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Deep Purple - Fireball CD (album) cover

FIREBALL

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

3.72 | 585 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
5 stars In(on) Fire!

Deep Purple's Fireball, as you should already know, was released between their 2 monumental albums, In Rock and Machine Head. Fireball left the rawness of In Rock behind, and showed a more cooled down band, Ritchie leaving the heavy riffs behind, letting Jon, Roger and Ian(Paice) in charge of the heavy parts of the album, this obviously leading the album to be not that heavy, a bit more groovy and eclectic. While Ian Gillan, was still quite of a newbie in the band, he had showed stardom in the previous album with the classic Child in Time, so here he doesn't ''show off'', however this doesn't mean his vocals ain't strong.

The album starts off with the well-known title track, having as stand-outs Ian Paice's fierceful drumming all through the song and Roger's short but powerful Rickenbacker solo. The song itself is very energetic, and very straight-forward hard rock, something the album won't be consistent at. With the next song, No No No, Deep Purple adds some funk influences, mainly due to Roger's groovy bass, and Jon Lord's fascinating Hammond-Organ solo, which grows from subtle, low-key notes to powerful chords, which just commands you to do your typical 'air-hammond' show, and go crazy. While No No No follows a repetitive patern, it's truly one of Deep Purple's finest.

Follows up another groovy-stylish hard rock song, this one called Demon's Eye, showing Ian Gillan's low-key singing which grabs the listener instantly, as well as a catchy bass/guitar riff which is persistent all throughout the song. After these 3 rock tunes, one less heavier than the other, follows up a very unexpected country-esque tune called Anyone's Daughter, this time with Gillan almost ''talk-singing'' style, as well as featuring the surprising subtle rythm and Ritchie's soft guitar. It's a fun song nonetheless, making the album a bit more eclectic in style, as well as not making it monotone.

Now to side 2 of the original LP release, which opens with another powerful rocker, this time prog-tinged, called The Mule. Just like Side's 1 opener, the title track, The Mule also is lead by Paice's powerful drumming, however like I mentioned before, The Mule has some Prog relation due to Jon Lord's odd use of his organ, showing a almost spacey side of him. However it will be short until Deep Purple appears with a totally full blown Prog track, which is the following one to The Mule, called Fools, which in this one In Rock's rawness re-appears, just that this time it's shared by slow instrumental passages, which show clearly the band exploring through Prog territory.

The album ends up with No One Came, featuring a irresistable, groovy, though heavy, rythm and riff, as well as a groovy organ solo which is truly essential for the song. However the last seconds feature a very odd 'backwards piano' solo, which is quite annoying and un-necessary. Though definitely a energetic ending, which is truly great. As far as the remaster with bonus tracks goes, I find them pretty lame and worthless, with the exception of the classic Strange Kind of Woman, and the B-side of it, I'm Alone which is in the heights of Demon's Eye.

Now I'll quote some thoughts of the members of Deep Purple about this album: ''Unfortunately it fell between two very good albums and therefore might seem to pale in comparison. Taken on its own I think its a very good hard rock album'' Jon Lord; ''I thought we kept our progressive standards with that album(Fireball) and I am proud of the material'' ''It was lyrically and melodically more adventurous...'' Ian Gillan; ''...we didn't really have time to write consistently good songs'' Ian Paice; ''It's certainly mellower'' Roger Glover; and finally the most displeased member said: ''I got kind of bitter and threw ideas to the group that I had thought up on the spur of the moment'' and ''There are only 3 tracks that I think are good - No No No, Fools and Fireball itself'' Ritchie Blackmore.

In conclusion I can only add that besides what members of the band think about it, I consider it as one of their best efforts, from both views, from the Progressive view and Hard Rock view, as very well Ian Gillan said. Highly recomended for fans of 70's Hard Rock, Proto-Heavy Prog, and of the Hammond-Organ.

The Quiet One | 5/5 |

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