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The Black Sheep of the Family, Ritchie Blackmore, dissapointed of the musical direction the band took and filled with remorse because of the rejection he recieved when he wanted to record some rock classics in Stormbringer, decided to quit the band he created, starting a beautiful episode known for every metalhead as "Rainbow".
Such a big vacancy, maybe the biggest vacancy in the history of heavy metal, was to be filled by the newcomer Tommy Bolin. This guy fitted perfectly into the standards of the mid-talented leaders of the band at that moment, Coverdale and Hughes: he had that funky touch and sounded more conventional than neo-classical and intrincate Blackmore. Being that said and with the influence of Jon Lord and Paicey reduced to nice accesories, Come Taste the Band meets light and gives the finest NON DEEP PURPLE album ever.
Yeah, that is. And for the worst, well, almost every song sounds exactly the same. Starting from "Comin Home", we believe we are entering a totally new universe in DP. Feeling something that, in a way, sounds familiar because of the previous album but with a different touch and feeling. But at the next song we listen almost the same sound, the same idea, the same style of playing, the same funky groovy AOR oriented sound. The basic question is: ¿can something good be expected from a couple of guys who never quited or never evolved from the short handed funky sounds. If you add a guitar player who does exactly the same thing you are used to do, well, you can't expect new things. Afer listening Stormbringer, all of this sounds like a cheaper and lighter version of it. One after the other, "Lady Luck", "Gettin' Tighter", "Dealer", "I Need Love", "Drifter", "Love Child" and "This Time Around" are, maybe faster, maybe slower, maybe funkier, maybe bluesier, the same thing in one way or the other. There are no blast beats by Paicey, there are no atmospheric keyboard soloing, the bass lines are mediocre and usual, there are no magic guitar solos nor blasting riffs (is it possible to match Ritchie's standards?). And the vocals? Well, like Burn but 75% lighter.
Listening to this is like to listen an album by Foghat, early Kansas or even Billy Idol to some extent. Is like a more straightforward version of Trapeze or a non-cheesy and a bit funkier style of Whitesnake. But, even more than the previous album, this is not DP. In Stormbringer there were some high points, a little bit of Purple spirit. Here, everything is as dull as the song you've heard before the next one. The only tracks which are in the palette of Deep Purple's greatness are "You Keep on Moving" and "Owed to G". The latter one is a nice instrumental, ouvre and gràce de Jon Lord. The first one is, maybe, the only remarkable song made by this mediocre mark. The keyboarding and the final solo (the finest ever done by Bolin) are the only salvation spots for this entire album.
After a relative success (not so big comparing with the previous albums) of this release, the major heavy metal band of the seventies disbanded. Coverdale took Paice and Lord for Whitesnake while Hughes and Bolin went on different pathways.
David Coverdale had a little bit of success with his girly glamish pop rock sometimes hard band, while Hughes attempted a weak passage through BLACK SABBATH (Yikes!, Iommi, what were you thinking? Ah, yeah, a solo album rotten by discographic companies). And the worst part was for Bolin. He tried to replace Blackmore in DP's guitar and he died. Destiny knows why this kind of things happens...
Deep Purple, as I said above, the greatest heavy metal act in the early seventies entered in a profound comma after this album. Fortunately, the gods smiled us all and Mark II returned for bringing the goods once again in Perfect Strangers. But that's another tale.