Deep Purple
The Book of Taliesyn


3.0
good

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
October 2nd, 2009 | 23 replies | 9,242 views


Release Date: 1968 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mark I ditches some of the pop, writes some more covers, and meanwhile move closer to the sound that would bring them fame and recognition.

Deep Purple: A Retrospective

Episode II: The Book of Taliesyn

Early Deep Purple was always quick to write new albums, and 1969 gave life to their second output The Book of Taliesyn. Mark I, led for a great deal by the classically-trained Jon Lord, continues to write more of their own material, but still includes three covers in the album: Neil Diamond’s Kentucky Woman, The BeatlesWe Can Work It Out and River Deep, Mountain High by Ike and Tina Turner. Taliesyn is often seen as the bridge between the 60’s pop/psychedelics and the 70’s hard rock Deep Purple would become pioneers of.

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

And for fans of that hard rock, Taliesyn will be more easily digested than Shades. From the very first notes of Listen, Learn, Read On, a catchy psychedelic/blues rocker, Deep Purple sounds harder-edged. Notable standouts are Pace’s drumming, which has now grown much more fierce (a style he would stick with throughout the rest of his career) and Evans’ vocals, which have thankfully improved. Evans feels more at ease, it sounds like, and although he would be easily overshadowed by the likes of Gillan and Coverdale in later times, his performance is not as bland as it was on Shades.

Where the first track gave way to show an improved drummer and vocalist, the second track Hard Road (Wring That Neck) reveals the combined talents of the virtuosos Blackmore and Lord. An instrumental track, it starts off with an incredibly tasty jam on the keyboards by Lord, which gets countered one and a half minute in by what is Blackmore’s first great (bluesy as it would always be) solo, after which the two continue jamming together until the end.

Although a slight improvement from Shades, the cover work is still nothing especially noteworthy. Closer River Deep, Mountain High is the weakest of these, being too much of a replica of the original. Kentucky Woman might feature a little bluesy improvisation, and Exposition, a prelude to We Can Work It Out but not an actual part of it, is interestingly bombastic, but that does not mean the actual cover work gets anyhow better by it. Luckily, Deep Purple would pursue their very own direction after this album and ditch the covers altogether.

The non-standout The Shield, which is essentially another jam session, reveals that although Deep Purple is developing their trademark sound here, they are not entirely sure of themselves just yet. Anthem hints of a lingering Shades-style, being a rather straightforward 60’s pop song, but contains a heavily classical-influenced break that makes no complete sense being there but at the same time provides a surprising interlude for the song.

The Book of Taliesyn is an interesting mixture of a newly found harder sound, remnants of the pop/psychedelic directions found on Shades and another bunch of covers that fail to really add anything, but the transition is sound is the most interesting of its features. Vital to Deep Purple’s development, their second album is a step up from their first, but remains merely passable overall.

Recommended tracks:

Hard Road (Wring That Neck)
Listen, Learn, Read On



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user ratings (138)
Chart.
3.3
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other reviews of this album
hedunadan (3.5)
MK I is unknow territory for casual Deep Purple listeners (and some fans). But The Book of Taliesyn ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
October 2nd 2009


8239 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Somehow my reviews tends to get simpler when I review Deep Purple.

LepreCon
October 2nd 2009


4075 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well personally I can't think of much to say about their earliest and later work. Great review

Nagrarok
October 3rd 2009


8239 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

You've got this rated though.

LepreCon
October 3rd 2009


4075 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well whereas I've heard their older stuff I have yet to acquire much of their later work

cratos76
February 4th 2010


85 Comments


next is this album

TheNotrap
February 27th 2012


8065 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Even even if it failed to catch the intensity of Purple's live performances "The Book of Taliesyn" remains a very interesting album.

Digging: Cannibal Corpse - A Skeletal Domain

rockandmetaljunkie
March 2nd 2012


3302 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Interesting album, definetly more mature, and diverse from their debut.

dannyboy89
March 23rd 2013


11960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Impressive stuff, but the best was yet to come.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
May 20th 2013


1870 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Deep Purple's second album saw the band opting for a slightly more progressive sound, epic song structures such as on 'Shield' and enigmatic closer 'River deep, mountain high' showing the band's young musical talent and using each of their respective instruments to the fullest effect. There are still a few cover songs such as 'We can work it out' courtesy of the Beatles and 'Kentucky woman', and although Deep Purple didn't quite match the quality found on the original versions, it still showed them as a band with a very promising future.

Digging: Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden

manosg
May 20th 2013


6069 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Wring that Neck is top 3 MKI songs.

Digging: Saviour Machine - Saviour Machine I

pissbore
June 8th 2013


9935 Comments


Awesome record, hard underrated

manosg
June 9th 2013


6069 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's a good album but it's rated fair enough I believe.

rockandmetaljunkie
June 9th 2013


3302 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"River Deep, Mountain High" is awesome.

possbire
June 17th 2013


141 Comments


1st track is incredible

manosg
June 17th 2013


6069 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Search for the live version of Wring That Neck on YT. Magic.

Rastapunk
June 23rd 2013


736 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Meh

Good review though, pos'd

ViperAces
July 5th 2013


12428 Comments


hell yeah this shit rules hard
might even 4

ViperAces
July 5th 2013


12428 Comments


too bad they didnt do an album of the old sound without covers

dannyboy89
May 31st 2014


11960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Soon I'll have all their first 10 re-rated. Once I've done that, I think I might take a break from DP. Plus, those first 10 need to be properly appreciated.

And it's 11 with MiJ.

Funny how DP had a fetish with making 7-trackers.

manosg
May 31st 2014


6069 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's insane how much better Wring that Neck is when played live.



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