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PERFECT STRANGERS

Deep Purple

Proto-Prog


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Deep Purple Perfect Strangers album cover
3.40 | 419 ratings | 24 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1984

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Knocking At Your Back
Door (7:00)
2. Under The Gun (4:35)
3. Nobody's Home (3:55)
4. Mean Streak (4:20)
5. Perfect Strangers (5:23)
6. A Gypsy's Kiss (4:40)
7. Wasted Sunsets (3:55)
8. Hungry Daze (4:44)

bonus tracks:
9. Not Responsible (4:47)
10. Son Of Alerik (10:07)

Lyrics

Search DEEP PURPLE Perfect Strangers lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

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

Releases information

Track 1,2,4-8,9a - Blackmore/Glover/Gillan;
Track 2, 4-7,9,10 - Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice; Track 9b - Blackmore.

Recorded during early/mid 1984 at "Horizons" in Stowe, Vermont, using Le Mobile Studio. Creatively engineered by Nick Blagona; assisted by Cliff Bonnell, Ronald David, Bernd Reiger, Werner Walendowski and Drafi Deutscher. Mixed at Tennessee Tonstudio in Hamburg, Germany. Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound in New York.

Thanks to The Miracle for the addition
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DEEP PURPLE Perfect Strangers ratings distribution


3.40
(419 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(17%)
17%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(42%)
42%
Good, but non-essential (31%)
31%
Collectors/fans only (8%)
8%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

DEEP PURPLE Perfect Strangers reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Bob Greece
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The time was 1984 and people had been talking for a long time about the legendary mark 2 Deep Purple (Gillan, Blackmore, Lord, Glover and Paice) getting back together again. Fans' dreams were realised with the album Perfect Strangers. Normally comeback albums of great bands dissapoint but this one lived up to the high expectations of the fans. Standout tracks on this album are the 7 minute Knocking At Your Back Door and the title track Perfect Strangers (covered by Dream Theater on the Change of Seasons album). But of all the 8 tracks on this album, there's not one duff track amongst them. It's hard rocking, heavy and exciting music. OK, it's not prog but it's a great album and probably one of the greatest comeback albums of all time.

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Send comments to Bob Greece (BETA) | Report this review (#73234) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 27, 2006

Review by WaywardSon
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This was the last great studio album from the classic MK 2 line up. "Knocking at your back door" has some fun lyrics by Gillan and is a great album opener. The guitar solo by Blackmore on this track is brilliant. I would strongly suggest to listen to this album on headphones! "Under the gun" has another great Blackmore solo. "Nobody“s Home" and "Mean Streak" are good straight forward rockers with Ian Gillan in good form. "Perfect Strangers" has become one of their best loved songs with that unforgettable opening on the keyboards. "A gypsy“s kiss" is another great rock song with some offbeat lyrics by Gillan. "Wasted Sunsets" is a masterpiece! My favourite track on this album by far. Iaan Gillan sings straight from his soul on this slow number, and Blackmore“s guitar solo is (words fail me) "Hungry Daze" is a nostalgic song looking back to “69 and “70 with great drumming from Paice and a standout riff by Ritchie Blackmore.

After Perfect Strangers, things slowly went downhill for Deep Purple until Purpendicular was released over ten years later.

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Send comments to WaywardSon (BETA) | Report this review (#84713) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, July 24, 2006

Review by Raff
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In 1984, eight years after they had disbanded in a mess of drugs, death and inner turmoil, Deep Purple regrouped with their classic, MKII lineup. A dream come true for the millions of dedicated followers of that legendary band (though probably motivated by purely financial reasons), it was not to last long, as the profound hostility between Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Gillan resurfaced soon afterwards, affecting the band's performance and their interpersonal dynamics. However, their comeback album, "Perfect Strangers", is a timely reminder of what the rock world had been missing since Deep Purple's melancholy split in 1976.

Now for the burning question: is it prog? Probably not, and certainly not in the traditional sense of the term - though the album is very strongly keyboard-driven. Jon Lord's brooding, powerful Hammond underpins most of the tracks, duelling with Blackmore's scintillating guitar in the time-honoured tradition of the band's immortal Seventies classics. Obviously, there are some more typical, straightforward hard rockers like "Mean Streak" or "A Gypsy's Kiss", while other tracks have a more diverse, interesting structure - as it is the case of opener "Knocking at Your Back Door". After having been plagued by vocal problems in the early years of the Eighties, Ian Gillan is back to form again, both as a singer and as a lyricist. His vocal style is not as wild and untamed as it was in the former decade, relying on stratospherically high, trademark screams - now he takes advantage of the slower, more laid-back sound of the band to cultivate a more expressive, refined delivery, which still lasts to this day.

Ritchie Blackmore is.. well, Ritchie Blackmore: that is, the guitarist that defined playing for most of the aspiring axemen of the late Seventies and early Eighties. Though there may be more gifted guitarists in a purely technical sense (I think of a certain American gentleman whose surname starts with P...), no one has his elegance of touch and his distinctive, crystal-clear sound. You can try to imitate Blackmore, but you sure cannot sound like him, nor contribute to the development of rock in the same way he did. The lengthy instrumental "Son of Alerik", included as a bonus track in the remastered edition, is proof enough of his abilities.

The title-track is possibly the highlight of the album, together with melancholy ballad "Wasted Sunsets", in which Ritchie's guitar dominates the proceedings together with Gillan's impassioned voice. "Perfect Strangers" is instead heavy on keyboards, and its distinctive, Oriental-flavoured riff recalls in some way Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir", though by no means a rip-off. The metronomically precise rythm section of Roger Glover (an understated, underrated bassist if there ever was one) and Ian Paice (enough said.. one of the greatest drummers in rock, period) does as usual sterling work, providing a rock-solid backbeat to Blackmore and Lord's fiery exertions.

Sadly, Deep Purple MarkII Take 2 lasted the space of just another album, the vastly inferior "The House of Blue Light" - if one does not count the later, already doomed comeback of "The Battle Rages On", whose title fittingly described the struggle that led to Blackmore leaving the band for good. However, when "Perfect Strangers" was released the Purple star was still burning bright... and it still does to this day, though in a different incarnation. Highly recommended.

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Send comments to Raff (BETA) | Report this review (#87732) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, August 20, 2006

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars There's life in the old dog yet!

This for me is the perfect Deep Purple album. With the classic line up reformed, Gillan, Blackmore and Co. came up with a remarkable selection of strong material, full of diversity and power.

The album kicks of with an absolute killer of a song. "Knocking at your back door" is symphonic, its metallic, it's bombastic, it's.. (fill in your own superlative here). The orchestrated opening to the track disguises the full on power which is to follow, but soon enough we experience a familiar wall of sound and the unique vocals of Ian Gillan. Blackmore slips in one of his best guitar solo's in years as the track weaves it's way through seven minutes of classic Purple.

Elsewhere, the title track has distinct shades of Led Zeppelin, and more specifically of "Kashmir" from "Physical Graffiti". It is though a wonderful slower piece, with a distinguished riff, and a strong melody. For me, "Wasted sunsets" is one of the best things the band have recorded in their entire career. Essentially the track is a power ballad, but it affords Gillan the opportunity to give one of his virtuoso vocal performances, followed by Blackmore's achingly beautiful lead guitar solo.

There are of course, some "Fireball"/"Speed king" like fast paced blasts, the best of these being the driving "Not responsible" and "A gypsy's kiss". The instrumental passages on the latter have more than a passing similarity with the title track of "Burn" but when Gillan proclaims "John Wayne, The Alamo, Crazy Horse, GERONIMO", you can't help but thrust a hand in the air and join him in the gallop.

"Nobody's home", "Mean streak", and "Hungry daze" are more predictable Deep Purple fare, with quick strong rhythms and incisive hooks. They are though still worthy of a place alongside the band's most resilient output.

Some versions of the album include the 10 minute bonus track "Son of Alerik", which has also appeared on subsequent compilations. This Blackmore composition was originally released as the non-album B-side of the "Perfect strangers" single. In reality, it is an elongated showcase for Blackmore and to some extent Lord, affording them the opportunity to jam in a slightly looser environment.

In all, a truly remarkable album with a very strong feel good, factor, and some of the best songwriting Deep Purple have ever come up with.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#88301) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 28, 2006

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Hah! Hard-rock band in the middle of the worst decade in history of rock music? Surprisingly, this one is not so bad. It's full of mannerism and clichees, really, but in a sweet sort of way. "Nobody's Home", "Mean Streak" and "Hungry Daze" are all bluesy hard-rock clichees, but they're somewhat catchy. The same goes for "Under The Gun", but this one is utilising good chorus line.

"Wasted Sunsets" is a ballad that tried to be the next "Soldier Of Fortune", and it failed miserably.

The remaining three tracks are the highlights. Hm ,how interesting. They are the album's most progressive efforts too. "Knocking At Your Back Door" is a good one with very nice intro, and interesting section somewhere in the middle of the song. "Perfect Strangers" is a good tune, hands down. Good songwriting, solid tune with clever developing and arrangements, a touch of contemporary (eighties) production, but just a little bit, overall result is very pleasant listening. "A Gypsy's Kiss" is a fast pace hard-rock with vocals that sound like a cat's claw tearing a pantyhose. But guitar solos are just gorgeous. Proggy? No, Gypsy!

At the end of the day, this album is somewhere between "Stormbringer" and "The House Of Blue Light" sound-wise, songwriting-wise and quality-wise. And time-wise, but that doesn't matter.

It's good, but not good enough for you, so don't bother.

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Send comments to clarke2001 (BETA) | Report this review (#102886) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars My hundredth review on this site will be dedicated to one of the greatest line-up in the rock history. Back to Mark II with this reunion album (or Mark V, depending on the source). I prefer to use Mark II B as some other sources do. After a nine year long break, Blackmore and Gillan have burried the hatchet. Blackmore spent all this time with the quite successful Rainbow; while Gillan was less productive (he participated though in the Black Sabbath album "Born Again" which will be a very, very poor album). Glover played with Rainbow from 79 through 83 and then joined the Purple back with Ritchie. The legendary Mark II, was reunited since Paice and Lord are founding members and have never left the band. They will only co-sign one number out of the whole album : "Nobody's Home". All the other ones are from Ritchie, Ian and Roger (the second bonus being from Ritchie's sole input).

But was there a need for the Purple music in 84 ? Well, let's have a listen !

"Knocking on the Back Door" is a good hard rocking track, AOR oriented. Will be a regular in their live sets. It lacks in the speed and energy of previous glorious opener ("Speed King", "Fireball", "Highway Star" and "Burn" to be complete) but it is a good track though. "Under the Gun" is also heavier than their former production. Is this Sabbath's influence from Gillan's period or just to be in the mood ? (heavy metal was born in the meantime and although the Purple is certainly one of the band that influenced the most this genre, it can not be categorized as such). Ritchie performs a solid guitar solo at the end of this good song. I really do not know who was responsible for the sequence of the tracks, but as far as I am concerned, I find it rather strange. IMO, the first two tracks are the weakest of this album !

It is getting better with the next ones : "Nobody's Home"and "Mean Streak" being more classical Purple songs ("Machine Head" era) : great rythm, short & strong guitar and keys break. "Mean Streak" being the best song so far : almost as great as "Pictures Of Home", Jon Lord is predominant in this track. A great piece of rock music.

Back to the heavy, slower tempo of the tilte track "Perfect Strangers": solid drumming and strong bass for this number. This is another side of the Purple : heavy but melodic. A great combination which makes them so different. Some Oriental moments reminding "Kashmir" just in the middle of the track add some grandeur to this song which is quite catchy and definitely another highlight. Till now, so far, so good.

" A Gypsy's Kiss" is my favorite song : great rythm (but this is Mark II, right ?). Fantastic Gillan. This is the Purple we all love : melodious, gifted and hard rocking. Typical song structure for Purple (vocal intro, a key solo, then a guitar one) like we can find in "Flight Of The Rat" from "In Rock", or in "Highway Star" from "Machine Head" or "Burn". The best song of this album.

"Wasted Sunsets" is a rock ballad like Coverdale could have written. Very nice and emotional (vocals and guitar). The last track "Hungry Daze" is another very good song making reference in the lyrics to one of the band's anthem : "Smoke On The Water" ("We all came out to Montreux, but that's another song You've heard it all before !". The rythm is incredibely strong. Master Ritchie is really great in this number. This song has wonderful melodious moments as well. A great closing number.

"Not Responsible" appears on the CD version : it is again heavier in its initial phase but when the tempo gets faster it turns to a very good bonus track. Nice guitar solo. This is definitely more than a left over. Since the album was not really long, they should have included it. This omission is corrected with the CD version.

Some CD versions include "Son Of Alerick" as well (this is more rare). It is a long instrumental from Richie. One could have thought of a pure guitar based jam, but this track is definitely more than that : the keyboard is very present, Roger is gorgeous on the bass. Needless to say that Ritchie is on par of course. It is a very rare track from the Purple. It was the B-side of the 12 inches single "Perfect Strangers" released for the U.K. market. The organ parts remind me of Mark I. You really have to discover this wonderful piece of music. I would say that it is the most prog oriented Purple number since "April" in 1969 (and the last one as well of their whole career).

At the end of the day, it is an great come back after such a long period of silence. It is by far their best album since "Burn". You have to find out the one version with "Son Of Alerick" : you'll get more than ten minutes bonus and you'll discover a long forgotten facet of the band which will never be investigated after this one. This album will reach Nr. 5 in the UK charts (Nr. 17 in the US). They didn't do so good since "Burn". The Purple will never reach this level anymore. Four solid stars for this excellent record.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#107185) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 11, 2007

Review by obiter
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars As a mid-eighties rock album this is passable: 2-3 stars As prog it should not feature in your collection 1 star

Knocking at your back door .. I hope it's not about what I think it is: " The log was in my pocket\When Lucy met the Rockett\And she never knew the reason why" Hmm "Feel it coming ... it's not against the law". Well paint me pink and call me Jeremy but that's not prog. it's classic sleazy Deep Purple (give Whitesnake a run for their money, oh yeah but that was DP mark VII whatever).

Under the Gun, it's not quite Biko or Forgotten Sons: " Stupid bastards and religious freaks/So safe in their castle keeps (Ohh nice rhyme ...)/They turn away as a mother weeps (wow and another one) Under the gun". Once again priceless DP. Is it prog? Not as we know it, Jim.

Side One ends in the same banal rock vein with Nobody's Home and Mean Streak: "She drives me crazy gets inside my brain/She spend my money down a drain/So I roll over for my reward".

Side Two: The one shining light in this bleary sleazy rockfest is Perfect Strangers. Gypsy's Kiss: the obligatory rock ballad. Groan. Wasted Sunsets and leads to Hungry Daze (how witty is that? Daze = days brilliant) which has the distinction of putting the proggre out of his misery.

Dreadful prog album: 1 star

PS As a sleazy teenage rocker I bought this album the day it came out and loved it for what it was.

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Posted Monday, September 10, 2007

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The value beyond the music ...

Talking about music, especially rock or prog rock, I can not judge them merely only based on the music itself. This is true for me personally even though in most cases the music itself contributes a lot in terms of total value meaning to me. This seems true as well for other people like a friend of mine who has been currently bombarding me to have a closer look on punk music not in the music itself but more on the "anti-establishment" move the punk music brought with them. This gentleman, Rizal B Prasetijo, has even purchased me a book titled "Rotten" (or something like that because I did not really pay attention to its title) and a CD by the Sex Pistol "Never Mind The Bollocks". Well, I do appreciate his effort and definitely I would have a look on it.

What Sex Pistols and Punk got to do with Deep Purple? Nothing! I'm just trying to put things into perspective: how other factors than a music have created certain value to me. I have not been studying Sex Pistols until now but I started to purchase some CDs on early development of punk, like The Stooges (Iggy Pop) in 1970 which the music built the basis for punk. This long background is basically important for me to share with you on how I appreciate music and musicians. Please note, if I was given a chance to restart my life, I would choose to become a guitar player and composer of prog rock music. Music is so important to my life.

As far as Deep Purple "Perfect Strangers" album, I actually got nothing special (musically) by the time the album was released in 1984. I seldom played the cassette because I did not think the songs were okay for my taste. But recently, about a month ago, I had an informal but intense music discussion with my colleagues at i-Rock! (Indonesian largest rock community today): Riza and Eric. I was stunned when Riza shared his story about how Deep Purple "Perfect Strangers" is so memorable for him. He said that by the time he got the album, no one in his school knew that Deep Purple still alive that year. Everyone in the world knew that Deep Purple was disbanded. So when he got the cassette, he was so proud to show to his schoolmates that he got the NEW DEEP PURPLE. According to him all of his friends were very surprised knowing the "never heard before" album. That event has made "Perfect Strangers" very special for him personally. I was touched with his story. So, once I got home, I pulled this CD from my CD shelf where this CD was rarely played since the time I purchased it. I think this CD has only been played maximum three times since the day of purchase. Most of the spin I made with regards to this album was when I had it on cassette format.

Musically, nothing is compelling about this album even though there is no such thing as bad track. Everything flows naturally. This was the first time after the news that Deep Purple was disbanded and they reunited the best line-up in their career, i.e. Mark II : Gillan, Blackmore, Lord, Paice and Glover. I actually expected more from this album. My colleague Eric during the discussion commented that this reunion was due to the news that some ex Deep Purple Mark I members made a series of concerts using Deep Purple's name. This news made Blackmore got mad and start calling other band members of Mark II to reform the band. The result was this album.

The catchy part of this album is of course, the radio hit "Perfect Strangers", a slow rock ballad which has a good melody. All other tracks are good and resemble the traditional elements of Deep Purple. "Wasted Sunsets" was once became a radio hit as well in my country. Songs like "Hungry Daze", "Nobody' Home" and "mean Streak" indicate the characteristics of Deep Purple music. Ritchie's guitar solo is not as brave as their albums in the 70s but it still has its unique sound peculiar to Ritchie.

Overall, this is of course not the best album to start with Deep Purple. This was intended to send a message to rock fans that the band still existed and the music is not bad at all. It's a must for hard rock fans especially Deep Purple freaks. Keep on rockin ' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Posted Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Review by aapatsos
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars Feel it comin'.

Purple are back in discography after 9 years (excluding live albums) with a SHOUT! Perfect Strangers is full of energy and hard rock attitude. It seems that the reunion of the members brought some new ideas and revived the lost magic. Blackmore's experience with the magnificent Rainbow brings a different approach than the one taken in the band's 70's albums. In addition, Gillan's appearance in Black Sabbath's Born Again seems to have influenced him towards heavier tones, and this is evident in his singing throughout the record.

The sound of the album could not escape the influence of the 80's, thus the approach is more towards rock/hard rock rather than 70's progressive rock harmonies. However, this does not restrain the band from composing some of their most powerful and solo-overloaded tracks. In fact, the prog element is not fully overlooked, especially in the guitar/keyboard solos, the structure of the riffs and more particularly in the title track. The latter stands out in the album as the most innovative piece of music, with a clearly Rainbow-influenced medieval atmosphere and uncommon timing. I would dare to say that this album contains classic rockers such as Knocking at your Backdoor and Mean Streak, tracks of equal quality to the bands milestones such as Black Night.

The Rainbow 'effect' is even more evident in A Gibsy's Kiss which could have easily been part of 'Rising' or 'Long Live Rock 'n Roll'. Overall, Blackmore dresses the tracks with 'fresh' and inspired riffs which along with the classic hammond touches of Jon Lord, create an interesting result. The only track that does not add quality to the album is Wasted Sunsets, a pleasant but, in general terms, weak ballad which, however, is not able to ruin the overall strong output.

Riffs in Perfect Strangers and Hungry Daze are not composed every day and represent examples of glorious times in Deep Purple's career. Concluding, the reunion was worth the wait as Perfect Strangers is one of the albums that you would listen again and again and again...

...it's knocking at your door...

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Posted Sunday, November 09, 2008

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars Perfect title track

Ian Gillan just came from working with Black Sabbath on the awful Born Again album. Ritchie Blackmore came from Rainbow where he had just made a series of quite horrible albums with Joe Lynn Turner on vocals. Perfect Strangers brings Gillan and Blackmore together again and they produce something a lot better than their previous efforts alone. Indeed, Perfect Strangers is one of Deep Purple's best ever albums!

The sound quality is far superior to the often badly recorded 60's and early 70's albums. The songs are melodic and strong and the album is reasonably varied in terms of moods and tempos. The instrumental work is great on many tracks. I especially like A Gypsy's Kiss which has a very Neo-Classical instrumental break reminding of the great Burn title track. Perfect Strangers itself is also a truly excellent song. Wasted Sunsets slows the tempo down and it is great as well. Some lyrics are quite cheesy, but not totally unimaginative like many Hard Rock lyrics.

This album constituted a great come back for the band! And in many ways it is a more mature effort than most of their earlier works.

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Posted Saturday, December 20, 2008

Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Eight long years after one of the planet's most successful and respected arena rock bands tragically sank and dissolved into a fetid cesspool of runaway egos and petty squabbles, the glory days of the early 70s began to look nostalgically good to the "Smoke on the Water" MK2 lineup of Deep Purple and a reunion seemed like a stupendously profitable idea. None of the members' individual projects (like Blackmore's Rainbow and the Ian Gillian Band) had set the music world on fire, exactly, so why not just round up the guys, go into the studio and recreate the magic that produced landmark albums like "In Rock" and "Machine Head." Simple, right? But, as the sage of satire Randy Newman puts so succinctly, "Everything I write all sounds the same/each record that I'm making/is like a record that I've made/just not as good..." That pretty much sums up "Perfect Strangers."

Gotta hand Jon Lord and the boys one thing, though. They were at least true to their sex, drugs and rock & roll roots, avoiding lowering themselves to the crass phoniness and stupid New Wave commercialism being instigated and sustained by the despicable "empty vee" virus that was running unchecked throughout the industry in '84. In other words, this could have been much, much worse despite the fact that these men were in or near their 40s at the time and any cute young lass could see these disillusioned swingin' Richards for what they were. Not as sinewy, virile rock stars but as lecherous louts in desperate need of new coifs. Too bad someone didn't make them act and look their age.

They wisely start out with one of their better tunes, the appealing "Knocking at Your Back Door" with its mysterious, undeniably cool faux cello synthesizer setting that makes the prog monkey in me stand and salute involuntarily. The whole ensemble then falls right into step with one of their signature, user-friendly riffs that identifies the culprits responsible immediately. It's the one and only Deep Purple. No doubt about it. The song mixes their old drivin' balls-to-the-wall attitude with an updated, 80s hair band-inspired, seamlessly slick chorus while Ritchie's guitar lead is both ferocious and furious like it should be. Yet no amount of energy can make up for the atrociously vapid lyrical content. Ian's cocksure posturing via silly phrases like "so we put her on the hit list/of a common cunning linguist" (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) is inexcusably lame. And the not-so-hidden anal-retentive innuendo expressed in the tune's title is juvenile, at best. Come on, Gillian, if "Sweet Lucy" is nothing short of a 5-star hotel then why would you want to go in through the alleyway entrance where the dumpsters and the grease pits are? It stinks back there. I mean, strolling confidently into her elegant lobby makes for a much more impressive arrival. She can take care of your luggage, the soft pillows on her sofas are to die for and her plush carpet at the check-in desk is genuine Chinchilla. I'm just sayin'. Anyway, they do let Blackmore shred brilliantly during the extended fadeout and that, along with the always- tight rhythm section of Ian Paice and Roger Glover, makes this number a true keeper.

The Hammond-heavy "Under the Gun" is next and it more than fulfills its purpose for being in that it rocks hard and heavy for four and a half minutes with no funny business involved. Unless, of course, you pay attention to the inane words IG spews out aka "I've got a feeling that it's never right/there was a reason but it's out of sight/it's going down somewhere tonight." What a blight. Better to just zone into Blackmore's hot guitar solo and not search for any trace of deep insights into the human condition. "Nobody's Home" offers more of the same riff-based rock (and by now the formula is getting stale) but at least Ritchie throws Jon a bone and lets him crank out a screaming organ ride. It's a put-down ditty that could be applied to any number of exes, former managers/record executives, warring members of Deep Purple's past or present or, for that matter, the group as a whole and no one will ever know for sure. "A legend is dying/the seeds have been sown/your lights are burning bright/but nobody's home" Gillian snarls. "Mean Streak" is an up tempo but thoroughly boring shuffle that doesn't bravely investigate new areas of progressive rock if you know what I mean and I think you do. It's got filler written all over it and even Blackmore's normally fiery lead is obligatory and predictable. However, I'm pretty sure they wrote the scathing lyrics about one of my old girlfriends in particular. Had to have been. She was a rattlesnake.

Lord's growling Hammond leads you into the album's namesake and most satisfying cut and even though there's an obvious Led Zep "Kashmir" vibe running through the song it still somehow manages to retain its own identity and avoid being a rip-off. It's just a great tune. The hypnotic, thematic guitar line in 9/8 is irresistible and the subtle synth noodling going on in the background during the long ending gives it a unique character unlike anything else on the disc. And somehow they convinced Ritchie to not take a solo! I guess it's about a discrete lover who must remain anonymous to protect the innocent. The words are so odd and indecipherable that it's safe to say that the secret is safe and secure for all time to come. "A Gypsy's Kiss" is a good news/bad news deal. The front and back sides of this high octane rocker sound like something they threw together in 5 minutes of rehearsal time to bookend the intricate and complicated instrumental interplay between Lord and Blackmore that occurs in the middle segment. Methinks they should have put in a few more hours to make it work better as a unified composition. Needless to say, the lyrics (i.e. "Ya who' Jumme gae bile ya heed") are unintelligible nonsense.

"Wasted Sunsets" follows and it's a total waste of time. The track is a power ballad typical of that woebegone decade and it sounds like any one of the thousands of spandex- sporting, makeup-smeared rock outfits that writhed and sneered through their garish videos like lobotomized vampires while singing about some personal paradise lost. Jon's organ and piano combination provide a deep, dense backdrop and Blackmore's solo is passionate but Ian sounds like he was forced to come in and sing it on his day off. I won't even try to tell you what it's about because I don't have a clue. "Hungry Daze" is the finale and there's a palpable "no riff left behind" mentality in play here except that the riff in question is annoyingly repetitive to the nth degree and Gillian's sorry Robert Plant impression is downright embarrassing. "We all came out to Montreux/but that's another song/you've heard it all before," Ian sings. No shucks, Sherlock. Tell us something we don't know. They attempt to throw in a semi-psychedelic breakdown at the midway point but it goes nowhere and displays an appalling lack of imagination. Maybe they were facing a deadline or maybe they were already sick of each other. Again.

"Perfect Strangers" is an example of a once-invincible band reuniting for the glory and attention such an occasion invites but not investing enough time, energy and commitment to do their legacy justice. There's two really good cuts on the album but the rest is so run- of-the-mill rock & roll that they would've done all their fans a big favor by taping a half hour studio jam of "Further On Up the Road" or some other blues standard and left it at that. I do realize that I've put way too much emphasis on the lyrical content in the case of a group that will never be mistaken for Bob Dylan in that department but I had hoped for more perspective and wisdom stemming out of their combined years on the road and their collective experiences in the "biz." Then again, maybe it's all just a blur to them. Whatever. In the final analysis it simply comes up short much more often than not. 2.3 stars.

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Posted Saturday, July 25, 2009

Review by The Quiet One
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Perfect Comeback?

As a Deep Purple hardcore fan, I've never quite got into this so acclaimed ''come-back'' album. Okay, it's the classic Mark II once again and they're definitely not playing pop or anything in the 80's hype, but still I can't find anything to praise or enjoy with the exception of the two classics that came out of this album, that is the title track and the opener, Knockin' at your Back Door, but not even those actually get much playing from me.

Not sure what is my main issue with the album though, since Perfects Strangers does have solid hammond- organ and guitar solos throughout very much in the vein of their 70's stuff, but overall the record for me lacks of power, the riffs are pretty lame and Gillan's voice seems tired.

Sincerely I don't like the album at all, but what is odd is that I do enjoy most of The House of Blue Light to the extent of listening to it and be able to rock out with some of the tunes in it, the same goes for the criminally underrated records, Slaves & Masters and The Battle Rages On. Maybe it's the production and the sound of the guitar and of the drums that don't do it for me, they sound very insipid.

Sorry fellow Deep Purple fans, but this record gets 2 stars from me.

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Posted Friday, December 25, 2009

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars With a few note-worthy exceptions, the 1980's were not kind to aging hard rock and prog bands, and there are few albums which are a better example of this victimization than Perfect Stangers by Deep Purple. Each song on this release is gutless AOR schlock of the worst kind, that which tries to disguise itself as something its not, rather then just reveling in the power ballads and sing-along choruses of the day. I blame Ritchie Blackmoor, whose numerous (and quite good) guitar solos only highlight the desperation I feel from the rest of the band, who sound like they're clutching at straws in an attempt to sound modern, energetic, and a viable name in the rock-n-roll business. Blackmoor should have recognized the mediocrity of the whole affair and intervened... but instead we get this album.

If the title of the opening track alone-- "Knocking on Your Backdoor"-- doesn't make you groan, then you may enjoy the bland rock shuffle, trite lyrics, gutless vocals, and predictable song writing which follows. I have yet to explore the majority of Deep Purple's catalogue, but I hope that this is them at their absolute worst; in fact, the entire first half of the album is them at their worst. Instrumental performances are atrociously boring-- especially among the rhythm section (is a drum fill or moment of heaviness too much to ask?). The use of synthesizer is easy to forgive, since it was the '80's afterall, but Lord's keyboards are inexcusibly useless throughout. Blackmoor's guitar remains strong though, but as I mentioned above it only makes everything else sound even worse. And don't get me started about Gillan's vocals...

The second half picks up somewhat, with "Perfect Strangers" actually sounding like the band put some thought into their song writing (though Dream Theater's cover is better), and "Gypsy's Kiss" has a pretty schnazzy instrumental break-- the highlight of the whole album. But things crash and burn with the power ballad "Wasted Sunsets" and useless rocker "Hungry Daze" (did the band really just replace Paice with a drum machine?).

I like AOR and classic rock-- it's pretty much all I listened to before getting into progressive rock... but I would not hesistate to change the radio station if ANY of these songs came over the airwaves. Luckily, I've never heard any of them on the radio, which should tell you something about the logevity of Deep Purple's "comeback" album.

Songwriting: 1 Instrumental Performances: 2 (saved from a 1 by Blackmoor) Lyrics/Vocals: 1 Style/Emotion/Replay: 1

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Posted Saturday, September 25, 2010

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Man I wished I owned this back in the eighties, it would have fit perfectly with my eighties Metal albums.This was a comeback album for DEEP PURPLE as the classic lineup was back together after 8 years or so. For fans of the band there seems to be mixed feelings for this one mainly because this sounds nothing like those seventies albums.There is a definite eighties Metal flavour to this album which I really like because I was raised on this [&*!#] and I love it. Lord isn't as dominant as on the seventies albums but as Raff says he sort of underpins the music in a powerful way. At times I would descibe the organ as floating in the background. Everyone is in fine form here especially Gillan.

"Knocking At Your Back Door" is a top three track for sure. I like how it builds to start then it settles into the main groove with vocals. Organ in the background here. A guitar solo from Blackmore before 4 minutes.The bass is prominant late with guitar and organ. "Under The Gun" is another top three tune for me.This has a powerful sound to it with organ. A guitar solo before 2 minutes shakes things up.The vocals are great ! A catchy rocker. "Nobody's Home" sounds like it has cow bell in it, and the vocals remind me of Brian Johnson's at times. Cool section 2 minutes in as we get a guitar solo followed by an organ solo.

"Mean Streak" has humerous lyrics and a strong 80's Metal flavour. I like the guitar before 4 minutes. "Perfect Strangers" is the other top three. Amazing tune that opens with some nasty organ then it kicks in heavily with vocals which are almost Dio-like at times. Love the organ or synths in the final minute too. "A Gypsey's Kiss" is a fan favourite. It picks up quickly as it turns uptempo with vocals. A heavy beat with organ leads the way. It's Blackmore's turn after 2 1/2 minutes. "Wasted Sunsets" is mid-paced with passionate vocals and some emotional guitar.The organ floats throughout. "Hungry Daze" is where Gillan sounds like Johnson again at times. A catchy beat to this one. "Not Responsible" reminds me of early AEROSMITH everytime they slow it down. Blackmore is lighting it up late.

A great comeback album that easily blows their first 3 albums out of the water.

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Posted Friday, January 07, 2011

Review by tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars As Justin Hayward once wrote, "You can never go home anymore." After many years of the band resting in peace, not to mention the lineup changes the band had endured since the glory days, it might have seemed nice in 1984 to have the Mk. 2 lineup (here referred to in this incarnation as Mk. 2.1) back together. After all, disregarding the fact that the last time these guys were together, they made the mediocre Who Do We Think We Are?, they had once made amazing music together, and after all the biggest problems with the last few DP albums had involved David, Glenn or Tommy. What could go wrong with having Glover, Blackmore and Gillan back in the group?

Plenty wrong, that's what. Glover didn't really lose anything of note over time (though he isn't immune from blame for this album - he was the main producer, after all), but a lot happened to Ritchie and Ian in the previous decade, not all of which was for the better. Ritchie had some success with Rainbow, but supposedly the band got far too cheezily mainstream in the 80's, the blame of which could be primarily placed on Ritchie's shoulders. As for Ian, well, as was first demonstrated in a disastrous '83 stint with Black Sabbath, he simply lost his voice. The low-key power he'd had in his 'normal' range before had largely dissipated by this time into creakiness, and when he'd try to go loud, or, heaven help us, high, it could be downright painful to listen to. In other words, what was once one of the band's greatest assets was now, sadly, one of the band's greatest liabilities.

Not that it really matters on this album. The band largely chooses to follow instead of lead with this album, and given both that it was 1984 and what Ritchie's goals in Rainbow had been the past few years, that basically spells disaster. The band tries hard to get in with the pop-metal crowd of 1984, and that means tepid riffs and melodies that aren't hard enough to drive away the average consumer, and not poppy enough to drive away the average metalhead. This also means that the drums are largely electronic, the keyboards are set to cheezy-synth mode, and the guitars are only there as much as they need to be. All this and sung by a guy who lost his voice. Whee!

The situation isn't completely hopeless, fortunately. The opening "epic" "Knocking at Your Back Door" has the band making the best of all the crappy ingredients listed above; the guitar line that pops up in the introduction and during the "chorus" section is fairly nice, there's a halfway decent solo in the middle, and I'm almost able to forget that I'm listening to an 80's hair-metal piece about anal sex. I gotta say, though, that that kinda pisses me off; early 70's DP weren't choir boys, of course, but the band always seemed much "cleaner" than other heavy bands of the era, largely because Gillan didn't revel in the kinds of lyrical excesses that Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath soaked themselves in. So of course they IMMEDIATELY blow that image by making a thinly veiled anthem about butt-sex (note that I'm bothered by this not because of anything against the act itself, but rather because the band seemed to think that in order to get noticed in the 80's, they had to try and ruffle the moral feathers of society). Meh.

The title track, on the other hand, sounds to my ears like a complete success. Supposedly, Ritchie milked this "Kashmir"-style sound to death in his time in Rainbow, so it might not sound that great to longtime followers of all of Ritchie's work, but it sure sounds great to me. For one thing, the opening has Lord bringing out the distorted Hammond organ of old and putting away the synths, which is a rare thing on this album for sure. However, when he brings out the synths again, he puts them to good use, playing a hypnotic "Eastern" riff that pops up from time to time. The rest of the band gets into the same act effectively, from Ian 'bending' his vocal notes in largely the same way Plant did on "Kashmir," to Ian's monotonous rhythms actually functioning as hypnotic instead of boring, to ... whatever. Point is, this is the one track here that really oozes inspiration, even if it's somewhat secondhand.

The other six tracks (seven if you count a bonus on the CD, which isn't any better than the rest), though, just don't appeal to my ears at all. "Under the Gun" is only memorable for the INCREDIBLY cheezy use of "Pomp and Circumstance" at one point near the end (a move comparable only to Spinal Tap's use of a classical quote at the end of "Heavy Duty"), "Nobody's Home" starts with a ridiculous cheezy synth introduction and moves into a set of riffs presented in the lamest way possible, "A Gypsy's Kiss" is fast without having any of the classic DP power ... it just goes on. "Mean Streak" has a little guilty-pleasure appeal for me, but not much more; "Wasted Sunsets" is an average terrible mid-80's power ballad (with terrible singing - the way Ian sings "sunseeeeeets" is downright painful); "Hungry Daze" has a slightly interesting (but dorky) synth-guitar pattern that pops up from time to time, but completely loses me otherwise (except for those TERRIBLE synth *konk* noises that sound like something from Jethro Tull's A). MEH.

Strangely enough, there are some fans that consider this comeback a success. All I can say is that, if you're one of those people, you have a far greater tolerance of and love for 80's metal in all its various forms than I do. For me personally, this kind of music is one of my inner circles of rock'n'roll hell. I give it a ** because I like a couple of the songs, and there are some *parts* in the other tracks that slightly catch my ear in a good way (such as the occasional good Ritchie passage), but I simply cannot go any higher than this. It's a looong way from here to "Speed King," I'll tell you what.

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Send comments to tarkus1980 (BETA) | Report this review (#535151) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars In 1984 Deep Purple reunited with the original line up and produced a killer album that was always one of my favourites. For a long time I had only the 2 masterpiece tracks 'Knocking at your Back Door' and 'Perfect Strangers' and hoped if the rest of the album were as incredible as these it would be a masterpiece. The truth is the rest of the album is not quite to the standard of these classics but it still solid hard rock.

Ritchie Blackmore is on fire as usual o lead guitar and has some awesome riffing on "Perfect Strangers" Ian Paice is fantastic on drums, Jon Lord is brilliant on keyboards, Roger Glover is te bass man and of course the incomparable Ian Gillan is incredible on vocals. With this line up the band had the potential to produce another masterpiece in the same vein as "In Rock" or "Machine Head". Unfortunately there are a few mediocre songs that mar this status but it still features some amazing musicianship and memorable songs.

'Wasted Sunsets' is a worthwhile ballad, with Gillan a powerhouse on vocals as Blackmore makes his guitar sing. 'Nobody's Home' has a fabulous riff and classic structure like the old days. 'Mean Streak' is another heavy rocker and one of the highlights of the album.

Everytime I hear the album though 'Perfect Strangers' simply jumps out, with it's orchestrated motifs and unbelievable keyboard wizardry from Lord. 'Knocking at Your Back Door' is quintessential DP with its brilliant intro, and astounding double entendre lyrics and infectious melody. Love the section where Gillan sings "she made electric shadows beyond her finger tips but none of us could reach that high," and of course "Sweet Lucy was a dancer but none of us would chance her because she was a Samurai..."

"Perfect Strangers" is the last great Deep Purple album before the whole thing went belly up and they became just another rock band. It is essential listening and definitely as good as the classics of yesteryear, though not quite a masterpiece.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#615331) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, January 22, 2012

Latest members reviews

5 stars My personal favorite from DP. Back in the early eighties I had heard about a seventies rock band called Deep Purple, but it wasn't until the release of this album that I was introduced to their music. And what an introduction!. What we have here is the classic Purple sound achieving maturity, ... (read more)

Report this review (#1067724) | Posted by surrogate people | Sunday, October 27, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 5/10 This was certainly a highly anticipated return ... but is far from meeting my expectations. Aside from their self-titled 1969 album, I have an appreciation for all that this wonderful banda works composed between 1968 and 1975, before his long hiatus of nine years. I'm too young to ... (read more)

Report this review (#902222) | Posted by voliveira | Tuesday, January 29, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Lumps of cash.... I guess the real meaning behind this co eback album relies on the amount of money offered to them for a comeback. It was very difficult from the start. Ritchie as usual the workaholic he is would want to rehearse from morning and the other members would come late in the afterno ... (read more)

Report this review (#795804) | Posted by Pa2camp | Friday, July 27, 2012 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The come back of Deep Purple Mk II was treated as the advert for free booze among alcoholics. The result was this album. An album more akin to defroster liquid than proper alcohol. Deep Purple MK II does not really need any introduction. It is simply one of the best ever rock bands to ever gra ... (read more)

Report this review (#364147) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, December 26, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Perfect Strangers was the long waited comeback album from the boys. It had been nine years since the last DP album, and even longer since the classic mk2 lineup. I was born earlier in the same year when PS was released, so I can't feel the excitement fans must've felt when they got back together. ... (read more)

Report this review (#232354) | Posted by nikow | Tuesday, August 18, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Mk II's return in the mid 80's was delivered with a fine album,yet almost completely apart from that wonderfull hard rock made more than 10 years earlier.What we have here is a very heavy and dangeroulsy close to generic colection of songs,with precious few highlights. Two tunes in this album a ... (read more)

Report this review (#205662) | Posted by Gustavo Froes | Saturday, March 07, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Hard rock in the 80s? Seems like a bad idea,but it works. The reunion album of deep purple comes along and rocks. Blackmore's guitar is as good as ever. My favorite tracks on the album are Knocking at your Back door, Perfect Strangers and Nobody's Perfect, but the other tracks are still very good ... (read more)

Report this review (#168859) | Posted by | Sunday, April 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Perfect Strangers is a very solid album. No more, no less. No one track to me stands out, but no track to me is weak. They are all just solid. If I had to pick the stand out tracks for somebody to listen to, I would probably pick the kick off track Knocking At Your Back Door, and Perfect S ... (read more)

Report this review (#89613) | Posted by proghairfunk | Wednesday, September 13, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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