DEEP PURPLE — Shades Of Deep Purple

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DEEP PURPLE - Shades Of Deep Purple cover
3.29 | 63 ratings | 6 reviews
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Album · 1968

Filed under Proto-Metal
By DEEP PURPLE

Tracklist

1. And The Address (4:38)
2. Hush (4:24)
3. One More Rainy Day (3:40)
4. Prelude: Happiness / I'm So Glad (7:19)
5. Mandrake Root (6:09)
6. Help (6:01)
7. Love Help Me (3:49)
8. Hey Joe (7:33)

Total Time 43:27

Line-up/Musicians

- Rod Evans / vocals
- Ritchie Blackmore / guitar
- Nick Simper / bass, vocals
- Jon Lord / organ, keyboards, vocals
- Ian Paice / drums

About this release

Release date: July 2, 1968
Label: Parlophone

Reissued in 2000 with the following bonus tracks:

9. Shadows (album outtake) (3:38)
10. Love Help Me (instrumental version) (3:29)
11. Help (alternate take) (5:23)
12. Hey Joe (BBC Top Gear session) (4:05)
13. Hush (live) (3:53)

Reissued in 2014 as part of the box set Hard: Mark 1 Studio Recordings 1968-1969 with both mono mix and stereo mix of the album.

Thanks to Pekka, Lynx33, diamondblack, 666sharon666 for the updates

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DEEP PURPLE SHADES OF DEEP PURPLE reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
What strange beginnings for one of the three unholy trinity bands that together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath would introduce the world to a new universe of music in the forms of hard rock and heavy metal. Despite their contributions they started out much like The Monkees in formation, meaning that members were recruited by Chris Curtis who had visions of creating a supergroup called Roundabout which was to have a rotating cast of musical members. He approached the business tycoon Tony Edwards for funding and the first members he managed to woo into the project were none other than keyboardist Jon Lord and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. Also fulfilling what is now referred to as the Mark I era of DEEP PURPLE, were Nick Simper on bass, Ian Paice on drums and original vocalist Rod Evans who was definitely no Ian Gillan but did suit the 60s psychedelic leanings of the sound the band were engaging in at this stage.

This album starts off with the groovy instrumental “And This Address” which gives me flashes of partying with Austin Powers in somewhere 60s London which also has slight references to the following track and single “Hush.” This single is one of those songs i never dug too much but i have to admit it’s played very well and the instrumental exchanges are fairly complex for psychedelic music of this era. It’s not really as bad as i’ve always made it out to be. I have to admit that i’ve had a change of heart on this debut album. I used to despise early DEEP PURPLE but as i’ve grown more fond of 60s heavy psych and the sound that surrounds it, i have gained an appreciation for album number one of one of hard rock’s most famous offerings. While there are still many things i dislike about this one in comparison to later releases, there is still a lot to like here. This is 60s psychedelic rock through and through and on this one Jon Lord is the star with his classically infused keyboard runs and i can only admit that this music is played extraordinarily well and quite sophisticated for this era in rock history. The musicians gel together beautifully. Nick Simper’s bass playing is surely a major factor as he displays a passionate energy that seemingly holds the whole thing together. Surprisingly Blackmore’s guitar contributions are quite subdued.

The reasons this album fails to blow me away are manyfold. Firstly, i’m not a huge fan of Rod Evans vocals. Although he gets the job done in tune and all he still fails to be a charismatic lead vocalist and is no Jim Morrison or, you guessed it - Ian Gillan. Secondly, i’m not a huge fan of cover songs unless the band can take the bull by the horns and lead it to strawberry fields forever. While i admire their attempt on this one to conquer huge hits by The Beatles (“Help”) and Jimi Hendrix (“Hey Joe”) and i quite love the instrumental embellishments, i simply feel these tracks derail the momentum of the album as a whole. Thirdly, while the musical equation of the album is fairly well done, the lyrical contributions have some serious lameness at times. Perfect example is the instrumentally competent “Prelude: “ which delivers “Happiness” in the beginning but once it gets to “I’m So Glad” and repeats that phrase ad infinitum, it makes me want to gag myself with a pitchfork and orally excrete my stomacal contents. In the end this is too much of a mixed bag and the bad makes me enjoy the good less than others seem to. For all the positive elements on this debut release, i’d rather just fast forward to the Mark II phase and be issue free.
martindavey87
Going into this album, anything I knew of Deep Purple's music was centered around all the hits they released during their MKII and MKIII eras. Meaning, of course, I knew 'Highway Star', 'Smoke on the Water', 'Burn', and all the other classics that are featured on countless compilations that all have the exact same tracklist. So I was intrigued to get started from the beginning. To head back to 1968 and check out the album that kicked off the career of one of rock music's most legendary bands.

"Meh".

Compared to the material the band would later release, this album is pretty boring, with no sense of identity. It just completely lacks that instantly recognizable Deep Purple vibe. It sounds like any generic rock album from the late 60's. It's not terrible. There's a few catchy hooks here-and-there, but the album as a whole just doesn't do anything for me. It's no wonder these songs are usually neglected from all the compilations. In fact, the only song that really even gets any recognition these days is their cover of Billy Joe Royal's 'Hush'. It says a lot about a bands material when the best song on the record is a cover.

So yeah, that's Deep Purple's debut. It was probably an incredible, ground-breaking game-changer in 1968. But this isn't 1968, and these songs have not aged well at all. I'll give it two stars because it's not awful, it's just not really very good, either.
Warthur
More rooted in hard-edged psychedelia than the early metal they would eventually be known for, Deep Purple's debut album finds the band relying heavily on their highly distinctive arrangements of various 1960s counterculture standards. Some of these are more successful than others; they give a decent rendition of the slow version of Hey Joe (but few bands worth their salt back then couldn't pull off a Hey Joe if they had a mind to), whilst their version of the Beatles' Help feels a little heavy-handed and pompous, the stridency of the band striking an incongruous note next to the fragility of the lyrics. Still, their take on Hush is downright excellent.
UMUR
"Shades of Deep Purple" is the debut full-length album by UK hard rock act Deep Purple. When I was younger and the internet was only a thing the really nerdy guys knew how to use I thought that "Deep Purple in Rock (1970)" was the debut album by Deep Purple and it was only later that I discovered that Deep Purple had actually released three studio albums before that one. Imagine the surprise. The original lineup on those three albums featured lead vocalist Rod Evans (later of Captain Beyond) and bassist Nick Simper. It wouldn´t be until "Deep Purple in Rock" that Ian Gillan and Roger Glover would join the band.

Deep Purple recorded a lot of cover songs for their early albums and three out of eight tracks on "Shades of Deep Purple" are not written by the band. A bit of a shame really as all three cover songs drag the album down IMO. The cover of The Beatles track "Help" is especially awful. It borders blasphemy IMO. The original songs are much better and I have to mention "Mandrake Root" with it´s extented organ and guitar solo as the highlight of the album. A great track that one. The most adventurous moment on the album is the first two minutes of "Prelude: happiness / I'm so glad" which is a direct translation of the first movement of "Scheherazade" (Nikolai Rimsky- Korsakov). Other than that the music is greatly influenced by hard rock artists like Cream and Jimi Hendrix. There´s also some psychadelic leanings.

The musicianship is pretty good and Jon Lord´s organ is already a dominant part of Deep Purple´s sound. Ritchie Blackmore shines a couple of times too. His trademark guitar sound is already in the making. There are not many memorable riffs though (maybe except for the Hendrix like main riff in "Mandrake Root").

The production is raw and I imagine that the album was recorded within a short time frame.

"Shades of Deep Purple" is a pretty good but not wildly impressive debut album by Deep Purple but I wish that they wouldn´t have included those cover tunes. An album full of original tunes would have earned them a 3 star rating but with the cover tracks I can only give the album a 2.5 star rating.
Conor Fynes
'Shades Of Deep Purple' - Deep Purple (6/10)

The debut album from this massive hard rock band, Deep Purple's 'Shades Of Deep Purple' is met with some ambivalence. Setting aside the fact that this is an album without the band's best singer Ian Gillian, 'Shades Of Deep Purple' is often overlooked for the fact that it is composed greatly of cover songs rather than original material, although there are still a few songs here that the band wrote themselves. Taken for what it is, this debut is actually quite good, and really sets the stage for more successful music in the future.Surprisingly enough, the cover songs are the real draw to this album, but as the inventive rockers that they are, the covers are really made their own, taking 'Shades' from the forgettable album that many deem it to be, to a fairly interesting place in rock history.

While the bluesy 'Mandrake Root' will attract the most attention from Deep Purple fans (due to the fact that it has met a great deal of performances in live settings), I find myself most attracted to the covers that the band has done here. 'Hush' is a fairly well known single that got the band out there, and Deep Purple does it well; a memorable track with a catchy hook or two. The cover of the Beatles song 'Help!' is likely my favourite pick from the album though; it really shows what I mean about Deep Purple making these songs their own. While the original track was fairly upbeat and catchy, Deep Purple turns the song into a drawn out psychedelic experience. This is very refreshing to hear, especially from an album that is almost half a century old by this point.

The band was certainly heavier than most at the time, but they still have ample loads of British pop in their sound, especially when it comes to the vocals. Although not as good as Gillian, Rod Evans does a good job of fronting the band.

'Shades Of Deep Purple' is a nice start for this band, and while the abundance of covers is certainly controversial, I really think that Deep PUrple goes beyond reprising the hits of the day and makes these classic tracks into something new oand original, sometimes almost to the point where they could be considered originals unto themselves. There is nothing particularly excellent here and Deep Purple would certainly go on to much better things, but this should be an interesting experience for anyone wanting a nice piece of hard rock from the late 60's.

Members reviews

1967/ 1976
"Shades Of Deep Purple" is the debut LP of Deep Purple, one of the inventors of Heavy Metal. But Shades Of Deep Purple is (and this in not only my opinion) a great example of Psychedelic Proto Prog malbum. In this album is present "Hush", a great Joe South cover, a hit in USA and DP evergreen. Also "Mandrake Root" is a DP evergreen and one of the best DP original tracks. But the rest of the album is not at the same level (But Beatles cover "Help" is good because very emotional).

In general this album is a typical album for 1968 with a good mix between Proto Prog and Psychedelic Rock but not representative og MkI.

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