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Deep Purple - Who Do We Think We Are CD (album) cover


Deep Purple


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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
2 stars Trouble was brewing between Blackmood and Gillan for a while now , but it all blew up in the face in this album. A rather poor album , hardly essential and totally uninspired IMHO! No wonder they broke up!

A rather noisy album with the only break given during the aerial Jon Lord solo of the opening track, also the only "hit"of the album. To my mind , only Rat Bat Blue is relatively better than the sub-par rest of the tracks (for Purper standard).

As for the bonus tracks , even the intriguing 11 min+ First Day Jam track will not make buy the CD version of the album. For Purple completists only!

Report this review (#47739)
Posted Thursday, September 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Unlike follow ups by other groups to their 'magnum opus', which are often very disappointing (by comparison), e.g., Pink Floyds 'Shine on you Crazy Diamond' (versus 'Dark Side of the Moon'), this follow up to Deep Purples essential 'Machine Head' is actually very good.' My woman from Tokyo' is here in its entirety, unlike the shameful Deep Purple compilation '30:very best of', where some joker in their infinite wisdom has shaved nearly 3 MINUTES(!) off the song ... it might as well not be there. Like Pink Floyd on 'Animals', Deep Purple enjoy giving Mary Whithouse a tongue lashing on 'Mary Long'. The rest of the songs are good.

Overall a competent, enjoyable album good standard.

3.5* to 4*

Report this review (#53826)
Posted Saturday, October 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I agree that this album is not among Purple's best but nevertheless it's a much underrated one. Perhaps the lack of long instrumental passages (only 'Rat Bat Blue' and 'Place in Line" contain long organ-soli) is responsible for the rather weak reputation but the song-writing is still great. Little of this album was played live due to the following personnel changes in the band. Only 'Woman from Tokyo' remained a stage- favourite, nowadays they're also performing 'Mary Long'. All in all the album only contains one really weak song (Super Trooper). I can't understand why this track was chosen as a single because it doesn't rock and has no memorable melody. The rest of the album is stronger than everything they made afterwards, no matter whether it was Mark III, Mark IV or the albums from 'Perfect Stranger' on. 'Rat Bat Blue' has the most 'proggy' keyboard-solo D.P. ever made. Not an essential masterpiece but still very strong Purple-stuff.
Report this review (#62274)
Posted Thursday, December 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars What a fitting title. After the eye-opening stunner that was "Machine Head" fans of this talented group were braced and ready to be completely bowled over by their next offering. Instead, we got this putrid stinker. As I recall, there wasn't a lot of advertising push for this one (especially considering the monster single that "Smoke on the Water" had been) and I came across it almost by accident while perusing the new releases at the record store one day in early 1973. I trusted that they wouldn't make me regret buying it on faith alone. My overall reaction upon finishing the struggle to listen to every song was "Who in the hell do they think they are to spit out such drivel?" It is ironic that they have one of their most identifiable songs on it in the embarassing "Woman from Tokyo" with its insipid lyrics and uninspired music. I always hope when I hear that on the classic stations that younger listeners don't judge them by that ultra-lame ditty alone and miss out on the really great stuff they produced before and after this waste of vinyl/plastic. The rest of the album offers little in the way of relief with the possible exception of "Rat Bat Blue" that features just a little bit of Blackmore's fiery guitar. How they could look themselves in the mirror after putting this bucket of slop on the market is beyond me. Shame on them.
Report this review (#77959)
Posted Friday, May 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Although not as strong as the proceding, legendary album Machine Head, Who Do We Think We Are is a decent follow-up. The album is more similar to Fireball than Machine Head, not only by the variety in the songs, but with many of the song being about women (Woman From Tokyo, Mary Long, Smooth Dancer, Our Lady) like Anybody's Daughter, Strange Kind of Woman.

Woman From Tokyo was a big hit in America, and continues to get airplay. Mary Long isn't a particularly memorable song, but sort of serves as filler like other Purple albums. Super Trooper is an average heavy DP song. Smooth Dancer is a nice uptempo song that gets the album moving forward.

Rat Bat Blue, which used to start off Side 2, is more of the more progressive tracks. Based around a cowbell jam melody, the song goes back and forth between different accented riffs. Place in Line is another bluesy song, often favored by Blackmore and Gillan. The song shifts to a faster tempo for good effect. Our Lady is kind of bland, so the album kind of ends on a weaker than normal note.

All in all this isn't a bad album. It might take some getting used to, but it a must for any classic era Deep Purple fans.

Report this review (#77975)
Posted Friday, May 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Who Do We Think We Are" is not the band's best effort in terms of musical standard. However, this album is so memorable for me because the cassette version of this CD was one of six cassettes (all rock!) that my mother purchased for me - altogether with the purchase of National Panasonic Tape Recorder (mono!). Yeah . that was the first sound system that our family purchase and it was shared for me and my brother Henky. Lucky enough that my big brother Henky was a true rocker so I basically played whatever he played. I remember vividly the other cassettes were: Uriah Heep "Demons and Wizards", Santana (I don't know the album but there was memorable song "No One To Depend On"), Osibisa and El Chicano (hah? Do you still remember this band? Where are they now? Any of you know them?).

As this was the only album that I had so I did enjoy playing the cassette. Of course my favorite was "Woman From Tokyo" but I also loved "Rat Bat Blue" and "Place In Line" (I like the opening part where the sound is like in ambient like an SW radio wave at the time). When couple of years ago Deep Purple did a concert in Indonesia with Steve Morse on guitar and Don Airey on keyboard (replacing Jon Lord), they played "Mary Long". So I tried to spin the CD again after I watched them live. It's not bad at all.

It's a good but not essential hard rock music.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#94792)
Posted Tuesday, October 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Running on empty

Deep Purple followed up the world conquering "Machine head" with this clear attempt at creating a facsimile. Unfortunately, relationships within the band were rapidly reaching breaking point, and any semblance of harmony had all but disappeared. Indeed, before the next album ("Burn") was recorded, Ian Gillan and Roger Glover would have moved on.

The problem with "Who do we think we are" is that apart from the opening track "Woman from Tokyo", there is nothing whatsoever to get excited about. It is as if the band's composers are unwilling to submit anything decent to the sinking ship (the credits are conveniently democratic), and the performers are doing only what is required of them.

"Woman from Tokyo" is the exception though. While not quite up there with the ultimate Deep Purple songs, it is worthy of a place in any "Best of" collection. The song has prog overtones, with the driving rock which identifies the track being countered by a "Strange kind of woman" like centre section (which sounds more than a little like the Kinks' "Tired of waiting"). Had the band come up with a few more songs of this quality, we may have been hailing this album as another DP great.

Unfortunately, the inspiration pretty much evaporates as the track fades. Blackmore's brief solos are functional but dull. Jon Lord contributes some decent organ work, particularly on the otherwise forgettable "Rat bat blue", and Gillan does his best to sound excited when clearly he is not.

On a couple of tracks, "Smooth dancer" and "Our lady", we move into Uriah Heep territory, the latter having the choral harmonies of that fine band. The only other song worthy of mention is "Place in line" which is a decent but undistinguished upbeat blues.

In all, a very average album which devotees of the band will probably find sufficiently in line with previous offerings to be of merit. For the rest though, there are far better Deep Purple albums than this.

While the outer sleeve of the LP is poor, the inside has some wonderful press clippings from the early days of Deep Purple, with headlines such as "Purple devastate Edinburgh", "Eating ban on Deep Purple men", and "Deep Purple taking over the world".

Report this review (#96717)
Posted Thursday, November 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars I guess that for any band in the world, it is quite a difficult moment to produce an album after such a studio masterpiece than "Machine Head" and an alike live one as "In Japan". On top of that, the ambience within the band is desastrous. Blackmore and Gillan can hardly stand each other at the time. Gillan already wanted to quit but was encouraged to record another studio album (I guess financials were involved in his decision ...). They are trying to produce a second "Machine Head" but won't succeed even if this album is a good one. Still, we were accustomed to such a high standard bt the Purple that this one sounds weak in comparison.

In remembrance of their fantastic live record MIJ, the Purple will create the opener " Woman from Tokyo" to their new beloved Japaneese audience. Great hard rock song with a good riff. Tempo is slower than their traditional openers during Mark II. "Mary Long" is quite a good track (although 100% macho) : great rythm, strong keys and drumming. Ian performs quite well here. "Super Trouper" is alike to "Bloodsucker" from "In Rock" or to "Maybe, I'm A Leo" from "Machine Head". A good hard rocking song again but nothing fancy; this is exactly the problem with this record. Most of the tracks are good, but almost none is on par with "Machine" or "In Rock". "Smooth Dancer" is a great hard rock tune : fantastic background work from Roger and Ian as well as nice piano from Jon. The vocal parts, as I have already mentioned were strongly influenced by the left over track "Freedom" from the "Fireball" sessions (two years before). Piano / organ moments are just gorgeous pieces : Jon is at his best (as usual) should I say. It is a great piece of rock'n'roll music. Probably the highlight here, together with the title track. Side one is very good. Let's say that it is on par with "Fireball". B-side starts with "Rat Bat Blue" which is a good rocking track again. Ian Paice and Jon Lord are at their best. They managed to bring this track to the "Machine" level. "Place In Line" is a bluesy tune which has flavour of "Lazy". It kicks out after 2'25" and the kind of jamming session it develops after that is quite good. Great keys from the master. "Our Lady" could have been performed by the Mark I line-up. Quite mellow and monocord. The weakest track.

The remastered version has lots of bonuses. "Painted Horse" is an outake and is quite good. Since the album was quite short, I think it should have deserved to be included in there. There are some remix versions of "Rat Bat Blue", "Woman" and "Our Lady" (which has a very good finale and which IMO is better than the official version). "First Day Jam" is a very long ... jam session (over eleven minutes). Bluesy and highlighting Jon's skills (but do we need such thing to confirm this) ? Three stars for this effort.

This will be the end of the Mark II line-up for this time being. They will come back as such (much) later on. But Mark III will also deliver great moments. I have been writing the reviews for the Deep or the Purple or Deep Purple if you prefer during the last two months together with other giant bands like Genesis, Yes and twelve (to be precise) other ones.

I am posting the Purple ones together with the Yes ones. This was not by chance. There are a lot of similarities between both bands : they started almost at the same time, they have produced several good cover songs in their early days, they will change from line-up several times but both will return to their core one occasionnally, they produced masterpieces (studio and live ones), they are still touring and finaly they are two of my all time, all genres preferred bands. Thank you very, very much both Ian's, Ritchie, Jon and Roger. My youth has been impregnated by your work and I will ALWAYS love you. Thank you guys !

Report this review (#105210)
Posted Monday, January 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album requires many spins and close listening to overcome the initial dislike - but it's worth it! People obviously expected some more hard stuff as on In Rock, Machine Head, and Made in Japan. What they got was something like a sequel to Fireball. If you think of Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy of the same year, DP weren't alone in digressing from the taste of the masses in that year! So maybe there's more behind WDWTWA than just Mr Blackmore being on the warpath again?

The music DP layed down for this album is far from being mediocre - even by their own standards. WOMAN FROM TOKYO is a top composition, very controlled with a beautiful middle section and a very catchy riff. MARY LONG is one of these unconspicous gems like Anyone's Daughter or Pictures of Home - perfectly crafted and played with a satirical text on Mary Whitehouse (does anybody remember her? - well, better not). SUPER TROUPER is certainly unexpected - but not bad. Mr Gillan is using a sequencer here. SMOOTH DANCER is the rocker people expected - and it's the most banal track they had to offer on this recording. The lyrics are addressed to Mr Blackmore: Mr Gillan is obviously toying with the idea of quitting the band. RAT BAT BLUE is another underrated track with fine syncopations by Mr Paice and a riff similar to the one of WOMAN FROM TOKYO. A PLACE IN LINE is blues-rock - or is it a parody (maybe even of Led Zep)? Mr Blackmore's sincere dislike of Blues is well documented. Probably the most disliked track on the album - but even this is not really bad. OUR LADY is completely out of the expectation range for two reasons: it's very slow - and it doesn't contain a solo! So they were proggish enough to experiment with the structure of their songs.

Now what to make of this record? All is not well with it and yet it's much better than its reputation. Since I rated Fireball 4 stars I can't give this one such a rating as well. 3 stars must do.

Report this review (#163108)
Posted Monday, March 3, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars With no surprise, the last Purple album of the MKII era is one of their weakest. No classic here (excpet, maybe, Woman From Tokyo). This isn't a bad release, but an uninteresting one, which is worse. Ian Gillan's voice is as clear as on In Rock, Machine Head or Fireball, but the power of In Rock or Made In Japan is absent here. To conclude, if you're a Purple hardcore fan, you got to have Who Do We Think We Are. But if you're not, it'll not interest you.
Report this review (#164750)
Posted Sunday, March 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
3 stars What do you expect from an album that kicks off with a promising rockin' track such as Woman from Tokyo? Surely, a similar, if not a better, follow-up...

Expectations are even higher if you keep in mind that a year ago, the same band released one of the most influential albums in classic rock, Machine Head. However, the magic is lost somewhere after the opening track; a number of pleasant heavy rocking tracks do not match up with the actual capabilities of this band. This makes you wonder if Deep Purple is still the same band that released a few masterpieces the past years. A mix of heavy prog, blues and classic rock is the outcome for Who do we think we are (a successful title?). You don't need a lot of spins to realise the level of inspiration and musicianship on this record: there are some decent old rockin' moments but also a few disappointments at the same time (eg. A place in line). Our Lady and Super Trouper largely remind of early Uriah Heep techniques, but far off the level of albums like Salisbury or Demons & Wizards.

Jon Lord reveals some of his attributes on Rat Bat Blue and Smooth Dancer along with Mary Long stand quite well as rockers, despite the slightly silly lyrics of the latter. What is somewhat disappointing is the level of dedication in the solo parts, evident throughout the whole record. Concluding, this is not a bad album, sounds quite pleasantly for most of its duration but indifferently as well from times to times. Apart from the opening classic, the rest could be easily forgotten by Deep Purple fans. Even if this deserves a small corner in your discography, is not appropriate for your first 'purple' experience...

Report this review (#187855)
Posted Monday, November 3, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Deep Purple are already superstars and now it's time for something really weak - like Who Do We Think We Are! After three consecutive masterpieces it's time for one of the weakest album by the band if not solely the weakest one. Something fresh is the first song, which is big hit, of course - Woman from Tokyo. Everything else is very boring and full of mistakes in logical conections without anything interesting. This is the reason for the break up of this line-up for more than 10 years. When you put this album on you are trying to find something good, but it's really very hard until the end of the album. Being not full disappointment I shall give it 2 stars!
Report this review (#200914)
Posted Wednesday, January 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars A self prophesying title if there ever was one.

For their seventh album Deep Purple had a lot to follow up on. They had had massive success album after album with works, now considered classics, like Fireball, In Rock, Machine Head and the live offering, Made In Japan. Clearly the inspiration had run out, but the band must have been as high on life as a kite when they recorded this, because they're clearly putting a lot of effort into simply subpar material. While the album can still be called good it is no were near the caliber of earlier works, which is probably why it was so ill received back when it came out. If there were any pluses, however, it was that the band were seen to be 'on the comeback' afterward.

Still, there is some good material to be had on the album. First and foremost is the song that many Deep Purple fans consider to be an embarrassment to the band's catalog, the single - and actually somewhat well known - Woman From Tokyo. Everyone has heard this song at some point in their lives, and if it doesn't look familiar then just wait until you refresh your ears with another listen. The sound of Gillian shouting ''my woman from Tokyo!'' will ring a bell right away. This is actually a fairly impressive single rooted in blues rock and tainted it Purple's trademark perverseness. Just about every song on the album will follow suite with this, creating an album with is very 'unprogressive', but that's not the main problem with the album, not at all.

The songs most rooted in strong songwriting are where Purple really shines. Take for example the excellent opener to side 2, Rat Bat Blue, which would actually inspire artists such as German artists Helloween to cover it on albums way in the future. Blackmore scorches the guitar in this track with his bluesy riffs and solos, making for the standout of the album. Unfortunately, the rest of the songs on the album fall between weak and forgettable. Mary Long has some of the strangest lyrics ever used in a repetitive chorus, and there's not much to save the song from that anyways. The other songs on the album are pleasant, but ultimately forgettable.

It would be hard to call this a poor album, but it certainly is weak by any standard. Still, if you're a fan of the band it is anything but a clay pigeon of a disc, and you'll probably get some good enjoyment out of it. Just make sure you don't spend a small fortune on the album, because while it is good, it's got the face that only a mother (or in this case, fan) could love. Fans only, starters to the band are recommended to check out the 4 releases that preceded this one.

Report this review (#204573)
Posted Friday, February 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
1 stars Just in order to put paid to any notion of me being a rabid DP fangirl, I have chosen this album for my first one-star review... They say that there is no bigger disappointment than the one you get from someone you love, and this is very true as far as the aptly-titled Who Do We Think We Are? is concerned. This album, released only one year after the awesome double whammy of Made in Japan and Machine Head gives new meaning to the word 'anticlimactic', and shows a band on the brink of disintegration. Of course, as everyone knows, soon afterwards Deep Purple would come back bigger and better than ever (though with a different lineup and sound) - but this disc remains a blot on their discography, though unfortunately not the only one.

There is not much to say about Who Do We Think We Are?, seen as it is mostly a flat, samey effort that never really sticks in the listener's mind. The sole exceptions to this rule are opener Woman from Tokyo, which, while not the band's strongest effort by any means, manages at least some semblance of quality, and the scathing Mary Long, dedicated to the same Mary Whitehouse (a notorious British campaigner for morality and decency) indicted by Pink Floyd in Pigs - Three Different Ones. The other songs, though competently executed, are totally forgettable, and seem to blur into each other in a sort of shapeless mess. Even the bonus tracks feel disposable, unlike those included on the remastered editions of In Rock and Burn - the lengthy instrumental First Day Jam being far from the best example of the band's mastery, in spite of a decent performance by Hammond king Jon Lord.

Probably, if the album had been released by another band, my rating would have been higher (though not by much). However, we are talking about Deep Purple here, and we have the right to expect something better from one of the undisputed legends of rock. If you are a fan, or want to complete your collection, try to find it secondhand, or discounted (as I did) - otherwise, it is not worth shelling out too much of your hard-earned cash for this very weak, undistinguished effort. Get Burn instead - even with a new lineup, it is everything the title promises.

Report this review (#208980)
Posted Friday, March 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Quiet One
2 stars Who do you think you are to rate this 1 star?!

Haha, side joke to dear Raff... Anyway, Who do We Think We Are is the typical album which gets so bad critics, consequence of being released after the band's magnum opus, or at least most acclaimed one. But if you hear this album, without thinking of Machine Head, either Burn, you'll definitely find, at least three or four songs that make this album enjoyable in the very least. There's no sutff like Lazy or Highway Star or Child in Time, to name a few, but they surely stand alongside Never Before, Maybe I'm a Leo, Smoke on the Water, Demon's Eye, and more of the style, just with a bit less of substance and new ideas.

The album overall features good riffs like from the classic 'Woman From Tokyo' and 'Rat Bat Blue', as well as good solos like the hammond-organ one from 'Smooth Dancer', also some good ideas like in the middle of 'Super Trouper' and in 'Woman from Tokyo', as well as some mediocre ideas like the entirety of 'Our Lady', or the simple blues rooted 'Place in Line', however this one features killer solos from both, guitar and organ.

However, it's a fact that this album is not Deep Purple at their peak and they definitely sound tired at times to the point of adding worthless blues piano throughout some of the tunes which is not something you expect from an already mature hard rock band.

2 stars: I enjoy this album almost in its entirety, but that doesn't mean this is a good album. It's average hard rock done by my favorite hard rock band, so yeah, of course I'll enjoy it. Get this after having heard In Rock, Fireball, Machine Head and Burn.

Report this review (#209113)
Posted Saturday, March 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Reading Cacho coming to this album's rescue , after Raff's rip (a rather strong descritpion for it was done in a most kind and soft manner), I just had to add my two canadian cents in. First, as both did, I must mention some extenuating circumstances that affect my rating - this was first Deep Purple LP that me & my friends picked up. We had heard of Smoke on the Water, but never heard the song itself (1977, my gosh, how isolated we were), but we had this album. It didn't hurt that it started out with My Woman from Tokyo. If this song had been released by any other group, it would be up there with the classics. With DP, it rarely cracks the top ten. But to those of us ignorant of the masterpieces from the previous albums, this song stood high in our regards( still does, eh)

On to the songs ... O.K., I believe I've said enough about My Woman from Tokyo. Except, let me add this - it really could stand as a perfect encapsulation of all the MKII Deep Purple had tried to do with its' music. It was their version of what hard rock could be beyond basic 12 bar blues; it included the pop elements that they had shown on songs like Never Before; the mellow mid part was their arty side; and the interplay between all five that made so many other bands seem so ham handed (including the last great Gillan scream until his heavy Gillan band). Mary Long would eventually be seen as mediocre by most of us. Once you got past the virginity/hypocrisy/stupidity lyrics, and the simple blues structure, this was just competent workmanlike tunesmithing. But good enough to keep you from getting up to lift the needle to the next song. Even today with CD & MP3 players, I don't skip forward. Super Trouper, we saw as this album's Maybe I'm a Leo. Blues derived, with the DP treatment, that pushed it beyond the genre. Smooth Dancer is this album's Fireball or Bloodsucker. The type of song that Blackmore thought showed that dangerous roaring side of the group. Here again, the group shows some of its' pop sources in the chorus, where you could swear they took Never Before's chorus, put it through the blender, sped it up, and spit it out. Baby you're the one who can never see the sun, because it don't shine nightly. Don't you look at me because I'm gonna shake free, you'd better hang on tightly. Still gets as much play as any other DP song. Rat Bat Blue is memorable more for its' guitar & synth parts. I still use the opening riff as a practice exercise for guitar. Not as heavy as Machine Head's songs, but still loud. Place in Line though, is where even the biggest Purple fans could see how dry this line-up's songwriting well had rapidly become. A basic blues, instumentally, lyrically, structurally. Even saying it pales in comparison to Lazy is insufficient to describe how the group went from craftsman to workman in a genre that served as the basis for much of their work. Yes, once they get on to the solos, things spice up, but even with CDs you need to fast forward to this part because you can no longer listen to it. Yes, the MKIII line-up would match Place in Line in quality, but you expect more from the classic bunch. Our Lady is probably the match that set the final fire between Gillan & Blackmore. It sounds like an imperfect compromise between the aspects that Gillan had loved on Fireball, and Blackmore had enjoyed on Machine Head. Too poppy for Ritchie, and too little of it on the album for Ian. It is probably as prog as they got after Child in Time. I don't play this song as much. It's a good song, but with time, and with knowledge as to what was happening internally in Deep Purple, it seems like a farewell from the group to its' then current incarnation. Almost a slow shuffle out the door waving goodbyewithout a look back ...

Yet, with all the mild praise heaped here & there; with the rapture that some songs still hold me for; this is still a favourite. And probably , in a way, it helps for its' admirers to consider it as the step before the next great leap that the group might have taken. First In Rock sets the stage. Fireball builds, adds to, and explores possibilities. Machine Head refines, solidifies, explodes. Who Do We Think We Are, unfortunately never gets a successor to give voice to its' promises. Too bad for us.

Report this review (#209233)
Posted Sunday, March 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars After three of the most stunning hard rock albums ever made,Deep Purple finally left apparent their self-destroying,almost sick(if we're to believe in 1/10 of what the band has related in interviews so far)work obsession ,which led to an unbearable tension inside the group.

Who Do We Think We Are satisfies as a more direct pop-rock album,but it's a bit frustrating to know this was hardly the band's intention.By the summer of 72(ironically,the same period the all-time masterpiece of live performances was recorded in Japan),when this album was written,Gillan and Blackmore were no longer on speaking therms,and I suspect the music had been put in second plan.The lack of communication(and dare I say,interest) inside the band resulted in very rare guitar solos and less excited vocal performances.

There are no bad songs here,but nothing is worthy of much attention either(at least compared to In Rock,Fireball or Machine Head).This is an album that fits perfectly as backwards music,as turning the volume pitches down won't have much negative effect(unfortunately).The big hit,Woman From Tokyo,is a very nice tune.Perhaps different to the Deep Purple we're used to,but still good.My only complain is the absence of a real guitar solo,like the ones Blackmore used to make before he decided that the band wasn't big enough for both him and Gillan,and as long as it stood that way he would be better of with Baby Face(worth checking out on Wikipedia).

Mary Long is a weird one.Sometimes I love it,others I can only see(hear) flaws.By the time this song starts to play,one can already guess that classic Mk II sounding is gone(forever,with no 80's exceptions);just do your best to ignore this,and I assure you this album will become a much more pleasent listen.

And so it advances through a series of nice(if slightly repetitive)straight rock n'roll numbers,with an insteresting blues track towards the end named Place In The Line.Rat Bat Blue,to many people a Purple favourite,has a funky mood and rythm,but overall is hardly more than just a nice song.The album comes to an end before one expects it to,spotting another of it's problems:a dissapoitingly short lenght.

From here on,Deep Purple lost a significant share of it's unmathcable majesty,and even though they would still come out as a very nice blues-based hard rock act,never again they would be that band sitting on the top of the world,shining high above the overwhelming majority of groups in the same genre by that time.It's pretty safe to say this is still a good album.And you're better grab on to it's qualities and try ingore it's problems,for Gillan and Glover are packing up,giving up their spots in the band to the funky couple.

Report this review (#209454)
Posted Tuesday, March 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
2 stars After releasing a string of terrific, groundbreaking records, Deep Purple came out with this dud. It is SO hard to believe it followed such a masterpiece as Machine Head! In my early teens there were only two bands I was totally fanatical about: Yes and Deep Purple. And yet I still remember how disappointed I was when a friend lend me a copy of Who Do We Think We Are. I tried very hard to like it, but to no avail. I gave the LP back to that friend after a week and never heard or talked about that album again. Until a few weeks ago when I heard the 25th Anniversary Edition.

Again I am glad I didn´t buy it. Ok, it is not a total disaster. Rat Bat Blue, Smooth Dancer and Woman From Tokyo are ok, they have some nice parts, the latter being the only one I can say I fully appreciated (the slow middle part is quite good and unusual for Deep Purple). But nothing here is even close to what they had done before. It is a typical case when you notice they are excellent musicians playing very well a very weak material. No inspiration, no good hooks, no passion. A very burocratic album and Ritchie Blackmore had every reason to disowed it in public as he did at the time (´crap´).

The extra tracks add little to the original edition. I liked Painted Horse and I suppose the extended First Day Jam is ok, but that´s about it. Their incredible chemistry was gone and the result sounds like a bunch of leftovers tracks from the previous works put together . A real shame, the weakestt thing DP Mk II ever relasead. Small wonder that line up broke up soon after this LP was out. I can only recommend Who Do We think We Are for collectors, hardcore fans and completionists.

Report this review (#252066)
Posted Saturday, November 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars I bought this album on the strength of their "Machine Head" success. My first impression of the music after I listened to the album was that it wasn't very good. The only song to really grab me at all was "Rat Bat Blue." It was and still is a very good tune. I wasn't that all impressed with "Woman from Tokyo." It had some nice special effects though. I just thought for as long a tune as it was, there should have been more stuff going on than there was. All in all it is one of the better tunes anyway. "Mary Long" is the biggest mistake the Purple ever made in their career, as far as I am concerned. This is the one song to really make the band look bad. No matter if a man physically or verbally beats up on a woman, it is shameful! Ian Gillan ought to be ashamed of himself for verbally smashing a woman, no matter how justified he seemed to be in his own eyes. The band could have found a more tasteful way of dealing with Mary Long. As it is, this song just ruined the whole album for me at that time. "Super Trooper" is the sleeper song on the album. I can hear elements of the first line up, when Deep Purple was doing that experimental stuff. It is a good tune. I love the solo part. "Smooth Dancer" is also a very good tune and it is catchy too! They should have made a 45 out of it also. "Rat Bat Blue" is a killer tune! It has all the ingredients of earlier Purple in it, and Jon Lord does some crazy soloing on this. "Place in Line" is also a good blues tune that was my 2nd choice after "Rat Bat Blue." It starts off great, but when Gillan starts singing "Don't cha think we're gonna make it," I thought, 'Man, this part has been done a thousand times. They need to do something different here!' Other than that part, the song is killer. I loved the way Ian Gillan sang with the deep soulful voice. It was absolutely great! "Our Lady" should never have been recorded at all. I never could get into it all. It is just a bad song for the Purple to have recorded. Up until I listened to the anniversary edition I would have given this 2 stars at best. Since I have heard "First Day Jam" and "Painted Horse", I have changed my mind. "First Day Jam" was done without Blackmore's contribution. I love it as it is. Jon Lord just does it for me here and Roger Glover is right there with some tasty bass lines. Ian Paice is also kicking everybody down on this tune. It is some good 3 man jazz to me no matter how you slice it! "Painted Horse" has some good harp on it and it should have been used instead of "Our Lady", as far as I'm concerned. It is on the strength of "First Day Jam" though that I am giving this album 3 stars. If anybody listens to this album and is able to delete "Mary Long" and "Our Lady" they might start enjoying the music here.
Report this review (#255617)
Posted Friday, December 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
Italian Prog Specialist
2 stars Just like so many other Purple fans, both young and old, I fell in love with the band through the high-adrenaline trio of In Rock, Fireball and Machine Head, all boasting some of the classiest, most striking hard rock and heavy prog of the 70s.

Just like so many other Purple fans, both young and old, I lost a whole lot of faith in the band upon hearing Who Do We Think We Are. After a few spins dominated by sheer disbelief, utter disappointment and occasional thoughts that I must be missing out on something, this mediocre effort slipped my mind and thankfully passed into oblivion for several years.

Well, here we are again.

While not appallingly bad in any way, it's the sonic equivalent of an ugly hangover after a terrific party. Bland, often mid-tempo rockers with lack of identity, edge and power. Fat and clumsy, the songs lazily straggles on in hope of living on past glories. Uninspired, blunt Hammond organ from Lord, insipid, cheap guitar licks from Blackmore, unusually pedestrian drumming from Paice and a Gillan singing with less than a quarter of the inspiration we've come to expect from him. Glover does what he have to do, nothing more. Where Deep Purple used to be a tight, loud, crashing, technical, confrontational and brave band you now find a sluggish, retired boxer desperately trying to find any kind of focus.

It just goes to show how much internal strife can ruin even such a killer line-up. I think some fans could find redeemable features on Who Do We Think We Are, but I'll always look at this album as something tainted and unworthy...and preferably created by another band.

2 stars.


Report this review (#270539)
Posted Monday, March 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Yes, who do you think you are ?

Deep Purple, Mark II was disintegrating at this time. Ritchie has later admitted that he kept his best material away from this album. Thank you, that explains a lot.

This albums opens with the rather good Woman From Tokyo. It continues with Mary Long, a rather vicious attack on Mary Whitehouse. The rather substandard melody does not help either. I have no wishes to run through the other songs here. They are all a mix of second hand blues and pop. These songs have no direction and no purpose. Not to mention quality. Only John Lord comes out of this album with his dignity in reasonable good shape. The rest should hang their heads in shame........... which they actually has done many times. This album is only saved by Woman From Tokyo and some decent playing by John Lord. The rest of this album is a turkey.

2 stars

Report this review (#293673)
Posted Saturday, August 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Ok, so it's laudable on the part of Gillan that he didn't like that the band had established for itself a bit of a stylistic rut, and that he wanted the band to branch out a little. But with intra- band tensions reaching a fever point (Ritchie had a bit of a reputation for not getting along with his vocalists, a theme that would pop up through the rest of his career), this wasn't exactly the best time to try and go out on a limb. Especially when that limb ended up costing the band most of what made it stand out from everybody else in the first place.

In all fairness, though, I really like the album's most famous song, the hit "Woman from Tokyo." Ok, so it's basically mid-tempo generic heavy pop rock, which can understandably drive many people away from it (honestly, I remembered it as not so good until I started listening to this album in earnest for reviewing purposes). But dang it, the riff is nice, the hooks are well-established, Gillan gets in some delightfully dorky "OW!!" screams in the verses, the mid-section is lovely, the coda is fun ... It's a bit disappointing as an opener to a DP album, since it doesn't blaze like we've come to expect from DP openers, but as a song unto itself, it's quite a nice little ditty.

Unfortunately, there's the rest of the album to deal with, which I find extremely disappointing. The thing that bugs me the most when listening to a lot of these songs is that I can tell that this is a band that is instinctively comfortable with making heavy music, yet it almost seems as if, once they'd sense that a song was veering in that direction, that they'd intentionally try to shift the mode away from ass-kicking and into poppier modes. Only problem is, the attempts to put poppier aspects in the songs just aren't that good - the lukewarm "rocking out" is compounded by the lukewarm hooks, and the result just seems incredibly lifeless and mediocre to me. It also doesn't help that some of the "rock out" attempts use older classics as crib notes - "Super Trouper" is based off of "Bloodsucker" (before aborting the riffage and turning into some sort of stupid poppy psychedelic thing), and "Smooth Dancer" reminds me just a little bit too much of Speed King for my comfort.

Of the other four tracks, "Rat Bat Blue" is undoubtedly the best, as it boasts a ferocious funky riff (over which Ian throws some stupid singing) that eventually gives way to a great organ jam. Alas, "Mary Long" tries to rock but doesn't (and has stupid lyrics to boot), "Place in Line" is a lazy attempt at a blues jam, and the closing "Our Lady" goes in one of my ears and out the other, leaving no trace of its attempt at majesty or whatever.

In short, mediocrity abounds. Glover and Gillan left in disgust (or did Ritchie push them out? Ah, the mysteries of life), and thus ended Mk. 2. So sad that such a great band went out on such a non-great note.

Report this review (#385539)
Posted Sunday, January 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars I am not in the mainstream here, because I like this album a lot ! it is not as good as In Rock or Machine Head, but is far better than Fireball.

Woman From Tokyo, which opens the album, is the first not so fast track to open a Purple album if you compare it with Speed King, Fireball and Highway Star. Is it bad ? Not at all, this is the only well accepted song of this album by the greater part of their fans. Its middle pause, a soft passage of Hammond organ, bass and a light mood of drums is pure sample of a good rock and roll moment !

But this album have some others pearls, those ones which makes it better than Fireball IMHO. Smooth Dancer is the first one, a speedy track easy to be tasted by any hard rock lover. Rat Bat Blues another one, not so easy to be tasted, but with some magic moments created by Jon Lord killing Hammond organ. The best progressive moments of Deep Purple seem to me provided by this keyboard master, and it is very clear to me in this song.

Last good sample of music here calls me a lot of attention. Place In Line is a bluesy song where we can see one of Blackmore´ s best guitar solo, starting easy and softy, but growing in speed and power until Gillan´s voice joins it in a perfect climax. And even today I have some doubt about who sings in the beginning of Place In Line. Does someone in Progarchives knows something about this ?

Report this review (#435738)
Posted Tuesday, April 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is hugely underrated.

This is actually one of my favourite Purple albums, because it's little different than the "standard classic" ones that's been overplayed for some time now. The album's got great drumming, vocals & power, and some of the songs are more proggy than usual. Relationships between Blackmore & Gillan had become sour by this point, and that's probably why the album's a little fractured.

There are some great songs on this album. "Woman from Tokyo" is a classic, though a little but commercial sounding. Great power in the drums & vocals here, and I love the slow middlepart.

"Mary Long" is also great, with interesting lyrics by Gillan, to say the least. Mary Whitehouse must have been a very annoying person since both "Mary Long" and Pink Floyd's "Pigs" are about her.

"Super Trouper" is one of the best on the album, great power & great vocals & drums. Cool timing and guitar riffs, not unlike Led Zepps "Black Dog"

"Rat Bat Blue" is also one of my faves, and are really proggy to be Deep Purple if one think about it. Many different parts, great riffing from Blackmore, and great keyboard solo from the master Jon Lord.

The rest of the songs are not as great though, "Place in the line"s a bit dull and a filler. "Smooth Dancer"s just annoying, and "Our Lady" feels out of place, and finds the band in "With a little help from my friends"-mode a la Joe Cocker's verson. Strange to hear from Deep Purple.

Not a great album as a whole, but those songs which are great, ARE great. I give it 4 stars for being great, but not great as a whole album.

Report this review (#459105)
Posted Saturday, June 11, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars 7/10

Who I think is to give this album 4 stars?

With Machine Head I followed the general opinion and agreed that it was a masterpiece with Who Do We Think We Are I'm going against the tide. Ok, this is the weakest of efforts of Mark II, but I think if you liked the previous albums will like this ... although many people do not think so.

Again the powerful Lord's organ is in the background, but the musicianship here still is high caliber. The use of slide guitar in Mary Long is fantastic, as well as the metallic effects in Super Trouper. And the blues-rock leanings are far more sharp here on this album than any of his predecessors - see Place in Line, which opens with a bang and already deep voice of Gillian. It's a shame that this was his last album with the band until his return in 1984, but at the time I write this review I hear his successor Burn and see that David Coverdale is a suitable substitute.

3.5 stars, rounded up.

Report this review (#877809)
Posted Tuesday, December 18, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars I really can`t see why this album is not liked by some people. Taking into consideration the hard time the band was having during the recording of this album, i really expected worst things from this album. Before this album was recorded, Ian Gillan wanted to leave the band, but was persuaded to not do it. There were some pressures from the management. Gillan said in interviews that the band needed a rest, but that the management wanted a new album and more touring. So, Gillan stayed with the band for more time. But he and Ritchie Blackmore were not talking to each other, and Roger Glover said that this situation even caused more problems during the recording of the album. So, despite all these problems, this album is still very good, in my opinion. Maybe some of the lyrics are not very good...but the music in general is very good. But in general the album sounds like it was done with the intention to give to the fans a good quality album in performances and production. In fact, the recording is very good.

"Woman from Tokyo" is maybe the most known song from this album. It maybe lacks some power and some creativity in the "quiet" instrumental section, but it is good anyway. "Mary Long" has good music maybe inspired a bit by Blues music but maybe the lyrics are a bit offensive. "Super Trooper" and "Smooth Dancer" are good Hard Rock songs. "Rat Bat Blue" is one of the best songs from this album. "Place in Line" is a song influenced by Blues, with Gillan even "imitating" some Blues singers, and this song has very good keyboards solos by Jon Lord. "Our Lady" is maybe the best song in this album, another Hard Rock song to finish it in a good level.

After this album was released there was more touring fot the band until June 1973. After that, Gillan finally left the band. And Blackmore also wanted Glover out of the Glover also left the band.

The band sounds tired. Even Gillan`s voice sounds tired. But they had to work. So, I think that it was not their fault if this album was not very good for some fans. I think that it is a very good album, maybe better than the next three final studio albums that the band recorded without Gillan and Glover ("Burn", "Stormbringer", and "Come Taste The Band", this last album with Tommy Bolin replacing Blackmore) before they split in 1976.

This line-up of the band (Blackmore, Gillan, Glover, Lord, Paice) played and recorded together again since 1984 until 1989, when again some problems between Blackmore and Gillan led to Gillan to leave the band again and to to be replaced by Joe Lynn Turner. But Gillan returned for another album ("The Battle Rages On", 1993) before Blackmore finally left the band again in late 1993, in not very good terms.

Report this review (#1267778)
Posted Thursday, September 4, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars Unpopular opinion, but this one is the most underrated DP album.

That's why I believe so, track-by-track:

Woman From Tokyo: Pop rocker of the highest class, still beloved around the world. Due to it's pop nature, shortened versions of it make the "mainstream" radio playlists sometimes, making us long time fans smile! :-)

Mary Long: Naughty, controversial lyrics in a really great rocker, one of my favorite DP songs. The vocal lines are wonderful, making it one of my preferred songs in Karaoke parties, if available. Adorable!

Super Trouper: Simple but effective, it seems like they just can't write a mediocre song anymore. Everything is at least good.

Smooth Dancer: RnR spirit in this one, I've seen people dancing like crazy to this one at a "traditional" RnR party, after I had a word with the DJ... Very nice song with remarkable piano/keyboard work by Jon Lord.

Rat Bat Blue: One of the most underrated songs by the MK II era. The things that Jon Lord does with the keyboards are unreal, and the song in general has nothing less that classics like Space Truckin' or Fireball. It's of a somewhat different approach, but of equal quality!

Place In The Line: Slow, sensual blues for the first 2:20, it evolves to a typical bluesy rocker afterwards. The solos are lengthy and technical as the genre "dictates", but DP always have the advantage of the unique Jon Lord sound to separate them from the ordinary. A good song, but not so special after all.

Our Lady: Heavy song, bold sound, with keyboards riff, and a Black Sabbath spirit somewhere in it. More impressive than actually quality, it's a good choice to close the album.

RATING: Only half a step behind Fireball, the fact that it followed the outstanding Machine Head devaluated it in the minds of fans. It's a 3 stars album with three great songs, that would make a DP Best Of any time: Woman From Tokyo, Mary Long, and Rat Bat Blue.

Report this review (#1378711)
Posted Friday, March 6, 2015 | Review Permalink

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