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Deep Purple - Stormbringer CD (album) cover

STORMBRINGER

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

3.02 | 447 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Deep Purple's last album to feature Ritchie Blackmore on guitar (until the mark II revival in 1984) is a much maligned work. While there are great songs on it, it also showed some uncharacteristic tunes. I see it as a transitional period where the band could evolve into another thing, but unfortunatly or not, that was not to be. Here we have those classic hard rock sound with prog, classical and even blues influence together with a more funky/soul leaning brought by newcomers Glenn Hughes (mostly) and Coverdale (some). Ritchie Blackmore is reported to hate the new musical direction, but in interviews he complained about the 'self indulgencyof some members while everyone were expecting him to bring on the tunes. Whatever the true reasons, he'd soon be gone. It would be interesting to know what DP would bring next if he head stayed (certainly something better than Come Taste The Band!).

The album starts very well with the classic title track: I love the 'storming guitar sound' and the great double tracked, dueling guitar solo in the middle. The next three tracks however are way too different in both style and form and hardcore DP fans had a tough time to swallow the explicit black influences of Love Don't Mean A Thing or Hold On. Even the soulful ballad Holy Man has nothing to do with anything DP has done before. That song also featured Glenn Hughes singing all the vocal parts alone for the first time in a Deep Purple Record.

Side two started very well with the powerful hard rocker Lady Double Dealer. However, You Can't Do It Right is another funky number complete with a startling clavinet riff by Jon Lord. Blackmore also proves he absorbed that guitar style very well. High Ball Shooter shows the band tackling again the familiar ground of a ballsy hard rock, with a fine Hammond solo by Lord. The Gypsy is a beautiful slow number with great lead vocals by Hughes and Coverdale (singing all the parts together. Brilliant!). The album finishes with another novelty for Purple: the beautiful acoustic ballad Soldier Of Fortune. Of note is the fact that Lord used a vast array of keyboards on this record to augment the familiar Hammond organ and the synthesizers he had just started to explore on the previous CD Burn. For the first time we see him playing the Fender Rhodes piano (On Gypsy and Hold On) and the Mellotron (Soldier Of Fortune).

Although a much critized album at the time, Stormbringer showed that the mix of their trademark classic hard rock and the new black influences could work something quite new and interesting. If they had the time to work out their problems I'm sure this line up could have come with something at least very strong and maybe even groundbreaking. But the powers that be decided otherwise and the rest is history. Anyway I still find this a great CD. Unsual, but brilliant anyway. Progressive in the broader meaning of the term. 4 stars.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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