It took Deep Purple seven years to make it to the top and two years to break up. The air is thin at the mountain top.
Deep Purple had lost their lead singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover in 1973 and replaced them with David Coverdale and Glen Hughes. This MK3 version recorded two albums and then guitarist Richie Blackmore left at the start of 1975. This was weird as Deep Purple was seen as “his” band. And from looking at it, it’s like the owner of the house vacating their premises for the guests to take over running the house.
But Deep Purple would soldier on, replacing Blackmore with a young guitar hero from the U.S. known as Tommy Bolin. Rounding out the band is the rest of MK3, David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.
And MK4 was created.
“Come Taste The Band” came out in 1975. It’s the usual production team of the band and Martin Birch.
The name Tommy Bolin came into my life because of Motley Crue. The Crue covered the song “Teaser” for a Compilation album and they also released it on a Raw Tracks CD made for the Japanese market, which I got my hands on. The song is so good and sleazy it sounded like a Crue original and I was curious to hear more from Bolin.
So as I was going back into the career of David Coverdale because of Whitesnake’s attention grabbing 87 LP, I was doing the same for Tommy Bolin.
So I got my hands on the “Teaser” and “Private Eyes” album first and imagine my surprise when I came across an album that had both Coverdale and Bolin on it.
Written by Tommy Bolin, David Coverdale and Ian Paice with vocals provided by Coverdale.
This song rocks out of the gate paying homage to the fast rock sounds of Deep Purple MK1, MK2 and MK3. But it was more Grand Funk, like “We’re An American Band”.
Written by Jeffrey Cook who co-wrote songs with Bolin for the “Teaser” record with lyrical contributions from Coverdale.
Vocals are provided by Coverdale. In didn’t really do much for me.
Written by Bolin and Hughes with vocals provided by Hughes.
This song is funky out of the gate, and sleazy once the whole band comes in.
Written by Bolin and Coverdale with vocals provided by Coverdale and Bolin.
It’s very Hendrix “Purple Haze” like in the riff departments with a Beatles like Folk Rock interlude which Bolin sung.
I Need Love
Written by Bolin and Coverdale with vocals provided by Coverdale.
I like the groove on this, and the way the verse riffs are played out with the heavy synth from Lord.
Side 2 begins with this song written by Bolin and Coverdale with vocals provided by Coverdale.
It’s got a great Intro which reminds of “You Really Got Me” or “American Woman” and check out the groove that comes in once the drums and bass kick in.
Coverdale’s bluesy voice is a highlight.
At 2.36 there is just a bass and keys section over a drum groove. It reminds me of things that Rush would do.
Then Bolin comes in, with volume swells and a solo begins. The drums and bass become busy as they build it up, and the vocals come back in. Its brilliant, it gives me goose bumps all the time, so press play just to hear that.
“Heartbreaker” anyone. Press play and listen to the intro.
Written by Bolin and Coverdale with vocals provided by Coverdale.
The verse groove and riff are my favourites even though the whole “love child driving me wild” lyric didn’t set the world on fire.
At 1.50, they go into a progressive rock style groove and Lord solos over it.
This Time Around / Owed to ‘G’
Written by Hughes, Lord and Bolin with vocals provided by Hughes.
It’s very progressive sounding, like ELO and it moves into a great instrumental jam over a 12/8 groove with excellent lead guitar from Mr Bolin himself.
You Keep On Moving
Written by Coverdale and Hughes with vocals provided by Coverdale and Hughes.
This is the standout track. Its haunting and melancholic and it was written during the “Burn” sessions but not used.
Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Czechoslovakia and West Germany all got behind this version of the band. The Japanese still loved em and New Zealand loved em even more.
The classical progressions and jams had been replaced with groove, soul and funk. It could be seen as an early Whitesnake album, as a few tracks have “Love” in the title, which is similar to every Whitesnake album.
Also in 1975, Tommy Bolin had two records competing against each other, which probably wasn’t the best scenario for Deep Purple however I have seen “Teaser” album pictures with a sticker on em that said “Guitarist Of Deep Purple”. Since most of the songs were written by Coverdale and Bolin, the project could have been billed as Coverdale/Bolin.
After the tour for this album finished in March, 1976, Deep Purple MK4 was no more. Glen Hughes was already having issues and was in and out of rehab. David Coverdale would form Whitesnake and get Jon Lord and Ian Paice into the project. And Tommy Bolin by December 1976, was dead from drug intoxication as morphine, cocaine, lidocaine and alcohol were all found in his system.
But the music lives on.
9 thoughts on “The Record Vault: Deep Purple – Come Taste The Band”
Yes, the music lives on. Such a shame for Bolin as he could’ve been huge!! If they didn’t break up at this point, we wouldn’t have Whitesnake so no sadness from me. But I did love this album and the 3 with Coverdale. The only MK’s I own all the albums from…MK3 and MK4
My DP journey started with Coverdale. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have started to purchase.
Good place to start.
It’s kind of weird – I have no problem finding most Deep Purple albums, like anyone I can trip over copies of Machine Head at any place that sells records. But I never see this album around in any format. I heard it ages ago but kinda forgot about it over the years. Bolin was such an immense talent, sucks what happened.
I read many years ago that they were trying to kill this album from the catalogue. And then they put it on Spotify. So it doesn’t make sense.
Crazy how many years this band has been going and how long Blackmore has even been gone. Bolin though is a shame. So much potential.
The guy with the mustache on the second to the left is giving me the creeps! But I recently watched a ‘Sea of Tranquility’ video where they talked about two Deep Purple albums with line-ups that only lasted for one album. Those albums were ‘Come Taste the Band’ (1975) and ‘Slaves and Masters’ (1990). It’s quite an interesting discussion and they did talk about how the ‘Come Taste the Band’ line-up was messed up at the time, so it wouldn’t have been possible for them to make another album anyways.
Lol. Jon Lord is the man with the mo.
Oh yeah this line up did have it’s drug dependent musicians in Bolin and Hughes. But Bolin still managed to more or less co-write most of the tracks.
At least now I know what Jon Lord looks like!
Yeah and Hughes was still messed up when he did that Black Sabbath album (or Tony Iommi’s solo album), which was almost 11 years after ‘Come Taste the Band.’ It’s a shame what happened to Bolin though. Drugs can mess people up big time.