Rare Shades Of Deep Purple

deep purple shades of deep purple first pressing parlophone label

A copy of Shades Of Deep Purple fetched over £700 at an online auction the other week. Before we all dash to our record racks…
Up for sale was the first EMI pressing, with the yellow and silver on black Parlophone £ label. Which is rare I agree but even so. What seems to have driven this one up to such a high price was the condition; it looked like it had just been taken out of the factory. The cover (the back with the purple colour of course) was in absolutely stunning condition, with a lovely gloss on the front. The record itself looked unplayed.
Unusually there were still several bidders interested even as it climbed the £300+ mark. It reached nearly £400 and then one buyer slapped what must have seemed like a game sealing £600 bid on it, only to find two other buyers push it up another hundred pounds or so to the closing price in the last few minutes.
And before you ask yes we do have a copy in the archive, but it is not in anything like such great condition, with a couple of scuffs on one side of the disc and one or two of those crease marks which affect a lot of early laminated sleeves.
This auction was for a stereo copy; heaven knows what might have gone on were it the even rarer mono pressing.
My thanks to Tonny Steenhagen for flagging this up for me.


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13 Responses to “Rare Shades Of Deep Purple”

  1. Kev Says:

    I have a mono copy which I bought in a Woolworths bargain bucket. Unfortunatley it’s been well played and it shows.

    • simon robinson Says:

      Condition does seem to be paramount when people are paying big money for this, but if the sleeve is good it will have some value for dealers who like to upgrade stuff.

  2. Chris Hayward Says:

    I have just checked my copy of Shades and it is the same as the one that went at auction but the quality is nowhere near as good as it’s been well played over the years. I know I was one of the first to buy the album as I brought it on release day at a record shop in Mayfair.

    • simon robinson Says:

      Nice one Chris. It should still have a reasonable value. Can you tell us what prompted you to buy the album at the time? It would be good to have some insight for someone who was there at the beginning.

  3. r3c0rdc0113ct0r Says:

    Any ideas who shot the cover photo and who designed the sleeve/lettering?

    • simon robinson Says:

      No is the short answer. The UK cover is very old-fashioned, so one suspects an EMI in-house job. The lettering is a one-off I think (I’ve been wrong there before, see Made In Japan, but here the letters are very different when you look at details). I always assumed the Americans took one look at the UK artwork and hastily handed the images over to a proper designer as their sleeve is much more contemporary.

  4. Harold Michaels Says:

    I’ve been very curious about the mono mixes of the first two albums for years. I’m sure it stated in the Taliesyn remaster CD booklet that Derek Lawrence made a true mono mix of the album but it was never released. A lot of overseas mono albums ended up being fold-downs of stereo… we in Britain ended up with mono fold downs of American stereo albums… even when the Americans had dedicated mono mixes!

    I certainly would welcome the opportunity to buy or hear those 2 albums in mono since I think the stereo mixes are a bit too overladen with reverb and get the distinct feeling the mono mixes will likely be drier so should have more power and punch to them.

    • The Baron Says:

      I would love to see the original mono mixes of Shades of Deep Purple & The Book of Taliesyn released on vinyl and as part of deluxe cd editions.
      That’s a couple of things to add to Simon’s “things to do” list!

  5. The Baron Says:

    Whilst we are on the subject of Shades of Deep Purple. Do the master tapes of the mono and stereo versions of the album still exist? If so will we see these put out on a deluxe edition of Shades?

    I know mono versions of the 2nd LP The Book of Taliesyn were issued in some countries at the time of release. Were these a reduction of the stereo version or was a mono version prepared for release?

    • simon robinson Says:

      I’m pretty sure the mono vinyl master of Shades survives, and I think we found the one for Taliesyn too, but while Shades was pressed, not sure I recall a mono Taliesyn release anywhere or is my memory going again?

      • The Baron Says:

        The Book of Taliesyn was issued in New Zealand in mono. This could be an Australian pressing (as some were pressed in Australia for the NZ Market). But I would guess that it would be a reduction of the stereo version into mono. Would be “Really Funky” to see Shades & Taliesyn issued in deluxe versions with mono & stereo mixes.
        Mono vinyl reissues would be cool man!

      • simon robinson Says:

        Would like to see a snap of the mono label before we add this to the discography, but be a real rarity if it happened!

      • The Baron Says:

        I found the mono LP of The Book of Taliesyn in a record shop in New Zealand. This was in a single laminated sleeve ( the same format as the USA Tetragramaton issue ). Funny enough I didn’t buy this as the record was only in VG condition at best. But as I mentioned earlier I believe this would be a reduction of the stereo mix & not a true mono mix. So sorry Simon I can’t supply a scan or catalogue number etc.

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