May 19, 2014

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 66: Deep Purple ~ Purple Passeges

Deep Purple
Purple Passeges

                   Deep Purple ~ Purple Passages
                 reel-to-reel tape album cover detail
                             .detail photo by Styrous®

In addition to my 20,000 Vinyl LP collection I'm selling, I have reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes for sale as well. If interested, contact me by email please, not by a comment. 

The Deep Purple ~ Passages reel-to-reel tape will be on sale on eBay in June (see links below).

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I remember those long, late-night parties in which I'd dance my ass off to the latest ventures into hard rock by those great groups of the late '60's. Deep Purple was one of them. Oh, my, how I'd dance until I was exhausted!

Purple Passages is a 1972 United States-only compilation album by Deep Purple featuring material originally released in 1968 and 1969 on the Tetragrammaton label. It features classics such as Hush and Kentucky Woman.

This compilation included some alternate mixes of The Bird Has Flown and Why Didn't Rosemary?, with the former having a clean intro instead of a fade-in on the album version. It also included the final Purple Mk. I single, Emmaretta, for the first time on LP. Original lead singer Rod Evans went on to front the popular 1970's band Captain Beyond (see link to Viewfinder article below).

reel-to-reel tape box cover 
.photo by Styrous®

The beginning of Deep Purple developed in 1967 from an idea by Chris Curtis who had the fantasy of building a group centred around himself. There was a conflict of ideologies and Curtis eventually left and the group was then built around Jon Lord and Ritchie Blackmore. The line-up was completed with experienced ex-Johnny Kidd & The Pirates bassist, Nick Simper, plus singer Rod Evans and drummer Ian Paice, both from The Maze. The band was finalized in March, 1968.

reel-to-reel tape box back
photo by Styrous®

In nine months Deep Purple recorded three studio albums and a non-album single; a pretty amazing feat by anyone's measure. The early releases have been described as lacking direction but in reality, the band was still coming to grips with a wonderful new sound which seemed to work with virtually any type of music, and which did not limit them to a set direction. Every musical avenue was open, and the first to bring success was pop.

Their debut single Hush, by Joe South, originally written for recording artist Billy Joe Royal, was a huge US hit, climbing into the Billboard top five. Hush is one of four songs originally recorded with vocals sung by Rod Evans.  Others are Kentucky Woman, originally from the album The Book of Taliesyn from 1968, Mandrake Root from the same album that originally featured Hush, and Bird Has Flown from the album Deep Purple, or Deep Purple III, released in 1969.

reel-to-reel tape box back detail
detail photo by Styrous®

a later line-up

The Songs

reel-to-reel tape box back detail
detail photo by Styrous®

And the Address has a neat organ intro by Lord that slowly fades up and builds into a traditional hard-rock driving beat instrumental that is a great dance song with some fine guitar work by Blackmore.

Sirens open Hey, Joe which goes into a terrific middle eastern-sounding, syncopated, staccato organ and guitar intro which gives way to the slow, dreamy-tempo vocal by Evans that the song is so identified with. The guitar instrumental break in the song is terrific. It has a very dramatic end with footsteps that go out the door which slams shut. A very nice touch.

there is a lyrics book included with the reel-to-reel tape of Purple Passages

lyrics book
photo by Styrous®

Hush starts out with a distant wolf (?) howl then goes into a a fast, bouncy, syncopated dance beat that is SO good to move to. I love the organ riff by Lord on this one. It references, Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye, a song written and recorded by Paul Leka, Gary DeCarlo and Dale Frashuer, but attributed to a then-fictitious band they named, "Steam".

Emmaretta opens with some funky guitar licks by Blackmore. Really nice for dancing, its syncopated beat makes for a good propulsion of movement. This has a nice instrumental break as well as some great drum work by Paice at the fade out.

lyrics book back
photo by Styrous®

Chasing Shadows opens with a really neat drum intro by Paice that leads us into a syncopated, jungle-sounding song with a feeling of gusto and verb. The vocal by Rod Evans sounds distant and echoey. The guitar work by Blackmore in the first instrumental break is sensational! The organ by Lord in the second break is hot as well. This is a fantastic song.

lyrics book back detail
detail photo by Styrous®

The Bird Has Flown has a tom-tom beat that mellows out for a few seconds then goes on to make for a pretty nice dance song. Some terrific guitar work by Blackmore and organ by Lord in this one. It builds to a really hot end.

lyrics book back detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Why Didn't Rosemary? lopes along with a bouncy gallop that is impossible to keep still to. A fun and happy song. Again, great guitar work sby Blackmore during the instrumental. This and Hard Road are a couple of my favorite songs on the album (favorite at the end).

Hard Road has the same feeling as Rosemary and seems to be an extension of it except it is an instrumental.  It opens with some nice organ work by Lord and some really cool tympani work by Paice. It has a great, traditional, hard-rock ending. TERRIFC!  

lyrics book interior
photo by Styrous®

The Shield has a smooth, suspenseful with a mid-east kind of feel to it. This is my second favorite song. I love the opening line, "Mama plays a queen on the hill built on a dream". It has some interesting Korla Pandit-like organ work by Lord. A really fantastic, dreamy-feeling song that gently rocks out, it is perfect for slow dancing or trippin' out. At six minutes you have time to do it. Try it sometime.

lyrics book
 photo by Styrous®

lyrics book detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Mandrake Root has a Smoke on the Water feeling to it so, I guess it kind of was the basis for it. It was recorded from May 11 to 13, 1968. Smoke was recorded in 1972. The title refers to the hallucinogenic mandrake plant, but is also the name of a pre-Purple band that Blackmore was trying to form in Germany when he got the call from Deep Purple's original management.

lyrics book detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Kentucky Woman, written by Neil Diamond, is just plain, old fun. A fast song that moves and I mean it! Terrific for dancin' and rockin'. Once again, Blackmore blows it all out on his guitar and Lord has a field day on the organ.

April opens with a somber organ by Lord, then a quiet piano and guitar form the intro to the song that eventuallly goes into a moderately fast but quiet kind of gallop with some nice tympani, once again, by Paice. A chorus joins in as well as an orchestra and they establish a sensational instrumental that is incredibly beautiful. At one point it goes into a minuet with an oboe that floats above the quiet pizzicato strings. Around eight minutes into the song, the Baroque mood is suddenly interrupted as the rock vocal breaks in and the song reassumes the train-like beat รก la rock. The chorus returns and everyone is ready to party.

At a little over twelve minutes, April has the time and space to really explore and is epic by any standard. My only regret about this song is it fades out instead of ending with the grand finish that would have befitted a work of this calibre. As the Stones once said, "You can't always get what you want."

Of all the great songs on this album, 
this one is my favorite.

reel-to-reel tape label detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Track listing

Side one

  1. "And the Address" (Blackmore/Lord) - 4.53
  2. "Hey Joe" (trad., arr. Lord/Evans/Simper/Paice/Blackmore) - 6.57
  3. "Hush" (Joe South) - 4.20
  4. "Emmaretta" (Lord/Blackmore/Evans) - 2.58
  5. "Chasing Shadows" (Lord/Paice) - 5.31
  6. "The Bird Has Flown" (Evans/Blackmore/Lord) - 5.30
  7. "Why Didn't Rosemary?" (Blackmore/Lord/Evans/Simper/Paice) - 5.00

    Side two

    1. "Hard Road (Wring That Neck)" (Blackmore/Lord/Simper/Paice) - 5.11
    2. "The Shield" (Blackmore/Evans/Lord) - 6.02
    3. "Mandrake Root" (Blackmore/Evans/Lord) - 6.03
    4. "Kentucky Woman" (Neil Diamond) - 4.44
    5. "April" (Blackmore/Lord) - 12.03


      Deep Purple

      Warner Brothers Records
      WST 2644-F-DP

      Links to Deep Purple related sites on the net:
      Links to music videos on YouTube:

      And the Address
      Hey, Joe 
      Hush (original 1968 film clip)
      Chasing Shadows
      The Bird Has Flown
      Why Didn't Rosemary?
      Hard Road (Wring That Neck)
      The Shield
      Mandrake Root k
      Kentucky Woman

      Deep Purple ~ Purple Passages reel-to-reel tape is on sale on eBay

      reel-to-reel tapes on eBay


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