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Deep Purple



3.84 | 763 ratings

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2 stars In came David Coverdale (later of Whitesnake fame, ugh) as lead vocalist and Glenn Hughes (later of mid-80's Sabbath "fame," double ugh) as bassist and vocalist. Maybe Ritchie thought these moves would revitalize the band - instead they gave him enough heartburn and stomach cramps to leave by 1975. Now, don't get me wrong - I'm sure there are lots of people in this world who are perfectly happy with generic mid-70's cock rock crossed with perfunctory funk. It's just that I'm not; it's simply not enough for me for music to kinda "rock, dude." I need my hard rock to stand out in some way, with great riffs or speed or whatever, and not just plod its mid-tempo keester like 2nd- rate Bad Company.

Ok, ok, so the band once again managed to include a major classic as the opening track. Yup, the title track is basically a lock for best DP Mk. 3 number, combining an utterly awesome speedy guitar/organ riff with what can actually be considered a decent singing performance from David and Glenn. Ok, so Dave's voice is a little dull for my heart, and Glenn's voice tends to sound like a cross between bad hair-metal vocals and mediocre soul-vocals, but at least on this track, they combine into something that sounds halfway decent. Then again, though, one doesn't exactly look to a song like this for the vocals - it's for the riff and energetic solos, which easily live up to the reputation that Ritchie and Jon built up for themselves in Mk. 2. I could live without some of the synths near the end, but that's just a slight complaint.

Unfortunately, the opening is extremely deceptive, and not just because none of the other songs are fast rockers. The title track exudes power and inspiration and all sorts of good things, while most of the other tracks simply don't. There are some exceptions, of course; the most notable is the bluesy "Mistreated," which makes good use of David's vocals, which augment the power of Ritchie's riff and moody solos quite well. "Sail Away" is alright thanks to a fine funky guitar riff (too often augmented by some awful synth sounds, though), even though the vocals strike me as obnoxious in more than a couple of places. And, er, "Might Just Take Your Life" at least has a couple of decent hooks to go with its generic cock-rockitude.

But sheesh, the rest of the album? "Lay Down Stay Down" is basically David and Glenn screaming/wailing/whatever over instrumental parts that never enter an involving or memorable groove, "You Fool No One" only interests me in terms of the funky drumming, "What's Going On Here" comes closer to the definition of generic cock-rock than I knew was possible, and the closing instrumental ... Ugh. Behold Jon Lord tying a rondo rhythm to a bunch of awful synth noises and an ok guitar solo. Is this supposed to be majestic? "Artistic?" Whatever. Just find the title track and "Mistreated," and screw the rest.

tarkus1980 | 2/5 |


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