Deep Purple
Deep Purple


3.5
great

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
October 3rd, 2009 | 51 replies


Release Date: 1969 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Deep Purple embrace pyschedelics and progginess, resulting in an album that doesn't (and wouldn't) sound like any of their others.

Deep Purple: A Retrospective

Episode III: Deep Purple

The final entry in the work of Mark I, and Deep Purple’s last 60’s output, would be the self-titled album in ’69. Although the band continued developing their own sound, the harder edge that was hinted upon in The Book of Taliesyn and would be much further established on follow-up In Rock is nearly completely absent. Rather, Mark I’s final opus focuses on the psychedelic sound of the late 60’s more than ever, and add a small amount of progressive flavour.

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

Lord being the main force behind Mark I’s output is perhaps most notable on Purple’s third, as it is more organ/piano-driven than their previous works. Blind, for example, remains the only track in the band’s discography penned solely by the keyboardist, and focuses on piano and vocals only. The same goes for the sole cover Lalena (originally by Donovan). Evans immerses himself in the more theatrical approach here, which, in most cases tends to work with Lord’s classical instrumental approach. Opener Chasing Shadows has him employing more distant, psychedelic vocals, resulting in a piece that wouldn’t have misfit on Floyd’s The Piper At The Gates of Dawn.

Fault Line/The Painter, being already the fourth track on the record, is the first point where Blackmore actually gets a chance to kick in with his guitar skills, which immediately results in a catchy blues rocker * la Listen, Learn, Read On. This continues with Why Didn’t Rosemary?, which features another great Blackmore solo, as well as the guitar/organ interplay that Mark II would become renowned for.

And after a psychedelic track, two keyboard-driven ones and another two rockers, it is then the final two tracks where the progressive stride really shows. Bird Has Flown may have Evans’ best vocal performance in his time in the band, and shows how much he has grown since Shades (too bad for him, because he would get fired soon after the album was released). Its instrumental section combines psychedelic and jazzy features, and bears light resemblance to King Crimson’s In the Court of the Crimson King.

And for fans of classical music, closing epic April is the most interesting piece on the album. It is completely unlike anything Deep Purple have ever tried, as Lord pulls out all he’s got with a 12-minute track that is completely orchestrated (and quite well at that, too). With stunning loud guitar, subtle organ and fierce percussion sections, Lord perhaps achieved here best what he always had wanted to: a successful fusion between classical and rock music.

His lead would soon be over though, as Blackmore would take the wheel from Mark II onwards, and eventually leave a few hard rock masterpieces in his wake. Mark I remains an interesting line-up, and although their first, it is perhaps least similar to any other formation than the others. Who takes the time to explore Deep Purple’s work in the 60’s will find that there is more to this band than Highway Star and Smoke on the Water. It is not their best period, but it certainly not their worst either. Mark I’s final album is probably also their best, and closes off a musical journey that Deep Purple would very soon leave behind.



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user ratings (181)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
October 3rd 2009


8315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Somebody has to do them Deep Purple reviews. Got Mark I, II and V finished now.

combustion07
October 3rd 2009


5420 Comments


I never checked any of their stuff out other than Machine Head...this needs to change, getting this now.

LepreCon
October 3rd 2009


4156 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I found this album to be an enjoyable listen, though I don't spin it too often.

Nagrarok
October 3rd 2009


8315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I never checked any of their stuff out other than Machine Head...this needs to change, getting this now.

I'd rather just first check out the rest of Mark II, and then III.

scotish
October 3rd 2009


835 Comments


I had no idea that deep purple did anything beyond smoke on the water type stuff. review has enlightened me so props for that.

Nagrarok
October 3rd 2009


8315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, people always associate them with Smoke on the Water + Machine Head, and unfortunately don't realize there's much, much more to hear.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2009


8391 Comments


good review (again and unsurprisingly). pos.

Also, are you going to do the whole Deep Purple discography?

Nagrarok
October 4th 2009


8315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hehe, do I really have to answer that?

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2009


8391 Comments


yes, as you are a slippery one lol. Don't know, a while back you said you are just going to do selected marks, but atm i have a suspicious feeling you are again doing the whole discography haha.

Nagrarok
October 4th 2009


8315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No, that's not what I meant. I said I was moving through the discography Mark by Mark instead of in chronological order (and review other stuff in between), in order to prevent getting bored like happened when I did Priest.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2009


8391 Comments


aah ok. Actually you SHOULD change your name to something like Ireviewdiscographies.

Nagrarok
October 4th 2009


8315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I haven't even done that many yet, now have I? I think it's only Priest and Alice so far, and now Deep Purple.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2009


8391 Comments


dude, Judas Priest's and Deep purple's discographies are fucking massive for one. And more than half of your reviews are for the same artists. Reviewing The Duskfall was fun, but i don't think i could ever do a 10+ discography. even a 6+ would be hard for me I think. ALSO, my challenge is still up, Master.

Nagrarok
October 4th 2009


8315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

*The boy has no patience...*

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2009


8391 Comments


*the master has too much free-time on his hands *

Nagrarok
October 4th 2009


8315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, I DID just finish Mark I, so if there's a new release that's in my interest I'll probably get around to it.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2009


8391 Comments


http://www.sputnikmusic.com/forums/showthread.php?t=571122&page=26

don't know if any of these would interest you, but at least you can take a look at the lsit.

Nagrarok
October 4th 2009


8315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

As I expected... DaveyBoy is doing Editors. Nothing else I know/care for.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2009


8391 Comments


well I'll keep spamming you with those weekly lists until you finally find something interesting and so accept my challenge ;).

Nagrarok
October 4th 2009


8315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If that means more comments on my reviews, great!



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