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Deep Purple - Fireball CD (album) cover

FIREBALL

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

3.77 | 823 ratings

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Gustavo Froes
4 stars

Loved by die-hard fans,hated by everyone else.Unfortunately,this is the status of Fireball,Mk II's second release,way back in '71,one year before Deep Purple deliver Machine Head.This is NOT an usual album for a band who,with very few exceptions,follows a straight,hard and heavy rock n' roll direction.This is,against the band's will,an open-minded record.Apparently,the only member who enjoyed this one was the singer Ian Gillan,but some tracks actually made it to the stage for a very long time,and the hit single released along with the album,Strange Kind of Woman,is one of Deep Purple's ultimate classics. It starts off with the heavy title track,wich goes around the chorus two times within a minute,delivering an almost unplayable live number.The band is sharp here as always,but they could hardly reproduce it in the stage back in the seventies,without the help of studio technology.It doesen't hold a classic status,but it is still FAR better than anything they would atempt to do in the years to come. Next comes the funky jam No No No,with a nice guitar riff and a stuning solo by Blackmore.It is funny to see how such spontaneous tracks as this one are superior to the their biggest efforts nowadays. The Mule is an epic,beautifull,dark piece,and perhaps the main highlight here.For those who only heard the Made In japan version,there is NOT a drum solo here.Instead,there is Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord trading solos in a glorious mid-session.It is,along with Child In Time,Mk II's most epic song. Another highlight is Fools,with great instrumentation and lyrics from the whole band.Looking carefully,it is possible to hear echoes from what would become Space Truckin',so perhaps this is an embryonic version to a song that would eventually become the ultimate Deep Purple live act in the early seventies. Demon's Eye is a weaker track,but still a great blues jam. Anyones Daughter' and No One Came are the black sheeps,the latter being a sad way to end a great album. Fireball may not be as flawless as In Rock and Machine Head,but is easily one of 71's best hard rock albums.It is Mk II's most experimental work,and despite a couple weak tracks,a stunning record,much better than the overrated Burn or even Perfect Strangers.

Gustavo Froes | 4/5 |

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