DEEP PURPLE The Early Years (EMI 5966112 )(2004)
An interesting one, this. Tucked away as part of the EMI Early Years collection, this ostensibly rounds up 14 tracks from the Mark 1 Purple line-up of Lord, Paice, Blackmore, Evans and Simper. However, ignoring the lamentable marketing trick of remixing old tunes, this actually sneaks in 2 previously unreleased performances. This is quite cruel, as those of us with a yen for the Mk 1 years have to shell out for 12 tracks we already have. But it is a budget release, so at least it's only £7, not £14.
So what do you get. From "Shades Of Deep Purple", there's 5 tracks - "And The Address (2003 remix)", "Mandrake Root", "I'm So Glad (2003 remix)", "Hey Joe (2003 remix)" and one of the rarities, a 1968 monitor mix of "Hush".
"The Book Of Taliesyn" gives us another rarity in the shape of an alternate take of "Kentucky Woman", then "Listen Learn Read On", "Shield", a BBC session version of "Wring That Neck" and "Anthem".
My beloved "Deep Purple" is grossly underrepresented by "Bird Has Flown", "Blind (2003 remix)", "Why Didn't Rosemary" and "Lalena (instrumental)".
It's a reasonable selection of material documenting the development of Deep Purple when they were a truly progressive outfit, prior to the arrival of Gillan and Glover and their mutation into a generic, albeit brilliant, hard rock outfit. At this price, it serves well as an introduction to those unfamiliar with the first 3 albums, although buying the remastered version of those would be my first recommendation. If you've got those, then it's very much a judgement call whether you want the two unreleased numbers, although the 12 page booklet is well written and informative.
Review by Zeitgeist
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