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Customer Discussions > Classic Rock forum

Deep Purple: Reviews From A Hater


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Showing 101-125 of 531 posts in this discussion
Posted on Nov 27, 2012 6:31:18 PM PST
B. rogers says:
@Michael...you stated that you like *some* of the bands that are grouped into the "heavy metal" category. I know you like Black Sabbath...what are the others? What's your opinion of a band like Judas Priest?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 9:25:20 PM PST
@Daniel E.White: "Just let me say that, In Rock kicks my a**..."

Fair enough! And I'm happy that it does. I love it when people have strong ecstatic feelings about an album.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 9:33:28 PM PST
@Ogre: "I like to just bang my head and rock out once in a while; lyrics, depth of meaning, etc., be damned!"

So do I. And "In Rock" (well, certain songs) are great for that purpose. But if fans are going to put the album on a "masterpiece" pedestal, it needs (for me) to do more than rock out, no matter how hard. It doesn't mean that I want the music to rock any less, it just has to go to another level than just "kick-azz" for me. As I said, I have to judge the album against the highest *possible* standards, because that's what the fans do.

"You say, "tiresome, monotonous number better suited for a pole dance, or a trucker's night out with the classic rawk station on full blast", and I say, "Sounds like a fun night! Let me grab a wad of ones and a six pack, and I'll be right there""

LOL--touche.

"And I've now got a pretty good idea of which songs you'll like best from the next few albums..."

I'm fascinated! I'd be interested to know if your guess matches up with what happens. I've now re-listened to "Fireball" twice and "Machine Head" once, and my likes and dislikes on those albums couldn't be more clear-cut. A review of "Fireball" should follow shortly--although there *are* one or two surprises up my sleeve on that one...

I'm just so happy to actually be discussing *music* on the classic rock forum, and not playing some endlessly long +/- game.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 9:51:10 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 27, 2012 9:51:53 PM PST
@B.Roger: I like *some* Black Sabbath. I think their first two albums are overrated, save for the title tracks to both. "Master Of Reality", "Vol.IV", "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" and "Sabotage" are all good albums, though I wouldn't call any one of them masterpieces ("Sabotage" probably comes closest IMO). Sabbath always seemed kind of low-rent to me, even at their best, and I don't like anything w/out Osbourne. Osbourne's own solo career is a mess, however--I can't stand what I've heard, though I admit I've only heard the popular stuff.

I love all of the harder Zeppelin material, that can still be reasonably labeled "heavy metal". They were awesome with everything they touched. I realize I sound like one of Alex's "Zeppelin zombies", and I probably am. But then he's a Purple Zombie. As in, a zombie whose skin is purple. Boy I crack me up.

I *love love love* the first four Budgie albums. They are probably my favorite of the early 70s crop of heavy metal bands. "Never Turn Your Back On A Friend" is an astonishing work that pretty much encapsulates the very best that heavy metal can be.

I like some Uriah Heep, although I like them more when they get proggier. I'm not sure what to categorize "Demons And Wizards", but it is a fine album.

After 1976 and the NWOBHM begins, things get *much* iffier and there's almost no metal band that I like after that: not Judas Priest, not Def Lepard, not Van Halen, not Iron Maiden, not The Scorpions, not Metallica, not Guns'n'Roses. All cheezy noise overkill IMO.

However, there are plenty of bands categorized in other genres (mostly alternative), who had metal aspects to their sound or who dabbled in metal on certain songs, who I think were terrific. Jane's Addiction and The Smashing Pumpkins had a lot of sizzling metal-ish songs. Queens Of The Stone Age re-wrote the rules of metal and their first three albums were superb. Speaking of Queens, I love the stoner-metal of Homme's prior band Kyuss. Getting closer to the present day, I also like the retro-early 70s heavy metal of Wolfmother (first album only, though).

I can't quite delineate at present what separates the metal that I like from the metal that I don't like. It has to do with the particular "personality" of the band in question.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 11:20:00 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 30, 2012 10:55:24 AM PST
AlexMontrose says:
Topper,

One of the common denominators of any great band is they have more than one album that fans consider some of their best work. In Rock is my personal favorite but...lol by no means would there be any consensus that it's their best album if you asked a hundred DP fans. And that's a good thing ofcourse. Just as many, actually more probably would say Machine Head. If you were including live albums then Made in Japan would certainly get some votes and a small minority would say they liked the Mk I version the best. Or Burn...Mk IV.

You're looking for something in the music to touch your soul, stir your emotions like you mentioned earlier. Speaking for myself, being exhilarated, extremely excited by the music I'm hearing touches my soul. Whatever the music brings to the table, if it does it in such an over the top fashion, like In Rock does for me, then that is as valid to me as whatever it is that stirs your soul. I'm not knocking whatever that is for you. But it seems if you're going to hold up Zeppelin as the highest standard of what hard rock should be then everyone else is not going to measure up to that standard in your book.

DP is a different animal..again a good thing. They're not trying to be Zeppelin. And I think you hold Zeppelin so high because in your book they were very eclectic. Some people are trying to tell you what listening to In Rock does for them. You don't feel *that*, not in the same way some of us do. I don't feel *it* when I listen to Zeppelin. I understand what it is you like more about Zeppelin than you do Purple. But stirring the soul, hitting an emotional nerve is different for everybody. And while you acknowledge some of the excitement you feel when listening to In Rock some of us are ready to go through the roof, it stirs our soul so much. That's an emotion too and I think you diminish that because you see it as less meaningful than Zeppelin for example, who in your book is everything a rock band should be.

I think you also cited some songs that have what you might call more traditional songwriting, Day Tripper I believe was one. That song has a good melody, brings a smile to your face with The Beatles fantastic songwriting skills. And you use that for a comparison because geeeez are you going to compare Hard Lovin' Man or Speed king to Day Tripper !! ? What about you see the "beauty" in all these songs?? Not so hard with the Beatles right? With Purple a little more difficult if you're not a fan of music you deem less worthy, according to your standards. Hey, like I said before I dismiss a lot of music too I have no use for. I just think you try to rationalize why their songs "shouldn't" be put along side such heavyweights that you consider the standard of greatness. Zeppelin, Beatles.....Kate Bush maybe ? ;)

I love the fact that you're listening to all these DP Records but remember who you're listening to at all times. I think the best advice would be not to hold them up to your standard or any standard but to realize you're listening to one of the biggest heavyweights in Rock/Hard rock history. They should be held up to their *own* standard....and nothing more.

Posted on Nov 27, 2012 11:32:15 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 28, 2012 3:19:36 AM PST
REVIEW: FIREBALL

"Fireball" is my favorite of the MK II Deep Purple albums, for several reasons. First, it contains my two favorite MK II songs on it. Second, Ian Gillan manages to restrain the "WAAAAAHHH!!!" factor a bit on this effort and even takes on several different singing personas--some better than others, but I find it more tolerable overall. The album also seems to have a bit more variety than "In Rock" did, and even though not all the experiments work, I do not get quite as much listener fatigue as I do with either "In Rock" or "Machine Head". I find it kind of ironic that the group members were dissatisfied with the album, and that the fans (while still liking it very much) see it as the weakest MK II effort.

One thing I want to discuss before I get to my review, however, is the change in rock music which happened at the turn of the 70s decade, which many were disappointed in at the time. Deep Purple were emblematic of this change, as their streamlined sound attested. I was not around back then but from what I understand from reading articles and reviews from the period, as well as talking to people who were there (from my parents and teachers, on down), was the enormous disappointment and sense of pall that the counterculture felt when the 60s dream quickly faded. As the scene disintigrated, so the music changed and fragmented, and as music had been the unique binding force for much of the counterculture, its fragmentation and change in attitude and direction at this time only seemed to confirm the end of the era.

Rock music, as it had evolved in the 60s, had very quickly taken on a meaning and importance that went far beyond entertainment. By the end of the decade it had soaked up social commentary, autobiography, political protest, spirituality, consciousness expansion, and naked honest emotion, sometimes all at once. Much of this music--even in criticism and protest--was very optimistic and even ecstatic in nature, and even the darker bands (The Doors, Velvets, Love etc.) were still in the end all about seeking for Truth.

As the decade turned, a lot of rock music seemed to fold back in on itself and become merely entertainment again. A lot of bands suddenly emerged that just wanted to "rock out", be party music. Other bands wanted to gleefully tear up the "flower-power" that came before them with some good old-fashioned evil, anger, horror, and shock value: so we have the rise of Sabbath, Alice Cooper, The Stooges, etc. Iggy Pop said cheerfully on TV in 1977 that he was largely responsible for "killing the 60s".

I understand the whole idea of one generation getting tired of the old and wanting to do something new, even opposite to what directly came before it. But I think for a lot of people the 60s were just beginning--we're only talking the mid-late 60s, about five years total, after all--and to have it end so quickly and be replaced by showmanship and entertainment value again (as well as a deliberate pessimism and gloom) must have seemed like a huge disappointment. The darker acts, like Sabbath, Cooper, etc. were only gratuitously so; unlike Jim Morrison or Lou Reed whose darkness came from their own souls and life experience, but who were still looking for truth or love or redemption or what have you, these new bands were putting on a showbiz act. Name-checking witches, demons, murder, snakes, spiders, and ghoolie ghosties, and upping the shock value in their stage presentations to match. Some of this stuff could get quite sophisticated in its presentation, but no-one was fooled into thinking they were getting any actual depth or meaning out of an Alice Cooper or Black Sabbath concert. It was all about rockin' out in good fun with some anger and "evil" mixed in just so that the new generation could distinguish itself from the last one....no wonder punk rock, in turn, rejected that empty showbiz glitz and tried to get back to some sense of social and political honesty and relevance.

I'm NOT saying that anger and pessimism doesn't have a place in music--there was actually tons of rage and anger in a lot of 60s music, as there would be in punk and in plenty of rock music over the decades. But the anger in those cases at least seemed channeled toward a purpose; the "dark" early 70s acts were basically auditioning for their local Haunted House show (I can already hear the quickening of Alex's keyboard as he tells me how wrong I am about Cooper, and how sophisticated and meaningful and relevant he really was--go right ahead, now...).

But none of this is an actual critique of the music Cooper or Sabbath or The Stooges made, some of which could be quite good (some of it not, however, IMO). It's more an observation of the change in attitude that marked the new decade. Why the history lesson, you ask? Because this leads me to Deep Purple. Deep Purple did not adopt an overtly doom'n'gloom image like Sabbath or Cooper, so what I just said about that part of it doesn't apply to them, and I say, good on them for that. However, in the streamlining and simplifying of their sound (and even admitting to continued classical and jazz influences, it certainly wasn't on the order of their work up to and including "Concerto"), the general lack of lyrical substance, and the basic aim to simply rock as hard as possible, Deep Purple made a decision of their own at this time to make their music pure entertainment. Again, this isn't really a bad thing--unless you compare it to the way people had thought about music in the 60s. The kind of transcendent power it had then. Even the best-executed entertainment, with thrills and shocks and excitement galore, must have considerably paled next to the 60s idea that music was going to *change the world*. Naive, perhaps, but I laud that kind of ambition no matter how naive, because I perhaps do believe that music can and did--and still does--have that power within it.

Ideas of meaning vs. entertainment aside, one thing that especially turns me off about a lot of the hard rock and early metal of the turn of the decade are the riffs and rhythms. In the 60s, even in the hardest of rock songs, the beat was always *just* behind the tune, which led to a much bouncier, supple, rhythmic sound that always left you wanting more. At the turn of the decade, the beats became much more leaden, playing with the tune or *over* it, giving the music what I think was an overbearing feel (what I call the "sledgehammer" effect). Add this to the riffs themselves which were losing the fast, bouncy circularity of things like "Paperback Writer", "Pleasant Valley Sunday" or "Jumpin' Jack Flash" in favor of the slower, monolithic crunch of an "Iron Man", "Smoke On The Water" or "All Right Now", and things just get less interesting for me at this time. These are the kinds of tunes that usually bore me when I hear them on classic rock radio; the kind of stuff I deridingly call classic "rawk" and turn the dial on looking for more interesting fare. This music sounds dull and ordinary to me, like the kind of stuff you'd hear in a beer or car commercial.

I think that glam was a good musical shot in the arm to rock music in the early 70s because it was an attempt to marry the hard rock/metal sounds of the day with a pop sensibility again, leading to exciting (and very rocking!!) singles like "Get It On", "Virginia Plain", "Ballroom Blitz", "20th Century Boy", "Ziggy Stardust", etc. On the other side of the fence, I think prog took hard rock/metal sounds in an appealing opposite direction far away from pop, by melding it with the creativity of exotic non-rock forms. Not to say that either glam rock or prog-rock were immune to the "rock as entertainment only" attitude of that period, with only the most talented acts in those genres (or in hard rock and heavy metal, for that matter) reaching back to the ideals of the previous decade.

But where does this leave Deep Purple, for me? Musically, their best MK II material (or what I believe to be their best material) avoids the leaden beats and monolithic riffs of the genres they worked in from that era. Things like "Hard Lovin' Man", "Fireball" and "Pictures Of Home" feature extremely exciting, propulsive rhythms that while being much harder than anything from the 60s, actually keep to the 60s musical idea of the beat being just behind the tune. This is music that generates its own internal heat from the inside out, rather than attempting to club you over the head with a plodding beat, monolithic riff and overall din. It *cooks*. But Deep Purple did plenty of the other kind of "rawk" songs too, and while Ogre might want to get in the truck and head toward the local strip joint when he hears them--and more power to him, LOL--it just doesn't do anything for me besides 1) bore me or 2) give me a headache. To Lord and Blackmore's credit, they usually found some gimmick to trick up even their "rawkiest" songs--I'm thinking of that incredible organ glissando effect on "Living Wreck"--but for me it only seems to highlight that those songs desperately needed some propping up. Anyways, once again this review looks like it's going to be in two parts--the actual track-by-track analysis of "Fireball" is next.

Hope I didn't bore everyone with the pompous history lesson--and as with all attempts at recording history (especially by someone who didn't actually live it), I realize that my particular take on what happened at this time is only that: my particular take, based on the musical evidence, articles/reviews, and talks I've had with people from the era. Those of you who actually lived through the era probably have your own story to tell, I'm sure, and I would like to hear it. For all I know "In Rock" could have sounded like an upping of the ante of the 60s for some people--and if so, I would love to hear why. Or perhaps you agree it was a turn in a new direction, but you prefer that direction to what went on in the 60s--and if so, I would love to hear why, as well! All opinions welcome, and I think the discussion has been very enlightening for me so far.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 11:33:52 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 27, 2012 11:34:56 PM PST
Exile says:
How can you possibly overrate those first two Sabbath albums?? They practically were the template for heavy metal over the next...oh..40 years!! Yes, there is a little too much wankarama on the debut and the second half of "Paranoid" pales next to side one but darn, those riffs, the downtuning, the religious symbolic imagery, the bludgeoning riffs that sounded like death...etc...

Anyone up for a Sabbath discussion when we finish purple? I am! Topper just pissed me off...LOL

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 11:37:25 PM PST
@AlexMontrose: great post, and you make a lot of very thought-provoking points. But I have to post part two of the review for "Fireball", so I'll get to your post in a sec because there's certainly much I want to respond to (but for the present, let me note that I actually agree with much of what you say).

Posted on Nov 28, 2012 12:45:14 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 28, 2012 1:25:03 AM PST
REVIEW: FIREBALL, PT.2

Link to the album: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UYgGrxcJAI

So "Fireball" begins with its title track, which is *awesome*. To me it sounds like an updated version of "Hush"; it has the same propulsive, chugging beat, this time though doubled in speed and sounding twice as exciting. To me, this is an exemplary early 70s heavy metal track, and I don't mean anything demeaning or delimiting by this at all--in fact, the song should be proud of itself for being such a great metal piece. The song sears with energy, with Lord's organ effects sounding like the fireball of the title. Only Gillan detracts (as usual) here, but not so much that I won't give this four and half stars.

The next song, "No No No" is the kind of classic rawk track I railed against in Pt.1--kind of ordinary sounding, overbearing, with generic bluesy verses whose only hook "no no no" is really annoying, especially when repeated ad nauseum by a singer I dislike as much as Gillan. The song is reminiscent of Free, which isn't really the greatest thing IMO. The group doesn't know when to quit and stretches the song way past its limits; in the middle of this, however, Blackmore inserts a brief but dreamy slide solo which has nothing to do with anything but rescues the whole thing from the trash heap.

The third track, "Demon Eye", doesn't improve things. Another blues-based hard rocker, but even more generic, which plods on and on. Like the earlier studio version of "Wring That Neck", the solos here curiously fail to ignite, sounding more like loungy bar band stuff. It sounds hastily worked up in the studio...and needless to say Gillan doesn't help things any, even though he's traded in the cheeze-WAAAHHHs for a more shouty style in his lower register (although the wails do appear at the very end). It's not a terrible track, but this kind of blues-rock is exactly the type of classic rock that bores me.

Side one closes with "Anyone's Daughter", one of the better tracks on the album and one which brings a bit more variety to the proceedings. Blackmore's slide is again a major highlight, and the song actually tries for a jaunty melody and Dylanesque feel. Gillan even affects a slightly Dylanesque voice, which is appealing, although the lyric is a trifle that Mr.Zimmerman would have been embarrassed by. In spite of some fine musicianship by Lord on piano and the aforementioned Blackmore bit, the track ends up feeling like a novelty filler. Nonetheless, this gets points for a vocal I can actually stand.

What "Anyone's Daughter" does most effectively, is open up the album to a greater variety that is neatly followed by the amazing psychedelic opener of side two. "Mules" is the album's second masterpiece and one of my very favorite DP tracks; the hypnotic rhythm and swirling guitar parts create a brilliant atmosphere, and this is my favorite Gillan vocal outside of maybe "Child In Time". He affects a more British accent here that sounds a lot like David Bowie--in fact, he's completely unrecognizable as Gillan. Of all the tracks on the album, this song harks back to the creativity and ideals of the 60s the most, but doesn't sound dated, either--it's a heavy 70s update of consciousness-expansion.

The album does not sustain this momentum, however, as one of their weakest longer pieces, "Fools", follows. Everything starts innocently enough with an expectant intro and more appealingly light vocals from Gillan ("I'm crying"), before the "song" proper begins and weighs things down again. Another hard-rocker, with Gillan right back to obnoxiousness, this is one of those plodding pounders that doesn't allow the song room for an actual tune to take hold, because the guitars are too busy sludging away on generic riffs. But this is nothing compared to what happens next--the instruments fade and we're left with several minutes of an agonizingly dull guitar section, with Blackmore attempting to get meditative on his new violin technique (which is not a bow, as was speculated, but a particular way of playing the guitar to sound a bit like a violin). The sound was new for the time, but he really doesn't do *anything* with it here; when I compare this to the way Steve Hackett used this same technique with Genesis to create soundscapes of incredible passion and beauty, this looks like child's play. Then, the "song" portion briefly comes back before the whole thing peters out completely in random and vaguely interesting noises, as if it doesn't know how to end. "Fools" tries for profundity and dynamics but is just a disaster! IMO.

The closer "No One Came" is another rocker, although its simple two-note riff is a little bit sexier this time, possibly because the rhythm stays just behind it...it's actually very similar, both riff and percussion, to the verses of Hendrix's "Stone Free", almost to the point of being a cop. But with lines like "he said man, you're music is really fun-kay!", who are they kidding? Anyways, it ambles amiably if not spectacularly (not exploding into excitement like Hendrix's did, although DP were certainly capable), until it's propped up by some cool backwards sounds at the end which fade out too quickly. An ambivalent ending to the album, although the overall impression is not as fatigued as that for "In Rock" thanks to the greater variety in both the music and in Gillan's vocals throughout (though he still stinks up at least half of it, LOL).

Before I get to the track-by-track ratings, however, I have to say I was fairly surprised by the bonus material. The non-album single "Strange Kind Of Woman" wasn't that great--more standard 70s boogie that is crushingly ordinary in nature (the chorus "I want you, I need you, I gotta be near you" almost seems to mock its own plainness)--but take a gander at its b-side!! "I'm Alone" has got to be the ultimate lost gem from MK II, with one of those cooking grooves that made the likes of "Hard Lovin' Man" and "Fireball" so good, with excellent percussion, nimble guitar work...even the lyric is attractive. How this didn't make the album is beyond me, as it's certainly better than the likes of "No No No" or "Demon Eye".

But it's not over yet--we also get two outtakes from the album, "Freedom" and "Slow Train". "Freedom" is barely worth mentioning (more generic trucker rock for ya, which tries to rock but barely gets off the ground in spite of Gillan finally trying to scream his way out of it), but "Slow Train" is another barnstormer. The memorable opening riff is circular and complex (now there's a bit of classical influence I can see in that one), and while the verses are kind of nondescript, Lord's hotly percussive organ work and some Beatlesque vocal harmonies keeps things cool enough until the instrumental section, where the band totally lets loose. The guitar and organ trade off so nicely and intensely here, leading to that excellent riff again, that this is a near-classic in the making and should have been a total no-brainer for the album. They put "Fools" on "Fireball" over *this*?!

Anyways, here's my track-by-track overview:

Fireball 4.5
No No No 2.5
Demon Eye 2.5
Anyone's Daughter 3.5
Mules 5
Fools 2
No One Came 3

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5, or a "B-" grade. HOWEVER, if the group had included "I'm Alone" in place of "Demon Eye" and "Slow Train" in place of "Fools", this would get a solid four stars or "B+" grade. WOW! Thank god for bonus tracks.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2012 8:48:42 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 28, 2012 2:07:40 PM PST
AlexMontrose says:
Re : Fireball

Looks like we end up in around the same place, rating wise but how we get there is pretty different.

Fireball was always considered DP's most experimental album at the time and Gillan in interviews always said it was his favorite. But he said that about almost every album. Nonetheless it was a pretty stark departure from the breathtaking onslaught of In Rock. It's a "funny" album to me, I've alternated between really loving it to thinking it was good, not great. I'm still somewhere in between.

My review of songs from Fireball:

FIREBALL - This song, although I like it, has never really grabbed me. Sure it's fast, chugs along nice etc. but the almost light poppy, sing songy melody, twinkly keys seem to be at odds with the heavy rhythm....it's annoying in the sense that it sounds like the Munchkins from the Wizard of Oz are banging away on the instruments, trying to give it a "too" happy sound. I've heard this live many times and they really up the ante, give it a meaner, exciting edge, minus the munchkins. As it is, good song but nothing special.
NO, NO, NO - Used to love this but hasn't worn that well over the years. Still good with a long set up, room for the musicians to have some extended, interesting play throughout, it ebbs back and forth between that and okay...next.

Looks like Topper has another copy that was not the original release. On the original Warner Brothers album Strange kind of Woman was one of the songs and Demons Eye was a bonus, B side, whatever....from those sessions.
STRANGE KIND OF WOMAN - Bluesy, plodding type of song that fans seem to love but not my thing. It became a staple live with Gillan vocally matching Blackmore's playing note for note but here it's just a completely average song in my book.
ANYONE'S DAUGHTER - When this song showed up it was like...what is this? Are they just putting some cutesy, non Deep Purple like jig from the studio on the album? But it takes no time at all for this song to win you over. Very entertaining, melody is great, lyrics are funny and a really good song.
THE MULE (Not Mules) - This is a song you could listen to in 2085 and it still would sound fresh. Just a terrific piece, very proggish and as Topper said "the hypnotic rhythm and swirling guitar parts create a brilliant atmosphere". Couldn't agree more and very well said, described. It's otherworldly and just thinking about the song puts you in another place, which is the hallmark of some great music.
FOOLS - This one we completely disagree on. Although like No, No, No it hasn't aged as well as other Purple classics. But it's still a tour de force. It has a pretty plus foreboding intro with the slightly sinister melody and Gillan singing in a way where you know something is about to explode and it pretty much does. When Ritchie and the boys come in there's a mean, angry underlying current to the music before it trails off into unexplored territory. Where it certainly sounds like RB is using a bow. Not sure if he is or isn't but my guess is that he's just found a new, novel way to play his guitar at the time for this extended middle section. You can either look at it as dull or you can see it as a cool experimentation. I lean toward the latter, even though it's not as fresh after all these years as it used to be. It finishes off like it started and overall, like the Mule in some respects it does create a atmosphere that was kind of new and strange for DP.
NO ONE CAME - A good , stomping number that only suffers a little from straight ahead predictability in the rhythm. The backwards production toward the end give it more coolness.

The bonus/B sides stuff, Demons eye was just so, so at best. Freedom, even though it's been years I don't think ever did anything for me. And haven't heard either Slow Train or I'm alone for a while so I'll have to refresh.

Fireball 3.0
No No No 3.0
Strange kind of Woman 2.5
Anyone's Daughter 3.5
The Mule 5
Fools 4
No One Came 3

3.5 stars or a B.

Posted on Nov 28, 2012 9:38:56 AM PST
@AlexMontrose: looks like we only disagree on two songs--the title track and "Fools". I don't find the title track to sound sing-sony or Munchkin-y at all! It sounds as mean and searing and aggressive to me as anything they've done. And the version of the album you have is apparently the US version. The versions I've been hearing are remastered CDs on youtube, and they are taken from the UK versions. But anyways, I'd like to reply a bit more to your other post from last night, plus say a few more things about "Fireball", but they changed my hours at work starting today so I won't be able to get to it until much later tonight. In the meantime, though, I'm surprised we agree on so much (although maybe not surprised given that the fans seem to like "Fireball" a bit less than other DP albums), and given your ratings for the individual songs, an overall "B" rating seems a bit high, unless you feel that the album overall is a bit more than the sum of its parts.

BTW last night I was trying to figure out what song "No One Came" reminded me of (which was "Stone Free") and in playing it several more times to figure it out, I ended up liking it a bit more each time. I might even nudge that one to 3.5 stars eventually--it doesn't go anywhere, reallly, but the way the groove stays cool kind of grew on me. It still makes a weak closing track, however, esp compared to "Hard Lovin' Man".

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2012 10:07:48 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 28, 2012 10:12:54 AM PST
AlexMontrose says:
Re : I don't find the title track to sound sing-sony or Munchkin-y at all! It sounds as mean and searing and aggressive to me as anything they've done

Nahhhh, not even close. That's why you have Lord playing the solo with those cartoonish, kiddie like keyboard strokes. They knew the vibe of the song. It's searing only in rhythm but the effect is too diddly dee to be mean and it's certainly a light weight song compared to *anything* off In Rock in my book. Because it moves, is fast, a little frantic doesn't make it mean. The vibe is not mean. I find myself just bobbing my head back and forth to Fireball, whereas almost any second of In Rock is oozing with serious aggression and bad intent.

Posted on Nov 28, 2012 11:25:59 AM PST
K. Carter says:
Truly interesting and informative stuff here. And my God, am I thankful for any non-game thread on this forum...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2012 11:32:12 AM PST
Fischman says:
I thought Topper was just preparing the masses for an innovative new "Worst Deep Purple Song" game.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2012 1:44:26 PM PST
something from the Slaves and Masters album would surely have to win that game then if someone did do that sort of game....haha

Posted on Nov 28, 2012 1:53:14 PM PST
Music Lover says:
off the top of my head here's a few candidates for worst DP number:
Breakfast In Bed
Fire IN The Basement
Love Conquers All
Holy Man
You Can't Do It Right(with the one you love)
Black And White
The Spanish Archer
Place In Line

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2012 3:01:06 PM PST
T. Boyle says:
"Fire In The Basement" rocks!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2012 6:05:42 PM PST
Captain Ogre says:
RE: On the original Warner Brothers album Strange kind of Woman was one of the songs and Demons Eye was a bonus, B side, whatever....from those sessions

I did not know that!

I've got the 25th anniversary remaster, and Demon's Eye is track 3, Strange Kind of Woman is a bonus track

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2012 6:22:11 PM PST
Captain Ogre says:
Topper,

RE: I'd be interested to know if your guess matches up with what happens

The Mule I knew would be your favorite, that song came up on another discussion, but I didn't expect a perfect 5. Nice!

Demon's Eye is another I thought you'd like, that's a swing and miss. And I knew you'd appreciate Anyone's Daughter, that's a hit.

I'm most surprised with you thinking the title track is *awesome*. That came right out of left field. Guess you can enjoy a head banging night out with truckers, after all.
(There's another baseball cliche that comes to mind here, something to do with a battery, but I won't go there)

Anyway, this is all fascinating reading and good stuff. Wish I had more time to disect it all with replies

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2012 12:15:03 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2012 12:31:39 AM PST
@AlexMontrose: OK, this is weird. I feel like we have now officially entered some kind of Star Trek mirror universe where I am actually defending a DP song from a scathing criticism by you (!):

"That's why you have Lord playing the solo with those cartoonish, kiddie like keyboard strokes. They knew the vibe of the song."

Interesting you should say that. I just found a youtube clip of Jon Lord discussing the "Fireball" album, just before a '71 TV lip-synch of the title track is played. It's interesting for several reasons--first, because Lord talks about how much he loves the whole album, which puts the lie to the theory that only Gillan liked it. Second, regarding the organ solo of "Fireball" in *particular*, the late Mr.Lord states that it was "bloody difficult to play". And I doubt there were many keyboard solos that he would say that about. Now I realize that the difficulty of the solo isn't quite what you are talking about--you are talking about its "vibe". But "kiddie cartoonish" is hardly the phrase I'd use to describe that solo. I really don't know what you are getting at here with "cartoonish" and "deedly dee". You mean the fact that the melody of the song is actually hummable this time? That the organ solo is *also* hummable, rather than just the usual distortion and jazzy improv? Gillan sings that melody lightning-fast and pretty aggressively, so I'm not sure where all this is coming from. Here's the link to the Lord interview:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLWx7lSZw-c

And let's not forget Glover's awesome bass solo, surely one of his shining moments with the band. The song is tight, compact, and moves at 1000mph--the franticness of the song alone gives it its aggression. And the organ solo has a kind of restrained robotic cool to it which lies in dynamic contrast to the rhythm; the song wouldn't be nearly as interesting IMO if Lord had gone over-the-top with an "aggressive" solo.

Re: "Fools": "When Ritchie and the boys come in there's a mean, angry underlying current to the music..."

I agree, but in this case the bad attitude isn't enough--you actually need a memorable riff and melody to go with it, which I do not hear here. I'd rather take an exciting, memorable song like "Fireball", angry or not, than some "angry" song that isn't very well written and kind of plods along. Obviously you are hearing something that you believe is well-written, but I don't see any obvious hooks.

"Not sure if he is or isn't but my guess is that he's just found a new, novel way to play his guitar at the time for this extended middle section."

He did. That sound was new, and it predates Hackett by a few months (who would make his debut with that technique on Genesis' "Foxtrot" a year later).

"You can either look at it as dull or you can see it as a cool experimentation."

I look at it as both a new experiment, and as dull. Just because you're first at something doesn't always mean you did it best, or even all that well. I am a little surprised at Blackmore, though, since he usually had more imagination in his solos than that, no matter what style he was playing.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2012 12:42:20 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2012 12:48:42 AM PST
@Ogre: "Demon's Eye is another I thought you'd like, that's a swing and miss."

Really? I'm surprised you would think I would like that one. Just curious--what led you to think this?

"And I knew you'd appreciate Anyone's Daughter, that's a hit."

Sort of. It's not a masterpiece; it's just a bit of a breath of fresh air, especially since Gillan is more restrained on it. But I do sort of like it; it was good for them to branch out a little, although I think they could have done an even better job with that particular musical style. It stands out more because it was different for this phase of DP, although if it had been on an *actual* Bob Dylan album in, say, 1965 it would have paled a bit alongside his other songs.

"Guess you can enjoy a head banging night out with truckers, after all."

The strip joint I take everyone to would be a little, ahem, different, however. ;)

I never said I didn't like a good hard rocker I could enjoy banging my head to; there's only about a thousand songs I can think of which fit that category. It's the *kind* of hard rocker one is talking about that makes the difference, which is why I spent time in the last few paragraphs of Pt.1 of my "Fireball" review outlining a few of the deciding factors for me when it comes to these things.

Posted on Nov 29, 2012 8:52:45 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2012 10:20:06 AM PST
vivazappa says:
Great records:
Made in Japan
Burn
Machine Head

Others I like:
Come Taste the Band
Stormbringer
Perfect Strangers
Fireball
In Rock

Ones I like no one else does:
Who Do We Think We Are
The House of Blue Light

Don't care for:
Everything after The House of Blue Light
The symphonic one

I really am not very familiar with the Rod Evans records.

Hate:
Slaves and Masters...at best a lousy Rainbow record.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2012 8:57:11 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2012 12:05:42 PM PST
AlexMontrose says:
Re : I feel like we have now officially entered some kind of Star Trek mirror universe where I am actually defending a DP song from a scathing criticism by you (!)

Ummm scathing ? I gave the song a 3. Said in the first sentence of my review I liked it. Scathing? Exaggerate much ? ;)

It's fast, rhythmic and frantic. And I have no qualms whatsoever saying how I feel about a particular DP song. I don't love them all you know. That might be news to you.....but trust me...if I'm not crazy about one, I'll say so. Coming off In Rock and with this being the opener for Fireball I hear a much more playful mood. Instead of the dark, mean, slit your throat mentality of almost every groove on In Rock. Fireball gives us fast but it also gives us more of a Disneyland, circus feel. How you don't hear this, especially in the Lord solo is perplexing.

Re : You mean the fact that the melody of the song is actually hummable this time? That the organ solo is *also* hummable, rather than just the usual distortion and jazzy improv?

Everything off In Rock is hummable and instantly memorable. Riffs, chords, rhythms, solos, melodies, songs, etc. etc. Because the music is adventurous it's not hummable? That's on you. And I can think of a hundred Lord solos that are hummable, including this one. As opposed to your boy Emerson who uses every switch, button and knob on his keyboard in a effort to throw the whole kitchen sink at us for one of his typical solos. There's nothing "wrong" with the Fireball solo, or Glover's little bass solo (sort of a presumptuous statement saying this is one of his "shining" moments with the band, wouldn't you say? Why don't you wait until you've gone through more of their albums?) but again all I'm talking about here is the overall vibe of the song. Fast? Yes. Aggressive? Yes, mainly because it's fast. Mean? Absolutely not. Playful? Much more so than any dark alley, cut your throat rocker from In Rock. I like it...it's just more of a fast, playful rocker from DP and I think that was their intent. This is going to be a little different than our last album, we're still fast and aggressive but we took a little of the raw and brooding intensity away in favor of a little more "happy" mood. That's what I get from the title cut.

Re: "Fools": "When Ritchie and the boys come in there's a mean, angry underlying current to the music..."

Re: Re : I agree, but in this case the bad attitude isn't enough--you actually need a memorable riff and melody to go with it, which I do not hear here.

You don't hear a "memorable" riff, I do. But it's more about the chords in this case. The monstrous slam of those chords after Gillan is through singing the sinewy, ethereal intro. And after the end of this stanza Blackmore hits some demented, distorted power chords to underline the anger of the song. Gillan comes back (love his singing in this song, great "gruffness") and after another stanza Blackmore again hits some mean spirited, blood curdling chords leading into the "bow" break, quiet section. Now here, you find it dull. I say it was a revelatory little experiment. You acknowledge it was experimental also, we just differ on the effect it has. It's not like I can't understand someone who might think this brings the song to a standstill. I prefer to look at it as ....mmmmmm, that's pretty cool. The space they're using here, the atmosphere they're trying to project in the middle of the song. You *know* it's going to lead back to the chord, the riff so while it wasn't the greatest piece of music they're ever written, it was a unique, attention grabbing twist they threw in the mix.

If you've heard it a thousand times you might skip over it but this being maybe the first or second time you've heard it?...I would think you might be inclined to give it a bit more credit. But hey, you don't like it. I still like it...although for someone who *has* heard it a thousand times.....I just see it as sort of a pretty cool and unique way to get the effect they were going for in the middle of a good song.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2012 9:23:46 AM PST
Fischman says:
Wow, Zap--an amazing overlap with my stratification.

It's particularly nice to find another who puts Burn in the upper ecehelon.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2012 5:58:03 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2012 5:59:08 PM PST
Captain Ogre says:
Topper,

RE: Demon's Eye

Only reason I thought you'd like it was Gillan's vocals aren't the high pitched kind that annoy you. But after listening to it a few times again, the song *is* pretty blah, so never mind. Bad call

I'm really not finding much of anything to argue with you about here. Your song by song reviews are fair, objective, and pretty accurate. Why you hate Gillan so much is still a mystery, but you're at least gaining some appreciation for his range

RE: The strip joint I take everyone to would be a little, ahem, different, however. ;)

If you were doing the pole dancing, I'd make it rain. No champagne room, though
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