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Deep Purple - Turning to Crime CD (album) cover


Deep Purple



3.20 | 59 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
Special Collaborator
PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
3 stars I've never been one to embrace albums that are completely filled with cover tunes so when i start to check out an album that is nothing but remakes of classic songs i bring my biases along from the getgo however once in a while i'm quite surprised that something is actually better than i ever could have imagined. Such is the case with the latest release from DEEP PURPLE. It's hard to believe that this band in name at least as been around since 1968. That's 53 years of rocking and rolling and like The Rolling Stones seems to be immortal however we're talking the Mark II lineup mostly since the only member to have been with the band since the beginning is drummer Ian Paice.

Back with the 22nd overall studio album, TURNING TO CRIME features 12 timeless classics reinterpreted by Ian Gillian (vocals), Steve Morse (guitars), Roger Glover (bass), Ian Paice (drums) and Don AIrey (keyboards). Several guest musicians add the extra touches of tenor sax, horns, trumpet, fiddle and squeeze box. While it may seem inappropriate for a band of such stature to tackle such an album after years of original albums, it should be remembered that DEEP PURPLE started out as a cover band with more songs from others than self-penned. Before the Mark II breakthrough the band with original singles Rod Evans covered everyone from Joe South, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Ike & Tina Turner and even Neil Diamond.

While that was the thing in the 1960s, it was actually quite the surprise to find out that TURNING TO CRIME is a collection of covers here in the year 2021 but in a way this album is like a trip down memory lane and takes the listener back to the more innocent times when popular music was almost exclusively verses and choruses and you could just tap your feet to a good beat and catchy melodic hook. I have to say that DEEP PURPLE has been rather hit and miss ever since it launched its comeback with "Perfect Strangers" all the way back in 1984 and that would be mostly miss! Although Steve Morse has performed admirably as the tall order replacement of Ritchie Blackmore, the quality of DEEP PURPLE music has been rather weak with a few exceptions here and there.

TURNING TO CRIME is an oldies but goodies type of album taking you back to the years of good old fashioned rock and roll. Most of the tracks were mined from the 1960s ranging from the psychedelic rock of Love and the rock'n'soul of Ray Charles but the 50s is fair game with a track from Huey "Piano" Smith as well as the 70s with some Little Feat and Bob Seger. While at first glance i assumed this album was going to be awful but once i lowered my expectation enough i was immediately surprised that this album isn't that bad at all! While the band's songwriting has deteriorated over time, the musicians' ability to perform has not. Ian Gillan sounds exactly the same as he did on "In Rock" or "Machine Head" and Steve Morse is still every bit as his Dixie Dregs days with some surprising guitar solos improvised. Add some dirty piano rolls courtesy of Airy and it becomes apparent that DEEP PURPLE successfully take the songs on board to the next level which arguably should be the purpose of cover tunes.

True that this album is hardly the next best thing since sliced bread but if a classic band wants to churn an album of nothing but cover songs for the fun of it, so be it. Yeah, there are some silly clunkers on here such as "The Battle Of New Orleans" but for the most part these guys add the classic DEEP PURPLE touch to the otherwise straight forward rock and soul classics from the past. Clearly not the band's next best masterpiece but as i've already stated, hardly the throwaway dross that i was expecting. I could actually listen to this again and not hate it!

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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