First remastered re-release of the third full-length album (and the last in original Mark I line-up) by the legendary British Progressive Rock/Hard Rock band.
Also known as “April” or “Deep Purple III”, the album was released at a time when the band were starting to grow as performers, both live and in the studio, finding their direction musically. There were some conflicts over whether the band should continue on their rawer, heavier direction. This caused turmoil, which was partially responsible for two of the members Nick Simper (bass) and Rod Evans (vocals) being replaced by Roger Glover and Ian Gillan respectively. Commercially, this album was the least successful of the three Mark I era albums.
This album contains more original songs, seven in total, than on either of their first two albums, now starting to fully endeavor to write original material. The only cover song on the album is "Lalena", which was originally written and performed by Donovan. As an effect of the album's heavier, rawer sound, the individuals of the band, perhaps Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Paice in particular, were starting to really showcase their instrumental abilities, which had both been hidden in the organ-heavy mix on the previous two releases.
Ironically, the band's American label, Tetragrammaton Records, which was rapidly approaching bankruptcy, released this album a lot sooner than EMI did in England, but ran into trouble over the use of the Hieronymus Bosch painting "The Garden of Earthly Delights" on the cover; although it has been on display at the Vatican, the work was wrongly perceived as containing profane images and never stocked as widely in stores as it might've been. It did not come close to the same success as its two predecessors, peaking at No. 162 in the US Billboard charts. Tetragrammaton's financial problems were partially to blame, as promotion was lackluster, and the lack of a hit single or tour support were also factors.
This is one of the most bracing Progressive Rock albums ever, and a successful vision of a musical path that the band might have taken but didn't.
Re-edition features five bonus tracks!
HEC Enterprises Ltd./EMI Records Ltd., 1969/1989/2000 (EMI 7243 5 21597 2 7). Made in EU.
1. Chasing Shadows 5:34
2. Blind 5:26
3. Lalena 5:06
4. Fault Line 1:46
5. The Painter 3:51
6. Why Didn't Rosemary 5:04
7. Bird Has Flown 5:36
8. April 12:10
9. The Bird Has Flown (Alternate A-Side Vsn.) 2:54
10. Emmaretta (Studio B-Side) 3:00
11. Emmaretta (BBC Top Gear Session) 3:09
12. Lalena (BBC Radio Session) 3:33
13. The Painter (BBC Radio Session) 2:18
Total playing time: 59:27