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Deep Purple: Reviews From A Hater


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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 6:04:51 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 24, 2012 6:07:13 PM PST
@AlexMontrose: "Topper, you're so stupid you make it abundantly clear.." blah blah yadda yadda yadda ad nauseum.

My eyes literally glazed over skimming the same bunch of lazy personal insults and heavily delusional alternate-universe scenarios for the two zillionth time. I'll converse with you when you have something productive to say about the music at hand.

Posted on Nov 24, 2012 6:05:55 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 24, 2012 6:06:37 PM PST
B. rogers says:
Michael...are you going to review the reunion albums "Perfect Strangers" and "The House Of Blue Light"?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 6:07:45 PM PST
B. rogers says:
Michael is definitely in concentrated, hardball mode.

Posted on Nov 24, 2012 6:08:37 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 24, 2012 6:11:15 PM PST
@B.Rogers: I had only planned to go up to "Burn", so no I don't plan on reviewing those. Unless there's some huge clamor for it or something. But I'm sure I'll be "Burned" out by then. ;) ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 6:11:10 PM PST
Captain O

There I go typing about one thing while thinking about another! I meant to say that Warhorse was Nick Simper's band, not Rod Evan's! I don't need spell check, I need fact check on my computer!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 6:16:43 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 24, 2012 6:18:40 PM PST
AlexMontrose says:
The truth is an alternate universe to you Topper. The posts speak for themselves :) And I'll be happy to say something about the music when I find something to disagree with you about. You know that :) But so far, we're pretty close.

Except you did make a mistake, probably unbeknownst to you on the title of one song. It's "The Shield" not "Shields". And it is also my favorite on the album.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 6:19:34 PM PST
Captain Ogre says:
Topper,

No question that a lot of rock keyboardists are jazz influenced, that and classical music are pretty much the required curriculum in keyboard 101. That wasn't my point, which I didn't make clear
Remember that DP is still relatively new to me, but Tommy Bolin has been god like to me 40 years. The biggest thing that jumped out to me when hearing the MK II albums for the first time I mean *really* hearing them, I didn't just crawl out from under a rock a few years ago) was how much Lord reminded me of Hammer in the way he interplayed with Blackmore, just as Hammer did with Bolin and McLaughlin
I'm not citing influence, not even sure of the time line between Mahavishnu and DP, it's just that I heard a technique and style there that I already loved, which immediately drew me to DP

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 6:38:19 PM PST
Captain Ogre says:
Rand,

Now it makes sense. I've never heard of Warhorse, either

Posted on Nov 24, 2012 6:40:42 PM PST
Captain Ogre says:
Did everyone make their donation? I did, and I'm sure Topper is in the golden circle of supporters (LOL!)

Wikipedia is non-profit, but it's the #5 site on the web. With more than 450 million users reading billions of articles every week, we have the same costs as any top site: servers, power, rent, staff, programs and legal help.

Wikipedia is something special. It is like a library or a public park. It is like a temple for the mind. It is a place we can all go to think, to learn, to share our knowledge with others.

When I founded Wikipedia, I could have made it into a for-profit company with advertising banners, but decided to do something different.

Commerce is fine. Advertising is not evil. But it doesn't belong here. Not in Wikipedia.

- Wikipedia Founder, Jimmy Wales

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 6:44:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 24, 2012 6:53:47 PM PST
@AlexMontrose: "It's "The Shield" not "Shields"."

That's not what the track listing for the album on Amazon says, or the track listing on the youtube clip I heard. I think it's a screw-up on the CD release, though, because I was able to google the original vinyl back cover and it does say "The Shield".

So you haven't disagreed with *anything* yet? And yet still with all the five-paragraph long insults...you *are* something else, Alex. PS I like how you admit that you won't discuss anything unless you disagree with it. That pretty much sums you up to a tee.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 6:48:00 PM PST
@Ogre: I know what you're saying about the kind of jazz-influenced guitar/keys interplay that you like. Each band of that era had their own take on it and DP's was certainly distinctive, and I'll be getting to that as the band goes into it more (at this point, on the first two albums, there's not too much of it...it's usually either the guitar or the organ soloing).

And you well know I would never touch that faux elitist site "wikipedia".

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 7:03:05 PM PST
Captain Ogre says:
Topper,

I was only half-kidding about wiki. I use it all the time, and anyone here who says they don't is probably lying. I really did make a donation

Of course, it's not an authoritative source, and I've found some glaring factual errors there on a few ocassions. But it is damn handy

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 7:14:03 PM PST
Back under your rock, Ogre...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 7:15:54 PM PST
Captain Ogre says:
RE: Shades of Deep Purple

Well, I'm more than halfway through it, and my first impressions is, "Wow! This is something completely different..."

I'll comment on your review the second time through, but so far the numbers look pretty close to my take

Question for those more familiar with the band:

Was there a natural progression through the the following albums, or did MK I really sound this different the whole time?
I find it hard to believe that their sound changed that much with a new singer and bass player

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 7:23:43 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 24, 2012 7:24:49 PM PST
Captain Ogre says:
Daniel,

Hey now, I missed a lot back in high school and before that. I didn't listen to much of the music that was popular among my peers, and they thought I was weird. Like when they thought Foreigner was the next big thing, and I was into punk and new wave. Or that "church music" they wouldn't let me play (Genesis), or early Queen, or Tom Waits, or...
I did miss out on some great stuff like DP and Montrose in the process, but those guys are all *still* listening to the same sheet they did in the '70s, and I'm still expanding my horizons

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 7:42:34 PM PST
I am still expanding as well. I have moved into so many different directions lately that my head is spinning. I was into the hard rock first and I ignored everything else. I am still a metal head but Prog is my favorite genre. I never owned a Stones or Beatles album until about 10 years ago. I just bought my first Kinks album this year! I am trying to make up for what I missed in the past and wow was it a lot! I am also a fan of a ton of new music. I do not believe that good rock died in the 70's. There is more good music now than there has ever been. It's just all across the board. Back to DP, I did not like Mk I and have never owned the music. I start with Mk II and In Rock. Ritchie had the new sound in his head and he knew that he would have to change the bass and singer to get where he wanted to go. You can find all of this info on the sleeve that comes with the In Rock remaster.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 7:49:30 PM PST
Captain Ogre says:
Daniel,

Beatles and Stones are I definitely did not miss out on, having much older siblings
And, yep, there's still a lot of great music being made today, it's just harder to find it. These forums have been a big help towards that end

RE: Ritchie had the new sound in his head and he knew that he would have to change the bass and singer to get where he wanted to go

Thanks for the info. I do have a hard copy of the In Rock remaster back at home. Never read the liner notes, but I will now

Posted on Nov 24, 2012 7:59:41 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 24, 2012 8:21:25 PM PST
@Ogre: Wikipedia is actually right about 90% of the time on the music-oriented stuff, at least on the stuff I can compare from my magazines and bios. When it gets to other topics, though, the mileage varies.

Anyways, I thought I'd polish up the MK I lineup now, so I can get down to the real business of ragging mercilessly on MK II. ;)

REVIEW: DEEP PURPLE

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMswyDSXZbI

OK, I'm gonna say it: this is one flat-out excellent release, and my relisten did everything to confirm this as my hands-down favorite of any era of the band I've heard so far. The group fulfill the promise of the best cuts on their first two albums with a consistently great and very well-produced album that takes them in all manner of directions--hard rock, psych, prog-rock, folk, art-rock, etc. It's a big step forward for them, especially Blackmore, and Lord's classical influence is at its most tasteful. If this album had been a success, I think the band's history would have been very different, and they would have continued in this highly creative and eclectic direction. Instead, the album flopped, and the band made the subsequent decision to streamline which was a commercial bonanza for them, but IMO a huge step back artistically.

The album opens with "Chasing Shadows", one of their very best and creative songs. The African rhythms are killer, predating the whole world-music thing by over a decade. The bass work stands out, the lyrics are cool, and the main riff is rocking and memorable. This is an example of a song that rocks as convincingly as any MK II number, but with a much more original and creative mindset. Blackmore's wah-wah solo here is immediately more arresting than anything he did on the first two albums, and the bit where everything drops out except for the percussion and Lord's organ is another highlight. The song's constantly shifting sections create a dynamic tension that leaves one wanting more, and are a far cry from the mindless bombastic repetition of what was to come.

This is followed by "Blind", another unique track with a baroque 60s feel. An acoustic guitar and harpischord backing is matched by Evans delivering another interesting, melancholy lyric. This album is definitely Evans' high point; his lyrics have a poetry that is matched by the new sensitivity and nuance in his vocals. Blackmore contributes another sterling solo. The song manages to be pretty and uptempo at the same time, in no small part due to Paice's deft work here.

The next track, "Lalena", is my all-time favorite Donovan song. Donovan's version is peerless, but DP come awfully close to matching its ravishing, meditative beauty. The group are really expanding into unknown territory here as this is easily the quietest thing they've done, and almost unrecognizable *as* DP. Evans again really impresses, and over the course of the song the group establish a mood which increases in a kind of smokey candlelit ambience. Lord's solo is jazzy and perfect.

"Fault Line" is a bit of fancy backwards psychedelia that again creates a lot of nice atmosphere leading into the next track proper, "The Painter". After slowing things down to an elegant silence on "Lalena", they pick it back up again for this one, an uptempo rock piece that looks forward to their next direction a little bit. The arrangement and feel is a lot like Brian Auger & Julie Driscoll's "Indian Rope Man", recorded and released at the same time--it's a very swinging 60s danceable heavy rock number with organ and guitar solos shredding and pumping at full volume. The only weak link here is Evans--while he is superlative on the quieter numbers, it's perhaps clear here why the others thought they would need someone who could bring a real oomph to the harder material.

Side two opens with "Why Didn't Rosemary"? A slightly generic blues-rock number that primarily showcases Blackmore's blues soloing style, it's probably my least favorite here, as I'm not that big of a fan of this kind of Budweiser-ad blues. Nonetheless, Blackmore *does* get in his brittle blues licks, and as with all of his solos on the album it manages to showcase his newfound sense of confidence and virtuosity. "Bird Has Flown" follows and ups the hard-rock ante, with touches of the earlier psychedelia--it's another triumph. It's very typical of the wah-wah inflected rockers of the period, but a good example of it, with a catchy riff and big sound, and Blackmore once again turning in another impeccable solo, before trading off to Lord. The tempo then quiets before the big finish--again, the sense of dynamics here is a highlight.

The closing "April" is pure progressive rock, a suite in three movements which I'm sure your average rock critic would find highly pretentious, but for this prog fan is a fine example of the style. The stately opening sounds vaguely Spanish with lots of classical acoustic guitar and piano/organ layering: "Trespass"-era Genesis would be proud. A choral section heralds a Blackmore solo which arcs and rises along with the rhythm, sounding not unlike the rock soundtrack to a Spaghetti Western...tre cool. Then we have this lengthy orchestral section which actually sounds blended into the mood of the piece, unlike the oil-and-water disaster that was the following "Concerto" album. The final "song" portion is the least memorable but still quite listenable, before the group bring back a bit of the Spaghetti Western part, choral and all, for a grand climax which features Blackmore going absolutely nuts as it fades. Although he had shined throughout the album, this little closing bit is on still another level and is probably his first bid for Rock God status (I would like to have heard more of it, though).

So, unless my opinion of MK II *really significantly* changes, this is probably the most praise you will ever hear me give to this band. There's very little that isn't great here--maybe Evans' vocals on the harder numbers, or the more generic setup of "Why Didn't Rosemary?" I know that some MK II fans point specifically to this album as the kind of wimpy arty-farty crap they were wise to discard in favor of the Savior that was "In Rock", but I suppose it just depends on what kind of music one is attracted to. Me, I think parts of the album rock very hard, and in a more dynamic and creative fashion, while the quieter ballad and classical portions bring grace and color to the proceedings. The amount of creative ideas on display, from the African percussion to the backwards psych effects, choirs, tempo and arrangement changes, Blackmore's solos...the more I listen, the more I like. Here's the track-by-track rundown:

Chasing Shadows 5
Blind 4
Lalena 4.5
Fault Line/The Painter 4
Why Didn't Rosemary? 3.5
Bird Has Flown 4.5
April 4 or 4.5

Overall: 4 out of 5, or "B+" grade...although the way this album keeps growing on me I'm on the verge of giving it an "A-".

Of note is the single "Emmaretta" released just before the album. It's unusually funky for them, with more wah-wah, and pretty catchy. Not bad, and I don't think it would have been out of place given the overall eclectism of the album. Also of note is its cover, the Bosch painting that reflects the artiness of the contents within and is probably also my favorite album cover of theirs as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 8:12:36 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 24, 2012 8:13:03 PM PST
@Ogre: "Was there a natural progression through the the following albums, or did MK I really sound this different the whole time?"

I actually do not see that big of a leap between the sound of the first two albums and "In Rock". There is a difference, but I basically see an acid-rock/hard rock band on the debut that just got harder for "In Rock". The real left turns were "Deep Purple" and "Concerto For Rock Group And Orchestra", so if you think "In Rock" sounds vastly different from the debut, wait until you hear those--which immediately preceded "In Rock", and thus make for a more schizophrenic contrast to these ears.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 8:19:02 PM PST
Captain Ogre says:
Topper,

RE: Shades of Deep Purple review

On my second listen right now, and I pretty much agree with most of your review. That doesn't surprise me much for this kind of music.
When we get to the first two MK II albums, we'll either disagree vehemently, or you'll have a "Doh!" moment and come to your senses ;o)

Overall, I'd give this a slightly higher mark than you. "I'm So Glad" I'd bump up to 4 or maybe 4.5, I think it's a brilliant cover and even better than Cream. Didn't think that was possible.
Of course, giving it a 4.5 would mean I'd have to raise "Mandrake Root" up to at least a 4.6

I'd also bump "Help!" up to 3.25, a very cool, different and daring take. That took some balls, and I think they pulled it off quite well

"Love Help" me is a pretty weak composition, I'll give you that, but the music behind it is good enough for me to bump it up to 3.14159265358979323846

And you were way too kind in grading "One More Rainy Day". How does a turkey get an "average" rating (2-1/2 out of 5)? Even the playing doesn't save that dud. I can only give that one an irrational number, the square root of two

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 8:23:42 PM PST
AlexMontrose says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 8:29:24 PM PST
Captain Ogre says:
Topper,

Probably closer to 100% when it comes to discographies, track listings, band members, release dates...

Can you slow it down? I'm still on Shades

Posted on Nov 24, 2012 8:34:14 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 24, 2012 8:36:45 PM PST
@AlexMontrose: "Topper doesn't believe it changed *that* much...lol. C'mon Topper, lie about that one too."

Huh? Once again you mystify me. Right over on the pop forum on the "Did Deep Purple Change Their Sound More Than Anyone In Rock History?" or whatever it was called, I said pretty much the same thing I said to Ogre just now. I know you saw that post because you posted not long afterwards to that thread. I've been perfectly consistent, it's you as usual trying to distort history.

"The Lord owes his whole career to Emerson Topper *faux* pas will take a little searching in the side box."

You keep looking. But I want the *exact words* "Lord owes his whole career to Emerson". No statement with different words, that you will no doubt try to twist into meaning what it didn't.

"In the meantime Topper, what fun would it be to just start saying yes this is good, this is so so, etc etc."

Again...huh? I believe that's exactly what I'm doing. I just do it like a lawyer on speed. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 8:34:38 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 24, 2012 8:37:05 PM PST
Captain Ogre says:
Topper,

RE: I actually do not see that big of a leap between the sound of the first two albums and "In Rock"

I do hear some bits and pieces of the MK II sound on Shades, but it's still a pretty big change from this to that

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 8:36:03 PM PST
@Ogre: I'm done for the day. MK II will come tomorrow! I'll try to just keep it to two albums a day, so it will most likely be "Concerto" and "In Rock"...and then the fun begins as I fend off tomato after tomato...Alex says he brought some which I'm sure he'll pass around to everyone else here...might be able to make a nice chopped salad.
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Discussion in:  Classic Rock forum
Participants:  27
Total posts:  497
Initial post:  Nov 24, 2012
Latest post:  Oct 6, 2013

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