Formed in the summer of 1964, Episode Six quickly developed a star-studded reputation as a hotshot live band. The English group, which included lead singer Ian Gillian and bassist Roger Glover, who eventually gleaned even more accolades in Deep Purple, also cut a flock of brilliant singles that are featured on this set, along with a brace of previously unreleased material.
Like the music of the decade they existed in, Episode Six played a broad spectrum of sounds, and were highly competent at doing so. From the buzzing surf rock of “Mighty Morris Ten” to the haunting psychedelic shavings of “I Can See Through You” to the heavyweight handlings of “Mr. Universe,” the band pretty much covered all bases. As well, Episode Six specialized in spine-tingling harmony pop, with recordings such as treatments of the Tokens’ “I Can Hear Trumpets Blow” and the Hollies’ “Put Yourself In My Place” exposing their remarkable lung power to grand effects. “True Love Is Funny That Way” and “That’s All I Want” further verify the band’s gift for siring prized pop pieces.
Charged with a sinister presence, “Love Hate Revenge” smolders with scratchy raga rock motifs, while in the ballad department, copies of Nat King Cole’s “When I Fall In Love” and the Beatles’ “Here, There And Everywhere” are channeled with grace and style. Fueled by a bowl of belly-dancing rhythms and a seriously infectious chorus, “Incense” shakes and shudders with electrifying elation.
A screamingly wild instrumental, “Mozart Versus The Rest” marries classical music overtures with hard rocking bravado, where “Plastic Love” and “Time And Motion Man” twitch and flicker with a psychedelic consciousness, torched by innovative structures and stunning execution.
Episode Six were amazingly capable interpreters, proficient at performing any and every genre that came their way. Because the band was so tremendously diversified, they really didn’t have a distinctive identity, but that certainly didn’t stop them from pleasing the crowds and producing dynamic discs.
Promoting a marvelous melding of fun, adventure, romance and sonic exploration, The Roots Of Deep Purple: The Complete Episode Six (Collectables Records) contains one knockout track after another. Enough said!
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