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Deep Purple - The Battle Rages On... CD (album) cover

THE BATTLE RAGES ON...

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

2.73 | 242 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Let's try to be friends one last time

Back came Ian Gillan, and the classic mark 2 line up was intact once again. The title has more than a hint of irony to it, leading to the suspicion that this reunion was very much for commercial reasons. This appears to be born out in the type of music which features here, which if I was being harsh I would describe as Deep Purple by the numbers.

The opening title track sets the tone for the album as a whole. Had it appeared on an album 20 years previously it would have sounded new and invigorated. It is a good enough song with fine lead guitar and strong organ work and Gillan in good form vocally. Unfortunately, there is little to differentiate it from what has gone before, and it lacks the real character of songs such as "Perfect Strangers" or "Black night".

When the band switch to Aerosmith mode, such as on "Lick it up" and "One man's meat" things take a turn for the worse. Both have a passing resemblance to the likes of "Love in an elevator" and other such pop rock.

"Anya" has been described by some members of the band (on the "Come hell or high water" DVD) as being a sort of "Child in time part 2". This may be wishful thinking, but it is head and shoulders above anything else here. The song kicks off with Ritchie on acoustic guitar prior to the band picking things up with a sort of cross between "Perfect strangers" and "Knocking at your back door", the song incorporating a truly classic DP riff.

"Time to kill" is very like a rock version of the Bob Seeger (and Ecclesiastes) classic "Turn turn turn", the lyrics sharing similar sentiments. "Solitaire" is better than most of the rest here, as it's a slightly slower song with strong keyboards and a more satisfactory melody.

In all, a decent Deep Purple album, but no more than that. By and large the songs are rather forgettable, and while they contain many of the right ingredients, they fail to find the spark which might differentiate them from being just another Deep Purple song. Worth hearing for "Anya", but that's about it.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |

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