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Deep Purple: Shades of Deep Purple (reissue)

1968 saw the emergence of one of the most influential bands ever on the heavy rock scene, the legendary British band known as Deep Purple. This is their debut, a near brilliant collection of rousing covers and solid original material that saw the band take the forumula of their heroes The Vanilla Fudge one step further, combined soaring pop hooks with bone crunching, virtuoso guitar riffs, raging Hammond organ, and rock solid, often times groove-laden rhythms. The original line-up featured guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, keyboard player Jon Lord, drummer Ian Pace, singer Rod Evans, and bassist Nick Simper.

Opening instrumental "And the Address" sets the stage for the remarkable music to follow, an upbeat rocker featuring plenty of fiery guitar and Hammond organ exchanges, and leads into their breakthrough single, the unforgettable "Hush". From there, the band dives into psychedelic pop with "One More Rainy Day", a wild mix of classical & rock on the powerful "Prelude: Happiness/I'm So Glad " a cover of the Cream classic piece. Let's not forget about the stellar "Mandrake Root", one of their most popular early numbers and a concert staple for many years, a funky hard rocker featuring a great vocal from Evans and loads of blistering Blackmore riffing. Their take on The Beatles "Help" is cool in a psychedelic sort of way, and they also tackle the Jimi Hendrix hit "Hey Joe" in an equally different style from the version we all were used to.

Eagle Rock's reissue is basically identical to the earlier Spitfire remaster, and contains a few bonus tracks (rare & live tracks) that are well worth hearing, especially "Shadows" and "Love Help Me". The sound is great, and you get a wonderful booklet filled with info on the album and beginnings of the band. More importantly, you get the first glimpse on Shades of Deep Purple of the Blackmore/Lord/Paice triumvirate in all its infancy. Though the music here might sound slightly dated, there's no denying it's influence on hard rock music and the material that would come from Deep Purple in the short years to follow.

Track Listing
1. And the Address
2. Hush
3. One More Rainy Day
4. Prelude: Happiness/I'm So Glad
5. Mandrake Root
6. Help
7. Love Help Me
8. Hey Joe
9. Shadows [Album Over Take] [*][Take][Version]
10. Love Help Me [Instrumental Version] [*][Instrumental]
11. Help [Alternate Take] [Alternate Take][#][*]
12. Hey Joe [BBC Top Gear Session] [Live][#][*][Version]
13. Hush [Live US TV] [Live][#][*]

Added: August 1st 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Hits: 2002
Language: english

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