, I give it 3 - good (even very good) but not totally essential.

Report this review (#720486)
Posted Tuesday, April 10, 2012 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Deep Purple - st (1969)

After a long spinless presence in my record collection I decided to listen to this third record of Deep Purple again. I really like In Rock (1970) and Made in Japan and how much of a difference can one year make? Well quite a lot it seems.

The same titled Deep Purple album is a heavy blues rock psych album that somehow almost never manages to come through. Except for the nice melodic findings on 'Blind' and the nice main melody of 'Lalena' the music leaves me totally cold. I haven't been quite able to filter out what's going; Is it the clumsy & muddy production? Does the band sound like they aren't in the mood to play some up-tempo rock? Is it the mediocre composition? Mainstream blues-rock riffs are the main ingredient here, but Deep Purple also experiments with psychedelic sound effects and classical music. The latter become most apparent during the minutes long classical peace in the middle section of April. A nice try and perhaps a groundwork for other bands, but totally meaningless in its current form.

On other moments the band seems to give a hint on what's to come. I like some of the heavy drumming on not-too-logical moments and Ritchie Blackmore already makes a talented impression, though much of his solo's have pitch anomalies that make me shiver on this album.

Conclusion. The leap forward would come on Deep Purple's next album and so the band was saved from becoming a relic from the sixties. This album is not recommended at all, except for fans of the band and hard-core psych collectors. Two stars it is then.

Report this review (#870334)
Posted Monday, December 3, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars 6/10

There is something missing here. The self-titled album Deep Purple is really a work of transition between the psychedelic / blues rock of the previous two albums with the rawness and hard-rock albums of the following. ironically, it lacks an identity.

I was very recpetivo the openings Shades of Deep Purple and The Book of Talyesin but Chasing Shadows is already a sample of the album may leave something to be desired. Confused, unnecessarily confusing. Blind and Lalena are much better, especially the first one, if I remember correctly there is the use of a harpsichord. Fault Line / The Paintor repeats the logic of the earlier works of the fourth song to be a set of two works, but is much weaker than Prelude: Happiness / I'm So Glad and Exposition / We can Work It Out.

B side opens violently with strong and ironic Why Did not Rosemary and follows with Bird Has Flown known. None of these tracks but surprise me. However there is still April. Oh God, what a song! Deep Purple was certainly not the first band to have the support of string and wind instruments for a song, but they were certainly the first to give them a space to be the stars of the show - thanks to unmatched talent and knowledge of classical Jon Lord, the master! A masterpiece, this song.

Unfortunately the rest of the album is not aware of Pril, and that is why I give a rating of three stars.

Report this review (#871654)
Posted Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars A bit of a transitional album this, with Deep Purple honing their songwriting chops and dialling back their reliance on cover versions compared to its two preceding albums. The band's own compositional abilities aren't quite ready for prime time yet, to my ears; they seem to be casting around a little aimlessly looking for a new sound, which they'd only attain once personnel shakeups yielded the Mark II lineup. The tension between going all-out progressive on the one hand and going hard rock on the other does yield some interesting moments, but there's more heat than light coming off Deep Purple at this point in time.
Report this review (#1025544)
Posted Friday, August 30, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars I've gone back and forth down through the years as to whether or not this is Deep Purple's best album and I guess it depends on whether or not I've been listening to it lately or not. There are times that I think In Rock is better but in the end I have to admit that Deep Purple is the album that I go back to over and over again and never get tired of listening to. And every time I listen, I know that I'm listening to a masterpiece from start to finish of probably one of the greatest rock albums of all time. Whether or not this makes it a progressive masterpiece or a psychedelic masterpiece or a blues rock masterpiece is up for debate. To me its all three. A rock masterpiece on all levels that is so unique in sound that until this day I have never quite heard anything like it again. April is of course the masterpiece of this album, but ever song that leads up to it is perfect. Now I know some don't like this album because its too psychedelic or whatever, not traditional prog in their minds, but to me it is quite prog when compared to anything else in their discography, other than their first two albums which simply are not very good in any case. Beyond the great musicianship there is something else that makes this album special. Its hard to quantify, whether its just the poetry of their lyrics, the mood that they set that takes you to the deepest part of your being, makes you feel that your one with the music like no other deep purple album has ever achieved. I guess you could say this album is truly deep and purple and it represents what this band what originally trying to achieve at its finest.
Report this review (#1170054)
Posted Friday, May 2, 2014 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is maybe the best album that the original line-up of the band recorded. While there are still some Classical Music arrangements (in "Blind" and in the long intro to "April"), they are used in a less "pompous" way than in their second album ("The Book of Taliesyn"), and the musical style of most songs is gradually changing more to the musical style that particularly Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord and Ian Paice wanted for the band (more Blues, Hard Rock and moving more towards Heavy Metal in songs like "Chasing Shadows", " Fault Line", "The Painter", "Why Didn`t Rosemary", "Bird Has Flown" and the second part of "April" ). Still, there are some Psychedelic influences in some parts (particularly in "Fault Line") and also some Prog Rock arrangements. But as a whole this album sounds more to me like the producer (Derek Lawrence) let the band have more control with their arrangements and music compositions, so the band sounds more "natural" and not as "forced" as in their second album. The band sounds more "mature" in the recording of this album, and in general this album was better recorded than their previous two albums. They also only recorded one cover (Donovan`s "Lalena") which sounds a bit Pop Rock, but it still has a very good arrangement.

Maybe this was the album on which Rod Evans sang better than in their previous two albums, and the rest of the members of the band began to show some improvements in the playing of their respective musical instruments. As a whole the band sounded better. Unfortunately, there were some problems with the musical direction that Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord and Ian Paice wanted for the band in comparison to Rod Evans and Nick Simper. The trio wanted a more heavy musical style for the band. So, by mid 1969 it was decided that Evans and Simper were going to be replaced by Ian Gillan and Roger Glover. But the new line-up was still going to record a live album with an orchestra before going directly to play the musical styles that were more adequate for this band: Hard Rock / Heavy Metal.

While the fragment from Hieronymus Bosch`s "The Garden of Earthly Delights" is a bit "strange" to be used for a cover design, it still is a good cover, I think.

Report this review (#1264801)
Posted Saturday, August 30, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars The greatest album with Rob Evans? Hmmm... No, not in my opinion.

This is what I think, track-by-track:

Chasing Shadows: Strange psychedelic rhythm, with essence from the African folk music. It ends abruptly, like they pulled the plug. Not a special song, and a bad choice for an album opener.

Blind: Very catchy soft rocker, I would love it if Paul Anka covered it. The keyboards are obviously fantastic, while bass is subcutaneously great. Really great song!

Lalena: Elegant love ballad, sounds MUCH better sang by Ian Gillan at later live performances. Too quiet for my taste on it's original form.

Fault Line: Intro for The Painter, with reverse effect

The Painter: Straight forward rocker, it loosely reminds me of Foxy Lady by Jimi Hendrix. Not a very special song, but an enjoyable one.

Why Didn't Rosemary?: Basically a boogie rocker, but the keyboards add the unique element. Most of the song consists of keyboard and guitar solos, but others have done it better in this genre. Nothing fancy.

Bird Has Flown: Musically close to the shock rock style of SJH and SLS, but yet again the keyboards make the difference. The second half of the song consists of keyboard improvisations. Nothing fancy, again.

April: Wow! This is a classical music composition for the first 8:40, and then a completely different song begins, an epic rocker in the style that Uriah Heep made famous. Fantastic song!

RATING: I don't see why people think so high of this album. It's more colorful than the previous two, but the compositions are definitely not at the same level. Blind and April are classics, but the rest of them? What's so great about the rest of them? I don't see it. 2,5 stars actually, but 2 is too low, so 3.

Report this review (#1378707)
Posted Friday, March 6, 2015 | Review Permalink
Magnum Vaeltaja
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars What we have hear is possibly the finest example of proto-prog that Deep Purple ever put out. But, as experimental and original as the music on this self-titled release is, it is not quite up to the same standard as what would come with the band's Mark II era.

Even though "Deep Purple" has numerous tracks, ranging from "Chasing Shadows", which sounds like an early demo version of Uriah Heep's "Look At Yourself", to backwards tape experiments to folk-ier acoustic ballads to typical blues rockers, the one that should be on everyone's mind is "April". Indeed, if there's ever a reason to buy this album, that would be it. A 12 minute suite, "April" was probably one of the finest prog tracks when it came out, perhaps even one of the first prog epics, period. The first section is classic British prog-folk, with Ritchie Blackmore offering beautiful pastoral guitar and Jon Lord complementing him with his signature distorted Hammond organ. If you're a fan of early Genesis or just a fan of the general pastoral English vibe with blues touches going on in a lot of the prog of the time, these 4 minutes alone are worth investigating. From there follows some orchestral string interplay, before a haunting bluesy conclusion wraps up the album.

If only "April" had been revisited later with the Mk II era and included on one of their phenomenal albums; unfortunately the rest of the material on "Deep Purple" is too forgettable to give this album over 3 stars. Still a great disc to look for if you're into turn-of-the-70's proto prog, a la "Salisbury". Good, but non-essential.

Report this review (#1557681)
Posted Saturday, April 30, 2016 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars DEEP PURPLE's Mark I lineup lasted only two short years but the band still managed to record three full albums, tour extensively and release a handful of singles, one of which "Hush" from the debut album "Shades Of Deep Purple" becoming a surprise hit and hitting the top 5 on the American Billboard charts. And consequently, due to that very success, the band members were constantly under pressure to repeat the pop hit formula however the musicians themselves wanted something else entirely. And such was the nature of the music business which meant that there had to be a middle ground between the ambitious progressive rock fusion with classical music and the more simplified pop hook tracks that could generate some income for a poorly managed Tetragrammaton Records that would soon fold and be absorbed by Warner Bros.

Despite the short time playing together, the band had evolved quite a bit since their nascent recordings in early 1968 and by the time the quintet of Rod Evans (lead vocals), Ritchie Blackmore (guitars), Jon Lord (keyboards, organs, piano), Nick Sempler (bass) and Ian Paice (drums, percussion) had reached their third album simply titled DEEP PURPLE also called DEEP PURPLE III, the band had unknowingly hit upon one of the great sounds in all of rock music. It's just that they didn't know that quite yet and would have to go through a few changes before superstardom would come knocking at their back door. Graced by an eerie amalgamation of characters on the Hieronymous Bosch cover art, so too does the music on this third installment of the DEEP PURPLE universe imbibe the many nectars of the musical world and because of that remains the band's most diverse and unique albums of the entire multi-decade canon.

The album was preceded by the non-album single "Emmarretta" which was hoped to generate enough interest to promote the album but the single failed to match the success of "Hush" and fell by the wayside rather quickly and likewise the third album sold rather poorly which prompted the dualistic talent of Jon Lord and Ritchie Blackmore to think about the changes that were needed to take the music to the next level, that of a more streamlined hard rock approach. This was a tumultuous time as the duo had to assemble a new lineup of DEEP PURPLE behind the scenes while carrying on the business as usual as they toured the US after having finally found some modicum of interest in their native UK. It was decided that Evans didn't have the vocal chops to take the music to the next level, an unfortunate limitation made all the clearly on this third album where the music had evolved into more progressive heights but the vocals didn't and kept the album from reaching the pinnacle of its potential. Likewise friction existed with Simper.

While steeped in both the 60s psychedelia blues rock riffing and classical expressionism, DEEP PURPLE III served as more than a transitional album for the Mark II lineup just around the corner but rather allowed the band to go hog wild experimenting with all kinds of different sounds possibly hoping throwing enough spaghetti against the wall that something would stick. The introductory "Chasing Shadows" prognosticates the DEEP PURPLE to come with a heavier guitar presence than on the previous two albums. Blackmore was clearly coming to fruition as a top tier guitarist and was beginning to display more ambitious speedy solos as well as a wealth of wah-wah effects which made it clear the heavier side of rock was where this band was heading. Likewise Ian Paice's drumming skills were finally let off the leash as he delivered a powerful bombastic African rhythmic fusion style present on the opening track that pummels the senses in an almost Santana like freneticism.

With bands like King Crimson and The Nice upping the ante in more adventurous arenas for rock, DEEP PURPLE were hot on their heels and on this third album demonstrate remarkably how they easily could've gone the progressive rock route in lieu of the less angular hard rock that they opted for. While "Blind" seems to revert to a couple years prior with a distinct Procol Harum type of softness clearly rooted in the 60s, Lord manages to crank out some stellar classical piano runs and Blackmore unleashes his own guitar tricks. This track in retrospect shows how the two main members were quickly outgrowing the limitations of the current lineup. Likewise the Donovan cover "Lalena" also keeps the band firmly placed in the 60s sound complete with those period organs. The album doesn't really come to life until the excellent instrumental "Faultline" cranks out the backmasking as a rhythmic instrument and serves as an intro for "The Painter" which cranks out a killer blues rock riff and organ mix that start to sound a bit like the Mark II stylistic shift but anchored into the past by Evans' relaxed vocal style. Paice is phenomenal in how he can produce a mood solely with his percussive drive.

Likewise "Why Didn't Rosemary?" and "BIrd Has Flown" both display a mature sound for the band's rhythm section as the guitar, bass, organs and drums have found their own spaces that inch even closer to the Mark II style. It now becomes obvious that Evans had to go as you can imagine Gillan screaming out a more sophisticated singing style complete with more emotive utterances. The cream of the crop for DEEP PURPLE III is the almighty progressive closer "April" which which was Jon Lord's dream come true as far as the perfect classical and rock hybridization. While the band had structured their compositions to include classical interludes and underpinnings, "April" went all the way in creating a perfect harmonizing melodic construct of classical music mixed with progressive rock that even included a complete string section to accompany the rock aspects. This sort of style was en vogue at this point in early prog nascency but nothing The Nice cranked out approached the magnanimous nature of this beautiful piece. Even Evans seems to have stepped up to add some of his best vocals on the album and what a fabulous way to end this phase of DEEP PURPLE before the change.

While the Mark I lineup continued to play, Blackmore and Lord were already rehearsing new material with new lead singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover leaving Evans and Simper in the dark about the numbered days and unfortunately the two found out through the grapevine and didn't exactly exit on good terms. While Evans would go on to sing lead for Captain Beyond and Simper would start Warhorse, the true winners were DEEP PURPLE themselves which under the Mark II lineup would become superstars and one of the most popular bands in rock history. The Mark I phase is certainly a precarious time for the origins of one of rock's most celebrated musical talents and although these early albums are hardly perfect, they were quite innovative for the time and despite the uneven quality of the tracks and inferior talent of certain members still managed to crank out some timeless music. Whether its for historical curiosity or for the love of early proto-prog and metal, then sampling the 60s nectar of this phase of DEEP PURPLE is mandatory and this third installation of the Mark I lineup is perhaps the band's most accomplished. Essential? Not really, but a fascinating album nonetheless with certain moments that are mind blowing.

3.5 stars but rounded down

Report this review (#2153474)
Posted Friday, March 8, 2019 | Review Permalink
TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars Deep Purple's self titled album was their 3rd album, but the last album to use what would become known as the Mark I line- up. The band had just come off of their world tour for 'Book of Taliesyn', and were discussing moving away from the psychedelic and classical/rock mix that was pushed by Jon Lord, and was going to move to a more blues-based rock sound. Because of this, Ritchie Blackmore was starting to get more say in writing the songs of the band, and both him and Jon had improved greatly. Even though this album still sees a lot of keyboards from Lord, it also sees the band use longer guitar solos. The music tightened up quite a bit for this album.

Unfortunately, the album didn't perform as well, even in the US, which is where the band was the most popular at the time. The reason for this is blamed on the record label, who was pressing the band for a new album, and gave them less time to put it together. Instead of being able to compose the music over time, the label forced the band to compose in the studio, and quickly put the music to record. On top of this, the label didn't have a lot of money to push this album or to help fund the new tour, and so, the album faltered in sales when it was released, and it was mostly ignored.

Of course, the blame was passed around, and in business, when sales falter, someone has to be the scapegoat, and it definitely isn't going to be the higher ups. So the band looked amongst themselves for the reason, and most of them seemed to think that Rod Evans' voice just couldn't pull of the heavier sound they were moving towards more and more. So, they secretly started recruiting new singers, and Ian Gillan from the band 'Episode Six' got the job. Along with him came bassist Roger Glover, who worked together with Gillan in Episode Six as a co-writer, and, even though there were no plans to fire Nick Simper, they ended up doing just that to bring in Glover, and so this brought about the end of the Mark I line-up and began the band's most successful Mark II line-up.

However, for this album, the original line-up remained, and we still end up with a pretty decent album anyway. You can tell there is a little newness in the band, but the album began the steps toward the sound that the band is famous for, and also their best releases. Lord still has plenty of keyboard solos, that never really changes as long as he was there, and that was also what was expected from the band. But the addition of Blackmore's heavy guitar, the band was on their way to becoming one of the premier hard rock bands in the world.

There is plenty to enjoy in this album, and even though it may sound a bit more novice sounding than the following albums, it still has some great sounds, like the excellent guitar and keyboard solos in 'Why Didn't Rosemary?', which was inspired from the band's experience of watching the movie 'Rosemary's Baby' together. There is also the harpsichord soloing in 'Blind' from Lord, which shows the band hadn't completely moved away from the classical influence. All of the music on this album is original and written by the band, except for 'Lalena' which is an excellent cover of a Donovan song.

The 2nd side of the album does have the best tracks on it, and they are the more aggressive tracks. There are 2 tracks that break the 5 minute mark, both of them some of the best music on the album, and then there is the epic 12 minute 'April' which sees Lord back to arranging strings for the track that stretched that track to the needed longer length. But, that was another big change on this album, the fact that the songs were mostly shorter, except for 'April', which ends up being the most important track on the album. The band still managed to show us that quality can replace quantity when it comes to the length of the tracks. And, there was the obvious move away from the psychedelic sound of the first two albums. At this time, psychedelic music was losing it's popularity, so it was only natural that in order to stay relevant, they moved to their more popular blues-oriented rock. In this album however, there is still enough of the progressive sound to keep it interesting, but there is less of that, however, there is more hard hitting heavy rock. Even so, the music also shows a more emotional side of the band, even Rod Evans was able to make the vocals sound convincing and emotional enough. Of course, he would be no match for Ian, who would sing on the next album, but he held his own.

We end up with a satisfying, yet far from perfect album from Deep Purple here. But, to me, it is that imperfect, less polished sound that seems to be more convincing to me. I still love parts of all three original albums, and play them regularly, probably just as much as their later albums like "Deep Purple in Rock", 'Machine Head', 'Fireball', 'Who Do We Think We Are' and even 'Burn'. But, I have never thought that DP was complete without their first three albums, this third one probably being the strongest of the original trilogy. It may sound a bit outdated now days, but on a great album, that doesn't matter. It is the sound that people keep coming back to and also continues to inspire.

Report this review (#2268307)
Posted Friday, October 11, 2019 | Review Permalink
3 stars Deep Purple III, the third album by the rock legends, released in June 1969 in the US and in September in the UK on Harvest Records. Of course, by the time the band was fairly new and gaining momentum, creating a mix of psychedelic rock with elements of prog and hints of hard rock (that they will entirely embrace exactly on their next album).

This album is not too different from the couple that came before it, and I must say that these first three DP albums are definitely my go-to Purple records. Yes, they are good for what they are, they are important in the evolution and the history of the band, they are also quite fun to listen to but compared to everything else that came out in that same period, especially in the psychedelic and prog rock realm, the first three Deep Purple albums are average psych-prog records.

It was undoubtedly the right decision to change Rod Evans with Gillan, as the former would not have fit the band's new sound (from 1970 onwards), he is a great pop and psychedelic singer, though. However, nothing comes close to the banshee screaming of Gillan that really changed the hard rock game at the time.

As for the album, I don't feel like going through a song dissection. I must say there are some really enjoyable and surprising tracks ' Chasing Shadows with its catchy melody and tribal drumming, Lalena is a pleasant psych-ballad, The Painter is more energetic, Bird Has Flown has grown to be one of the more popular songs from this album, also quite enjoyable and rocky, and April being the big surprise, and more of a Jon Lord piece than a Deep Purple one. It's good however, that he was able to fully explore his classical influences on a DP album.

Overall, a good album, that finishes the psychedelic trilogy. I wouldn't call this album an excellent addition to any prog rock collection, though. At the same time, it doesn't hurt to have it.

Report this review (#2404304)
Posted Thursday, May 21, 2020 | Review Permalink

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