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IN ROCK

Deep Purple

Proto-Prog


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Deep Purple In Rock album cover
4.29 | 827 ratings | 77 reviews | 56% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
rock music


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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1 (41:46)
1. Speed King (4:18)
2. Bloodsucker (4:12)
3. Child in Time (10:15)
4. Flight of the Rat (7:52)
5. Into the Fire (3:29)
6. Living Wreck (4:30)
7. Hard Lovin' Man (7:10)

Disc 2 (34:48)
1. Black Night (Original Single Version) (3:27)
2. Studio chat 1 (0:33)
3. Speed King (Piano Version) (4:15)
4. Studio chat 2 (0:27)
5. Cry Free (Roger Glover Remix) (3:21)
6. Studio chat 3 (0:05)
7. Jam Stew (Unreleased Instrumental) (2:31)
8. Studio chat 4 (0:40)
9. Flight of the Rat (Roger Glover Remix) (7:55)
10. Studio chat 5 (0:31)
11. Speed King (Roger Glover Remix) (5:53)
12. Studio chat 6 (0:23)
13. Black Night (Unedited Roger Glover Remix) (4:47)

Total Time: 76:34

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Ritchie Blackmore / guitar
- Ian Gillan / vocals
- Roger Glover / bass
- Jon Lord / organ, keyboards
- Ian Paice / drums

Releases information

LP Harvest SHVL777 (1970)
In 1995 a 25th anniversary special edition was released by EMI on CD with
etched jewelcase and 13 Bonus Tracks. This tracklisting reflects the reissue

Thanks to momomo for the addition
and to montana for the last updates
Edit this entry

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Very Best of Deep PurpleVery Best of Deep Purple
Rhino 2000
Audio CD$4.92
$0.58 (used)
Perfect StrangersPerfect Strangers
Remastered · Extra tracks
Mercury 1999
Audio CD$1.77
$2.12 (used)
Machine HeadMachine Head
Rhino Flashback 2011
Audio CD$1.88
$1.13 (used)
Made in JapanMade in Japan
Warner Off Roster 1990
Audio CD$1.74
$1.07 (used)
In Concert '72 (2012 Remix)In Concert '72 (2012 Remix)
Rhino/Parlophone 2014
Audio CD$3.78
$8.15 (used)
BurnBurn
Rhino 2005
Audio CD$4.29
$3.59 (used)
In Rock: Anniversary EditionIn Rock: Anniversary Edition
Import · Remastered
EMI 1995
Audio CD$2.78
$1.76 (used)
FireballFireball
Rhino Flashback 2008
Audio CD$1.34
$1.70 (used)
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DEEP PURPLE In Rock ratings distribution


4.29
(827 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(56%)
56%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(32%)
32%
Good, but non-essential (9%)
9%
Collectors/fans only (1%)
1%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

DEEP PURPLE In Rock reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars When Deep Purple was founded, all members mixed an interesting musicial curriculum vitae: singer Ian Gillan had done a wide range of musical styles, drummer Ian Paice was influenced by Buddy Rich, bass player Roger Clover had played folk, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore once joined Chuck Berry and keyboard player Jon Lord had a classical training on piano and organ. They started to blend rock, blues, jazz and classical, rehearsed very often, did an awful lot of gigs and ... THEN DEEP PURPLE CREATED THE HEAVY PROGRESSIVE ROCK SOUND! So please stop nailing Deep Purple as pure hardrock, they added far more variety and musical ideas to their music than bands like Iron Maiden, Motorhead and Black Sabbath, they played hardrock!

On this album we can listen to Deep Purple their finest hour on a studio record: a dynamic and creative rhythm-section, a splendid singer with a very distinctive and powerful voice (screaming sounded never so pleasant!), a top-notch keyboardplayer and a super talented guitarist, exciting soli, outstanding interplay, strong and catchy melodies and rhythms. My highlights are the two long compositions "Child in time" and "Flight of the rat", what a dynamic climates and what an excelent soli on organ and guitar!

THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST HEAVY PROGRESSIVE ROCK ALBUMS OF ALL TIMES!!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#46542) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Review by horza
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars One of the first rock albums I ever listened to.I can still sing along to Child in Time,and that about says it,this album IS a classic and has to be up there with the greats.Jon Lord has always been a favourite of mine and whilst I was a fan I was never aware that I considered them as being prog rock.Speed King is awesome and surely the track to influence many to join rock bands.Ian Gillans voice was never better and Ritchie Blackmore surely gave the proto-rockers goosebumps here.

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Send comments to horza (BETA) | Report this review (#47092) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, September 18, 2005

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars 4,5 stars really!!!!

Well here we jump into history. Maybe not prog history but certainly in ROCK history. What a superb album this is regardless of it being prog or not! Groundbreaking would be the best adjective I can think of about the time this album was released! Gone were Evans and Glover, Blackmore taking over the musical direction along with Screaming Ian Gillan.

For years , North American youths were stolen the first minutes or so of this masterpiece. I believe this is still the case , the North American CD issue is still missing the first musically chaotic minute. I can hardly forgive the record company for having pulled such a stunt and to think that American youth could not hear such a great start. Anyway Speed King (almost 6 min in its entirity) is the one track that I can single out to describe best the second Purple line-up (known as Mk II) and was the first crack at superstardom for them. Bloodsuckers actually depicts the recording industry (maybe to protest the suppression of the intro of the previous track) but goes a little un-noticed as we reach Child In Time. OK , the tracks is plagiated from It's A Beautiful Day's Bombay Calling , but man , would we miss this if track if they had not done it. Among all of the version I heard , this studio track is still the best, IMHO and the guitar solo the most audible. Thje tracks ends in another musical chaos to book end the first Vinyl Side.

All of the four tracks on side 2 can be considered classic hard rock tracks of their own and Flight being my fave among them. The special 25th Anniversary version comes also with the superb non-album single Black Night, indispensible companion of the album. The rest of the bonus tracks are of interest to fans (I am one of them) . Beware of buying a non_us pressing because of the missing minutes I mentioned above.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#47662) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Review by Marc Baum
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars What can be said about this fantastic album?

Well, first you have a four octave vocal assult, given by no other than the legendary Ian Gillan, also known as Jesus Christ (Superstar, of course.) His amazing banshee wails have been known to Disturb the Priest, every now and then. I can't emphasize how great Ian Gillan is, you have to hear this album to truly understand. Combine Ian Gillan's mastery at hard rock vocals with Ritchie Blackmore, and you have a winning team. Ritchie Blackmore is a truly great guitar player. He gives us fantastic riff after riff, and his solos are even more amazing. He is deeply rooted in classical music, and it gives a fresh perspective compared to the blues style many bands played at the time. (and hey, I love Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, but variety is good). Add Tony Iommi into the mix with these four greats, and you have my five favourite guitarists outside of prog. We cannot forget Jon Lord, the organ player. "Organ player!?" some might exclaim. But believe me, he is fantastic. He really knows what he is doing. Without him, Ritchie's guitar riffs wouldn't sound half the same. What a lot of people don't realize is that when Jon Lord is riffing with his Hammond Organ, it sounds similar to a guitar. This in turn creates a huge massive sound, which would become a trademark of the band (well, sometimes Jon played piano and stuff, but that wasn't particularly often). I could compare Jon Lord to some other organ players, maybe Keith Emerson or Rick Wakeman, but his style is far different from these geniuses. He himself is also one!

We cannot forget the rhythm section, however. They are very impressive themselves. The two of them are Ian Paice (drums) and Roger Glover (bass). I'll start with Little Ian first (Gillan was called Big Ian, and Paice wasn't really small or anything, but Gillan was pretty big). Ian Paice, in short, just has the groove. His drum beats are great. He can play speedy beats with ease, bashing his drum set, but at the same time keeping his "groove." He plays amazingly throughout the album, and is often underrated when people talk about drummers. Granted, I prefer John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) over him, but he beats out his other competitors at the time such as Bill Ward (Black Sabbath). Then again there is Keith Moon, who is fantastic, but I would still put Ian Paice on the same level as him. I just mentioned these drummers because they were all in Hard Rock bands that had overflowing influence on the genres of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal.

Now on to Roger Glover, who is very important in the history of Deep Purple, despite getting the job in Deep Purple by coming along with Ian Gillan when he was about to join Purple. Roger Glover is a great bassist, and was the co-writer of the lyrics along with Ian Gillan. You can hear his thundering bass amidst all the guitar and organ action from Ritchie and Jon. Admittedly, his bass was not as loud as Geezer Butler, but it is still loud and great. He works great alongside of Ian Paice, which is very important for the rhythm section. Someone has to keep the rhythm while Jon and Ritchie are trading off solos! (which happens frequently) We cannot forget the fact that he does the remixing and a lot of the work on the Anniversary Editions of the Mark II(which is this line-up) albums. Before I go on, I should also mention that I will be reviewing the 25th Anniversary Edition of "In Rock". The normal version is great too, but the extra songs you get are a superb addition, and the intro to Speed King isn't cut off.. Plus, the 25th version is remastered, which is very noticeable. I have both versions, and the sound quality is vastly improved on the remastered version. "Into the Fire" is barely listenable on the non remastered version! The remastered version is an import though, but it is only about five dollars more if you order it. In Germany you can get it in any well- ordered cd shop for the price around 8 dollars/euros.

Anyway, on to the songs themselves, which is what the album is about. I will review each song in detail and give this time stand out performances as an addition, which will show the particular qualities of the single band members on here.

01 - Speed King "Just a few roots, replanted."

Overview - That intro is astounding. What a strange way to start a song, but it all works. Ritchie really shows his skill here. Anyway, the song contains a pretty heavy riff for the time, and is relatively fast. It would be strange to have a slow song called Speed King, wouldn't it? There is a neat little instrumental in the middle, but Ian Gillan comes back with a furious scream-laugh, and proceeds to finish the song along with the rest of the band. It is a great song, with a great chorus. However, the normal American version of this song has that great intro cut off, which turns this almost-six- minute song into a mind-numb 4 minute rocker. Without that great intro, the song loses a lot of its power and unique-ness. I rate the full version, which is definitely a classic in general and deserves the full score!

Stand Out Performances - Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore Track rating: 10/10 points

02 - Bloodsucker "A particularly nasty sort of fellow, there are lots of us."

Overview - "Aaah, No, No, No!!" From the first few seconds, you can tell this is gonna be a great hard rock song. Ian Gillan's performance in this song is outstanding! He dominates the song, easily. He gets three vocal parts right in a row, and shines in all of them. Then we hear some classic Organ-Guitar solo trade offs, which are great. The last part of the song is perhaps the most interesting. Olympic Sharpshooter explained the effect already, so I will not go more into it, except to say that it is great. All throughout the song, Roger Glover plays a crunching bassline, and Ian Paice's performance is great. The song includes some brilliant guitar breaks, which have an prog-atmosphere, at least you could imagine it, but it's quite obvious. However, despite the great instrumental prowess in this song, Ian Gillan clearly outshines the others with his great performance.

Stand Out Performances - Ian Gillan Track rating: 9/10 points

03 - Child In Time "The story of a loser - it could be you."

Overview - The most fantastic song on the album, and is truly awesome. After the first time I heard this amazing epic, I was in awe. If Deep Purple could only be remembered by one song, this would be it. Forget your Smoke on the Waters and Woman from Tokyos, this song absolutely destroys those songs, and to be quite honest, the rest of the Deep Purple catalog. This song is emotional, calm, wild, intrigueing, amazing, and many more things.

The song is essentially about victims of war, and is lyrically very short. It begins with a calm and beautiful organ intro, which is borrowed from It's A Beautiful Day's Bombay Calling. Roger and Ian Paice give us a great rhythm, which fits the song perfectly. Then there is Ian Gillan who starts singing. He does an excellent, no...more than excellent, job singing. He sings the verses passionately and powerfully. Then we enter the trademark "Aaaaaah"s, which you really have to hear to understand them. They start out soft, and progressively get louder and more aggressive. Aggressive really isn't the word to use, but I cannot find a better way to describe this amazing work of vocal art. After Ian Gillan finishes his amazing stunt, it is time for Ritchie to enter the scene. Oh, and enter he shall. He gives us a guitar solo like no other. It starts off slow, and then gets more fast paced as time goes on. It is played and written amazingly. Ritchie has done many amazing solos, but in my opinion, he has never topped this one. Maybe it is just because of the song the solo is in, but either way, the solo is amazing. The rhythm section is great as always throughout the guitar assault. Jon comes in near the end of Ritchie's solo and gives a great solo. It gets faster and faster, until suddenly it stops, and we get that calm organ again, except now Jon is playing an amazing clam organ solo. Ian Gillan sings passionately again, and enters his "Aaaaah"s again. It starts out calmly like the first time, but when he changes this time, it is much more drastic. As he goes on, he gives an even better performance than before, and leaves you wondering how he can possibly do it. The song ends with chaos, featuring Ian Gillan screaming over the top of speedy instruments, but I would have the song end no other way. The song is over ten minutes, but every second is amazing. This is the best song on the album, the best song Deep Purple ever did, and in my book, the best song ever recorded, alongside with Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven".

Stand Out Performances - Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Roger Glover, Ian Paice Track rating: 10/10 points

04 - Flight of the Rat "Just to remind you there are other ways of turning on."

Overview - After the full out assault of awesomeness that is Child In Time, Deep Purple had to give us something damn good afterwards, and they do not let us down. After I gave this song a few listens, it instantly became one of my favorites. The song just rocks, there is no other way of putting it. Ian Gillan gives a good performance, but refrains from screaming. Roger Glover gives us some great bass, and Jon Lord throws those solos at us like no other. The real stars of this song are Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Paice, though. Ritchie's guitar riff for this song is excellent, and his solos are miles beyond his riff. The man can really play guitar, and does not get the respect he deserves. Ian Paice gives us a great performance himself. His drums are rockin' throughout the song, and his drum solo at the end of the song is great. The song is really all over the place after the first three or so minutes, but that is what makes this song so great.

Stand Out Performances - Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Paice Track rating: 9.5/10 points

05 - Into the Fire "Out of the frying pan..."

Overview - This song is pretty heavy for its time, and is pretty aggressive. However, the song isn't amazing like the others, but just a very good song. Ian Gillan gives us some furious vocals, which are probably the highlight of the song. Other than that, the song really doesn't stick out too much, other than being heavy. Jon and Ritchie do not dissapoint with their solos and riffing, and Roger and Ian Paice are great as always.

Stand Out Performances - Ian Gillan Track rating: 8.5/10 points

06 - Living Wreck "It takes all sorts - support your local groupie."

Overview - Another great song. It is definitely a step up from Into the Fire. The song isn't really super heavy or in your face, it is just a great song. Jon Lord plays great during the song, his "swoosh" organ sound giving the song a lot of character. Ian Gillan also doesn't scream during the song, which is the only other time other than Flight of the Rat where he doesn't. It does not make the song any less great; in fact, his vocals are great on this one. The lyrics are a bit strange, though. You know that "groove" thing I was saying Ian Paice had? He displays it in full glory in this song. Great performance by the Little Ian. Roger gives us some great bass on this song, another of the song's highlights. Ritchie plays well, but he has better moments on the album.

Stand Out Performances - Jon Lord, Roger Glover, Ian Paice, Ian Gillan Track rating: 9/10 points

07 - Hard Lovin' Man "For Martin Birch - catalyst."

Overview - Wow, another amazing song. This album really cranks them out. Listen to the guitar riff, it is great. The intro is also killer, as well. The whole band really shines on this track, they play very well. Jon's solos at first were a bit strange to me, but after a few listens I started enjoying them a lot. Ian Gillan gives us a wild performance. He certainly makes sure we know what kind of man he is! Ritchie solos like a madman on this one, and along with Gillan is the highlight of this song. However, every band member gives a great performance on this one, as I have said before, but I cannot understate their achievements. This ends the original album with a bang, but if you take my advice and get the remastered import, you will have other goodies waiting for you.

Stand Out Performances - Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Roger Glover, Ian Paice Track rating: 10/10 points

So, on the remastered import we have some more tracks. There are two Black Nights, one is the original single version, and the other is the "Unedited Roger Glover Remix". The single version stops midway through Ritchie Blackmore's final guitar solo, and we miss out on some great stuff. But the full version is there for us. It sounds a lot better as well. We also have remixes of Speed King and Flight of the Rat, which are pretty useless if you ask me. There is a piano version of Speed King, which is a pretty good listen. There is a great instrumental called Jam Stew, and a great unreleased (at least during the Mark II days) song called Cry Free. There are also various "Studio Chats" which are pretty useless again, but some are interesting. I won't review these tracks, but I will tell you that Cry Free is great and is worthy to listen through. The Unedited Black Night is also a fantastic song, and is worthy to play over and over again.

So, there you have it. If you took the time to read this review, you either already have this amazing work of art or highly interested in the album, and therefore should go purchase it.

Cheers!

Point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Record rating: 10 + 9 + 10 + 9.5 + 8.5 + 9 + 10 = 66/7 tracks = 9.428571429 = 9.5 points

Deep Purple - "In Rock": 9.5/10 points = 94 % on MPV scale = 5/5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of progressive music

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Send comments to Marc Baum (BETA) | Report this review (#48778) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars If this weren't a review done from the viewpoint of a progressive rock music, I would give this album five stars, as "Into The Fire" is the only average song on this record. But I think this LP started the hard-rock phase of this band, and there are only few proggy moments left. Most notably, "Child in Time", which is truly a beautiful and classic song.

Lot's of bold screamin' goin' on this sucker, I can assure you!

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Posted Saturday, October 01, 2005

Review by Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is my favourite album from the band.

Why?

1_Matured sound 2_Child in Time Matured Sound: This is the first album in which the band has fused the progressive rock elements of the early albums with hard rock. The result is a classically influenced hard rock sound with lots of hammond keyboards. All the songs are above average in quality with standouts such as Hard Loving Man, Flight of the Rat, and Highway Star (amazing fast-rocker)

Child In Time: It stands Easily in my top 10 list of songs. This is perfection. This is the band at its best. The ultimate blend of hard rock, prog, and classical music. It begins with a simple chord riff that is augmented by improvised hammond playing and extremely melodic and powerful singing. After Gillan sings his last lyric, the same riffs are played without the keyboard improvising. Instead, you hear gorgous and delicate 'wooooooo,oooo,oooo' from Gillan. Eventually, the chords are louder and more menacing while the soft innocent-like singing turns into mind-blowing screams with the same melody. After the intensity reaches its climax, a 2 minute long hard rock solo (Blackmore's best) blows you away and is later accompanied by a simple, yet effective, organ riff that suddently stops. After silence, the intro is played again and the build-up too (this time, it is shorter and even louder). The song ends majestically with anthemic organs and screams.

1. Speed King (10/10) 2. Bloodsucker (7.5/10) 3. Child in Time (11/10) 4. Flight of the Rat (8/10) 5. Into the Fire (7.5/10) 6. Living Wreck (6.5/10) 7. Hard Lovin' Man (8/10)

my grade : B+

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Posted Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Review by Raff
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Let us not get into an endless debate about whether "In Rock" is prog or not. Prog it may not be (though, as I will point out later on, the question is open to debate), but it is without any possible doubt one of the landmarks of the whole history of rock music - the blueprint for the later exploits of thousands of hard rock and heavy metal bands. Released in 1970, "In Rock" saw one of the most incredible musical ensembles ever come together for the first time - a redoubtable fivesome boasting Ian Gillan's stratospheric vocals (the voice that launched a thousand screamers, though no one as talented as himself), the rock-solid rythm section of Ian Paice and Roger Glover, Jon Lord's masterful, classically-influenced Hammond prowess, but especially Ritchie Blackmore's fiery yet elegant, immensely influential guitar playing. As the years to come were to prove, it was an extremely volatile mixture, which nevertheless managed to produce a series of essential albums for the development of harder-edged rock music.

That said, "In Rock" is much more progressive than one might think, the best example of how Deep Purple managed to blend their symphonic roots with diamond-hard rock being the immortal "Child in Time". Although it has been often indicted of plagiarising It's A Beautiful Day's "Bombay Calling", this song has rightly become legendary, especially thanks to the incendiary version included in 1972's live album "Made in Japan". Its solemn, atmospheric, organ-driven intro leads the way for a vocal performance by Ian Gillan which many singers would kill for, and climaxes with a guitar solo that no words can rightly describe (this may be the Blackmore fangirl in me speaking, but that's the way things are...). Another classic is opener "Speed King", with Blackmore's distorted guitar immediately setting the scene and Lord's Hammond providing a pulsating, relentless background., while Gillan screams his way through the song with wild abandon.

The remaining tracks are not as widely known (with the exception of hit single "Black Night", a rather straighforward yet irresistible song, whose original version is included in the 30th Anniversary edition of the record), though in no way less valid. A particular mention goes to the long, musically accomplished "Hard Lovin' Man" (dedicated to legendary producer Martin Birch, who went on to make stars out of Iron Maiden), with dazzling performances from all band members. All the songs, in fact, have a much more progressive structure than they are usually given credit for, based as they are on the unleashed power of Blackmore's guitar duelling with Lord's majestic, driving Hammond.

The 30th Anniversary edition contains some added bonus tracks, including alternative versions of "Black Night" and "Speed King", but most notably an unreleased instrumental called "Jam Stew" in which Blackmore is very much in evidence. However, even without any bonuses, this album would be an essential addition to ANY music collection. Would Prog-Metal exist without "In Rock" paving the way? This is the stuff legends are made of. Crank it up and enjoy.

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Posted Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars You'd better close your eyes, bow your head and wait for the ricochet.

At the time of its release, "In Rock" was a remarkable achievement. Deep Purple had been building up a small but faithful following, as they dabbled in various styles ranging from covers of Neil Diamond songs(!) to a collaboration with full orchestra. Suddenly with "In Rock" they found their true path and never looked back.

While this is unquestionably a landmark album, it is far from flawless. The band's overriding ethos here was to make the loudest, most powerful album they could come up with, sometimes to the detriment of the song-writing. What makes it absolutely essential though is the inclusion of one of rock's and indeed prog's seminal moments. I am of course referring to the majestic "Child in time". Like certain well known world changing events, I remember well the first time I heard this track. I had borrowed a number of albums which sat outside my usual boundaries to give them a try. The first couple of tracks on "In rock" were enjoyable, but did not particularly whet my appetite for the band . Then came "Child in time" and I was quite simply blown away. I must have played the track 10-20 times in succession. "Child in time" has so many of the right ingredients; a magnificent vocal performance by Ian Gillan, one of Ritchie Blackmore's greatest guitar solos, and a blistering organ solo by Jon Lord. It moves from an almost solemn opening section through ever higher screams by Gillan and a thundering instrumental section to reach a chaotic climax which leaves everyone exhausted.

The rest of the tracks on the album cannot hope to match the magnificence of "Child in time", and the other tracks play very much a supporting role. "Speed king" is an early burst of the loud driving rock the band would refine and improve upon on tracks like "Fireball" and later "Burn". "Bloodsucker" lacks focus, Roger Glover's powerful bass work being the only really notable aspect. "Flight of the rat" maintains the blistering pace in more traditional Deep Purple fashion, the melodic vocal line sitting well alongside the instrumental gymnastics. This particular track is probably as close as the oft compared Deep Purple and URIAH HEEP actually got.

"Into the fire" veers into BLACK SABBATH territory, indeed with an Ozzy vocal this particular song would be right at home on any of that band's early albums. The slower, bluesier pace affords Blackmore a little more room to slow things down on the solo. "Living wreck" is the oldest sounding track on the album, and the only one which sounds like might have appeared on one of the band's previous albums. Only Jon Lord's organ swishes reflect the new direction. "Hard lovin' man" closes the album by maintaining the relentless pace, the express train Paice ensuring that Lord and Blackmore attack their respective instruments one final time.

One of the major selling points of the album was the wonderful sleeve illustration. The "In rock" title was designed to reflect the fact that the band had moved on from the "In concert" album recorded with the orchestra, and were now exploring a different vein. It did however lend itself nicely to images of the five band members being cast in stone, and used to replace the four presidents at Mount Rushmore. An inspired idea indeed!

The "25th anniversary edition" presents the album in remastered format, with 7 bonus tracks, interspersed with studio chat. These include two versions of the non-album single "Black night" the song which introduced the band to the masses, and which was only prevented form being a UK number one by Freda Payne's "band of gold". There are also two more versions of "Speed king", and one of "Flight of the rat". "Cry free" was recorded over 30 times by the band, but still excluded from the final release (for admittedly obvious reasons). "Jam stew" was recorded during the "Into the fire" recording sessions, but was never developed beyond the instrumental presented here. The anniversary edition also has extensive sleeve notes and a customised jewel case.

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Posted Friday, August 25, 2006

Review by WaywardSon
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars It was Ritchie Blackmore, who decided to take the band in a heavier direction, and what a great decision that was! Add to that, the recruitment of vocalist Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover, and what you have is a powerhouse!

The album kicks off with "Speed King" and is a strong nod to Little Richard (But much more heavier) who is one of Ian Gillan´s influences.

On "Bloodsucker" Gillan shows the world just what he can do with his silver scream, the same scream that would influence hundreds of hard rock vocalists. "Child in Time" is the standout classic track on this album, showing remarkable musicianship and screaming (actually wailing in octaves) vocals. Blackmore releases a fiery solo on his Stratocaster which is now regarded as one of his best solos ever, while Jon Lord unleashes sounds from his organ that were unheard of in the day! Ian Paice somehow keeps it altogether with one of his best performances on drums. A true classic.

The rest of the album has classic Blackmore riffs (It´s actually quite incredible how he could have come up with so many classic riffs on one album) "Into the fire" and "Hard Loving Man" are good examples. Ian Gillan really lifted the band to new heights when he entered the band, with his classic vintage scream as heard on "Into the fire".

The song writing on this album is fantastic (also thanks to Roger Glover) and their creativity was at it´s peak. Deep Purple´s MK 2 debut, is one of the greatest rock albums of all time and is almost a blueprint of what the Hard Rock genre became (and still is to this day) A Masterpiece.

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Posted Sunday, September 24, 2006

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "In Rock" was the band's definitive direction on which platform the music of DP would pursue in the future. There are many excellent tracks in hard rock vein. This album has always my point of reference whenever I talk about straight hard rock music as to differentiate with prog music where there are curved melodies as its major components. No one would argue about how good this album and how legendary it has been. Who can't tell this band if you were there at the glory days of rock music - the seventies?? You can enjoy how powerful and clean the vocal line of Ian Gillan, the stunning guitar solo of Blackmore and inventive organ work of Jon Lord which has become a key characteristic and sound of Deep Purple.

I grew with "Child In Time" as the song was used at one of radio stations - Moderato - in small city where I was born - Madiun, East Java, Indonesia. I heard that this radio station is still alive until now but am not sure if "Child In Time" is till being used as featured song of the radio. I'm curious now. So you can imagine how memorable this album is for me. That's just the nuance. The music? No one would argue the good composition that this song offers. Even though friends of mine told me that this song is not "original" (they said something derivative to the music of Aprodite' Child? - I don't know exactly) the song delivers interesting organ work and captivating electric guitar solo in the interlude part. Other famous tracks include: "Speed King", "Bloodsucker", "Into The Fire".

It's an excellent hard rock music.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Posted Monday, October 09, 2006

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is the quintessential studio album from Deep Purple. I do not think that many albums that followed came as close to near perfection as In Rock, possibly Made in Japan as a live album. Side one of the original LP release for the brilliant opener 'Speed King', the highlight of the this release, and then to the ' Stairway To Heaven' equivalent ' Child In Time'. Gillan's vocals were at his all time best on In Rock, as were all the respective contributions from Glover, Lord, Paice and Blackmore.

Few albums of Progressive Rock come close to emphatic five star ratings but this is certainly one of them, even if parts of side two diminish slightly in terms of delivery the overall quality still stands out way above almost anything else released at this time. No need to recommend as most fan will already agree and have this in their collection.

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Posted Saturday, November 18, 2006

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The milestone of rock, hard rock and heavy metal. Progressive enough (more than enough) to deserve anyone's attention. Breathtaking. It rocks. Loud. Very loud.

Speaking of loudness...

The album opens with "Speed King", and the intro of the "Speed King" itself is loud, insane guitar cacophony. This noises are smoothly cross-faded with Hammond-organ melody, and then, suddenly, the opening riff of the song starts. Most of the compilations do not contain this introduction of the song. Pity. By the way, there's a single version of this song, it's much slower, much less energetic, utilising piano instead of Hammond. Try to avoid that one.

"Bloodsucker" follows, an excellent hard rock tune that contain Gillan's extremely high-pitched screaming and almost hip-hop vocals. Yes, that's right. This one is so ahead of it's time...only the organ solo sounds dated, otherwise you can easily fit this one into the middle nineties, somewhere between Faith No More and Red Hot Chili Peppers...only much, much better.

Everything is said about "Child In Time" and I won't be repeating another's impressions. But "The Flight Of The Rat" is my personal favourite on this album. Powerful, again very load, with loads of good soloing! Blackmore's wah-wah guitar work is impressive, and Lord's Hammond is...well, I don't know. I NEVER heard any similar organ solo, not even from the Mr. Emerson himself.

"Into The Fire" and "Living Wreck" are two weakest compositions on the album, but weaker only compared to the rest of the "In Rock", an album who set very high standards for DEEP PURPLE and for the genre itself. "Into The Fire" is a good beat, something like THE BEATLES on distortion and screaming vocals. The second part of this duet of weakness contains some nice organ work.

The last track on the album is preeeteeeeeencious "Hard Lovin' Woman"...no. Sorry, wrong album. Hard Lovin' Man it is. Brilliant, ultimate hard-rock riff, epic organ solo, and Ian's voice is again tearing molecules somewhere above 15 kHz.....and nice, long psychedelic/dissonant section. The song is perhaps a little bit too protracted, but I like those kind of things. It's remarkable. Like the album in a whole. Progressive masterpiece.

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Posted Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Review by 1800iareyay
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Deep Purple, along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, helped to usher in heavy metal for the early 70s. In Rock marks the first studio album with the Mark II or classic lineup (the live orchestra album preceded it), featuring Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice, and Roger Glover. Each member proved to be archetypal players: Gillan screams influenced metallers like Rob Halford; Ian Paice's aggressive yet technical drums can be heard in Neil Peart, among others; Jon Lord's aggressive keyboards set the stage for prog metal ivory ticklers; Roger Glover's poundign bass gave it the metallic edge, and Ritchie Blackmore's guitar is the primary influence for neo-classical music.

In Rock was the loudest album of its time without question. From the opening cacophony in Speed King to the shrieks of Child in Time to the final notes of Hard Lovin Man, this album never lets up.

"Speed King" starts the album with crashing guitars and drums that fade into a soft keyboard sound before launching back in with Gillan's screams. A great rocker, ths is one of Purple's best songs. The riff and bassline make this a chugging classic.

Bloodsucker loses no momentum as Gillan continues to belt his trademark multi-octave screams.

Child in Time is my favorite Purple track ever. It's Gillan's best performznce, as he shrieks over building volume until it erupts in Blackmore's finest solo ever complemented by Lord's interplay. The song is ten minutes but feel so much shorter, and the final cacophony will leave you panting.

Flight of the Rat marks the emergence of Ian Gillan's signature loopy lyrics. How can such meaningless words be so convincing? TO me Gillan's lyrics are some of rock's best because he manages to make the dumbest, silliest crap work perfectly. Lord gets his moment in the spotlight here.

Into the Fire is a groovy song that breaks up the fast pace of the album, though it's no less crushing.

Livin Wreck features a great disorted noise from Lord over a slightly softer Gillan.

Hard Lovin Man closes the album propelled by Paice, while Blackmore andLord muster enough strength to destroy what's left of their instruments.

In Rock sounds a bit dated today, but it is still a classic of hard rock, though it's not very proggy. Along with Machine Head, Fireball, and Made In Japan, this album helped to cement the bad as legends.

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Posted Monday, December 11, 2006

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars December 1970. I purchased "Whole Lotta Love", "Paranoïd" and "Black Bight / Speed King" on the same day. A month later the album "Abraxas". I was almost 12 years old.

So, my first contact with the Deep was "Black Night". I never understood why this song was not included in the "In Rock" album but this nonsense was rectified with the 25 years anniversary version. A major line-up change here : Evans and Simper were sacked and replaced by Gilan / Glover.

Although I cannot judge for the bass playing, Gillan will bring a significant improvement in the vocals : from a boring, low-tone voice we are swithched to a brilliant, strong, violent and sweet at times lead vocalist.

"Speed King" has one the wildiest intro I have ever heard. This is 200% hard rock of the purest vein. Then, all of a sudden, we get one of the most classical and beautiful moment thanks to Jon who, as usual is very present but probably less than on the three previous Purple albums which were more prog oriented. It is one of their greatest track ever (with another twenty probably ...). On stage, it could often leads to a 15 to 20 minutes moment. But who will complain ?

"Bloodsucker" is another hard rock track like Purple will produce quite a few : good riff, a guitar solo, an organ solo ... But melody is weak and it lacks of rythm : too heavy.

"Child In Time".

What can I say about this one ? Another of the best Purple of course (top three). Probably one of the best ever rock song all times, all genres. Lord's intro misleads us and make us think that it will be a quiet and tranquil piece of music throughout those wonderful 10'18". Wrong, man !

It is only the intro to one of the best song you can imagine : a fabulous Gillan on vocals will lead this song to unknown limits. Evans could never have dreamed to achieve such result.

The song is built crescendo and the vocals part leads to the Ritchie's solo guitar which will remain one of the best in the rock history (probably equalled only by some Page ones - I'm not talking of pure guitar oriented bands like Jimi Hendrix Experience). Then again a short smooth break from Jon (a shorter version of the intro) and Gillan again for the most incredible vocal performance ever (comparable to Plant in "Immigrant Song" or "Since I've Been Loving You" maybe, but that's another story which I will outline extensively while reviewing Led Zep's entire catalogue). A fabulous song.

But when you listen to "Bombay Calling" from the Californian band It's a Beautiful Day, you'll know where Purple got his inspiration (to say the least).

B-side starts with "Flight Of The Rat". One of the most underated Purple song. No live versions to be found. Never did they play it. This is another highlight of "In Rock".

Almost eight minutes of wildest hard rock like they can produce. It is a "Highway Star" type song written almost two years before : fantastic riff, great rhythm work from Roger and Ian, a guitar solo, an organ one : typical Purple song but really this one surpassed all its like ones (except "Highway" star). It would have been a great experience to see how the band could have reproduced the song on stage. "Into the Fire" is another example of the Purple work. It is a predecessor to "No, No, No" from the "Fireball" album.

"Living Wreck" is also a good track : good guitar riff and melodious. It does not belong to their standards but would have been a highlight on lots of rock albums of the genre. It is amazing to notice that some of the vocal parts are almost similar than the one on "Smoke". I advise you to listen to both tracks one after the other (starting with "Living") : the exercise is amazing. This really means that "In Rock" is the essence of the Mark II sound and inspiration, no doubt about that.

"Hard Lovin' Man" is another lost marvel from their repertoire. No live work either for this one which is a pity since it is a superb song. Almost as good as "Flight Of The Rat". A great closing number. Jon's organ is outrageous. Ritchie's solo almost reached the level of his "Child In Time" one. The song has the typical struture I have already outlined. Ian is fabulous on the vocals. Great, great, great. The vocal parts also have influenced "Highway Star" (do the same excercise as mentioned above for "Living Wreck" and "Smoke" but this time with "Hard" and "Highway". The conclusion will be the same.

If this was not sufficient, the Deep issued a 25 years anniversary with a bonus CD that finally includes their hit single "Black Night" (number 4 in the UK), a piano version of "Speed King" (emasculated because the fabulous intro has been cut out. So you can start mixing your own one : piano oriented with the wild intro) ! Some remixes of existing songs: "Flight" which is rawer but still well achieved and pretty close to the final version and some "Studio Chats" (not very interesting). Finally, the leftover "Cry Free" which is not too bad.

There is also an extended version of "Black Night" with some Ritchie's soloing at the end. A pure marvel. This is the first album of a mythical trilogy "In Rock", "Fireball" and "Machine Head" which will be released in less than 24 months (only Led Zep will surpass this in producing their first four gigantic albums in a bit more than two years). Can you imagine this nowadays (2007)?

If you do not own this album there is only one thing for you to do : go and get it NOW ! NOW ! NOW ! NOW ! NOW ! (as Peter urges you to do in "The Musical Box").

It will peak at number 4 in the UK charts and incomprehensively only 143 in the US. As far as prog rock is concerned, there are three sections available here : one during "Speed King" (fifty seconds), and two in "Child in Time" (fifty-three seconds during the intro and thirty after the first break). Total : two minutes thirteen seconds.

This album will pave the way for a unique music genre : combining the wildiest rock with elements of classic. It is even more obvious in their live sets in which Jon will always integrate bits of his classical taste and talent.

Five stars of course.

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Posted Monday, January 01, 2007

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars It's no coincidence that with the arrival of Ian Gillan came the arrival of DEEP PURPLE. Ian's throaty vocals would fit perfectly with the new heavy sound that Blackmore decided the band should have.They were following in the heavy path that LED ZEPPELIN blazed in the late sixties.

"Speed King" opens with lower toned guitar and vocals coming out hard and heavy right from the get go.The organ/guitar interplay is pretty cool. "Bloodsucker" has some melodic guitar and Gillan sceaming away. There are some good guitar and organ solos, and the vocal melody to end the song is great. "Child In Time" is a classic DEEP PURPLE song, perhaps their best. The first 3 minutes are very atmospheric then things start to intensify as drums pound away and Blackmore lets a guitar solo fly. The rhythm starts to gallop and Blackmore's solo is on fire. 6 minutes in Ian is just letting it rip on vocals.

"Flight Of The Rat" is my second favourite song after "Child In Time".This one is all about Blackmore. The guitar solos are scathing and amazing ! The song ends with a drum solo. The next two songs are the weakest in my opinion. "Into The Fire" is heavy on the bass to open.The vocals are quite rough as well. "Living Wreck" features some good drum and organ work. "Hard Lovin' Man" has some amazing vocals and a great organ solo. And check out the raw guitar solo 6 minutes in.

DEEP PURPLE fans will argue to the end of time which album is better, "In Rock" or "Machine Head", but let's face it they're both amazing !

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Posted Thursday, February 15, 2007

Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I'm no Deep Purple historian per se but I imagine that the following scenario isn't too far from the truth. After three interesting yet below average-selling prog rock-tinted LPs failed to keep their label afloat, the core members of the band decided big changes were necessary if they didn't want to fade into obscurity as just another group that scored a couple of hit singles in the late 60s. After securing a new contract with Warner Brothers they jettisoned crooner Rod Evans and bassist Nick Simper and replaced them with Ian Gillian and Roger Glover. At that juncture I envision organist Jon Lord and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore sitting down and making a deal. They would record two albums, one Jon's way and the other Ritchie's and whichever generated the most buzz would determine the direction they would take from then on. Lord's amateurish "Concerto for Group and Orchestra" came out first and fell flat on its face. "Deep Purple In Rock" was released next and the issue was resolved permanently.

Blackmore was right to realize that bands like The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Jeff Beck Group and The Jimi Hendrix Experience had opened up a whole new genre of popular music called hard rock and that there was an insatiable global audience that couldn't get enough of it. Ritchie calculated correctly that there was a very low tolerance for sweet ballads or restraint of any kind in this crowd, just a yearning for loud, guitar-based rock and roll with some ear-shattering vocals on top. When this album hit the racks and the airwaves in 1970 it attracted headbangers like bears to honey and stereo speakers were strained to (and beyond) their designed capabilities in millions of households and college dorm rooms as this barnburner spread like wildfire through a dry field.

"Speed King" hits like a hammer, emphatically pointing out the band's intent as Blackmore and Glover's shared riff dominates the track. In fact, you have to listen carefully to even hear Lord's organ until the quieter middle section arrives where he and Ritchie trade some tasteful solos. And then there's the new singer. Ian Gillian's unbelievable, powerful vocal style is something to behold. As he so eloquently informs us, "I'm a speed king/you got to hear me sing/I'm a speed king/see me fly." On the next song, "Bloodsucker," when Gillian wails "Aww, no, no, no." it sounds like he deliberately stuck his finger into a wall socket and a whole new style of rock vocalization was born. The song is not much more than a heavy rock progression where, again, the organ doesn't really appear until its designated lead break but it is still memorable because Ian yaps incoherently like a rabid Pomeranian throughout the final verse. It's a slice of insanity. But what follows is a defining moment in the evolution of majestic, bigger-than-life rock anthems. "Child In Time" is 10:15 of Bic-waving, grandiose rock music that takes the listener on a journey of drastic peaks and valleys as they lay down the gauntlet for the competition to match. Gillian is a master here, singing delicately at first, then screaming like a banshee being stretched across a torture wheel. During the uptempo shuffle midway through Ritchie shreds his guitar's fretboard like a maniac and you have no difficulty hearing him as his axe booms through. The whole build up sequence is then repeated and the ending is a frenzied, end-of-the-world extravaganza that sounds like they destroyed the studio.

On "Flight of the Rat" Deep Purple displays everything their new direction is to be. It has an infectious recurring lick and a snarling guitar lead from Blackmore, a distorted organ ride from Jon and a lot of snazzy drumming from Ian Paice from start to finish (complete with a drawn out concert-style ending). Next is "Into the Fire" which is little more than a funky jam with Gillian's unusually rough voice sounding like he's been hollering for a few weeks too many. "Living Wreck" follows and, as the insightful liner notes tell you, "It takes all sorts - support your local groupie." Unfortunately, the tune is nothing to write home about, although Lord's organ shrieks are a fine imitation of an infuriated mountain lion. "Hard Lovin' Man" is obviously penned with the stage in mind because here they pull out all the stops. There's no doubt that this is Ritchie's baby because in the end they drop everything but the guitar out of the mix for a few bars and then for the finale you get to experience Blackmore doing his best Hendrix mimicry with a beat-the-guitar-into-submission musical homicide.

In retrospect I'd say that Deep Purple's first four LPs are a lot more progressive than this one. It's still a landmark album but, with the exception of "Child In Time," there's more proto-metal to be heard than psychedelia or art rock. There's certainly no lack of energy or enthusiasm, though, and for those who like a little classic skull pounding from time to time, this is your ticket. 3.4 stars.

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Posted Friday, May 18, 2007

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With a couple albums behind them and Machine Head still on the horizon, Deep Purple take a great leap forward.

Characterized by great guitar from Blackmore, and excellent vocal wrok from Gillan this is an album that by far outshines some of their later (and increadably popular) works. While Machine Head had their great mainstream hit (Smoke on the Water), this album has a lot more music that the prog community can relate to. Longer tracks like FLIGHT OF THE RAT and HARD LOVIN' MAN definately have their charm with some very good work by each member, and is somewhat upbeat, considering the heavyness of the music for the time it was released. Other shorter tracks on the album are just as noteworthy, the opener SPEEDKING, with it's quirky lyrics, is a great tune that is often overlooked, as is the screamer BLOODSUCKER.

However, even with all these great songs the standout, and main focus of the album really is CHILD IN TIME. The slow intro given life by the organ and Gillan's soft vocals are especially well done, but soon give way into the main meat (if you will) of the song. Enter Gillan's shrieking scream and some exceptional guitar solos by Blackmore. In the end, this track is a wonderful epic that demands listening to again and again.

When it comes right down to it, this is a great album to listen to for progheads and metalheads alike, and it's likely Deep Purple's most progressive release. I'd recomend this to anyone and everyone, really. 4 stars, an excellent addition to any collection.

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Posted Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Review by obiter
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars OK, I'm definitely going against the grain here but ... this is about prog and about whether albums should be in a prog collection. As a bit of a rocker this is a 5+++ star album. In fact if you claim to like heavy rock and you don't have this album many people will think you are talking out of "Your Back Door".No doubt about it, but as prog ........

Speed King/Flight of the Rat both top notch heavy rock tracks. My personal favourite is Living Wreck one in a line of amusing tracks from this seminal HARD ROCK band. Still my prog seisometer is stil registering the sort of disturbance caused by a passing truck: no earthquakes or tremors here.

Child in Time. There's the rub. Fabulous track. Most definitely prog. Right up there as a great prog number. Gillan is awesome. One of the truly great tracks in any genre.

The difficult question is how it rates as a prog album. I reckon the strength of Child in Time lifts this to a Decent Prog Album, but by no stretch of teh imagination essential

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Posted Monday, September 10, 2007

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Sometimes it is hard to review a classic... Yes, "Deep Purple In Rock" is the classic of rock, heavy rock, heavy metal or whatever you might call this style of early 70s loud, hard, agressive energy rocking. Ian Gillan came in and Mark II was born. Gone are the psychedelic wanderings of the first three albums; now we hear the band establishing (co-establishing together with BLACK SABBATH and LED ZEPPELIN) one of the most popular rock genres, with Gillan's screaming vocal setting a template for the coming hordes of long-haired, greasy, wild and "savage" heavy metal singers.

But I never got into it. Even when I liked "Child In Time" in my teens, I was never attracted to this album as a whole. Now, many years later, when I simply cannot stand this pretty original heavy ballad, I found that tracks like "Bloodsucker", "Into the Fire" and "Living Wreck" are in fact the neglected gems. Did anyone mentioned "Speed King"? No, for Heaven's sake - no! If you are 15, maybe...

Therefore I will repeat my rating of another classic album I reviewed here - "Sergeant Pepper".

PERSONAL RATING: 2,5/5

P.A. RATING: 3/5

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Posted Monday, November 05, 2007

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars If you´re looking for the roots of the so called ´prog metal´ genre, this may be its mark zero. Coming at the heels of a very bold experiment of Concert For Group And Orchestra, and after 3 more pop oriented studio albums before that one, Deep Pruple forged a whole new identity: it was heavy music indeed, but with such a sophistication and classical influences that it could not be called plain Hard Rock. Besides, the blues scales progression (the very base for hard rock) was almost gone, traded for strong jazz and classical musical harmonies.

In Rock was the first studio release by the ´classic´ MKII line up that included singer extraordinaire Ian Gillan. songs like Child In Time and Flight Of The Rat were the obvious choices, but the whole album was quite ahead of its time. No wonder Deep Purple was one of the very few heavy bands that proheads respectec in the 70´s, much more than other more commercial successful, bigger bands (like Led Zeppelin).

In Rock set new standards for heavy music and with the help of legendary producer Martin Birch they would release a string of classic albums in the 70´s. They proved that heavy music could be good, technical, sophisticated and very well played. With such extraordinary musicians they could not really last long. But while they did, they produced some of the most interesting and influential heavy prog music of the their time. In Rock may be not their best ever (hence the 4 star rating). But it is a classic anyway. A must have for any prog lover, who also enjoys music with balls.

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Posted Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Review by jammun
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Wow, what an unexpected shot of pure rock. From a band that had given us psychdelicized hits covering such luminaries as Billy Joe Royal and Neil Diamond, not to mention lame renditions of Beatles tunes, and especially not to mention ill-advised ventures with symphony orchestras, In Rock marked the point when Deep Purple actually became a band to be reckoned with.

I have the both the original LP and the anniversary edition CD, which includes many frills, but let's look at the original song lineup:

Speed King Bloodsucker Child In Time Flight of the Rat Into The Fire Living Wreck Hard Lovin' Man

Speed King, Bloodsucker, Into The Fire, and Living Wreck are all pure hard rock by a band that knows how to rock, but really there's nothing pacesetting in these songs. Nonetheless this is about as good as hard rock got at the time. But then we get to Flight of the Rat and Hard Lovin' Man, and the band begins to stretch out into more progressive territory, with more extended solos and somewhat more complex songwriting.

However, Child In Time is where Deep Purple come closest to earning their prog credentials. Gillan is a screaming banshee, Blackmore is pulling monstrous solos seemingly out of thin air, and the rest of the band is not merely along for the ride but rather driving the whole concept to a new plane. This is Deep Purple's finest song, and one for the ages.

It's clear that Blackmore has taken control of the band on this album. No more of Lord's pretentions to write some great rock symphony. No more psychedelic noodling. No more covers.

So this is the great moment when a band finds its soul or its niche, which would serve them well over the next few albums. As a prog album, well let's just say it almost gets there. As a rock album, it's a classic.

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Posted Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Review by The Crow
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After three inconsistent albums with Rod Evans in vocals, and Nick Simper playing bass... The Mark II came destroying all the rock and roll basis and offering this powerful milestone!

I really love the beginnning of this album... Four jewels in a row! Speedking surprises with its hard riffing (we are talking about a 1970's release...) and original keyboard's song, and Bloodsucker is just another punch in your face, with an ever harder riff, and the charismatic Ian Gillan's voice singing with rage (and some incoherence too...) Then, Child in Time comes to give the most progressive, psychedelic and variated moment of the album. This track is just incredible, only supased by its live version... The high pitched Gillan's vocals are one of the heavy metal roots! Then, Flight of the Rat recover the strength of the beginning, but with more groove and a incredible instrumental section, one of my favourite parts of the album... Ritchie Blackmore plays just incredible in this song, specially the guitar entry in 3'57''!

After this carousel of pure genious, the three last songs are not so brilliant... Although they are pretty good! Into the Fire is maybe the weaker and most repetitive track, despite its catchy riff. Living Wreck is also slow and groovy like Into the Fire, but maybe a bit better due to the great keyboard's final solo. Then Hard Lovin' Man recovers some of the outstanding quality and speed of the beginning, giving a fine closing to the album. The final impression is that we have a great work, but not pefect due to some weak moments.

Nevertheless, the disc is variated, funny, deep, interesting... And a true milestone! Led Zeppelin was important to hard rock and progressive rock, and so were Black Sabbath in terms of heavy metal... But I think that Deep Purple created in 1970 some true metal songs. Later, Black Sabbath did the same in Paranoid and specially in Master of Reality... But In Rock is maybe the most clear and brilliant heavy metal root you'll find out there!

And of course, I think this album deserves to be here... It's not strictly progressive, but enough to be considered a Proto-Prog album. Later, bands like Kansas or Uriah Heep they took the Deep Purple influence to build their progressive sound. This hard riffs, mixed with long instrumental sections and some psychedelic elements... The perfect Proto-Prog album!

Best songs: the first four... Just four perfect rock anthems!

Conclusion: if you've not heard this album... Run to buy it yet! Because this is one of the best Deep Purple's albums, and I think it's necessary listening to it to understand the developing of hard rock and heavy metal through the 70's and 80's. And of course, its influence in prog music is also huge... Excellent adition to any music collection!

My rating: ****1/2

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Posted Monday, June 23, 2008

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars Together with Black Sabbath's debut album, Deep Purple In Rock was the very first heavy metal album. Gone are the classical aspirations of the two previous albums, no orchestras here, also no harpsichords and no pianos or acoustic guitars. This, however, does not mean that it is no longer connected to prog. Since they created a whole new style of music with this album, that fact by itself showed a progressive spirit at least.

We all know who joined the band, and who left etc. so I'm not going to into that here (see other reviews). Now, on to the music.

While Deep Purple's previous self-titled album had been a perfect balance between ballads and rockers, this album contains no ballads whatsoever. It is an all out rock album, just like the title implies. And I can imagine that it shocked a lot of people when the thunderous introduction to Speed King came out of the speakers in early 1970.

Speed King might deceive you, but it is basically a 50's style rocker updated in heavy metal style. Child In Time is another deceiver, with its over ten minutes length you might expect a prog epic, but it is a very simple song with a long middle section. Still, it is a classic and not bad at all, but not really progressive.

While I rated Deep Purple's self-titled album four stars, I give this one only three. The one- sided emphasis on rockers over ballads and the lack of real progressive elements stop me from giving this one four also. Still, In Rock is an album with great historical value and it is a good album too, but not really essential for prog fans.

The bands next album, Fireball would have more prog content but that's another story.

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Posted Monday, July 21, 2008

Review by poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars One of the best music pieces, the world have ever seen. This is a perfect album. A band that is always on the top. Admiration for that essential band. This is one of my favourite 5 or 10 albums of all time. Every song is completed and true masterpiece. This is music for the history of the musical industry. Symbol of hard rock. It is not progressive rock, but I hope you understand that I will rate 5 stars for this album even I am in site for jazz or classical music! All musicians on this album has minimum one performance, that turn me around - unique! Almost everywhere on the album we can hear one of the trademarks of Deep Purple - solo on guitar by Blackmore, followed by solo on keyboards by Lord. I can also mark the performances of Paice on Flight of the Rat, Gillan on Child in Time and Bloodsucker, Glover on Black Night! This is the one and only In Rock by Deep Purple!

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Posted Friday, September 26, 2008

Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars It's always hard to rate proto prog records. How important are they for progressive rock when they were recorded in a time prog was already in existence? In 1967, 68 and 69 protoprog was very important, after that progressive rock feeded itself for inspiration and progression itself. Then in 1970 this classic hard rock record was recorded, having lots of influence on the heavy rock genre.

Deep Purple made a hard rock record with psychadelic influences and lots of guitar experimentation. The latter makes this record so unique. Speed King begins with a lot of solo guitar experiments followed up by and churge organ and then this rock formation starts playing the actual song. I love this! The beginning of In Rock realy hits the spot and gives me a feeling that I'm in for a lot to come! Bloodsucker is good hard rock song. Where the legendary Child in Time is considered the best song of the record. I realy like the guitar/organ solo part in the middle, but I don't think it is the best track. The inside of the lp version tells us about Child in Time: Story about a looser- it could be you. This sort of humor a can enjoy!

Flight of the Rat. This song is a bit more psychadelic. Lyricly it's a bit Piper at the Gates of dawn like. Childish and realy good! The song has a lot's of parts, with one boring part on wahguitar. Just when you think you had the boring part, it comes again at the end of the song. I realy feel teased by this stupendious peace of music, but I like it very much!

Into the Fire is yet another good heavy rock piece of art. Living Wreck is a more heavy ballad kind of song. The lyrics are good and instrumental parts are progressive (with the organ sounding like an screaming monster). Yet another fine offering.

Jesus had the best wine for the last moment, so did Deep Purple. Hard Lovin'Man is the ultimate rock experience. The atmosphere is psychadelic and a bit fearfull. I think this is the song with the best vocal parts, the screams of Ian Gillan are legendary! Along with Made in Japon this record goes into the history as one of my most special vocal abilities records. Never seen again after this recording! The end brings us to where we came from: Great guitar experimentation that keeps getting weirder in the and when only the guitar is left. At it's last moment you can hear the guitar accompanied by a falling drop of water and the last notes are played.

THIS IS HARD ROCK. A legendary record for the genre. For prog however, an excellent addition but no masterpiece. It wasn't a very influental record for progressive rock, but it's a musthave for every-one who likes music. Four stars!

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Posted Friday, November 14, 2008

Review by TGM: Orb
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Deep Purple In Rock, 1970

Probably going to raise a few hairs with this one, but here goes. In Rock is clearly considered a seminal hard rock/metal album, and understandably so. It's dirty, heavy, a bit groundbreaking, has a couple of killer tunes and some of the best straight musicians out there on it. Unfortunately, being heavy and well-played doesn't necessarily make for a consistently stunning album (coincidentally, the progressive leanings aren't jump-out obvious here, sure, they're there, but it's a clear virtuosic hard rock album first and foremost). First off, let me say that the opener Speed King is 42,633 types of awesome, all the songs are listenable, solid, and have some pretty good moments (as well as the odd killer riff), but none of the others is really an especial highlight for me. Clearly a must-have if you're a hard-rock person or simply love a plain instrumental/heaviness showcase for what it is, even if you aren't, the historical import of In Rock probably makes it a must, however, from a personal point of view, nothing more or less than a consistently pretty good album with one blowaway song and a couple of other very impressive ones (Flight Of The Rat, Hard Lovin' Man).

As I said, Speed King is simply leagues ahead of the rest of this disc, it's leagues ahead of just about any other hard rock I've heard... the keening, forceful, hurtling solo from Blackmore, the reverent organ, and then the all-out ear-blasting take on rock'n'roll, with thunderous but tight drumming and Gillan belting out with all possible verve the mixture of dirty blues and mock-Presley lyrics adds up to one of the best songs I've ever heard, hammering through the speakers right into the gut. A cool organ/guitar duet fills up an instrumental break while Glover's bass puts out some more churning lines, before the song slides off into its anarchic conclusion. The energy, the riffs, the soloing and the feel are all fantastic, and an absolutely killer sound from the production adds to it. Easily the best thing on the album, in my view, and worth the price of the whole thing.

Bloodsucker is remarkable mostly for Gillan's screaming 'Oh nonono!', but, to be fair, the riff is pretty memorable and well constructed, even if it wallows a bit, and the whole vocal performance is quite cleverly done. The obligatory instrumental break, in spite of some cool Blackmore soloing and a neat flourish from Lord is so disjointed it virtually loses my interest, and the only change for the return of the verse seems to be an annoying vocal effect. Not bad, but hardly a standout.

The iconic Child In Time, while not as impressive to me as to most others, it seems, does deserve its status in a way. Delicate, but gradually building in power, a great, defined organ tone from Lord, and a much more low-key and accessible vocal from Gillan, perhaps showing off a bit more of his range and contribution to the band, it's an understandable classic and a good song. Really, though, I think the first few minutes are merely nice developments of one melody, and only after that do we come onto the real gold of the harder-rocking mid-section, complete with a slightly meandering, but nonetheless great fun, solo from Blackmore. A return of the vocals, with an ever-excellent rhythm section, marks a considerably more moving and powerful revival of that melody with a newfound sense of direction in the rhythm section and Lord's more chaotic organ-work. Don't get me wrong, it's a very good song, but not, for me, the classic which it's often made out to be.

Flight Of The Rat is another pure rocker, with a hell of a kicking riff, a good vocal, more solid drumming and extremely neat funk-tinged solos from Blackmore and Paice stuck into the mix. The energy is back, and only an overly noodlesome Lord solo brings the song down a bit for me. Approaching the opening in terms of general coolness.

Into The Fire... well, Bloodsucker wallowed only a little, Into The Fire takes it to a whole new level of extended, awkward, shuffling riff with an obvious effort at both seriousness and heaviness, which comes off instead as laboured and plain daft. Basically unimpressive, not even really redeemed by a Blackmore solo, and for once Gillan comes across as a liability rather than an asset.

Living Wreck opens with a cool solo drum part, before a Hammond swipe brings it forwards, and though a particularly cool bass part comes through the mix, the opening and the swipes are definitely the song's most memorable bits. The riffs are heavy and clear, though one is clearly better than the other, I have mixed feelings about the vocals, the more rhythmic use of the drums is great, and the lyrics don't do much for me. One of Lord's better moments, and overall a good thing.

Hard Lovin' Man begins with kicking riffs and some ferocious organ dissonants, before Gillan kicks in with a slightly watery but nonetheless energetic performance, and it continues as a sort of showcase piece in its own way, with more great work from Paice, a grinding, albeit unconvincing, organ from Lord, a classy and collected solo from Blackmore, and some of the album's arguably most progressive moments (mainly messing around with sound effects and production, nothing Hendrix hadn't done earlier), before heading off to a noisy conclusion. Good stuff, by and large.

Black Night opens with a surprisingly calm riff, before Jon Lord's hazy organ latches on and Ian Gillan throws in his fairly fun set of vocals. It's essentially a slightly volumed-up pop song, with a very neat drum part from Paice and a small, but neat organ solo as well as the immense ability of Blackmore wailing off without all too much direction. Memorable and fun, but not an outstanding number. The rest of the bonus material is either studio chatter or forgettable/missable. I'd guess it's worth getting the 25th Anniversary remaster for anyone more enthralled with the band than me, though... it has a lot of bonus goodies.

In short, could do with more direction (especially the solos... for a band so strong, the solos manage surprisingly little other than showing the skill of the players), a bit more balance and a bit more real atmosphere rather than plain musicality and heaviness (a criticism I've levelled at just about every hard rock album I've heard, not just this one). Undeniably very good most of the time, but not my favourite style of music, and perhaps not essential for fans of progressive rock who aren't so interested in a general understanding of classic rock. A conservative three stars from me on a personal level, but four for historical importance/doing what it sets out to do. Rating: Three Stars subjectively, perhaps four if we're trying objectivity. Favourite Track: Speed King

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Posted Sunday, April 26, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars Though this is not an album I frequently listen to, it's hard to argue it is anything less then a stellar excellence. Speed King and Child in Time are the obvious favourites and need no introduction. Other songs like Flight of the Rat are swirling hard rock tracks that would spawn countless generations of future metal bands. Into The Fire is a certain favourite of mine. The main riff spans multiple bars and would be executed to perfection on future Rainbow albums. Hard Lovin' Man is less convincing then the other songs but still a great track.

In Rock is simply an essential album in the rock history, but I think that prog fans will generally feel more for the live masterpiece Made In Japan.

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Posted Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
5 stars All killer no filler - Deep Purple rock like no others in 1970!

An incredible triumphant album, 'In Rock' is stone cold heavy metal in its earliest incarnation. When you put this into context, that metal was in its infancy, Metallica were in diapers and Dream Theater were nothing but a dream, Deep Purple were THE definitive progenitors of heavy prog. What a bold, brave album is here with one of the most astonishing vocal performances by the incomparable Gillan. In fact each band member became legends in their own right especially the guitar god Blackmore who absolutely burns it up on each track. Although I am not a massive fan of DP (I have all their essential albums) I have to give credit where it is due and this is their greatest album by a long shot. Let us examine the tracks that are evidence in themselves.

'Speed King' has become a well covered song by all manner of artists and for good reason ? it seriously kicks. The very first thing you hear is a ramming organ that builds up with guitar crescendos then it stops and we get that iconic screaming vocal "Good golly said little Miss Molly...". The fantastic thing about the track is all the affectionate references to classic 50s rock such as 'Tutti Frutti', 'Lucille', 'Let's have a Party', 'Saturday Night', 'Hard Headed Woman' and even the 'House of Blue Light' get a mention, which later became a title for a DP album of course. The killer riff is well known in metal and the lead break and organ tradeoff is dynamic and masterfully executed. A dynamite song that drives the hammer in the flower power coffin.

'Bloodsucker' features another brain searing riff where Blackmore shows his incredible skill. Gillan keeps screaming at the top of his lungs, "AAAAAAGH NO NO NO NO!" and we believe him! I have no idea what the song is about because meaning is incidental to the all over rocking hammering you receive from this. The glorious bassline by Glover is relentless and driving. The birth of head banging may well be contained in this song alone. I love the way it changes time sig and stops and starts with the shimmering organ. Ian Lord was a master and this is the magician at his peak until we hear the next track....

I have to take a breath before attempting to describe this track. 'Child In Time' is a masterpiece. There, that may be enough, but I must mention the way it builds up with quiet patient tempo, threatening to explode. Explode, it does, in the freakout instrumental section where guitar and keys break into fractured organ riffs and angular guitar playing. It is sheer bliss listening to these magicians at their craft, weaving their spell of magic around the soundscape. Fret melting hammer offs and lavish organ flourishes are epically performed. It is wonderful how the song does not just rely on the musicianship to launch it into the stratosphere, but rather there is a virtuoso performance by Gillan with his high octave range that would haunt him in later years when he could not perform to this range again. The band would perform this track thousands of time live and you must hear the version on 'Made In Japan' which is even better than this. Joe Satriani has performed a superb version on his cover album, demonstrating how influential this is. It returns after the instrumental break to the quiet melancholy section, until it blasts off at the end in an orgasmic paroxysm of light and dark shades of metal mayhem. It is like death has come to the track and it is crying out for mercy.

Where does it lead from here? Side two is not as good but what an act to follow, though there are still great tracks.

'Flight of the Rat' is a rocker that is popular among fans, but not as well known as the other tracks. The standout performance on this is the drumming metrical patterns of Paice, who is as good as he can get. He actually performs a drum solo in this track. There are many diversions on the song, very proggy and very heavy.

'Into the Fire' is a medium paced rocker with aggressive vocals "Into the Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiire!" That is as memorable as it gets though, and it is the weakest song on the album, though by no means a throwaway. There are some brutal riffs on this and Lord continues to impress on keyboards.

'Living Wreck' features a lot of staccato stabbing Hammond sounds from Lord that blast up and down the scales. The vocal pipes of Gillan are more restrained on this but he has a great octave range and uses it to perfection.

'Hard Lovin' Man' is the last track that is a highlight of side 2 with a frenetic intro and angular guitar riffing from Blackmore. The band go into full flight crunching out the riffs and solos in turn, they were so professional and tight it is astonishing.

It could be over if you only have the vinyl but the remastered Anniversary CD has a bonus. A CD full of edits, remixes, unreleased and unedited versions and of course a stack of studio chatting. The duel 'Black Night' versions are welcome, as it is always great to hear those indelible riffs, and the 'Unedited Roger Glover Remix' is compelling listening. The remix of 'Speed King' and 'Flight of the Rat' are there for the diehard fans but you will desire the original versions. The piano version of 'Speed King' is fascinating as is the instrumental, 'Jam Stew'. The unreleased 'Cry Free' is a curio if nothing else.

It is brilliant that this has been unleashed from the vaults at last and it makes the album an even greater experience completing its masterpiece status. 'Machine Head' and 'Fireball' are excellent albums too, but of the big three 'In Rock' is lord and master over all. In conclusion, grab this version and enter the Deep Purple experience at your nearest opportunity.

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Posted Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars Deep Purple In Rock is a highly significant album in the Deep Purple discography because of the shift in the direction that the band had undergone in 1969. Gone were Evans and Simple which meant that the famous MkII lineup was now in place with the new additions of Ian Gillan and Roger Glover. But musically the biggest difference had to do with Ritchie Blackmore's guitar that has now began to take over some of the space that was previously occupied by Jon Lord's organ sound. Blackmore's guitar is literally all over this release starting with an excellent performance of Speed King, a formula that the band would perfect with each consecutive album opener, the completely guitar dominated Into The Fire and finally ending the record on a guitar solo!

This album also marks the final chapter of Deep Purple's Proto-Prog era with the 10 minute suite called Child In Time. Although I personally prefer the much more spontaneous live version of this composition featured on Made In Japan there is really no denying that it is a gorgeous swan song to Lord's attempts at fusing classical music with rock. By 1970 other acts like King Crimson, ELP, Focus and Genesis have already started to shape this sound into the Symphonic Prog genre that we all know and love. There was really no need for Deep Purple to compete with these bands especially since their assets lay elsewhere.

To me, In Rock is a classic rock album that was playing in my parents home and so this music has definitely an important part in my upbringing. Still I never considered it as significant as the early albums like band-titled 1969 release nor the later albums like Machine Head and Burn. The music here is just too raw and unpolished which is something that I could never relate to. I gave the album a few spins today because it's been a while since I've heard this release in it's entirety and unfortunately wasn't even all that impressed by the best tracks like Child In Time and Speed King. They just don't sound right anymore and I can't really figure out the exact reasons for this.

Either way, In Rock is another important release for anyone exploring Deep Purple's discography which is well worth sinking your teeth into once you've heard the essentials like Machine Head and Made In Japan. Therefore a good, but non-essential album.

**** star songs: Speed King (4:18) Child In Time (10:15) Flight Of The Rat (7:52) Into The Fire (3:29) Hard Lovin' Man (7:10)

*** star songs: Bloodsucker (4:12) Living Wreck (4:30)

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Posted Monday, May 03, 2010

Review by tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars After making fools of themselves with Concerto for Group and Orchestra, one gets the feeling that a long long chat took place about the band's new direction. Simply put, the band's strengths were being wasted in this direction, especially given the specific talents of the two new band members, and I doubt this was lost on Ritchie and Co. Hence, Lord retreated from his de facto "creative force of the group" chair with his tail between his legs, put the neo-classical blah away (though the band did indulge him once more with the later Gemini Suite, possibly as a way to mend fences), and "settled" for being a primary cog in one of the best heavy metal albums the world has ever seen.

The greatest improvement for the band from the previous studio albums, of course, comes from picking up Gillan to sing. Gillan, in his prime, was one of the greatest vocalists in all of rock music, and certainly at or near the top among all heavy metal singers ever. Not only did he have a great "normal" voice, a solid tenor with ever-present low-key power, but he also had one of the best "screaming" voices I've ever heard. It's difficult for me to fathom that anybody in rock could hit high notes the way he could (often in vibrato, no less), not only showing a range that could rival Jon Anderson but also staying totally in tune, all the while maintaining a resonant force in the sound (as opposed to merely hitting the high notes for their own sake). In short, he was the perfect metal vocalist.

That said, making In Rock was not merely a function of taking the sound on previous DP albums and slightly modifying it to account for a new vocalist. In particular, Ritchie sounds completely reborn on this album, as he amply demonstrates that his reduced role in the last two albums was not a function of reduced ability but rather of impaired judgement on the part of Lord and other relevant parties. His solos and riffage are given the prominent place in the mix that they deserve, as opposed to seemingly disappearing for minutes at a time as before, and they're well worth it - the guitarwork on this album is some of the most entertaining I've ever heard in my life, combining well- conceived "show-off" shredding with just enough sloppiness to give it an edge (and in the process make it that much more entertaining, much like Hendrix used to do). Jon reduces his role from before a bit in order to make room for Ritchie, but that just means he's conceded enough to become an equal partner with Blackmore - he gets his fair share of incredible keyboard solos and sounds on this album, and what's most impressive is how so many of them interact so tightly with the guitar parts that it seems they came from the same mind. Add in that Paice could do whatever the heck was required of him, and that Glover had no limit to how low he wanted the bottom of the sound to go, and you have the workings of one hell of a metal band and album.

The end result of all this is an amazing combination of songwriting and showmanship, a collection of seemingly a zillion notes with only a few wasted, and a band that can balance incredible chops with a tightness that few have ever rivaled. If pressed for "weak" tracks, I could single out side two's "Into the Fire" and "Living Wreck" as somewhat weaker than the rest. The former does seemingly "plod" a bit too much, especially in comparison to the speed-of-sound tempos of the rest of the album, but on the other hand it has a GREAT introductory riff, and the mid-tempo rhythm stomps SO much on each beat that it really becomes fascinating. In other words, it may seem like a weak DP track, but it would make a GREAT Black Sabbath track. The latter also seems like a bit of a toss-off in comparison to the rest of the album, but again these things are only relative; the slightly "airy" production helps give the drum intro a nice effect, the "screaming" sound Lord coaxes out of his organ at times is disturbing as hell, the lyrics are amusing, the riff is perfectly decent ... in short, it's weak compared to the high points of the album, but still plenty fine on its own.

The other five tracks, then, range from "excellent" to "indescribably awesome." The only one that I consider just "excellent" is the album closer, "Hard Loving Man," and that's largely an effect of me getting tired by album's end. It's also partially an effect of the song being based a little too much on the blazing speed of the main rhythm track, as opposed to a particularly interesting riff, than I'd prefer, but that's just the nerdy nitpicker in me talking. The headbanger in me has a blast when it's on, as my foot doesn't stop twitching (as opposed to tapping, which is impossible because the song's too fast) for almost the entire time as the rhythm is covered with ear-piercing organ and guitar solos, before ending with Ritchie having some feedback and stereo-panning fun.

And then there's the first four tracks. Honestly, I don't think the opening "Speed King" gets its proper dues in general - I often (at least, more than I'd prefer) see reviews of the album refer to the lyrics as "stupid" or "immature," (they're based around cliches from 50's lyrics) and from time to time this seemingly causes people to think of the opening track as a bit of a tossoff. Personally, I think nothing could be further from the truth. Simply put, I think of this track as one of the best "calling card" numbers with which I've ever heard a band open an album. This is basic, primal, gut-instinct rock'n'roll that just happens to be faster, heavier and louder than what people had previously thought basic, primal, gut-instinct rock'n'roll could be. The first minute of the track seemingly screams out, "Hey! You don't necessarily need to make rock music more complicated or more vulgar or more serious to make it better; if you want, you can just make it kick more ass!" Of course, the song doesn't just contain that awesome series of heavy riffs and glorious Gillan singing that makes up the first minute - within a minute-and-a-half after that, Blackmore and Lord have presented us with jazzy/neo-classical/whatever interplay that practically makes all their interplay of the first three albums irrelevant. And then, more glorious screams, more glorious riffage, a spooky laugh ... damn, what a song.

The argument could be made, though, that the next track, "Bloodsucker," is even better. Holy cow, WHAT AN OPENING RIFF. Listen to how tight these guys are, working their way through all sorts of starts-and-stops that don't seem forced at all, with Ritchie and Jon trading off solos over a rhythm section that sounds like it could go until the end of time. Ian is the main star of the song, though, as his "OOH NO NO NOOOOOO!!" screams beat the crap out of anything Robert Plant could pull off even in his best days. Sheesh, and then there's the side two opener, "Flight of the Rat," which is basically garage rock (with another fabulous main riff) done at an unstoppably fast tempo, replete with enough brief ass- kicking solos to fill an entire side of a normal band's album. Man, if you're not sold on the band by the time you've gone through that amazing Lord part in the fourth minute, followed by Ritchie soloing like a madman in the fifth, capped by those funky-as-hell wah-wah's starting at the 4:48 Mk., there's just no hope for you with this band.

Yet for all that, it's the amazing side-one closer that ensures the album of such a high grade. "Child in Time" is arguably the first prog-metal piece ever, and while that genre has definitely had its fair share of ups and downs, few pieces of that type can match the original. The main slow organ theme is a welcome respite from the speed of the first two tracks, the main verse melody (with lyrics about being in a war, scared of the seeming inevitability of dying) is freaking gorgeous, and the whole thing just seemingly oozes a sense of majesty. Yet what is most impressive about it is how natural the majesty sounds - it's not the result of an artificial atmosphere, created by automated strumming of some simple chords and singing about various pot-induced fantasies, but instead comes straight from the performances themselves and not from the band jumping out of its skin to go "you're supposed to catch the atmosphere now." (Not that I necessarily dislike this approach, you see - Yes does it all the time - but it is definitely novel to see a band pull off majesty in the way DP does so here). This especially becomes obvious when Ian starts singing his "ooh's" and "aah's" in his falsetto, before stepping it up a notch (both in octave and performance) and belting out some of the most blood-chilling high-pitched in-tune screams I've ever heard. And, oh man, I really cannot explain how much in awe I am of the band as they slowly crescendo to match Gillan, before going into that brief sequence starting at 3:21 that has got to be one of the most grandiose stretches I've ever heard from any rock band ever.

And sheesh, it's just beginning at this point. Blackmore does some excellent slow, "heavenly" soloing over the verse theme for a bit, until the 4:07 Mk. when he breaks out his hyper-speedy, hyper-moving "apocalyptic" guitar parts for a couple of minutes, before Lord synchs up with him and the band plays off of Ritchie before crashing to a halt exactly two minutes later. Then the "main" part starts again, the Gillan-led catharsis re- enters, and it's all capped off with a (TIGHT AS HELL) race-to-the-finish climax (with a bunch of anguished Gillan screams) that ends on a giant, loud, long chord. I mean, damn.

In short, as far as I'm concerned, this is close to as perfect as heavy metal can get. If there are any reservations I have towards this album, they're because I tend to get exhausted when my brain spends a whole album getting bashed in with a sledgehammer (as all "pure" metal albums, even this one, tend to do), but that's my problem. If you're a headbanger who doesn't like this album, well, I guess I just don't understand headbangers at all. DP would come close to the quality of this in some songs, but never again would they make an entire album this close to immaculate.

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Posted Saturday, July 17, 2010

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I discovered Deep Purple by way of Rainbow, and even then I was in no way prepared for how hard n' heavy In Rock hit me-- from the very first second this album rocked my socks off.

In Rock is a destructive force of nature, huge, heavy, ballsy, and almost reckless with intensity. "Speed King" starts things off with a powerful, bottom-heavy intensity, led by aggressive guitar riffing and a first-rate rhythm section-- saying nothing of Gillan's vocal excess. The energy is outstanding, and the fact that it doesn't let up for a second throughout the album is very impressive. The signature track, "Child in Time" needs to be experienced to be believed.

While superficially this album is pretty much straight-ahead hard rock in the vein of Led Zepplin, there is a lot more going on beneath the surface that makes it fit very snuggly into PA's Proto-Prog category. First, is the instrumental performances. Blackmore plays a mean guitar, with his riffing and soloing coming across as being very experimental and creative; furthermore, the vintage feel to Lord's keyboards lends a sensation of classical nuance and charm which almost steals the show in a few songs. The songwriting is also a step above the hard rock norm, with many songs featuring tempo and dynamic changes more at home in true prog than in FM classic rock stations, though they're not nearly as diverse or ambitious as prog bands of the day. Gillan's vocals are a load of fun, but are topically and intellectually pretty banal, though his enthusiasm and non-stop wails keeps that from being anything especially bad-- they're certainly not filled with Robert Plant's trite "Oooh baby, baby, baby" repetitions.

The thing I am most impressed by is the sheer weight of In Rock. It'll crush you with its speed and heaviness, and you'll come back for more.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

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Posted Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars It's hard to believe there few new generations grew up after this LP was released! Absolute classic of heavy rock and one of (future) heavy metal very influential release. For decades for me it looked a bit strange to review that album - just virtually everyone was familiar with it!

But nowadays I more and more often see all-around music fans ,who believe that Blind Guardian is one great "early" hard rock example, and Labrie is one great heavy rock vocalist.

It's not funny any more, I just understand that possibly these 40 years gone from " In Rock" release are too long distance,and possibly we should start just to remind how real "early" heavy rock sounded when it still was REAL.

This album is far not ideal for me, and between absolutely excellent songs, as " Black Night" or " Child In Time" (best DP song for me ever) there are some quite average level compositions. But music is loud,music is true and it's played very competently. All album sounds very variable, ok,it was released when heavy rock still wasn't just a method of producing some money. Gillan voice is in extremely good form there, and in all when listening you feel kind of catharsis - state of mind and heart almost impossible when listening modern metal mass products.

Speaking about this music progressiveness, I am quite sceptic, and I believe this album's importance for later evolution of prog rock is mostly indirect. What doesn't make it less attractive or influential.

I believe virtually every music fan of previous few generations are familiar with release in details, but I really would like to recommend it for those,who want to understand, where from all that jazz was started. Play loud!

My rating is 4,5,rounded to 5.

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Posted Friday, November 12, 2010

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars An album with a monumental reputation, but which as far as I can tell has had that reputation built on two of its seven songs - Speed King, which is a great intro, and the admittedly wonderful Child In Time. The rest of the material on display, frankly, is of decidedly mixed quality; the second side is particularly weak, with Hard Lovin' Man and Into the Fire being particularly repetitive and lightweight. The incorporation of organ into a proto-metal sort of structure is tastefully done, and at points is able to drive the group to powerful heights - as on Child In Time - but can anyone really say any of the other songs on the album compares to that masterpiece? Personally, I can't.

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Posted Sunday, June 12, 2011

Review by Prog Sothoth
COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars There's not that many bands that took the mood of 1970 to heart as much as Deep Purple, who had by now ditched their original vocalist and bassist and were heading in a completely new direction musically. Orchestras and harpsichords were disposed of in favor of sheer volume, with Lord wailing on his keyboard and Ritchie unleashing fury on his guitar. Ian's drumming was fast, wild and almost hypnotic at times, and matched by Glover's driving rhythms. The other Ian, that singer guy, yeah he was something else.

The album opens with a noise-fest of guitar blasts before settling into a church-like organ ditty for a bit. Then the song kicks in with Ian's wild yet ridiculously skillful wailing leading the way, tossing out some 50's rock & roll song titles within his lyrics. An important note is that even though much of this album is all about being loud and often speedy, there is no questioning the fantastic musicianship and remarkable performances by all of the players here. Few prog bands could touch these men in the talent department.

Child In Time would have to be considered the album's classic track, and why not? It has everything, including a progressive approach to songwriting. Ian Gillian's voice is incredible, especially during the crescendos as his quiet coos build into intense shrieks as the music blasts into infinity. Other songs are noteworthy as well, such as Flight Of The Rat's speed rhythms and the brilliant guitar solo in Living Wreck, where Ritchie's atmospheric touch proved that the band weren't merely reverting to a loud one trick pony. The most interesting track for me, though, is Hard Lovin' Man, which possesses that classic galloping chugged guitar rhythm pattern that can also be heard on Queen's Keep Yourself Alive, Zep's Achilles Last Stand, Heart's Barracuda and plenty of other rockers. Funny that the song is dedicated to Martin Birch who would later produce Iron Maiden starting with Killers, in which that album's title track shares the same galloping rhythm as Hard Lovin' Man.

Deep Purple seemed to embrace the dawning of the 70s better than most bands, surviving and thriving by changing their sound completely. Along with other loud beasts like Black Sabbath and Fun House, Deep Purple upped the ante in aggression and power to help bring about a new era in rock with In Rock.

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Posted Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Review by Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After three studio albums with the original line-up of the band (Blackmore, Lord, Paice, Evans and Simper), and a live album recorded with an orchestra and with new members Ian Gillan and Roger Glover, the band finally found the right line-up to develop a heavier musical style. Their first four albums were more influenced by Lord`s Classical Music mixed with some Rock, Pop and Prog things. But by late 1969 and by 1970 they were ready to follow the musical style they liked the most, with a very good lead singer (Gillan) singing powerful vocals and also with his very characteristic "screams" that helped to develop a new musical style: Hard Rock / Heavy Metal. Other bands were starting to make similar music (URIAH HEEP, BLACK SABBATH, LED ZEPPELIN...), so one could really consider DEEP PURPLE with this album called "In Rock" as one of the pioneers of this new musical style called Heavy Metal . This album is full of heavy rhythms, heavy distorted guitars, distorted organ, energetic drums and very good riffs. Maybe the only somewhat "different" song is "Child in Time", with has a more "quiet" style in some parts, but it also has some impressive lead vocals and screams by Gillan. There are also some Prog Rock influences in some arrangements. But as a whole this album is very good, maybe one of the best from the band with also their "Machine Head" and "Made in Japan" albums. A very solid album despite not having a very good recording and mixing.

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Posted Saturday, August 30, 2014

Latest members reviews

5 stars Deep Purple in rock showed a change in direction for the band. On the first three albums they were an eclectic brand of psychedelia, Progressive Rock and blues. The 4th album saw the band take a hard rock direction which catapulted them into the big league. Original vocalist Craig Evans an ... (read more)

Report this review (#1071118) | Posted by Alard Charlton | Saturday, November 02, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I entirely agree with P A community when they have given to DEEP PURPLE "In Rock" a highest quotation between all discography of the band. In spite "Machine Head" be their most popular album, in my humble opinion in "In Rock" (after 3 good albuns) the band finally find their own sound iden ... (read more)

Report this review (#912168) | Posted by maryes | Sunday, February 10, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 8/10 (One of) the cornerstones of hard rock Well, it's hard to talk about an album so well-commented and appreciated, but I'll try to leave here my (positive) impressions of this work: it is a big step for Deep Purple and hard rock in general. His predecessor was an unfortunate disappointm ... (read more)

Report this review (#873100) | Posted by voliveira | Friday, December 07, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Deep Purple have two classic albums that I will always be proud to say I own: Machine Head and In Rock. Machine Head is one of those albums that I enjoy listening to from time to time but I don't need to hear it often. It's a classic and that's good enough. In Rock, however, is one of my all-t ... (read more)

Report this review (#839116) | Posted by FragileKings | Tuesday, October 16, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is Deep Purple in their finest hour: their breakthrough record. It's still almost as rough as their prime influence, Vanilla Fudge. The chaotic out-of-control church organ intro sets clear this is psychedelic influenced hard rock. Also the famous "Child in time" ends with chaos and panic. ... (read more)

Report this review (#756018) | Posted by the philosopher | Monday, May 21, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I agree with many that this is the band's peak, their finest hour. The flowery trappings of the sixties are well and truly swept into the dust with this hard, edgy, punching music. Sure, it breaks no new ground, and the writing is nothing to write home about, but the musicianship is great, it ... (read more)

Report this review (#445905) | Posted by giselle | Wednesday, May 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One of my all time favorite band; and a good way to introduce myself in ProgArchives reviews. In Rock is an album that shows the effects of changing vocalist and bass player. I have no doubt about considering Ian Gillan one of best voices in rock´n´roll history; but on the other hand I am n ... (read more)

Report this review (#434208) | Posted by HarryTon | Friday, April 15, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It is very important to consider the time period in which an album is released. The release of In Rock marked a change in the way music was made, and it's easy to tell that bands such as Deep Purple were tired of the familiar singer-songwriter songs that were most popular at the time. Deep ... (read more)

Report this review (#424510) | Posted by dubovsky | Wednesday, March 30, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This was the first album by the "mark two" line up and it began with a blast. "In Rock" and "Machine Head" are definiely my two favourite Deep Purple albums and are also both among the greatest rock releases of all time. Here the band had moved away from their psychedelic and orchestral rock ... (read more)

Report this review (#393872) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Friday, February 04, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "In Rock" is one of the best rock albums of all times! It contains nothing but classics! And there are plenty of things on it that should appeal to metalheads and general rock fans alike. The tracks "Speed King" (a legendary hard rocker in its own right) and "Flight of the Bat" are very much ... (read more)

Report this review (#386159) | Posted by Time Signature | Tuesday, January 25, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Sweet Child in Time, You'll see the Line I will probably make enemies with my opinion here, but i really never understood the hype of this album beyond "Child In Time" and "Speed King". Those two tracks are of course, tracks that probably will be listented to for centuries to come. In fact to ... (read more)

Report this review (#263094) | Posted by paragraph7 | Thursday, January 28, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A masterpiece from 70´s in the Hard rock scene!!! Yes, easily this is my FAVORITE album from the MK II, and this is the first release from them in the studio, wow the album has a great opener Speed King has a heavy riff intro,so many bands in heavy metal nowadays surely were influenced by thi ... (read more)

Report this review (#255781) | Posted by squire4001 | Saturday, December 12, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I think the only reason I bought this album in the first place was because of the band's 45's of "Kentucky Woman" and "Hush." I owned both of the singles at the time. When I opened the album and started listening to "Speed King," I wasn't prepared for what I was listening to. It definitely was no ... (read more)

Report this review (#254035) | Posted by Keetian | Wednesday, December 02, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Deep Purple in RAWK! What might we be greeted to when starting this seminal Deep Purple release? The roaring guitars, with an organ section, this is grandiose hard rock. Gillian sings his heart all over the place, and they rock the house. It is clear that Blackmore had the guitar chops, as t ... (read more)

Report this review (#212606) | Posted by Alitare | Monday, April 27, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One of the best heavy metal/hard rock albums ever Please note that I am reviewing the original album with the classic track listing. I got this album 25 years ago as a rotten, second hand cassette/tape. The first minutes of a jumbo jet crashing into their instruments........ or something like th ... (read more)

Report this review (#200791) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, January 27, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars First of all....some have said there is no prog here.....but I would have to disagree....Child In Time is one of my favourite songs of all time....and I would definitely call it progressive..... The rest of the album is still very good....but it doesn't meet that high standard...... unless you ... (read more)

Report this review (#169680) | Posted by digdug | Saturday, May 03, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If you have in one team , John Lord ( the godfather of hammond organ ) and Ritchie Blackmore ( one of the best stratocaster guitarist player ) , Ian Gillan ( best hard rock vocalist ), and surely Glover & Paice on bass & drums , we must get the best releases from In Rock till ... (read more)

Report this review (#168729) | Posted by trackstoni | Saturday, April 26, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Simply wonderful. One of the most powerful hard rock albums of all times. Just 7 songs, but no weak tracks. I especially adore Child In Time, Flight Of The Rat and Living Wreck. I love the cover art too, and those funny liner notes on the inner gatefold sleeve ('Child In Time - the story of a lo ... (read more)

Report this review (#164136) | Posted by Zardoz | Monday, March 17, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What an interesting album from these hard rocking Brits. The thing that struck me now is how heav it was. Often old hard rock bands can seem amusing when compared to the heights (or the lows) that heaviness has reached nowadays, but this, while hardly being a death metal aural barage is, to be q ... (read more)

Report this review (#164094) | Posted by burtonrulez | Sunday, March 16, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Deep Purple In Prog? Well, I really don't care if it's Rock or Prog or Heavy Prog or Heavy Prog Rock Metal or whatever. This record was at the time a full metal gauntlet in the face of everyone (but especially Led Zeppelin, see below) and simply 45 minutes of very good, innovative music. The ... (read more)

Report this review (#162246) | Posted by strayfromatlantis | Wednesday, February 20, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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