Deep Purple - Shades of Deep Purple (1968) Jun 12, 2010 10:43:54 GMT -5
Post by Erik Rupp on Jun 12, 2010 10:43:54 GMT -5
Deep Purple, in many ways, was almost three different bands with three distinctive styles. Four if you count the current version with Steve Morse. (Wait, should that be five if we count the Joe Lynn Turner year? Nah...)
Their debut album, Shades of Deep Purple, came out in 1968 and is very much a product of its era. While there are bits and pieces of the classic In Rock - Machine Head era sound on Shades it is much more dated than anything else that Deep Purple recorded after 1970.
"And The Address," is the instrumental album opener, and actually shows some classic Ritchie Blackmore/Jon Lord guitar & keyboard interplay reminiscent of their early 70's sound. The album's centerpiece and calling card, though, is the hit "Hush." "Hush" again shows flashes of their groundbreaking style (that would not fully develop for another two years), while still retaining the flavor of late 60's Rock.
Another great song on Shades is "Mandrake Root," which is another solid rocker, but any similarities on Shades to In Rock or Machine Head end there.
Songs like "One More Rainy Day," and "Love Help Me" are much more typical 1960's era near-psychedelia. The latter at least shows some power musically, but is sabotaged by the, "Flower-child," lyrics written by Rod Evans. In fact, the biggest problem with the album as a whole is Evans' songwriting; his lyrics and delivery are very much a product of the times and as such they give the album a much more dated sound than is true of some of their contemporaries like Cream or Led Zeppelin. Evans had a great voice, but he seemed too enamored with all things, "Peace and love." No surprise, then, that he was dismissed from the band less than two years later (along with bass player Nick Simper).
Shades of Deep Purple is by no means a, "Bad," album. It's just a very dated one, and sounds very little like the Deep Purple that most fans came to love in the 1970's.