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Laden with mystique and compulsion

A review of the Hallelujah single originally published in New Musical Express on August 2, 1969, was posted by Geir Myklebust in his blog Music History for Those Who Are Able to Read. Due to the brevity of the review, we take the liberty of reproducing it here in full. This is a review of the very first release by the nascent Mark 2, and provides a glimpse into things to come.

Purple may make chart

Top singles reviewed by Derek Johnson

Deep Purple: Hallelujah (Harvest).

Although it`s had a couple of big ones in the States, Deep Purple has yet to register here at home. And it`s just possible that this could do the trick – it`s one of those numbers that could either be a smash hit or a massive flop! Penned by the Greenaway-Cook team, it`s a medium-pacer with a strong gospel-revivalist flavour.
Ian Gillan delivers the preacher-like lyrics effectively, though I could have done without the screams, while the bluesy organ and strident guitar maintain an atmospheric backcloth.
A disc that`s laden with mystique and compulsion, and which – in its more inspired moments – develops a rock-like quality.

Thanks to Geir Myklebust for bringing this to your attention.

11 Comments to “Laden with mystique and compulsion”:

  1. 1
    George Martin says:

    I remember first seeing this video back in 1969. I was only 11 at the time and we had this one channel that on late Saturday nights would show videos of different bands. Some you knew and some you did not not know. I had Hush as a single but did not make the connection that this was the same band. After all they did not sound like the same band. It wasn’t until 1970 when In Rock came out, I realized that band members had changed. Remember I was only 12 then. The concept of band members changing did not enter my mind then. It’s great to watch this video and it brings me back to those days. Time goes by so fast.

  2. 2
    uwe hornung says:

    I know it’s cheesy, but I always loved that song! When I first heard it …

    (actually quite late, on the post-split ‘Singles A’s and B’s’ vinyl compilation with the, uhum, musically appropriate bathing suit girl which looked like it had lost its way from one of those wet dream Roxy Music covers …

    https://cloud10.todocoleccion.online/musica-cds/tc/2017/08/30/11/96653491_66335056.webp )

    … I thought it was a forgotten Jesus Christ Superstar outtake!

    I wonder if it ever got played live?

    In later years, the NME – of all UK music mags – would not be so lenient with Purple …


  3. 3
    uwe hornung says:

    And now in colo(u)r! It’s amazing what they can do with these electronic gadgets called computers theses days.


    And another version of the Beat Club vid – no Fräulein Uschi Nerke this time.


    Looking back at it, that song might have had some influence on Uriah Heep too.

  4. 4
    MacGregor says:

    I can imagine what Blackmore would have been thinking at this time. We get a new rock singer & a new bass player with the emphasis on moving into a harder rock style & we are still doing what we want to get away from. Cheers.

  5. 5
    nupsi59 says:

    The REAL beginning of ROUNDABOUT.
    Take care and have a nice Day!

  6. 6
    Leslie S Hedger says:

    The “Screams” were the highlight of the song to me.

  7. 7
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Back in the day when Mk II still did real chorusses rather than the tried and trusted “Ritchie, you just play the riff again here and Jon & Roger join in unison!”-recipe! ; – )

  8. 8
    uwe hornung says:

    Actually, if you really dissect it, this rendition of a third-party-penned song already indicated where Mk II’s strengths would lie. Material-wise, that song could have been played with Rod and Nick as well, but it wouldn’t have sounded the same! Gillan was a more expressive, exuberant singer (as you would expect the “Jesus” singing this song to be) than Rod (he was always a more laid back crooner), Roger gelled more with Little Ian (even on this first session – and not so much by what he played, but how he played it, i.e. his more organic groove), the rhythm section is more determined and grounding than on anything Mk I had recorded before.

    The arrangement is tidier than most of Mk I’s exploits; both the organ and the guitar work (Ritchie is getting to know the Fender Stratocaster, it was the period where be began to switch from his formerly beloved Gibson hollow-body) stand out more even if the respective lines are comparatively simple.

    Finally the production. I liked what Derek Lawrence did with the early Wishbone Ash albums (he co-created the iconic Argus after all), but his production of the three Mk I studio albums firmly dated them in the (not even late) 60ies (as did Rod’s singing and to some extent also Nick’s bass playing). Here the band was for the first time free from his production shackles and the difference is audible. Purple were now on the verge of jumping into the 70ies, something Mk I could not have done.

    You know what? The “Turn to the man!” double-time part the band breaks into towards the end of Ritchie’s elegiac solo always reminded me of these guys (& gals) here (who ruled the German easy listening market in the early 70ies founded as they were by an ex-British Army grunt who had been stationed in Germany):


    Spot (turn to?) the man who had to make a living outside of Lucifer’s Friend


    and was at one point very close to stepping into Ian Gillan’s shoes


    – only to end up in that outfit that sounded a bit like Purple, but with real choruses …


  9. 9
    Adel Faragalla says:

    No one knows the exact story as my understanding that as Ian Gillan brought Roger with him to the audition which led to Nick Simper been given the axe as well so initially they wanted to replace the singer.
    So Roger owes Ian Gillan a lot of gratitude and that’s why you need to feel for Nick Simper as I think he was axed by sheer unluck. But hey no one said that life is fair and everyone gets the same luck in life.

  10. 10
    Dr. Bob says:

    I do often forget about this song. This is probably my 1st listening in this millenium.

  11. 11
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I liked Nick Simper’s bass style, but it was very much of its time – or even the time before, late 50ies and early 60ies rather than late 60ies. Ian Paice once said: “With Nick … anything he played you knew where he came from”. Nick was more Johnny Kidd & The Pirates than John Paul Jones or Jack Bruce.

    It had nothing to do with technical ability, Nick was a busy and melodic player. The bass playing on the first three DP studio outings is probably more distinct than on In Rock and Fireball, Roger – never a committed bass player, but a musician first and foremost – only came into his own with the advent of his Rickenbacker 4001 on MH, MiJ und WDWTWA (but then he really did shine).

    What Roger brought to DP – besides songwriting and an allround musical ear – was a feel for where Purple’s music was heading AND for Paice’s “leading (not leaden, that’s Bonzo!) drums”.

    The proof is in the pudding, listen to how the two Warhorse albums sound and compare them to In Rock und Fireball. Both the debut und Red Sei sound dated and already did so in the early 70ies.

    All this with due respect to Nick whose accessible bass playing was an early influence on me. And I really liked the two (Nick Simper’s) Fandango albums.

    One thing bugs me though. Blackmore once made a cryptic remark about Nick: “With Nick, there were other reasons why he had to go. I’m surprised those haven’t come out in the papers yet, but one day they probably will.” I always wonder what Ritchie meant with that, I don’t believe that was one of his legendary caustic pulling-the-rug-from-underneath-you remarks. I’ve read that Nick’s mood swings made day to day touring difficult with him, but nothing in his post-DP career seems to confirm that. He played together with guitarist Peter Parks (in Warhorse, Dynamite, Fandango and The Good Old Boys) for four decades after all and seems a nice enough, balanced and not embittered man.

    His bass playing today has changed quite a bit from his Mk I work btw. But it’s neither in Roger’s (unobstrusive, but skill- and tasteful, metronomic in its gelling with Little Ian’s drumming) nor Glenn’s (A RIOT !!!) league.

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