Co-written by vocalist Rod Evans and keyboard player Jon Lord - who also arranged the strings - "Anthem" is a very fine lachrymosal ballad about love lost. Running to 6 minutes 31 seconds, it is the second track on the band's second album, The Book Of Taliesyn
. With Evans sounding like Elvis, and Ritchie Blackmore contributing a timely lead guitar solo, this is further evidence - as if any were needed - that Deep Purple would have been just as big if they had not changed the line up after their eponymous third album, although their particular brand of progressive rock would have taken them in an entirely different, and some would say entirely more fascinating direction.
Alexander Baron - London, England