Hard Rock/Progressive Rock/Psychedelic Rock U.K. 1960s (Tracks) Deep Purple – “The Shield”

Hard Rock/Progressive/Psychedelic Rock U.K. 1960s (Tracks)

Deep Purple (Hertford, Hertfordshire, U.K.)

“The Shield” (written by Lord, Blackmore, Evans) B1 track included on the album “The Book Of Taliesyn” 

Released on Tetragrammaton Records ( T-107) in the U.S.A. (October 1968),  on Harvest ‎(SHVL 751) in the U.K. (1969)

Line-up/Credits :

Rod Evans / lead vocals
Ritchie Blackmore / lead guitar
Jon Lord / Hammond organ, backing vocals, string arrangements (6)
Nick Simper / bass, backing vocals
Ian Paice / drums

Production :

  • Derek Lawrence – producer, mixing
  • Barry Ainsworth – engineer
  • Peter Mew – restoring and remastering at Abbey Road Studios, London (2000)

Track Listing :

1. Listen, Learn, Read On (4:04)
2. Wring That Neck (also known as “Hard Road”) (5:13)
3. Kentucky Woman (Neil Diamond cover) (4:44)
4. Exposition / We Can Work It Out (Beatles cover) (7:07)
5. Shield (6:06)
6. Anthem (6:31)
7. River Deep, Mountain High (Ike & Tina Turner cover) (10:12)

Total time 44:00

Bonus tracks on 2000 remaster:
8. Oh No No No (Studio outtake Dec ’68) (4:25)
9. It’s All Over (BBC Top Gear, Jan ’69) (4:14)
10. Hey Bop A Re Bop (BBC Top Gear, Jan ’69) (3:31)
11. Wring That Neck (BBC Top Gear, Jan ’69) (4:42)
12. Playground (Remixed instrumental studio outtake, Aug ’68) (4:29)

Lyrics :

Mama plays a queen on the hill built on a dream
While the children play in the field
Papa smokes the pipe of a sweet and better life
But how strong is the shield?
Can peace be found on the carpet above ground
Where sky is forever blue
So let it pass baby now, the slow and riding cloud
Which may take me from you
Many things a man can lose
His self, his rights, his views
But never his heart or his love
So take this hand of mine and climb baby, climb
To the hill up above
Now you can play a queen on the hill built on a dream
While our children play in the field
I can smoke the pipe of a sweet and better life
And trust in the strength of the shield
So trust in you love, and Lucy of above
And let light pass like a wheel
Don’t take the chance of life’s hectic dance
Kiss the strength of the shield
The seeker will be found by the looker on the ground
And to his wish he will yield
Fate will have it’s word, of course
(Think this line is wrong)
And time will change its course
And hold the strength of the shield
Songwriters: Jon Lord / Ritchie Blackmore / Rod Evans
Shield” or “The Shield” is a Blackmore/Lord/Evans composition. The fifth track on the band’s second album runs to 5 minutes 59 seconds, and has a distinctly psychedelic feel to it. It appears to be a song about family life, philosophising, etc, and some sources include the line “So trust in you love, and Lucy of above” in the lyrics, which appears to be a reference to “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”. As this well known Beatles track was released the year before The Book Of Taliesyn, this is plausible, however, this line is actually a mondegreen, a misheard lyric.

Founded in Hertford, UK in 1968 – Hiatus between 1976-1984 – Still active as of 2018

The archetypal hard rock band, hugely influential, and still alive and well after almost 40 years, DEEP PURPLE were formed in Hertford (England) in 1968. Their earliest line-up (known as Mark I) featured guitarist Ritchie BLACKMORE, drummer Ian Paice (who was to be the only constant member in all the numerous incarnations of the band), keyboardist Jon LORD, bassist Nick Simper and vocalist Rod Evans. Their first album, “Shades of Deep Purple”, included a cover of JOE SOUTH’s “Hush”, which became a big hit in the USA. The following two efforts were definitely more progressive in tone, especially their third, self-titled album, which saw Lord’s masterful, classically-influenced use of the B3 Hammond organ steal the limelight.

In 1969, Evans and Simper were fired, to be replaced by two former Episode Six members, bassist Roger Glover and legendary vocalist Ian Gillan, who had also starred in the lead role in the original version of Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice’s “Jesus Christ Superstar”. This line-up, which is widely known as DEEP PURPLE Mark II, gave the band international renown – even though their first album, Lord’s pet project “Concerto for Group and Orchestra” (recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) was poorly received.

With Gillan and Glover on board, DEEP PURPLE recorded a series of extremely successful albums, which saw them blend the progressive stylings of their first three albums with an increasingly harder-edged approach, like 1970′ ground-breaking “In Rock”. Their sound featured lengthy, dazzling duels between Lord’s Hammond and Blackmore’s Stratocaster, punctuated by Gillan’s sky-high screams – nowhere better embodied than in their stunning, 1972 live album, “Made in Japan”. In the same year, they released “Machine Head”, one of the essential rock albums of all time, which featured the seminal riff of “Smoke on the Water” (inspired by a true episode happened during the recording of the album itself in Montreux, Switzerland), as well as other classics such as “Highway Star” and “Space Truckin'”.

Unfortunately, ego clashes and differences in musical direction caused the departure of both Gillan and Glover, who were replaced by an already established musician (also possessed of awesome pipes), former TRAPEZE bassist and vocalist Glenn Hughes, and an unknown singer from North Yorkshire, David Coverdale, whose deep, bluesy voice was distinctly different from Gillan’s high-pitched wail. The first Mark III album, “Burn”, released in 1974, ranks amongst the band’s best efforts, with the furious, barnstorming title-track quickly becoming another mainstay of their live performances.

However, Hughes’s leanings towards funk and soul clashed with Blackmore’s own musical orientation, which led to the latter’s split from the band immediately after the release of “Stormbringer”. He was replaced by American whizzkid Tommy Bolin, formerly with JAMES GANG, who had also played on Billy Cobham’s ground-breaking first solo album, “Spectrum”. Unfortunately, Bolin was a drug addict, while Hughes had also begun his descent into alcoholism and cocaine addiction. The band’s only Mark IV album, 1975’s “Come Taste the Band”, is a highly underrated masterpiece of funk-tinged hard rock. It also signalled the dissolution of the band, after Bolin’s tragic death of a heroin overdose in 1976.

It seemed to be the end for DEEP PURPLE, and as a matter of fact it was for nearly eight years – until the five original MK II members got together and decided to give it a go once again. The result was 1984’s excellent “Perfect Strangers”, a true return to form whose magnificent, Eastern-tinged title track has since become one of the band’s undisputed classics. However, the idyll was not fated to last: 1987’s “The House of Blue Light” was a much weaker effort, and the tensions between Blackmore and Gillan resurfaced, causing the latter to leave the band. He was replaced by Blackmore’s former RAINBOW sidekick, American vocalist Joe Lynn Turner, whose presence on 1990’s “Slaves and Masters” album gave the band’s sound a definitely AOR slant that put off many of their earlier fans. In 1992, Gillan rejoined the band in order to record the aptly-titled “The Battle Rages On”; however, during the tour in support of the album his conflict with Blackmore got out of hand, and the guitarist left – this time, never to return.

DEEP PURPLE managed to complete the tour by enlisting the help of guitar wonder JOE SATRIANI, who nevertheless declined their offer to join the band permanently. They found Blackmore’s replacement in yet another American, former DIXIE DREGS and KANSAS guitarist Steve MORSE. A legend in his own right, Morse brought fresh ideas to the band, as well as a much more relaxed approach to personal relationships. The new line-up managed to record two albums, “Purpendicular” (1996) and “Abandon” (1998), before, in 2003, founding member Jon Lord left the band in order to rest from constant touring and dedicate himself to his own musical projects. His replacement was found in a veteran of the British rock scene, former Colosseum II keyboardist Don Airey. This new version of the band is still active and touring in the 21st century. Their latest album, “Rapture of the Deep” (2005), is certainly one of their best efforts since they got back together in 1984. Even in their early sixties, the members of DEEP PURPLE still have a lot to offer to the rock world.

The Book of Taliesyn is the second studio album by English rock band Deep Purple, recorded only three months after Shades of Deep Purple and released by Tetragrammaton Records in October 1968, just before their first US tour. The name for the album was taken from the 14th-century Book of Taliesin.

The structure of the album is similar to that of their debut, with four original songs and three rearranged covers, although the tracks are longer, the arrangements more complex and the sound more polished than on Shades of Deep Purple. The music style is a mix of psychedelic rock, progressive rock and hard rock, with several inserts of classical music arranged by the band’s keyboard player Jon Lord.

Deep Purple’s American record label aimed for a hippie audience, which was very influential in the US at the time, but the chart results of the album and singles were not as high as expected. This setback did not hinder the success of the three-month US tour, when the band played in many important venues and festivals and received positive feedback from audiences and the press. Deep Purple were still an underground band which played in small clubs and colleges in the United Kingdom, largely ignored by the media and the public. British record company EMI did not release The Book of Taliesyn until June 1969, on the new underground prog rock sub-label Harvest Records, and the album did not chart. Even the release of the new single “Emmaretta” and new dates in their home country in the summer of 1969 did not increase album sales or the popularity of Deep Purple in the UK. Perception of the album changed later years, when it received more favourable reviews.

Deep Purple – “The Book Of Taliesyn” Album photo (B Side)


Deep Purple – “The Book Of Taliesyn” Album cover photo (front)


Deep Purple – “The Shield” Video file link on YouTube

Deep Purple – “The Book Of Taliesyn” Full Album Video file link on YouTube

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