Deep Purple
Deep Purple was formed in Hertford, England, in 1968 and are one of the few bands that remained popular decade after decade,
despite numerous line-up changes. The band was also the springboard for several other popular bands including
Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, David Coverdale's Whitesnake, and Ian Gillan's Gillan, among many others.

Jon Lord passed away on July 16, 2012. Lord suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism in London after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Book of Taliesyn Deep Purple - The Book of Taliesyn (Passport) 1968

1. "Listen, Learn, Read On" (4:04)
2. "Wring that Neck (Hard Road)" [instrumental] (5:13)
3. "Kentucky Woman" (4:44)
4. a: "Exposition" [instrumental]
.. .b: "We Can Work it Out" (7:07)
5. "Shield" (6:06)
6. "Anthem" (6:31)
7. "River Deep, Mountain High" (10:12)

As much as I love Purple, their early albums never thrilled me. It's really trippy, hippy stuff as compared to the in-your-face rock that Purple did with Gillan starting in 1970. Still, I do occassionally dig hearing some of these old tunes. I was planning on picking up the Spitfire re-issue of this disc since it contains several bonus tracks and is supposedly remastered. I found this copy for $1 and decided it would do until the time I get the re-issue. $1, geez, what were they thinking? "Book of Taliesyn" contains three covers, the best of which is, of course, Neil Diamond's "Kentucky Woman." Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High" sounds nothing like the original, which is cool. "We Can Work It Out" is a Beatles cover that I could have lived without.

The Gemini Suite Deep Purple - The Gemini Suite (Purple Pyramid) 1998

1. "First Movement: Guitar Voice" (17:22)
2. "Second Movement: Organ Bass" (10:18)
3. "Third Movement: Drums Finale" (16:50)

John Lord's 'Gemini Suite' recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall in September of 1970. This cd version of the classic concert is a very nice collector's disc, complete with limited edition gold cd, poster, full color insert with extensive liner notes and photos all wrapped up with a nice slipcase. As for the music, well it certainly isn't the normal Deep Purple experience, nor was it ever intended to be. According to the liner notes and quotes from John Lord, this was suppose to be an experimental project and nothing else. Apparently while working on "In Rock" the band was at the same time practicing for this concert. Each of the three movements were designed with a particular instrument in mind, as is apparent by the titles. Each is fantasitic, with my favorite movement being the final drum piece. Excellent! Must also mention that this was one of the earliest recording with 'new' vocalist Ian Gillan. I found this cd for a mere $4.99. Can't beat that.

In Rock Deep Purple - In Rock (Warner Bros.) 1970

1."Speed King" (4:18)
2."Bloodsucker" (4:12)
3."Child in Time" (10:15)
4."Flight of the Rat" (7:52)
5."Into the Fire" (3:29)
6."Living Wreck" (4:30)
7."Hard Lovin' Man" (7:10)

The first album with Ian Gillan, which defined the band's sound for years to come. Excellent! One of their best albums ever. Actually much of their material before this disc, was more obscure and a bit more psychadelic.

Fireball Deep Purple - Fireball (Warner Bros.) 1971

1. "Fireball" (3:26)
2. "No No No" (6:54)
3. "Demon's Eye" (5:21)
4. "Anyone's Daughter" (4:43)
5. "The Mule" (5:22)
6. "Fools" (8:20)
7. "No One Came" (6:26)
BONUS TRACKS
8. "Strange Kind of Woman" (a-side remix) (4:06)
9. "I'm Alone" (b-side) (3:08)
10. "Freedom" (album out-take) (3:35)
11. "Slow Train" (album out-take) (5:36)
12. "Demon's Eye" (remix) (6:20)
13. The Noise Abatement Society Tapes" [instrumental] (4:16)
14. "Fireball" [instrumental] (Take 1) (4:08)
15. "Backward Piano" [instrumental] (:55)
16. "No One Came" (remix) (6:23)
Deep Purple

After releasing a groundbreaking album like 'In Rock,' you'd think that Deep Purple would have went for the same formula and release a mirror-image album, but this just was not the case. "Fireball" is a landmark, creative album mixing elements of blues, psychadelia, heavy metal and, uh, down-home hillbilly music. Always liked the humerous, hillbilly sounds of "Anyone's Daughter." Most of the music on here does rock hard though, with at least five tracks from the original release giving warning to what would come a year later. This awesome 25 year special edition cd contains tons of bonus material and a 28 page booklet with loads of photos and notes by Roger Glover. Excellent!

Wargasm covered "Fireball".

Machine Head Deep Purple - Machine Head (Warner Bros.) 1972

1."Highway Star" (6:05)
2."Maybe I'm a Leo" (4:51)
3."Pictures of Home" (5:03)
4."Never Before" (3:56)
5."Smoke on the Water" (5:40)
6."Lazy" (7:19)
7."Space Truckin'" (4:31)

This is one of THE GREATEST heavy metal albums ever recorded--pure and simple! Some even credit this album with starting the heavy metal revolution that swept through the 70's and 80's. Regardless, I have loved this album since I was a kid. Always liked the cover too. Ian Gillan's voice is simply outrageous. No one can sing and scream quite like him. Of course, Blackmore is a guitar legend and "Machine Head" features some of his most inventive licks.

Metal Church did an excellent cover of "Highway Star"; Impelliteri and Stryper also covered "Highway Star." Vengeance Rising pulled off a thrash metal version of "Space Truckin'". Metalium and Vains of Jenna have covered "Smoke on the Water."

Ritchie Blackmore
Ritchie Blackmore

Made in Japan Deep Purple - Made in Japan-The Remastered Edition (Warner Bros.) 1973

DISC ONE
1. "Highway Star" (6:42)
2. "Child in Time" (12:18)
3. "Smoke on the Water" (7:37)
4. "The Mule (drum solo)" (9:28)
5. "Strange Kind of Woman" (9:52)
6. "Lazy" (10:27)
7. "Space Truckin'" (19:53)

DISC TWO
1. "Black Night" (6:17)
2. "Speed King" (7:25)
3. "Lucille" (8:03)

On the heels of one of the greatest studio albums of all time, comes one of the greatest live albums. I love live albums, especially by 70's bands, as they tended to extend the songs into long jams. This is especially true of Deep Purple. Also the live atmosphere tended to beef up the sound a bit. The album was recorded live over three nights during 15–17 August 1972 at Kōsei Nenkin Kaikan in Osaka and at Budokan in Tokyo, Japan, hence the album titled. The tracks mostly come from "Machine Head" with only a handful of songs from earlier platters.

This double record set was originally re-released on CD as a single disc but was later remastered and reissued as a two disc version. Originally I had the single disc version which I held onto for years. I finally got the two disc version for only $2.50 through BMG. Can't beat that. This "25th Anniversary" remastered edition adds the bonus disc with 3 encore tracks.

Burn Deep Purple - Burn (Warner Bros./Rhino) 1974

1."Burn" (6:00)
2."Might Just Take Your Life" (4:36)
3."Lay Down, Stay Down" (4:15)
4."Sail Away" (5:48)
5."You Fool No One" (4:47)
6."What's Goin' on Here" (4:55)
7."Mistreated" (7:25)
8.""A" 200" [instrumental] (3:51)
BONUS TRACKS
9. "Coronarias Redig" [2004 remix] (5:30)
10. "Burn" [2004 remix] (6:00)
11. "Mistreated" [2004 remix] (7:28)
12. "You Fool No One" [2004 remix] (4:57)
13. "Sail Away" [2004 remix] (5:37)

Another fabulous album from a band that seemed to be disintegrating at the time. David Coverdale (vocals) and Glenn Hughes (bass/vocals) joined the band at this point and the music became heavier and a bit bluesier. Many said it helped to revitalize the band. This could be true since there are many excellent songs here, including the title track, "Might Just Take Your Life", and the classic blues jam "Mistreated," which has been kept alive by Dio and Glenn Hughes over the years. Despite the fact that the band had two vocalists, I have a hard time telling them apart. Both Glenn and David have similar tones and styles. "Mistreated" is the only song that David Coverdale sung by himself. The 2004 "anniversary" re-issue contains several bonus tracks, most of which are remixes of songs already on the original CD. However, the overall mastering is far better on this Rhino reissue than on the original Warner Brothers CD release. The new booklet contains 24 full color pages with tons of photos and an in depth biography.

W.A.S.P. recorded a cover of "Burn"

The Originals Deep Purple - The Originals Vol. 2.: Who Do We Think We Are/Stormbringer/Come Taste the Band

Who Do We Think We ARe Stormbringer Come Taste The Band

Who Do We Think We Are 1973

1. "Woman from Tokyo" (5:50)
2. "Mary Long" (4:25)
3. "Super Trouper" (2:56)
4. "Smooth Dancer" (4:10)
5. "Rat Bat Blue" (5:23)
6. "Place in Line" (6:31)
7. "Our Lady" (5:12)

Stormbringer 1974

1. "Stormbringer" (4:03)
2. "Love Don't Mean a Thing" (4:23)
3. "Holy Man" (4:28)
4. "Hold On" (5:05)
5. "Lady Double Dealer" (3:19)
6. "You Can't Do it Right (With the One You Love)" (3:24)
7. "High Ball Shooter" (4:26)
8. "The Gypsy" (4:13)
9. "Soldier of Fortune" (3:14)

Come Taste the Band 1975

1. "Comin' Home" (3:52)
2. "Lady Luck" (2:45)
3. "Gettin' Tighter" (3:36)
4. "Dealer" (3:49)
5. "I Need Love" (4:22)
6. "Drifter" (4:01)
7. "Love Child" (3:05)
8. "This Time Around"/
"Owed to 'G'" [instrumental] (6:07)
9. "You Keep on Moving" (5:18)

All three of these cds are part of a box set called "The Originals Vol. 2." All the CDs come with sleeves which are miniture replicas of the original vinyl packaging.

Who Do We Think We Are
"Who Do We Think We Are" is the follow-up to the ground breaking "Machine Head." I cannot even begin to imagine the pressure the band must have been under to follow-up such a stellar release. On top of this by 1973-74 both Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin were also breaking ground in what was then being labeled Heavy Metal. (Of course by today's standards, these albums are considered hard rock rather than heavy metal). I suppose that pressure caused this album to be a disappointment in the eyes of most, and this ended up being the last output of the classic Mach II line-up. The album did have a single in "Woman from Tokyo" but overall, this disc does not stand up to the last three. That is not to say the album 'sucks.' Far from that. It's just that when the standard is set so high, it's hard to hit that standard with every release. "Rat Blue Rat" is
another fine example. This song could have been included on 'Machine Head' and would have fit in perfectly. Perhaps what I am trying to say is that 'Who Do We Think We Are' is not a consistant all the way through as past albums were.

"Rat Bat Blue" has been covered by Helloween.

Stormbringer
How do you follow-up a fantastic bluesy hard rock and heavy metal album like "Burn"? In the case of Deep Purple Mach III it's with an album that is more soul and funk based than hard rock or heavy metal. Apparently during the pre-production for "Stormbringer" Ritchie Blackmore requested the band cover an old Quatermass track called "Black Sheep of the Family", which didn't go over well with the rest of the band. As such, he took a back seat in the studio allowing David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes and Jon Lord to do most of the writing. The resulting album is one based on soul and funk, which had only been hinted at one the previous albums. So while "Burn" was an excellent album showcasing a band revitalized by it's new members,  "Stormbringer" has the new members taking over the band. 

The closest the band really gets to heavy metal is the upbeat title track that leads off the album. "Lady Double Dealer" also stands out as one of the albums more memorable tracks. The song has a wicked guitar solo from Blackmore. Other songs like "You Can't Do It Right" are pure funk. Instead of a gnarly keyboards and a nasty guitar lick the song is built around a funky bass line and features a keyboard solo from Jon Lord. "Holy Man" is a more mellow and soulful song. Both David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes do a fine job in the vocal department, adding to the soulful feel of the album. For the most part the two share vocal duties, except on "Soldier of Fortune" which is sung by Coverdale, and "Holy Man" which is sung by Hughes. 

Truth be told, I didn't quite get into this album like I did much of the past Purple albums. Over the years I have begun to appreciate it more and more, though it still wouldn't rank in my top list of Deep Purple classics. "Stormbringer" sports one of the band's best album covers. 

"Stormbringer" was released in sort time in December 1974 not even a full year after "Burn". It was the second release from the Mach III line-up and their last as well. Blackmore left soon after and followed his own muse by recording the Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow solo album in early 1975, backed by members of Elf, the band that had supported Deep Purple on the prior tour. 


Come Taste the Band
Exit Ritchie Blackmore who went on to join Ronnie James Dio and Elf to record the first Rainbow album. Enter Tommy Bolin. Bolin proves he is every bit the guitarist that Blackmore was, although there is no replacing the charisma of the original. Cuts like "Dealer," "Lady Luck" and "You Keep On Moving" prove the band was far from down and out. Still, as with any of the post-Gillan discs, I don't think you can honestly put these discs on the same level as those.

Made in Europe Deep Purple - Made in Europe (Metal Blade) 1976

1. "Burn" (7:31)
2. "Mistreated" (11:42)
3. "Lady Double Dealer" (4:19)
4. "You Fool No One" (16:44)
5. "Stormbringer" (5:33)

'Made in Europe' is a live recording of the Mach III-era Deep Purple with David Coverdale on vocals and Glenn Hughes on bass and vocals. Apparently this disc is a compilation of songs, taking the best from the band's last three concerts in Europe with Ritchie Blackmore. Certainly this is yet another fine live album full of lengthy jams and extended versions. However, I just think that Ian Gillan is a stronger and more charismatic singer than Coverdale, although I have always like Glen Hughes vocals and especially his bass playing. Therefore, I cannot say that this album is as strong as 'Made In Japan' but it still a great live testament, closing out yet another chapter in the career of one of the most influencial rock bands ever.

In Concert Deep Purple - Deep Purple in Concert (King Biscuit) 1995

DISC ONE
1. "Burn" (8:15)
2. "Lady Luck" (3:12)
3. "Gettin' Tighter" (13:41)
4. "Love Child" (5:49)
5. "Smoke on the Water/Georgia on My Mind" (8:58)
6. "Lazy/The Grind (featuring organ & drum solos)" (22:31)

DISC TWO
1. "This Time Around" (7:05)
2. "Tommy Bolin (guitar solo)" (10:31)
3. "Stormbringer" (10:27)
4. "Highway Star/Not Fade Away" (7:17)
5. "I'm Going Down" (7:29)
6. "Highway Star" (5:35)
7. "Smoke on the Water" (6:44)
8. "Georgia on My Mind" (2:52)

This set features one of the last concerts from the Tommy Bolin-era recorded in '76. The material was taken primarily from two concerts; Jan 26, 1976 in Springfield, MA and Feb. 27, 1976 in Long Beach, CA. Some of this disc has a distinct Whitesnake-vibe, although there is no mistaking classics like "Highway Star" and "Burn." As with most Purple concerts, this one is very bluesy, with long, drawn-out solos, which really makes these live discs an interesting listen in my opinion. The last 4 tracks on disc 2 are bonus tracks, but why they decided to use the same songs from a different concert is a mystery? I mean, a band with such a wealth of great material to chose from surely had some other songs with Bolin, Coverdale and Hughes they could have used.

This Time Around Deep Purple - This Time Around: Live in Tokyo '75 (CMC International) 2001

DISC ONE
1. "Burn" (8:38)
2. "Lady Luck" (3:31)
3. "Love Child" (5:00)
4. "Gettin' Tighter" (16:52)
5. "Smoke on the Water/Georgia on My Mind" (10:14)
6. "Wild Dogs" (6:05)
DISC TWO
7. "I Need Love" (5:47)
8. "Soldier of Fortune" (1:47)
9. "Jon Lord Solo" (9:43)
10. "Lazy/Drum Solo" (13:34)
11. "This Time Around" (3:38)
12. "Owed to G" (3:29)
13. "Tommy Bolin Guitar Solo" (7:09)
14. "Drifter" (5:55)
15. "You Keep on Moving" (6:38)
16. "Stormbringer" (10:08)
17. "Highway Star" (7:29)

Man, does any band have as many live albums as Deep Purple? Every time I look around I find another one. I already have three from this same tour. Well, such is the life of a cd collector and Deep Purple fan. This was the Mark IV lineup of Deep Purple, once again featuring vocalist David Coverdale, guitarist Tommy Bolin, keyboardist Jon Lord, bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes, and drummer Ian Paice. Deep Purple's last concerts in Japan occurred in December 1975, and sadly Tommy Bolin's severe drug and alcohol addiction would kill him one year later. The final Japanese show was recorded and released in that country in an edited form in 1977. Finally in 2001 CMC released this two-CD set "This Time Around: Live in Tokyo '75" which captures the entire concert with remixed/remastered sound and a very nice booklet with detailed liner notes (including two essays) and great live shots of the band. As with the other live discs from this era of the band, there are highlights, including "Wild Dogs" as sung by Tommy Bolin and a smokin' rendition of "Getting Tighter." However there are disappointments as well, the biggest of which is the horrible medley of "Smoke on the Water" with "Georgia On My Mind" in which Hughes and Coverdale attempt and fail to sing together. Also, on "Lazy/I Need Love" and especially "Highway Star" David Coverdale's vocals sound a bit tattered and torn. A a co-worker said as I was playing this CD at work, "Pick a key, any key." However, being that I really enjoy how Purple always featured the extended jams live, I really enjoy this disc.

Last Concert in Japan Deep Purple - Last Concert in Japan (Purple Records) 1978

1. Burn
2. Love Child
3. You Keep On Moving
SIDE TWO
4. Lady Luck
5. Smoke on the Waters
6. Soldier of Fortune
7. Highway Star

Recorded live in Japan in 1975, this collection of songs is taken from the same tour as the "This Time Around: Live in Tokyo '75" CD listed above. However, I cannot tell if it's from the same concert or not. The album cover on this vinyl release has this album being recorded on December 15, 1975 as Budo-Kan. Though this seven song collection is obviously not the entire show, the short single album set includes some of the better songs from the concert and is a nice collector's album.

Perfect Strangers Deep Purple - Perfect Strangers (Warner Bros.) 1984

1."Knocking at Your Back Door" (7:04)
2."Under the Gun" (4:38)
3."Nobody's Home" (3:59)
4."Mean Streak" (4:21)
5."Perfect Strangers" (5:28)
6."A Gypsy's Kiss" (5:12)
7."Wasted Sunsets" (3:55)
8."Hungry Daze" (4:58)
9."Not Responsible" (4:47)
10."Son of Alerik" [instrumental] (10:07)

In 1984 the classic "Mach II" lineup of Gillan, Blackmore, Lord, Glover & Paice reformed and record this comeback album. It was the first Deep Purple studio album in nearly nine years, and the first with this classic lineup in eleven years, the last being Who Do We Think We Are in 1973. The band came together with Ritchie Blackmore and Roger Glover departing from Rainbow, Ian Gillan from Black Sabbath, Jon Lord from Whitesnake, and Ian Paice from Gary Moore's band. "Perfect Strangers" has my vote for one of the greatest comeback albums of all time! Pure heavy rock and roll brilliance. The album generated several singles including the title track, "Nobody's Home" and "Knocking at Your Back Door", all of which are still played regularly on classic rock radio.

The CD version of the album contains the extra track "Not Responsible", not available on the vinyl version (which I also own). The song "Son of Alerik"  was not on the original cassette, vinyl or CD release and was formerly only available as an edited 7" B-side, or full version on the 12" of the "Perfect Strangers" single.

Dream Theater covered "Perfect Strangers."

Ian Gillan
Ian Gillan

The House of Blue Light Deep Purple - The House of Blue Light (Mercury) 1987

1."Bad Attitude" (5:03)
2."The Unwritten Law" (4:54)
3."Call of the Wild" (4:48)
4."Mad Dog" (4:35)
5."Black & White" (4:39)
6."Hard Lovin' Woman" (3:24)
7."The Spanish Archer" (5:31)
8."Strangeways" (7:35)
9."Mitzi Dupree" (5:05)
10."Dead or Alive" (4:59)

"The House of Blue Light" is the twelfth studio album by Deep Purple and was released in 1987. It was the second recording by the re-formed and highly successful Mark II lineup, and would be their last for a while as well. The band members were involved in some well publicized struggles with each other. Despite inner tensions, the follow up to the spectacular "Perfect Strangers" is nearly as good. The song writing is still brilliant however the updated sound, which was mostly due to the overly polished 1980's production, robbed the band of that raw sound they had been known for. With a slightly heavier, dirtier production this album would have been just that much better. It's pretty obvious that the band were trying to update their sound and stay relevant. As such, "The House of Blue Light" almost sounds slightly like 80's Rainbow with Ian Gillan on vocals. The album didn't generate nearly the buzz that "Perfect Strangers" had previously. As it stands, however, "The House of Blue Light" is still a highly enjoyable album.

Roger Glover
Roger Glover, 1987

Nobody's Perfect Deep Purple - Nobody's Perfect (Mercury) 1988

1. "Highway Star" (6:10)
2. "Strange Kind Of Woman" (7:35)
3. "Perfect Strangers" (6:25)
4. "Hard Lovin' Woman" (5:04)
5. "Knocking At Your Back Door" (11:24)
6. "Child In Time" (10:36)
7. "Lazy" (5:15)
8. "Black Night" (6:07)
9. "Woman From Tokyo" (4:00)
10. "Smoke On The Water" (7:46)
11. "Hush" [new studio recording] (3:32)

This CD has been on my want list for years. I use to own it on vinyl back in the day and loved it. However, I've been holding out purchasing the CD until I ran across the 2-CD version of this live platter. However, thanks to Lala.com I picked up this single disc version for $1.75 in the meantime. For just under $2 I can live without the two missing tracks. Unfortunately when this album came out the record labeled pulled one of those games where different formats had different track listings. The original single CD release had only 12 tracks, the 2 LP version added "Bad Attitude" and the cassette included the track "Dead or Alive". In 1999 "Nobody's Perfect" was re-released on CD with all 14 tracks. So, this CD is still one my want list for the time being.

The music itself is just a blast. The band was rejuvenated and seemed like they were just enjoying themselves on the stage. although it is well known that they were re-living history with inner tensions and squabbles. Still, the energy and enthusiasm the band has on stage comes across well. There is plenty of silly banter and a few odd intro jams on songs that make it obvious the band was having a bit of fun. "Strange Kind of Woman" includes a brief excerpt of the "Jesus Christ Superstar" chorus. (Ian Gillian had performed Jesus on the original Broadway recording.) As well, "Woman from Tokyo" ends with an impromptu Buddy Holly medley. The set list is mostly crammed full of 'classic' material and peppered with a few newer songs. It's sort of funny hearing the crowd reaction to these songs as opposed to the older material. The crowd reaction is much more enthusiastic to the "classic" songs rather than they are to the newer material, which is sort of a shame as their new material at this point was great. The album closes with a a new studio version of the late-60s hit "Hush". "Nobody's Perfect" probably won't top "Made in Japan" for most fans. However, both live albums capably capture the band at a spot in their long history.

Slaves & Masters Deep Purple - Slaves & Masters (RCA) 1990

1."King of Dreams" (5:30)
2."The Cut Runs Deep" (5:42)
3."Fire in the Basement" (4:43)
4."Truth Hurts" (5:14)
5."Breakfast in Bed" (5:16)
6."Love Conquers All" (3:47)
7."Fortuneteller" (5:45)
8."Too Much is Not Enough" (4:19)
9."Wicked Ways" (6:35)

"Slaves and Masters" is the thirteenth studio album by Deep Purple, and was released in 1990. The album featured vocalist Joe Lynn Turner, who had replaced Ian Gillan the previous year and was once the lead singer of Blackmore's post-Purple band Rainbow. With vocals by Joe Lynn Turner, this album sound more like Rainbow than Deep Purple. When it was first released I was a bit disappointed. Ian Gillan just seemed to be such an intregal part of the band and that was missing. Of course the fact that he was one of my favorite vocalists ever played a part in that as well. Because of this, I never picked up a new copy of "Slaves & Masters" and simply never even gave it a chance. Several years later, I stumbled across a used copy that was ultra-cheap and decided to grab it to round out the collection. I listened for the first time and discovered and album that was not nearly as bad as I throught it would be. The albums opener "King of Dreams" is excellent. However, the band were obviously still trying to stay relevant and had updated their sound. John Lord carries much of the tunes with Blackmore soloing over top. His Strat not nearly as prominent in the mix as it could be. The lyrics are riddled with those late 80's hair metal clichés. However "King of Dreams" is an underrated classic form the Purple catalog while "Fortuneteller", for which the album cover is derived is pure drivel.

Deep Purple - The Battle Rages On (Giant) 1993

1. "Battle Rages On" (5:55)
2. "Lick It Up" (3:59)
3. "Anya" (6:31)
4. "Talk About Love" (4:07)
5. "Time to Kill" (5:48)
6. "Ramshackle Man" (5:33)
7. "Twist in the Tale" (4:16)
8. "Nasty Piece of Work" (4:35)
9. "Solitaire" (4:41)
10. "One Man's Meat" (4:38)

"The Battle Rages On..." is Deep Purple's fourth new studio album after getting back together (AGAIN?!?). This disc also marked the return of lead singer Ian Gillan, once again, who had ditched out in 1989. (as well as several other times before and after this disc) Unfortunately, this album was a bit of a mistep for Deep Purple with Ian Gillan mixed way back in the mix and the songs sounding more like pop rock than classic Purple. This may be why both Ian Gillan and Ritchie Blackmore left shortly after this one was released. Of course, they both eventually came back again, then left, oh wait, then they came back again.. (-:

Perpendicular Deep Purple - Purpendicular (Prominent) 1996

1. "Vavoom: Ted the Mechanic" (4:16)
2. "Loosen My Strings" (5:57)
3. "Soon Forgotten" (4:47)
4. "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" (7:29)
5. "Cascades: I'm Not Your Lover" (4:43)
6. "Aviator" (5:20)
7. "Rosa's Cantina" (5:10)
8. "Castle Full of Rascals" (5:11)
9. "Touch Away" (4:36)
10. "Hey Cisco" (5:53)
11. "Somebody Stole My Guitar" (4:09)
12. "Purpendicular Waltz" (4:45)

Roger Glover & Steve Morse

This is a fabulous Deep Purple record. Apparently guitarist Steve Morse (ex-Dixie Dreggs/Kansas) sparked a bit of a fire under the band's butt. This album comes twenty-eight years after the band's inception and is the most creative Deep Purple record of the 90's, and possibly the 80's as well. OK, nothing will be able to surpass "Machine Head" but this one is pretty darn good. Check out the finger snapping, head busting "Hey Ciso," or the acoustic "The Aviator," or the guarantee-to-be-a classic "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming." "Somebody Stole My Guitar" shows that the band still has a sense of humor. I gave this one a shot after reading a stellar review in a magazine. Otherwise I would never have touched a Purple album without Ritchie Blackmore. Held out for a used cpy, found one a few months later for $5.99.

Abandon Deep Purple - Abandon (CMC International) 1998

1. "Any Fule Kno That" (4:27)
2. "Almost Human" (4:49)
3. "Don't Make Me Happy" (4:45)
4. "Seventh Heaven" (5:29)
5. "Watching the Sky" (5:57)
6. "Fingers to the Bone" (4:53)
7. "Jack Ruby" (3:47)
8. "She Was" (4:17)
9. "Whatsername" (4:11)
10. "'69" (5:13)
11. "Evil Louie" (4:50)

I know I will probably be chastised for saying this, but I really think that Ritchie Blackmore leaving Deep Purple was the best thing to happen to the band in the 90's. This album is almost as enjoyable as "Purpendicular." "Abandon" is a slightly harder rocking album than its predecessor, however. Steve Morse is a fabulous guitarist and really adds a lot to the sound, sometimes giving the band a neo-progressive sound. The other thing that I must mention, to Purple's credit, is that they do not sit back and rely on their past hits to sell albums. There are no acoustic versions or re-recorded songs on this disc, although I probably would not have minded even if they had. Many bands from the 70's continue to tour but few are still writing quality new material. I'm not sure that this disc will win over to many new fans, but die-hards like myself, are loving the revitalized material.

Oh, one other thing I must mention about this album, I paid a premium price for it through BMG to fulfill my one CD a year obligation to them. With shipping the disc cost me almost $20. OUCH! Oh well, I get a bunch of free ones for buying it. At least the disc will get plenty of spin time, so I will get my $20 worth.

Abandon Live Deep Purple - Total Abandon Australia '99 (Eagle Records) 1999/2012

1. Ted the Mechanic (4:50)
2. Strange Kind of Woman (6:23)
3. Bloodsucker (4:56)
4. Pictures of Home (8:19)
5. Almost Human (6:16)
6. Woman from Tokyo (6:47)
7. Watching the Sky (5:46)
8. Fireball (4:44)
9. Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming (7:11)
10. Smoke on the Water (9:01)
11. Black Night (6:21)
12. Highway Star (7:16)

Total Abandon: Australia '99" was originally issued as a double live CD and DVD and released in 1999 in Europe and Australia only. The North American pressing didn't come out until 2012 and is a single disc version with cherry picked songs from the original 16 song release. The songs were recorded at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia on April, 20 1999 on the "Abandon" tour. Deleted from this disc is a nearly fifteen minute long version of "Speed King", a nearly nine minute rendition of "Lazy", as well as "Perfect Strangers". Thankfully whoever picked the tracks for this single disc CD did leave in some of the newer songs such as "Ted The Mechanics", "Bloodsucker" and "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming". These tracks paired up against the classic tracks prove that the Steve Morse-era of Deep Purple is recording music that is every bit as good as the old Blackmore material. It's a shame that people would rather hear "Smoke on the Water" a thousand times and never hear great songs like those listed.

The band sounds fantastic, as does Ian Gillan whose voice never seems to age. The only song where I really heard him struggle was "Highway Star" which features some high, screaming vocals. One of the best parts of hearing (and seeing) Deep Purple live is that they jam. They don't just play the songs like you hear them on the record but they elaborate, extend and jam. For example, "Pictures of Home" features a jazz-inspired jam in the middle of the song. "Smoke on the Water" opens up with the band jamming a few bars of favorites from Cream, Zeppelin and Hendrix

I'm glad this one was finally released in the U.S.. It's just a shame we didn't get the whole album. Somehow I just feel like I was ripped off! Frankly I would have rather have had "Lazy" or "Speed King" than yet another version of "Smoke on the Water". Between Deep Purple, Gillan, the Ian Gillan Band and even Black Sabbath I probably have 100 different versions of that song.

Friends & Relatives Deep Purple - Friends and Relatives (Purple Pyramid) 1999

DISC ONE
1. "Black Night" [live] -Deep Purple (7:36)
2. "Paint It Black/drum solo" [live] -Deep Purple (9:39)
3. "I Got It Covered" -Glenn Hughes (5:38)
4. "Scarabus" -Ian Gillan (4:54)
5. "Man On The Silver Mountain" [live] -Dio (2:26)
6. "Hole in the Sky" -David Coverdale (3:20)
7. "Gut Reaction" -Ian Gillan (3:37)
8. "Slipstreaming" -Nick Simper (4:24)
9. "You 'N' Me" -Bernie Masden (2:52)
10. "Hang Me Out To Dry" -Ian Gillan (4:01)
11. "Ritual" -Warhorse (4:03)
12. "Seagull" [live] -Trapeze (8:06)
13. "Do You Close Your Eyes?" [live] -Rainbow (9:42)
DISC TWO
1. "Smoke On the Water" [live] -Deep Purple (10:24)
2. "Stormbringer" [live] -Deep Purple (4:45)
3. "The Mob Rules" [live] -Dio (3:38)
4. "My Kind of Woman" [live] -Moody Marsden (6:09)
5. "She Took My Breath Away" -Gillan & Glover (4:34)
6. "Message in A Bottle" -Gillan (3:10)
7. "Whitesnake" -David Coverdale (4:17)
8. "Shake the Devil" [live] -Tommy Bolin (5:39)
9. "Hunter of the Heart" [live] -Dio (4:50)
10. "Clear Air Turbulance" -Ian Gillan Band (7:35)
11. "Time & Again" -David Coverdale (4:00)
12. "Way Back to the Bone" [live] -Trapeze (7:08)
13. "Kill the King" [live] -Rainbow (5:31)

A CD collection of live tracks, rarities and solo outings from various people who have had some connection to Deep Purple through the years. More of a CD for Deep Purple collectors and completists than anything I think anyone would spend much time listening to. While there is a great deal of talent and many good songs on this disc, the variety in styles and production from track to track makes it a hard listen. I think a few of these artists are a stretch as well. While Dio was with Ritchie Blackmore in Rainbow, he was never a member of Deep Purple that I am aware of. Same holds true for Bernie Marsden who was a member of Whitesnake with David Coverdale, but was never directly connected to Deep Purple. However, this collection does make for an interesting listen the first time through and is a nice history lesson on Deep Purple. The two CDs themselves are pressed on gold discs and the booklet has some interesting liner notes.

Days May Come Deep Purple - Days May Come & Days May Go: The California Rehearsals (Purple Records) 2000

1.      Owed to 'G' (3:30)
2.      If You Love Me Woman (10:08)
3.      The Orange Juice Song (3:35)
4.      I Got Nothing for You (12:52)
5.      Statesboro' Blues (5:53)
6.      Dance to the Rock 'n' Roll (11:02)
7.      Drfiter (rehearsal sequence) (3:28)
8.      Drifter (version 1) (4:02)
9.      Last of the Long Jams (9:01)
10.     I Got You Babe (1:05)

"Days May Come" is a unique CD in the Purple catalog. It gives fans a look inside the machine. The band at this point featured original members Ian Paice (drums) and Jon Lord (keybords) along with David Coverdale (vocals), Glenn Hughes (bass/vocals) and new guitarist Tommy Bolin. The CD is a collection of song ideas and jams that were recorded three weeks after Tommy Bolin had joined the band in 1975. Recorded at Robert Simon's Pirate Sound studios, this was the band sitting around a studio coming up with ideas for new songs, showing off their talents and working in their new guitarist. There are several songs clocking in at around or over ten minutes, which are nothing more than lengthy, improvisational jams. Some of these ideas would eventually work their way into song for Purple's "Come Taste the Band" album. This CD is actually part 1, as there was a second CD released titled "1420 Beachwood Drive: The 1975 Rehearsals, Volume 2". The booklet that came with the CD is 24-pages and packed with biography information, liner notes and classic photos from these sessions.

Bananas Deep Purple - Bananas (EMI) 2003

1. "House Of Pain" (3:34)
2. "Sun Goes Down" (4:10)
3. "Haunted" (4:22)
4. "Razzle Dazzle" (3:28)
5. "Silver Tongue" (4:03)
6. "Walk On" (7:04)
7. "Picture Of Innocence" (5:11)
8. "I Got Your Number" (6:01)
9. "Never A Word" (3:46)
10. "Bananas" (4:51)
11. "Doing It Tonight" (3:28)
12. "Contact Lost" (1:27)

Deep Purple

For a band that has been around since the 1960's, it's amazing that Deep Purple are still putting out such quality studio releases. Many bands from the 1970's seem to be living on live albums, past hits, and touring on nostalgia alone, but Purple forge ahead. Granted, "Bananas" may not be the groundbreaking heavy metal of "Machine Head" but it's still an excellent hard rock record. I was fortunate to see the band on this tour, so I got to hear a few of these songs live before purchasing the disc. Steve Morse is a very different guitar player than Ritchie Blackmore, but it is his tone and style that brings to life some of these later day Purple albums. Jon Lord has stepped aside, but the band brings in veteran Don Airey to fill the keyboard spot. "Pictures of Innocence" is one of the standout cuts here with Airey sounding much like Lord. "Haunted" is another standout track. This song is a ballad that is best described by it's title. Ian Gillan is still one of rock's greatest vocalists. His lyrics are funny and intelligent and can be biting at times. Overall, probably not Purple's crowning achievement, but still a solid platter from these veteren rockers.

Rapture of the Deep Deep Purple - Rapture of the Deep (Edel Records) 2005

1. "Back to Back" (4:04)
2. "Before Time Began" (6:29)
3. "Clearly Quite Absurd" (5:27)
4. "Don¹t Let Go" (4:33)
5. "Girls Like That" (4:02)
6. "Rapture of the Deep" (5:57)
7. "MTV" (4:55)
8. "Money Talks" (5:34)
9. "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye" (4:19)
10. "Junkyard Blues" (5:32)
11. "Things I Never Said" (4:39)
12. "Wrong Man" (4:55)

Deep Purple's "Rapture of the Deep" continues in the same mode that the band has been following since the 1996 album "Purpendicular". This is the second CD release fom the line-up of vocalist: Ian Gillan, guitarist: Steve Morse, bass guitarist: Roger Glover, drummer: Ian Paice, and keyboardist: Don Airey, who replaced longtime keyboardist Jon Lord. Of course, Gillan's signature voice and his lyrical approach are undeniable as always, but it's Steve Morse's guitar work that really makes this album stand out. Of course as much as Gillan has a signature sound, so did guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. As such, it is impossible to compare this to any work with Blackmore. Regardless, no Deep Purple fan can deny the strong guitar work or the superb riffs of "Money Talks" or "Wrong Man". The standout cut on here is "MTV" which is a venom-spewing cut on modern media and music industry. Excellent lyrics, although it seems that Gillan might be taking a stab at the very people that support the band by also criticising classic rock radio. His beef is that these stations need to play new music by classic artists. A valid criticism in my opinion and one of the main reasons I don't listen to the radio. The local stations in my area seem to thing that Deep Purple haven't written a new song since the 1984 reunion record "Perfect Strangers". I found the last part of the song particularly funny where Gillan criticizes DJs for getting facts incorrects and avoiding any sort of meaningful discussion about the artist's newer music. The clever part about this verse is that you will have to be a true fan to really understand it. "Rapture of the Deep" is not groundbreaking, but any fan who has enjoyed the band's work since Steve Morse has come on board shouldn't be disappointed. Also, don't miss them live. I saw them on the "Bananas" tour last year and they were excellent. Gillan is still a powerhouse!

Deep Purple - Live at Montreux 1996/In Concert with the London Symphony Orchestra (Recall) 2007

DISC ONE
1. "Fireball" (3:50)
2. "Ted The Mechanic" (4:27)
3. "Pictures of Home" (5:41)
4. "Black Night" (6:43)
5. "Woman from Tokyo" (5:21)
6. "No One Came" (5:06)
7. "When a Blind Man Cries" (7:29)
8. "Hey Cisco" (5:47)
9. "Speed King" (5:09)
10. "Smoke on the Water" (8:15)
BONUS TRACKS (from Montreux 2000)
11. "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" (6:46)
12. "Fools" (9:41)

DISC TWO
1. "Pictured Within" (8:36)
2. "Wait a While" (6:53)
3. "Sitting In a Dream" (3:52)
4. "Love Is All" (4:40)
5. "Via Miami" (5:08 )
6. "That's Why God Is Singing the Blues" (3:49)
7. "Take It Off the Top" (4:40)
8. "Wring That Neck" (4:45)
9. "Pictures Of Home" (8:40)
10. "Concerto For the Group and Orchestra: Movement I" (16:37)

Deep Purple live is simply an outstanding event. Decades later, Deep Purple are still a force to be reckoned with on stage. "Live at Montreux 1996" is no exception. The performance is superb, as is the mix and mastering. Ian Gillan is one of the masters of heavy metal and hard rock vocals. Time hasn't hurt him one bit. He hit's every note here, including those super high notes in the second chorus during Woman from Tokyo. Glover and Paice are also at their finest here. However, it is Steve Morse who steals the show. He is a masterful guitarist well deserving of his place in Deep Purple history. The interplay between Morse and Lord in "Speed King" is fantastic! The song selection here is good as well. I think the material from "Purpendicular" is criminally underrated and I wish more had been included here. Thankfully "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" from the bands 2000 performance at Montreux Jazz Festival was added. Including such fans favorites as "No One Came", "When A Blind Man Cries" and "Black Night" is also appreciated. Of course what would a Deep Purple concert be without "Smoke on the Water"? Geez, I think I must have fifty different versions of this song in my collection, and I'm still not tired of it. "Live at Montreux 1996" may be not match for the '73 classic "Made in Japan", but it does prove that Deep Purple are still a vital band over three decades later. Deep Purple's association with Montreux goes back to the early seventies, when their attempt to record their album "Machine Head" at the Montreux Casino was thwarted when it promptly burnt down, forcing them to make the album in the rooms and corridors of the Grand Hotel instead. The story was, of course, immortalized in their classic song "Smoke On The Water" which is the climax of the 1996 Montreux Jazz Festival concert.

Deep Purple's association with Montreux goes back to the early seventies, when their attempt to record their album "Machine Head" at the Montreux Casino was thwarted when it promptly burnt down, forcing them to make the album in the rooms and corridors of the Grand Hotel instead. The story was, of course, immortalized in their classic song "Smoke On The Water" which is the climax of the 1996 Montreux Jazz Festival concert.

This particular set is a 2CD collection and not only features the Montreux festival show, but also features a disc of material titled "In Concert with the London Symphony Orchestra" Recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall on September 25 and 26, 1999, this disc features Deep Purple's return to classical grandeur. The album features a host of guests including Ian Gillan sharing vocal duties with Ronnie James Dio and Sam Brown. The disc opens with John Lord's "Pictured Within". This soft piano ballad features a guest vocalist and is back by the orchestra. This is a pretty mellow affair. Ronnie James Dio comes out to sing the next two songs, "Sitting In A Dream" and "Love Is All", and both sound awesome. Dio certainly hasn't lost anything with age. After John Lord is finished with his showcase, Ian Gillan surfaced with his own "Via Miami". Steve Morris (not Steve Morse yet) comes on to play guitar on "That's Why God Is Singing The Blues". Morse then returns with the Steve Morse band to do The Dixie Dregs "Take It Off The Top". After all the guest artists and solo tracks, it's not until track 8 that Deep Purple take the stage with the orchestra and give us the last three songs. The 2-disc version of this album features the last two movements of "Concerto for the Group and Orchestra". I must confess, I much prefer Deep Purple when they are rockin' to this more mellow stuff. That's not to say it isn't good. I just prefer the music on disc one on this double CD.

Now What?! Deep Purple - Now What?! (Ear Music) 2013

1. A Simple Song (4:39)
2. Weirdistan (4:14)
3. Out Of Hand (6:09)
4. Hell To Pay (5:10)
5. Bodyline (4:26)
6. Above And Beyond (5:30)
7. Blood From A Stone (5:18)
8. Uncommon Man (7:02)
9. Après Vous (5:24)
10. All The Time In The World (4:21)
11. Vincent Price (4:46)
12. IT Will Be Me (3:04)

"Now What?!" is the nineteenth full-length studio album by the legendary British Rock band Deep Purple, it was their third studio album with Don Airy on Keyboards and their fifth with Steve Morse on guitar. Purple continue in the same musical direction as they have been since Steve Morse joined the band nearly twenty years ago. The general vibe of "Now What?!" seems to be a cross between "Perpendicular" and "Rapture of the Deep" with touches of early 70's Deep Purple, especially in some of the organ work. The music is mostly mid-tempo and in a progressive heavy rock style that I am sure Bob Ezrin played a big part in making happen. As such, "Now What?!" isn't an album that will likely hit people over the head on the first listen. The album takes a little bit of effort to really begin to appreciate, but I've always found that some of the best albums usually do require a few listens to really appreciate. 

Deep Purple have always been the kings of the jam, especially live. On "Now What!?" there are many songs that include extended instrumental sections, such as in "Hell to Pay" and "Après Vous", both featuring killer solos and brilliant introductions. "Uncommon Man", dedicated to the late Jon Lord, has a beautiful introduction. This particular song could have ben recorded by Yes. It's melodic, progressive and a bit different for Deep Purple. "Vincent Price" was one song that immediately caught my attention on the first listen. The song has a great hook and an interesting subject matter. For the most part, the music is melodic and heavy but ebbs and flows with some slower and mellower moments. Ian Gillan sounds as good as he ever has. He's not doing as much screaming like he did with Sabbath or Gillan, but his singing voice is still fantastic. 

"Now What?!" is probably the best Deep Purple album since "Purpendicular". It's a solid release and a great listen from beginning to end. 

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