Deep Purple
Shades of Deep Purple


2.5
average

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
October 1st, 2009 | 42 replies | 9,073 views


Release Date: 1968 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ye Olde Deep Purple's debut lacks originality and charisma, and shows a band not quite sure where they're heading yet.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Deep Purple: A Retrospective

Episode I: Shades of Deep Purple

Every band has its roots, and veteran rockers Deep Purple have theirs in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. Founded in ‘68, disbanded once in ’76 and still alive today in 2009, the band went through a great many line-up changes, and drummer Ian Pace remains the only founding member still in the group. Purple’s first line-up would never become well-known, soon to be massively overshadowed by the wildly talented Mark II. To be-famous virtuosos Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord brought the original formation together, recruiting Nick Simper on bass, Ian Pace on drums and Rod Evans on vocals. Their debut Shades of Deep Purple, which appeared in ’68, featured a great deal of cover material, but earned the boys some success with covering Joe South’s Hush.

Deep Purple Mk. I was:
- Roderick Evans ~ Lead Vocals
- Richard Hugh Blackmore ~ Lead Guitar
- Nicholas John Simper ~ Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Jon Douglas Lord ~ Keyboards, Organ, Backing Vocals
- Ian Anderson Pace ~ Drums

Created in the wake of the pop/psychedelic movement pioneered by The Beatles, Deep Purple’s first steps were uncertain ones. Shades is the sound of a band that has been inspired by numerous famous artists from the period, but doesn’t know quite where its own niche can be found. This is not the hard rockin’ band that the name Deep Purple is normally associated with. Instead, it could be best described as a hybrid between pop and psychedelic rock.

With only half of the album (4 out of 8 tracks) being original material, Shades’ greatest flaw is a lack of identity. Of course, we can distinguish the greats Blackmore and Lord, most notably in the typically psychedelic/blues jam session that is Mandrake Root. Just don’t expect any virtuosic escapades to the likes of Child in Time. The work is solid but unfortunately aged. Evans doesn’t really contribute to the creativity either. Though he sounds like a typical 60’s pop/rock singer, which suits the sound of the album, his lack of charisma can be an annoying factor.

Although Hush may be catchy up to a certain extent, the four covers (the others being I’m So Glad by Cream, Help! by The Beatles and Hey Joe by Billy Roberts) remain too close to their originals, resulting in a rather uninteresting listen. One More Rainy Day and Love Help Me are unfortunately downright generic 60’s pop songs. The only original material that manages be attractive is the opening instrumental And the Address and the aforementioned jam session in Mandrake Root, both of which are the strongest indication of Purple’s future sound, and unsurprisingly therefore also the strongest material on the album.

Shades of Deep Purple is perhaps exactly what the title might suggest. It is only a shade, a flash of what Deep Purple would later be capable of. Especially Mark II would reach tremendous heights, but only after Mark I released two more albums. Deep Purple’s first album is unfortunately not innovative, not charismatic and just boring at moments. Its two great tracks cannot make up for the other material, and that leaves us with a painfully average album that hasn’t aged well.

Recommended tracks:

Mandrake Root
And the Address



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user ratings (167)
Chart.
3.4
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
October 1st 2009



8170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

First II, then V, now I.

Waior
October 1st 2009



11442 Comments


Your order is baffling, Yoda. Were I to get into Deep Purple, where would you recommend I start?

Another solid review, by the way.

Nagrarok
October 1st 2009



8170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I chose to move through Mark by Mark in order to prevent discography boredom, and that works.

Essential are In Rock, Machine Head, Made in Japan and Burn. Basically everything by Mark II and III is the best you're going to find, but I would start with (one of) those albums.

Douchebag
October 1st 2009



3624 Comments


Yeah I still need to hear Machine Head one day.

Nagrarok
October 1st 2009



8170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

More like today.

LepreCon
October 1st 2009



3817 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was wondering if you'd do the Mark I albums anytime soon. This grew on me a tad but I doubt I will ever listen to it again, lol. Great review as per usual

Digging: Overkill - White Devil Armory

mark7477
November 30th 2010



392 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I agree that the real early deep purple isn't all that great first there's way too many covers their version of hush and im so glad is fine but the rest is flat out weak except a couple of their originals the address and mandrake root which are decent rockers.I think the band went on to bigger and better things when they found Ian Gillian or even David Coverdale in that manner.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
November 30th 2010



20260 Comments


The mega long version of Mandrake Root on the live album Scandinavian Nights is worth a listen.

rockandmetaljunkie
May 15th 2011



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thank god Blackmore changed the lineup cause MK1 sounded nothing like MK2. Early DP is quite different.

Good review i agree with almost everything.

Parallels
January 27th 2012



6641 Comments


Mandrake Root + Hush = Oh yeah.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
January 27th 2012



20260 Comments


HUSH HUSH

I THOUGHT I HEARD HER CALLING MY NAME NOW

TheNotrap
February 27th 2012



8029 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

A band in search of an identity, nevertheless Purple's debut remains a very enjoyable effort.

Digging: Savage Grace - Master Of Disguise

ViperAces
August 19th 2012



12382 Comments


Hey Joe is so good holy shit.

ViperAces
October 1st 2012



12382 Comments


50 SHADES OF DEEP PURPLE
YEA ITS THAT GOOD.

MO
October 28th 2012



18419 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

rules

Digging: Immolation - Dawn of Possession

ViperAces
October 29th 2012



12382 Comments


I think Im going to 5 this only because of the Hey Joe cover.

dannyboy89
March 31st 2013



11944 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I might 3 this.

dannyboy89
March 31st 2013



11944 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

In fact, I might 3.5. My ratings tend to be more generous than Nag's.

dannyboy89
March 31st 2013



11944 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The "Help" cover is pretty impressive.

dannyboy89
March 31st 2013



11944 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I was impressed by the performance in the "Hey Joe" cover. This gets a 4 from me.



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