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Did Deep Purple have the biggest change in their sound in Rock History?


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Initial post: Nov 4, 2012 12:34:49 AM PDT
Deep Purple Mk I is a great band. They are essentially a really excellent pop-progressive band with really great instrumentalists. Mandrake Root, Wring that Neck, Why Didn't Rosemary, Chasing Shadows, etc. The list goes on and on. Then all of a sudden on their 4th album, they change personnel and come up with the heaviest album up to that point: In Rock.

Has their ever been another band that has changed direction so much?

Posted on Nov 4, 2012 12:42:49 PM PST
Aerosmith and Metallica have changed direction dramatically and not for the best. Led Zeppelin changed much more than Deep Purple. Black Sabbath as well.

Posted on Nov 9, 2012 1:22:56 PM PST
Music Lover says:
Queen also changed dramatically, often within the same record due to input from 4 seperate writers

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 9:56:09 AM PST
Genesis, from Gabriel and Hackett to Collins, Banks and Rutherford was a pretty big change...

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 9:54:16 PM PST
Spinal Tap!!!!

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 10:55:53 PM PST
Oh pleeze, the transition from Mk I to Mk II Deep Purple isn't that big at all compared to some of the radical left turns other bands have taken. It's not that big of a leap from "Hush" to "Fireball". By contrast, The Byrds' transition from "The Notorious Byrd Brothers" (art-pop/psychedelia) to "Sweetheart Of The Rodeo" (stone-cold hillbilly country) only seven months later, seems separated by light years. Or any one of Neil Young's schizophrenic transitions over the years, most especially his 80s output (from synth-pop to rockabilly to country to rock to big band).

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 12:05:59 AM PST
Kevan James says:
OK, might not quite fall into the same area as Deep Purple but if you listen to the first two albums by 80s British group Japan you hear a (not too bad) New York Dolls sound-a-like. By album 4 they've turned into New Romantic darlings!

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 4:47:46 PM PST
E. Dill says:
When I first began participating on the "897 Greatest Albums of All Time" thread, I quickly ran into a band I only faintly remembered as a new wave band of sorts, Talk Talk. They were ok as I remembered. Then I listened to the album that had been chosen as one of the best of the best of all time. It was NOT new wave. NOT EVEN CLOSE. It was some of the most interesting progressive rock I'd heard in awhile and it was recorded decades before.....I simply forgot about Talk Talk or lost interest in their music. Who'd have guessed they'd change their music completely.

ed.

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 10:33:18 PM PST
@E.Dill: the change from Talk Talk's early material to their later albums is huge, I'll grant. However, I just could never understand the worship for "Spirit Of Eden" or "Laughing Stock". Bits of the albums are arresting, but overall I feel they are both crashing bores. For me, good post-rock didn't really begin until Slint's "Spiderland".

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 8:30:24 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2012 8:35:55 AM PST
E. Dill says:
<<@E.Dill: the change from Talk Talk's early material to their later albums is huge, I'll grant. However, I just could never understand the worship for "Spirit Of Eden" or "Laughing Stock". Bits of the albums are arresting, but overall I feel they are both crashing bores. For me, good post-rock didn't really begin until Slint's "Spiderland". >>

@Michael Topper:

Well, at least you got the genre right. I lazily referred to both Talk Talk albums as "progressive" (generically)....what can I say? When I first began the 897 album exercise, Talk Talk's "Laughing Stock" was one of the first albums we reviewed. I remembered them as a new wave/synth band. I listened to LS and was blown away. No crashing bore for me. Typically, when I began to research the band, I discovered that I had a cassette tape of the one before, "Spirit of Eden" but never remembered listening to it. I vowed to get a copy of it on cd but never did. I will now.

I gave both albums a quick listen again. I haven't changed my mind. I haven't changed my mind about Slint's Spiderland either. Over the years, I've mentioned them a few times and been ignored. A great album but I see no reason to compare it's worthiness to either Talk Talk albums. There's room for all three here.

As for the post-rock business, while I find myself often defending genres and others usually mocking them, I decided to get a professional's definition of the term. Here's one:

"Post-Rock is a term popularized by music critic Simon Reynolds. In Reynolds' words, it refers to "using rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes, using guitars as facilitators of timbre and textures rather than riffs and power chords." (I know that Simon wrote a book on "post punk", also.)

A succinct description of the genre's sound is difficult because of the diverse influences bands in the Post-Rock scene employ, but one can generally say that it derives primarily from a mix of Ambient, Space Rock, Experimental Rock, Krautrock, and styles on the "wall-of-sound" end of the Alternative Rock spectrum, such as Shoegaze. Some Post-Rock bands also dabble in Math Rock, Tape Music, Minimalism, and various forms of Jazz, but application of these styles is by no means uniform."

So, in keeping with my penchant for lists, knowing full well that I may be a defender of the use of genres but I'm a bit loosey goosey about them (hardly EVER having a clear sense of what group or album was the most important first album of that style....let alone the first that I actually heard and when I heard it):

Talk Talk, Bark Psychosis, Slint, Cul De Sac, Labradford, Tortoise, Gastr del Sol, Dirty Three, Laika, Mouse on Mars, Cerberus Shoal, The For Carnation, Rachel's, Swans, Roy Montgomery, Mogwai, Trans Am, Sigur Ros, American Analog Set, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Windy & Carl, Pan American, Jessica Bailiff, Aereogramme, Friends of Dean Martinez, Arab Strap, Matmos, Explosions in the Sky, Species Being, Low, Man or Astro-Man, A Silver Mt. Zion, Do Make Say Think, Aloha, Fontanelle, Broken Social Scene, Angels of Light, Agalloch, mum, Mono, The Album Leaf, Japancakes, This Will Destroy You, etc. (I have stuff by all of these "post-something or others". I particularly like Dirty Three, The For Carnation, Swans, Sigur Ros, Low, A Silver Mt. Zion)

ed.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 8:50:32 AM PST
vivazappa says:
Zappa, Bowie and NEIL Young had the biggest changes.

As far as a band goes The Grateful Dead had many. From the trippy early records (Axomoxoma) to folkish (Workingman's Dead) to funky (Shakedown) to mid east sounding (Blues for Allah) to accoustic (Reckoning) to the more straight ahead records (In the Dark, Built to Last)...plus all the live shows which switch up styles on every tune.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 11:19:57 PM PST
@E.Dill: "A great album but I see no reason to compare it's worthiness to either Talk Talk albums. There's room for all three here."

Well, yes...that is, if you happen to like all three.

Some post-rock is better than others; as you note, there's a fair amount of diversity within its ranks. I find a lot of post-rock a crashing bore (Sigur Ros, anyone?), but the stuff that isn't can be *quite* good. Besides Slint, there's Tortoise (although even then, some of their stuff is better than others) and Godspeed! You Black Emperor (my favorite). I listened to Cul-De-Sac back in the 90s but they bored me eventually. A lot of the other bands I'm not too aware of, except maybe Mouse On Mars and Bark Psychosis, I think I've heard bits of both acts.

BTW Dill, I'd be interested in seeing what your "best of 2012 so far" list looks like. I just compiled my top ten for another forum, but I'm sure there's plenty I've missed from this year, that you might be aware of. I'm still catching up from last year! This is what my top ten looks like right now:

1. Tame Impala, "Lonerism"
2. The Smashing Pumpkins, "Oceania"
3. Grizzly Bear, "Shields"
4. Guillemots, "Hello Land!"
5. Frank Ocean, "Channel Orange"
6. Echolyn, "Echolyn"
7. Fiona Apple, "The Idler Wheel..."
8. Spiritualized, "Sweet Heart Sweet Light"
9. Anglagard, "Viljans Oga"
10. Big Big Train, "English Electric (Part One)"

I'm only looking for a top ten list although I know you like making them longer...try to keep it to a top twenty at least, OK? ;)

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 8:07:57 AM PST
E. Dill says:
@Michael Topper:

A shout out to Talk Talk....wait, I did that already.

Another shout out to Sigur Ros. Boring, you say? It's that voice!

My Top Ten for 2012 so far? Wow. You'd think I'd have a pretty good handle on that but I don't. Give me a day or two to think about it. Hell, I never followed up on the 1985 thing (or was it 1984?). As I recall, I'd made a list of 100 other possibilities for my Top 10 for THAT year and I was trying to decide.

Also, I finally finished my 4 year review of the 897 Greatest Albums ever and am now trying to add and subtract from their list and then rearrange it to my own preferences. I realized that I don't even have a clue what my Top 10 or 20 would be. Most people, I suspect, know that without thinking about it much. They've probably lived with it for many years. I used to give Neil Young's "After the Goldrush" as my #1 album but I seldom do it anymore. Even a favorite 897 will be virtually impossible for me.

So, yes, I'll try. And yes, I'll keep it to 10. Of yours, I haven't heard Guillemots, Echolyn and Big Big Train.....thanks for 3 more to add to the mix.

I wonder if that vocalist from Sigur Ros has a slightly more artistic whine than Neil's and that's why I embraced it?

ed.

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 11:47:27 AM PST
E. Dill says:
Of the 20 I reviewed, I'm feeling them this way

Alcest
Animal Collective
Amadou & Mariam
Abercrombie, John

Asteriods Galaxy Tour (love the female lead voice)
Sun Araw
Alabama Shakes
Actress
Apple, Fiona (I want to like this one more....we shall see)
Air

OTHERS IN NO ORDER:
Accept
Aesop Rock
Alchemist
All American Rejects
Ian Anderson
Anuhea
Steve Aoki
Asia
Audrey Assad
Attack! Attack!

ORDERED:
Among others, Alt J - An Awesome Wave

WILL PROBABLY ORDER:
Anglagard (I think I mentioned this one some months ago & maybe even gave a youtube site but then never followed up on it)

ed,

ps. Notice how I'm promising a Top Ten for 2012, but must post my searching thru 100's of albums to get there. Let's hope I finish quicker than my "final" 1985 list.

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 3:07:51 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 16, 2012 3:09:01 PM PST
@E.Dill: I see you have a ways to go, if you're still on the "A"'s, LOL! Anyways, as usual there's many acts here I've never heard of. However, I thought Animal Collective's new album was very weak (I'm really not a fan of the group and didn't think any of their material was worth it until "Merriweather"--and now it's looking more and more like that was a fluke). Besides them, other albums this year I was disappointed in included efforts by Muse, Squackett, Ian Anderson and Neil Young. And in spite of the praise for "Clockwork Angels", I was never a Rush fan so I'm not even trying to hear that one, LOL.

The new Echolyn album (their first in years) is really great. It's not as unique-sounding as earlier albums like "Suffocating The Bloom", but the songwriting itself has improved--there's some killer tunes on there, and they're still in that 10-minute-plus prog length. I couldn't find the album in the stores, so I heard the whole thing on youtube. Anglagard's new one sounds just like their classic stuff ie. "Hybris". I don't know if you're familiar with Big Big Train but their sound has evolved over the years, and nowadays they sound like Trick/Wind-era Genesis with a *very* Collins-ish vocalist, to boot--but also add their own touches like violin and horns to the mix. This new album is one of their finest. Guillemots, interestingly, was a band I heard at a Starbucks a few months ago and was intrigued enough to ask at the counter. They're a bit like Belle And Sebastian, but have their own sound as well. Great stuff.

Fiona's album drags a little in the middle but I've always liked her and the best material on it, I think, counts among her best.

If you really have to, I wouldn't mind your 2012 list being a top twenty. I'll check out Asteroids Galaxy Tour, the name certainly sounds interesting enough!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 3:14:03 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2012 5:53:56 AM PST
AlexMontrose says:
Deep Purple completely changed their sound from Mk I to Mk II. It's the same as any other genre and obvious to anyone who recognizes the nuances and progression involved in hard rock songwriting. You could hear and see the seeds being planted in some of the Mk I songs, the improvisational nature of some of the tracks that usually featured Lord and Blackmore trading off.

But in between their last Mk I album and In Rock they also did a full orchestra album. So no one really knew at the time what direction they were about to take. Then In Rock exploded on the scene and all the flowery cover songs, "romantic" tinged vocals of Rod Evans and their somewhat schizophrenic identity through those early albums was blown to bits. They gave us a laser focused hard rock masterpiece with In Rock and that was the beginning of the many millions throughout the world who would be having friendly and....lol...not so friendly debates about who ruled the land of hard rock megabands. Zeppelin, Sabbath or Purple. Don't think that's changed much...still pretty much would hold true today as far as pioneers of a certain brand of hard rock that was being heard for the first time....and metal I guess if someone wants to use that for Sabbath. And it certainly would not have been the case had Purple continued with the less focused and somewhat inconsistent identity that marked some of the Mk I albums.

Blackmore was famous for saying "if it's not exciting it doesn't belong on this album" when referring to In Rock. Not only was it off the charts exciting but the music became a blitzkrieg of musical improvisation/interplay, rhythms and pummeling sounds. To not recognize the difference between so many of their earlier songs (if you know any of them) and what took place on In Rock is......
well ;)... let's just say if you're a fan you still remember the day that Deep Purple started to take the world by storm with their new direction and it certainly was a *major* change. It's common knowledge that many a band changed their sound/music direction from one album to the next but the monumental shift in identity from DP Mk I to Mk II was nothing short of legendary.

BTW...E. Dill love to see Talk Talk being brought up from time to time. "It's my life" is a great album but yeah they certainly sort of went into an almost resentful phase (especially Spirit of Eden) when writing songs, with some sort of coherence seemed to be something they couldn't stand doing anymore. To me and in other threads I've called it almost "anti" music. After It's my life I had a lot hope for these guys but they were never the same IMO. Wouldn't mind a reunion though. Could be interesting.

*And this thread would probably get more action in the Classic Rock forum*

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 3:42:59 PM PST
E. Dill says:
@Michael Topper:

I'm wondering why you care about what I like....it surely seems we're often on different musical planets. I mean, Sigur Ros is boring, Talk Talk's later albums were boring and Animal Collective's one decent album was a fluke. I'm guessing I'll try my best to keep mine a Top Ten, unless I can fill it some of the same ones you have. Otherwise, I don't know if I can stand that many insults to my musical preferences.

BTW, I'm sure you will NOT like Asteroids Galaxy Tour.....I'll bet its too lightweight and awfully boring.

ed. (partly kidding)

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 4:36:15 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 16, 2012 4:38:15 PM PST
@E.Dill: Don't be so sensitive! Even in a half-kidding way. ;) Sure, there's a lot we disagree on. But there's also a lot we agree on, too. But your lists have led me to some great musical discoveries. What I like about you is that you are just so knowledgable about what's out there, literally hundreds and hundreds of releases per year. It's so many that even if I disagree with you on 80% of it (which I don't), that 20% is still going to consist of dozens of albums.

And we can both agree that "After The Gold Rush" is a masterpiece. It's at #89 on my All-Time Top 100 Rock list, which is actually a really high placing. Here's a link to my entire list:

http://rateyourmusic.com/list/mtopper/the_top_100_rock_albums_of_all_time

I'm not asking for your top 10 for 2012 to look like mine. In fact, the more different it is, the better, because then it means more albums I can check out. But just make it as honest to your taste as you can! I'm just curious.

Posted on Nov 17, 2012 5:20:29 AM PST
E. Dill says:
@Michael Topper:

It's mostly me. I'm not sure if it's sensitivity or the old "objective vs. subjective" arguement. I mean, yes, one would suppose that anyone and everyone understands that one's personal taste in music is, by its very nature, subjective, so there isn't a need to always add words like "in my opinion". But I'm convinced that a lot of people have come to the conclusion that they CAN judge music objectively. Admittedly, I always test this by something like "there is no way anyone can prove that the Beatles music is better than Bobby Sherman." Even those who believe musical tastes must be subjective in nature will say "wait a minute here. You've gone too far". And I truly don't think so.

I can't, for the life of me, explain why I do or don't like certain music. And it's not a genre thing, although I KNOW that I have a much better success rate with certain genres than others. Take "alt-country" vs. "death metal". It's not even close. Or "indie pop" vs. "rap". It's strictly past history. I never give up on those "lesser" styles of music, though. I "force" myself to keep investigating what's happening in their realm. And, of course, the extent of my likes and dislikes isn't consistent. The other day, I was going thru my 2012 "b"'s and got stumped by the band "Baroness". I realized that I always seem to blow hot and cold with them. I'm guessing its mood.

What I found in doing the 897 exercise, was that I don't parcel specific albums into tight groups that well, i.e., these are the BEST, i.e., 10's and these are a notch below, etc. I like a LOT of music and find such gradations quite difficult since I can't find objective criteria to help me. When I say I like a vocalist better than another, I don't try to analyze why. Something about the voice appeals to me. Same with instrumentation. I often criticize the use of violins in rock. Other times, they work wonderfully for me.

So that's it. I wasn't trying to give you a hard time and I know you don't want me to copy your list. But, again, sometimes other's opinions sound like objective statements, i.e., "they're boring" or "their last record was a fluke", etc. and I tend to react badly to them. It's mostly my "quirk", not yours.

ed.

Posted on Nov 17, 2012 11:15:22 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2012 11:16:14 AM PST
@E.Dill: "But, again, sometimes other's opinions sound like objective statements, i.e., "they're boring" or "their last record was a fluke", etc."

But I *did* put qualifiers in front of those statements. I said "*I thought* Animal Collective's last album was weak" and "*I find* a lot of post-rock a crashing bore". I always do this because I've run into trouble before on these forums where not putting some form of "IMO" in my statements has led to big misunderstandings. It's *always* going to be a given with me that anything I say is "IMO", whether I explicity say it or not (and I try to, in some form or other), although I understand that not everyone on these forums thinks this way (methinks you've been debating with people like werranth too much, LOL).

As for my top 10/100 lists, it is pretty hard to rank albums and I have all the same problems you do with it, but I find it an interesting exercise. Sometimes I use specific criteria to separate the releases (ie. "this album has all great songs, as opposed to this album which has all great songs but one"), and sometimes I just go by an intuitive "feel" that I prefer one album just slightly more than another. I'm never under any illusion that my top 100 is set in stone and it can easily change according to the mood of the day (although, interestingly, my top 40 or so has remained pretty unchanged over the past ten years). So I understand that not everyone can make ranked lists, and yours does not have to be ranked, just maybe ten or twenty albums from the past year you find yourself coming back to.

And no, there is no way to prove that The Beatles are better than Bobby Sherman. I'm with you in that I believe there is no possible way to judge music on a completely objective basis (or pretty much any objective basis at all). Any list I make or comment I say about music is purely subjective.

That being said, The Beatles are of course unquestionably and indisputably better than Bobby Sherman. ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 12:20:35 PM PST
This is an accurate and good point, ML. When I look at the Queen catalog from the debut to Made In Heaven, I define the changes that the band went through as a natural, progressive evolution. They held my interest all of the way through...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2012 8:25:55 AM PST
E. Dill says:
@Michael Topper:

Typically, instead of working on my Top 10/20 for 2012, I did a little research on the 3 or 4 albums/artists you listed that I didn't know. They all sound quite good to me but, unfortunately, quite expensive. I think the Aglagard won with the highest ticket price, something like $22+. I only checked half.com and amazon.com but they usually beat the rest. Maybe I'll find a "flier" in one of my bargain stores that specialize in both used and new cd's. As it is, I'll keep the names on my longish short list and pounce when the time (price) is right.

The weirest one on my A list for 2012 is Alcest. If someone would have suggested a group that is both death metal and shoegaze, I'd have bent over in laughter. Shows you how much I know about genres and musical possibilities.

ed.

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 9:47:58 AM PST
@E.Dill: all of the albums on my list you hadn't heard can be found on youtube, if you're just looking to sample them. I do not even have the Echolyn or Anglagard myself, I just heard them from youtube. Here's a link to one of the shorter songs on the Echolyn album:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m8IP5_T3rM ("Past Gravity")

You can see links to other tracks from the album next to it. Also, here's a link to the full Anglagard album:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45uZcuMawTA ("Viljans Oga")

With Guillemots you have to look up the individual songs but a search for "Guillemots Hello Land" should pop them all up.

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 12:41:51 PM PST
What about the Beatles? From She Loves You to Tomorrow Never Knows to Revolution 9.

But I wouldn't really call it a change in direction so much as artistic growth.

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 2:04:23 AM PST
Journey changed alot from their first 3 albums which weren't very commercial. They were mostly an instrumental band. Steve Perry gave them a real commercial sound and the first 3 Journey albums are virtually forgotten about.

Grand Funk were a lot more commercial after terry Knight left (for the worst). If Grand Funk would've kept doing what they were doing they'd still be around.

And Ritchie tried to revive Rod Evans with Joe Lynn Turner. After turning his back on commericialism he suddenly did a 180 with Down to Earth. But at least Graham Bonnet sounded hard core. Joe Lynn just sounded commercial.

Pink Floyd is another band that changed their sound a couple of times. First after Syd Barrett left. Then with Dark Side of the Moon. They were commericial, then a cult band, then an underground FM band that suddently had the biggest selling album in history.
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Discussion in:  Pop forum
Participants:  12
Total posts:  33
Initial post:  Nov 4, 2012
Latest post:  Feb 23, 2013

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