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Deep Purple

Shades of Deep Purple

Review by Larry Toering

The Deep Purple mkI albums are as important as any other in the history of the band. Whether a die hard or not, if you're a Deep Purple fan you love some or all of the tunes on the first three albums. This is the first of the three and arguably the best. The third is the other contender for that title. Here on this re-issue of the remaster  from Eagle Records, is a very fresh look back at perhaps the most neglected era in all of the Purple line-ups. Everyone, from the vocal and rhythm section of Evans/Simper/Paice, to the soloists Blackmore and Lord, are all heard louder and clearer than ever before. There is more of an effort to describe the quality difference on this one than the music itself, as it is also one of the more popular of the three.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
And The Address

A subtle growl from the organ and a few indications of what lies ahead are all it takes to break into the rock and roll history books. Out of nowhere comes the Purple sound with an instrumental to establish the importance of their musicianship from the very start. This is their entrance, and a fine one it is, with virtuosity in every section of the guitar/organ heavy arrangement. All show the skills that made them famous.

Hush

Still sounding as good as ever here, this is their biggest US hit, so it deserves to be heard in it's best quality, and I think it gets that treatment. It's almost like reliving it, and I think I would've rather just heard it like this the first time, so the mission seems to be accomplished already.

One More Rainy Day

Once again it's so nice to hear an updated version of one of my favorite mkI numbers, with Evans and Paice in particular putting in fine performances.

Prelude To happiness / I'm So Glad (Medley)

A lovely instrumental leads into what has always sounded to me like a “closest to Cream” cover than any other version. In fact, Blackmore practically imitates Clapton, but it's still an interesting version. The “Prelude” benefits from the upgrade though, so it does have a vibe not felt before it was remastered.

Mandrake Root

I didn't think I'd be kept as interested, but the sound of the instruments comes through so well that it makes up for all the lost enjoyment of it. This is one of Deep Purple's all time greatest, so that is a testament.

Help

This one also benefits from the clarity without any artificial intrusion, which makes Jon Lord's organ sound as honest as the day this was recorded. It also makes his and Blackmore's performances shine through on the Beatles cover, which is done nothing like the original.

Love Help Me

This is one of my personal favorites and it too sounds a lot cleaner and revitalized, so things really are an improvement throughout this re-issue.

Hey Joe

This is a track with some spots that always begged to be heard better, including the footsteps. Here it comes in loud and clear, along with the rest of it. It's no different than anywhere else on here. The majesty is enhanced when the sound is treated with enough integrity to make a big difference.

Shadows

This is another favorite of mine, not originally on the album. It's one of the least improved tracks to my ears, but great to hear surrounded by the other tracks.

Love Help Me (Instrumental Version)

This is an instrumental of one of the album tracks, and yet another improvement.

Help (Alternate Take)

For those who like alternate versions, this will always do. It goes to show that one version of a Deep Purple song is never enough, and that's why these remastered re-issues are generally accepted by me for a good reason or two.(Not to be confused with Tour Editions and Deluxe Editions)

Hey Joe (BCC Top Gear Session)

A nowhere near identical version, this was heard for decades on bootleg before this official release. It belongs here with the rest as one of the BBC recordings worth adding from this session.

Hush (Live US TV)

This is from the “Playboy After Dark” episode they did on the night they arrived in America, when it all took off from the release of this album. It hasn't stopped since, in one form or another.

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