George Starostin's Reviews



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Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

Deep Purple was one of the best concert bands in rock music. Their studio material never was such diverse, rich and profound as it was on stage. Trio of Technique Gods (a/k/a comrades Ritchie-In-Black-More, Johann Sebastian Lord and Ian-Not-That-Anderson) turned an monotonous hard rock songs into never-ending suites, played with unearthly inspiration and furious energy. Messr. Paice smashed his drums like a raging buffalo, messr. Lord raped our minds through his Hammond's weeps and caress our ears with crystal classical improvisations, while messr. Blackmore weaved his speediest solos one over another...

Of course, somebody objects me and says - hey, Cream could do something like that, and Zeppelin could do, and The Who, and a hell lot of other bands kicked asses live bloody well! Why did you say that Purple are so special? Because they was the one and only band turned an ordinary concert into the breathless battle of nerves. No one of us leave the stage alive tonight! No retreat, no surrender! They not just played the concert, they tried to wipe out each other with no sign of mercy. Ritchie against Jon, Jon against Ritchie, guitar against organ, hard rock against classic, they duelled to death and leave their hearts and souls on stage with a wrecks of instruments and PA...

So this is the good side of Purple, while they had some constant problems lowered 'em to the one of the few when they could be the greatest band on this planet. Here are three bad sides of Purple:

a) their smallest problem - sound. Most of Purple's studio and live works recorded absolutely terrible. If the record sounded worse than Shades Of Deep Purple exists somewhere, I prays to God that I'll never hear it. Maybe tape operator was drunk, or machine was broken, or luck was bad... whatever it was, some of Purple's efforts simply ruined by their horrid sound. And bad days are not over - new remastered edition of their greatest albums is the worst. If you wants to have the really good sounded Deep Purple album, buy Japanese editions only.

b) their medium problem - lyrics. Legions of Purple fans' (especially in Russia) never pays their attention to band's texts while listens to the Blackmore's hardest riffs and sings with Ian Gillan "Smoke on the water and fire in the sky". With the exception of early romantic period (Mark I era), Purple lyrics was totally meaningless ("Speed King"), vulgar ("Living Wreck"), offensive ("Rat Bat Blue") etc. Even their pleasant moments ("Burn", "Fools", "April") are incomparable with Sabbath, Zeppelin or Heep (lyrically, indeed). While George condescends their texts, I simply can't stomach another thousand stories about fast cars and horny girls. Sometime I think that they wrote such unspectacular lyrics to free our minds and leave their open for Ritchie's unrepeatable solos.

c) their main problem - singers. Rod Evans wasn't a hard rock singer, Dave Coverdale had a strong voice and pathetic vocal's technique, Glenn Hughes could wake up dead with his terrible funky moos and I don't want to speak about Joe Lynn Turner at all. Above 'em Mr. Ian Gillan shines like a sun, but unstopping tours completely destroyed his beautiful voice just in four years. Ian was right when he decided to leave Purple, but he wasn't right when he didn't leave rock music. He could stay a legend while he turned into a laughing-stock (opposite me if you can). When I'm listening to their 80's and 90's live efforts, I'm wishing to lynch Gillan and turn Purple into an instrumental band. Three of them still could kick some asses... until Ritchie shut the door (forever, I suspects).

I said about Purple in general, now lets talk about particular...

PS. Very sad, but George missed a hell lot of their famous concerts ("In Concert", "Live In London", "Scandinavian Nights" etc.). Shame on you, George!

PSS. And much more sad that he missed their solo efforts too (I means Ritchie's and Jon's). When Blackmore got a second breath with Rainbow, he got his peak as composer and guitar player, Ronnie James Dio had a fantastic voice (the best voice in rock music IMHO) and he wrote perfect lyrics, Cozy Powell was a mighty drummer, so for me Rainbow On Stage stands higher than Made In Japan and "Stargazer" is more precious classic than "Child In Time". And Jon wasn't laying on the bed, his Sarabande is a masterpiece! [Find it, George. I promise, you will thank me.]

Jeffrey A Morton <> (11.05.2000)

Well, I like alot of Purple, just don't love it. Gillan is a great singer who, live, was even better. But even Gillan forgot lyrics routinely and treated some songs VERY half assed, which led to friction with the oppressive Blackmore. However, your hatred of David Coverdale is not understandable. Instead of comparing him to Gillan, look at the vocal style as something that's not derivative. I don't particulary care for DC's turn in Purple either, but early Whitesnake was fantastic, and THAT is where he gained his voice.

Blackmore is a great guitarist, but tempermental, and he ruined some potentialy FANTASTIC songs (ie: most of Who Do We Think We Are, and the songs on Stormbringer) by throwing a fit, and refusing to play worth a damn on them. Hughes was annoying, Glover was an adequate bass player, Paice is a very solid drummer, and Lord is one of my personal favorite keyboarists....

<> (15.11.2000)

Led Zeppelin was an amazingly talented band, but I can't for the life of me understand why people credit them as the greatest rock band of all time (Hell, Sabbath's influence was just as groundbreaking, if not more). And for every person who says Plant is the greatest vocalist of all time, I have two words for you that would make him cower and run for mommy: IAN GILLAN. Don't get me wrong, I think Rob was a fantastic singer with an astounding vocal range, but he seems almost pathetic when compared to the magnificent Ian (as does everyone else, IMHO). Yeah, I'm a huge Purple fan if you haven't noticed yet. I think Zeppelin was awesome with many killer tunes ('Stairway, 'Heartbreaker, 'Rock N Roll, 'You Shook Me, 'How Many More Times), but they can't even rate with the mighty Deep Purple. Now time for comparisons between the two groups. LIVE ALBUMS: The definitive Zep live record is Song Remains The Same, and Purple's is of course Made In Japan. As you might've guessed, I think MIJ is far better (not far better, but better nonetheless). It's really hard for me to say who's the most talented guitarist out of Blackmore & Page. In the end I'd probably have to go with ol' Ritchie, but only just! Check out the vocal/guitar duet at the end of "Strange Kinda Woman". AMAZING! Yeah, Zeppelin did it first on "You Shook Me", but Purple just simply does it better. STUDIO ALBUMS: Now to compare each group's definitive studio album. Zep's was their first album, in my opinion, and Purple's was the almighty In Rock. I honestly think In Rock is the greatest rock album on the planet, simply because of the unbelievable "Child In Time", which never ceases to leave me absolutely speechless. Gillan's singing on this song is so smooth and beautiful that it literally brought tears to my eyes the first time I heard it (actually, it still does). The way he goes from soft to shrieking (all on key, mind you) is just totally stunning. Guarantee that this song had Plant shakin' in his boots! And Ritchie's speedy/bluesy guitar solo in the middle is a little better than anything Page could ever accomplish (No offense to Page, he's still one of my all time favorites). I know this was supposed to be a review of Zep, and I've mainly talked about Purple the whole time, but I just had to clarify a few things to all the people who think Zep is the greatest. As for my favorite Zeppelin tune, it would have to be either "Heartbreaker" or "Stairway". Even though Purple would blow 'em off the stage, there's no denying Zep's enormous influence and musical talent. Each band had an epic masterpiece song that set them apart from their peers. For Zep it was "Stairway" and for Purple it was the aforementioned "Child In Time". 'Stairway' is obviously more popular and well known, but to be honest, it's almost lethargic when compared to 'CIT'. As for the guitar solos in the two songs, Ritchie's is slightly better because he plays with more rhythm than Page, and Ian's ear-shattering wails are FAR superior to any other vocalist on Earth. Later. Keep the rock 'n roll alive, my friend. You have by far the best music review site I've ever been to. Yes, even better than Prindle's. Peace.

Jeff Melchior <> (28.01.2001)

Now, I like Deep Purple, y'see, but they started a very disturbing trend in rock music. Deep Purple became such a revolving door that its 1976 incarnation barely had any of the same band members as their 1968 one. Not that that's a bad thing necessarily - it certainly wasn't their mk.1 lineup that created the music that made Deep Purple, well, Deep Purple. But DP's example led to bands being marketed more or less as a brand name, various personnel changes designed to keep the franchise alive. It's the spirit that carried over to such faceless AOR bands like Journey, Styx, Foreigner and REO Speedwagon for whom few people even cared who was in the band and no one missed, say, a departed drummer or keyboardist.

Eric Rogozin <> (28.03.2001)

I consider Deep Purple as one of the greatest bands in the world! Deep Purple are great! Ritchie Blackmore is surely one of the greatest guitarists ever (and GENIUS), Ian Gillan has a magnificent fantastic voice, Ian Paice is a brilliant drummer, Roger Glover is an adequate bass player, Jon Lord is real virtuoso. But what the hell do you call their music heavy metal (sorry for rough phrase)????!!!! It's HARD ROCK and the trinity Deep Purple/Led Zeppelin/Black Sabbath is called "Golden triarchy of hard rock", certainly not heavy metal. Like I said before, Deep Purple is a hard rock band and the best hard rock band to my opinion. I don't think, that they are less well-known than Zeppelin or Sabbath, they are quite equal in popularity.

Then, George, what about reviewing Slaves And Masters? I think, it's one of the best albums of Deep Purple! I know, that critics usually bash it, but to my opinion this album is excellent. Yes, believe me, Slaves And Masters is not a disaster, but a masterpiece. My favourite Deep Purple albums are Deep Purple, Machine Head and allready mentioned Slaves And Masters. And these albums are masterpieces to my opinion. And one mustn't forget glorious Deep Purple live albums, they are amazing! And In Rock, Fireball, Who Do We Think We Are (Machine Head is a masterpiece) are true classics. And Shades Of Deep Purple, The Book Of Taliesyn (Deep Purple is also masterpiece) are very good. Coverdale/Hughes stuff is not as bad, as you wrote, especially Stormbringer. By the way, I enjoy the voice of Glenn Hughes. Their 'reunion' albums are good, but one little note: though The Battle Rages On is decent album, it's worse than Slaves And Masters.

And, of course, nobody can advice you, what rating to give, because it's your page, but I would give Deep Purple a 5!

Glenn Wiener <> (05.07.2001)

A rock steady heavy metal band. Ian Gillan was without a doubt one of the premiere voices in rock n roll. Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar work certainly rates as state of the art. The other band members filled in quite nicely as well most notably John Lord’s organ touches. Its interesting how the band’s style changed from psychedelic to metal or somewhat synthesized metal. Somehow Deep Purple’s music went beyond their style as there were just enough creative touches on enough of their songs to make them stand out from other mere mortal metal bands.

Ratko Hribar <> (18.09.2001)

Deep Purple are certainly the least well-known part of the Zeppelin, Sabbath and Purple trio, which is a sad fact, to be sure. Unfortunately, that's especially evident in the U.S. where they don't rank up nowhere near in popularity with Zeppelin and Sabbath. It gets somewhat better in Europe, and it seems they're very popular in Japan. Yes, those Japanese certainly have excellent musical taste. Their musical style could explain that grave injustice, cause they, unlike Led Zep and Sabbath, rarely used fantasy or epical overblown lyrics to prove their grandness. They preferred to play simple (NOT simplistic) rock 'n' roll songs like, say, 'Highway Star'. Of course, they did record songs like 'Child In Time' and albums like Concerto or Gemini Suite. The band wasn't too diverse, but they did had their 60's pop/rock and classical expeditions which came out enjoyable enough, if not downright impressive.

George rightfully said that Purple made a lot of extremely fast songs, which influenced a enormous number of bands. What I mean is, if Sabbath gave heavy metal their mystical, evil imagery and frequent tribute to Satan, Purple gave the genre speed on such numbers like 'Bloodsucker', 'Speed King', 'Burn' and 'Stormbringer.' On the other hand, unlike Sabbath they never recorded any real heavy metal albums, I mean, with angry, screaming vocalist blurting out his Satan impression over a pile of doom/death lyrics, which actually your average metal is all about. So, one might say that the first real heavy metal band was Judas Priest, and none of the three alleged fathers of metal. They did have an enormous influence on those bands, but in their essence they we're all hard rock bands. Even the 'evil' Black Sabbath wasn't a metal band until Dio and post-Dio years. Although Purple weren't metal, they we're a hard rock band, and the best one at that. Yes, better than Led Zep, Sabbath, The Who and all the rest.

Deep Purple had some incredibly impressive musicians in the lineup like Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Gillan. Both of them we're, hands down, the best in their business. No one could play the guitar like Blackmore, not even Zappa, Townsend, Richards, Hendrix, Page or Clapton. I know, I'm gonna be cursed a lot because I said that, but I just don't like hearing Hendrix-type noises or blues-like stuff by Clapton or Page. I'll admit, Blackmore's riffs perhaps weren't as good as Tony Iommi's, but 'Smoke On The Water' makes up for that in a big way, and even if he never created anything apart of that riff, the riff itself would easily give him a legendary status. His soloing is breathtaking and his technique is impeccable, although a little inconsistent, cause it varies from perfect to average. Also, no one could sing as good as Ian Gillan, not even Roger Daltrey, or my own favorite Ronnie James Dio.

George stated that Gillan played a part of Jesus in Andrew Lloyd Webber's opera, and then he stated that it would be embarrassing for Gillan to sing about Lucifer later on. Hah, I don't know if it was later on or not, but he did sing about Satan and it was embarrassing. And we all know what the name of that accident was, why, good old' Born Again. Other band members we're also very capable, especially Jon Lord and Ian Pace, who we're and probably still are very underestimated, while being damn impressive musicians.

Further more, if you're new to Purple I think your first buy should be one of their compilations, because you would get a good overview of their career. In other words, you would know what are they all about. Of course, that approach demands an excellent compilation, which luckily Deep Purple has, unlike some other bands. It's called Deep Purple 30: Very Best Of, and it's a double album. The compilation contains 28 songs, from 1968 to 1998. Now, the problem here is that two songs are presented only in the new remixed versions from 1997. I know that doesn't really sounds like a problem, but one of those songs is 'Highway Star'. Okay, I have to say that I actually prefer this version to the original, but that's just me, and some people may not like it as much. My main gripe with the compilation is that it doesn't include 'Space Truckin' and 'April', other than that, a great selection. Further more, some songs don't make the grade, notably, such minor classics like 'Never Before', 'Woman From Tokyo', 'Might Just Take Your Life', 'Knocking At Your Back Door', 'You Keep On Moving' and 'King Of Dreams'. Now, I understand that those first two songs we're hit singles, and the last song was a Joe Lynn Turner track, and they had to include at least one of his tracks cause he was their vocalist for some time, a short time, though. Anyway, 'King Of Dreams' is as good a track off Slaves And Masters as any, cause it's just your essential late Rainbow stuff. Aside that, everything else is perfect, it even contains some hard to get tracks like 'Emmaretta', 'Hallelujah', 'Black Night', 'Strange Kind Of Woman' and 'When A Blind Man Cries'. The compilation contains the following tracks (remastered tracks, of course):

CD 1: Hush, Mandrake Root, Kentucky Woman, Wring That Neck, The Bird Has Flown, Emmaretta, Hallelujah, Black Night, Speed King, Bloodsucker, Child In Time, Strange Kind Of Woman, Fireball, Demon's Eye, When A Blind Man Cries ('97 remix).

CD 2: Highway Star ('97 remix), Smoke On The Water, Never Before, Woman From Tokyo, Burn, Might Just Take Your Life, Stormbringer, You Keep On Moving, Perfect Strangers, Knocking At Your Back Door, King Of Dreams, Ted The Mechanic, Any Fule Kno That.

In conclusion: BUY IT, STEAL IT, KILL FOR IT !!!

Jaime Vargas <> (06.12.2002)

I was browsing through the Highway Star site while the jam part of 'Space Truckin'' blasted through the headphones and read that apparently Jon Lord has retired, and his place is now filled by Don Airey (who has already been in Rainbow and Whitesnake, so I guess he always wanted to be a Purple anyway). So this gives the interesting trivia that only one man has played in all records and gigs by the band. Ian Paice.

Kevin MacNutt <> (10.01.2003)

I noticed that you stated that the band never resulted into mystical or occult goofyness, but that is quite untrue. If you take a look at the original US pressing of The Book Of Taliesyn on Tetragrammaton, the timing for "Exposition/We Can Work" It Out is listed as 6:66. Also thematically there is some mysticism within the opening track "Listen, Learn, Read On." Also you could read in to the use of the Bosch painting for the self titled album as Deep Purple being musicians from hell since they did feature the hell panel of Bosch's tryptich, and they were inserted into the music section of hell for that cover (under the crucifix harp). Of course the Taliesyn references were lost in the UK pressing without the liner notes and the song timings being apparent. Oddly enough Tetragrammaton changed the title of "Wring that Neck" (an obvious guitar reference) due to it's violent nature to "Hard Road," although it was only their pressing that featured the 6:66 timing. Obviously Bill Cosby (part owner of Tetragrammaton) and his partners Campbell and Silver (whoever they were) decided that violence was much more objectionable to conjuring satan through a mediocre Beatles cover.

Patrick Hewer <> (29.07.2003)

Here I am, 2 years after the last poster it seems. I arrived just yesterday through a link from Never before I enjoyed a review on Purple that much. Do I agree with you ? Well, on the good ones I shure do. On the bad ones I just have a friendlier view, altough I see your point all the time. As a little thank you here`s some information.

Fireball: The Solo in 'Fools' is done by RB with the Cello effect (there might be a better term). The thumb is at the strings and the little finger is turning the upper knob on his Stratocaster.

Made In Japan : JL didn`t use any synthesizers in these days.It`s all done by his Hammond through a Marshall Amp. That`s for now, I´m really looking forward for the rest of your stuff.

Greetings, Patrick

Lionel Maréchal <> (29.06.2004)

What about a comparison between the three "founders of heavy metal" : Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath ? Yeah, for those who have read my comments on Led Zep, I admit I changed my mind about genre names : the style of these band (powerful riffs, screaming singer, bass weighing down the guitar, pounding drums) is what defines early "heavy metal", as opposed to "hard rock" done by Hendrix, the Who, and even to a lesser extent by the Stones (in musical papers of the time, the Stones are said to play hard rock ; plus "Satisfaction" is definitely a hard rock song) ; the fact is that, as metal has become more and more brutal over the years (leading to some aberrations like death metal and the likes), people now refer to Led Zep and Purple as "hard rock" to make the difference with, say, Metallica, whereas the hard sound of the Who is now regarded as "normal" rock. But in 1970, Purple and Led Zep were said to play heavy metal for sure.

Out of the three bands I mentionned, the lesser is probably Black Sabbath. I've never cared for Ozzy's vocals, he lacks both power and subtlety. The rhythm section is quite good, but not as much as the others' (although I don't agree with you, George, that Geezer is a mediocre bassist ; he ain't no JP Jones, but he can do more than following the riffs. I like his work on "N.I.B." and many others). As for Iommy, he is a great rhythm player, but an average soloist. He has an amazing tone, though, which makes him a big influence on later metal guitarists. Besides, I thing their albums are inferior to Purple and Zep (I'm yet to hear Sabotage, though), only Paranoid comes close (hey, here's the perfect Sabbath album : take the songs from Paranoid, the riffs and guitar sound from Master Of Reality, and some ideas from Sabbath Bloody Sabbath! ). Other problems are a lack of diversity, and a lack of energy. I have never heard them live, though.

Now Deep Purple versus Led Zeppelin. In the studio, I'd give the edge to Zeppelin overall. The Zeps are more inventive in the studio, use more elaborate arrangements (acoustic guitars, various keyboards...), plus they are more diverse (they can play some blues too, and add some folk elements), and have more great albums (LZ, LZ II and The Fourth Album are classics, III and Houses are very good ; DP only have 2 classics, In Rock and Machine Head, and one good album, Fireball). As for the musicians, Gillan is a much better singer than Plant, his power is incredible ; there is only one thing that Plant does better, it's the blues. Too bad he never sang as well as on LZ, his kind of "blues howling" was really something. Lord is a better keyboardist than Jones, but Jones is a great bassist where Glover is only a good one (actually Jones is one of my favourite rock bassists, after John Entwistle). Both Paice and Bonham are excellent drummers (though none of them is very subtle), I! think Bonham is at his best more inventive but he also can be "plodding" sometimes. The main point is of course the guitarist : Blackmore versus Page. Both are excellent riffmakers, with their share of classic riffs ; their sound is a bit different, but equally entertaining. As for soloing, Ritchie is technically superior and can play faster, Page is a bit more subtle and blues-based (though he can play quite fast when he wants to). Overall, the sound of DP is speedy and flashy, where Led Zep's sound is more artsy and at times ambitious ; yet I think the Zeps are more subtle (maybe less "adequate" to quote George), that's why in my opinion the two best albums by LZ (LZ and Fourth Album - can't really decide which is the best) are better than DP's two best albums (In Rock and Machine Head - ditto). Another point : both play long songs, but I think LZ (at least before Physical Graffity) managed to lengthen only the songs that deserved it ; Purple made overlong songs more often.

As for live playing, well, it's a different matter. Led Zep is actually quite different in studio and in concert (I remember having been surprised when I first saw the movie The Song Remains The Same), their sound is much rawer, they abandon the careful approach for legthy improvisations. I can't say they are better live, just different. Deep Purple, on the contrary, is undoubtedly better on stage, they don't lose much in precision or arrangements but gain much in energy and their jams are no slouch either. If we should compare their best live albums, it would be unfair to LZ to compare MIJ with TSRTS because, whereas MIJ represents DP at its best, TSRTS was a mediocre show for LZ (not bad, though, as some people said). I think How The West Was Won (released in 2003, a concert of 1972) represents the Zeps better (or the second disc of BBC Sessions). The advantages of Deep Purple is that they have more speed and energy, they have two soloists (Blackmore and Lord), and a much ! better singer (in 1972 Plant's voice had already deteriorated, and he is often obnoxious with his stupid ad-libs and small shouts). The advantages of Led Zeppelin is their more diverse backlog, and the richer structure of their jams : in DP the rhythm section usually continues in the same groove for a long time, when LZ go through different sections and end where they have begun (see my comments about MIJ). Furthermore, I think Jimmy has a bit more "feeling" in his solos, they are some moments that I find really beautiful (blues influence again) ; Ritchie is at times a bit "flashy", he can ROCK but I "resonate" more with Page. Actually Page is my third favourite lead guitarist (below Hendrix and Clapton), Blackmore is a bit lower in my list... Overall, they both have their pros and cons, so I guess it's a tie. They're all great!

Stephen Rutkowski <> (06.07.2004)

This note about Deep Purple will not be too long considering they are not one of my favourite bands and I do view them behind Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. But I must give credit where credit is due as I do listen to In Rock, Fireball and Machine Head quite regularly. Indeed, In Rock is masterful and one of the greatest exponents of the hard rock genre. Their line-up was immense with fantastic members in every position. Ian Gillan just might be the best singer out of the heavy metal triad (Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath) but the poor production often does him a disservice. If you held a gun to my head I would still say I prefer Robert Plant but that might just be my own bias. Paice was often thwarted by poor production too. Sometimes the drums are so low in the mix that they are inaudible (or way too tinny sounding) and other times they are so high that all we hear is something approaching white noise. Anyway, another winner is definitely Ritchie Blackmore. Each of the major hard rock guitarists of that era had something to offer (Page’s riffage, soloing and funnily enough his acoustic playing, Iommi’s riffs, riffs and more riffs) but neither of them had the pure finger flashing speed of Blackmore.

Nevertheless, Deep Purple does have a number of flaws which I will discuss, but I’ll try not to repeat what has already been said by previous posters. The aforementioned poor production really hinders the band in some cases. It was a foolish idea indeed to have the band members produce In Rock themselves as each member often acted in their own self interest and not that of producing the greatest album possible. However, the biggest problem was the length of tracks. Not only did they have to have room for Blackmore’s obligatory solo, but Jon Lord needed his time too. And for me Jon Lord’s solos are boring. It was alright while he was sitting behind Blackmore’s riffage and Gillan’s singing, but as soon as he comes to the foreground I feel apathetic. And therefore the major studio albums (In Rock, Fireball and Machine Head) only have seven tracks each when they should have included a couple of more for variety. The fewer tracks you have the more you “feel” the bad tracks. I might be contradicting myself when I say that my favourite hard rock albums are Led Zeppelin I and IV, Paranoid and Master of Reality considering they have only eight or nine tracks – but at least we don’t have to put up with Jon Lord’s organ solos.

Apart from these few (minor) flaws Deep Purple are a fantastic band, and well worth your money and time. Can you believe that I used to be biased against this band through my own ignorance of believing Led Zeppelin were the unobtainable epitome of musical perfection? And Australian musical trends tend to follow the US more than the UK which is a shame. You can almost guarantee that if a band/artist is shunned in the US then it is shunned here too. Not that Deep Purple were shunned per se, but they have never been put on the same pedestal as Led Zeppelin.

<> (22.08.2004)

in my personal opinion, the best band to ever come out of britain. 'nuff said.

Tim B. <> (10.01.2006)

As far as I'm concerned, if we're all making comparisons between the 'big three', Led Zep, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, then I'd have a helluva time choosing between Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. But the thing is, maybe, that BS and DP are so different from one another that comparing them, or choosing between them, is a complete waste of time and thought. Black Sabbath gives me a fix with their lumbering doomy take on rock that I simply adore so much, and DP is what I listen to for mind-blowing jams, soaring vocals and a vibe of celebration, fun and pure rock n' roll enjoyment. I agree that Deep Purple are a simple band stylistically speaking, and that it is actually refreshing that they remain rooted in the real world and avoided the occult realm (though I love occult themes), just keeping it true and fun.

It would be much easier to compare Deep Purple to Led Zeppelin. As I see it, in Led Zeppelin we have a supremely average guitarist in Jimmy Page, who played recycled riffs that were mostly dull or uncomplicated in a bad way, with a few good ones here and there (I don't hate Zeppelin, I just find their output bewilderingly inconsistent in quality, each album posessing a few high highs and then lowww lows). His soloing was adequate but often extremely uninspired. Overall he was a probably a good guitarist but I couldn't really give him much more than that. He just seemed quite uninspired and boring. Bringing BS back into it, Iommi wasn't much of a better soloist than Page technically, but he more often chose better notes (Page never played anything as good as the solos on say Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, or on songs like Neon Knights or Lonely Is The Word), whereas almost every solo I've heard from Page was pretty much easy to ignore...dull...derivative. One thing is for certain, Iommi was much better than Page at writing and playing good, memorable and effective riffs.

Now, Deep Purple...Blackmore...he was a different beast entirely from either Page or Iommi. When it came to riffs he was just good, not awesome like Iommi, but without a shadow of a doubt he was the very best soloist of the three. Technically speaking these three were much on the same level (Page was the least though), but Blackmore had a sense of melody and a knack for note selection that escaped the other two, and his idea of how a solo should progress led to many an eargasmic moment. When you hear Page and Iommi doodling away in their solos it sounds good (with Iommi, sometimes great), but when Blackmore hit a note you just knew who was behind it, the sound was so distinctive, the way he phrased his notes so unique and effective...and the way his solos progressed! Amazing! The reason Blackmore is so highly touted in this world is because unlike a lot of other guitarists, he made up for technical short-comings with sheer intuitiveness and musical intelligence. He seemed to approach his best solos as mini-epics, plotting out the beginning, middle and end - repeating important sections, exploring possibilities...his sense of soloing was damn smart. Seriously, if you heard a Page or Iommi play a solo like the frenzied one in 'Child In Time', or the measured class of 'Highway Star', or the neo-classically tinged sheer scorching fiery madness of 'Burn', you wouldn't believe your ears. Even 'Stormbringer'...that brilliant sliding says it all. Blackmore's style of soloing is far more ambitious than I could picture either of those other guys attempting, or achieving. Although, honestly...the best Blackmore solos can be heard on Rainbow's early albums, not Deep Purples.

Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple both had those celebratory songs, but Gillan was a way better vocalist than Plant (and DP had Blackmore, nuff' said). Gillan's vocals and lyrics were of the most honest kind...feeling like merely a reflection of his personality. You could picture him just writing that stuff down or coming up with it in jams stream of consciousness like. With Plant I feel the same way, but damn, the guy must be somewhat of a moron because what he came out with was so utterly dull, machochistic and stupid. Gillan seemed more of a laid back, casual and down to earth kind of fellow, as opposed to an over-active woman-playing hornball dolt. Gillan avoided sounding lecherous and stupid while still having such simple, celebratory lyrics, and that's something I can admire. He had a MEAN set of pipes too. And I mean MEAN. His shrieks could shatter glass, I'm sure. And Coverdale and Hughes did a brilliant job after Gillan left (though Coverdale is a freakin' moron, he is capable of being musically awesome, like his Deep Purple stint and a number of the earlier Whitesnake tunes).

I've probably ranted enough, but Deep Purple were a killer band and extremely trail-blazing. They were celebratory without being stupid, enjoyable like a fine cup of wine or a cool beer on a hot day, and Blackmore was a melodic/soloing genius, if you can tell why, and they didn't mind jamming the hell out in the most dynamic of fashions. This is what I think is the pinnacle of simple, fun, honest rock n' roll. NOT Led Zeppelin. Especially NOT AC/DC. Deep Purple are the definition of how simple (in style not musical execution) celebratory rock should be done. Deep Purple serve as the yin to the yang of Black Sabbath, and I temper my listening habits with the pair of them because, dammit, they just complement each other as suitable opposites in the best way.


Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

An edge between late 60's psychedelic pop and classically influenced blues rock, some covers, romantic lyrics and vile, unlistenable sound (I'd joyfully cut engineer's ears if I only could). This is a debut and here we have sings of Purple's blitzing future ("And The Address", "Mandrake Root"), two excellent tributes ("Hey Joe" and "Help!"), two bad covers ("Hush" and "I'm So Glad"), and two pathetic pop ballads ("One More Rainy Day" and "Love Help Me"). Don't mention Purple's name written on the cover and enjoy it. In other hand, for Deep Purple this album is too light-weight. Best songs are "Mandrake Root" and "Hey Joe", rating is 5.

Bob Josef <> (20.08.2000)

This is the only period of Purple that I have any use for -- I much prefer this early, naive, psychedelic stuff, despite its flaws. Look at those frilly clothes and those poofy hairdos on the cover! And the liner notes are hopeless! The writer tries to write a story using the song titles, as if Purple had the capability of producing a concept album at this point! Very silly, but I much prefer this period over their later, screechy Ian Gillan/David Coverdale stuff, which sounds like they were drinking all the time.

Rod Evans was a really soulful singer along the lines of Greg Lake and John Wetton, (wonder if his singing with the post-Purple group Captain Beyond was as good?) and he does attempt to write interesting lyrics which are about more than just girls, cars and rock and roll. Jon Lord clearly dominates the sound of the group, which is good -- he can really crank on the Hammond. Blackmore is really a derivative player, but not in a bad way. There are too many covers (or even covers of covers - Hendrix, after all, did not write "Hey Joe"), but I don't think they demolish them. And I enjoy their gospel/soul take on "Help" -- Tina Turner actually used a similar arrangement on her Private Dancer version (fitting, since they would cover her on the next album). "Love Help Me" and "One More Rainy Day" are wonderful youthful songs which they simply could not have produced after Evans left -- could you imagine Gillan singing that sweet "bop-bop-bop-bop-bop" harmony on the chorus on "One More Rainy Day"? But they can also produce driving rock -- "Hush" is of course a classic rock single, and "Mandrake Root" is a really good original rocker with great hooks ("Mandrake Root/burning in my brain" -- they drive that one into your skull), along the lines of their later work. But the difference is that Evans SINGS.

I have a rather poor quality pressing of the LP, so it's hard for me to judge whether the problems with the sound quality is that or Derek Lawrence's production. Maybe both -- Lawrence seems to use too much echo, a common sonic cliche of this era (As Jethro Tull's 1st producer, he tried to push them in this same direction and didn't last too long as a result). I guess I'll have to get the CD. By the way, these first 3 albums have just been released on CD again with a ton of bonus tracks. So, it may be worth it to replace them. And it's worth it for any prog fan to check on this psychedelic proto=prog album.

Eric Rogozin <> (17.04.2001)

Some people believe, that Deep Purple were not popular till In Rock and that Mark I albums were mostly ignored. That's not correct. Of course, Deep Purple were not so incredibly famous till 1970, but exactly this first album helped them to gain quite decent popularity and "Hush" was certainly a breakthrough. I like this album, it's a good debut. Excellent tributes, good songwriting. "And The Address", that opens the album, allready shows a musical abilities of the band. Very good!

Thomas Paar <> (06.09.2001)

Shades Of Deep Purple is a strange record for this band, but let's face it, the band wasn't really itself yet. It's a little psychedelic and in the same time bluesy. Pretty enjoyable to be sure. A lot of good covers, the best being 'Hush'. That song is also the best on the album, and it's certainly the most overplayed piece from the album (too bad I never heard the original song). The soulful singer Rod Evans is absolutely adorable, he doesn't try to scream like Gillan, and doesn't take himself too seriously (how could he... they weren't popular at that time). He's got a nice lightweight voice which suits the album perfectly. Blackmore's sounds very peculiar, but the man had to start somewhere, and this is, I guess, a good place to do so. Jon Lord is acceptable, and he already sounds very much like on their classical albums. 'And The Address' gives us a taste of the future, although it's not quite on the In Rock level. 'Help' sounds terrible to me, but it is a much better version than the ones that some other artist would do. Like Tina Turner, I suppose, but she would NEVER try to cover that song, now would she ? Of course NOT. But she DID, and failed miserably, too. At least Deep Purple didn't. There's 'Mandrake Root' a nice little rip-off of 'Foxy Lady'. The rest is manly entertaining, although I hate 'Hey Joe'. Okay, okay, the poppy ballads are annoying too, but one shouldn't complain, they're not much worse than the most Led Zep ballads. The production is pretty echoic, but it's still on the level. Overall, it's a nice start, nothing groundbreaking or to impressive, but good. Perhaps a high 5, maybe even a low 6. Yeah, 6 would be just the thing.

Jaime Vargas <> (17.09.2001)

It surprises me that, being Russian, you have not noticed that *all*^the melodies from 'Prelude: Happiness' are 'inspired' by Rimsky-Korsakov's 'Scheherezade'...

Glenn J. Wiener <> (07.10.2003)

An unsual debut for these pioneers of Heavy Metal.  Like the psychedelic touches especially on 'Hush'. That song is truly a hidden classic. Also like their rendition of 'Help'. Lots of soul there. 'Love Help Me' has plenty of energy and 'One More Rainy Day' features llots of good dynamics and harmonies. The bonus tracks just add to the value of this CD.

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (24.02.2006)

This was the first Purple album that I heard and it was the place to start ! I came to the album cold, with no knowledge of them or their history [ I borrowed it off a mate, together with FIREBALL - it was the artwork of Fireball that made me want to check out Deep Purple ] so my views on the album have remained relatively uncoloured since '79. I have to say that this is one of the best debut albums I have heard and a fitting place for the Purple story to begin. Every song on here is a gem to a greater or lesser extent and certainly the seeds of Purple's future greatness are firmly planted here.

Considering the band had come together in the most, haphazard way, they pull off a pretty impressive one. Interestingly, various elements of the band had pre - history { Lord & Simper had been in a back - up band, Paice & Evans were in a band together, Blackmore & Simper's paths regularly crossed and thay played together unofficially } .

But the songs here are neat, right from AND THE ADDRESS. In this, the first of those famous Blackmore / Lord duels is heard. Ritchie's tone throughout this album is weedy and metallic and were it not for the fact that he's so damn inventive with it, it would be really tooth jarring. But he makes it work. It would be a few albums before he fully nailed it down. Lord likewise has yet to develop the tones that he made famous, but his playing throughout is inventive and appropriate. He said he thought Rod Evans singing was " a bit Tom Jones " which is really a horrible thing to say. But it's not without foundation ! That said, I think he was a fine singer, nearly 30 years later I still like his voice. As for Nick Simper, an excellent bass player he is on this album; all the guys that played bass in Purple were underrated in their time. If this line up had a flaw, it was that they couldn't make the important leap to the next phase, hence the need for some muscular assisstance [ in the shape of Gillan & Glover ]. But that was in the future; none of that was apparent here and post - psychedelic flower power rock / hard pop is the order of the day and a fine day it is. The instrumentals and instrumental sections show great invention, the covers are all good, the 2 standouts being " HELP " and " HEY JOE ".....Well, here's a surprizing statement ; I think that their version of HELP is the only Beatle cover I've ever heard that equals the original. When Lennon wrote the song, he envisaged it as a slower mood piece. Purple more than do it justice. As for HEY JOE, the insrumental section at the start is stupendous and sets up the drama of the song in a clever way. Whether this was intentional or not, only they know. Rod sings this like he means it rather than the way Jimi did - he sounded like the words were incidental { though having said that, his version is also excellent }. And Ritchie plays what I consider to be his first GREAT recorded solo on it....his work throughout is great though. The originals are neat too, ONE MORE RAINY DAY and LOVE HELP ME both would have made memorable singles, while the drumming on the latter was one of the bits that first made me take note of Ian Paice whose drumming throughout the album is superb ! His cute little bits at the end of I'M SO GLAD are brilliant, the way he and Simper fire the instrumental segment of MANDRAKE ROOT is a textbook study in how to keep a fiery groove going while those that can add some serious colour; Lord in particular contributes his finest work and Paice's little solo at the end is the perfect drum solo because it has context and keeps the excitement going for a mesmeric ending. HUSH is a wonderful piece - when Kula Shaker did their hit single cover 10 years ago, it was the Purple version they covered, not Joe South's and they added absolutely nothing new.......

Inevitably, comparisons will be made with the other incarnations of the band, but that's almost as daft as my mum reminding me as an adult that when I was 6, I said I'd have 10 children and no wife. Shades of Deep Purple is a great album by a very good band that did what they did well and made some memorable music along the way.


Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

While sound is better, music is not. This album could be the second part of Shades: we still have bad covers - "River Deep, Mountain High", weak American hits - "Kentucky Woman", and pompous pop music - "Anthem", mediocre effort in Frank Sinatra-style (yeah, I knew about strings... the song sucks anyway). But keep your patience and "Wring That Neck" (the first touch of classic Deep Purple turned into a 30-minutes suite on stage) make you feel much better. The rest of album ("The Shield", "Exposition") isn't quite bad, but the complex impression of Purple's second work is hollow and uninspired. Best song here is "Wring That Neck" (and this is the only one really good song on the whole album). My rating is 4.

Bob Josef <> (25.08.2000)

Well, they did try to progress. But, for the most part, if they stick to what they did best on the first album, the results are better. I'm sure that "Kentucky Woman" exists because some record company guy said, "Hey, guys, we need another 'Hush" here!" But it's fun in the same way. "Wring that Neck" and "Shield" go the "Mandrake Root" route to great effect -- I think I like them both more than you do. And "Anthem" is the best original here -- very haunting, and although that string section seems to come in out of nowhere, the song really generates some genuine emotion.

On the downside, I agree that they don't do much with "We Can Work it Out." "Listen" is really amusing with its silly, portentous psuedo-seriousness, but a trifle musically. And as for "River Deep.." -- the original Tina Turner single is Phil Spector's peak in terms of his 60's Wall-of-Sound productions, and he manages to make it sound like a grand epic in three minutes. But it just was NOT meant to be turned into a ten minute jam -- there just isn't enough to work with. It doesn't sound majestic in Purple's hands, just boring, boring, boring (I only remember the Animals version vaguely, but it seems to have the same problem).

At least the liner notes aren't as goofy as Shades, but they use that same photo on the back cover. Guess they didn't get much of a budget for artwork.

Eric Rogozin <> (17.04.2001)

Nice listen! They really go progressive and they do it quite good. The highlights here are last three compositions. The first four composition are also vey decent. And they used to do "Wring That Neck" live sometimes. It's sort of concept album and it's not dated, it's a good album all the time. No need to say, that I like this album. But the next album is a masterpiece!

Thomas Paar <> (06.09.2001)

Hmm, The Book Of Taliesyn, I didn't own it until recently, to tell you the truth. I listened to it just a few times. I wasn't impressed when I heard it for the first time, and I'm not impressed now. A boring so called concept album which features a stream of covers and some uninspiring rockers, and the title is totally inappropriate. Hmm, this album is not unlike the previous one, but there the covers we're better. Blah, what am I talking about ? It's all crap. It's probably their worst album ever. Well, not really, not by a long shot. The concept itself doesn't have any sense, at least I can't find any, but it is totally pretentious just like it's supposed to be. And that's the big flaw of the album. The last one was a casually light recording which didn't really demand your attention. This one does, but when you look, you don't see anything breathtaking. The opener is a good little stomper but it's laughable if compared to the In Rock stuff. 'Wring That Neck' is really, really cute. 'Kentucky Woman' is okay, it has some very nice vocal harmonies, but that's about it. The Beatles cover is completely lame, and 'River Deep Mountain High' hits you just like a sleeping pill. At least, it gets ME every time. Oh, yeah, the 'Anthem' is rather enjoyable, although corny as hell. Lame, but it's still better than 'N Sync or other suchlike groups (hey, how come Kiss didn't call them to sing on Psycho Circus as backing vocals, or something ? They sure are talentless enough).

Back to Purple. The album is pretty accessible and decent, although it still isn't a real breakthrough, so give them some more time. Well, this could be a high 4, and it probably is.

Glenn Wiener <> (02.11.2003)

Truthfully I find this an improvement on the Shades of Deep Purple. The ballad, 'Anthem' show some depth to the Mark 1 version of the band. Like the lush strings and a romantic tone to the guitar and vocals. I also appreciate, the psychedelic touches to 'The Shield'. But the best track is the cover of 'Kentucky Woman'. Plenty of kick and drive and enthusiasm. The other tunes are creative as well. Throw in the bonus tracks 'Its All Over Now' (not the tune the Stones covered) and 'No No No' and you have a real good one here.

Joshua Hornsby <> (31.01.2004)

I honestly dont see how anyone in their right mind can dislike this album. I just dont get it. To my ears, its nothing less than a masterpiece, an epic work of art. To me, mark 1 will always be the greatest lineup of the band ever. To prove to you how much I love mark 1 - I think that The Book Of Taliesyn and Deep Purple, their second and third albums, are the two greatest rock albums ever released. Ever. When it comes to these guys, The Beatles and The Stones can fuck off (and most other bands, too).

This album is just marvelous, glorious and rapturous (hey, dig those adjectives!). First, we have the greatest, most ass-kicking psychedelic song ever made - 'Listen, Learn, Read On'. The spaced-out vocals are eerie as hell, and theyre extremely enhanced with echo. And am I the only one that notices that Ian Paice plays some furious drums on this one? Add to this the frightening, distorted guitar licks, the shattering riff and the killer bass line and you have one fucking monster of a psychedelic tune. God I love these guys.

'Wring That Neck' is a smokin instrumental. Its tight, intense, trippy and boisterous, what more could you ask for? 'Kentucky Woman' just flat-out ROCKS. Ive never heard the Neil Diamond original, but I seriously doubt that it could match this version. The chorus sticks in my head like glue, and Ritchie throws in a terse and stinging solo. Rock n roll at its best. 'Exposition' may be boring to some, but to me, its captivating. I dont see how anyone can dismiss it. Its totally hypnotizing, and it leads into a devastating cover of The Beatles 'We Can Work It Out', which makes The Fab Fours version sound like childs play. The tempo is much more upbeat and bluesy, and it just sucks you in as soon as you hear it. The first time I heard this song, I practically forgot all about The Beatles lame version.

'The Shield' is absolutely intoxicating. Such a trippy song. It aims for the Heavens with its divine vocals and spooky atmosphere. Simpers bass lines are also fabulous. God, these guys were so underrated that its practically ridiculous.

'Anthem' is a stunning ballad. Evans is my favorite singer in the world (he instantly became my favorite the first time I heard 'Lalene' from the next album), and here, he gives a remarkable performance. The organ and orchestra section never cease to take my breath away.

And as a perfect way to close a perfect album, we have the 10-minute epic 'River Deep, Mountain High'. The organ build-ups in the beginning arent anything special, but Ill be damned if it doesnt start to KICK SOME MAJOR ASS after the first three minutes or so. The part where they keep playing that riff faster and faster and faster until finally it just explodes into a chaotic hurricane of sound, that is just mind-blowing. These guys could stand up against mark 2 any day. Anyway, the song also features an intense vocal delivery from Evans (you just gotta love the parts where he wails IT GETS STRONGER AS THE RIVER FLOWS!) and some scorching guitar work from Ritchie before it calms down again and fades out. Wow. Listening to this album simply exhausts both mind and soul. Ill never be able to understand why people disparage mark 1. Never!

By the way, George, you should check out Rod Evans post-Purple band Captain Beyond. In particular, get their self-titled debut album. I promise - youll thank me, my friend!


Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

The best studio album Deep Purple ever did. You got me right. This is the best Purple's studio work because a) here we have no empty pop hits, no bad cover-versions, no tasteless sleeves, no vulgar lyrics, no loathsome distortions, no monotonous hard rock pieces (as on their later efforts), b) here we have a perfectly balanced and tightly played album, all numbers includes the variety of styles from gentle ballad ("Blind", "Lalena") to heavy blues things ("Rosemary", "Bird Has Flown"), the original material of the band was written with strong inspiration (there are no low points at all) and c) here we have a masterpiece "April" (lyrics was written by Jon Lord, George). This beautiful and diverse album was made on the border between Ritchie's passion for heaviest guitar's riffs and Jon's adoring for classical music. They stopped here and then turned to the pure hard rock. Crucify me, but I think that they was wrong. My rating is 9. Hope you will guess the best song.

Bob Josef <> (28.08.2000)

Wow, and I thought for sure I was the only one who thinks that this one if the group's best album, ever. Thank you, Mr. Konstantin!

The group finally comes up with an album of consistently high quality original material. In fact the weakest track for me is "Lalena," written by psychedelic folk-pop sprite Donovan. Their worst cover ever. But Purple can only be faulted for picking a Donovan song in the first place. It suffers from the problems of most Donovan songs -- hyper-catchy melodies saddled with incredibly dopey lyrics ("Lalena/I don't blame ya" -- I could have come up with that rhyme in 1st grade).Bleah.

Otherwise, though it's a classic from beginning to end, culminating in the beautiful, incredible "April." This is what "Anthem" was leading up to. And unlike the Concerto, it doesn't go over the top and the three sections fit together perfectly.

I think the reason this album didn't get recognized the way it should have was because not too many of us in the USA got to hear it. When Capitol/EMI refused to release the band's albums in the US, the best Purple could do was to sign with a tiny independent label called Tetragammaton Records, co-founded by Mr. Pudding Pops himself, Bill Cosby. The other claim to fame for this label was releasing the infamous John and Yoko album Two Virgins afte r Capitol turned that one down, too. It was probably this less-than-brilliant business decision (many copies of Two Virgins were seized from distributors as obscene material by police) that caused the label to go belly-up just as Deep Purple was released. Which was unfortunate -- if Warners had been able to make this their first release, maybe DP Mark I would have gone on to bigger and better things.

Eric Rogozin <> (28.03.2001)

I'm so glad, I'm so glad, that I'm not the only to declare it a masterpiece. Well, yeah, it's perfection from beginning to end. The album begins with "Chasing Shadows", groovy and interesting track. "Blind" follows - and "Blind" is one of the best ballads Deep Purple ever wrote (The vocal of Rod Evans suits the song gorgeous). Further, "Lalena", that is a cover, is also magnificent soft ballad. "The Painter", "Why Didn't Rosemary?" and "Bird Has Flown" is something, that's eternal. And closing track "April" is a real masterpiece!  It's a celestrial epic song, featuring the band with orchestra. And Deep Purple with orchestra were always great. I'd especially like to mention beginning of the song (beautiful guitar/piano interplay) and wonderful brilliant superb Ritchie's solo in the end. It proves, that he's a genius. Yeah, and the lyrics here are very good (generally, I see nothing wrong in Deep Purple lyrics, though critics tend to bash it. Decent lyrics).

Thomas Paar <> (06.09.2001)

I didn't hear the whole Deep Purple's self titled album yet, but thanks to an 'best of' compilation I heard 'Bird Has Flown', which sounds just outstanding. Later, I found an old cassette with a few more songs from that album (then I didn't know that, cause someone forgot to write the name of the album), but not all of them. I remember it had 'April', 'Lalena' and 'Chasing Shadows' on, as well as tracks from other albums, like 'Smoke On The Water', 'Child In Time', 'Into The Fire', 'Hard Lovin' Man'..... The tape itself wasn't too new, so the sound quality was quite poor. I can say one thing though, if the rest of the album is like those four songs, it could be a 7 from me.

pat shipp <> (08.02.2003)

The most elaborate, magnificent album that Deep Purple ever recorded. "Chasing Shadows" opens the album on a very psychedelic note, with some awesome, haunting vocals from Evans. Ritchie throws in a ferocious wah-wah solo, too. "Blind" is a lyric epic about the mysteries of winter. One of the best written songs on the album. But it is the lachrymose "Lalena" that really steals the show. My God, I don't think I've ever heard a vocalist that so successfully managed to capture the spirit of being lovesick in the way that Evans does here. This is the most precious ballad in the history of music as far as I'm concerned. I admit that Ian Gillan has the most stunning vocal range in all of rock 'n roll, but even he never sang with such love as Evans does here. Sorry, Ian! And at the end of the song, Ritchie throws in some of the most pretty notes ever heard on a guitar, and they always bring a tear to my eye and put my worried mind at ease. "Fault Line" is more or less a splurge of psychedelic sounds, but "The Painter" is a cool, upbeat blues jam in which Ritchie finally starts to express his blues ability. "Why Didn't Rosemary" is even better, and Ritchie's jamming is so funky it just makes you want to stomp your feet instantly. "The Bird Has Flown" is another psychedelic monster, and the masterpiece "April" closes the album in top form. I swear, that opening part is so gorgeous that it always makes me think about Heaven. And the orchestra part is pretty interesting as well.


Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

Jon Lord made his final bow. The impression of the concert is complicated and ambiguous. I don't want to dig into the discussion about classical and non-classical music deeply, so I just says that Lord's effort is very nice, but not great as followed "Sarabande". The first and last parts of the concert are beautiful while the middle part looks unfinished (Jon didn't have much time, so he must be forgiven). The low point here is a sound, the concert was recorded (or mixed) rather badly. But I love it anyway, and my favourite is last part with perfect powerful solos from Ritchie and Ian Anderson (?? - G.S.). Rating is 8.

Bob Josef <> (28.08.2000)

Again, I have an old LP pressing, so reviewing the sound quality is tough, but I suspect the live recording, 1970 vintage, is quite poor -- too much ambient echo, muddy mix, the usual problems with live albums from this period.

In any case, my problem with this is that that group and orchestra just don't jell. Each is fine for what it is, although the group is already heading away from Mark I melodicism into Mark II bashing, even in this setting. At least Ian is kept quiet through most of this, and is uncharacteristically low key in his brief section. But it was like mixing oil and water -- it can't work, unlike "April," where Lord found the correct balance. I was actually startled to read here, though, that they actually tried this again!!

Alex Zaitsev <> (26.07.2004)

Hi, George! I've noticed that on the page with Deep Purple reader comments, Konstantin Tikhonov says something along the line of "amazing solos from Ritchie and Ian Anderson" and you "look" at him as if he were crazy. Sorry to disappoint you, but he is not. It's just that the full name of Ian Paice is Ian Anderson Paice. Just wanted to clear it up.


Nick Karn <> (15.10.99)

I disagree about this album being the best metal release ever, but I will acknowledge that it's one of the three most important ever made in the genre, plus it showcases Gillan back when he could actually sing and Blackmore at his jaw-droppin' best. The two keepers in my mind on this one are of course "Child In Time" - that eerie keyboard part, Gillan's powerful, desperate and PERFECTLY sung vocals, and the lengthy but astonishing Blackmore guitar solo in the song that I can't believe no one ever mentions - it's easily one of my 5 favorite guitar solos ever, so fluid and perfect. "Flight Of The Rat" is the other - it's got a very prototypical metal riff, hilarious rhyming lyrics, and a relentless chugging (plus more of that amazing band interplay!) The rest of the songs are capable, but not amazing. "Speed King", "Hard Lovin' Man" and "Bloodsucker" play at good speed and are very strong cuts showcasing their fire, and the other two numbers, "Into The Fire" and "Livin' Wreck", are decent. I give it an 8.

Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

The most overrated album in Purple's history. This is absolutely fantastic (technically) and extremely mediocre (musically and especially lyrically) album. In one hand we have Blackmore's, Lord's and Paice's unbelievable playing laid under Ian Gillan's immortal screams, in other hand we have classic pure (= banal and dull) hard rock with pathetic lyrics and highly-distorted sound. Of course, here are some pleasant moments like Ritchie's guitar solo in "Flight Of The Rat", Jon's trembling organ in "Hard Lovin' Man" or Ian's ecstasy voice in "Child In Time" (the one and only completely perfect song on whole album), but even nice ideas like "Speed King" are ruined by senseless, vulgar or totally empty lyrics, while monotonous numbers like "Bloodsucker", "Into The Fire" or "Living Wreck" are nothing but the fillers. My rating for this album is 6 only 'cause "Child In Time" is here.

PS. The first original release of this CD sounded badly, but the new remastered version is real catastrophe. Hope that one day Peter Mew will die in long tormenting agony (and I will dance on his tomb). Even if you die-harder Purple-fan, forget the bonus tracks! STAY AWAY!!!

<> (27.07.2000)

I not only agree that this is the greatest hard rock album ever released, but I think it's the greatest album ever released, period. Yeah, everyone says it's Sgt. Pepper, which I can't for the life of me understand why. I mean, say all you want about Deep Purple, but they were MUCH more musically talented than the Beatles. Maybe not as groundbreaking, but definitely a more amazing band. For example: compare "I Am The Walrus" to "Child In Time". What a joke! [why are we comparing the uncomparable? I'd better compare 'Child In Time' to 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps', and 'I Am The Walrus' to, say, 'The Mule'. Then things would look more clear - G. S.] But anyway, back to the album. I worship Deep Purple, this album in particular. I noticed that "Child In Time" brings you to tears also, huh George? Well it does the very same thing to me every time I hear it. Simply put: Ian Gillan had the most heavenly pair of vocal cords in the world. Anybody who disagrees does not know true rock music. "Hard Lovin' Man" would have to be the second best one on here. Ritchie was and is the originator of heavy metal guitar. DP forever!

Eric Rogozin <> (17.04.2001)

It's the encyclopaedia of hard-rock! It's a truly classic, no less. It seems to me, that the term "best Deep Purple album" fits better to Machine Head, but nevertheless In Rock is great. "Child In Time" is a masterpiece! This album declares Ian Gillan to be one of the best vocalists in the world (and, of course, Ritchie Blackmore to be one of the best guitarists in the world and Ian Paice to be one of the greatest drummers in the world, but we know it allready from Shades Of Deep Purple). What a fantastic voice Ian Gillan got! Nobody else could make such a classic brillian scream in "Child In Time" (and in "Bloodsucker" and other songs). Solo in "Child In Time" is gorgeous! "Living Wreck" is a hidden gem, it's glorious! Cool!

Kevin Baker <> (14.06.2001)

It's been far too long since I've posted over here, so I figured "why not?" I have been listening to DPIR for the last day now, and it has hit me like a ton of bricks---this is a great album! For some reason, I'd never picked up on that before. It's a riff-guidebook, with Blackmore churning out some of his best. The prodcution is poor compared to my reissue of Machine Head, but then again, Glover did go back and purposely clean it up for it's 25th anniversary edition. My favorite is of course 'Child in Time', which has one of the greatest solos ever committed to tape. Wowzers!

Thomas Paar <> (06.09.2001)

Okay, Deep Purple In Rock. A famous record, which doesn't really cut it for me, although it's supposed to. It is a very good album, but nothing too groundbreaking for me. The songs aren't much better than on the previous few releases. A lot of well known tracks are here, but some of them aren't all that entertaining. The production is on the level, I mean, not awful, but not to good. All the singing is awesome, but I wouldn't say that this is Gillan's highpoint in the band, cause he sings with the same conviction on a number of albums. This on the other hand might very well be Lord's highpoint, because he doesn't overdo it, like he always used to (not so much dueling with the guitar on this one). Blackmore's guitar sounds extremely improved, and yes, independent. The lyrics aren't too imaginative, they're just, well, common, which is okay by me. 'Speed King' is an instant classic, although I'm not too impressed with the beginning of the song. 'Bloodsucker' has some annoying Gillan screams rapped in it, but it's still a classic, and rightfully so (I'm not to fond of heavy metal screamers, you know). 'Child In Time' would probably be the best song here, but it's so darn long, and I don't have so much patience in me to hear it to the end. There's more annoying screaming here and that keeps me awake. Great song, though. Of course, the climax in the middle of the song is so damn good that it's really worth enduring all the roaring by Gillan on the way there. With some of the most crazed soloing Blackmore ever did it's certainly one of the best songs that the band ever made. The record isn't diverse at all, but Deep Purple we're just that kind of a band, so it's understandable. The rest of the rockers are good, but there is no reason to prefer them over the ones on Machine Head, although the song 'Hard Lovin' Man' stands out a bit. Hmm, there's the question of 'Black Night' which was a UK top 10 hit, but it was released only as a single. I have to admit it's a great song, although the lyrics are a little stupid, but the riff is awesome, although not original (it's taken from Ricky Nelson's 'Summertime', but you probably knew that already). I'll give the album a low 9.

Andrei Bushuev <> (13.04.2002)

Yes, "Child In Time" is a great song! Beyond doubt. But it is only rip-off of the song "Bombey Callin" by group "It's A Beautiful Day" (1969 - a year earlier!). I don't believe my ears, when heard familiar melody. Certainly, Deep Purple variant is much better.

Brian Adkins <> (23.09.2003)

I'm glad you encouraged me to get this album. I always listened to the critics and thought Deep Purple was simply a "wanna be" band, but after hearing this, I think it's more the other way around, they're a "i wanna be like that band" band. I'd never heard one of these songs on the radio and was very reluctant to buy it for the longest time, although the true treasures of any band are never played as much as their songs that seem to be on the radio every time you turn it on. This is a very good album for anyone that likes a good guitar. And the voice, I never knew they had such a great singer. Have you ever heard the band Sound Garden? I always thought Sound Gardens singer had the most unique voice in possibly all of rock history. But now I see he's merely a rip off of Deep Purples singer. Bare with me since I'm not really familiar enough with the band to actually call their members by name. I would go on to tell how great "Child in Time" is but if you don't get that impression from every other comment on here, you never will.  To me, it is a good album all the way through, if you like your music hard anyway. You're not gonna get the lyrical beauty of say Dylans "John Wesley Harding" but you're not gonna get that soft back-ground either. It's one of those albums you put on when you're ready to drink some beers, down some shots and energize yourself. I'm still trying to figure out a lot of the lyric but I did read them and can see the hints of cleverness, it just hasn't entirely sank in yet. Or maybe I'm just an idiot cause even after reading your review, I don't see where "Child in Time" is an anti-war song, but give me some more listens and maybe I will.  If you're into Black Sabbath, Zeppelin and a hard core, fast guitar, you can't go wrong spending some money on this album. Thanks again for the encouragement that I needed to lift the album from the shelf and put it in my shopping car : )

Stephen Rutkowski <> (06.07.2004)

I disagree with the quality of the production on this album. I believe it is just as poor as and sometimes worse than on later albums. The band produced the album themselves and as described by the band “there were lots of hands on the mixing desk”. This does not make for great production and there are often cases approaching white noise as all the members increase the gain on their individual instruments. As far as production goes, at least Ian Gillan’s voice is audible, and yes, it is a great voice. He is absolutely fantastic in ‘Child in Time’ – people continue to be mesmerised by his moving screams and howls.

As for the other members, Ritchie Blackmore is chugging out damn cool riffs with plenty of finger flashing solos. Jon Lord plays some wonderful background organ but he also has too many pointless solos. I feel the momentum of ‘Speed King’ and ‘Bloodsucker’ is broken horribly when he steps in for a solo spot. As you described his playing as “beautiful and majestic or dirty and feedbacky” I tend to like the beautiful and majestic aspect much more. There’s the pleasant “introduction” to ‘Speed King’ (after the overlong and needless noisy introduction) and the organ work on ‘Child in Time’ is of the highest calibre for the most part. However I dislike the “snake hissing” organs on ‘Living Wreck’ and the distorted whirring organs on ‘Hard Lovin’ Man’. In fact I don’t like these last two tracks much at all and they cause the album to drop sharply at the end. ‘Living Wreck’ is extremely dull and only the aforementioned organs give the track any identity from every other generic hard rock song.

However, let’s concentrate on the positives from the remainder of the album. The trio of ‘Speed King’, ‘Bloodsucker’ and ‘Flight of the Rat’ are just damn good rockers. ‘Speed King’ lives up to its name and Gillan caps off Blackmore’s chugging riff with chilling screams in ‘Bloodsucker’. ‘Child in Time’ needs little description, but as great as it is, I find it a little long like many people. And am I the only one to notice a similarity between ‘Into the Fire’ and ‘I am the Walrus’? Every time I hear the track I am immediately reminded of The Beatles’ classic but I cannot work out why. Perhaps someone out there can shed light on this issue. In any event it’s another great track. And that leaves us with the first five tracks being great. Throw in ‘Black Night’ as a bonus and you have a precious piece of plastic that will often find itself in my stereo.

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (15.02.2006)

When I look back on my life, I think I can say that this was for me the most anticipated album I ever looked forward to hearing. I loved SHADES OF....and FIREBALL and I'd heard that this was regarded as one of their classics........along with Fireball. I thought Fireball was immense even before I knew of it's status so when I heard about IN ROCK I wanted to hear it so so BAAAAD !! Nigeria in 1980 was a place of no rhyme nor reason and all kind of obscure and deleted books, records, films, comics, TV shows and suchlike would show up unexpectedly in the the most bizarre places.....So when I was at the Presidential hotel one day in april that year you can imagine my shock when I saw a cassette of IN ROCK !! The pres was Enugu's top hotel { some would say the only one, worthy of that name ! } and there used to be this guy who sold all these records on the floor and I was there one day, I can't even recall why but I saw IN ROCK and I just had to have it ! Rushed home, raised the cash and bought it but I couldn't listen to it for 36 hours. But when I did......WHOOOOAAAA !!! As silly as this may sound, it was almost a religious happening for me { and in those days, I was as athiest as they come }. I played it and it so moved me that I played it again straightaway. The weird thing is that it was wound to the start of side 2 so I've always known it to begin with " Flight of the rat " and end with " Child in time "......

That was 26 years ago and it is still one of the best albums of any genre to me. The cover is one of my top 3, a hugely magnificent piece of art. I think this album catches Purple firing on every cylinder imaginable { and a few beyond the imagination ! } and there are really very few flaws that spring to mind. FLIGHT kicks off proceedings in such a " in your face " way and the sheer sonic intensity never lets up. The lyrics are funny and wise at the same time { I once had a dream / to sing before the Queen / But she didn't want to know / So she couldn't see the show.......}, the organ spews out ridiculously good sounds and Lord's solo is so unexpected and Blackmore's general play and in particular his solo bristle with vitality. Ian Paice adopts a wonderfully appropriate snare tone and propels the song along while Glover does something he always did so well in Purple - he underpins the riff, along with BOTH Blackmore and Paice and drives the band to the edge, keeping the tension mounting. He's the only one who doesn't solo on this track ! INTO THE FIRE lays down one rat shit of a riff, it's so ponderous and heavy and once again Ian Gillan shows that no one but no one, screamed like him. He sounds like a shark had gotten to him much of the time. But he does not only scream. He has a damned good voice and he and Roger Glover came up with good lyrics. They could also be rather witty as they show in LIVING WRECK. These kind of lyrics just didn't exist in heavy rock at the time ! Another great riff matched by some wonderfully controlled, yet fiery playing. I think Jon Lord has some of his finest solos on IN ROCK and the way he takes the band out of LIVING WRECK is breathtaking. And he was under pressure at this point in 1970 because of the CONCERTO stuff, which was being written and put together at the same time. Much of IN ROCK was already in the bag and he had to add much of his share afterwards. He doesn't disappoint......For sheer murderous chuggalong intensity HARD LOVING MAN has no equal on this album. Every member of the band is on top form and they take this at an insane speed, threatening to smash and shred any and every thing that dares to get in their way, in this song about quick and brutal one night stands. Gillan howls like a newly invented instrument, Glover and Paice become one like the biblical concept of man and wife - indeed here they are the epitome of a rhythm section, like they were locked together and can't be separated while Blackmore and Lord rock the rhythm when required and duel like a couple of old wild Westerners. I've always loved their duels, this album carries 6 of them and this one is spitting energy, panache and vigour. And like those before and after, so very listenable. SPEED KING was apparently the first piece Blackmore and Glover { these 2 tended to initiate the riffs which then led to the songs } came up with after Glover had joined the band. I don't think Roger Glover's role in the legendary years has ever really been fully recognized and being a champion of the underdog and a lover of truth and setting the record straight, it appeals to my sense of injustice to say that he was a major player in both the lyrics and the music, which actually puts him in a unique position in Deep Purple's history. He was wise to play an understated but competent bass playing role as opposed to a Jack Bruce / Stanley Clarke type one. He stepped aside and let 4 shining stars do their thing and this track really brings this out. It's funny, the instrumental passage where the guitar and organ trade solos is almost quiet but just as the relative calm is enjoyed back comes the volume, the riffs, the screams and pheeeeewwwww!!! Reaching the end of SPEED KING is like licking one's wounds after a savage beating. And so the mauling continues with the ebullient BLOODSUCKER. Sorry folks but the opening lines are about me !! They're mine, d'you hear !!??!! " Got a black breast, Chinese eyes / Got an English brain that's gonna make me wise " { My sisters always used to make fun of my eyes ; they would say I had slits ! } . It's actually got a great set of lyrics { hows about another sip of all the wine you got ? / take a tip from me and give it here - I'll drink the lot / I'm not a winey I'm - a - putting on a show...OH NO NO NO......} ; they're so rhythmic and much as I like history and meaning, I'm also au fait with lyrics that apparently make no sense. Sometimes they just sound good. And while Gillan screams superbly throughout the album { the next one being possibly the best remembered }, I would say in the sing / scream stakes, nothing in the entire Purple catalogue that I've heard comes close to his efforts on the final verse and runout. It can be a cliche but his voice really is another instrumemnt on this album.

And so we come to the magnificent CHILD IN TIME. I can still remember the first time I heard this epic among epics......and today it is still breathtaking. It's measured and controlled build up is an object lesson to all bands of all genres in how to build, maintain, explode, come down and then go through the whole process again. While Ian Gillan rightfully takes the plaudits for a truly sensitive set of lyrics { yeah, I'd never thought of the anti war angle before, but I can see it } and a magnificent vocal, the rest of the band are the ones who really do it for me here with some dreadful {in the sense of dread - inspiring } tension playing and here, Blackmore's guitar playing shows incredible restraint before unleashing an awful { in the sense of awe - inspiring } solo. The way he begins it is heartstopping, the way he keeps it going at such a level of speed, invention and quickness of thought is confounding and the unison part he and Lord come up with at the end of the solo has to be the musical representation of the hard to achieve simultaneous orgasm......

Actually, the only slight complaint I have is that the song stops where it does. It's a good ending but a slight anti - climax to everything that has come before. But I'm nitpicking ! This album showed that mono - dimensional music need not be boring if the songs contained within are good and melodic. And that is the triumph of this album, all the songs are singable while being thunderous heavy rock. For all those people who say they hate the heavy stuff, I would say, try listening to this album with the volume down low and you may find a surprizing thing - this influential heavy rock album is pretty catchy !!


Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

First of all, the release date above is wrong. The first edition of UK CD (on RPM Records) was released in 1993, the Japanese edition (my case) was released in 1997, and the new remastered edition scheduled for release in late 2000.

Musically all parts of the suite are charming, but the whole work is less excited than Concerto, probably 'cause the main difference between Gemini and Concerto is the change of the accent - while Concerto was build as a DIALOGUE between the orchestra and the full-size rock band, Jon turned Suite into the bunch of MONOLOGUES by band members and the orchestra. In the best moments of Concerto the band and the orchestra played as the one indivisible organism - here you'll hear it in the apocalyptic finale only.

Anyway, this is lush present to Purple fan, especially if you rate Concerto higher than In Rock. I prefer this concert to the studio version of Suite and my rating is 7.

Oh yeah, I forgot to say that Jon Lord's solo gem Sarabande was finally re-released on CD! This beautiful keyboard-driven classical / rock album is widely available in record stores, so buy it, borrow it or steal it right now. I give you my word (underwritten in blood) - it will worthwhile the each spending cent... and when George will say that there's no chance to create a balanced classical / rock composition next time, you'll be able to send him a nice rotten egg :)

PS. By the way, the concert was at the Royal FESTIVAL Hall, not Royal ALBERT Hall. George The Wrong.


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Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

We still have some dull pure hard rock pieces here ("No, No, No", "Demon's Eye", "No One Came"), but this album was made with more various moods, more sensible lyrics and more acceptable sound than In Rock. Love story in "Fireball" was described without the same Gillan's vulgarity, "Anyone's Daughter" frivolity perfectly shines through Jon Lord's piano chords and the Eastern passages of "The Mule" became just a little introduction for Paice's brilliant solos on stage. Best number here is "Fools" with Ritchie's blitzing guitar work and Gillan's pessimistic lyrics. My rating is 7.

PS. I have Japanese issue of this CD, and "Demon's Eye" was replaced by "Strange Kind Of Woman" here too. Well done, Nippon! Live version of "Strange Kind Of Woman" is far superior, but studio version is incomparable than "Demon's Eye" anyway.

Eric Rogozin <> (17.04.2001)

I can't say, that it's even a slight falldown from previous record, it's also a classic. By the way, it's a favourite album of Gillan. The title track rules, "No No No" is a groovy protest song; Guitar/piano duet in "Anyone's Daughter" is awesome, compared only with "April"; probably the best song here is "Fools" - resplendent! And I'd like to mention solo on cello of Blackmore in "The Mule".

Thomas Paar <> (06.09.2001)

Fireball is a great follow up, but in the same time a bit of a letdown. The title track is a strong mover, but 'Demon's Eye' is even better. It's not fast at all, but so dark and bluesy. It could be the best song on the album. Another good track would be 'Fools', but 'No One Came' is kinda boring, it's too long and Gillan again screams so obnoxiously loud (like his fighting with the bizarre production). 'The Mule' is simply great, and I can't deny that I love that exotic sound. Unfortunately the album is too slow, and it can't be nearly as good like In Rock. They're still trying though, and the result is a very solid, even classical album. Gillan sounds good, but it takes some hard effort to hear his voice on this point, and Blackmore is amazing, he does riffs, solos, everything, and does it perfect. Lord starts to be a little pesky at times with his organ, but it still works, somehow. I found 'Strange Kind Of Woman' on a compilation, and it's a beautiful. It's a shame that it isn't on the same album edition like 'Demon's Eye', in that case I would give the album a 9 like In Rock. Like this, it's just a poor little 8.

Stephen Rutkowski <> (06.07.2004)

Deep Purple lost it a bit here and it’s not only due to them trying to branch out. In fact I quite like ‘The Mule’, but it’s the rockier tracks like ‘Fools’ and ‘No One Came’ that prove to be a bit weak. Again a Deep Purple album dies at it reaches the finish line. Throw in the lethargic ‘Demon’s Eye’ and the stupid attitude of ‘No No No’ and the album is not looking strong at all. ‘Anyone’s Daughter’ shows that as far as country music goes, Deep Purple prove to be great hard rockers, but it is annoyingly catchy, and not that bad in the end. The lyrics are atrocious though. For mind, the only really great track is ‘Fireball’. It is much in the same vein as the previous album and races along at an incredible speed.

Now, I may have been too harsh on the album in the previous paragraph considering I seemed to have highlighted only the bad points of each track. I actually like ‘No No No’ despite its ridiculous lyrics and the fact that it is overlong. It certainly doesn’t deserve to be highlighted blue. And I actually like ‘Demon’s Eye’ despite its lethargy, especially because that riff and organ drone is something else and saves the song. ‘The Mule’ is pretty good, Paice’s rhythm drives the song fantastically and there are all sorts of cool effects coming out of Lord’s organ. ‘Fools’ and ‘No One Came’ are much too long however. ‘Fools’ is much too boring yet I enjoy the relaxed and trippy midsection of the track. ‘No One Came’ however lacks direction as Gillan narrates his somewhat interesting story. I’m sure if you could be bothered sitting down to listen to the lyrics you could enjoy ! it, but I listen to hard rock for power and energy and all sorts of other physics terms that lose their meaning in general conversation. But not for lyrics, no that’s why God created singer-songwriters. I hope you understand I’m joking here, I actually believe in the theory of evolution not creationism. Anyway, where was I? Talking about Fireball. So far I would give it a rating of 10. But I haven’t considered the Black Night-esque ‘Strange Kind of Woman’ which I have conveniently added as track eight. If you let me consider this one as part of the album (which is fair considering it’s on the American release) then I would definitely give it an 11.

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (17.02.2006)

" What kind of music is this ???" exclaimed my Dad back in 1979 when I was listening {on his stereo without permission } to this album for the first time. " Experimental music ", I replied. " Well will you take your exprimental music OFF ! " said he........

Apart from "Concerto this was probably the most experimental of all the Purple LPs so my remarks back then were unknowingly accurate. It's also the album that most polarizes Purple afficianados, there seems to be no middle ground - it's either seen [ as Ian Gillan does ] as a good progressive hard rock album or as an inferior effort that falls between the greatest 2 albums the band ever did [ the Blackmore take on it ]. There is however one other take on it that happens to be the first thing I ever read about Purple, about a month after I first heard " Fireball ". This view regarded IN ROCK, FIREBALL and MACHINE HEAD as a trio of classics and while I have gone through oodles of changes since '79, I'd have to say that I still go along with that view. One of the site reviewers said that they only listened to hard rock for power and energy and while everyone's view is interesting, I think you can miss alot by limiting yourself and the people whose music you listen to. I guess we all do it though, to a greater or lesser extent.....or do we ? I find music to be so expansive that it is never about just one thing or expressed just one way. " Fireball " showed that Purple had other colours running through them and when all is said and done, I'm surprized Blackmore and Paice poured such disdain on this album because their performances on it are { along with Roger Glover's } top notch and among the best things they ever musically laid down. Yes, yes, yes !

Another contention I have is the notion that this album is too organ dominated....and Jon Lord himself hasn't helped things with some of his comments about the organ not being a hard rock instrument. The first 3 heavy / progressive bands { Floyd, Purple, Zeppelin } that I listened to { and the first 6 albums that I spent 9 months immersing myself in } heavilly featured organ, electric piano, clavinet, piano, mellotron and synths so I have never accepted the idea that hard / heavy rock is guitar led; in saying that though, no guitarless band could ever cut it. It's the primary but not the only important component.

So onto the songs themselves - " Fireball " hurtles along at breakneck speed, possibly the fastest thing they ever did ! Yet Paice is still cute in his drumming and Gillan's use of the tambourine is the most inventive I've ever heard anywhere, outshining the Beatles and even Motown. A key feature of this album is the solo duels between Blackmore and Lord and here the guitar solo can only be described as oblique yet powerful. NO NO NO is a groovy little rewrite [ musically ] of INTO THE FIRE but lyrically seems to deal with the end of the hippy dream. Now when John Lennon put out the same sentiments a few months earlier, he was praised from the rooftops; whenever Black Sabbath's origins are discussed, Ozzy's quotes about being tired of love and peace come up time and time again. But this song says it all. When I first heard it I thought it was anti - establishment. Now I don't. And Roger Glover plays some mean bass that givess this tune added spice. It drives me crazy when record companies would put out different versions of the same record to different parts of the world. Why ? This album without "Demon's eye " is as stupid as " Revolver " without " I'm only sleeping " and the other 2 Lennon tracks missing.It's funny, someone earlier said Purple's lyrics were crap but I think not. I think this may be one of the songs in which Gillan is reflecting on his shambolic first marriage to a woman who left him the day they got married - whatever it's about, the pain and anger is palpable. Musically it's a tour de force, being deceptively lazy; the 2 solos are superb. ANYONE'S DAUGHTER is a lighter moment but despite the jollity and frivolity of the lyric, the yearning to connect with a wife really comes across. I'm surprized they still thought that way by 1971 ! Of course it tells you something deep down about human nature...and again it's really well played. THE MULE really is a tour de force, Ian Paice is easilly the star of this one, keeping up the same mighty chimbonda pattern virtually the whole way through. There's no let up ! He and Glover keep a groove going that's reminiscent of Paul and Ringo on " Tomorrow never knows " while the other guys do what has to be done. Ritchie's playing suddenly fizzes into life halfway through....when I first got this album, part way into his solo the record jumped 3 times but as I'd taped it, I didn't know. It wasn't till years later when I taped my own copy that I realized he hadn't played 3 incredible triplets.....fortunately, it didn't ruin it for me, this odd song, I think, about the loss of innocence and faith. FOOLS, hhhmmm, this has a few strings to it's bow; I love the centre section and the song is sung with such anguish - we probably needed a bit of relief after the mule had kicked us into submission. Which brings me to what I consider to be the best song on the album and a definite contender for "greatest album closer ". Of course no one could win but who cares. Everything that's great about Deep Purple is in evidence on this one; cool riff, expressive singing, fantastic lyrics, crisp, clever drumming with lots of neat little flicks, driving, pumping, bass, unpredictable yet wicked solos [ the best duel on the album ], great arrangement and as a bonus to finish up, some weird backward organ to see us out....slamming !!! The lyrics had they been written in '73 or '74 could be taken as a swipe at glam rock but in '71 the genre hadn't really broken big. I think this is yet another take on what was seen as the falseness contained within hippiedom [ a flip side of NO NO NO ]. I've long felt there was more than a tenuous link between flower power and glam in more ways than one......but this lyric spells out some of the unwilling compromises made in order to " make it ". So, is this a better album than the superb IN ROCK ? For me FIREBALL wins by the slime of a snake, by the hair of a bald man ! It's that close. I guess that because this one had a 5 month head start, it was already part of me by the time I heard it's predocessor. But both will always stand up and I still derive great joy from hearing the opening air conditioner before Ian Paice kicks us off on an unforgettable sojourn.....


Glenn Wiener <> (30.09.99)

A near classic. Only seven songs but all of them are winners. I like 'Lazy' as it probably has the most creative embellishments on the record. The organ effects and the slight changes in tone and the mix add some needed creativity to this slam bam thank you maam band. These guys are damn good musicians especially Ian Gillan. Your link to the best Deep Purple Web Site is excellent. Hopefully you will provide links to other noteworthy websites like these guys and Fleetwood Mac.

Nick Karn <> (15.10.99)

Although the production sucks and like you said, the vocals are barely audible, I can still totally get into this album. My favorite track is not the one that every guitarist knows in their sleep, "Smoke On The Water", a classic which incidentally features laughable lyrics including the immortal line 'some stupid with a flare gun'... but who notices lyrics in Deep Purple songs anyway? Certainly not critics or arguably even Ian Gillan. Nope, my favorite is the opener, "Highway Star", which perfectly captures that 'highway' feel in the expert playing (classic performances from Blackmore Gillan, and Lord). "Maybe I'm A Leo" and "Pictures Of Home" are also great rockers, and the intro jam to "Lazy" is almost worth the price of the album alone. "Space Truckin'" and "Never Before" are a little bit average though, so I can't give it a 9 or 10 - an 8 seems perfect.

Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

Much better than In Rock, much harder than Fireball, but still not enough to beat April (the album). Once again Purple recorded an unbalanced album full of fantastic songs and weak fillers. "Highway Star" have an immortal solo (probably the best solo Ritchie ever did) and even Gillan's stupid lyrics can't ruin it. After this masterpiece "Maybe I'm A Leo" is absolutely unremarkable, but "Pictures Of Home" is the rare example of Deep Purple's ordinary and non-banal hard rock. There's nothing great in this song, but it still stands higher than any song from In Rock (with the exception of "Child In Time", indeed). I'll never understand why "Never Before" was chosen to a single-release, not 'cause it's a mediocre song, but 'cause here we have "Smoke On The Water", Purple all-time signature-tune. Of course, this is one of the most overplayed hard rock songs, but I understand why Ritchie denied to play it in the 80's and 90's - this song is too simple to be played and played and played on every Purple's concert. Excellent vision of R&B in "Lazy" have much more space for live improvisations. The biggest low point on this album is self-parody "Space Truckin'", monotonous "Smoke On The Water" rip-off with usual empty lyrics. That's my point of view. Best songs here are "Highway Star" and "Lazy", rating is 7.

PS. New remastered edition was released on 2CD, the second disc contains remixed versions of the entire album. Save your money, friends. Even beautiful outtake "When A Blind Man Cries" couldn't excuse this hype.

<> (28.09.2000)

I guess there's really no questioning the worth of this record, but d-double-amn do I ever hate the production. But I guess it's a testament to the strength of the songs that this album could become an HM classic in spite of such a tiny sound. "Maybe I'm a leo but I ain't a-lyin" - gotta love it...

Kevin Baker <> (31.12.2000)

THIS ALBUM KICKS BUTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Pardon the enthusiasm, I got carried away there for a second. But I still hold to that opinion. Deep Purple is among my favorite bands, and Machine Head is my personal favorite Purple album. Don't take this as an insult to In Rock; In Rock is a killer album as well, and 'Child In Time' is one of the greatest moments in hard rock history. However, on a song by song basis, I prefer Machine Head. I think this may mark the peak of Ritchie Blackmore's skill as a guitarist; I've heard some Purple from before this and after, and I've heard some Rainbow, but Blackmore plays to beat the band on this one. But everyone else puts up a good fight! Paice is a superb drummer, Jon Lord knows how to make the Hammond work for a heard rock/heavy metal band, Glover is a solid bassist, and as has been said numerous times before, Gillan has one of, if not the best, voices in rock. But onto the songs!

The whole things roars to a start with 'Highway Star'. Hands down, this is the best car song ever. Eat your heart out, Beach Boys. Not that I have anything against the Wilsons and friends, but 'Highway Star' captures that youthful vibe so perfectly. I'm a teen, I should know. Blackmore's solo is based on a classical chord progression he learned when he first started playing. Fantastic solo, fantastic song. Nuff said.

'Maybe I'm A Leo' has a great opening riff, and is vintage Deep Purple rock.

'Pictures of Home' is a very emotional piece, and I enjoy it a great deal. For a change, the lyrics are actually more than window dressing; they paint a pciture of a lonely exiled type. The song deosn't reach the same level of emotional climax as 'Child In Time', but it tries very hard, and as usual Blackmore's soloing is par excellence.

'Never Before' gets my nod for weakest track, but this is Machine Head, so it's still wonderful. I don't know why I don't like it as much, I just don't. That is a fault of stylistically narrow bands like this; you can like one song tremendously, and for some strange reason, you can for no apparent reason dislike other songs in the exact same style. Its weird.

And here's the monster, the heavy, crushing, monstrous song that Deep Purple will eternally be know for. 'Smoke On The Water'. Heckuva riff, entertaining lyrics, and good playing by all. Now, I have no idea why this one is so well known, and yet so few haver heard other super tunes like 'Highway Star' or 'Space Truckin' (my favorite by DP). However, I'd rather hear 'Smoke On The Water' on my radio 10,000 times than be forced to hear so much as a minute of the average Britney Spears or Backstreet Boys attempt at music. I won't go as far as call them songs, just attempts.

I rather enjoy 'Lazy'. As usual, perfect playing, and it proves that Led Zeppelin does not hold a monopoly on the blues.

Now comes my favorite, 'Space Truckin'.  MUSIC IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM!!!! Sorry, gguess I got overenthused again. But I just can't help it!  Fun lyrics, butt-whipping riffing, and maybe the best drumming I've ever heard Ian Paice usher into the world. This song is 100% great.

Thats the end of the album as orginally released, but out of necessity I bought the 25th anniversary reisssue with 3 bonus tracks on the main CD and an extra CD of remixes from the original masters, all done by Roger Glover.  I haven't listened to the remixes, and I doubt if they could top the originals anyhow.  Now, the bonuses give us two quadrophonic mixes of already-heard songs ('Maybe I'm A Leo' and 'Lazy').  That leaves us with the B-side to the 'Never Before' single, 'When A Blind Man Cries'. This one is slow, and melancholy, and bluesy to boot.  Enjoyable, but I can see why it was a B-side.

Eric Rogozin <> (28.03.2001)

It's the best Deep Purple studio record and it's one of the best albums ever! It's the same level as In Rock, even a little better (though there's no denying, that In Rock is also wonderful brilliant record). Three best songs here are "Highway Star", "Smoke On The Water" and "Space Truckin'". Of course, all songs from Machine Head are good: "Maybe I'm A Leo" is a nice blues, "Pictures Of Home" rules, "Never Before" is desirable, "Lazy" is also a nice blues; but these three songs ("Highway Star", "Smoke On The Water" and "Space Truckin'") are absolute standards of good rock music. How can one resist Gillan's screaming? This guy has a gorgeous voice!!!! Ian Gillan proves in this album one more time, that he's one of the greatest vocalists. And Ritchie! Just listen to his solo in "Highway Star"! Someday I will write a composition, why Ritchie is a genius. Contribution of Jon Lord is also colossal! Passage on organ in "Highway Star" is awesome! And Paice - he was always brilliant drummer!

True masterpiece! 

Thomas Paar <> (06.09.2001)

Hmm, Machine Head. I'll try to be analytical about this one as far I can. Hmm, okay, so I should probably say this is their finest studio endeavor, and it indeed has seven great songs, which are absolute classics. Okay, the mixing of the vocals is annoyingly bad and someone should kill the bastard that's responsible for it. Hmm, perhaps he's already dead, so never mind. I'm a little subjective with this one cause it has 'Smoke On The Water', and I had first heard that song when I was about 8 years old. At that time my brother learned to play the guitar, and he often played that particular song. Of course, that was an acoustic guitar, and he couldn't play it to good, but he did pull off the melody pretty well, so I remember it still. It's obvious I didn't know anything about rock music at that time, or music at all, for that matter, but I liked that distinguish riff very much. I still do. However, 'Smoke On The Water' is certainly not my favorite track here, that honor belongs to 'Highway Star'. I admit, that 'Smoke On The Water' has stupid, but kinda cool lyrics, and I can't bash that song because of them. 'Highway Star' is, on the other hand, the ultimate speedy rocker, without whom any car drive wouldn't be interesting at all. Unfortunately, the album is slightly unbalanced cause some songs are truly immortal, but some end up sounding like fillers, notably 'Never Before'. 'Maybe I'm A Leo' is very unbalanced, indeed, because it has a great opening riff, but it still sounds quite dull. 'Pictures Of Home' starts pretty hopeful and loses me near the end, it's still okay, but it's, hmm, a filler. The parody of 'Space Truckin' is a great one, and the song itself is a fast little bastard, although it seems kinda hollow to me. I don't know why, maybe it's the lyrics ? I wouldn't know. 'Lazy' has a nice jam section, but it seems somewhat out of place here. Oh, maybe it's just me. It usually is. 'When A Blind Man Cries' is a beautiful B side of a single that really deserved to be included on the original record, I mean, it isn't worse than 'Lazy' by any means. The band members are on their peak here. Gillan screams all the way through the record with consistency and conviction, and he doesn't overdo it. Blackmore is Blackmore, and he shines, although, Lord gives him a run for his money with some excellent organ playing. All in all, this is their best work, although it has some downsides, not a lot, though. It is an noticeable improvement over In Rock, cause the songs are overall more solid than before. Yep, the thing dreams are made of. Of course, it's a 10. And a pure one at that.

P.S. How come you didn't give a 10 to In Rock or Machine Head?

Stephen Rutkowski <> (06.07.2004)

I’ll state it right now just to get it out of my system – I hate ‘Smoke on the Water’. No hate is too strong a word. ‘Smoke on the Water’ is in fact a good song, I just cannot stand the status that it holds in the annals of hard rock. That riff is just so dumb and primitive (and so is the irritating chorus) and survives on strength and catchiness alone. While everyone reveres the most memorable riff in history, all other great hard rock tracks (done both by Deep Purple and other bands) are consigned to the history archives for only the most determined to find. In fact, I hated ‘Smoke on the Water’ so much that I refused to listen to Machine Head, which in hindsight was a really stupid thing to do. Anyway, now I view ‘Smoke on the Water’ as more or less a better than average track. But the real interest for me in this album is the remaining six tracks. Let’s investigate.

The real highlights on this album are ‘Highway Star’, ‘Space Truckin’ and believe it or not ‘Maybe I’m a Leo’. I just can’t get that funky blues riff out of my head. The real lowlights for me are… well the only lowlights are ‘Never Before’ and ‘Lazy’. ‘Never Before’ is a lot like ‘Living Wreck’, that is its generic hard rock and reminds me why I like to branch out into different genres. ‘Lazy’ is well… very very boring and breaks the momentum of the album, what with the way it wastes a slab of seven minutes. That would leave ‘Pictures of Home’ somewhere in the middle. Hmm… interesting, a good track but not quite as high as the three tracks I already mentioned. ‘Highway Star’ is the quintessential driving track, and I guess that makes ‘Space Truckin’ the quintessential space traveling track. I would be willing to go into space if that track was part of the playlist… ok my foolishness is weari! ng thin. At least I can be proud to proclaim that a Deep Purple album finally finishes on a high note (and by that I mean out of the three albums I own, sorry I don’t have enough money to delve into the myriad of Deep Purple albums). Anyway, an immensely enjoyable album despite the disappointments of ‘Never Before’ and ‘Lazy’, and well worth me getting over my ridiculous prejudices to appreciate.

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (19.02.2006)

Easilly the best titled Purple album, but I have a problem with this classic collection and that problem is the live MADE IN JAPAN that follows hard on it's heels. Because 3 of the M H tracks are fried to shreds by M I J and so I tend to combine them on the tape I have to make one super album [ super on the tape, that is ]. That should not take away the fact that this is a great album. However, I've never found this LP to be that heavy ! It's 2 predocessors are heavier and the live versions are heavier. No, for me this is a classic collection because of the songs. Heavy rock is ( or at least, it was ) melodic stuff. Most of the great heavy bands in heavy rock's first 15 or so years wrote good SONGS with plenty of melody. Even Motorhead were capable of good melodies.That so many of them were able to incorporate gut wrenching, skull crushing instrumentation at high voltage and very high volume, with clever dynamics and multiple directions only demonstrates how good many of these guys were and Purple were one of the best and hottest. Try an experiment - attempt to listen to hard rock circa '66 - '83 with the volume down low. I believe you'll find a clever diverse genre here. And where Machine Head is such a good album is that it is choc full of songs. Good melodic ones. Which is not for a moment to say that it don't rock and rock hard coz it does.

I love every song on here but the 3 that are generally regarded as the minor ones are for me among the best tracks the band recorded. " Maybe I'm a Leo " is so funky, right from the start Purple had the funk ( as much as a few English lads born in the 40s could ) and it came up time and time again.....When Roger Glover was in the band, he was underrated. On some of the funkier numbers [ BLOODSUCKER, NO NO NO ] he holds things together and plays that clever style that black bassists of the time did for breakfast. A great song. " Pictures of home " is another great, lovely singing,committed instrumentation and a bass part that's like a rocket taking off, brilliant. My fave on the album is " Never before ", in my top 7 of Purple tunes, it's riff seems to be a rewrite of the one on "No one came", the lyric I think deals with the same issue as " Demon's eye " [ Gillan's bizarre marriage ] and it has a beautiful refrain - Help me now / please my friend / I've never felt so bad before / never never's very moving lyrically although the sound isn't sad. It's a wonderful piece and I just love the electric piano at the end. And " Space Truckin' " is just brilliant. I think this version is the definitive one and I really like it's good time lyrics and atmosphere.

All in all, a kickin', slammin', effort; fully deserving it's status......but not for the reasons generally observed.


José Humberto Mesquita Filho <> (28.09.99)

It is indeed the best first buy for Deep Purple. "Smoke on the Water" and "Highway Star" are quite better than the studio versions. It is also the only live Purple album you should buy - simply because on this one, Gillan still has his voice. I've seen Deep Purple live twice, and altough he does a fair job singing those classics, there's no way to compare his nowadays voice to his voice back in '72. What about him screaming in the very end of "Strange Kind of Woman"? No one could do it better then. The production on this one is also awesome. There's a 2 CD version of Made in Japan that includes 'Black Night', 'Speed King' and a cover song which I don't remember now. But the single-CD one is probably all you'll need.

Ted <> (24.10.99)

The 2 CD version has 'Black Night', 'Speed King' and 'Lucille' on the 2nd disc. The first CD has 7 songs, the same as the original 2 record set from the 70's, at least in the USA, at approximately the same timings, over 76 minutes so it seems nothing has been cut as has been done with some other 2 record sets converted for CD. The 1 CD set has a gold cover like the original 2 record set. The 2 CD set is black. I think "Smoke on the Water" and maybe "Child in Time" are as good as or improved compared to studio, all the rest I prefer the original versions, but it takes a lot from a live disc to impress me or maybe not, I like strange stuff.

Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

Their concert peak. When Purple left the studio, they left all their problems there. No dull songs, no banal lyrics (Gillan simply forgot them all), only virtuosity and energy were presented. They took their best numbers and turned 'em into the endless passion battle (unforgettable tour-de-force between Ritchie and Ian in "Strange Kind Of Woman"). Even pathetic "Space Truckin'" was reworked into the twelve minutes improvisation and completely wiped the studio version. There are absolutely no low points, except the distorted sound. All songs are great, Gillan screams higher, Paice threshes louder and Blackmore plays faster than any living person on this planet. This is the best Deep Purple's album for ever and ever (amen!). Rating is 10. Best song... hell, I don't know! I loves 'em all!

PS. This 2LP and single CD album was named Live In Japan in Nippon and Made In Japan in the rest of the world. The recordings was made during three concerts in August 1972 in Osaka and Tokyo. Live In Japan 3CD edition contains an almost all materials from their gigs and this is the natural waste of money. New remastered version of Made In Japan have a bonus CD with three tracks ("Black Night", "Speed King" and "Lucille") but the loathsome sound quality makes this edition totally unlistenable (it sounds worse than new version of "In Rock"!). I recommends DCC gold release of Made In Japan with sharp and clear sound, while fantastic live version of "Black Night" you will find on the Japanese CD Powerhouse.

<> (19.07.2000)

Hands down the greatest live album ever released. The version of 'HIGHWAY STAR' jams so much it's almost impossible to put into words. I disagree with you when you described 'CHILD IN TIME' as "more or less the same as the original". While this version of 'CIT' is very good (especially the guitar solo), it doesn't hold a candle to the original version. But then again, no other song in the world does, IMHO. This blistering rendition of 'SMOKE ON THE WATER', however, far surpasses the original. I do agree with you in you're stating that 'THE MULE' is the weakest track on here. Not because of the drum solo, which is nothing short of mesmerizing, but because on this version we're deprived of Ritchie's bone-crunching soloing that was on the studio version. And of course, this live version of 'STRANGE KINDA WOMAN' is simply mind-blowing. Gillan matches licks from Blackmore's guitar so perfectly you'd almost swear there were two guitars playing the same notes. Wow. What a vocal range! As I've said countless times before, Ian Gillan has the most astonishing pair of vocal cords on God's green Earth. Oh yeah, the versions of 'LAZY' and 'SPACE TRUCKIN' are enjoyable too.

<> (19.11.2000)

Greetings and Felicitations!

First of all let me say that I second the reccomendation of the DCC 24k gold edition of Made In Japan, the sound is head and shoulders above Peter "No Noise" Mew's remastering.

You were speculating that Angry Ritchie may have been bowing on "Space Truckin'". Actually, he was using a technique known as "volume swells". For those who aren't guitar literate, volume swells (as innovated by the late Roy Buchanan) is a technique where the fretting hand frets a note or chord (usually via another technique called a "Hammer on", rarely strummed or picked) while the picking hand rapidly manipulates the volume control. Properly executed will give a pseudo bowing sound. Ritchie also used this on "Fools". Just thought you'd like to know.

Richard Hunt <> (18.02.2001)

I usually find it hard to listen to Made in Japan because I find it completely BORING. 'Highway star', and 'Space Trucking' are the worst culprits for this, and 'Lazy' and the beginning of 'Strange Kind of Woman' are the only bits that don't bore me at all. When I'm in this mood I usually just listen to those two songs. I think that's my studio mood, when all the showing off just gets on my nerves and I would probably give this a 5 and listen to In Rock instead.

At other times, usually when I've been listening to the Beatles, or Rolling Stone or something, this is the most amazing album released, and I'd easily give it a 10. For some reason, 'Highway Star' is completely transformed, and the only boring bit is on 'the Mule'. I think that the change in tempo from Beatles to Deep Purple is mostly responsible for this.

I have the 2CD black cover edition of this album and I think that the production is fine (I prefer it to the non-remastered copy of In Rock that I have). But if the other editions are better, then that might have brought my opinion of the album down, but this is the only version of it that I could find.

This album is definitely worth buying, but if you're like me, then only after listening to Abbey Road, Sell Out, or Sticky Fingers.

Thomas Paar <> (06.09.2001)

What to say ? Every song on Made In Japan is a major classic, and a lot of them sound much better and improved in the new versions. Strong stuff. I'll give it a 10. I only wish they could stay like that for a couple more albums. Oh, what can you do ? Well, listen to this album, of course. What are you waiting for ? Go !

Henrik Larsen <> (28.12.2003)

The original Made in Japan cd has a running time of 76min59s; the remastered 76m17s (not counting the bonus cd of course!). Nothing was cut per se, but on the remastering cd instead of the fades between each individual track they are merged into one continuous performance (why, when we already have the Live in Japan box with the authentic concert??). Some of these reedits are quite poorly done, for example the introduction to "The Mule" that now sits at the end of "Smoke on the Water".

Simon Robinson (of DPAS) has the nerve to state in the sleeve notes that "the engeneers at Abbey Road have worked directly from the original album masters, to enhance the sound quality even further, without tinkering with the original ambience which gave Made in Japan such a devoted following". Riiiight. Unfortunately, because of the remaster, the original cd (gold sleeve) is now obsolete and quite hard to come by.

Ok, so maybe the sound of that cd is a bit murky, but I really like the way the original album was edited: like a kind of scrapbook or snapshot album, presenting some of the hightlights from the Japan tour, offering much needed (IMHO) breathing space between each awesome track.

Lionel Maréchal <> (28.06.2004)

For some reasons, I listened to the first half of this album (the first four songs) before having heard In Rock or Machine Head, and the second half after. That's infortunate, in fact because I was really disappointed when I heard the studio versions. This album is fantastic ! Let's examine it song by song:

"Highway Star" kicks the studio version out ! It's much faster, Ian screams perfectly, and Richie's solo rules : the studio version was well-built, precise, clean (Richie says he took his inspiration from Bach !), this one is messy, energetic, inventive, with some mighty improvisation melted with those pretty little arpeggios, and a heavy use of the vibrato bar (Richie sure had to tune his guitar afterwards).

"Child In Time" is superb too : I even prefer Ian here. On the studio version, he was a bit "restrained", careful to hit the right notes ; here he pulls all the stops and SCREAMS in a perfect rock'n'roll way (I'd state that apart from Roger Daltrey, no hard rock or heavy metal singer can scream as well as Gillan ; Robbie Plant can go back to his bed).

"Smoke On the Water" is so good that the studio version seems shy and tame in comparison ; again, the solo is less well-built but boasts much more energy. It's true, though, that the song can't stand up to its RIFF. Certainly one of the five best riffs of all time, be it for simplicity, memorability, efficiency, and fame. In France, where rock isn't a main part of the culture (you know, most of my friends have never heard of Led Zeppelin ! neither of "Stairway To Heaven" !!!), if you say "Do you know Deep Purple and the song "Smoke On The Water" ?", well most people will answer "No, I don't know ; what is it ?" But then you say "that's the song with Dam dam daam, dam dam da-daam, dam dam daam, dam dam" and people then say "oh yeah, I've already heard this."

"The Mule", well, is just a drum solo. I usually skip this one.

"Strange Kind.." is a funny one. The call-and-answer thing with Ian and Richie is hilarious (Roger and Jon are probably having some whisky at the moment).

Finally we get "Space Truckin' ", and although the sound is less heavy than the studio version, the jamming part is great. I lament, though, the fact that they never come back to the original song, a thing that Led Zeppelin would usually do : after 10 or more minutes of jamming, most of the time, LZ play a verse and a chorus of the debut song, whitch is good because it gives to the jam a satisfying end. With Deep Purple, they end up the jam at one moment, but you often have the feeling that they could have as well ended two minutes sooner or later.

The black version has three bonus tracks, whitch are good. "Speed King" now deserves its title ! the studio one wasn't fast enough. "Lucille" is a bit too messy, although Gillan is one of the very few singers who can rival Little Richard.

My final rating is 10(13), with the tags "Best live album" and also "Best album". I wonder why did you name In Rock for best album in spite of the better rating of Made In Japan ? (oh, while I'm thinking about it, you wrote about In Rock "probably the best pure heavy metal album of all time". Well since you gave a 13 to two Accept albums, you have to remove this line or rise IR to a 13 too.) Is it because you don't want a live album to be "Best album" ? but after all you deservedly did it with The Who and Live at Leeds. Well I think a live album can be a band's best album if it meets three criteria :

- it should be a "historic" album, released soon after its recording when the band is still around (this discards archive releases and the likes) ;

- it should have a good song selection, enough to rival studio albums in terms of material alone (I'd discard, for example, Lou Reed's Rock'n'Roll Animal because it is mainly made of Velvet's songs whitch doesn't represent well the solo career of Lou) ;

- the songs should be significantly better (or at least different) from the studio versions. I won't name "Best album" a live album whitch only reproduces the studio sound. (this one discards, say, No Sleep 'till Hammersmith : released at the right time, near-perfect song selection, but nothing different to the studio).

Well MIJ qualifies perfectly : it was released during the band's peak, it has all of DP's classics, and the live versions kick their studio relatives out of the window ! The best Deep Purple that money could buy, better than the studio albums, and even better than any "best-of" 'cuz the songs are better live!

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (20.02.2006)

I remember buying this album right around the time of John Lennon's death with some ill gotten gains.....I have mixed feelings about it because on one hand it contains tracks that I just don't feel could ever be bettered from the studio versions { CHILD IN TIME, SPACE TRUCKIN' } mixed with established classics that these live versions rip to shreds { HIGHWAY STAR, SMOKE ON THE WATER, LAZY, STRANGE KIND OF WOMAN }. I've not heard any other live Purple albums ( never wanted to ) so I don't know if it's their best live one. I wouldn't be surprized if it is coz it is a mighty effort. I have heard live hard rock LPs I've preferred ( by Status Quo, Queen, Blue Oyster Cult, Motorhead, Kiss, Ted Nugent, The Outlaws, even Thin Lizzy ) but it's Purple we're talking about, so............

HIGHWAY STAR - this was the first version of this song that I heard and so it's no wonder the Machine Head one never stood a chance with me because this is one of the most scorching pieces ever, ever, ever ! Dammit ! It's more than fast, it's more than furious, it's more than kicking, it's more than, well, it's more ! It's like striking matches that are laced with dynamite, no make that nitro - glycerine. The organ doodling at the start rolls into a progressively building intro before exploding into action and Ian Gillan's controlled but crazed vocals. His screaming on this song is both hilarious ( check out the squeal just before the organ solo - it's priceless !! ) and well placed and he is one of the stars of this show. Except that on this track everyone is fizzing. Roger Glover's bass doodles at the end of each verse ( in the " and everything...." part ) are superb ( and quick ! ) as is his general driving play, Lord's organ solo threatens to tear a groove through the whole shebang, it's so hot, Blackmore's riffing rhythm playing is a lesson from a master and he blows the galaxy away with his solo. I defy anyone to keep an even heart rate during it ! It is without peer, indescribable. He takes the rudiments of the Machine Head version and totally reforms it with electricity. And Ian Paice whips up a tsunami, never mind a storm ! And right at the end of this supreme track, he gives the drums this double whack, as if it was such an exhilarating experience that ending the song is the most inappropriate thing anyone could do !!!Magnificent on every level, how in the world do you follow this up ? Not with CHILD IN TIME, that's for sure...I'm one of those that is so in love with the IN ROCK version, I don't care what they subsequently did with it ! Surprizingly narrow minded of me. That said, the organ solo that replaces the original guitar solo is a really good idea but in every other way this is a pale imitation.

When I was 10 and 11, we had this neighbour that I never met and every sunday afternoon, you could hear this clumsy, loud, out of tune guitar and it was always the same bit played over and over again and for years it drove me crazy. It really made my nerves crawl ! So when I first heard the riff of SMOKE ON THE WATER and realized that it was that thing my neighbour used to play, I could not stop laughing ! Ritchie played it so much better !! I love this version, it's so much more dynamic, it's sung better, played more effectively, the sense of tension more pronounced and Jon Lord's solo to take out the song [ which is not in the original ] is majestic. Kicks a very good, nay, immortal, original out to Pluto or somewhere that takes a long time to reach ! Sorry, worshippers.As for the riff, it is special, but as a song, it's a winner.THE MULE serves no other purpose than for the great Ian Paice, one of rock's greatest drumming sons, to show us what he can do without the rest of his cohorts. Not very much, I'm afraid. Don't get me wrong, he is one heavyweight stixman, but this track makes me realize that his great strength is how his skills mesh within the band framework. They would not have been the band they were had they not had him and his development over the Purple years was truly fascinating to watch ( or should I say, listen ). It's not that I dislike drum solos, it's just that most of them { even in jazz where they are de riguer } are without context and usually go on 2 days short of forever. Sabbath's Bill Ward on RAT SALAD gets it just right coz his is short, sharp and snappy and then goes back into the song. One of the reviewers points out that Purple rarely went back into the song after a lengthy excursion and it's a correct observation. The studio version was weird. This one is plain boring. The next 2, STRANGE KIND OF WOMAN and LAZY belt their studio counterparts into touch - but only just. It's the added extras on each song that elevate them into masterpieces and in the case of LAZY, rather like with Ozzy on THE WIZARD, I'm left wondering why Ian Gillan didn't make more use of the harmonica coz his part here is rather tasty. Which leaves SPACE TRUCKIN'. If it remained at roughly it's regulation length, it would be the equal of it's studio counterpart, but unfortunately I find it just too inconsistent in the lengthy ramble.Now, I like long tracks and this does have some fine moments but as a whole I don't feel it hangs together well. A personal opinion. Shame really, coz the first 5 minutes are great.

So it is a mixed bag IMHO but I'm glad for it's existence.


No reader comments yet.


Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

A rather mediocre effort. Purple began to piss on each other instead of playing music. Nobody of them was interested in further projects - while Gillan decided to leave, Blackmore with Paice did the same thing, but their managers (through Jon Lord) persuaded 'em to stay. This album isn't quite bad, some songs are good ("Woman From Tokyo", "Mary Long", "Super Trouper", "Our Lady"), but there are no moments of glory like "Highway Star" or "Child In Time". Purple never played material of this album on stage ("Woman From Tokyo" was played a few years later, but 70's Purple and 80's Purple - as people in Odessa says - are two huge differences), and I can't imagine these songs in extended live versions. We have what we have, so my rating is 3. Best song... hmmm... I can't choose. They all can't catch me.

KeithF <> (07.11.2000)

A masterpiece... and worthy follow-up to Machine Head.

And now a word from the opposition... I've just never been able to fathom the absolute abuse that Who Do We Think We Are receives from so many fans while I happen to think it's among their best ever (and I know I'm not alone... I'm aware of at least two fans that wholeheartedly agree with me). Mediocre some call it. Mediocre? Hello? Are we listening to the same album? I know we aren't, because the review that I'm responding to asks the misleading question "Where's that great SCREAMING?" Huh? It's right there, silly. Weren't you listening? OK, so Gillan doesn't scream as much as he did on Machine Head. So what? When did we start counting screams as the measure of a good album?

I do have a guess, and it's only a guess, but the band themselves have often (and pretty universally, it seems) commented that they do not care for this recording. I can only imagine... what with late 1972 and early 1973 being a time of great stress for the band. Bad memories of a period of time can often tarnish one's view of a solid piece of work. But as for the fans... only the most astute might have guessed at the problems within the band (hinted at in 'Smooth Dancer'... it becomes obvious only in hindsight), and therefore why wouldn't they like this gem of an album? I believe that a greater percentage of them did at the time. My theory is that over the years the band's negative comments have rubbed off on many fans, so that they've adopted the same negative feelings held by band members. It's the best I can do to explain what seems like a widespread disdain for an album that I think is spectacular. A few negative opinions are bound to turn up for any recording, but why so many for this one is just beyond me.

In any event, opinions differ, and here's my differing take on what I consider to be second only to Machine Head and a close second at that. By the way, I would rate it a star or two ahead of the admittedly classic In Rock (which is a kickin album but suffers from horrible sound which is only somewhat helped by the remastering of a few years ago), and far superior to the also good but somewhat sleepy Fireball. The album kicks off with the Catchy pop-metal of 'Woman From Tokyo'. Nothing particularly special about the subject matter, but then again how deep were 'Strange Kind of Woman' or 'Highway Star'? 'Mary Long', however, offers another catchy riff and a little political commentary to boot (with Gillan taking the blunt-sword approach). I don't really get the AC/DC lyric comparison... I don't recall AC/DC ever commenting on current events in Britain, or anywhere else for that matter. Anyhow, 'Super Trouper' is where the album really takes off. It has that trademark Purple movin & groovin riff that appears throughout this album, and it's a perfect lead-in to 'Smooth Dancer', probably the most exciting track on the album. With break-neck pace and a great solo contrasting piano and organ, 'Smooth Dancer' really rocks. 'Rat Bat Blue's heavy funk (far superior to the light funk that Glen Hughes later favored and which ultimately chased Ritchie out of the band) is instantly catchy and the keyboard break in the middle is smokin' (even if it was sped up). 'Place In Line' offers a nice little change of pace and a humorous lyric from Gillan. It's change of tempo about mid-way gives Ritchie and Jon some nice room to solo... they both shine here. 'Our Lady' finishes off the album with a stylish and somewhat spacey song. However it's got a strong melody and I like the arrangement featuring a really heavy-sounding Hammond.

Some general comments.

Ritchie was clearly not all there when this album was recorded. Whether it was personal problems with Gillan (or other band members) or just a general dislike of the material or direction, who knows. But it's fair to say that he is perhaps not as prominent a player on Who Do We Think We Are as he is on other albums. He is, however, most certainly present, and makes some fine contributions. And when he's not soloing, he's laying down that unique lead-style rhythm guitar that flows with the beat so well. I can listen to Ritchie play behind someone else all day long. There's few other guitarists that do it so interestingly. It's the thing that Steve Morse, great as he is, will probably never get. Additionally, if Ritchie had taken a more active interest in this album it would very likely have outdone Machine Head.

Having said all that, what's wrong with an album that puts the spotlight on Jon Lord? Much as I love guitar, the thing that always drew me to Deep Purple's sound was the organ. An equal player, an ear-splitting catalyst to Ritchie, an exciting soloist and adventurous composer... Jon Lord's organ sound is what set Deep Purple apart. No one had a sound like that. No one. I for one like the fact that he got a little bit more of the spotlight this time around. It does not weaken the album one iota for me.

So there it is. I do not expect this to change the minds of any fans who already dislike Who Do We Think We Are. Since so much of the commentary out there is of a negative slant, I felt that another voice should be heard. I hope it may convince the uninitiated to give it a chance.

My ratings:

Record rating = 10

Overall rating = 12

Best Song: 'Rat Bat Blue'

Purple Rocks!

Eric Rogozin <> (17.04.2001)

Another great album and certainly worthy follow-up to Machine Head. All Purple trademarks are apparent here and where there are Deep Purple features, there is professionalism. And what a professionalism! "Woman From Tokyo", "Mary Long" - masterpieces! Splendid!

Thomas Paar <> (06.09.2001)

Man, is this an album or an open wound ? Hard to tell, really, but it hurts just the same. Who Do We Think We Are is a terrible album and I don't see what possible reason they had to record this abomination. I mean, this is just too painful to listen to. Okay, maybe it's not their worst work, because David Coverdale is yet to come, but there's no effort invested here. It's a great hit and miss album. Rather disappointing given that it was recorded shortly after the great Made In Japan, although, they we're always at their best while playing live on stage. I can still feel the hatred in the studio at that time, it rubbed on the record quite nicely. The band sounds professional enough, but somehow generic, well, in every case, there's no too positive results here. If you look in the production department, you will find a big bad mess which gave a catastrophic sound to the album, especially to Gillan's voice which is barely hearable here. On the up side, he doesn't scream that much anymore or, perhaps, I just don't hear him. And the songs ? It's sad, very sad, mediocre or worse, beside that, they're deadly slow and the band simply can't convince me that they're still Deep Purple (ya know, speed was their trade mark). Okay, at least they got the title of the album right. WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE ?!!! The Who ? The Rolling Stones ? I wouldn't take this shit even from them, and I certainly wont take it from Deep Purple. Okay, 'Woman From Tokyo' is annoyingly pop-metallic and not unlike some future efforts by.... by.... by Whitesnake, yeah, that's right, Whitesnake. But still it's a pretty great song. 'Smooth Dancer' is catchy, although just a little. It's mostly downhill from there, 'Rat Bat Blue', 'Mary Long', 'Super Trouper'.... the list goes on. This would be only a 3, but hey, this is actually a very high 3. Ya know, they made a lot of great albums and now I simply expect more from them, I mean, if this was Kansas I would give it an 6. But it isn't. So I wont. We deserve better, and they should give us just that. Like this, it's indeed just a 3.

Robert Prentner <> (24.05.2002)

Ok generally I enjoy your reviews very much, but for Who DO We Think We Are your effort was quite shite. You're saying you don't like Deep Purple for not making much progression and the lack of diversity. Now you get a somewhat progressiv and particularly diverse album and you think it's just bad.

You said the album has no fast rockers. Well I think 'Woman from Tokyo' is quite a fast piece [actually, I've always thought it defined "mid-tempo" - G.S.] and wether you like it or not it has a memorable Blackmore riff and a nice bridge.

The comparison of 'Mary Long' with an AC/DC song is nonsense, because there IS a meaning behind that song - believe it or not. It's actually this sort of society bashing song, but, as typical for Ian Gillan, not in an offensive or pretentious way rather than in a funny way. The name Mary Long stands for two British politicians, which try to set moral standards and lead Britain back to quite Victorianish days.

Not much to say about 'Super Trouper' it's IMHO a quite average song, but not bad.

Then there is 'Smooth Dancer'! Yep, it's quite a fast song and the story behind the song (listen to the lyrics!) is about the relationship between Ritchie and Ian (I tried to go, along with you, but your black etc.).

'Rat Bat Blue' is another fast song, with a fantastic organsolo by Jon Lord. And even if you don't like him you must confess that it's a very good solo. The last two songs may seem a bit boring, but I think these were the songs which go away from the formula and thus made some progression. 'Place in Line' with its bluesy feel and 'Our Lady' with it's strong melody! So my rating would be one point below the classics (and I really don't get I why you rate an album like Between the buttons - though it's a good album - two points higher than an album like Machine Head).

There you go!

Jeff Melchior <> (12.05.2003)

Am I missing something? It's no Machine Head but it's leagues and streets above albums like Stormbringer or Come Taste the Band. 'Woman From Tokyo' is great heavy pop, 'Mary Long' is a lot of fun, 'Rat Bat Blue' is great proto-meetal and the much-maligned 'Our Lady' is great if a person gives it half a chance.


Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

Injection of new blood made some changes. Some of 'em was good, some wasn't. First, Dave Coverdale had a very strong voice, but his vocal's technique was totally pathetic, so he looked like a loose cannon. Second, Glenn Hughes had a nice voice too, but his funky preferences spoiled Purple's studio works and his idiotic moos ruined their concerts. This album is strong enough, we have some sparks of inspiration here (title song, "Sail Away", "Mistreated"), but we have some sings of further falling-down too ("Lay Down, Stay Down", "What's Goin' On Here"). Ritchie's guitar rules, his blues direction moved Purple's music back to the diverse world of R&B, and Lord's closing instrumental ("A-200") is nice and pleasant. Lyrics isn't quite bad, but not quite good either. Anyway, this album is better than almost all their later studio efforts. Rating is 8, best song is fantastic "Burn" (one of my all-time Purple's favourite songs).

Ed Metternich <> (06.07.2000)

Hi George

You're an idiot. Why? Well, I red a lot of your comments on the several Purple albums and after reading your silly review on Burn, I just had to laugh. Of course Gillan is a great singer, but so is Coverdale and aren't we forgetting Glen Hughes who has far more technique then Gillan will ever have. Don't get me wrong, I prefer Gillan to, but the other ones are doing a damn fine job as well, and then saying the album is slow. Are you deaf. Songs like 'You fool no one' or 'Lay Down Stay Down' are much faster than most Purple songs. And that neccesary to make a great song? And where is it said that Purple is a metal band. Please, this is insulting, Purple is a great HARD ROCK band, like Led Zeppelin(and I noticed some stupid remarks about them as well, you make it sound like there can only be one band; I like both, sometimes I like Purple better and other times I prefer Zep). Ofcourse Purple became a metal act in the horrible eigties and nineties, but to be honnest, it would have been better that they just called it quits in the seventies. Same goes for Sabbath, Lizzy, the Stones, the Who, Queen and Zeppelin and all the other greats from the sixties and seventies, they all sucked big time after 1979....Okay, enough complains, afterall, you're a fellow Purple fan!

<> (28.09.2000)

I guess this is one of those strange anamolies of life that this - rather than Machine Head or In Rock - is my all-time favorite Deep Purple album. I'm not quite sure why everyone seems to think it's not a "heavy" album (Stormbringer certainly fits that description, but not Burn) because to my metallically-knowledgable ears this is probably their heaviest piece of vinyl since In Rock. 'Burn' (the song) is a NWOBHM song recorded about five or six years ahead of schedule. 'Might Just Take Your Life' is DP at its meanest and 'Mistreated' is their most intense song since 'Child In Time'. 'Lay Down, Stay Down' may be goofy cock rock, but it's GOOD goofy cock rock (we're talking Deep Purple, after all, not Warrant). Blackmore shreds with impunity throughout the record, and that's fine in my books. I'll take Burn over the tinny, tiny production of Machine Head any day.

Richard Hunt <> (18.02.2001)

This was the first Deep Purple album that I heard by a long way and at first I was impressed, especially by the title song. I actually liked 'Lay down stay down' and 'Mistreated' (btw Rainbow completely _ruin_ this song on Rainbow on Stage, although I don't think it has much to do with the original).

However when I listened to this recently I was very disappointed. Apart from 'Burn' and maybe 'Mistreated', the whole album sounds so slow, and so thin. The percussion sounds like its been taken and simplified from Hendrix, and this dowesn't work with DP; the singing sounds completely uninteresting, and the whole album doesn't sound like Deep Purple at all.

I think that this album just has a completely different sound from other Deep Purple albums, and in some ways I prefer this to Rainbow(Have you heard 'Catch the Rainbow'? Now THAT is a completely laughable song. And there are others)

Thomas Paar <> (06.09.2001)

Burn, baby, burn. Well, it isn't really burning at all. Very average, like George said. Although it is a step up from the awful WDWTWA. Mark III is here for the first time and it's not all that entertaining. I heard somewhere that David Coverdale really is a proper singer, that may or may not be, but he's not in Gillan's class by any means, although, he will get better eventually. Glenn Hughes is kinda a nice singer, but please, even Coverdale sounds somewhat more enjoyable. Overall, the vocals are pitiful. The band was still recuperating from the terror that is WDWTWA, but the good news is that they did pull through somehow. That's nice to know. The album is quite strong and heavy, but most of the songs are way too slow. And yes, they are much better than on WDWTWA. After a lot of rumbling Blackmore is back as well, doing a pleasant job here, not an excellent one, though. Coverdale tries to scream his head off constantly, but that just isn't the thing I wanted to hear (most notably he does it on 'Lay Down, Stay Down'). 'Might Just Take Your Life' is a fairly melodic song, but it's beyond me why did they put it on their 'best of' collection, cause it isn't all that attractive. The title song is an absolute rocker, which rolls away with lots of conviction and power, and it gives us a nod that the band is still a force to be reckon with. Too bad that all the other tracks are promptly sinking in the sea of dullness. I admit, 'Sail Away' is some sort of a inspired song and it's moderately catchy. 'Mistreated' is a bizarre track which jams it's way very long, but it really doesn't go anywhere. Still, it's one of the better tracks here. The remaining songs go up and down like kids on the trampoline, but they don't fall off, so count me happy. All in all, not a big improvement, but an improvement, nevertheless. I do believe this is a 6.

Eric Benac <> (05.02.2004)

david coverdale actually isn't really a bad singer. his voice is always in tune with the melody. it's got decent range. and not bad technique...

but he's so f*#&ing boring to listen to. this is the deep purple album i stop at. i have everything up to here, including who do we think we are (which isn't a masterpiece but it's a bit better than you say: i'd give it maybe a 6 or 7 that's all: it's a huge let down after the previous 9 albums (shades of, the book of, self titled, concerto, in rock, gemini suite, fireball, machine head and made in japan: yes i do like the lord's classical stuff even if the gemini suite is a lot better) but i stop here. i thought about getting stormbringer because it's the last one blackmore's on for a long time but no way: i stop here. especially if stormbringer is burn II. the music is here and the riffs and singing etc. but it doesn't ever add up to much. i can barely tell the difference between coverdale and the other guy's singing most of the time. funk? deep purple? whatever. your rating is absolutely right. a five is the best score.

jeremy stone <> (23.08.2004)

Your critique is interesting but I think you are mistaken in thinking that Purple were EVER a 'metal' band. Only In Rock could ever fall into this catagory. Have you not noticed the FUNK on both Fireball and Machine Head? Both these albums contain very funky moments on songs like 'No One Came', 'No, No, No', 'Demon's Eye', 'Never Before' and 'Maybe I'm A Leo'. These aren't even hard rock songs; these are proto rock-funk. I don't think it is really such a leap from Mark 2 Purple to Mark 3. Granted, Stormbringer  was just not hard enough at all and Blackmore has almost side-lined, making it almost disposable but the principles of even that album are to be found in the music of Deep Purple Mark 2. Think Burn is one of the very best Purple albums. 'Mistreated', 'You Fool No One' and the title track stand up to almost anything else they did. Purple always had funk and swing. They knew that the music was all R&B.

Tim B. <> (10.01.2006)

I'll take a break from commenting in a sec, you're probably sick of it now, but I thought I would say quickly that I think you've given Burn a bum rap. One commenter said how it was actually his favourite Deep Purple album...well...I have to agree...I love this album. It is as solid as solid comes and rocks a helluva lot, not a bad track in sight. The title track 'Burn' does exactly like that. Coverdale's voice is extremely powerful and expressive, and though Hughes is a slight git he slots in with the band excellently. The only complaint I have about Coverdale is that he is an idiot, but that surfaces mostly in this mid to late Whitesnake stuff, and even though in the later days he was spouting repetitive, stupid garbage it is certain that he was and will remain a very skilled vocalist with a great voice. Also Burn has what I believe to be the greatest solo of all time, Blackmore goes all out on this one, and that neo-classically inspired end section is mind-boggling.

The rest of the album doesn't scorch as much as that first track, but it consists of memorable, catchy and downright enjoyable tunes. 'Might Just Take Your Life' and the incendiary, confrontational 'Lay Down, Stay Down' show how much power this new line-up had. I actually feel the music had become much more dynamic than previous albums, and though Machine Head is a classic with powerful music, Burn has it beat when it comes to everything coming together musically. And that's what Burn sounds like, a meeting of musically compatible forces. Coverdale and Hughes just naturally fit into Deep Purple, and everything just worked, like some kind of great chemical reaction. The spark of an exciting new potential frontier can be heard here, and it's infectious, trumping In Rock or Machin Head. That potential seems to have gone untapped (Stormbringer was good but the spark was completely gone by then), but you can hear it on Burn. Sail Away is a prime example, with that classsy opening riff and wrenchingly bluesy soulful vocals. You Fool No One with that jangly main riff and driving rhythm is another case in point for the quality of this LP.

It boggles my mind that an album as good as this one can receive such a low score on this site. Gillan is probably still my favourite Deep Purple vocalist and you just can't match his voice on those earlier albums, but this revitalized, re-engerized Purple, though for only a very short time, blasted out of the gates with a commanding amount of force and energy. And the songs...they're simply awesome. Hearing that time and again on this fantastic album serves to make it my favourite of all of Deep Purple's work.


Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

Their famous show in Los Angeles (April 1974). I heard European issue of this CD, but I didn't found Japanese CD yet, so I will write my ideas later. Now I make one remark: there are only two official audio versions of this concert (it was also filmed), California Jamming 1974 in Europe and Live At California Jam in USA. All other editions are bootlegs.

PS. The concert itself is very good.


Robert Prentner <> (26.11.2001)

Hello, due to my personal opinion this album is the best live performance of Deep Purple right after Made in Japan. It features a great version of 'Burn' and a shivering performance of 'Mistreated'. Also did ya lisson to the solo on 'You Fool no One'? This Solo is really outstanding, it can surely compete with 'Highway Star' or 'Child in Time'! (I even mean the MiJ versions), and well another important fact is the singin. It's all about Glenn Hughes! At that time Glenn didn't ruined the show with his wanna-be screaching, which is really really terrible. He sings quite in key (okay... "you kknow we had no tiiiimmme tiiime timmme aaaa" - but I like this passage though) and also Daves voice is very strong and clear. Maybe you should give it another listen!

Henrik Larsen <> (29.12.2003)

Never owned this album myself, but a friend of mine back in the 80es often played this and other rare DP albums when I was visiting him and I've been looking for it ever since. Reportedly it's due for re-release in late 2004, but alreadly a remastered 2 CD edition is out in Japan, and, yes, including the legendary "lost" version of "Space Truckin'"! You can order it from or as import - in fact I just did the latter :)


Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

Dave and Glenn ruined the colossus. When Coverdale and others began to reject some of Ritchie's ideas, Blackmore silently went out to make his solo record, and from this moment he didn't care about band's new album, he just laid some solos over recorded tracks, played on European tour in April 1975 and then slammed the door. There are only four good songs here (title song, "Lady Double Dealer", "The Gypsy" and "Soldier Of Fortune"), the rest is (as George elegantly expressed himself in our private discussion) prime shit. While "Burn" was ruled by Ritchie's guitar, this album rules by Dave's burdening voice. "Hold On" is pure classic Coverdale, dull and monotonous. My friend said about Dave's band, Whitesnake: if you heard one song, you heard the entire album, if you heard the entire album, you heard 'em all. He's bloody well right! So fuck Dave and fuck his pathetic music! My rating is 4. Best song is "Stormbringer".

PS. Extremely rare thing: I completely agrees with George's review! My only objection is "Soldier Of Fortune", Ritchie's acoustic guitar work here is beautiful.

PSS. This album have a best sleeve in Purple's history. What an irony!

Jeffrey A Morton <> (11.05.2000)

Stormbringer may not me fantastic, but the endless Coverdale bashing is kind of nonsensical. Considering the fact that it was not Coverdale, but Glenn Hughes that was bringing the band into funk, and considering the fact that the BIG split in the band was Coverdale and Blackmore as allies ( against Hughes' funk tinged material ) makes these comments even less understandable. Blackmore was a domaneiring fuck, who managed to drive 4 people out of the band in a matter of four years by his tempermental behavior and somewhat lax attitude on NEW ideas. Come on George, new ideas is what makes good bands great, and the refusal to accept new ideas and make them exiting is what has killed the bands popularity in America. They were associated with a passe' kind of music, because when change beared it's head Purple imploded.

<> (28.09.2000)

Taken on its own terms (ie. as long as you forget it's a Deep Purple record) Stormbringer is not a half-bad album. It's also not a half-good album - at its best it sounds like Bad Company (who I like) and at its worst like the Doobie Brothers (who I most certainly do not), and occasionally tries to sound like Deep Purple.

I really like 'Stormbringer' (the song), 'Lady Double Dealer' and 'Holy Man'. A lot of people make it sound like Blackmore more or less phoned in his Stormbringer performances - if anything, he's the star of the show because he showcased his versatility. He may not have liked the direction DP was taking, but at least he was always careful to play for the song. Your stereotypical '80s-style guitar virtuoso, meanwhile, would have just shredded all over the funky and rootsy stuff. I just wish this album wasn't so closely associated with Burn, which is a far superior record.

Eric Rogozin <> (17.04.2001)

I guess, it's the best Mark III album! All tracks are very good with one eternal masterpiece ("Soldier Of Fortune"). Yes, "Soldier Of Fortune" is a big treasure, which will always be in a treasurehouse of rock music. When you ask me, in which composition Coverdale's voice sounds the best, I will answer in "Soldier Of Fortune". I also like "Holy Man", which reminds me of George Harrison too. Good ballad. I like the vocal of Hughes, even more than than the vocal of Coverdale. Nevertheless Coverdale's vocal sounds fine in this album. And I'd like to mention funky rocker "You Can't Do It Right" - groovy. In one word, good album.

Thomas Paar <> (06.09.2001)

Yes, this is an another abomination from the Purple factory, and I find it almost impossible to enjoy. Stormbringer is an enormous letdown in every way. And even if you remind yourself this is a Mark III album, it's still a big letdown. Like always, the title track is colossal, but everything after that one is very, very lame. I'll admit one thing, though, I love the song 'Stormbringer' a lot. I don't know why but I can't but repeat the lyrics over and over again in my head. I know it's stupid, but hey, it's catchy. Further more, I'll do a big disfavor to myself by admitting it's one of my favorite Deep Purple songs and I would put it in my Top 10 Purple songs any time. Other than that, some humble highlights include 'Lady Double Dealer', 'The Gypsy' and, well, that's all folks. Thank God, Blackmore decided to leave this cradle of filth in time. Blah, a 4. Oh, hell, I forgot, this is still better than WDWTWA, and the title track is awesome. Okay, maybe it is a 5, but no more.

Tim B. <> (10.01.2006)

Hmm, god, what a terrible review. I understand people not liking this one, with it's funkiness and such...but 'Soldier Of Fortune' a horrible whiny ballad!? Jeez man, did you write that while under the influence of a reality altering substance? Soldier Of Fortune is beautiful, the vocals are superb, it's subtle and mournful. As for the album, I can tell that the spark they had on Burn had dissipated, but I still quite enjoy this album. I liked having the chance to hear a funky Deep Purple, it didn't feel like watering down, in fact it sounded like an interesting new avenue for them. Truthfully, 'Stormbringer' is a neat song but I think it's unsuitable for the album and one of the lesser tracks, excepting the great solo. 'Love Don't Mean A Thing' is ok, but a bit repetitive...the next track is where the album picks up. 'Holy Man' is a neat track, and a good funky number. Now, 'Hold On' is where this new funky style gels together for real, it's a great great song. 'Lady Double Dealer' is way more traditionally Deep Purple though feels a bit watery production wise so not quite...'You Can't Do It Right' is another solid funk number. Skipping ahead, 'Soldier Of Fortune' is an immortal classic. BAD SITE REVIEWER, BAD. You got it wrong! Plus: 'The Gypsy' is fine.

As Deep Purple it may feel weird hearing such funky stuff, but it's still pretty good music. Stormbringer is just another enjoyable album. It's nothing ground-breakingm or special, or even that interesting. But a disaster? An abomination? Or just a bad album? No, it is none of these things. It's actually pretty solid, it's actually quite good listening. If you've got all the usual expectations, of course you'll hate it, but as far as chill out albums go you can't really get much better. All in all, slightly above average fun that in context of Deep Purple, yes, could be seen as a bit of a disappointment. I understand people bashing it, but as they so OFTEN do, people exaggerate things. Sometimes they exaggerate so much it borders on self-parody.


Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

I almost agrees with your review, George, but while you reviewed some Mark III The Final Concerts tracks, I reviews Made In Europe only (I heard Mark III The Final Concerts already, but I didn't found Japanese CD yet, so I will write comments for Mark III The Final Concerts later). "Burn" is good, Ritchie's solo is pure gold (even when he will be bald old man with trembling hands, Ritchie wipes any other guitarist from the stage!), but when Blackmore putted his soul into "Mistreated", Coverdale's terrible singing ruined Purple's stage magic at all. Jesus, I simply can't survive his vile hoarse. Oh Ronnie James Dio, where are you?! Rainbow's version of "Mistreated" is stronger than Purple's as well as CD-player sounds superior than Edison's phonograph. And even if Coverdale could use his voice right, he couldn't sing "Mistreated". He was full of tearful pity: oh no, my lady's gone and now I'm committing suicide... Somebody shoot this idiot!!! Ritchie wrote and Ronnie James sung this song in completely different mood: yes, she's gone, but I will find her, she will be mine, and even if devil himself will stand between us, I will gnaw his throat through with my own teeth... "Lady Double Dealer" is a big disappointment, when Glenn tries to shout down Dave, you suddenly finds the banality of lyrics. But "You Fool No One" is a real masterpiece, it begins with Jon's improvisation onto "Hava Nagila", the song itself sounds much stronger than in studio, and after it we hears brilliant solo from Ritchie (his famous "Blues") and furious drumming from Paice. Excellent "Strombringer" closes Made In Europe version, so in the bottom line my rating is 8, best song is "You Fool No One".

PS. Note that Made In Europe and Mark III The Final Concerts (Archives Alive in USA) are two completely different releases. They was recorded in April 1975 and consists of three last concerts with Blackmore both, but their recordings are not the same, Mark III The Final Concerts consists of unreleased tracks left after the release of Made In Europe. While Made In Europe contains the material of Deep Purple Mark III only, Mark III The Final Concerts contains the entire concert (with two alternative versions) in the right set-list order.

Thomas Paar <> (06.09.2001)

Blah, another one. I've heard the 2CD package, and it's just too tiresome to digest it all in only one listen. It's a fairly solid listen throughout, but it isn't on the level of Made In Japan. A decent enough try, but not a lot more than that. Really, Coverdale isn't fit to sing Gillan songs, hell, he's not even fit to sing his own tracks. It's ridiculous to hear Coverdale singing the songs of his predecessor, cause he ain't such a great singer to be able to pull it off. The only singer than succeeded in such a venture was Dio in Sabbath, and Coverdale isn't Dio by a long shot, which Ronnie himself proves singing 'Mistreated' with Rainbow. He easily blew away all similar Coverdale attempts, and he can do it even now, cause for some strange reason he still sings that song with his own band, and it's not even a Rainbow song. Back to Made In Europe.

Sure, I like this more than the Mark III studio albums, but it's still not too exciting. Of course, if you're a fan then you probably need a live album with Coverdale, but if you're not. Don't even think about getting this. It's a 6.


Jeffrey A Morton <> (26.09.2002)

Ummmm...I'm wondering if David Coverdale killed a member of your family George? Or maybe he ran over your dog? Such intense hatred is beyond me. These are rehearsals, never intended to be released. And DC's voice is rough. In fact, Coverdale's voice improved mightily after he left Deep Purple. Who care's if you don't like the standard love and love lost stuff? Purple was never the most intelligent band in the world (lyrically speaking that is) and frankly if you think that gems such as 'Nobody's Daughter' and 'Highway Star' are somehow more "intelligent" than 'Mistreated' or 'Soldier of Fortune'..well then, more power to you. 'The Orange Juice Song' is the best one on here...and frankly I don't mind Coverdale's voice on any of the other tracks (like I said...they're a little rough)

However, changing your mind on this issue is probably like the Germans trying to defeat the Russians during the wintertime. Not gonna happen....


Jim <> (06.10.99)

Your review of CTTB does the inevitable: it assesses the album mainly as a comparison to DP Mark II. To really "get it" I think you need to re-listen to it with fresh ears; as its own beast. Songs like "Owed To G" and "You Keep On Moving" deserve it at the very least. The singing on "This Time Around" sounds stragne because it is Glenn Hughes, not Coverdale, singing. I got into this album late in the game, and as a Bolin fan more than a Purp fan. It took quite some time to catch a few things: one thing is that it has some of Ian Paice's best drumming ever, hands down. The second thing is that as a groove album, like any groove album, it needs some listening to distinguish what become VERY evident differences and details in all the songs. Bolin's opinion, post-DP? He felt that they shouldve re-named the band rather than have to deal with assessments that would inevitably be made from an "I am expecting the classic Purple sound" direction. He was right. As you correctly stated, this was not his or Purple's finest moment. I advise you to check out Bolin's TEASER or better yet one of the fifteen (15!!!!) CDs of previously unreleased stuff that the Bolin Archives have released in the past 6 years!! Nice work overall, this page has been giving me loads of enjoyment.

Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

Very strange, but I'm still agreeing with George. He's completely right, this dull effort could be named as anything but not Deep Purple. Blackmore left, and without his signature guitar Purple turned into the ordinary funky band. Just one objection (as always): "You Keep On Moving" is masterpiece. But even this song didn't save all that garbage. My rating is 3.

PS. In a matter of fact, this album isn't quite bad, but Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow's debut wiped this pseudo-Purple without any difficulties.

Jeffrey A Morton <> (14.05.2000)

Again, George you go on comparing Coverdale to Gillan, and wrongly blame Coverdale for the funk element in the band. First of all, it's Hughes that sings "This Time Around", and second of all, if you listen to some concert recordings from this peroiod, David Coverdale's voice is at it's worst. Cracking and breaking, it signaled what every singer goes through called "Vocal Change." His voice was maturing, but it had to go through some sort of second puberty to get to it's "peak" which was in early Whitesnake.

I can't say this enough, it was HUGHES who drug the band into the depths of funk. 'Commin' Home' is a great song, and it sounds NOTHING like a Blackmore tune. This is the point where the band completely split into two camps, Lord, Paice and Coverdale were in the Blues and Rock camp, Hughes and Bolin in the drugged out funk camp....

Thomas Paar <> (06.09.2001)

Well, Come Taste The Band is just to much for a man to take. It's even worse than WDWTWA, and doesn't that says it all. I didn't really believed this is possible, but now I learned my lesson. This isn't Deep Purple at all. I even think this isn't really an album. It's just a strange attempt to make a imitation of a Purple record. Was I clear enough now ? Who cares. Undisputed their worst album ever. Okay, Coverdale is getting better, but not quite there yet, and Hughes is, well, Hughes. Paice drums like a madman, and Bolin is a solid replacement for Blackmore. But there's something missing. It's a pretty heavy album, but a funky one, and I don't like funk AT ALL. Hmm, what about the songs ? Yeah, there's some minor triumphs here like the frantic opener 'Comin' Home' and, say, for example 'Drifter'. 'You Keep On Moving' sucks ass, but I wouldn't say it's the worst song here. Different, yeah, that's an acceptable word, it's different. Overall, the album is bad, but not puking bad, just bad. I'll give it a 2, but you funksters would probably give it a 5. I wouldn't blame you if you do.

mahatma1960 <> (18.11.2002)

As a Bolin freak,I thought this was a Great album.I was 15 when it came out and thought it was better than stormbringer.The thing about Funk is that it is based on syncopation and Grooves.Tommy is a Master Musician/Guitarist,listen to "Dealer" or the slidework on "comin home".I feel Purple did the music world and Tommy a Great disservice when they made him play like Ritchie on the old tunes.I also think the song selection was real cheesy ,how could any self respecting guitarist play "Smoke.." or 'Lazy' without getting Bummed out.As mentioned before Check out Teaser or Cobhams Spectrum for some of the best Guitar ever.

<> (13.03.2004)

I seem to be of the minority on several of these sights. Maybe it's because I didn't get into Deep Purple until Stormbringer, so I didn't unfairly compare it to what came before. But I love Stormbringer and Come Taste the Band. When those albums came out when I was a teenager into partying and chasing girls and getting high. Music was just part of the party. And if the rock and roll had a little funk, then the girls liked it more too. By the way, I just bought the double CD that pairs Burn with Stormbringer. When listened to these back to back, I think Stormbringer totally out rocks Burn. Burn is just too slow and plodding. Still like it though, it's only rock and roll.

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (09.02.2006)

I think this is a superb album. I shouldn't, but I do. I think that it's because at the time I heard it, I was in love with Shades.... In rock & Fireball and a host of other heavy rocking albums. But I'd heard Styx and Jethro Tull were heavy bands and the first albums I heard from each of those bands were anything but......however, I got out of my initial disappointment and grew to dig Cornerstone and Heavy Horses and this gave me a slightly different take on albums by " heavy " groups. I discovered that a number of heavy bands did have a different side to them, experimental, mellower - it's something that I grew to appreciate pretty quickly. Now, Deep Purple were the first heavy rock band I got into and I loved their debut and the legendary MK 2 albums and I was drawn to this one by the snazzy cover, priceless ! So I traded my copy of the Stones' " Black and Blue " for this [ the guy I lent it to never gave it back, so I kept this ! 26 years ago !! ] and wasn't the heavy extravaganza some of the MK 2 stuff was, but it had 10 fine songs. David Coverdale sings brilliantly and actually writes some good lyrics. Of course Tommy Bolin is no Ritchie Blackmore [ no one could be. He was a one off as far as I'm concerned ] but he was also a good writer and he played some lovely guitar, very different guitar. Sure, he was funky [ he'd had plenty of time to be - he'd played on one of Billy Cobham's albums and at the time, Cobham was the funkiest drummer on earth; he was too damn funky ] but he didn't seem to waste a note.....Glenn Hughes was a great vocalist too and gave Purple a very interesting sound. He was never a great bassist, but he did make the most of the little that he had in that dept [ I loved his singing and playing with Trapeze, a criminally ignored and underated group ] and he had a fantastic tone on some of the numbers. Funnilly enough, Lord and Paice seem strangely subdued on this album...........or so I thought. Hundreds of listens over the years have shown me that their work on " Come taste the band " is the opposite of the kind of sparks that had made their name. On this one, they play subtly, mature. I disagree with George in his assessment of Jon Lord as "just a good organ player..." I think he was a magnificent hard rocker with many strings to his bow and to a large extent, for me anyway, defined the playing of the organ in heavy rock. His duels with Blackmore were some [ are some ] of the most fascinating in the annals of popular music. Too high praise ? Well, I dig them anyhow. But here it's like he and Paice decide to go downmarket to let the others shine. Or maybe they were uninspired with loss of Blackmore and could see the writing on the wall and decided to have one last fling of the javelin.... " Going home " - a delightful singalong opener, the lyrics are dumb on first listen but they remind me of " Speed King " and have really grown on me. I love the song, ditto " Lady Luck ". This is funk, sort of hard rock funk with the rhythm of the words and the way they scan more important than their actual meaning. The opening words to " Getting Tighter " are among the best in the Purple catalogue [ " when nighttime comes, and I'm 10,000 miles away....." ] - it's such a shame that the rest of it doesn't match, but it's still a brilliant song. " Dealer " is a funny one, it seems like a nondescript sleazy crawler that goes nowhere at first. But after about 3 years, I REALLY listened to it [ I was on the old 28 bus in London in the days when it was a double decker ] and the riff that runs through it is insane.....but superb. I've never heard it the same since, it's a great piece. " I need love " is the weakest offering on the album for me, it reminds me of what Whitesnake would become in the lyric stakes. Yet, again, the overall sound of the song is such that it turns it around into a good track. The 2nd side is consistently good IMHO...." Drifter " has great words put to a simplistic riff that is just so rugged, it's amazing that they get it to work, but it does and Paicey shows how subtle dynamics can create different impressions without seeming to move away at all. The riff of the album is found in the beautiful " Love Child ". Once again sporting a great set of lyrics [ at least in the first verse ] and singing, the only disappointment is the solo, not because it's rubbish [far from it , it's lovely ], but because such a mood has been established that bringing it down IMO just was not the place to go. The tension is lost.....However, still a grand song. " This time around " is so unpurplelike, but once more, the different side to the band pays dividends. It's a piece that is hauntingly sad and beautiful [ as for different, try " anyone's daughter " or " never before "; both great MK 2 tracks ] and the instrumental that it segues into, " Owed to G " is equally so. More than any other track on the album it transports me back to when I was 17 and getting cynical ! I don't know why. It's one of those tracks that just tugs and tugs at the emotions. " You keep on moving " I think is a worthy closer. I think the melody is wicked and the chorus has the most gorgeous hook and good lyrics to match with fine and imaginative ensemble playing. I've not thought about whether it's a minor classic before [ in fact, I've never thought of CTTB at all in this way....strange, that, because it seemed to go without saying on their other albums ] but I do love it and Hughes' bass tone here is THE LICK ! All in all then, a grand album. In my perfect world, the Purple story would've ended right here. Maybe this album is best listened to pretending it's someone else, but I respect the guys for this and I think it is a worthy addition to the Purple canon.


Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

Purple's all-time low concert effort. I don't want to discuss this shit at all, I just makes a few corrections. A) Coverdale and Hughes NEVER sung the third verse of "Smoke On The Water". Dave sung the first verse, Glenn sung the second, and together they sung the first verse once again. B) Purple Mark IV played in American tour (early 1976) much more tightly. Their Long Beach gig was released as Deep Purple In Concert in USA by King Biscuit Flower Hour and as Flying On The Wings Of Russian Foxbat (Live In California 1976) in Europe. If you Tommy Bolin's fan, you'll better find this concert. C) George said that 1976 tracks on his CD sounded rather badly. The first release of Deep Purple In Concert by KBFH (in white sleeve) was deleted 'cause its' sound quality was absolutely terrible. The sound quality of the second release (black sleeve) is much more improved, so I think that your CD was copied from the first release, George. D) Don't die of laughing, George! There is extended 2CD release of Japanese concert coming! Yes, I'm thinking the same thing...

Gary Kritcher <> (06.11.2000)

Hi, the reason that the album is dominated by Jon Lord's keyboards was that just prior to the gig (and therefore the recording) Tommy fell asleep on his arm and couldn't get all the feeling back into it by the time he went onstage that night. Consequently, his guitar playing was not exactly 100%! For the album release they had to cover this up somehow, the only way of doing that was to boost Lord's keyboard and wind down Tommy's guitar. And now you know!!

Thomas Paar <> (06.09.2001)

WHY ??? WHY ??? Purple obviously completely lost it during this show. To be more precise, they lost it even BEFORE the show began, with Tommy Bolin being stoned like a mountain. Yeah, it's terrible, even Glenn Hughes said this shouldn't have been released at all. And when he thinks that, you can imagine how f***** horrendous it is. Now, we all know what was happening with Bolin, but didn't they knew it to? So why ? Even Jon Lord later said that they dragged Bolin all over the world destroying Purple's name. Now, I have to ask again. Why the hell did they insist to continue touring, when it was clear that Bolin can't cut it anymore ? I don't know. And I suppose they also don't know why. At least they amplified Lord to the maximum, so you can't hear too much of Bolin's "creative noises", and that's a good thing. Oh, well, whatever. I don't care anymore, cause they did, eventually, made up for this '75-'95 album accidents with Purpendicular. And this ? This is a big fat ZERO.


No reader comments yet.


Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

Fantastic live rarities. "Hush", "Wring That Neck", "Child In Time" and "Black Night" are masterpieces. Two studio outtakes didn't catch me, there is nothing spectacular in it. Your review is acceptable, George, but here are a few remarks: a) your (or your CD's) track order is wrong, the right order is "Painted Horse", "Hush", "Wring That Neck", "Child In Time", "Black Night" and "Cry Free", b) live performance of "Child In Time" isn't the definitive, version from Scandinavian Nights is much more extended (around 18 minutes!) and Ian's singing at the second part of the song is his strongest vocalise for ever and ever, c) this CD was re-released in Japan around a two years ago in original cardboard sleeve, so now it stands on my shelf among others and it still available in record stores. My rating is 8, best songs here are "Child In Time" and furious "Black Night".

Henrik Larsen <> (28.12.2003)

I bought this on vinyl many years ago, lost it, finally regained it on cd this Christmas (the Japanese release). Not only is it a great collection; track this one down and you have no need for buying the current remastered releases of dull albums (IMHO) Concerto for Group & Orchestra and Who Do We Think We Are. Plus no stupid Roger Glover remixes!

"Painted Horse" now appears as bonus track on Who Do We Think We Are (remastered anniversary cd).

The live tracks "Hush", "Wring That Neck" and "Child In Time" appear on the latest cd release of Concerto..., earlier releases including only "Wring" and "Child" (or none!).

The live version of "Black Night" has always been easily available, previously on 24 Carat Purple and various single compilations and now on the bonus cd of Made In Japan (remastered).

"Cry Free"; a remixed version appears on the In Rock anniversary cd. (Why can't Roger leave them alone? The studio version of "Strange Kind of Woman" on the Fireball anniversary cd has been remixed as well.)

IN CONCERT 1970-1972

Matthew Spaltro <> (17.12.2002)

Good sound quality? You have got to be kidding me Mr. Starostin. Everything is mushed together in one big mess like virtually every 70s rock album before and after it. Anyway about the album.

Yes sir you are correct regarding this album or composistion if you will. Listen to Blackmore's guitar solo at the 1:10 mark of 'Wring That Neck'. Wozers!! Now that is what a good solo sounds like my friend.

And as for the rest of the composistion. Just more of the same that you would expect from a band such as Deep Purple.


Nick Karn <> (15.10.99)

I pretty much agree that the band simply doesn't have half as much power as it used to, but I'd give it a 6 because none of the songs are particularly nasty or dull (except possibly "Wasted Sunsets" and "Under The Gun"), and I love "Knockin' At Your Back Door" (astonishing intro and truly memorable sing-along chorus... maybe a little like 'metallized Yes', but still a great song) and the title track (again, great melody and epic feel, but not totally a "Kashmir" knockoff). The rest of it is very passable, with the lyrics being a particular lowpoint. Can't argue with you that Gillan's voice is shot either, or that the rest of the band plays like they simply don't care most of the time.

Glenn Wiener <> (15.10.99)

I've said this before and I'll say it again. Deep Purple does not comprimise their style for no one. The guys reunited and what did they give us. The same slam bam thank you maam style that they had in 1971 with Machine Head. The songs are good but like you mention the songs are considerably slower with a little less feeling put in by the band. But for the most part they are all good. A few synthesizer effects but nothing like the way other classic rock bands embraced the eighties.

Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

The monster woke up. Somebody enjoyed it, somebody didn't. Old problems: Gillan lost his voice forever, lyrics are vulgar and senseless, sound is clear, but the mix is unexplainable weird, guitar, voice, organ, everything drowns into hammering drums. Oh thank you very much, Roger Glover, Mr. Fucking Great Producer! New problem: band's new material sounds like Ian Gillan's dull solo projects ("Under The Gun", "Mean Streak", "Not Responsible"). Of course, here we have some nice moments (title song, "Hungry Daze", "Wasted Sunsets"), but the whole album looks shapeless and idle. My rating is 5. Best song is "Perfect Strangers".

PS. Remastered version contains a bonus track, Ritchie's beautiful long improvisation jam "Son Of Aleric". It sounds better than anything on the album itself.

Eric Rogozin <> (17.04.2001)

It's a good comeback. All the songs are good, even VERY good, except "Under The Gun" and "Nobody's Home", which are not bad, but fail in comparision with others. The best three songs here are the title track, "Knocking At Your Back Door" (a masterpiese, along Deep Purple bests!) and "Wasted Sunsets". It sounds like something between Rainbow and solo Gillan, well, it isn't bad, I like Rainbow (especially late-Rainbow) and solo Gillan.

Thomas Paar <> (06.09.2001)

It's sad, really.

For me, Gillan's voice still sounds very much acceptable and Blackmore's guitar is clean as ever, but the magic isn't here. Actually, Blackmore isn't doing his best, or should I say, he isn't doing anything that an average guitar player would be ashamed of. Perfect Strangers sounds like Rainbow, but Blackmore is not putting as much effort here as he did in his own band. Almost all of the songs sound just too artificial and generic. Hell, there's so much synths here that this might as well be an Depeche Mode album. I suppose, the closest the band got to old Purple quality was with another great title track, a rather Zeppelin/Rainbow inspired song, 'Perfect Strangers'. The second best song here would probably be 'Knocking At Your Back Door'. Passable songs are 'Hungry Daze', 'A Gypsy's Kiss' and 'Wasted Sunsets'. The other stuff is bad or worse, but not offensive. The lyrics are mostly senseless and corny, although, tolerable. The power level here is somewhere near the floor. So, people, be careful, you might just step on it. Overall, an unnecessary album. I'll give it a 5. No, make that a 6, cause I really like the title track.

Jesse Sturdevant <> (22.06.2005)

Just FYI, Jon Lord had been working with Whitesnake up until the reunion and Ian Paice was with Gary Moore (he had a brief stint in Whitesnake around 1979-80--3/5 of the Mark III lineup---yay). If you're interested, I have several of Gillan albums on disc I could send you. I know they're hard to find.

<> (03.12.2005)

I think it was a year later that the album Perfect Strangers was released and if you think Ian Gillan lost it by that time, well that's all you have to say for me to know you pretty well. The song itself "Perfect Strangers" is also in the top five. Imagine, Ian Gillan having 2 of the top 5 kickass songs of the last 25 years. And I'm not even that huge of a fan of his.


Henry Koedam <> (06.11.2001)

Hi, I enjoyed reading your Deep Purple reviews. In The Absence Of Pink meaning females absent from the audience due to the fact of heavy rainfall before and during that show. As i am sure you know girls hate rain. As for the CD it is the better of the two live releases of that time period, the other being Nobody's Perfect. That title is true to its words. Also your site is great.


Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

Harder than the predecessor, but problems are the same. Ritchie did some fantastic solos and saved some songs. While "Bad Attitude", "Spanish Archer", "Strangeways" and "Dead Or Alive" are full of strong and energetic playing from Mr. Blackmore, the rest of the album still looks like pathetic Ian Gillan's solo efforts. This is the best Purple's album from 80's (could somebody imagine that in 1972?). Rating is 6, best song is "Strangeways".

Eric Rogozin <> (17.04.2001)

Very decent album. I will not contemplate every song (only will say, that the best song here is the opening track "Bad Attitude"). Deep Purple trademarks are apparent here and I see no problem with this album. There are no such masterpieces like "Highway Star" here (maybe only "Bad Attitude" is a masterpiece), but it's a good, exciting and worth buying album. I like it. But the next album (Slaves And Masters) is a real MASTERPIECE despite what a lot of people think about it. Yes, Slaves And Masters is one of the greatest Deep Purple albums!

Thomas Paar <> (06.09.2001)

Much better than Strangers with 'Strangeways' being the best track by far. 'Spanish Archer' is kinda nice, and 'Bad Attitude' rocks as well. Another good track is 'Black & White', which has that cute harmonica that adds diversity to the album. The rest is very much acceptable and I would say that it deserves to be considered a minor classic. Now, it isn't groundbreaking, but it's certainly a bit better than the previous one. House Of Blue Light, indeed, I see the light, and it's quite strong. A solid 6.


No reader comments yet.


Bryan Boyd Jackson Jr. <> (25.07.2001)

I don't rememeber any of these songs either! Actually, I do remember the ones I liked and disliked. "Breakfast In Bed" and "Fortuneteller" were excellent songs, and reminded me of the Purple of the early 70's. "King Of Dreams" made me vomit. "Love Conquers All" sounds like "Heaven" by Bryan Adams. And the rest sound exactly the same. Overall, I'd give it a 6.

Eric Rogozin <> (30.08.2001)

I adore this album! I know, not a lot of people like it, but this fact always seemed strange to me, 'cos IMHO Slaves And Masters is the best Purple album since Machine Head. The first and the main reason of liking it is magnificent Joe Lynn Turner's vocal. He's one of my most favourite all-time vocalists, the kind of vocals I like. Joe comes close to matching Gillan as a singer and he's way better than Dio at this point (though Ronnie James Dio has got good impressive vocals as well). For instance, Turner performed "Catch The Rainbow" better than Dio in Tokyo 1984. So the best man to replace Gillan was Joe Lynn Turner and you're right on the money, that perhaps Coverdale could ruin these songs (at least Burn - typed Coverdale, 'cos Coverdale's vocals improved during Seventies).

So the songs. The songs are great to my opinion. Catchy, interesting, sentimental and very tunable! The opening track "King Of Dreams" is superb, I was very impressed, when I first heard it. Catchy chorus, nice "exotic" solo, good lyrics, special vibe. By the way, the beginning of the song reminds me of "Scandal" by Queen. "The Cut Runs Deep" is superb as well: great intro (the kind of moments I like in DP - Lord and Blackmore can always play very click), nice vocals from Joe (though this statements fits all these songs). "Fire In The Basement" is also very good, quite similar to "Death Alley Driver" by Rainbow, I kinda like Joe Lynn Turner's style of singing here (and everywhere) and the clever construction of the song. "Truth Hurts" is splendid: interesting melody, great vocal perfomance, do we need something else? "Breakfast In Bed" is some worse, the song itself is rather good, but it doesn't match in quality the other songs on this album, on The Battle Rages On... it could have fit better.

The following songs are excellent as well. "Love Conquers All" is a splendid and genuine ballad (by the way, one of the best ballads ever), which stands in a one row with such great rock ballads like "And I Love Her", "You Take My Breath Away", "Still Loving You", "Send Me An Angel" etc..

"Fortuneteller" is also a great ballad, the last two songs ("Too Much Is Not Enough" and "Wicked Ways") are very Rainbow-ish and certainly very good. The last one is similar to the Rainbow song "Lost In Hollywood".

In general, successful album. OK, I admit, there are the complaints 'bout Jon Lord not always in sight and about being not enough Purplish etc...but! why do the people think, that the different albums must always fall in the same pattern? Slaves And Masters is Slaves And Masters and all Deep Purple trademarks are evident here, and, I think, that Joe Lynn Turner is the most appropiate man for these songs. This album is better than the next one The Battle Rages On... to my opinion, The Battle Rages certainly a good album with a good songs, but it lacks something, that Slaves And Masters has and it seems to me, that Slaves And Masters is more Purplish.

And also given album has a beautiful cover, special and adorable atmosphere, very good lyrics, drive and the sentimentality (and the combination of those two elements gives always great music). Like I said, there is something genuine in the songs here.

Oh yes, I love later period Scorpions (and I absolutely adore all periods and all albums of Scorpions, their early albums (Fly To The Rainbow, In Trance, Virgin Killer, Taken By Force) were celestrial, amazing, glorious and great beyond description, their middle-period albums like Blackout and Love At First Sting were also great and outstanding, and Scorpions late-period albums were magnificent and superb as well; Scorpions still rule now! When the band is great, time can't spoil the band by any means)

and late period Rainow (yeah, this is the best period of Rainbow, these three albums with Turner (Difficult To Cure, Straight Between The Eyes and Bent Out Of Shape) are absolutely timeless classics, which I admire deeply), so this album is for me!

Thomas Paar <> (06.09.2001)

Slaves And Masters is just Rainbow in disguise. This album, along with Straight Between The Eyes and Bent Out Of Shape might as well be a trilogy and exactly that is the problem here. This sounds like late Rainbow, and I don't like late Rainbow at all, so I'll give this album a really low rating, but if you like Joe Lynn Turner, you'll definitely like Masters. I don't, but I will acknowledge it's a pretty solid album. Turner is a quality singer, but much lower down the echelon if compared with the likes of Gillan and Dio. He's an even more capable vocalist than Coverdale and Hughes, and he does give some human features to this material. But the problem is that this same material has been used, well, a million times in Rainbow. Further more, the lyrics here must have been written by Paul Stanley or Gene Simmons, cause they're crap. Blackmore is, I suppose, good enough here, but he sounds so, dammit, average. I don't know which song is the best, cause they're all generic and boringly similar so I just wanna puke my head off and then take a vacation to recuperate. Perhaps I'll go to Moscow and see the Winter palace, or something. Yeah, I wouldn't mind to take a trip to Russia, why not ? After that highly artistic smash (s)hit 'Wind Of Change' by the Scorpions I'm very interested to see it. Or I could just go to Germany and find those Scorpions members and drag them to the street and have them SHOT one by one. But I digress.

'Fortuneteller' is quite good, and 'King Of Dreams' is more or less okay, but the lyrics are shitty. I have to say, that all the songs are decent, although completely worthless in the long run. 'Love Conquers All' sucks with conviction and I firmly believe this is one of the worst songs in the entire Purple catalog. Still, I'd give the album a 4.

Wait a minute, I didn't digress a few sentences ago. Of course, I remembered the Scorpions cause this incarnation of Deep Purple is as, or even more, SHITTIER than them. Hell, I'll rather put one of my KISS albums on, cause they're MUCH better. Shit, did I just say that ? I meant, my URIAH HEEP album.

Liljana <> (24.02.2002)

For an late period Rainbow, this one would probably be a milestone album - for Deep Purple it isn't. However, late period Rainbow wasn't that good to start with. Slaves and Masters suck as a Deep Purple effort 'cos there is no real input from Jon Lord or Ian Paice - their role here is to be the best possible session/back-up musicians for Ritchie's riff fiesta, but one must remember that Ritchie's riff fiesta is the best riff fiesta on the face of earth, so it kinda saves the album. But still, it is Ritchie Blackmore's solo album, as far as I'm concerned, so in the context of Deep Purple I will rate it a poor 3 (overall 5). And, yeah, the title is good - Masters and Slaves. It would be even closer to the thruth if it was named Master and Slaves, geddit?

Alexandr Zaitsev <> (22.05.2003)

Hi! So, here comes the worst Purple album ever. This is not mediocrity, this is disaster. The whole CD of monotonous heavy metal. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who can't tell the songs apart. The songs are dumb and obscene(guess what 'Fire in the Basement' is about.:). Joe has that " wanna be a popstar" voice. Horrible. Much worse than Rainbow. IMHO,the rating should be much lower. Can't help singing along to the 'King of Dreams', though. A silly pop-hard or pop-metal, however you put it, but it has got its hook. And its rather humorous,too as Joe seems to be singing about himself.

But George,the title of the album has nothing to do with "fantasy metal". Legend has it that it refers to the two tape recorders, the slave one and the master one, which were used in the making of the record. I think there is some kind of a pun implied in the title still as the band surely knew what impression the public would get.


Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

Gillan out, Gillan in. Nothing changed and I can't say more that I said about Perfect Strangers and The House Of Blue Light. Ritchie's solos still rules sometime (title song, "Anya"), sometimes they did some nostalgic R&B pieces ("Ramshackle Man"), sometimes they makes me funny ("Time To Kill"), curios ("A Twist In The Tale") or sad ("Solitaire"). All unmentioned songs are unremarkable, still makes in Gillan-style. Ritchie was damn right when he said to others, "You can continue to screwing yourselves, but I'm leaving!" My rating is 6, my favourite song is "Solitaire" (only 'cause it is not quite usual as all others).

Thomas Paar <> (06.09.2001)

Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Another bad reunion album from Mark II in the form of The Battle Rages On. This time, it's even worse than Perfect Strangers. It's disappointing, although expected. They're all professionals, but the album doesn't sound too imaginative after a careful listen. Too bad. I like only three songs here. The title track, 'Anya' and 'One Man's Meat'. 'Anya' is probably the best, cause I've always been a sucker for Blackmore's eastern oriented compositions, like, you know, all that Rainbow stuff. It's still bad, though. My rating is 4.

Scott <> (07.12.2001)

Mark II reunited once again, but ended up with a very uninspired mess of an album! But, don't let that fool you; every single band member does their best on here to turn out a new product, except maybe for Ritchie.

The Battle Rages On is not a bad album. The problem is, is that Blackmore pretty much wasn't into it this record at all, probably since Ian Gillan came back. The record itself is heavy. The title track is a fierce little number that marches along with a menacing riff and impressive "dueling" organ/guitar middle section.

In fact, many of the tracks on here are fine. "Anya" plods along well, and "A Twist in the Tale" is a typical Purple speed-rocker. "Nasty Piece of Work" features some of Jon Lord's heaviest organ work and makes itself an album highlight. And "One Man's Meat" is another good track with a great bluesy feel.

So, if this album has some good tracks, then what is the main problem? First of all, the production is terrible. No doubt about that. George, I think you said it right when the sound could be described as "sludgy" or "lethargic." Let's face it, Gillan sounds unhappy and forced. The album itself is full of so much despair.

I actually like this album. It makes its way into my rotation occasionally. But, where it really loses points is in many of the songs. Sure, they do rock, but many of them are absolute rip-offs. Angus Young can get away with some of that, because AC/DC don't really take themselves seriously. Ritchie Blackmore, on the other hand, has absolutely no right in ripping off his own songs. For a guitarists who prides himself in his playing and technical aspects, this is an absolute disgrace.

The title track, which does have a solid riff is an_EXACT_copy of a section of Rainbow's "Fire Dance" off of their 1983 album. If you listen to that, you will know what I'm talking about. "Anya" also is a slight rip-off. Just listen to "Stranded" off of the same 1983 Rainbow album. "A Twist in the Tale" is a rip-off of "Spotlight Kid" off of Rainbow's album Difficult to Cure. And what about "One Man's Meat." First, it was ripped-off "LA Connection" from Rainbow's Long Live Rock n' Roll and then "Tite Squeeze" from Rainbow's Straight Between the Eyes.

For a guitarist like Blackmore, this copying is absolutely unforgiving. I still enjoy some of these songs off of TBRO, but I just can't get out of my head how many times he had done these exact same songs before. Maybe he thought nobody would remember Rainbow? I didn't. My overall rating is a 9.

Alex Zaitsev <> (23.11.2003)

I'd like to add a little piece of trivia. The Battle Rages On was originally recorded with Joe Lynn Turner, who was fired when this album was already recorded. The record company refused to publish it and demanded to bring Gillan back to the band. Glover had no choice. He went to England and re - recorded 'Solitaire' and 'Time to Kill' with vocals and lyrics by Gillan. When he showed that stuff to Ritchie, Richard said: "Gillan fucking sucks!!! I know a guy who'll do the job much better". He then suggested some unknown singer. Well, you know what happened later: Gillan returned. For better. I'll never understand why you give this album a lower rating than the utter horror of Slaves and Masters. Note that this has nothing to do with my own opinion. The contradiction is in the reviews. You count 0 good and 1 bad song in Slaves and Masters. The Battle Rages On gets 2 good songs, 0 bad ones and a lower rating. Maybe I'm a moron, but that equals 1 bad song > 2 good ones. Weird, huh?

As for my personal opinion, well it's a nice album and a big step up from Slaves and Masters. This album doesn't reek of generic "bring out your lighters" stuff. This is essentially a DEEP PURPLE album, not a *PURPLE RAINBOW * or a *SLY AND THE PURPLE FAMILY* one, and that's already something. Gillan does a fine job here. Nothing spectacular, but he had only 6 weeks to write the lyrics! Could you guess that it isn't really a Blackmore\Gillan album? You gotta agree, that for such a forced album, it's really good. IMO, it's one great song (the title one) and no crappy ones. 'Anya', 'Ramshackle Man', ' Solitaire', 'One man's meat', 'Time to Kill' are all worth my money. Although there wasn't any real reason for the band to continue its existance. "And though the reason now is gone, the battle rages on". Gillan says that the title track is about the conflict in Yugoslavia, but we all know the real thing, right? 9/15 as in "Somewhat mediocre". It took Steve Morse to bring new blood into Ian Paice and Company.

P.S. One more contradiction and a really strange one: Stormbringer gets an 8 and a "Worst album ever" rating. WDWTWA, CTTB, PS, TBRO all get sevens. Catch my drift? Geez, you really had your math screwed that day :0)


Robert Prentner <> (24.05.2002)

Listen again to Ritchie Blackmore! Maybe he hasn't got his heart into it, but when he's on, his playing is shit hot!!


Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

Only Purple stands on the same rake twice. It's a good album, but not Steve Morse, not any other guitarist will never be a replacement for Ritchie, and without his guitar this is a completely another band, tightly played band, but not Deep Purple. New Purple couldn't (and will never) catch me as old Purple did. My rating here is 5. No best song. PS. Purple tries hard, but Blackmore's solo projects (Rainbow / Blackmore's Night) still wipes 'em anyway.

Nick Karn <> (02.05.2000)

My personal tastes say this album is actually better than In Rock and Machine Head! Even though I had read glowing reviews of this one, I'm still quite shocked at how consistent and high quality most of it is. Maybe it's because I'm blown away by Steve Morse's knack for creating great riffs and playing melodic solos that serve the song perfectly (see the amazing mood piece "Loosen My Strings"). Maybe it's because the lyrics are actually good. Maybe it's because the production values are much better than their earlier stuff. And finally, maybe these guys may not have as much speed as before, but technically, they've still got it, particularly the rhythm section of Glover and Paice (the powerful, fun grooves of "Vavoom: Ted The Mechanic", "Rosa's Cantina", and the not as substantial but still good "The Purpendicular Waltz").

I disagree about "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming", though - to me, it seems much more cleverly constructed, thoughtful and emotional than your average ballad, especially nowadays. It's my favorite cut here because of the brilliant chorus and Morse's playing towards the end. I find it extremely hard to deny the heartfelt vocal performance of "A Touch Away" and the powerfully gorgeous melodies of "The Aviator" for similar reasons. Excellent stuff.

The rockers "Cascades: I'm Not Your Lover", "Hey Cisco" (extremely catchy chorus and great verse setup) and "A Castle Full Of Rascals" (the latter with a phenomenally haunting midsection) have impressive, memorable force. Even "Somebody Stole My Guitar", which many regard as filler, is entertaining. Extremely impressive material, especially for a band that's this deep into their career, with "Soon Forgotten" and "The Purpendicular Waltz" being the only relatively weak cuts, although they're not bad by any means. A 9 for this one, and probably my favorite album of 1996.

Thomas Paar <> (06.09.2001)

I've haven't heard this album, but I've heard the song 'Ted The Mechanic'. Also, I have Abandon, which should be a lot like this album. Based on my opinion of 'Ted' this album could be their best in a long, long time, I would even dare to say, since Machine Head. The song itself is absolutely unlike anything they ever did, even in their funky days with Coverdale. Funky riff, groovy atmosphere, quite an up tempo song., but of course if the rest of the songs is similar in construction and somewhat slower, than this album surely suffers of the same problems as Abandon. It's probably a little monotonous, because all of the songs have similar funky patterns, but on the other hand they have some amazingly fresh riffs. Now, Steve Morse is a capable guitarist, perhaps not like Blackmore but better than Tommy Bolin, and his technique most certainly is impeccable. Unfortunately, some of his soloing and riffs do sound quite robotic sometimes, but I can't say that I don't like them. The band is still Deep Purple as they use a limited amount of power chords and distortion. It would be honest to say that 'Ted The Mechanic' isn't a highlight in the manner of 'Highway Star', 'Burn' or 'Stormbringer', but astonishing in it's own right. The band sounds very unlike any other contemporary band with this song (and by that I mean Aerosmith, AC/DC, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bon Jovi as much as the likes of, I dunno, Matchbox Twenty and Barenaked Ladies). Of course, that might very well be because of Lord's organ, which you can't find on your average big bad hard rock band. It is a wonder how the guys still hold on, as much as it's a wonder that they still use the organ, which is really great. Did I mention that Jon Lord is my favorite band member ? I didn't ? Well, he is, especially after Blackmore left. With him, the band still maintains some traces of their classic sound, especially when he does a solo. In every case, his organ really reminds us that this is still Purple and not some shitty pop-metal band. And, yes, we have Ian Gillan. I never liked his screaming all that much, so I'm rather content with the current state of his voice. It's more rough, screechy and gruffer. Older, for sure. Anyway, if the songs on Purpendicular are like those on Abandon, then I would give it a 9.

Scott <> (17.10.2001)

When I bought Purpendicular, I had no idea what to expect. I only started getting into Deep Purple in 1999 and only purchased Machine Head beforehand. When I popped this sucker into my car on the ride home from the mall, I was blown away. After getting back home, I restarted the whole cd and listened to it all the way through. It was certainly one of the freshest, energetic, and diverse records I had ever heard. Before Purpendicular, I had never felt the demand to listen to a whole album in its entirety on that same day. Now, almost two years after first listening to Purpendicular, and having bought the whole DP back catalogue, I can honestly say that this is my favorite DP record. It's really very hard to say that this is their best record, considering the awesome metallic crunch of In Rock and Machine Head. But, for me, this is their best. It's their best because I never heard a 30+ year hard rock band ever sound as diverse, energetic, and just plain rockin.'

And when you compare the sound of The Battle Rages On to Purpendicular, it is so clear how rejuvenated this band has become with Steve Morse, as compared to the despair and lethargy of TBRO.

Nearly every song on here is enjoyable, if you're willing to see Deep Purple past their image of a speedy, metallic band-you appreciate this album even more. The funky speed-chug of Ted stands out as one of the band's contemporary classics, along with 'Cascades', 'Hey Cisco', and maybe 'Rosa's Cantina'. What about Roger Glover's bass on 'Loosen my Strings'? The creepy organ work on 'Soon Forgotten'? All great. The two acoustic tracks, 'the Aviator' and 'A Touch Away' are both pleasant surprises as well. And though you find 'Sometimes Feel like Screaming' to be a generic power-ballad, I think it adds quite nicely to the legacy of Deep Purple. Sure, it might be a bit long for it's own good, but it's not like an awful hair metal ballad. It's done quite well with the time shifts and Gillan's emotional and powerful screams at the end.

I know people are willing to dismiss this album as nothing without Ritchie Blackmore, but that's just not the case. I do miss Ritchie at the helm and I will always hope that they can mend their fences and make a record that sounds classic and energetic. But, Morse fits in well and has energized this band so much, that he deserves credit. He may not solo like a madman as Ritchie did, but so what?

Every track is a standout. This is one of the best albums I ever bought. My overall rating is a 15.

Dan Miller <> (26.08.2002)

I've been kind of old school about it all - "No Ritchie, no Deep Purple - end of story!" (though that logic never inspired me to get Slaves & Masters), and though I really like The Battle Rages On, I could sense the end was near and could never accept a Blackmore-less Deep Purple. Plus, a new label, a good but I-once-thought-unremarkable guitarist named Steve Morse and a new album with a stupid name and ugly cover artwork, I said to myself, "My, how the mighty have fallen." Well, I'll be damned! Damn me to the darkest pits of hell for writing off Deep Purple! I saw them (together with Dio and the Scorpions), liked Steve Morse's contributions to the band and rediscovered my dedication to get all the worthwhile Deep Purple CDs. So there I was one day standing in line to buy gasoline at a Shell station, and there sat Purpendicular on a CD display case with all sorts of cut-out-bin losers like the Gin Blossoms and Meredith Brooks. Offended, even hurt, that the great Deep Purple could possibly be relegated to gas-station status, I bought the CD and hoped for the best ... and damn near got it. This is quite possibly the most solid and consistent Deep Purple effort in years. After quite a few listens, the impact has not lessened, and I strongly believe there are no fillers in here. I won't waste space and list the best tunes, but I have to give props to "Loosen My String" (I was astounded to hear what sounded like a Celine Dion-type keyboard intro morph into a moving up-tempo Purple ballad) and "A Touch Away" (an excellent pop showcase with a sensitive, moving vocal performance by Gillan). Yes, Blackmore is gone, but listen to how Gillan, Glover and Lord really step up for this album! And Steve complements Lord's hammond with some brilliant, slithery leads and colorful full-chord passages. Oh, and check out what has to be the best production EVER on a Deep Purple album. A masterful "comeback" for a band that has to keep coming back to remain relevant. And in a rock 'n' roll world dominated on one side by Aeroshit and the other by Stinkin Park, it's a struggle that Deep Purple does not deserve.


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Tikhonov Konstantin <> (02.04.2000)

Pathetic copy of Purpendicular. While Purpendicular was fresh and diverse, Purple's next effort is uninspired and dull. If they will make another album in this monotonous pseudo-hard style, I'm think that I will die somewhere in the middle of the listening. Hey, men, be honest, you're NOT Deep Purple anymore! My rating is 2.

PS. Purple will play in Moscow next week but I'll be damned if I'll go to listen Gillan's horrid shrieks. I've had enough!

Eric Rogozin <> (17.04.2001)

Deep Purple still rule and still play fabulous! They still sound marvellous! Steve Morse is a a good choice to replace Ritchie, even Ritchie himself likes him and says, that he's a brilliant guitarist. Ian Gillan screams almost as good as he did it thirty years ago. What about album itself, it's very good. Especially I adore beautiful bluesy ballad "Don't Make Me Happy" and "Fingers To The Bone". Deep Purple rule! I saw them in Moscow last year, it was awesome!!!

Thomas Paar <> (06.09.2001)

Hmm, excellent. Hmm, maybe not. Okay, it starts aggressive with another Mark IV classic, 'Any Fule Kno That'. It goes on with the equally powerful 'Almost Human' and another up tempo classic 'Seventh Heaven'. Now, I'm quite surprised that you didn't pointed out this gem. Okay, it is a lot like other songs, but it's still the first song that got in my ear, besides 'Any Fule Kno That', which I previously heard. And, in fact, it's because of 'Ted The Mechanic' and 'Any Fule Kno That' that I realized the band still has something to offer. After realizing that, I tried to find Purpendicular but I had no luck, so I bought Abandon. Wow !!! Superb. Tightly played, groovy, funky album, and I liked it a lot. Awesome. On the downside, it's plagued with fillers like 'Watching The Sky' (I detest that song mostly because of the awful lyrics), 'Evil Louie' and the completely unnecessary twins 'Whatsername' and 'She Was' (one of those two songs would be enough). On the other hand, I can't say that any of those songs is truly bad, cause they are cleverly constructed and well played, and filled with quality riffs. But still, they sound somewhat unnecessary. Okay, I'm probably a little insane, cause I kinda enjoy 'Jack Ruby'. Oh, well, what can I do ? Nothing, I guess. The ballads are nice, certainly not groundbreaking, but refreshing since most of the other songs are mid tempo. In every case, I would rather listen to 'Don't Make Me Happy' than Aerosmith's 'Crying' or 'I Don't Want To Miss The Awards' The rest of the album is simply amazing with Purple rocking hard on tracks like ''69' and 'Bludsucker'. Overall, the album has it's boring moments, being quite slow and not at all diverse. I would say it is a masterpiece, if taken on it's own terms. One of their best, and by that I mean I would rank it up their five best records any day. That said, I'll give it a 9. And if it wasn't for that awful midtempo and similarity I would probably give it a 10.

Scott <> (17.10.2001)

Hey, George. Before I give my thoughts on Deep Purple's Abandon, I have to say that I enjoy your witty reviews and your impeccable knack for being blunt.

Anyway, here we are with Deep Purple's latest studio effort until Spring of 2002 and it certainly does rock hard. Moreso than Purpendicular, but that doesn't necessitate a better rating.

For the most part, Abandon is an enjoyable record. On the best tracks, Morse splatters his heavy funk-rock style, creating some of the best grooves that can be heard off a Deep Purple record. On other tracks, however, I do agree that the pace is awfully monotonous. I'm sure it wasn't intentional, but I never got that feeling of monotony on Purpendicular.

The band is extremely tight on here, showing off their new-found energy and vitality-and that's one reason why I'm pleased with Morse's presence. However, I feel with most other DP fans that there is something missing from the classic DP sound without Blackmore. And while I do miss that sound, I am willing to live with it as long as it means increased longevity for my beloved hard rock veterans!

John Lord is steady on the record, creating some interesting, if not slower organ solos. I guess I do miss his "manic" soloing like on "Flight of the Rat" or maybe "Burn." The rest of the band are in full-force as well, even Ian Gillan. Even though this is the worst he has sounded on a studio record, at LEAST he's trying to power through the more uptempo songs. Don't fear George, cause when I heard him during the summer, he was able to make the most clear, crisp screams that I have heard in at least 10 years! Without much more delay, the stand-out tracks on here are definitely: 'Any Fule Kno That', 'Almost Human', 'Seventh Heaven', '69', and 'Bludsucker'. I'd even go as far as to say 'Jack Ruby' as well. Even though you may despise that track, I admired it because it didn't try to be was just there. Maybe it is an unnecessary track, but it's not bad. The other songs are not bad, but I wouldn't feel comfortable as making them stand-out tracks. All in all, I was very pleased with the heavy feel of this record. It wasn' t better than Purpendicular, but it proved to everyone that they aren't giving it up anytime soon. My overall rating is 12.


Patrick <> (12.11.2003)

I have long enjoyed your review page and think your assessment of my favorite band is fair, balanced and well thought out. Oh, there are a few points of discourse. I don't quite think the Coverdale era is as horrible as you make out, but other than that...

Again, no real disagreement with the Banana's review except that, for the record, Jon Lord retired from the band due to the rigours of touring, he wasn't sacked. They had a series of shows in the UK which were his last and both he and Don Airey played.

I hope to see you review a Morse era live album as I see you typically rate the DP live stuff high (as long as it's sans Coverdale!). I reccomend the 1999 release Total Abandon.

Thanks for the reviews, they have led me to check out some bands I would not have otherwise.

<> (15.11.2003)

Jon Lord wasn't sacked. He retired because he didn't want to tour anymore. Please correct that mistake and don't make people believe in things that aren't true. Except that, your site is really good. [Sorry! Correction made! - G.S.]

Youri Volyansky <> (18.11.2003)

Thank you for the beautiful site and nice extensive review. Unfortunately you forgot to mention the new Purple's sound producer - Michael Bradford. It seems that Bananas sound owes much to this guy. Read his interview on

Ainars Zhebeerklis <> (21.11.2003)

The band has truly put out an effort of rather high standarts but I still somehow think that reviewing new album you tend to follow your own attitude towards records from the early Sixties - telling the reader to remember "it ain't no masterpiece but it ain't no 1967 either". It might be actually true but I still cannot agree that Bananas are in the league of In Rock and Machine Head. Although I have no complaints about any extremely bad songs that would ruin the disc, sometimes the Purple Ones sound like old generic rockers (which they actually are). And the line "Mama don't take that train" by the way it's sung reminds me of "Hit the Road Jack", whoever performed that one.

And one more thing - you're quite right about those endless concerts they play in the region formerly know as the SU. Deep Purple have played in Riga thrice which is quite a lot for a city where the big guns usually don't stop (even that half crazy war-obsessed Mr. Waters didn't play a single concert in Baltics). But since Deep Purple aren't nowadays too popular in the Western world for Ian Gillan hasn't mastered the art or rap and doesn't remember to insert some f** words in every song, we are their main employers and we have to live with the fact.

Jeff <> (22.01.2006)

Well George, I just read all of your reviews of Deep Purple's "Steve Morse Era" if you will, and by George, I believe there is hope for you yet! I half expected you to trash him! Congradulations for being able to recognize and appreciate perhaps the most amazing person to ever pluck a guitar string. I saw him live twice - once during his brief stint with Kansas back in the mid-80's and with his old band The Dregs a few years later. You gotta SEE to BELIEVE! And I'm not so sure I still believe......................

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