Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Deep Purple - Fireball CD (album) cover

FIREBALL

Deep Purple

Proto-Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
4 stars Fireball was conceived and produced at the height of this lineup's career, before the personal differences which manifested themselves during the Machine Head sessions started to destroy this incarnation of the band (notably the animosity between Gillan and Blackmore). This is probably the band's most progressive album, and certainly their most experimental. We would never again hear anything as out of character as "Anyone's Daughter" or as bold as the bass solo in "Fireball". Not their best, but close.
Report this review (#46532)
Posted Tuesday, September 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars A follow up from the Successful "In Rock" album, Fireball slightly changes direction this time.

This album focuses more on the Rock prospective and rather less on the Prog side but keep the Psychedelia in tact.

My favourite tracks are "Fireball" a three minute belter of a track with Hammond Organ as the main instrument, "Demon's Eye" a fussy organ solo introduction at the start, another one is "Anyone's Daughter".

This album is one down from "In Rock", but that completely changed when DEEP PURPLE released their next album and yes it has that anthem on that album.

FIREBALL ROCKS!!!

Report this review (#46601)
Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Another great album by Deep Purple. This time, it feels as if it was rather rushed with some sinister titles (Anyone's Daughter, Demon's Eye) as well as psychadelic entourages (Fools, The Mule). At least, one song (Strange Kind Of Woman) held it all up altogether and has everyone screaming more. The bonus tracks are really awesome (listen to the Noise Abatement Tapes track which includes an attempt at a classical-rock medley) and the remixes by Roger Glover clean up the sound to top-notch perfection. But it's Machine Head that really hits the nail for 70's prog-rock.
Report this review (#46722)
Posted Thursday, September 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars Fireball had a tough time following up the superb In Rock album , but still manages to have its moments. Clearly there are no huge hits or real pleasers , but the album is remarkably even with the track selection.

Demon's Eye, No One came , Anyone's Daughter and Fools would 've fitted as average tracks on the previous In Rock or the following Machine Head , but here they are the better tracks and this spells out a bit the problem. The rest of the tracks , while good are relatively subpar to the average tracks that they wrote in those days. Strange Kind Of Woman and I'm Alone Now are non-album singles that come to much needed beefing-up the content of this album. I never heard the remastered version , so I have no advice on the bous tracks!

Not their best album , but it does not stand much chance to shine on its own , since it is stuck in between two monster albums.

Report this review (#47663)
Posted Wednesday, September 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The last studio album of this band that I'm willing to listen voluntarily. There's some nice hard rock goin' on here, and "The Mule" and specially "Fools" have a nice progressive feeling on them. Good album with few fillers, but this is not for the elitist progheads! I haven't heard the bonus tracks, so I don't know if they have any gems hidden in them.
Report this review (#49620)
Posted Saturday, October 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Blackmore reckons this album was a misfire, then he would because this was a return to the more progressive style that was evident on Deep Purple. Only the title track is an all out rocker (and what a rocker!). Anyones daughter is a complete revelation, with Gillan's lyrics truely inspriing. They never did anything that off the wall again. The Mule has some of Paice's most propulsive drumming and Fools features some light and dark passages. Blackmore's solo in particular has a very haunting feel. Right from the bass intro of No One Came you know that this track is special. Great lyrics again from Gillan.

The 25th anniversay remaster is the version to own, in addition to the original album there are a couple of album out takes in Freedom and Slow Train and two singles, Strange Kind of Woman and I'm Alone. These four songs are very strong also.

Set the stage for their next effort, 4.5 stars again.

Report this review (#49727)
Posted Sunday, October 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Not as raunchy as "In Rock" and not as streamlined as "Machine Head", "Fireball" remains for me the most interesting and confident DP album of the seventies. For sheer variety, it has no match. Lyrically, "No, No,No" and "No One Came" are songs that by turns are angry, poignant and funny. And it has a great, (if preposterous) album cover too.

I'm not sure how "prog" it is, but these aesthetic designations tend to be relative. Fans of "Fragile" and "Tarkus" would likely view the straight-forward blues structure of "Demon's Eye" pedestrian. But then it's all about the groove. When John Lord's Hammond B3 weighs in with some fabulously throaty organ licks, it's as if Jimmie Smith were playing with Cream! "Fools" starts with a slightly Doors-ish dark and moody vibe before unexpectedly unleashing musical violence. The song tells the story of a doomed psychopath. It showed up on the playlist of the 2001 tour and it was a showstopper. "Fireball" and "Strange Kind of Woman" are direct, accessible, high energy rockers.

If you don't own "Fireball", do yourself a favour and go out and buy it. Spend a few extra bucks/quid on the remastered 25th Anniversary Edition. The sound is stellar and the extras are very fine.

Report this review (#54319)
Posted Tuesday, November 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "Your music is really HOT"

After their breakthrough "In rock" album, Deep Purple consolidated their new found popularity with a remarkably confident and competent follow up. "Fireball" has all the consistency which was lacking in the brash rawness of "In rock", making for a much more satisfying album as a whole.

The title track opens the album in blistering fashion, a phonetic representation of the track name indeed. A sort of cross between their own "Black night" Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant song", and Uriah Heep's "Easy Livin", it packs more into three minutes than most albums manage in forty. Classic stuff indeed!

The following two tracks sit well together. "No no no" is a powerful more structured song, with aggressive lyrics and a fine guitar solo by Ritchie Blackmore, while "Demon's eye" is a rather funky mid-paced number with an infectious melody.

Ian Gillan is in fine vocal form throughout the album, but he clearly enjoys himself on "Anyone's daughter". This is quite the quirkiest song Deep Purple have ever recorded. It has a country flavour supporting comedic lyrics which tell the tale of Gillan's various conquests. A superbly outrageous piece, to which Blackmore adds some subtly lilting slide guitar, and Jon Lord contributes some wonderfully dirty piano.

The second side of the original LP was marginally the weaker, but still contains three excellent longer pieces. "The mule" is a rather understated piece, with one of those riffs which sounds instantly familiar. Lord has fun letting loose of the Hammond towards the end here. "Fools" has a deceptively soft intro with Gillan gently crooning "I'm crying" as to a melodic background shuffle, but when Ritchie Blackmore brings in the main riff Gillan bursts forth with the most aggressive vocal performance of the album. Lyrically too this is most acidic track, Blackmore's superbly atmospheric guitar break only serving to increase the tension as we build towards the return of the main theme.

The closing "no one came" has the mildly amusing lyrics of "Anyone's daughter", but with a more orthodox Deep Purple riff.

The 25th Anniversary remaster has no fewer than nine additional tracks. The first of these is a remix of the superb non-album single "Strange kind of woman" (originally titled "prostitute"!), a wonderfully progressive track with a soft centre. The song was recorded during the sessions for the "Fireball" album, but preceded it as a sort of stopgap single. It is followed here by three other tracks recorded during the early stages of making the album. While these are undoubtedly fine pieces, it is understandable that they were ultimately omitted. The third, "Slow train" is probably more progressive, in a prog metal sort of way, than anything which appeared on the album. Incidentally, it is interesting to consider that had the album been made in the days of the compact disc, these tracks would probably have been retained. Would the album as a whole have sounded as good?

The bonus tracks also include a couple of inconsequential remixes of tracks from the album, and an interesting instrumental backing track for "Fireball". Lastly, and most definitely least, we have "The noise abatement society tapes", a bit of studio tomfoolery, and "Backwards piano", of which the less said the better!

"Fireball" is a stunning album of great maturity. It seems quite incredible that this album was recorded when the 70's were but a new born infant. Even today it has a vitality and strength which sets it aside from anything else not only by Deep Purple, but by the thousands of bands subsequently influenced by them.

Report this review (#88096)
Posted Thursday, August 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Another great Deep Purple album. Deep Purple albums more than often mainly comprise of rockers, as opposed to deep, intellectual, unique epic songs; however, this album has a few more prog-oriented songs than usual. The title track has fantastic drumming intro and is very high-energy. No No No is a great rocker with subtle elements of prog. Demon's eye is somewhat dark, also with elements of prog. The following track, Anyone's Daughter, is a very beautiful piece. It is almost western/country oriented, with greatly interesting lyrics. I've heard this is a joke track but, oddly, it turns out to be my favourite track. Next is The Mule, which in studio form is bland and boring (though it has good drumming). The live version often has Ian Paice's solos, which are absolutely astounding. Next is Fools which is one of Purple's more prog/psychedelic tunes. And to finish this string of good songs is No One Came, which is a basic Purple tune - typical lyrics, great vocals, high musicianship and just all around fun. Not many artistic or moving songs on this album, though.
Report this review (#89971)
Posted Monday, September 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
WaywardSon
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Ian Gillan has often stated that this is his favourite MK 2 Studio album. It is a more experimental album than In Rock,and once again there isn´t one weak track.

Opening up with that classic drum introduction by Ian Paice, the band bursts into "Fireball", a fast paced song with a hypnotic beat that has become a firm live favourite by fans, and is always included in any "Best Of" Purple compilation.

Gillan belts out some fine vocals with his classic scream in "No No No" and "Demons Eye" while Blackmore delivers some vintage riffs and clean guitar solos. You can also hear each instrument so clearly on this album.

"Anyones Daughter" is quite a surprise, as it´s an almost country blues type of song. It somehow all seems to come together and is done with a lot of a style. This track features Jon Lord on piano while Blackmore´s guitar sings sweetly over a honky tonk piano sound.

"The Mule" is another interesting number and gives Ian Paice the spotlight for a short drum solo (Later on he would do a longer solo on "Made In Japan")

"Fools" has to be one of my all time favourite Purple songs. You can also hear Gillan breathe in air before each line! Actually "Anyone´s Daughter" "The Mule" and "Fools" are all very experimental sounding songs.

The album closes with "No One Came" and has some very witty lyrics written by Ian Gillan. Its a song about fitting into society, and at the end of the day the moral of the story is to just be yourself!

Another classic album from Deep Purple.

Report this review (#91892)
Posted Monday, September 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars These guys are my absolutely most beloved musicians (and lyrics writers almost - but some Czechs I still like more, of course). Fireball on LP and our old gramophone I remember since I was very, very little. Thus I certainly give 5/5 ... simply because you almost cannot find any other artists, that are so astonishing in doing their job. And every one of them really remarkable ... here there are in particular Gillan and Blackmore (as always), but also Paice (Lord's is Machine head). My favourite track is Fools, even one of my top favourite (not only) Purples' songs. And Mule (Paice) and Anyone's daughter (Gillan) are the next. I would really fall in love for Gillan immediately, looking at him singing this song (well, in the time it was recorded).
Report this review (#92400)
Posted Wednesday, September 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This was my first introduction to Deep Purple when I was a child, and it could be one of my first love with rock music at that time. I was visiting my big brother's house in Jakarta when the first time he played this album. "Fools" was the first track that blew me away when my brother, Boedi, started to play the cassette version of this track in his National Cassette Recorder - mono. (At that time "stereo" was a state of the art equipment and most of people could not afford to buy it). Not just Deep Purple that my brother played as he had also Grand Funk Railroad - hm .. I still remember that I also loved "I Can Feel Him In The Morning" from "Survival" album.

I repeated "Fools" many times on daily basis as I like the composition. It has excellent melody, varied style of hard and soft parts and good performance. The most part that I like is the interlude section with solo keyboard accompanied by drum. Oh yeas, what a nice childhood! The other tracks that attracted me were "Fireball" as it has powerful energy,"No No No", "Anyone's Daughter" and "The MUle". Keep on rockin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#93539)
Posted Thursday, October 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I discovered Deep Purple with the single "Black Night" / "Speed King". I purchased it the same day than "Whola Lotta Love" and "Paranoďd. That day was a great day, back in December 1970 : I was almost 12 years old and I was of course the only one to listen to this kind of music in my classroom.

The first Purple album I purchased was "Fireball". Although this album does not contain any of some legendary tracks, it is a damned great album. Like "In Rock" this album will not include their hit single "Strange Kind Of Woman" (my second Purple one) released five months earlier. This will also be rectified with the remastered version of the album. "Fireball", the title track has an incredible rythm : it is said that during the live renditions, Ian Paice was the fastest drummer in the world. "No, No, No" is a great tune : nor slow, nor crazy (sounds a bit Oriental - in the vein of Kashmir). Great job from Jon. "Demon's Eye", is a good middle of the road rock tune. A classic Purple hard rock song with good piece of instrumental breaks. "Anyone's Daughter" closes side one but is way too jazzy / folky. Out of tune and definitely the weakest track of this album.

Side two opens with "The Mule" : it is of course of another calibre : deeply Oriental influenced with an incredible drumming in the background (it will be in the foreground of course with Made In Japan). What a great job from Ian Paice (one of the very drummer in rock history). One of the highlight comes next. With "Fools", the Deep reached quite a level : this song mixes some prog elements to hard rock ones of the best vein (but after all, Purple is a hard-rock band, right ?). "No One Came" is another great hard rock songs like the band will produce quite a lot : heavy jkeys, strong bass and drumming. Blackmore is a bit more present than on most of the tracks (he will have his turn in the next album). Like the three albums of the mark I era, Jon Lord has a privileged and fundemental role on "Fireball".

A few years ago (in 2003), I purchased the remastered edition and if you have to spend any money for "Fireball", do buy this one. It has very good bonus tracks like the hit-single "Strange Kind Of Woman" (number 8 in the UK) which is remixed and a bit longer than the original. It will be one of their live highlights : remember the "talk" between Gillan and Blackmore in Made In Japan ? Next tracks are really worth but "Freedom" and "Slow Train" deserves a higher consideration. The vocal parts of "Feedom" at the end of the song have strongly inspired "Smooth Dancer" from "Who Do We Think". This is not the first ime that such a thing happen with the Deep (read my "In Rock" review for more details). Great hard rock moments. I do not like the remixes that much. The medley "The Noise ..." shows Jon's Lord great musicianship but really, it does not belong here (even as bonus track). It is an indication though on his "imrov" on stage later on. The instrumental "Fireball" will probably do you nothing wrong, but I am kind of sceptic about the use of this. This album will hit Nr. 1 in the UK (Nr. 7 in the US). Four solid stars.

Report this review (#105163)
Posted Monday, January 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This oft-overlooked album, wedged in between two highly influential landmark LPs ("Deep Purple In Rock" and "Machine Head") shows the band to still be searching for their true identity while continuing to crank out powerful, cutting-edge songs. There are considerable amounts of their 60s proto-progressive style mixed in with the slicin' & dicin' hard rock streak they had showcased on the previous album as well as some quirky, out-of-left field moments that give it a real potpourri atmosphere I find unique among their many recordings.

Starting with what sounds like some kind of huge electrical generator firing up, underrated drummer Ian Paice leads you into the title cut that might be a leftover track from the "In Rock" sessions. You can't help but notice that Ian Gillian's voice seems a bit ragged, probably from hitting the stratospheric notes on "Child in Time" night after night while touring so that's not a revelation. Yet in the midst of this churning pre-metal song Jon Lord injects a classical-tinged organ solo that harkens back to their earlier days. There are some great one-liners scattered throughout the lyrics on this album beginning with this tune's "You're a Gemini and I don't know which one I like the most." Their usually-downplayed humor has never been so up front and it adds a real charm to the proceedings. The next number, "No No No" seems like they were trying to write a trendy, topical protest song but it's one of the weakest cuts on the album. Despite Ritchie Blackmore's cool guitar licks and slide solo and Jon Lord's growling organ ride the verse and chorus repeatedly go nowhere and, at 6:40 in length, it could have benefited from some intelligent editing.

"Strange Kind of Woman" is a prototype, bluesy rock and roll shuffle that was custom made for Blackmore to strut his guitar prowess and he does that without a hitch. Lyrically, however, this is a strange kind of story as it tells the tale of the protagonist pursuing a hooker named Nancy relentlessly until she agrees to marry him. The curious kicker to this narrative comes when he announces to the world with pride that "I won my woman just before she died." Kinda weird. And, speaking of weird, the odd duck that is "Anyone's Daughter" follows. It has an uncharacteristic but intentionally loose beginning before the band stumbles into a country-style ditty with some Delta blues slide guitar that brings to mind The Rolling Stones' interesting forays into that genre. (I like Mick and Keith's "Dead Flowers" as much as the next guy but this is Deep Purple, for heaven's sake!) Here Ian assumes the character of a rogue Casanova who finds out too late that he has deflowered/impregnated the daughter of a vindictive judge but, making lemonade out of lemons, gets the last laugh when he realizes that he's now married into a family of wealth. Lord's honky-tonk piano is decent but Ritchie proves that he couldn't pull off country picking if his life depended on it (and he'd probably be the first to agree with that observation). It's not an embarrassment but this song is an anomaly if there ever was one.

"The Mule" shows that the group still had a foot planted firmly in the progressive rock river. Gillian's input is limited to just a few lines where the mule is identified as Lucifer and he tells us that he has tragically become his slave, but it's the stirring, regally melodic theme that drives this turbocharged, quasi-psychedelic tune. It's a fun ride and both Lord and Blackmore turn in some blistering solos before the song dissolves into cacophony. "Fools" is another surprise, featuring an almost Doors-like, mystery- shrouded intro that floats around for a while before the jarring verse bursts in like a thunderbolt out of nowhere. On this one Ian relates a chilling story of a self-hating sociopath who doesn't allow himself to feel emotions because "rocks and stones can't bruise my soul/but tears will leave a stain." But it's the inspired, ethereal breakdown in the middle that is so unexpected as Ritchie, working his guitar's volume control expertly, creates a mournful cello sound that is breath-takingly beautiful. It's a magic moment.

The closer, "No One Came," (from miles around) is one of my all-time favorite rockers. Not only does it have an irresistible, driving groove that won't quit but Ian's ironic, sarcastic, self-effacing words and smart-ass delivery are not to be missed. I think Blackmore's biting guitar lead here is one of his best and Lord delivers another snarling organ solo but you've got to crack a grin at some of the zingers Gillian spouts along the way. "Well, I could write a million songs about the things I've done/but I could never sing them so they'd never get sung/there's a law for the rich and one for the poor/and there's another one for singers/it's die young and live much longer/spend your money and sit and wonder." Who can argue with that logic? Here's another doozy. "I believe that I must tell the truth/and say things as they really are/but if I told the truth and nothing but the truth/could I ever be a star?" Gotta love it. Ritchie's backwards guitar licks take the album out on a fitting, trippy note.

While some of the group's fans seem want to treat this as an album that can be easily ignored, I find it to be very enjoyable and entertaining. I dare say they never made another one with this much variety or tongue-in-cheek perspective. Deep Purple was still building their empire at this point but their musicianship was never in question and you get a strong dose of quality rock and roll with a dash of prog from beginning to end. 3.5 stars.

Report this review (#124472)
Posted Sunday, June 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Whereas the previous "Deep Purple In Rock" was loud and fast, things are taken down a notch in "Fireball." The opening title track could have easily been at home in "In Rock"- it's a great powerful opener. The rest of the album deviates from this as the band experiment a lot more. Sometimes it works ("The Mule") and sometimes it doesn't ("Anyone's Daughter"). The former is a trippy sound safari with some pretty sweet drum work courtesy Ian Paice. "Anyone's Daughter" is a mid-tempo country-style song. It's lyrical content is kind of funny, but it really doesn't fit in with the rest of the album's style and is a real low point overall. "No No No" is a good aggressive rocker, pretty typical Deep Purple song. "Strange Kind Of Woman" is an upbeat, bluesy rocker- the kind of stuff they do best. The last two songs, "Fools" and "No One Came" are both pretty good. "Fools" features quite a bit of quieter moments, n the beginning and an atmospheric jam in the middle, but a powerful riff otherwise. "No One Came" is a fast rocker, a great way to close to album.

Overall, "Fireball" is a success, but the band's experimentation doesn't always work, which is a bummer. It doesn't quite have the lasting appeal as "In Rock" or the upcoming "Machine Head," but it's still a good album in it's own right.

Standout songs: "Fireball", "The Mule"

Report this review (#126091)
Posted Saturday, June 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars What I cab say about Deep Purple? I was a child the first time that I heard Machine Head, In Rock and Fireball and immediatly I was hypnotized and seduced by Gillan's voice, Blackmore's technique and Jon Lord's organ sound.

The 25th Anniversary Edition of Fireball is a treasure. Besides the seven original songs (most of them classics of the hard rock) this re-issue contains some outakes and the awsome B-side I'm Alone necessary to any DP fan. But the real value of the album is in the seven original songs that makes Fireball a masterpiece of hard rock and why not, of Prog.

DP always gets my attention because during the 70's Gillan, Blackmore and company were capable to put into their albums and songs a lot of different styles based on hard rock. Psychedelic, blues, jazz and other were mixed by DP to make some of the most amazing albums of the 70's.

Back to the album. The powerful and rocker Fireball opens the fire. With the best style of the classic 70's DP, this song a powerful and rhythmical piece that makes you feel as a teenager again!. No No No is a kind of blues with an interesting organ solo. Demon's Eye is another classic full of power. Anyone's Daughter sounds really good even when it's a bit "country" for my personal taste. The Mule... no comments, maybe one of the legendary DP songs. Unforgettable initial riff, a bit spacy, very psychedelic and a short but awsome guitar solo (at least in this studio version). Fools has a great organ intro that turns into a classic DP song but in the middle (oh! surpirise!) there's a slow and floating rhythmical section with a kind of glissando guitar... really amazing... The hard No One Came closes the album brilliantly BTW...

The bonus tracks are great too. I'm Alone is a great hard rock song but the outake Slow Train deserves all the applauses.

Old rock fans will really enjoy this album... and newcomers has to listen this album to learn about music!

Report this review (#135407)
Posted Wednesday, August 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
obiter
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Yet another hard rock classic I really like which I've listened to 100s of times in the last 25 years, and you've guessed it I'm going to pan it as a prog album.

I've only got the old gatefold LP so I don't know about the bonus CD material.

The opening Fireball is classic rock.

One of the things I have always loved about DP is the humour. In this album we get Anyone's Daughter and No One Came. Fantastic but 0 stars for prog. "Imagine I was a full-grown man/And I could talk just right/Could I come and see you here/And do this every night Wham! The door comes crashing down/Your daddy's face all pale/Says come with me you hairy bum/I'll put you in my jail" you get the drift ...

My favourite is Demon's Eye, a true classic 70s rock number. I also like the mule.

Again this is an essential album for any self-respecting rock collection (as are Burn/Machine Head/In Rock) but I dont's see how it fits in at all as a prog album.

Report this review (#137654)
Posted Monday, September 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Follow after the stunning In rock, DP took their prog roots to a more and more hard rock orentation. Not as proggy as In Rock and not as intristing and well done as Machine Head, Fireball remains for many the most interesting and confident DP album of the seventies. The album has a lots of hight points like the title track, a hard rock tune with great beat from Ian Paice on drums, also the guitar is very good. Maybe The mule and Fools are the most prog parts of the album, like the early days, but my favourite piece from here is by far Anyone's Daughter, and one my fav from entire DP catalog. Very funny lyrics and very catchy song. Again, to me they don't sound really prog but a combination of prog with hard rock elements, in fact Deep Purple is one of the pioneers of hard rock, so i don't consider them a trully prog band like genesis or Jethro Tull for ex. So a great album, among the best DP albums and an essential piece for everybody. 4 stars
Report this review (#153531)
Posted Sunday, December 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Stuck in the middle.

Often overshadowed by younger brother ''Machine Head'' and older brother ''In Rock'', Fireball is an album missed by many. Very different from it's brethren, especially more bluesy, and sometimes quite heavy, Fireball is a new experience all it's own. A solid offering that demands listening.

The album opens as the name suggests, with a FIREBALL. The blistering title track is a great indicator of where heavy metal would eventually go and is likely one of the bands heaviest tracks to date. Blackmore hits the stings and Gillian wails away, making FIREBALL a essential Deep Purple [DP] track. The album takes a more bluesy note from here on in. NO NO NO is definately more down that blues road. A bit longer and more zoned out than the title track, this song still features all the things that make DP great. High vocals, great guitar, the whole sha-bang. THE MULE is a track often overlooked, a great song with a great instrumental breakdown that leads into the even better FOOLS. While itmay not be as powerful as ''Child in Time'', THE MULE still features some great, classic moments, if a bit lower in speed and aggression. NO ONE CAME ends the album powerfully, just as FIREBALL started it. A heavy, fast track with some quirky lyrics (a theme that seems to go to town here) and some great moments all around.

Then there's the middle. The two middle tracks, with their quirks lyrics and more blues approach, are a bit strange on the album, but they work none the less. STRANGE KIND OF WOMAN (which is what my issue came with, not ''Demon Eye'') is a great, classic DP song that sounds like a precursor to their ''Machine Head'' album, with some very odd lyrics. Listen and judge for yourself I suppose. ANYONE'S DAUGHTER actually goes so far into blues that it's almost out the other end and into country territory. Luckily it doesn't, and it manages to mix DP's playing with some very comical and strange lyrics to make something that's actually rather enjoyable. Even if it throws you off the first time.

Rating time!

4 stars! Excellent addition to the prog-library! Tracks like THE MULE and FOOLS are definately worth having, while people more into the rock side of DP will enjoy FIREBALL and NO ONE CAME, as well as STRANGE KIND OF WOMAN. Recommended for DP fans, hard rock fans, and prog rock fans in general.

Report this review (#161895)
Posted Friday, February 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars After the achievement of the In Rock album DP presented their new record to a public that had expected something like In Rock II - what they did get was Fireball, a disappointment for many. Not for this reviewer. It is different from the albums it is wedged in, but not mediocre. Instead DP made use of their talent to let every song sound differently. Is there anywhere in the Purple catalogue a record that is as multi-facetted as this one? Since In Rock was in every respect an extreme album at the time it is clear that they didn't want to be reduced or confined to this style (not even Machine Head had this overdrive approach). It is odd to see that the band always had to face reduced record sales when they tried something else (just think of Who do we think we are - or Stormbringer). So this is a good record with the usual high flying musicianship. The essential songs on this outing are (IMHO): Fireball, Demon's Eye, Anyone's Daughter (oh yes!), No one came. The other three (No No No, The Mule and Fools) are missing my center of taste a bit but have to be respected for their different approach. 4 stars
Report this review (#162248)
Posted Wednesday, February 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
Raff
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars Sandwiched between two monumental achievements such as "In Rock" and "Machine Head", Fireball has all too often ended up being considered like a sort of poor relation, a decent enough album that is nevertheless not on a par with those two behemoths - which is a pity, because "Fireball" has a lot to offer to the discerning rock (and obviously prog) fan. Though lacking the ground-breaking impact of "In Rock", or the commercial potential of "Machine Head", it is a well-rounded, sophisticated album in which the strengths of the individual band members come to the fore in a more muted, yet equally effective way. The music always manages to keep the listener's attention alive through sheer class and clear sound, and Ian Gillan's trademark, ear-shattering screams are kept to a minimum, leaving room for some almost sensitive interpretations.

In spite of the (literally) incendiary title, "Fireball" offers many quiet, thoughtful moments. While he title-track opens the album with a punch similar to that delivered by "Speed King" or "Highway Star" - a fast-paced, Hammond-driven anthem with one of those riffs that stick in the mind - this is definitely not the shape of things to come. With the following track, "No, No, No", the pace slows down to a jagged, vaguely funky mid-tempo (album closer "No One Came" is also structured along similar lines); while "Demon's Eye" shows a different side to Gillan's more familiar, screamer persona - he sings in a distinctly lower register than we are used to, and his vocal delivery impeccably follows the twists and turns of the sinuous, somewhat moody track. Next comes the en endearingly infectious country send-up that is "Anyone's Daughter", dominated by a distinctive vocal performance by Gillan that reminds me of one of his best solo efforts, "No Laughing in Heaven" (from his "Future Shock" album).

From the point of view of the average prog fan, two tracks stand out from the rest: drum tour-de-force "The Mule", which unequivocally proves the highly underrated Ian Paice's strength and skill behind the skins; and "Fools", probably the band's proggiest track ever, and one of their unsung masterpieces. Introduced by Lord's unusually spaced-out organ, it develops into a hard-edged, guitar-driven rocker led by Gillan's masterful singing - then slows down again to an eerie, richly atmospheric, middle section which could have come straight out of some of Pink Floyd's early Seventies work. A magnificent song, and one that can make many a fan wonder about what Deep Purple could have become, had they chosen to follow a fully-fledged prog career path.

The 30th anniversary remastered edition includes some outtakes from the album recording sessions, and the two singles "Strange Kind of Woman" (one of the band's undisputed classics, immortalised by its explosive "Made in Japan" version), and the intriguing "I'm Alone", another showcase for Paice's talents. As some of the previous reviewers have already pointed out, this is definitely one of the best-ever Deep Purple remasters, adding further interest to an already strong album.

If I had another half-star at my disposal, I'd surely award "Fireball" 4.5 stars for being one of the band's strongest, most cohesive efforts. As to its prog quotient, if you are still wondering why Deep Purple have been included on this site, look no further than this. Highly recommended.

Report this review (#162523)
Posted Sunday, February 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Very unequal album. Some fillers here, especially Anyone's Daughter and Demon's Eye. The first I quote is really a mess ! Anyway, there are also great songs : Fireball, No One Came, Fools, The Mule. But in its entirety, Fireball is really deceiving, an average album, released between two masterpieces (In Rock, Machine Head). If you want to discover Deep Purple, do not begin with this album.
Report this review (#164098)
Posted Sunday, March 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars "Things you tell me have never been told"

With this album Deep Purple continued to refine their approach and, in my opinion, this was the peek of their early years. Fireball is better produced, it is a bit more varied and it has a bit more progressive leanings than In Rock or Machine Head.

Fireball is also Ian Gillan's personal favourite album and he has said in interviews that he likes it the best because of it being more progressive than other Deep Purple albums. It is also one of my personal favourite Deep Purple albums and for the same reason. The title track and Demon's Eye are great songs. No No No, however, is too long making it slightly boring towards the end.

One of my biggest complaints against the In Rock album was that it only contained one type of song (maybe with the exception of Child In Time), there was no time to catch your breath and the instrumentation was the same on all the tracks. On this album, which is overall a bit more varied, Anyone's Daughter stands out with its more folksy leanings based on and piano and non-distorted guitar.

The Mule, Fools and No One Came are longer, slightly progressive rockers. Or should I say psychedelic? These are better than anything from In Rock, in my opinion.

Overall, Fireball is surely a more inventive and interesting album than previous efforts. I would say that this is the best place to start for contemporary listeners who want to explore early Deep Purple.

Report this review (#177511)
Posted Monday, July 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#190360)
Posted Monday, November 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Fireball has interesting fate with its release after the magical In Rock. Deep Purple have already become stardom and the expectation about them growing ad growing permanently. After first true hard rock album by Deep Purple - In Rock - almost everything is lost again for... hard rocking model of Deep Purple, but of course not for the quality of the music. The second consecutive transformation in the genre of the band came in inappropriate moment - when they catch hard rock wave; that's why so much people don't like this album enough. It is the time to talk about the genre of this album...

Blues rock in its biggest parts is the name of the genre. The first homonymous song is true hard rock masterpiece (like most of the first songs in Deep Purple's history). After that, it is time of the blues rock with the next three songs (2 - 4)... We receive another hard rock piece with The Mule and then it's turn of the best song on the album - Fools - this long song is a combination of psychedelic, hard and blues rock, preformed in refined manner. The last song on the original release is the weakest one - No One Came - a monotone one! And that's the end, but not if we talk about the remastered version of the album, where we can find one of the most popular songs made by Deep Purple - Strange Kind of Woman - just magic! True masterpiece of blues rock with refined elements of hard and psychedelic rock and very delicate folk rock fibres!!!

Report this review (#196065)
Posted Monday, December 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#211669)
Posted Saturday, April 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars A bit of a strange album, but still very deep purple.

Deep Purple tries to branch out into all areas on this, the follow up to the hard rock masterpiece Deep Purple In Rock. The album still has the Deep Purple stamp all over it, but the music is very diverse. Almost too diverse to create a coherent unity. The title track is a standard hard rocker. The second song somewhere between pop and rock and so it goes on and on. The quality of the songs is pretty average. Only The Mule and Fools passes the Deep Purple classic tracks test. Tracks like No One Came is best forgotten. The tracks are in general substandard. The only saving grace is the musicianship of Blackmore & Co. A normal band would not had pulled this one off. But Deep Purple has done it......... just. It is very funny to listen to Blackmore and Lord's solos over some hopeless songs. That and The Mule is the only good thing about this album. The rest is best forgotten. I guess this is the final album on any Deep Purple fan's shopping list and with those reasons I have mentioned here.

2.75 stars

Report this review (#229409)
Posted Saturday, August 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
ExittheLemming
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Expensive Paternity Suits and Cheap Sex Gags

I think my cat was fathered by Ian Gillan. Over the years 'Sparky' has been regaled with the vocal gymnastics of Arthur Brown, Peter Hamill, Demetrio Stratos et al without so much as batting a feline eyelid but whenever he hears Gillan, the little critter squats transfixed in front of the stereo as if held in some sort of voodoo love ray. Veterinary science has failed us gentlemen.

This album often suffers a 'Malcolm in the Middle' syndrome as it appears between those two bookends of every heavy rock collection In Rock and Machine Head and although not as distinguished as its elder or younger siblings, is still deserving of cuddles (and the odd thrashing when appropriate - call it 'tough love' if you prefer)

Fireball - one of my favourite Purple tracks ever, whipped along unsparingly by Paice and Glover's incendiary high tempo groove and a snarling delivery by Gillan picked up by Lord's spitting organ chops and Blackmore's toxic strat injections. For reasons best known to myself, the intro always reminds me of a lurching elevator/lift stop? The short teasing break prefacing Lord's thrilling staccato organ solo is perhaps one of the greatest exploitations of tension and release in popular music.

- Dad, what does great heavy rock sound like? -

- This SOB -

No, No, No - Featuring a lovely bluesy phrase from Blackmore and a good melody but such is the slapdash nature of the arrangement, this song does tend to outstay its welcome. Although not deserving of any napalm death, it could have benefited from some judicious weeding methinks. The slide guitar excursion just doesn't go anywhere and despite a delicious percussive organ tone dialled up on the Hammond for Lord's solo, this reeks of fixing bald tyres by just pumping in more air.

Demon's Eye - Purple always conspired to make blues techniques practically invisible and in their lavishly manicured hands such stock devices just don't sound as 'off the shelf' as the competition. Rather incongruously the intro here sends an echo that may have been picked up by Queen for You Make Me Live? In comparison to the legions of guitarists he inspired I am always surprised at how little distortion there is in Ritchie's lead sound. His wannabes and apprentices playing is usually buried beneath a thick topping of fuzzy fudge served straight from the freezer, but the master's voice is very cleanly articulated with a warm and gently overdriven tone.

Anyone's Daughter - Country Rock (albeit phonetically) was never a wise destination for Deep Purple even when clearly vacationing as they are on this rather self-conscious pastiche. Gillan's appropriation of 'hick' suffers from a botched translation of Texan drawl via the Officer's Mess at Sandhurst. Good fun but so is writing on the sole of your slipper with a biro.

The Mule - Something of a delightful oddity, as it sounds far older than from 1971, being a mostly instrumental oriental inflected trippy 'thang' inhabiting a world familiar to Barrett era Floyd. What lyrics there are appear to be of the Lucifer was my pet's hairdresser variety and I suspect that Gillan can be heard drilling a hole with his tongue in his barefaced cheek. (but try telling that to Sparky) In the live realm it became the basis of an Ian Paice drum solo and depending on which source you believe, the studio version drum solo tracks were erased by mistake.(I prefer to believe economic editing was deployed by the Noise Abatement Society)

Fools - The long intro conjures up very evocative imagery of erm...Five young Englishmen with individual and collective writer's block proving that symptomatic of this creative malaise, less is less. The song itself is a medium paced plodder with an unwavering cyclic design and all the contrasting dynamics of grey gulls depicted against a grey sky Ritchie does conjure up a nice 'lone viola' texture via skilled use of his volume pot but together with those arid stretches where they just leave Paice's stripped down backbeat on its own, DP are hopelessly stuck.

No One Came - Down Tools industrial action by the porn stars guild? Not so alas, but instead a Hendrix drenched rawker representing the 'funkier' side of Purple to wonderful effect. Ian Gillan utilises 'speaking on pitch' here quite brilliantly and I only wish he had deployed same on Anyone's Daughter as it may have redeemed the latter a tad. There is a smidgen of the Doors in the organ timbre contributed by Jon Lord but whether this is deliberate or not is debatable. Listening again to the phrasing and accents of Blackmore's yummy solo, I was struck by what a palpable influence he was on another of my favourite guitarists (Zal Cleminson of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band) Strange how I never picked up on this before?.

Strange Kind of Woman - For the sake of completeness I'm gonna include this as part of the original album as it wasn't on the UK version but appeared on the US equivalent. Every pub/garage/bedroom/abattoir/hair band has probably attempted this by way of a flimsy cover and it's not hard to see why. A truly classic and very simple boogie sourced song that even my dad bobs his head along appreciatively to.

- Aye son, much better than that dancey boppy keech ye get nooadays -

On closer inspection however, the lyrics reveal themselves to be at complete odds with such septuagenarian approval:

-She finally said she loved me, I wed her in a hurry, no more callers and I glowed with pride I'm dreaming I feel like screaming I won my woman just before she died-

In this contra parallel Purple universe, do hookers who fall in love die from a broken heart?

Fireball is a very solid and worthwhile heavy rock album, no contest. There are better in the band's discography but for all its flaws, listening to a burned out Purple in their prime is still a damn sight more attractive than suffering the pitiful spectacle of endorsing the mediocrity of men but a kick in the backside off my dad's age.

- Right on son -

Me *** Sparky *****

Report this review (#235600)
Posted Friday, August 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars I remember I was waiting for this album to come out for quite awhile. I enjoyed the "In Rock" so much that I am sure I was looking for them to do a "Son of In Rock" continuation from their previous album. I must say when I first heard this album, I was very disappointed. The boys decided to go in another musical direction on this and I wasn't sure I wanted to go along. The first strike against this new work was "Anyone's Daughter" which was countryish in nature. I didn't think it was appropriate for a heavy band to do C&W music. The next strike was on the song "Fools". Don't get me wrong, the song is an excellent piece, but what I had against it was the solo section where it seemed that Mr. Blackmore was experimenting to long on a slow and tiresome idea. If he had shortened it to one minute and threw in some changes making the song another 2 or 3 minutes longer, I would have completely loved the tune. As it was, the solo part just took a lot away from the rest of the song. Now for the good parts. "Fireball was akin to the "In Rock" stuff and is a good tune, but I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. "No,No,No" is such a departure that it just grabbed me by the throat. It is simply a stroke of genius. Plus it is a longer song and has some interesting things going on there. I don't remember "Demon's Eye" being on this. I remember "Strange Kind of Woman" being after "No,No,No". "Strange Kind of Woman" is another great tune with some excellent solo work by Richie and Jon. Since I've already made my statements on "Anyone's Daughter" and "Fools", I will skip them. "The Mule" is the one that I think was my favorite out of all the tunes, because of the spiritual aspect to it. It is also a real kicker in the solo section as well. I think I will have to say this also has some overtones of "In Rock" to it. The last song "No one came" is wonderful. The lyrics just make you think. The song is about the down side of being a rock star. I think the most memorable line on the whole album is in this. Ian Gillan sarcastically says "Man, Who's he?" He is of course referring to people listening to their music after they have gone. He realizes that they will get no respect from many of a new generation. I just love that song!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Unfortunately, I can only give this one three stars because I feel it is inferior to their previous album. Even if they hadn't made any albums before, this one still could have been done better than it was. Be that as it may, I still enjoy listening to it.
Report this review (#254256)
Posted Friday, December 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Fireball is a good album and marks a big sonic improvement over In Rock. It is too inconsistent though to be playing in the same class.

The opener is a great rocker, no more no less. No No No just make me frown though. I can't imagine how such mediocre tracks could end up on albums in those years. The only positive thing I can point out is that it at least indicates that bands wanted to try something different once in a while, a bit of a lost art these days.

Demon's Eye gets my diminishing attention back to the album. It's basically just a great blues groove played with the dirtiest possible sound you could get out of an organ and a guitar in those days. It inspired the band to tight rocking and Gillan to great emotive singing.

Anyone's Daughter is just a bit of fun really but I like the slide guitar here. The Mule goes into spacey territories. It is the only song on the Made In Japan album where I prefer the original. Fools has great instrumental parts but the vocal lines sound a bit strained and predictable. No One Came isn't very remarkable neither.

Overall, this is the weaker album of the Deep Purple's strong 1970-1972 output.

Report this review (#254833)
Posted Tuesday, December 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Fireball is a bit of a letdown when you think it came just after the powerful In Rock and before their magnum opus Machine Head. It simply was not up to Deep Purple´s high standard, much less when you think how talented was this line up. Ok, Fireball is still stronger than their final studio album Who Do You Think We Are, but I found not too many bright spots here. Let´s see.

The album kicks off with the powerful title track: a truly fantastic song that shows everything DP is capable of: an inspired number with outstanding performances by all band members. A classic tune, no less. I always thought it as a bit short but a classic anyway. Oh, how I wish the whole album would come out the same way! But then followed by No No No, a mediocre song that is only partially saved (well, sort of) by the elegant Jon Lord organ solo and the band´s competence. It is also too long. Demon´s Eye sounds half baked, could be a lot better (again there is a good Lord solo). The very unusual Anyone´s Daughter is an improvement albeit quite uncharacteristic: a nice piano and slide guitar featured on this blues/folk/jazz number that shows how versatile DP can be.

The mule is just a filler, a good excuse on live shows for a drum solo. Fools is a little on the more experimental side of the band and it works quite well as that. No One Came is a good, inspired, hard rock number. Overall one can see the band was not really sure what direction to take and they admitted that on later interviews.

A little trivia for DP fanatics: when released in Brazil in the early 70´s Fireball had Demon´s Eye substituted by Strange Kind Of Woman (although the former was credit on the LP´s sleeve, which led to much confusion). I wish the band had done that too, since that song is much better than Demon´s Eye.

I don´t have the new remastered version with bonus tracks so I cannot say anything about them.

Conclusion: an uneven album. It has some quite good tracks among lesser ones. Good CD? Yes, definitely. But this same line up had done much better before and after this one. Rating: somewhere between 3 and 3,5 stars.

Report this review (#265176)
Posted Wednesday, February 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
2 stars Up until only recently, when I did some reading up on Deep Purple's discography, I considered Fireball to be the band's fourth studio release and the first one with the MKII lineup. I guess that it was a fairly reasonable assumption considering that this release sounds nothing like its predecessor In Rock, instead the band sounds very uncomfortable in their direction and tries to do a little bit of everything with this album.

The only thing that could make anyone assume that this is actually the band's fifth release is that Ritchie Blackmore's guitar has now taken even more attention from Jon Lord's keyboards which, in this case, isn't really much of an improvement. I tend to prefer a balance in music and there isn't any indication of that here. The album opening title track does intrigue me but I would be lying if I said that it's better then either Speed King or Highway Star. The track doesn't really try to go in the same direction as those two mighty openers but instead pushes the Deep Purple sound into a much heavier direction thanks to Blackmore's dominance. Once the track finally settles down we come to the album's low point with No No No. This is just a ridiculous performance due to the terrible lyrics and the 7 minute length makes it almost unbearable to sit through. Fortunately Demon's Eye (or Strange Kind Of Woman) is just around the corner to comfort me from the previous ordeal. This track (can be applied to both) is easily the album's highlight for me and it's a pity that things won't get much better from here on.

I was completely shocked when I heard Anyone's Daughter for the first time. Deep Purple playing country isn't something one can imagine without cringing but I actually started to appreciate this track more with time. Ritchie Blackmore plays some pretty ingenious guitar fills that smooth the ordeal significantly and once again proved to me that any genre can sound interesting if put in to the hands of a great master. The Mule works just as well here as it does on Made In Japan but I personally prefer the live version because I'm much more used to it. I was surprised to read that Fools was considered a strive into progressive rock territory since I never really considered it as such. It doesn't achieve anything spectacular over the course of 8+ minutes but on an album as flawed as Fireball even the minor improvements can be considered great. No One Came is another another pretty uninspired blues rock performance from anyone but Ian Gillan who seems to be under the impression that he's a great blues star and it actually works!

As my track by track walk through might suggest Fireball lacks the punch of the albums that came before and after it. The biggest problem for me is the very subtle performance from Jon Lord and lack of any really noteworthy material, which is probably interconnected with one another.

**** star songs: Demon's Eye (5:21) Fireball (3:25) The Mule (5:21) Fools (8:19)

*** star songs: Anyone's Daughter (4:43) No One Came (6:26)

** star songs: No No No (6:54)

Report this review (#280511)
Posted Tuesday, May 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A letdown after In Rock, but nowhere near as much as I thought it was after first listen. If I had to make any major complaints at this juncture, it would be about this album's production; the in-your-face crank-it-as-one sound of In Rock is largely lost here, with Ian's voice largely buried and the other instruments often sounding like they were tracked 20 feet from the microphones. Another, less serious issue is that the band decided to diversify a bit - on the one hand, this eliminated any chance of the album being an inferior In Rock 'clone,' but on the other it means the band isn't doing what it knows best, which means the finished product can't help but suffer a whee bit.

It starts out on a high note, of course, and a fairly expected one at that. "Fireball" would fit in perfectly well on In Rock, propelled by an awesome drum groove (kicking off the song), Ritchie's typically speedy riffage, Ian's typically great singing and some more goofily fast organ and guitar solos. Of course, I can barely hear Ian's great singing, but again, that's just a general flaw to be accepted about the album. That is, except on track three (of the US version, which I have), a single that was obviously recorded in a completely different session from everything else on here. "Strange Kind of Woman" is just about the perfect pop-blues-rock piece, one that packages the crrrrunch that Ritchie and the rhythm players could deliver into a melody that is just about impossible to stop singing for hours after the track is over. And, naturally, it also has the best guitar solo on the album. This track would get better live, but believe me, this version deserves all the credit it can get.

The other five tracks, though, are a bit puzzling to hear on a Mk. 2 Deep Purple album. "No No No" is the worst of these, acting almost as a parody of the band's successes on In Rock. It starts off as an ok mid-tempo stomping rocker, kinda like "Into the Fire," but not only does it not have as much crunchy power as its predecessor, it makes the mistake of going almost seven minutes without the various solos doing much interesting. Ritchie more or less succeeds in creating some trippy, "moody" guitar sounds in his part before moving into some rather mundane soloing, but Jon is largely intolerable as he plays a slooooow, boooooooring part using "Tarkus" noises but forgetting to make them fast or interesting. Meh. If you can make it through seven minutes of this, you're a better man than I.

Beyond this, we come to a country number ("Anyone's Daughter"), with an introduction featuring some beautiful slide work in places, before settling into the actual song. It isn't bad, but it won't knock "Dead Flowers" off its pedestal as my favorite country song anytime soon. The piano work is a nice touch, though. Then we come to a more-or-less psychedelic (!) number in "The Mule," which features a fantastic percussion groove combined with Easterny guitar lines. In theory, it should probably get boring, but it really doesn't - Ritchie gets an awesome solo in the middle, and the bulk of the rest manages to be so hypnotic, and the ending so percussion intense, that I can't honestly say that I don't enjoy the heck out of it.

The last two tracks are each quite long, and my feelings are mixed for them. I kinda like the quiet Gillan vocals over the quiet organ introduction to "Fools," but I'm not sure I'd stretch it out quite so long if it were up to me. The song itself ends up rocking pretty well in places, but danged if I don't notice the weak production here more than elsewhere on this album. And needless to say, making it more than eight minutes, where many stretches are slow guitar noodling over a (nice nevertheless) percussion pattern, is a bit excessive. Finally, the album ends with another well-written, well-arranged, badly produced rocker in "No One Came." On the one hand, the vocals are mixed hideously on this track; on the other, Gillan's delivery is hilarious (I love the way he says "And said man your music is really funky"), Lord's solos are interesting, and the "meat" of the track is plenty tight and crunchy for my tastes.

It may seem from reading that a **** is a bit high for the description I've given. Maybe. Then again, there's only one track that I actively dislike, a couple I really enjoy, and the rest is intriguing at the worst. In other words, I may not be thrilled by this the way I am by In Rock, but I definitely don't dislike the album enough to give it less than a very good grade. A low **** it is.

PS: As mentioned before, I have the US version of the album. The UK version has a track called "Demon Eyes" in place of "Strange Kind of Woman."

PPS: The liner notes for the US version make reference to "bassist Ian Gillan and vocalist Roger Glover." Amazing.

Report this review (#294791)
Posted Monday, August 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Fizzle

Stuck in the middle of two hard rock monsters, FIREBALL doesn't get the glory or recognition as older brother IN ROCK or little sister MACHINE HEAD. The archetypical Deep Purple rock sound is still here, but I've never found much that have ties to progressive rock.

My rule of thumb is that if ''No'' appears in the title, I won't care for the song; ''No No No'' and ''No One Came'' never really start or go anywhere. ''The Mule'' falls into the same category of rocking but not really doing anything interesting. Deep Purple know how to write rock riffs (listen to MACHINE HEAD for proof), but this must've been an off album for them. ''Fireball'' manages to sound decent here, but ''Highway Star'' blows that track out of the water.

There's one boogie song that is the album highlight, ''Demon's Eye'' or ''Strange Kind of Woman'' (depends on which side of the Atlantic you live on). I prefer ''Strange Kind of Woman'' since I'm more used to it. ''Fools'' has somewhat of a prog rock structure, but aside from the beautiful guitar solo in the middle, it's just another Deep Purple rock song (even if one of their better ones). This leaves ''Anyone's Daughter''. All I do is ask ''Why?'' whenever I hear the song. It is essentially Deep Purple doing a country jig, but this is absolutely out of place and not needed (and annoying on top of it).

Much of FIREBALL never made a good impression with me and didn't convince me there is much progging going on here. One only for the prog fan that obsesses over Deep Purple.

Report this review (#377893)
Posted Monday, January 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars "Fireball" is perhaps a bit of an underrated album, because it is very much obscured by the legendary "In Rock" and "Machine Head". "Fireball" is actually a very, very good hard rock album. The album as such is generally characterized by a bluesy boogie drive, which, in many ways, was a common thing in 70s rock music, and there are some progressive elements on it, too.

"Fireball" is certainly very relevant to heavy metal music. The opening track "Fireball" is a hard rocking uptempo track with riffing that has now become standard in heavy metal music, and the track itself may be compared to "Aces High"-style Iron Maiden tracks. "Demon's Eye" is a slow and heavy boogie-driven track which emanates a type of darkness, unusual for Deep Purple, but typical for a lot of heavy metal music. "Fools" is another darker and heavier and quite progressive track (with a really cool main riff), and, interestingly, it contains several sections that make me think of My Dying Bride's avant-garde branch of doom metal (especially the instrumental bridge, whose drum beat would fit right into a doom metal track). "The Mule" probably would not appeal to hardcore metal fans, but in the perspective of 70s rock, it's an outstanding track with a certain psychedelia to it (not unlike early Psychotic Waltz) and some amazing drum work, and I can imagine that some progheads might find it a nice track, too.

While this rock classic may not in its entirety appeal to all progheads, it does contain some progressive elements. I think that open-minded and curious progheads will be able to appreciate it, and fans of rock music in general are bound to like it.

Report this review (#386162)
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars After the great In Rock here we have Fireball, a work so much apart of that by means of quality. Of course in a band like Deep Purple even a poor album or poor songs represents great artistic deeds, but this album is no match for Machine Head, In Rock or even Burn if we want to sprawl our comparison range.

The opener is Fireball, a very interesting hard rock tune; but too short to present so much musical challenges. This is why I don´t put it in the same level of Speed King, Flight Of The Rat or Highway Star; but Jon Lord with his Hammond organ presents an interesting closing for it. No, No, No, is a long and catchy song, proper to my taste; at least because it is long enough to present interesting instrumental passages. Demon´s Eye is an average song; but Anyone´s Daughter is one of my preferred Purple´s song because it is so unique in their whole work, having some interesting country scents!

Last three songs sounds to be as the weakest B-side of a vinyl in a golden age Purple album; even the so much explored in live performance The Mule. Considering all above, I only can think about a three stars rating, with no doubt if it should or could be more or less than it.

Report this review (#434210)
Posted Friday, April 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Fireball simply isn't as good as In Rock - the majority of the band admit this is the case, fan consensus is likewise. That said, there's plenty of saving graces to the album. The second half is actually, by my reckoning, a bit stronger than the first half, featuring as it does powerful numbers like The Mule, Fools, and No One Came.

It's on the first side that most of the problems lie. No No No and Demon's Eye rely on slow, plodding rhythms that, to my ears at least, lack verve and energy, rendering the songs in question dull and repetitive. The instrumental soloing this time around is generally weaker and more forgettable than, for example, the incredible guitar solos on Speed King or Child In Time on the last album.

And then there's the elephant in the room, Farmer's Daughter, which even Ian Gillian admits was a mistake to release as part of the album. Coming right in the middle, this is a weak and unimaginative folk-rock number that comes across as a novelty song, sabotaging any momentum the album had built up to that point. The disc is pretty much saved by the last few tracks clawing things back, but it's still a blot on the running order which would be better off removed from the album entirely.

Report this review (#482028)
Posted Thursday, July 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars Deep Purple's "Fireball" is a very good followup to their masterpiece "In Rock". It features some proto metal classics such as the hard rocking title with breakneck rhythms and excellent guitar riffs of Blackmore. Ian Paice is an incredible drummer and he really lets rip on this album.

'No, No, No' is memorable for the high pitched vocals of Ian Gillan, and killer guitar riffing. 'Demon's Eye' is one of my favourite with pulsating rhythm and unforgettable riffs. It has a funkadelic beat and amazing keyboard from Jon Lord. 'Anyone's Daughter' is a throwaway but is surprisingly jazzy.

'The Mule' has oriental influences and crazy drumming from Paice. 'Fools' is next and really is a grower. At 8 minutes or so the track is the longest and features Blackmore fiddling about and too much organ, but its okay. The album ends with No One Came' with heavy rock elements and huge keyboard runs. Overall a decent album from legends of classic rock.

Report this review (#615329)
Posted Sunday, January 22, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars With Deep Purple sculptured In Rock it was quiet hard to make up with the high expectations of Deep Purple's following record. Fireball however made it all come true. In this record Deep Purple became somewhat more professional in their somewriting, which can also be seen as a backdraw: the naivety made In Rock very authentic. Deep Purple shows with this Fireball a more varied record with more subtlety, while still having some great hardrock as well.

Fireball's titlesong is some up-tempo hardrock driven on the drums and guitars. A good introduction with lot's of energy." No no no" has a lazy attitude. It is somewhat slower and has some great organ solo's. The bass is real great in this song. "Demon's Eye" has everything good hard-rock could have: vocals with soul, great guitar interruptions and a fine song structure. It also has some rock'n roll feelings, but with much more soul in it then usually. On this song Ritchy Blackmore shows his guitar skill's, but not like an outburst, but also with soul: sometimes even a bit funky. Anyone's daughter is a country-rock song with some nice storytelling about all the girls he got. Maybe this song is the highlight of the record. More subtle then here, we could not expect of this hardrockers in heart and veins. A great ending song of the first side of my vinyl copy.

The Mule and Fools have some spacerock moments, which might enjoy Hawkwind fans. The drums on mule are great, like Ian Paice is having a drum solo during the whole song. Fools may be weakest track on the record: the intro, couplet and refrain are really great, but the slow spacy guitars last a bit too long and gets somewhat boring. The last track is some good hard- rockin'. This is my favourite Deep Purple record and almost deserves five stars.

Report this review (#627345)
Posted Monday, February 6, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars 8/10

It is not easy for any album when it is wedged between two masterpieces, but as far as I ever met Deep Purple Fireball see the work as a pair of In Rock ('ll know soon if Machine Head is as good as). Not many acute here - thank Ian Gillian! - And a greater interest in experimentation. Could you imagine a song like Anyone's Daughter composed by the band. And tell me that Fools isn't progressive rock?

In fact there is not a song here that can be seen as a single, a commercial success, but that's not what interests me, but just the fact that fireball is markedly different from its predecessor. The guitar solo in Blackmore Fools is unlike anything he's ever done before, and rightfully so is one of his best (like music). Other highlights are the very Anyone's Daughter (a song that, "I do not know why," brings shame to the group!) And closure No One Came.

Anyway, I liked this album, even though the band not cherish it. 4 stars!

Report this review (#874699)
Posted Tuesday, December 11, 2012 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Not as heavy as "In Rock" but with more variety in musical styles, "Fireball" is another very good album from DEEP PURPLE. Maybe sounding a bit like a "transitional album" between the full Heavy Metal of "In Rock" and the much varied music that they included in "Machine Head". It includes some Blues music influences, like "Machine Head", and some heavy tracks, too.

-"Fireball": it starts with a very good drums pattern by Ian Paice. It is a heavy song.

-"No no No": a song with a combination of fast and heavy parts with a slow Blues influenced part.

-"Demon`s Eye": One of the best songs in the album with very good riffs. Also influenced a bit by Blues music.

-"Anyone`s Daughter": a slow song inlfuenced by Blues and Country music.

- "The Mule": one of the best songs in this album, lt is also heavy, with a very good drums part by Ian Paice. But I prefer the live version of the "Made In Japan" album because it has Ian Paice playing a very good drums solo.

-"Fools": a slow song, not very interesting for me. It sounds to me like some parts of this song were improvised while they recorded it. This song sometimes sounds to me without real direction and a bit forced.

-"No One Came": a heavy song. One of the best from this album.

While "In Rock" was maybe one of the heaviest albums they recorded with this line-up, "Fireball" is still a very good album from this band. It has a better recording and mixing than "In Rock", which was more "noisy", in my opinion.

Report this review (#1265405)
Posted Sunday, August 31, 2014 | Review Permalink
FragileKings
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars "Fireball" is occasionally the neglected child of the first three Mk. II albums because it sits between the sensational rocker "In Rock" and the classic "Machine Head". Additionally, some members do not regard it highly. Particularly Ritchie Blackmore has stated his dislike for the album because it was a rush job done between tours and not always with everyone present during a recording session. Still, the album holds some excellent material and represents the halfway mark between the band's aggressive heavy rock approach and the smoother, more mature style of "Machine Head".

The title track has Ian Paice on the drums in furious form and includes his rare use of a double bass drum. It's an unusual song in the Deep Purple catalogue also because there is no guitar solo and instead a bass solo. The song a is charger with Ian Gillan delivering gruff vocals and some of his trademark screams.

"No No No" is a longer piece with a very cool bluesy guitar intro and a slick and easy guitar solo by Blackmore and laid back organ solo by Jon Lord that gradually builds in intensity until Blackmore lets loose with a volley of hard rock guitar arpeggios. Gillan again applies his forceful vocals.

I've never been too keen on "Demon's Eye" but it remains a classic song of the band. I almost feel like it could have been a long slow blues number which the band decided to speed up a bit and add more muscle to it.

To be sure, the oddball of the album is "Anyone's Daughter", a mock country western song that sounds like the band is seriously trying to do a Mike Nesmith (of the Monkees) song, tongue in cheek. I've always enjoyed this one in part because Blackmore's clean guitar playing sounds so smooth and nice, and Lord's piano solo is so sincerely executed. Gillan provides some wonderful humour in his lyrics with lines like, "I won't get no more eggs and water / cos I've laid the farmer's daughter" and "I you hear telling tales and lies, you say I'm dumb and scraggy / But man, this dumb and scraggy is your daughter's baby's daddy". Both Blackmore and Gillan have stated that they regret having the song on the album but I'm glad for it.

Side two opens with a step back to Deep Purple's more experimental days with "The Mule", a song featuring a repeated drum pattern by Paice, a snare burst followed by a roll over the tomtoms, and a long organ and guitar instrumental sequence that let's Lord create more of a psychedelic soundscape with his instrument than an actual solo.

"Fools" has always been one of my favourite tracks, not least because of the heavy rock guitar and Roger Glover's bass which has a really thick and chunky sound. Blackmore plays with the volume knob of his guitar to create a solo that sounds like a cello. Just past the seven minute mark the music reaches a thundering conclusion with guitar, organ, bass, and drums crashing and thundering together.

"No One Came" is less complex than most of the other songs but keeps the heavy rock theme of the album. Gillan delivers lyrics of cynicism about the music business, making references to a "Robin Hood outfit" and the "glitter and shine" of the business. A great album closer.

The reissue with bonus tracks has some good material such as the single "Strange Kind of Woman" which appeared on the North American versions of the original album as well as three songs that didn't make the album. I like "Freedom" the best for its rock and roll sound with a great piano solo and Gillan really screaming out the lyrics at the end. "Slow Train" is interesting because the music of the "ahh-ah-ah-ahh" part was resurrected by Blackmore on the Rainbow album "Bent Out of Shape". There are also some tracks of just fooling around in the studio which are kind of fun to listen to once or twice.

Overall I feel Deep Purple Mk. II were still hot with fresh ideas on this album. Gillan has stated that from a song writing perspective he felt there were new possibilities explored. It fills the spot between "In Rock" and "Machine Head" with some great music, in my opinion. The band really shows off its talent here. I'd give it four stars personally, but three for this site. Perhaps "very good, but not essential".

Report this review (#1273592)
Posted Tuesday, September 9, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars Tough task to follow In Rock, did the succeed? No, but they did some really good stuff here.

That's my opinion track-by-track:

Fireball: Much like Speed King did for In Rock, this is a fast song to excite the listener and prepare him for a very good hard rock album. Fireball is better than Speed King, more melodic, and perfect for the radio with .

No No No: Bluesy hard rocker, with playful vocals, a catchy guitar riff and a very nice groove. Pretty enjoyable song, maybe a bit longer that the ideal.

Demon's Eye: Instant classic blues rocker, with a simple but brilliant riff and excellent groove. Arguably the best song of the album.

Anyone's Daughter: Folk - Country rocker, the first of the kind by Deep Purple. Could easily be a Johnny Cash song I guess! It's a fun song, but not special.

The Mule: The Ian Paice magnum opus. He builds the song in the steps of the great John Bonham, who was doing spectacular things with Led Zeppelin at the same period. It lasts 5:12 but it could continue for ever... Unique!

Fools: Really good song, with a classic riff and a very nice vocal line, but what was that 2,5 minutes long trippy bridge for? In my opinion it's anti-climax, and I'd like to edit it out to enjoy the song better.

No One Came: Typical long Deep Purple song with improvisations, mostly by Jon Lord. Definitely a good song, but it gives me the feeling that I have listened to stuff like this many times by them. Thus, it lacks significance.

RATING: It tries to follow In Rock, but it fails. It's a step back, but it's a really nice album with three classics: Fireball, Demon's Eye and The Mule. Solid 3 stars!

Report this review (#1378709)
Posted Friday, March 6, 2015 | Review Permalink
3 stars Lots of hard rock, some blues, some funkiness, and a dash of prog here and there...

FIREBALL is not the best effort of the Mark II Deep Purple lineup but it has some good tunes on it, along with some lesser efforts. The highlights are "Fireball", "The Mule" and "No No No". There is some experimentation of a kind of proggy way, but the majority of this album is firmly set in the Deep Puple trademarks of hard rocks and blues with a bit of funk thrown in. Apparently, Ian Gillian has said that this is one of his favorite DP albums.

It is hard to rate it on a prog site, but I would give it a firm 2 1/2 stars and round it up to a 3 star rating based on "The Mule" and the title track.

Report this review (#2135976)
Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2019 | Review Permalink

DEEP PURPLE Fireball ratings only


chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of DEEP PURPLE Fireball


You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives