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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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jammun
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Wow, what an unexpected shot of pure rock. From a band that had given us psychdelicized hits covering such luminaries as Billy Joe Royal and Neil Diamond, not to mention lame renditions of Beatles tunes, and especially not to mention ill-advised ventures with symphony orchestras, In Rock marked the point when Deep Purple actually became a band to be reckoned with.

I have the both the original LP and the anniversary edition CD, which includes many frills, but let's look at the original song lineup:

Speed King Bloodsucker Child In Time Flight of the Rat Into The Fire Living Wreck Hard Lovin' Man

Speed King, Bloodsucker, Into The Fire, and Living Wreck are all pure hard rock by a band that knows how to rock, but really there's nothing pacesetting in these songs. Nonetheless this is about as good as hard rock got at the time. But then we get to Flight of the Rat and Hard Lovin' Man, and the band begins to stretch out into more progressive territory, with more extended solos and somewhat more complex songwriting.

However, Child In Time is where Deep Purple come closest to earning their prog credentials. Gillan is a screaming banshee, Blackmore is pulling monstrous solos seemingly out of thin air, and the rest of the band is not merely along for the ride but rather driving the whole concept to a new plane. This is Deep Purple's finest song, and one for the ages.

It's clear that Blackmore has taken control of the band on this album. No more of Lord's pretentions to write some great rock symphony. No more psychedelic noodling. No more covers.

So this is the great moment when a band finds its soul or its niche, which would serve them well over the next few albums. As a prog album, well let's just say it almost gets there. As a rock album, it's a classic.

jammun | 4/5 |

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