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Deep Purple - Stormbringer CD (album) cover

STORMBRINGER

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

3.01 | 428 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars "The songs that I have sung echo in the distance, like the sound of a windmill going round"

When Blackmore and Gillan left Deep Purple to be replaced by Hughes and Coverdale, many people wondered whether the band would survive. The first release by the new line up, "Burn", proved to be highly reassuring as it incorporated many of the elements which had made previous albums so distinctive and appealing. Although Hughes in particular had brought with him a funkier style, the changes were subtle, and the vast majority of fans concluded that the future of the band they loved was secure.

"Stormbringer" therefore came as something of a shock. Suddenly, Deep Purple had veered away from the power rock we expected from them, into alternative territories. Whether responsibility for this lies entirely with Hughes is doubtful, but it is a matter of record that Ritchie Blackmore was unhappy with the change of direction, and left the band.

Significantly, the tracks are all short, the longest being a mere 5 minutes. The brevity of the tracks reflects the fact that there is no attempt whatsoever to come up with a feature track, every song being simple in structure and delivery.

The opening title track is actually rather deceptive. It has the driving rhythm and fantasy lyrics which featured on songs such as "Fireball" and "Burn", thus suggesting that this will be another Deep Purple album to satisfy the faithful. The song itself however is relatively weak when compared to past masters. All too soon though "Love don't mean a thing" introduces the funky, soul influenced sounds which dominate the album. The song is dull, uninspired and devoid of character. There is simply nothing about it which relates to the signature music of Deep Purple. Sadly, this sets the tone for the rest of the album which is a collection of ordinary pop songs with a soul/funk tinge.

There is one exception here, which is saved for the last track. Quite out of the blue, Blackmore and Coverdale come up with one of the finest rock ballads ever recorded. "Soldier of fortune", sung by Coverdale alone is a superbly evocative song with sensitive lyrics and a delightful melody. It is quite at odds with the rest of the album, but in its own right it is absolutely essential.

In summary, not an album for the Deep Purple faithful, or anyone else for that matter, but if it is the only way you can secure a copy of "Soldier of fortune", then it becomes essential.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |

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