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Deep Purple - Bananas CD (album) cover

BANANAS

Deep Purple

Proto-Prog


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WaywardSon
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This album opens with "House of Pain" which just sounds too honky tonk for me, seriously the opening track should be something a bit more interesting (Like on Purpendicular for example)

On "Sun goes down" things start to improve, it´s a slower song with some great keyboard from Don Airey. "Haunted" is one of my favourites on this album, in fact I love this song! This is a ballad with a great guitar solo by Morse and even has female backup singers. I usually listen to this twice or even three times before continuing. This is the kind of song you either love or hate. I love it!

Just when I think the album is getting better along comes the song "Razzle Dazzle" This is really cringe worthy, worst song on the album by far.

"Silver Tongue" is another firm favourite and Morse is given space to let rip a little. "Walk On" is good but sounds a bit like Dire Straits in a way, a bit dull and dissapointing in general. "Picture of Innocence" has some interesting keyboards and "I got your number" is a bit too commercial.

"Never a word" is beautiful , it´s sort of a ballad with a twist. I think this was some very old music that they revamped. At last they are sounding a bit more adventurous.

This leads to "Bananas" which is what Deep Purple should really be doing, the classic guitar and organ duels, but this time it´s not Blackmore and Lord, but Airey and Morse and they do a fine job. It´s a great track.

"Doing it tonight" has that hypnotic riff that makes this song hard not to dislike. The album closes with "Contact Lost", a short instrumental where Steve is alone on guitar. This song could have been a bit longer and a lot more interesting.

On this albums Gillan´s vocals are brought to the front of the mix and he is in great form. I still think it would have been even better if they had used Roger Glover as Producer. All in all, a step up from Abandon and a step down from Purpendicular.

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Send comments to WaywardSon (BETA) | Report this review (#82981)
Posted Thursday, July 06, 2006 | Review Permalink
kinkviz@op.pl
4 stars Excellent album! Every piece is enjoyable, and you never get bored. It's much better than horrendous, uninspired "Rapture of the Deep"... And 'Razzle Dazzle' is a very nice song, but you won't get it if you don't have sense of humour. One of the best DP albums.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#98199)
Posted Friday, November 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Five long years between their last and disgusting "Abandon" album and this one. Exit Jon Lord : one of the founding members and probably the best hard rock keyboard player. He will still be credited for two songs. He will be replaced by someone of the family (or almost) : Don Airey who has hold the keys for several years with Rainbow. I guess there is no better choice.

When I discovered the cover artwork, I was expecting the worse. The title of the album is also weird. I started to listen this album with suspectful care. At a first glance, this is album sounds heavier than usual (although they have never been romantic, right) ?

"House of Pain", "Sun Goes Down", Silver Tongue" are slow tempo hard-rock songs; you know type, "Maybe I'a Leo" or "Bloodsucker". Not my faves. "Haunted" is a rock ballad with average melody. Too syrupy for my taste. The album goes on with the same type of monotonous, AOR music with "Razzle Dazzle". My deception is high, since I had really expected a lot better from the Purple after such a poor album like "Abandon".

The long and bluesy "Walk On" saves the album from complete misery. Although that in this exercise (blues-oriented songs), I prefer the Hughes vocals. Do not expect anything ŕ la "Mistreated" though (I guess that this was maybe an attempt) but the song is good. "Picture of Innocence" is a combination of some previous features : slow hard-rock with a bluesy influence at times. A good song as well. "I've Got Your Number" is not too bad a track : quite rocking.

"Never a Word" is almost prog : spacey / church keys to start and a very, very quiet vocal part afterwards. This is rather an unusual Purple song but it gives a bit of variety to this rather dull and monotonous album. The title track rocks all right and is one of the very few good tracks so far. The closing number sounds as a Steve Hackett one (which is nice but it is not really what you expect from the Purple).

It is one of the poorest Purple effort (IMO). "Bananas" is very repetitive album (with too few exceptions). One gets the impression of hearing the same song indefinitely.Pretty boring. I can only rate this one two stars. Sorry guys.

PS : by the way, I have seen in another review for this release that the Purple has a career of 47 years. Although they are not youngsters, I will just remind you that they started as the Purple in 1968. Even if you take into consideration that Lord did some recording in 1967, Gillan/Glover started in 1966 with Episode Six (as well as Paice with MI 5), and that Ritchie was playing with the Outlaws as soon as 1964, this does not make it 47 at the time of the release of "Bananas", right ?

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#107477)
Posted Sunday, January 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars "Now my love is richer than rich, 'Cause I studied mathematics. Graduated without honours, everyone has gone Bananas"

With Jon Lord now having left the band, mainly for health reasons, there was a gap of about 5 years between this album and the previous "Abandon". Lord initially gave up touring, but then left altogether, his place at the keyboards being taken by Don Airey whose pedigree ironically includes Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. Thus the only remaining original member of the band is now drummer Ian Paice, although Gillan and Glover from the legendary mark 2 line up are still on board. The line up here is completed by Steve Morse, playing on his third Deep Purple album.

Interestingly, the band revert to individual song writing credits here, although most are still band compositions. Producer Michael Bradford gets a name check on a couple of tracks, as does Jon Lord.

"House of pain" is a fine, traditional Deep Purple opener with a driving rhythm and a highly accessible melody. Don Airey immediately makes it clear that he is not in the business of making radical changes to the group's sound, adding some very Jon Lord like organ.

The album as a whole though has a welcome diversity as evidenced by the heavy power of the slower "Sun goes down" and the fine ballad "Haunted". The latter song features orchestration, female backing vocals and an emotional guitar solo by Steve Morse. Prog it ain't, but it is one of the band's finest songs in recent years, enhanced in no small measure by a superb performance by Ian Gillan.

Unusually, we get a second ballad a few songs later with "Walk on". This is a more bluesy affair, Gillan sounding eerily like the late David Byron. As if that were not enough, "Never a word" is a most uncharacteristic number. It opens with an extended instrumental with a light Celtic feel of the type, dare I say, Blackmore's Night might be proud. When the vocals come in, they are whispy and harmonised with a folk orientation. It's a lovely little song and a total surprise.

There is the occasional prog influence to be found, such as on the cleverly arranged "I got your number" which continually morphs its style and sound during its 6 minutes. The title track may be rooted in more orthodox hard rock, but the guitar and organ duel between Morse and Airey is very reminiscent of the good old days of Blackmore and Lord.

There is almost inevitably the occasional dip, the first of these being "Razzle dazzle". It has to be assumed that this song was written and recorded with the singles chart in mind, but while it has a commercial bent, it is lyrically and melodically very ordinary. "Picture on innocence" has some prosaic funky verses, but is saved by the more powerful upbeat choruses, complete with classic DP lyrics such as "No drinks, no smokes, no dicking around, no dirty jokes. Straight lace, straight face, the old straight jacket, we got no hope". "Doing it tonight" is a lacklustre song with some intriguing lyrics. Despite the obvious innuendo, it is not actually clear what will be getting done.

The album closes with a short reflective guitar solo by Steve Morse, which forms the band's tribute to those lost in the Columbia space shuttle disaster, and in particular astronaut and Deep Purple fan Kalpana Chawla. It is a lovely piece which is frustratingly brief.

In all, a much more satisfying album than the previous "Abandon", which offers some real diversity, not to mention surprises. There is the occasional filler, but overall this album should please most fans of the band.

Much has been made of the irreverent album title since the album's release, fans even reportedly petitioning for a change. The reality is that the album is simply named after one of its tracks. It should be remembered too that Deep Purple have always had a humorous streak going way back to "Anyone's daughter" and before.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#145954)
Posted Friday, October 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars When this album was just released, a local newspaper in my country made a long article about this new album. I was not interested at all, due to one reason: I hate its cover! It does not rock at all man! How could I compare this artwork with say .. "Fireball" or "In Rock" or "The Battle Rages On"? Zero! No comparison at all. The cover seems ugly and far away from eye catching! But I tried to open my mind because there is an adage: Do not judge the book by its cover .. so I listened to the CD anyway. This 'Bananas' took place 35 years after the band's formation. The album is the studio follow-up to 1998's 'Abandon'. The producer is Michael Bradford, who has previously worked with Kid Rock and Uncle Cracker. There was negative review about this album from Classic Rock magazine on this album. In this case I learned that people still tried to live in the past by expecting the band to play exactly the style of their early albums. There are a groups of people who believe that without Ritchie Balckmore, it's no longer Deep Purple. There are other groups that say: "If Ian Gillan is no longer with Deep Purple, it's no longer Deep Purple. But what I would suggest you is . try to unlearn what you have known about Deep Purple and enjoy the music as it is and there is no super-imposed expectation - especially to expect something similar with Smoke On The Water, Highway Star .. then .. forget it!

If you are in the new horizon already, I would say that you would rate this album as under good rating for rock music, at least 3 stars. A lot of songs in this album that only took two spins before I was hooked. "Razzle Dazzle" is a radio friendly track. The rest is pure good songs with excellent musicianship and good production. "House Of Pain" is a killer and some of you might remember the early days of the band. Songs like Bananas (title track), I Got Your Number, Silver Tongue, Sun Goes Down, and Picture of Innocence (reminds me to Pictures of Home - their seminal achievement in the 70s) are all good rockers they've done since the reunion.

Overall, this is a good Deep Purple album especially in their new line-up where old members were no longer there anymore. Steve Morse is one of good reason for me to have this album. Jon Lord retired and Don Airey replaced him..

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#156892)
Posted Friday, December 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars Never mix food and art! Jokes aside, this is a surprisingly good Deep Purple album. Only the cover art is abysmal, nothing about the music is. Not at all! House Of Pain kicks off the album at a high pace, and Deep Purple still got it. The heavy Sun Goes Down almost sounds like Black Sabbath in places. Haunted has grand piano, orchestration and female background vocals which is very surprising, and it really works!

I will not mention all the songs here, but I must point out that this is one of the most varied albums Deep Purple has ever made. Haunted is not the only track that is slower than what we are used to. The atmospheric closer Contact Lost, the bluesy ballad Walk On and the folky acoustic Never A Word are also in a slower mode than usual for this band. A blues ballad might not be too surprising though, but the latter song is a big surprise. And it is excellent! It features a great vocal melody and some quiet harpsichord (- ish) keyboards in the background. Beautiful!

The rest of the album is pretty straightforward Deep Purple material, but energized and not tired and old like on many of their more recent albums. Don Airay has replaced Jon Lord here, and that might be a factor that re-energized the band. Surprisingly, Airey sounds very much like Lord. I have always liked Airey (he worked with Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore and many others), but he never sounded like this before. Steve Morse guitar work is great (as always), and the older members are somehow re-vitalized by the youngsters.

This is not progressive rock by any means, but it clearly has some prog feeling to it, and prog fans who enjoy classic Deep Purple will not be disappointed by this album.

Go Bananas!

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#192364)
Posted Monday, December 08, 2008 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Somewhere in early 70-th Deep Purple was a great influential band and released some perfect albums. That time is gone long ago, and every new release just confims that.

With Steve Morse on guitar and Don Airey on keyboards, they are in half-classic line -up there (without Blackmore and Lord). Gillan is in so-so form, but in total the music is ... soulless.

From very beginning, just from few first seconds of "House Of Pain" you have deja vu: all this average hard rock clishes you heard so many times! And things don't become better with other songs. In their best, it some simple bluesy hard rocks, but more often - faceless boring pop- hard pieces. All album is bulk, not focused. Musicianship is uninspired. No bright melodism, no interesting arrangements. Very average ... everything.

In fact, good Deep Purple tribute band sounds better. It's a bit pity, that so great musicians just missed their form. But for sure just better listen their great albums from early catalogue.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#247221)
Posted Friday, October 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars From 2003, Deep Purple proves they can still rock hard. However, this is a prog music site and BANANAS offers little. Much of this reminds me of late- era Blue Oyster Cult. Maybe it's the singer? So maybe BOC with an organ. Lots of styles here metal rock, trippy, blues, ballads, hard rock...quite a mix. By no means could this be called a bad album, except for the terrible cover. Deep Purple made some great album covers, and this ain't one! Ugh. Aside from "House of Pain" and the mellow spacey "Never a word" the music is pretty standard. Not bad but just not treat. Average Deep Purple release. 3 stars, actually about 2 1/2 stars bumped up.

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Send comments to mohaveman (BETA) | Report this review (#660848)
Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars 7.5/10

Keeping the direction of success of the two previous albums, Deep Purple shows a sound friendlier to its roots in Bananas, but without neglecting the freshness and novelty of entry of Steve Morse. On the last album I expressed my sadness about the fact that being the last with Master Jon Lord, but seeing Don Ayrey here, I can see that it is more appropriate to replace such a legend. Ayrey, who has played with countless bands and artists (Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne, Jethro Tull, Colosseum II, Rainbow, Judas Priest, Andrew Lloyd Webber are just some of the names with whom he has worked), and which is also listed here on the site as an artist prog-related, exudes talent and cohesion with the rest of the band, with several passages of organs and keyboards, owing nothing to the Lord - which, admittedly, is not an easy job.

My favorite songs here are Haunted (which despite its title, is a magnificent ballad with strings and female backing vocals), Silver Tongue (a title would be a reference to the nickname of Ian Gillian? Haha) Never a Word and the title track. In general this album is as good as its predecessors, and I'm glad to see that Deep Purple still has such energy after so many years on the road. 4 stars.

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Send comments to voliveira (BETA) | Report this review (#926694)
Posted Friday, March 08, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars I don't review many, if any albums these days. It's an exercise in vanity, rhetoric and farting against the wind. That said, after reading all of the very lowly reviews that Deep Purple Bananas received on this site I had to chime in and come to the defense of this GREAT Deep Purple album.

First of all, people, please stop living in the past. Yes, Jon Lord was the lord of the keys and Ritchie Blackmore inspired tens of thousands of shredders and E-minor-Phrygian-mode copy cats. But this new line up rocks and ROCKS HARD. I'd dare say that the Deep never grooved this hard.....EVER!

That's saying a mouthful, I know. But take it from this ol' guy who's listened to every version and variant of the DP lineup and NEVER has DP grooved and funked this hard. In fact, I have to wear a football mouth piece when I listen to this album, for if I don't, I end up with a bloody lower lip. That's how badly I want to bite down, and swoop and turn and bop and drop and twist and jump when listening to this MASTERPIECE of modern rock music.

Not only is this a completely and utterly progressive album, it's one of THE BEST albums of it genre. We're talking Steve Morse and Ian Gillan at the top of their game. Don Airey does a magnificent job at filling in for the Lord of the B3. He and Morse throw down some NASTY runs against each other, reminiscent of John McLaughlin and Jan Hammer and their raunchiest.

If you like HEAVY GROOVES with FUNKY, SOULFUL VOCALS, all wrapped up in Deep Purple, then Bananas is your ticket to aural paradise.

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Send comments to wbiphoto (BETA) | Report this review (#1058695)
Posted Saturday, October 12, 2013 | Review Permalink

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