Deep Purple • Come Taste The Band 2CD / 2LP reissue
Anniversary remaster edition on EMI. 2CD (remaster / remixes and two out-takes). 2LP gatefold. October 2010.
Come Taste The Band stands beside In Rock and Fireball as my desert island selection (no, you can’t make me choose one!). I was first made aware of this LP back in 1978 or so by a review that ripped (apart) the release and sadly I also found news of the band’s breakup the same day. All this while scouring a cousin’s music magazines one day. About three years later I found a Canadian press LP and on playback decided it was not bad at all. Definitely heavy and a different entity from my other finds (Mk 1 to 3) and in the ensuing years it would get a decent amount of playback though Kk 2 would get the lions share. I think in recent times my interest in funk music has had a huge impact on my appreciation of this lp. So it was with great joy that I received the remastered edition of CTTB. The remastering is superb but it is the remix that I treasure. It sounds fresh and it does have a spacy feel to it and likely is a more accurate as to what the band actually sounded like.
I think my reaction to the original mix was this dense and heavy sound but I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s just that it has been ingrained in my consciousness so much so that it took several listens to the remix before that sank in.
There is a strong undercurrent of funk that permeates even the more rock oriented numbers and though it was also apparent on Stormbringer, it was never given that full Purple treatment until here. It has my favourite performances of all time by Tommy and David though Ian is an absolute monster on it. Dealer remains a personal fave along with the stompin’ Comin’ Home but I very seldom skip tracks when blasting through the lp. I will always wonder what Comin’ Home would sound like with Glenn and more so the lost vocal take of Dealer by Glenn which would have provided a fascinating alternate look, alas…
The packaging is superb as always, Ronan Casey’s excellent notes, quite a nice selection of photos and the extra tracks and the bits that were edited out are worth the price by itself.
For me CTTB is one of the last great lps that sprung from that generation of musicians that gave us pysch, hard rock, funk, jazz rock fusion, etc. and it was a truly remarkable musical era. The music scene was about to take a “strange” detour to the disco and punk explosion where fashion would be a big part of music. My love of this lp has never been influenced by any hype or fashion but it is due to five superb musicians in top form churning out this tight and timeless fusion of hard rock and funk. Vince Chong.
The remixes are unbelievable. It seems to me there is a new ‘brightness’ and punchiness to the sound. Lovely, lovely stuff! ‘I Need Love’ rocks and jumps around all the place! I’d quite forgotten how good ‘This Time Around’ was! The two out-takes are nice, the Bolin/Paice piece the best fo the two. What I would give for another half hour of that! Gary Critcher.
A totally stunning release – thankful that there is a respectful excellent ‘standard’ version, and a brilliant (in parts) remix. If for nothing else it is essential for the full outros of several songs – “I Need Love” is so full of beans it’s a joy. Yes, the one track out of order on CD2 is stupid but no reason at all to not buy – you could complain about the edit of YKOM being tagged on to the original CD as well if you felt that way inclined!
The remix is a bit of a shock sound wise (it is very bright – a bit like having the ‘happy’ button switched on in iTunes) but it totally ROCKS! I think that not merging gersh and win is a miss as it loses the tension of the original, the backing outake is fun but hardly earth shattering, but the Bolin/Paice is almost overwhelming in its power. 5 minutes of non repeating fast accurate imaginative improvising from TB with Paice doing the SKOW middle section at top speed behind him. How the f*cking managers could tell Tommy to ‘play it like Blackmore’ is beyond me. If they had done anything approaching this live I think Mk4 would still be touring due to ticket demand – how great that would have been, we would never have had to suffer any Whitesnake releases! Timothy Campbell.
Like Vince, I grew to appreciate Come Taste after the initial shock, and it is a much played album. Album. Vinyl. Because on CD it has never been treated properly. And sadly it still hasn’t. The remaster here is what it is, but the remix is a total disgrace. Rather than let an engineer with some subtlety and appreciation of the album and the times get involved, the organisers were seduced by the celebrity engineer syndrome and unspecified band involvement (I was asked to put ‘Glenn Hughes Remixes’ on the slipcase originally, then told to remove this). Let’s take just one tiny example; the looping of the phrase ‘Getting tighter’ at the end of the track. Crass doesn’t begin to describe it. I thought it was a joke at first but was assured this was indeed the final mix. The drums sound is often awful, the keyboard problems on the original have if anything been rendered even worse, and Bolin’s guitar has been pushed to silly heavy metal levels. Sadly this has kind of soured me to the few positive aspects of the release (and happily most people seem to have enjoyed it for what it is), especially the astonishing guitar work-out which had survived the studio tidy-ups back in 1975, and which is well worth a listen.
This was an audio project which demanded so much care and has had none. Sadly by the time I was allowed to actually hear the new work (they kept me well away from any of it) it was too late to do anything. There was no money in the budget to try and rescue the remix, or at least provide some thoughtful alternatives. By this time the packaging was nearly finished, so rather than just cut my losses and tell them to stick it I agreed to finish it off but took my name off it. In retrospect I think I must have spent more time and effort restoring the cover art than they did on the mixes.
And after that EMI even managed to screw the artwork up, with type in the wrong place, pictures not matching up, and other nasty surprises (paragraphs being justified on one page, not on the next). What a dreadful way to conclude an otherwise largely successful album reissue programme begun way back on In Rock.
The DTB update on the project is still archived at Come Taste The Man
A French advert for the album can be seen on the DTB blog.