Various Artists • Radio Tymes – CD
Some of the missing Deep Purple BBC session tracks were supplied by collector Nigel Lees who has his own label Top Sounds. He’s a big fan of these old recordings and has laboured hard to put together some eclectic CD compilations. In return for allowing EMI access to the Deep Purple material, they cleared him to use two tracks on his latest collection.
The work that has gone into this I cannot begin to imagine, remembering back to some of my own negotiations with the BBC. Added to that all the artists, managers and estates concerned….
Deep Purple tracks are of course on the EMI box set, although they’ve been remastered slightly differently here with a little more background noise removed. The titles are Painter (Chris Grant’s Tasty Pop Sundae On 6th July 1969) and Hush (Top Gear June 1968). The band are in very good company too, with Yardbirds, The Move, Love Sculpture, Barclay James Harvest and an amazing Jimi Hendrix Experience track (Burning Of The Midnight Lamp) from the TV Show Dee Time, which against all odds has never been heard since 1967 (you kind of think every Hendrix note ever cut is out there already). What makes the set interesting is it drops Deep Purple right in with what else was happening in late 1067 / early 1968, and helps provide some context. Great to hear Love Sculpture – I can remember being astonished when I first heard the studio version of their biggie Sabre Dance (which inspired Episode Six in their later days). It’s also interesting to hear what other UK guitarists were up to, and amazing to remember how much of Led Zeppelin was already there in The Yardbirds final days (Peel’s jaw is on the floor after the Yardbirds version of Daed And Confused!). Only the rather weak version of My White Bicycle by Tomorrow lets the standard drop, and surprise of the set is perhaps the fascinating Barclay James Harvest performance of Night, which also has Peel commenting. I’ve got stuff by BJH but wasn’t familiar with this deep lyric.
To top it all off there is a massive booklet crammed with info and Nigel has had fun adapting contemporary graphics from Radio 1 annuals of the time too (indeed I think we both plundered the same one for a couple of the images certainly back in my RPM days!).
So while it’s not the must-have buy it would be were the box set not coming out, I can recommend it for anyone interested in this era of British psych pop / rock. It’s also out on vinyl. Can be ordered from DTBOnline Store.