Various Artists

Purple People

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Led Zeppelin were not the only major English hard rock band that launched their own record label during the early to mid-'70s, as evidenced by the arrival of Purple Records, a label set up by Deep Purple. However, unlike Zeppelin's label (Swan Song), Purple Records failed to launch any successful careers for the acts they signed. But that's not to say that they didn't try, as evidenced by a label sampler from 1973, Purple People, which was comprised entirely of artists signed at the time to Purple Records. Expectedly, there are a few Purple selections included, most notably their biggest hit, "Smoke on the Water," as well as an extremely strong B-side, "When a Blind Man Cries" (which could have easily fit on one of their classic albums from the era). But those expecting the other artists to replicate Deep Purple's trademark heavy metal roar will be in for quite a surprise, as it's a potpourri of styles, cases in point including Tony Ashton's "Celebration" (which has an unmistakable country twang to it), the Rupert Hine oddity "Hamburgers" (Hine would later go on to produce other acts, including Rush), and a pre-Saturday Night Fever soundtrack appearance by Yvonne Elliman, with a cover of the Who's "I Can't Explain." For a sampling of which artists Deep Purple dug during their early-'70s winning streak, Purple People (which was reissued in 2004 as a remastered edition, with added tracks) is worth inspecting.

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