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Deep Purple - Burn CD (album) cover


Deep Purple



3.87 | 927 ratings

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3 stars Deep Purple was still riding high and even after the release of the disappointing and tired sounding "Who Do We Think We Are?", DP was still considered the top selling artist of 1973 in the States. The band, however, was exhausted from all of the touring and recording and emotions and egos were getting in the way. Gillan and Blackmore were not getting along, so Gillan left the band high and dry. If that weren't enough, Blackmore insisted that Glover (bass) be dismissed. This was risky business especially with the band doing so well.

After frequenting some "Trapeze" concerts, the band hired Glenn Hughes on the promise that they were considering Paul Rodgers ("Free") as a co-vocalist. Rodgers was busy starting the band "Bad Company" at the time, so he ended up passing on that offer. Instead, DP ended up hiring David Coverdale, who was unheard of at that time, but who would eventually be lead singer for "Whitesnake". With these two new additions, the band made what was probably their first major line-up change (all at one time) in their history. Of course, there was bound to be a major shift in the band's overall sound. That is exactly what happened.

"Burn" was the first studio album released with the new Mark III line-up. The sound was now shifted away from the heavy-blues-inspired psychedelic sound to a more soulful and rock-boogie style. Surprisingly enough, the band made the transition quite well at first, and this is apparent with this album, which turned out to sound much more relaxed and thought out than the previous album. The title track starts the album off on fast rocking note that would end up being the barn-burner that would replace "Highway Star" as the opener in their concerts. The double team of Coverdale and Hughes would give a nice variety to the sound with the both of them sharing lead vocal duties, sometimes within the same song. However, the both of them didn't have the explosive sound and range of Gillan. So while the music was more soulful, it seemed to be missing the drive and the punch that it used to have. Blackmore does seem to have more solo time on this studio album than before, but then Lord's solo time is cut back some, and the songs are more vocally driven than before. There is a noticeable lack of the excellent instrumental sections than there were previously, and even though listeners heard a bit of that in the previous album, now it seems to be the case more than ever.

The first half of the album, after the first track, demonstrates how that lack of drive could make their music sound too much the same, and there are only a few instances where anything really stands out. The 2nd half, however, is much better with "You Fool No One", "What's Goin' On Here" and "Mistreated" sounding like it was going to be easy to get used to this new sound, all three of these tracks being heavy, catchy and top notch performances. The last track "A 200" is an instrumental that, however, seems to lose any energy that was generated from those three tracks that precede it. However, the album sounds somewhat promising and is a step up from the previous album. There was a lot of hope here that things would continue to get better with this new line-up and this hopefulness was translated into continued high sales with this album and the follow up "Stormbringer", which would end up adding more elements of funk and soul while concentrating on shorter, more accessible tracks, something that would cause even more issues within the band. But, for now at least, the band looked like it might still be sitting comfortably.

In the end, there are 4 great tracks and 4 that are just good, with an ending track that leaves you wishing for something better. Yes it's better than "WDWTWA?", but not quite good enough to push it up to 4 stars in my opinion. Almost, but not quite.

TCat | 3/5 |


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