Deep Purple

Come Taste the Band

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When Ritchie Blackmore departed Deep Purple in the mid-'70s and formed Rainbow (which featured Ronnie James Dio), his replacement was Tommy Bolin. To be sure, Blackmore was a darn tough act to follow, but Bolin proved himself to be a fine guitarist in his own right on Come Taste the Band, his first album with Deep Purple. But unfortunately, Bolin didn't have exceptional material to work with -- decent and likable, but hardly exceptional. While sweaty yet melodic cuts like "Dealer," "Lady Luck," and "You Keep on Moving" are far from bad, nothing here is in a class with "Smoke on the Water" or "Highway Star." Deep Purple's more hardcore devotees will want this album, though it's far from the best representation of their '70s work.

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