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2023 Albums Thing 105 - Deep Purple “Shades Of Deep Purple”

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Bet ya weren’t expecting this…

Much like the first Pink Floyd album (which we will encounter in due course) the first Deep Purple album is a very different beast from what followed it. Although we know them best for their bluesy riffage and being pioneers of what came to be Heavy Metal, there is very little, if any, of that to be found in these grooves. This is a band obviously influenced by the R ‘n’ B and soul of the earlier Sixties, developing a harder sound in line with the psychedelia of the later Sixties, all driven not so much by Richie Blackmore’s guitar as it will be in the future but very much featuring Jon Lord’s Hammond organ. The singer on this album is one Rod Evans so you don’t get the vocal histrionics that came later with Ian Gillan and David Coverdale. 

In truth I only own this album for two tracks, the first two on Side 1, the instrumental “And The Address” and the much better known single “Hush” and as I now also have a 7” of that it really is just for track 1. Those two tracks are very groovy 60’s dancers with a hint of Mod about them, Heavy Mod if you like. 

I must have played the rest of this record but I don’t really remember it. The remainder of side 1 is taken up with a track you could easily mistake for The Hollies and finally a song suite with classical pretensions and sitar like guitar sounds. It’s all desperately 60’s proto-Prog, much akin to The Nice.

On side 2 they run through a couple of forgettable “look what great muso’s we are” type fillers, one with some alarming and very conspicuous Beach Boys type backing vocals, cover a Beatles tune and have a 7 and a half minute meander through “Hey Joe”. So apart from “And The Address” and “Hush” it’s all pretty directionless and as confused as they all look on the cover.

And The Address - https://youtu.be/cpNDOq830hU

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