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Deep Purple - Shades Of Deep Purple CD (album) cover

SHADES OF DEEP PURPLE

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

3.29 | 481 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
3 stars What strange beginnings for one of the three unholy trinity bands that together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath would introduce the world to a new universe of music in the forms of hard rock and heavy metal. Despite their contributions they started out much like The Monkees in formation, meaning that members were recruited by Chris Curtis who had visions of creating a supergroup called Roundabout which was to have a rotating cast of musical members. He approached the business tycoon Tony Edwards for funding and the first members he managed to woo into the project were none other than keyboardist Jon Lord and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. Also fulfilling what is now referred to as the Mark I era of DEEP PURPLE, were Nick Simper on bass, Ian Paice on drums and original vocalist Rod Evans who was definitely no Ian Gillan but did suit the 60s psychedelic leanings of the sound the band were engaging in at this stage.

This album starts off with the groovy instrumental "And This Address" which gives me flashes of partying with Austin Powers in somewhere 60s London which also has slight references to the following track and single "Hush." This single is one of those songs i never dug too much but i have to admit it's played very well and the instrumental exchanges are fairly complex for psychedelic music of this era. It's not really as bad as i've always made it out to be. I have to admit that i've had a change of heart on this debut album. I used to despise early DEEP PURPLE but as i've grown more fond of 60s heavy psych and the sound that surrounds it, i have gained an appreciation for album number one of one of hard rock's most famous offerings. While there are still many things i dislike about this one in comparison to later releases, there is still a lot to like here. This is 60s psychedelic rock through and through and on this one Jon Lord is the star with his classically infused keyboard runs and i can only admit that this music is played extraordinarily well and quite sophisticated for this era in rock history. The musicians gel together beautifully. Nick Simper's bass playing is surely a major factor as he displays a passionate energy that seemingly holds the whole thing together. Surprisingly Blackmore's guitar contributions are quite subdued.

The reasons this album fails to blow me away are manyfold. Firstly, i'm not a huge fan of Rod Evans vocals. Although he gets the job done in tune and all he still fails to be a charismatic lead vocalist and is no Jim Morrison or, you guessed it - Ian Gillan. Secondly, i'm not a huge fan of cover songs unless the band can take the bull by the horns and lead it to strawberry fields forever. While i admire their attempt on this one to conquer huge hits by The Beatles ("Help") and Jimi Hendrix ("Hey Joe") and i quite love the instrumental embellishments, i simply feel these tracks derail the momentum of the album as a whole. Thirdly, while the musical equation of the album is fairly well done, the lyrical contributions have some serious lameness at times. Perfect example is the instrumentally competent "Prelude: " which delivers "Happiness" in the beginning but once it gets to "I'm So Glad" and repeats that phrase ad infinitum, it makes me want to gag myself with a pitchfork and orally excrete my stomacal contents. In the end this is too much of a mixed bag and the bad makes me enjoy the good less than others seem to. For all the positive elements on this debut release, i'd rather just fast forward to the Mark II phase and be issue free.

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |

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