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Deep Purple - Fireball CD (album) cover

FIREBALL

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

3.77 | 823 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
2 stars Up until only recently, when I did some reading up on Deep Purple's discography, I considered Fireball to be the band's fourth studio release and the first one with the MKII lineup. I guess that it was a fairly reasonable assumption considering that this release sounds nothing like its predecessor In Rock, instead the band sounds very uncomfortable in their direction and tries to do a little bit of everything with this album.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rune2000 | 2/5 |

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