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Deep Purple - Deep Purple In Rock CD (album) cover

DEEP PURPLE IN ROCK

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

4.34 | 1151 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
5 stars December 1970. I purchased "Whole Lotta Love", "Parano´d" and "Black Bight / Speed King" on the same day. A month later the album "Abraxas". I was almost 12 years old.

So, my first contact with the Deep was "Black Night". I never understood why this song was not included in the "In Rock" album but this nonsense was rectified with the 25 years anniversary version. A major line-up change here : Evans and Simper were sacked and replaced by Gilan / Glover.

Although I cannot judge for the bass playing, Gillan will bring a significant improvement in the vocals : from a boring, low-tone voice we are swithched to a brilliant, strong, violent and sweet at times lead vocalist.

"Speed King" has one the wildiest intro I have ever heard. This is 200% hard rock of the purest vein. Then, all of a sudden, we get one of the most classical and beautiful moment thanks to Jon who, as usual is very present but probably less than on the three previous Purple albums which were more prog oriented. It is one of their greatest track ever (with another twenty probably ...). On stage, it could often leads to a 15 to 20 minutes moment. But who will complain ?

"Bloodsucker" is another hard rock track like Purple will produce quite a few : good riff, a guitar solo, an organ solo ... But melody is weak and it lacks of rythm : too heavy.

"Child In Time".

What can I say about this one ? Another of the best Purple of course (top three). Probably one of the best ever rock song all times, all genres. Lord's intro misleads us and make us think that it will be a quiet and tranquil piece of music throughout those wonderful 10'18". Wrong, man !

It is only the intro to one of the best song you can imagine : a fabulous Gillan on vocals will lead this song to unknown limits. Evans could never have dreamed to achieve such result.

The song is built crescendo and the vocals part leads to the Ritchie's solo guitar which will remain one of the best in the rock history (probably equalled only by some Page ones - I'm not talking of pure guitar oriented bands like Jimi Hendrix Experience). Then again a short smooth break from Jon (a shorter version of the intro) and Gillan again for the most incredible vocal performance ever (comparable to Plant in "Immigrant Song" or "Since I've Been Loving You" maybe, but that's another story which I will outline extensively while reviewing Led Zep's entire catalogue). A fabulous song.

But when you listen to "Bombay Calling" from the Californian band It's a Beautiful Day, you'll know where Purple got his inspiration (to say the least).

B-side starts with "Flight Of The Rat". One of the most underated Purple song. No live versions to be found. Never did they play it. This is another highlight of "In Rock".

Almost eight minutes of wildest hard rock like they can produce. It is a "Highway Star" type song written almost two years before : fantastic riff, great rhythm work from Roger and Ian, a guitar solo, an organ one : typical Purple song but really this one surpassed all its like ones (except "Highway" star). It would have been a great experience to see how the band could have reproduced the song on stage. "Into the Fire" is another example of the Purple work. It is a predecessor to "No, No, No" from the "Fireball" album.

"Living Wreck" is also a good track : good guitar riff and melodious. It does not belong to their standards but would have been a highlight on lots of rock albums of the genre. It is amazing to notice that some of the vocal parts are almost similar than the one on "Smoke". I advise you to listen to both tracks one after the other (starting with "Living") : the exercise is amazing. This really means that "In Rock" is the essence of the Mark II sound and inspiration, no doubt about that.

"Hard Lovin' Man" is another lost marvel from their repertoire. No live work either for this one which is a pity since it is a superb song. Almost as good as "Flight Of The Rat". A great closing number. Jon's organ is outrageous. Ritchie's solo almost reached the level of his "Child In Time" one. The song has the typical struture I have already outlined. Ian is fabulous on the vocals. Great, great, great. The vocal parts also have influenced "Highway Star" (do the same excercise as mentioned above for "Living Wreck" and "Smoke" but this time with "Hard" and "Highway". The conclusion will be the same.

If this was not sufficient, the Deep issued a 25 years anniversary with a bonus CD that finally includes their hit single "Black Night" (number 4 in the UK), a piano version of "Speed King" (emasculated because the fabulous intro has been cut out. So you can start mixing your own one : piano oriented with the wild intro) ! Some remixes of existing songs: "Flight" which is rawer but still well achieved and pretty close to the final version and some "Studio Chats" (not very interesting). Finally, the leftover "Cry Free" which is not too bad.

There is also an extended version of "Black Night" with some Ritchie's soloing at the end. A pure marvel. This is the first album of a mythical trilogy "In Rock", "Fireball" and "Machine Head" which will be released in less than 24 months (only Led Zep will surpass this in producing their first four gigantic albums in a bit more than two years). Can you imagine this nowadays (2007)?

If you do not own this album there is only one thing for you to do : go and get it NOW ! NOW ! NOW ! NOW ! NOW ! (as Peter urges you to do in "The Musical Box").

It will peak at number 4 in the UK charts and incomprehensively only 143 in the US. As far as prog rock is concerned, there are three sections available here : one during "Speed King" (fifty seconds), and two in "Child in Time" (fifty-three seconds during the intro and thirty after the first break). Total : two minutes thirteen seconds.

This album will pave the way for a unique music genre : combining the wildiest rock with elements of classic. It is even more obvious in their live sets in which Jon will always integrate bits of his classical taste and talent.

Five stars of course.

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |

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