Track Guide By Tim Joseph (abridged from cd sleeve notes)
Tracks Reviewed by David Browne
from the band's first demos, recorded on May 24th 1964 a year
before Gillan joined. Glover is on bass.
first impression was shock at the excellent sound quality; sharp
and clear. It's not representative of the whole collection, but
it's some start! This must be Roger's earliest released recording.
The song is polite when compared to The Who's version on 'Live
At Leeds', but very attractive nonetheless. Sheila Carter comes
across as a real star even at this early stage, great singing
and tasteful keyboard work.
GOT MY MOJO WORKING take two
64 and March 65 the band did a number of rehearsals and demos.
Here Harvey Shield* - leads an uptempo version of this
sharp sound quality, and a tight performance from the band. We've
had confirmation from Harvey Shield that it was he, and not Andy
Ross on lead vocals!
After Ian Gillan
joined (he's on all the remaining tracks on CD 1), Episode Six
were offered a deal with Pye. This demo was done in late 1965
for a possible single. It shows a very professional sounding band
indeed. Another track from the session appears on CD2.
performance. The harmonies and backing are very much in the mold
of early Mamas & Papas. This really should have been their
first single instead of the weedy Hollies composition. Ian Gillan's
earliest released recording, and an excellent track.
LOVE, HATE, REVENGE
Hate Revenge" was the band's fourth British single, the version
is an acetate of the American version cut in Jan 1967. With a
totally different guitar part, it makes an interesting comparison.
Perhaps with a bit more of this psychedelic treatment a producer
could have really taken the band forward.
recording is very bassy, but is an enjoyable listen, and a great
track. The British single version is better, for some reason the
vocal chants in the mid section were replaced by an electronic
drone for the US release.
I CAN SEE THROUGH YOU
of the band's sixth single was recorded for the BBC on Oct 30.
1967 and featured John Kerrison on drums, who had just joined
the band. Glover's mini masterpiece again shows what the band
could achieve given sympathetic engineers.
big dip in recording quality, I'm assuming this was included because
a/ the song is an absolute gem, and b/ this is a superb 'live'
sounding performance, brilliantly sung and a with psychedelic
organ sound straight from Pink Floyd's 'Piper At The Gates Of
The first of
three tracks recorded for the BBC on Jan 30.1968 (the others are
on CD2). These are the first band versions ever released. "Stagger
Lee" has Ian finally showing the direction he would later move
stuff! A gentle opening gives way to a throat shredding scream
from Ian, and a very powerful vocal. The actual song is reminiscent
of 'Running Bear', which Ian often threw into Black Night during
Deep Purple's 1987 tour. The sound quality is up on the previous
track (and stays up for the rest of CD1), but is still an off-air
MY LITTLE RED BOOK
The first of
three songs taped for the BBC on April 8. 1968 (the others are
on CD2). Episode Six also did a studio version at Pye which remained
unissued until the Sequel CD in 1991.
Not my favourite song ever tackled by Episode Six, but this punchy
version is way better than that on the Sequel CD. (Chronologically
the music is already overlapping with Deep Purple's earliest days.)
The old Doris
Day standard - not that there's much resemblance - recorded for
the BBC on Jan 30. 1968. What Ian thought about recording material
like this is unknown, although he does sound to be enjoying himself.
Gillan sings Doris Day in his Elvis voice? Do me a favour.. That
said, it's very energetic, and as usual with Episode Six it's
imaginative, with a Spanish feel not a million miles from what
Deep Purple introduced to Hey Joe.
seventh single, recorded for the BBC, July 1.1968 to
promote the release.
song has never been one of my Episode Six favourites, the single
being softened up too much with poppy brass. This is different!
Just the band bashing it out, clean and tight with superb heavy
guitar in place of the trumpets. Yes!!
ALWAYS SOMETHING THERE TO REMIND ME
Was this a
phase Ian was going through - first Doris Day and now Sandie Shaw?
Recorded for the BBC on Jan 30. 1968.
'what the f..??' prejudices aside, this is great stuff. A superbly
emotive vocal, lifted even further by Sheila's incredible backing
harmonies. Add about a hundred-weight of heaviness and you'd end
up with an early approximation of 'Perfect Strangers'.
SUNSHINE SUPERMAN (+ Hard Days Night)
The first of
two tracks recorded live for Pop North on Aug 22.1968. And what
a performance! The band tear into this Donovan number as though
their lives depended on it. Great vocals from Ian, with
the rest of the band managing to fit "A Hard Dayıs Night" into
and brimming with vocal and instrumental ideas, but to my ears
a bit of a mess. I prefer to hear songs performed one at a time,
and even then not these two!
version of this track (written for The Fifth Dimension) appeared
on RPM's deleted Radio 1 Club CD, this is the definitive version
and one of their finest moments. Recorded for the BBC, Oct 28.
1968, this is sheer perfection.
grower. For anyone receptive to sophisticated sixties pop music
there's an abundance to enjoy.
BE SO BAD
track as The Episode from August 22.1968. As with
"Orange Air", although a version appeared on the RPM Radio 1 Club
CD, this performance cuts it to bits. Yet again, had this Moby
Grape cover been a single, it might have given the band the hit
they so richly deserved.
Six as Fleetwood Mac, with a great vocal performance from Sheila,
and ace beefy guitar work. The chorus then arrives and it's pure
west coast pop, all bah-bah-bah vocal harmonies... Weird, but
The first of
two recordings done for the BBC in November 1968. Written by Ian
and Roger, Gillan fans will recognise some of the lyrics which
he re-recorded in 1979 for the title track of an album by his
own band. One of the band's heaviest numbers.
(a single b-side) is my favourite Episode Six recording, and contains
one of Ian Gillan's most explosive vocal performances. This session
version comes close (some feat!), but I'll stick with the original.
I HAD A TALK WITH MY MAN
track done for the BBC in November 1968 allowed Sheila a vocal
showcase. Very few singers would be brave enough to try this live
on radio these days.
blues track spiced up with a touch of jazz, I much prefer it to
the material on Sheila's solo single.
For me the
band's finest cover of all. Recorded for the BBC on 7th January
1969, this old standard is turned by the band into something else
again. Great harmonies, great rhythm, great EVERYTHING. Turn it
up and play it ten times in a row. If only they'd done a studio
version. A lost Number One, for sure.
Very sophisticated pop/rock. Listening to this it's easy to see
why Ian Gillan was so enamoured of Deep Purple mk1's cover versions..
ALONE AGAIN OR
for the BBC on 27th January 1969. The first of two (three if you
count "My Little Red Book") songs by Love. It seems strange that
Episode Six could get covers of this band onto daytime radio when
the originals were ignored.
fantastic in its own right, and with more shades of mk1 Deep Purple.
SHADE OF WINTER
the BBC on 27th January 1969 featured a song which had proved
a surprising flop for Simon & Garfunkel. Ian seems more familiar
here with the lyrics than he did on the Radio 1 Club performance
where he invented a part about the sky falling down! This version
is slightly less frantic than there, presumably because this is
a studio take rather than a live one.
riff, and perhaps the rockiest track on CD1. The lo-fi sound quality
doesn't help, but it's still an enjoyable listen.
MOZART VS THE REST*
sequence, from the band's live appearence on the Radio 1 Club
in Cardiff on March 24. 1969 captures the essence of the
programme. Mozart provoked a huge response when they first performed
it on the show and it was soon out as a single and became a firm
live favourite, performed no less than nine times on various shows,
but this remains the best of the lot.
similar to the single version, but even more frantic. Great background
yells and hollers from Gillan and a fabulous performance from
guitarst Tony Lander.
STONES MEDLEY SATISFACTION / PAINT IT BLACK*
Sunshine Superman, The Stones medley again shows the remarkable
ability of the band vocalists to cope with a complex arrangement
- you try singing 'Satisfaction' while someone stood next to you
belts out 'Paint It Black'! Recorded live on 24th March 1969 for
the Radio 1 Club.
God, they're at it again.. another 'two-fer'. This is better than
the Donovan / Beatles effort, recorded live with everyone firing
on all cylinders. This track shows what a terrific live band Episode
Six would have been to witness.
the tape boxes don't tell us the origin of the next five tracks.
Sheila Carter feels they may be home demos done in early 1969
when they were planning their album, although there is a chance
they were recorded for a radio session April 22. 1969.
first heard on Dusty Springfield's 1968 album 'Definitely Dusty',
is especially strong, handled with conviction by Sheila. Note
Mick Underwoodıs great drum pattern.
great performance from Sheila, almost turning it into Steeleye
Span-style folk rock. She deserved fame after Episode Six every
bit as much as Gillan and Glover.
I AM THE BOSS
Gillan original, one showing the lyrical sense of humour he would
use to great effect in Deep Purple on tracks like "Anyone's Daughter".
The lyrical style later emerged again in the Cher Kazoo project.
Too daft for my tastes. Mind you, it took me years to get used
to 'Anyone's Daughter'...
IıLL BE YOUR BABY TONIGHT
you (like me) hold to the theory that Dylan's songs almost always
sound better covered by someone else then here's further proof.
The original was on Dylan's album 'John Wesley Harding'.
but not essential, a fairly straight reproduction of the original.
SOMETHING'S GOTTEN HOLD OF MY HEART
shows her true capabilities. Also note Ian's "Child In Time"-like
screams! The track had been a hit for Gene Pitney in 1967.
fantastic. An emotional tour de force, with the band giving the
backing track the full Vanilla Fudge steamroller treatment, even
threatening to become Led Zeppelin at one point. If Lord, Paice
and Blackmore witnessed Episode Six performing material in this
fashion, it's no surprise that the singer and bass player were
snapped up pronto.
BEEN SUCH A LONG WAY HOME
stunning version of 'Been Such A Long Way' is a real treat, Gillan
gives it everything.
so we reach track no.25, with virtually every flavour of pop and
rock music having been touched upon, and always with conviction.
For me, the star of this final track is Roger Glover, riffing
energetically with the lead guitar in the mid-section. Gillan
almost steals the show with a screaming prototype for the Made
In Japan ending of 'Strange Kind Of Woman'.
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