Sunday, October 23, 2005

-a "Purple" posting-

I just wanna go on "record", and thank whoever is responsible for inventing EBAY. (No, this isn't a commercial plug; I don't think so anyway). Ebay is a great way for me, a record collector, to find things which I haven't been able to get for YEARS. Although there is a good selection of used vinyl at various area stores, there are some things you can't get here.

In addition to Ebay, I also find some good vinyl at www.gemm.comm, so there's some "balance". I'm not hyping just one site. Not until I get on someone's payroll, that is. These two sites are indicative of the marketplace coming to you; it's a big country, after all, and sites like these give you the opportunity to shop the entire nation (and 'world', for that matter).

One question you're probably asking is, "why is he using PURPLE print?" A good question with an equally good answer: This post is about a fairly rare album by DEEP PURPLE that I bought over Ebay fairly recently. I had an "English" import copy of the record, but I wanted the U.S. Edition, which is hard-to-find, virtually anywhere.

Your second question might be, "okay, now that he's explained THAT, what's all this about CULTURE?" Okay, well, it'll take me a little bit longer to answer that one. Let me take you back to the University of Idaho, fall semester, 1975. I needed an "elective" course; a "Bachelor of Arts" necessitates that you've gotta take all kinds of flaky courses so that you can (theoretically) become a well-rounded person, or something like that.

Well, I found myself in a class called "SURVEY OF ART 101". The class was held in a huge auditorium, and there were about 200 students in the class. The instructor would show you SLIDES of old paintings and tell you about them. Some of the paintings he showed were "in the book", some weren't. There would be a huge test every 3 or 4 weeks, in which he would show you the slides and you had to write down the title of the painting and artist's name. Tough class! No matter how hard I studied, I could never get above a "C".

Which reminds me of a joke. Junior is bring home his report card to show to his Mom.
MOM: "Well, how were your grades?"
JUNIOR: "You could say they're under water".
MOM: "What do you mean by THAT?"
JUNIOR: "They're under C-level!"

Okay, back to the post (thankfully)...

One of the paintings we had to memorize was by German artist Hieronymous Bosch, and it was called "Musical Hell", or just "Hell", I think. Anyway, the painting was a bizarre montage of poor souls in the devil's playpen, with all kinds of cruel musical things being done to them. So me, being a musician, is this where I'll end up if I don't "repent"?

It turns out that the group DEEP PURPLE used this old Hieronymous Bosch painting (done in the 1800's) as an ALBUM COVER, would you believe. You can see the group posing under the "Harp" in the upper left of the album cover...ladies and gentlemen, may I present a Deep Purple album (their 3rd album), titled simply, "DEEP PURPLE"...cover art by Bosch:

(If you click on the picture, it'll enlarge.)

This was Deep Purple's 3rd album, and this album had a lot of strikes against it. First, some retailers refused to stock it, labeling it "profane", because of the nudity in Bosch's painting. Secondly, the names of the songs were not listed on the album jacket, so the buyer didn't know what he was getting. Third, it didn't even LOOK like a rock album; it was easy to miss the group's picture, scattered among all of the images in the painting.

If that weren't bad enough, Deep Purple's U.S. Label, "Tetragrammaton", went bankrupt shortly after the album was released, so it was only available for a short time here in the U.S. of A. That's sad, because this is a very good album. One of my favorites, in fact. Good, melodic heavy rock, interspersed with classical instruments and orchestrations. Previously, Deep Purple had hits with "Hush" and "Kentucky Woman", from their first two Tetragrammaton albums, but hardly anything from this 3rd album was ever heard.

Later on, the group moved over to Warner Bros. Records, where they had the big hit, "Smoke On The Water" and went on to worldwide fame with their really good hard-rocking albums on that label. I love those records, but I really think Deep Purple's first 3 albums on "Tetragrammaton" Records were flawless and highly listenable. The other two "Tetra" albums were "Shades of Deep Purple" and "The Book of Taliesyn", on which the group does a 10-minute version of "River Deep-Mountain High" which features musical motifs from "2001".

One more little bit of trivia: Tetragrammaton Records was co-owned by comedian BILL COSBY. Shows what happens when "Artists" try to manage a label. (Look at what happened to Apple records, the Beatles' label, in the '70s.) And you may not know this, but FRANK SINATRA was actually co-owner of Reprise Records, back in the '60s. He later sold that label to Warner Bros. records.

Finally, if you're interested in this early Deep Purple music, and can't find any of their 3 Tetragrammaton albums, Warner Bros. issued "Purple Passages", a 2-album set that features selections from those first three Deep Purple "Tetragrammaton" albums. Ebay or Gemm (both referred to above) are good places to begin, if melodic hard-rock like this sounds interesting to you.


Blogger Word Tosser said...

Second time is a charm... I got your blog this time.. lol
Say how about next election we pull the Democrat switch down the whole line of politicans... then two years later, pull the Republican switch and the two years after that the Democrats again and keep switch every two years? Think that might work?

Deep Purple... did that have Prince in the group? or was that just Purple? I was doing country western by that time, so don't know.

12:06 PM  
Blogger little ol' me said...

In answer to your question (assuming you'll check back here), Deep Purple started out in the late '60s, probably before Prince was even conceived. I believe you're thinking of Prince's movie, "Purple Rain".

As far as politix,I like alternating Demo's with Repub's, but I'm so disgusted with politics, I just wanna keep myself away from the slime. Tell U what, you go ahead and pull the levers. Can't make things any worse!

7:16 PM  

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