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Deep Purple: Deep Purple (reissue)

Deep Purple, the third and final Deep Purple album with the early line-up of Ritchie Blackmore, John Lord, Ian Paice, Rod Evans, and Nick Simper, gives strong clues to the direction that the band would soon go into, which is blistering heavy heavy rock with a blues edge. Originally released in 1969, this was to be the last album with Evans & Simper, who were both given their walking papers shortly after it was recorded to make way for Ian Gillan & Roger Glover. Neither wasted much time finding their way into other similar type bands, Evans with Captain Beyond and Simper with Warhorse, both finding some success and still talked about by genre fans to this day.

Things kick off with the funky rocker "Chasing Shadows", a rousing piece filled with tons of Blackmore wah-wah guitar licks. His wah-wah again finds its way into the atmospheric "Blind", also notable for Lord's majestic keyboards. Evans' crooning highlights the gorgeous "Lalena", a mellow ballad that also sees Lord dropping in a great Hammond solo, and the brief instrumental "The Fault Line" features tons of booming bass from Simper and Blackmore's frenzied guitar noise. This leads right into the hard rocking blues of "Painter", a band original that is surely one of their strongest tracks from the first three albums. With shuffling rhythms and raging guitar & Hammond riffs, this is another song that foreshadows the heavier direction the band was moving towards. "Why Didn't Rosemary?" is another bluesy number, but with a strong Booker T & the MG's feel, again letting Lord & Blackmore launch impressive solos, and the heavy "Bird Has Flown" was another favorite track of fans, and was featured in their live set for a few years. The real surprise here is the adventurous "April", which combines heavy rock, psychedelia, and classical (you can see where the band went from this to Concerto for a Group and Orchestra shortly after). At 12 minutes long, this Lord/Blackmore piece also features a string quartet for added grandeur.

This reissue features a few alternate versions of a couple album tracks, but also the excellent "Emmaretta", a wah-wah fueled funky heavy rock song that is another highlight here. Toss in a great booklet loaded with info & photos, and you have another reissue of an early Deep Purple gem that often gets overlooked in favor of the MkII & III line-up material, but in reality is quite strong on its own.

Track Listing
1. Chasing Shadows
2. Blind
3. Lalena
4. Fault Line
5. The Painter
6. Why Didn't Rosemary?
7. Bird Has Flown
8. April
9. Bird Has Flown [*]
10. Emmaretta [*]
11. Emmaretta [#][*]
12. Lalena [#][*]
13. The Painter [#][*]

Added: August 18th 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1849
Language: english

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