The Full Wiki

The Book of Taliesyn: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Book of Taliesyn
Studio album by Deep Purple
Released December, 1968 (US)
July, 1969 (UK)
Recorded August 1968
at De Lane Lea, Kingsway, London
Genre Hard rock, progressive rock[1]
Label Harvest Records (UK)
Tetragrammaton (US)
Polydor (Cananda)
Producer Derek Lawrence
Professional reviews
Deep Purple chronology
Shades of Deep Purple
The Book of Taliesyn
Deep Purple
Re-issue cover
For the Middle Welsh manuscript, see Book of Taliesin.

The Book of Taliesyn is the second album by English rock band Deep Purple, released in 1968 by Tetragrammaton in the US, and by EMI's Harvest Records in the UK, and Polydor in Canada and Japan in 1969.

The album follows the psychedelic/progressive rock sound of Shades of Deep Purple; however, there is a harder edge to several songs, beginning to show the new sound Deep Purple would introduce in 1970 with Deep Purple in Rock. The Book of Taliesyn is perhaps also the most recognizable one of the three albums released by the first line-up, containing the big hits "Kentucky Woman" and "Mandrake Root" in addition to many songs later used on various compilation albums.

There are three cover versions on this album - "Kentucky Woman", originally from Neil Diamond, "We Can Work It Out" from the Beatles and "River Deep Mountain High", known from Ike and Tina Turner version. Kentucky Woman was released as a single, though the single version was edited for time.

The album's name is taken from a famous 14th century Welsh manuscript including certain poems attributed to the 6th century poet Taliesin.



The cover of the 1968 album shown here, was created by the illustrator and author John Vernon Lord who coincidentally appears to share the same name as the band's keyboard player, Jon Lord. ‘The Book of Taliesyn', was the only record cover John Vernon Lord ever designed and according to the artist's recent retrospective the original artwork was never returned.[2]

The brief from the artist's agent is detailed in Drawing upon Drawing[3] as follows:

"the agent gave me the title saying that the art director wanted a ‘fantasy Arthurian touch’ and to include hand lettering for the title and the musicians’ names. I mainly drew from The Book of Taliesin, which is a collection of poems, said to be written by the sixth century Welsh bard Taliesin."[4]

The fee for the job was £30 (minus 25% for the agent). John Vernon Lord was until recently, Professor of Illustration at the University of Brighton.

Track listing

Side one

  1. "Listen, Learn, Read On" (Rod Evans, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice) – 4:05
  2. "Wring That Neck" (originally titled "Hard Road" in the USA) (Blackmore, Nick Simper, Lord, Paice) – 5:13
  3. "Kentucky Woman" (Neil Diamond) – 4:44
  4. a) "Exposition" (Beethoven, Blackmore, Simper, Lord, Paice)
    b) "We Can Work It Out" (Lennon/McCartney) – 7:06

Side two

  1. "Shield" (Evans, Blackmore, Lord) – 6:06
  2. "Anthem" (Evans, Lord) – 6:31
  3. "River Deep - Mountain High" (Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, Phil Spector) – 10:12

Bonus tracks on the CD re-issue

  1. "Oh No No No" (studio outtake) (Mike Leander, Leon Russell) – 4:25
  2. "It's All Over" (BBC Top Gear Session 1/16/69) (Ben E. King, Bert Berns) – 4:14
  3. "Hey Bop a Re Bop" (BBC Top Gear Session 1/16/69) (Evans, Blackmore, Lord, Paice) – 3:31
  4. "Wring That Neck" (BBC Top Gear Session 1/16/69) (Blackmore, Simper, Lord, Paice) – 4:42
  5. "Playground" (studio outtake 18/8/69) (Blackmore, Simper, Lord, Paice) – 4:29


Additional personnel



  1. ^ Deep Purple early years: Seventy Seven Minutes In Prog Rock Heaven
  2. ^ Lord. J, Drawing upon Drawing p. 46. Pub 2007 by the Universtity of Brighton
  3. ^ as above
  4. ^ ibid

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address