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DEEP PURPLE

Proto-Prog • United Kingdom


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Deep Purple biography
Founded in Hertford, UK in 1968 - Hiatus between 1976-1984 - Still active as of 2018

The archetypal hard rock band, hugely influential, and still alive and well after almost 40 years, DEEP PURPLE were formed in Hertford (England) in 1968. Their earliest line-up (known as Mark I) featured guitarist Ritchie BLACKMORE, drummer Ian Paice (who was to be the only constant member in all the numerous incarnations of the band), keyboardist Jon LORD, bassist Nick Simper and vocalist Rod Evans. Their first album, "Shades of Deep Purple", included a cover of JOE SOUTH's "Hush", which became a big hit in the USA. The following two efforts were definitely more progressive in tone, especially their third, self-titled album, which saw Lord's masterful, classically-influenced use of the B3 Hammond organ steal the limelight.

In 1969, Evans and Simper were fired, to be replaced by two former Episode Six members, bassist Roger GLOVER and legendary vocalist Ian GILLAN, who had also starred in the lead role in the original version of Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice's "Jesus Christ Superstar". This line-up, which is widely known as DEEP PURPLE Mark II, gave the band international renown - even though their first album, Lord's pet project "Concerto for Group and Orchestra" (recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) was poorly received.

With Gillan and Glover on board, DEEP PURPLE recorded a series of extremely successful albums, which saw them blend the progressive stylings of their first three albums with an increasingly harder-edged approach, like 1970' ground-breaking "In Rock". Their sound featured lengthy, dazzling duels between Lord's Hammond and Blackmore's Stratocaster, punctuated by Gillan's sky-high screams - nowhere better embodied than in their stunning, 1972 live album, "Made in Japan". In the same year, they released "Machine Head", one of the essential rock albums of all time, which featured the seminal riff of "Smoke on the Water" (inspired by a true episode happened during the recording of the album itself in Montreux, Switzerland), as well as other classics such as "Highway Star" and "Space Truckin'".

Unfortunately, ego clash...
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DEEP PURPLE discography


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DEEP PURPLE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.29 | 545 ratings
Shades Of Deep Purple
1968
3.22 | 532 ratings
The Book Of Taliesyn
1968
3.61 | 614 ratings
Deep Purple
1969
4.35 | 1198 ratings
Deep Purple In Rock
1970
3.78 | 835 ratings
Fireball
1971
4.33 | 1207 ratings
Machine Head
1972
3.02 | 555 ratings
Who Do We Think We Are
1973
3.86 | 822 ratings
Burn
1974
3.07 | 610 ratings
Stormbringer
1974
3.21 | 506 ratings
Come Taste The Band
1975
3.50 | 603 ratings
Perfect Strangers
1984
2.86 | 381 ratings
The House Of Blue Light
1987
2.69 | 316 ratings
Slaves And Masters
1990
2.77 | 336 ratings
The Battle Rages On...
1993
3.68 | 392 ratings
Purpendicular
1996
2.82 | 289 ratings
Abandon
1998
3.02 | 318 ratings
Bananas
2003
3.32 | 315 ratings
Rapture Of The Deep
2005
3.92 | 333 ratings
Now What?!
2013
3.60 | 121 ratings
InFinite
2017
5.00 | 1 ratings
Whoosh!
2020

DEEP PURPLE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.21 | 293 ratings
Concerto for Group and Orchestra
1969
4.51 | 677 ratings
Made In Japan
1972
3.79 | 103 ratings
California Jamming
1974
3.44 | 215 ratings
Made In Europe
1976
2.13 | 73 ratings
Last Concert In Japan
1977
4.37 | 130 ratings
Deep Purple In Concert
1980
3.34 | 65 ratings
Live in London
1982
3.20 | 66 ratings
Scandinavian Nights (AKA Live and rare)
1988
2.86 | 89 ratings
Nobody's perfect
1988
3.39 | 30 ratings
In The Absence Of Pink: Knebworth 85
1991
3.96 | 45 ratings
Gemini Suite
1993
4.21 | 73 ratings
Live In Japan
1993
3.39 | 78 ratings
Come Hell Or High Water
1994
4.57 | 7 ratings
On Stage: Black Night
1994
4.57 | 7 ratings
On Stage: Highway Star
1994
4.29 | 7 ratings
On Stage 1970 -1985
1994
3.59 | 31 ratings
Live in California 1976: On the Wings of a Russian Foxbat
1995
3.24 | 17 ratings
King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Deep Purple In Concert
1995
3.41 | 20 ratings
MK III The Final Concerts
1996
3.70 | 46 ratings
Live At The Olympia 96
1997
3.26 | 75 ratings
In Concert With the London Symphony Orchestra
1999
3.91 | 23 ratings
Total Abandon
1999
2.54 | 25 ratings
This Time Around: Live in Tokyo '75
2000
4.17 | 6 ratings
Australian Tour 2001 - Wollongong
2001
3.38 | 13 ratings
Live At The Rotterdam Ahoy
2001
3.28 | 10 ratings
Kneel & Pray
2001
2.12 | 15 ratings
Space Vol 1&2 - Live in Aachen 1970
2001
3.36 | 14 ratings
Inglewood - Live in California 1968
2002
3.94 | 18 ratings
Live in Denmark 1972
2002
3.88 | 8 ratings
Perks And Tit
2004
3.67 | 29 ratings
Live In Paris 1975: La Dernière Seance
2004
3.07 | 5 ratings
Deep Purple with the London Symphony Orchestra and friends
2005
4.40 | 5 ratings
Australian Tour 2001 - Newcastle
2005
3.22 | 13 ratings
Live in Europe
2006
3.73 | 32 ratings
Montreux 1996
2006
3.83 | 23 ratings
Live at Montreux 2006
2007
4.29 | 7 ratings
Live at Montreux and in Concert
2007
2.69 | 14 ratings
NEC 1993
2007
3.76 | 21 ratings
Deep Purple with Orchestra - Live at Montreux 2011
2011
3.43 | 21 ratings
BBC Sessions 1968-1970
2011
4.44 | 25 ratings
Perfect Strangers Live
2013
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Now What?! Live Tapes
2013
3.90 | 20 ratings
The Official Deep Purple (Overseas) Live Series: Graz 1975
2014
4.17 | 23 ratings
Long Beach 1971
2015
4.14 | 14 ratings
From the Setting Sun... (In Wacken)
2015
4.00 | 12 ratings
...To the Rising Sun (In Tokyo)
2015
4.25 | 4 ratings
Long Beach 1976
2016
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Infinite Live Recordings Vol.1
2017
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live in Newcastle 2001
2019
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live in Rome 2013
2019

DEEP PURPLE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

2.62 | 10 ratings
Rises Over Japan
1976
4.20 | 10 ratings
The Videosingles
1987
4.69 | 13 ratings
Doing Their Thing
1990
4.30 | 10 ratings
Heavy Metal Pioneers
1992
4.47 | 19 ratings
Scandinavian Nights
1992
3.67 | 37 ratings
In Concert With The London Symphony Orchestra
1999
4.18 | 15 ratings
Total Abandon
1999
4.02 | 11 ratings
Bombay Calling
2000
4.33 | 3 ratings
Around the World 1995-1999
2000
3.93 | 14 ratings
New, Live & Rare - The Video Collection 1984-2000
2001
4.01 | 47 ratings
Come hell or high water
2001
4.23 | 40 ratings
Concerto For Group And Orchestra
2002
4.13 | 21 ratings
Perihelion
2002
3.65 | 32 ratings
Machine Head - Classic Albums
2002
4.60 | 10 ratings
Masters From the Vaults
2003
4.56 | 9 ratings
Live Encounters
2004
3.74 | 9 ratings
Rock Review 1969-1972
2004
3.63 | 8 ratings
Deep Purple's Made In Japan (Rock Milestones)
2005
4.79 | 46 ratings
"Live in concert 1972/73"
2005
4.16 | 40 ratings
Live in California 74
2006
3.29 | 5 ratings
Reflections
2006
4.09 | 24 ratings
Live At Montreux 2006
2007
4.44 | 9 ratings
Around The World Live Boxset
2008
4.60 | 5 ratings
Stormbringers - The Inside Story
2008
4.70 | 23 ratings
History, Hits, & Highlights
2009
4.00 | 16 ratings
Phoenix Rising
2011
4.82 | 11 ratings
Deep Purple with Orchestra - Live at Montreux 2011
2011
4.39 | 24 ratings
Perfect Strangers Live
2013
4.22 | 9 ratings
Deep Purple with Orchestra - Live In Verona
2014
4.44 | 9 ratings
From the Setting Sun... (In Wacken)
2015
4.60 | 10 ratings
...To the Rising Sun (In Tokyo)
2015

DEEP PURPLE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.63 | 8 ratings
Best of Deep Purple
1970
4.20 | 16 ratings
Purple Passages
1972
4.44 | 18 ratings
Mark I & II
1973
3.35 | 46 ratings
24 Carat Purple
1975
3.32 | 24 ratings
Powerhouse
1977
3.19 | 15 ratings
When We Rock, We Rock, and When We Roll, We Roll
1978
4.33 | 24 ratings
The Singles A's and B's
1978
4.36 | 11 ratings
The Mark 2 Purple Singles
1979
2.93 | 64 ratings
Deepest Purple - The Very Best Of Deep Purple
1980
4.50 | 6 ratings
Fireworks
1985
4.29 | 7 ratings
Greatest Purple
1985
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Anthology
1985
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Best Of Deep Purple
1987
4.50 | 4 ratings
Black Night - Best
1990
2.86 | 16 ratings
Knocking At Your Back Door: The Best Of Deep Purple In The 80s
1991
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Best of Deep Purple In Brazil
1991
3.89 | 18 ratings
The Compact Disc Anthology
1991
1.79 | 10 ratings
Progression
1993
4.11 | 17 ratings
The Deep Purple Singles A's and B's
1993
4.33 | 3 ratings
I Successi
1993
4.40 | 5 ratings
Soldier of Fortune: The Greatest Hits
1994
3.18 | 9 ratings
Smoke On The Water - The Best Of
1994
3.86 | 7 ratings
Child in time 1984-88
1995
4.25 | 4 ratings
The Collection
1997
2.24 | 12 ratings
Purplexed
1998
2.52 | 35 ratings
30: Very Best Of
1998
3.20 | 6 ratings
Under The Gun
1999
4.44 | 9 ratings
Shades 1968-1998 boxset
1999
3.65 | 5 ratings
Anthems
2000
4.00 | 5 ratings
Extended Versions
2000
3.12 | 12 ratings
The Very Best of Deep Purple
2000
4.08 | 6 ratings
On the Road
2001
4.33 | 6 ratings
The Soundboard Series
2001
4.60 | 5 ratings
Collectors Edition - The Bootleg Series 1984-2000 (12 CD)
2001
4.50 | 4 ratings
Very Best Deep Purple Album Ever
2001
4.00 | 6 ratings
In Profile
2001
4.69 | 13 ratings
Listen Learn Read On
2002
3.37 | 8 ratings
20th Century Masters: The Best of Deep Purple
2002
4.00 | 8 ratings
Singles Collection 68/76
2002
4.50 | 4 ratings
Winning Combinations split CD
2003
4.50 | 4 ratings
The Essential
2003
4.67 | 6 ratings
Purple Hits - The Best of Deep Purple
2003
2.64 | 9 ratings
The Early Years
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
New Live & Rare
2004
4.08 | 13 ratings
The Platinum Collection
2005
4.50 | 4 ratings
The Ultra Selection
2005
1.73 | 4 ratings
The Deep Purple Collection
2006
3.50 | 5 ratings
Higway Stars
2006
3.36 | 5 ratings
Greatest Hits (Steel Box Collection)
2008
3.00 | 1 ratings
Gold - Greatest Hits
2009
4.56 | 9 ratings
Singles & E.P. Anthology 1968-1980
2010
3.00 | 1 ratings
Essential
2011
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Deep Purple Collection
2011
4.45 | 11 ratings
Now What?! (Gold Edition)
2013
4.33 | 9 ratings
Hard Road: The Mark 1 Studio Recordings 1968-69
2014
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Vinyl Collection
2016
4.00 | 6 ratings
A Fire in the Sky
2017
3.00 | 1 ratings
Classic Songs Live in Concert
2017

DEEP PURPLE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.67 | 20 ratings
Hush / One More Rainy Day
1968
3.69 | 13 ratings
Kentucky Woman / Hard Road
1968
3.27 | 14 ratings
Emmaretta / The Bird Has Flown
1969
3.46 | 13 ratings
River Deep Mountain High / Listen, Learn, Read On
1969
3.34 | 18 ratings
Hallelujah (I am the preacher) / April (part one)
1969
4.53 | 24 ratings
Black Night/Speed King
1970
4.29 | 17 ratings
Speed King / Into the Fire
1970
2.70 | 11 ratings
Deep Purple In Rock
1970
4.12 | 21 ratings
Strange Kind Of Woman/I'm Alone
1971
4.28 | 18 ratings
Fireball
1971
4.00 | 10 ratings
April
1972
4.64 | 14 ratings
Black Night
1972
3.53 | 17 ratings
Never Before / When a Blind Man Cries
1972
4.58 | 19 ratings
Highway Star
1972
3.82 | 11 ratings
Super Trouper / Blood Sucker
1973
4.15 | 13 ratings
Woman from Tokyo
1973
4.63 | 19 ratings
Smoke On The Water
1973
4.38 | 16 ratings
Burn
1974
3.91 | 11 ratings
Might Just Take Your Life
1974
3.45 | 11 ratings
Lady Double Dealer
1974
3.50 | 8 ratings
You Can't Do It Right / High Ball Shooter
1974
3.92 | 12 ratings
Stormbringer
1975
4.10 | 10 ratings
You Keep on Movin'
1975
4.42 | 12 ratings
Child In Time / Smoke On The Water / Fireball
1975
4.00 | 6 ratings
New Live & Rare Vol. 2
1976
3.63 | 8 ratings
El vuelo del pajaro (The Bird Has Flown)
1977
4.00 | 6 ratings
New Live & Rare
1977
4.22 | 9 ratings
Black Night
1978
4.25 | 8 ratings
Burn
1980
3.83 | 6 ratings
New Live And Rare Vol.3
1980
4.18 | 11 ratings
Knocking At Your Back Door
1984
3.89 | 9 ratings
Nobody's Home
1984
4.23 | 13 ratings
Perfect Strangers
1984
4.14 | 7 ratings
Deep Purple
1984
3.80 | 5 ratings
Off the Record Special with Mary Turner
1985
4.14 | 7 ratings
Smoke On The Water / Living Wreck / No, No, No
1985
4.17 | 6 ratings
Black Night
1985
3.19 | 8 ratings
Bad Attitude
1987
4.14 | 7 ratings
Call of the Wild
1987
3.25 | 8 ratings
Hush
1988
3.25 | 8 ratings
Love Conquers All
1990
4.00 | 9 ratings
King of Dreams
1990
5.00 | 1 ratings
Fire in the Basement
1990
4.00 | 1 ratings
Tour Brasil '91
1991
2.72 | 9 ratings
The Battle Rages On
1993
4.00 | 8 ratings
Anya
1993
3.71 | 7 ratings
Time to Kill
1993
3.71 | 7 ratings
Talk About Love
1993
4.00 | 5 ratings
Anyone's Daughter / Speed King
1994
4.25 | 8 ratings
Black Night
1995
3.25 | 4 ratings
Aviator
1996
2.75 | 4 ratings
Hey Cisco
1996
4.59 | 8 ratings
Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming - Vavoom: Ted The Mechanic
1996
3.00 | 3 ratings
The Turtle Island Shuffle
1996
3.20 | 5 ratings
Don't Hold Your Breath
1996
3.40 | 5 ratings
Any Fule Kno That
1998
2.75 | 4 ratings
Don't Make Me Happy
1998
2.75 | 4 ratings
Whatsername
1998
4.00 | 4 ratings
Black Night (live Australia 1999)
1998
3.25 | 4 ratings
Smoke on the Water (live '99)
1999
2.83 | 21 ratings
Days May Come and Days May Go: The 1975 California Rehearsals
2000
4.00 | 10 ratings
1420 Beachwood Drive: The California Rehearsals Pt 2
2000
4.00 | 1 ratings
House of Pain
2003
4.00 | 1 ratings
Haunted
2003
3.33 | 6 ratings
Rapture Of The Deep
2005
3.00 | 3 ratings
Rhino Hi-Five: Deep Purple
2005
3.67 | 6 ratings
Well Dressed Guitar
2005
3.50 | 2 ratings
Encore: Lucille / Maybe I'm a Leo
2012
3.50 | 6 ratings
All The Time In The World
2013
4.00 | 1 ratings
Vincent Price
2013
4.00 | 1 ratings
Above and Beyond
2013
5.00 | 1 ratings
Hell to Pay
2013
4.00 | 1 ratings
Out of Hand
2015
4.00 | 2 ratings
Johnny's Band
2017
4.10 | 10 ratings
Time For Bedlam
2017
4.00 | 9 ratings
All I Got Is You
2017
4.00 | 5 ratings
Limitless
2017

DEEP PURPLE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Fireball by DEEP PURPLE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.78 | 835 ratings

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Fireball
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars This review takes the 25th Anniversary Expanded Edition (nine additional tracks) into consideration as to whether it adds to or takes away from the original album.

"Fireball" is the sort of disappointing middle child of the power trio of DP MKII albums. However, even so, it still has some great moments, but loses a bit of steam being place in between two huge DP albums "In Rock" and "Machine Head". The record company pushed the band into rushing the album and the band pretty much felt like they didn't get to develop the album quite as well. One thing for certain, the band had found its sound by now (1971) and was feeling pretty confident about it. They might have been a little too confident on this album, but it works for them a few times (like on the mystical/oriental flavor of "The Mule", and the more straight ahead blues-rockers "No, No, No" and "Demon's Eye"), but there are times when it seems they are looking for something a little different and not quite nailing it down ("Anyone's Daughter" and "Fools"). In the end, the album comes across feeling a bit mediocre, lacking the fire of the albums that came before and after it. Somehow, the excitement isn't quite there. But most of you have already heard or read the reviews about the original version of the album. Does the expanded edition make it any better?

The 25th anniversary edition expands the album by 9 tracks. The original release in the US substituted "Strange Kind of Woman" for "Demon's Eye" both of which are highlights on either version. This re-issue brings them both together with the first bonus track being "Strange Kind of Woman" (originally titled "Prostitute") which was released only as a single in the UK. This is followed by the non-album b-side from that UK single "I'm Alone" (fast moving rocker similar to "Fireball"), and then two non-album outtakes "Freedom" (nice boogie-inspired riff, honky-tonk style piano solo and Ian finally gets to let loose on the vocals during the 3rd verse) and "Slow Train" (a more original sounding track but one that holds it's own quite well and would have substituted nicely for one of the weaker tracks on the original album) . These 3 tracks alone would make any DP fan drool with delight. The expanded section of this edition already elevates the overall sound of the album from 3.5 to 4 stars. Will the other tracks maintain that status?

The rest of the bonus tracks are more curiosities than anything else. Next is the familiar sound of "Demon's Eye" but in a remixed version done in 1996. The sound seems a bit more pristine and cleaned up, but it doesn't detract from the original at all, and since it's one of the album's better tracks, it's reappearance is quite welcome. A "sort of" medley follows under the name "The Noise Abatement Society Tapes" which takes themes from "Midnight in Moscow" (a Russian march tune), "Robin Hood" and "William Tell" and melds them together in a instrumental "practice" session. Mostly just the band goofing around. There is an alternate, instrumental take on "Fireball (Take 1)", something that I could take or leave, nothing special. "Backwards Piano" is a short snippet from the piano solo at the end of "No One Came" played in reverse. It all ends with another 1996 remix, this time of "No One Came".

So, the good news is that the expanded edition does actually add to the overall album because of the first four bonus tracks and the two remixes are nice. For me, it makes the album that much better and is worth it even if only for the outtakes, which are stronger than a few of the original album tracks. So, this elevates the album to a 4 star affair, from just good to great. I actually enjoy the album more because of these tracks.

 Deep Purple by DEEP PURPLE album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.61 | 614 ratings

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Deep Purple
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by NickCrimsonII

3 stars Deep Purple III, the third album by the rock legends, released in June 1969 in the US and in September in the UK on Harvest Records. Of course, by the time the band was fairly new and gaining momentum, creating a mix of psychedelic rock with elements of prog and hints of hard rock (that they will entirely embrace exactly on their next album).

This album is not too different from the couple that came before it, and I must say that these first three DP albums are definitely my go-to Purple records. Yes, they are good for what they are, they are important in the evolution and the history of the band, they are also quite fun to listen to but compared to everything else that came out in that same period, especially in the psychedelic and prog rock realm, the first three Deep Purple albums are average psych-prog records.

It was undoubtedly the right decision to change Rod Evans with Gillan, as the former would not have fit the band's new sound (from 1970 onwards), he is a great pop and psychedelic singer, though. However, nothing comes close to the banshee screaming of Gillan that really changed the hard rock game at the time.

As for the album, I don't feel like going through a song dissection. I must say there are some really enjoyable and surprising tracks ' Chasing Shadows with its catchy melody and tribal drumming, Lalena is a pleasant psych-ballad, The Painter is more energetic, Bird Has Flown has grown to be one of the more popular songs from this album, also quite enjoyable and rocky, and April being the big surprise, and more of a Jon Lord piece than a Deep Purple one. It's good however, that he was able to fully explore his classical influences on a DP album.

Overall, a good album, that finishes the psychedelic trilogy. I wouldn't call this album an excellent addition to any prog rock collection, though. At the same time, it doesn't hurt to have it.

 Shades Of Deep Purple by DEEP PURPLE album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.29 | 545 ratings

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Shades Of Deep Purple
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

3 stars The story of Deep Purple begins with the name of a musician that you won't see on any of Deep Purple's album line-ups. That person was Chris Curtis, former drummer of the beat band 'The Searchers'. The British taste in rock music was changing, and the beat bands were dying out, so Curtis had plans to start a new band that followed along with those changes, something that would be similar to The Nice or The Moody Blues. Something psychedelic, like Jimi Hendrix or Cream, yet experimental like Pink Floyd and something accessible like The Rolling Stones. Curtis' idea was to be the lead singer to a revolving bunch of band members who would step off and on the stage while he remained the only constant. The band was to be called 'Roundabout'.

Early on, Jon Lord and Ritchie Blackmore were recruited to be in this new band. It was soon found that Curtis was going to be too authoritative, and was asked to leave the band, however, Lord and Blackmore enjoyed working together so they continued to recruit members. Nick Simper was soon recruited as bass player. Ian Gillian was also asked to joint, but declined. Rod Stewart was considered but was felt that he wasn't up to standard. However, Rod Evans did make the cut and left his club band 'The Maze' and brought along Ian Paice as drummer who replaced the original choice. The band didn't change their name until after some demos were recorded. Just before their first gig, Blackmore suggested naming the band after his grandmothers favorite song, and the name 'Deep Purple' stuck. The five original members (later known as the Mk. 1 lineup) started working on their first album, rehearsing for 2 months and recording it in 3 days. The album has 4 original tracks and 4 covers. The decision to do so many covers was because none of them at the time were accomplished song writers and to also try to follow in the footsteps of 'Vanilla Fudge' in making extra long versions of famous covers.

'And the Address', one of the original songs on the album, is the opening track and is also the first written by the band. It starts things off with an instrumental, opening with what would become the familiar psychedelic organ and guitar power chord sound. The sound is a bit rough and unpolished compared to what it would in later years. The song has the blues-y sound of Cream, but sounded more like beginners at the time. This is followed by the first cover on the album 'Hush', which would also be the first single. Those unfamiliar with Deep Purple's earlier sound will notice the mostly unremarkable voice of Ron Evans, not that he was bad, he just didn't stand out much. The killer organ sound would stand out, however, and would be the thing that would push the band's signature sound even more in subsequent albums. The single would turn out to be a hit for the band and it got their name out to the UK public. The B-side of that single is the next track on the album; 'One More Rainy Day'. This one was written by Lord and Evans and was the last track to be recorded for the album. It sounds more like an accessible song, very pop-oriented and also underwhelming. The first side ends with a longer track 'Prelude: Happiness/I'm So Glad' which is partially written by the band and partially a cover of a Skip James song. The first half, which is credited to the entire band, actually uses parts from the classical composition 'Scheherezade' by Rimsky-Korsakov before moving into a poppy version of James' delta blues song, which was also covered by 'Cream'. It does have a few extended instrumental sections, but they sound like a beginner band.

The 2nd side opens with an original track called 'Mandrake Root' which was originally an instrumental. Lyrics were added at the last minute because the band didn't want more than one instrumental on the album. The song has a more blues inspired sound more like the first track on the album. Incidentally, both tracks were recorded at the same time. The instrumental break features fast and furious drums and a boiling organ solo with a heavy and psychedelic guitar solo following later. The cover of The Beatles 'Help!' follows. This is a much slower version than the original and given the psychedelic treatment very similar to that of 'Vanilla Fudge'. This was apparently the track that landed Deep Purple a recording contract. It is actually a beautiful rendition of the song, but it also leans more towards a pop sound with instrumental break becoming a bit more intense. 'Love Help Me' is an original track written by Blackmore and Evans, but is mostly underwhelming. The final track on the original version was another cover, this time of 'Hey Joe', which had been made famous by Jimi Hendrix. Deep Purple's version starts it off with a 'Bolero' style, long introduction before it kind of clumsily slips into the familiar song. It's a decent enough version at least for a new band, but with the attempt to bring in the Spanish feel ends up making it sound a bit choppy and messy.

The Remastered CD edition of the album includes an outtake, an original song called 'Shadows' which was left off the album. It sounds more like on of their more accessible tracks, a bit too poppy and one that was definitely better left off the album. There is an instrumental version of 'Love Help Me' which is still just as underwhelming as the album version. Then there is an alternate take of 'Help!' which isn't much different from the album version, probably less interesting if anything. A BBC Top Gear Session version of 'Hey Joe' takes out the Spanish dance sections at the beginning and end and actually presents a more concise and 'cleaner' version. The last bonus track is a live US TV performance of 'Hush'

So, this ends up being a not very consistent album for a band that would soon enough establish themselves as one of the best hard rock bands eventually. But this album pretty much remains entertaining mostly for the historical value than anything else. The fact that the album had to be recorded so quickly makes it feel like a rush job. After this album, the band would move to a more jam and experimental band, focusing more on the psychedelic sound that would carry them through their first years. As far as this album, it is fairly underwhelming and definitely has very little to offer as far as progressive music is concerned, but it still ends up being a decent hard rock effort by what was then a fledgling band who never though they would be around as long as they now have been.

 Slaves And Masters by DEEP PURPLE album cover Studio Album, 1990
2.69 | 316 ratings

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Slaves And Masters
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

2 stars Released in 1990, 'Slaves and Masters' is Deep Purple's 13th studio album. With all of DP's albums, this one holds the distinction that it is the only album released by the Mark V line-up of the band, even though the line-up was active from 1989 to 1992. The Mark V line-up was exactly the same as the famous Mark II line up with one exception: Ian Gillan had been fired from the band (again) and Joe Lynn Turner, former lead singer for 'Rainbow' from 1981 to 1983 and then later for Yngwie Malmsteen. Ian Gillian is the lead singer most recognized from DP, and previously, he had been replaced by David Coverdale in 1973, then readmitted to the band in 1984, only to be fired again in 1989.

For 'Slaves and Masters', Turner definitely brought his 'Rainbow' influence with him as many fans think this album sounds more like an album from that band even though the other members, Ritchie Blackmore, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice were all regular members of DP. Apparently, the other band members considered hiring Jimi Jamison (Survivor) to sing on this album, but he, thankfully, was not available. However, even with Turner, the critics panned this album calling it too lightweight and weak, more AOR than anything else released by the band. Jon Lord says that he never recognized this album as a DP album, while Turner says it was the last great DP album.

Turner's vocals definitely don't have the power and emotion that are often present in Ian Gillian's vocals, and in reality, there just isn't any comparison as Turner definitely sounds more radio friendly than DP ever sounded. His vocals also don't have any distinct sound to them, so with this more accessible sound, the album could have easily been from 'Rainbow', 'Europe', or 'Bon Jovi' as much as it could be from DP. It sounds like pretty much most of the pop-metal that came from the 80 and early 90s.

It's not all a wasteland of middle of the road blandness however as 'King of Dreams', the opening track, proves with a good amount of Lord's organ, and the appearance of some organ solos throughout some of the tracks also help one to hear shades of DP from before, but its never enough to raise it to a higher level. Blackmore gets in a few good guitar licks and riffs here and there, but again, most of the punch is gone as the songs are filed down to near-pop music levels. The fast boogie does shine through on the instrumental break of 'Fire in the Basement', but the fire from the instrumental breaks gets doused by the vocal melody. Nothing else much happens on the rest of the album until you get to the last track 'Wicked Ways' which, during the instrumental break, the tempo slows down and you get some nice strings and guitar similar to the work on 'Perfect Stranger', but by now it is too little too late.

Turner would remain for the tour for this album, but DP was pressured to bring back Gillian for the Anniversary tour that was coming up, so they nixed Turner and Gillian returned, this time to stay. Unfortunately, DP was left with this rather deadweight album as a stain on their discography. Yes, they had released some mediocre albums in the past, but this one is just too boring and AOR sounding, an album where DP sounds like they are trying to be inspired by 80s and 90s pop-metal when they should have been showing them how it should be done.

 Deep Purple by DEEP PURPLE album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.61 | 614 ratings

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Deep Purple
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Deep Purple's self titled album was their 3rd album, but the last album to use what would become known as the Mark I line- up. The band had just come off of their world tour for 'Book of Taliesyn', and were discussing moving away from the psychedelic and classical/rock mix that was pushed by Jon Lord, and was going to move to a more blues-based rock sound. Because of this, Ritchie Blackmore was starting to get more say in writing the songs of the band, and both him and Jon had improved greatly. Even though this album still sees a lot of keyboards from Lord, it also sees the band use longer guitar solos. The music tightened up quite a bit for this album.

Unfortunately, the album didn't perform as well, even in the US, which is where the band was the most popular at the time. The reason for this is blamed on the record label, who was pressing the band for a new album, and gave them less time to put it together. Instead of being able to compose the music over time, the label forced the band to compose in the studio, and quickly put the music to record. On top of this, the label didn't have a lot of money to push this album or to help fund the new tour, and so, the album faltered in sales when it was released, and it was mostly ignored.

Of course, the blame was passed around, and in business, when sales falter, someone has to be the scapegoat, and it definitely isn't going to be the higher ups. So the band looked amongst themselves for the reason, and most of them seemed to think that Rod Evans' voice just couldn't pull of the heavier sound they were moving towards more and more. So, they secretly started recruiting new singers, and Ian Gillan from the band 'Episode Six' got the job. Along with him came bassist Roger Glover, who worked together with Gillan in Episode Six as a co-writer, and, even though there were no plans to fire Nick Simper, they ended up doing just that to bring in Glover, and so this brought about the end of the Mark I line-up and began the band's most successful Mark II line-up.

However, for this album, the original line-up remained, and we still end up with a pretty decent album anyway. You can tell there is a little newness in the band, but the album began the steps toward the sound that the band is famous for, and also their best releases. Lord still has plenty of keyboard solos, that never really changes as long as he was there, and that was also what was expected from the band. But the addition of Blackmore's heavy guitar, the band was on their way to becoming one of the premier hard rock bands in the world.

There is plenty to enjoy in this album, and even though it may sound a bit more novice sounding than the following albums, it still has some great sounds, like the excellent guitar and keyboard solos in 'Why Didn't Rosemary?', which was inspired from the band's experience of watching the movie 'Rosemary's Baby' together. There is also the harpsichord soloing in 'Blind' from Lord, which shows the band hadn't completely moved away from the classical influence. All of the music on this album is original and written by the band, except for 'Lalena' which is an excellent cover of a Donovan song.

The 2nd side of the album does have the best tracks on it, and they are the more aggressive tracks. There are 2 tracks that break the 5 minute mark, both of them some of the best music on the album, and then there is the epic 12 minute 'April' which sees Lord back to arranging strings for the track that stretched that track to the needed longer length. But, that was another big change on this album, the fact that the songs were mostly shorter, except for 'April', which ends up being the most important track on the album. The band still managed to show us that quality can replace quantity when it comes to the length of the tracks. And, there was the obvious move away from the psychedelic sound of the first two albums. At this time, psychedelic music was losing it's popularity, so it was only natural that in order to stay relevant, they moved to their more popular blues-oriented rock. In this album however, there is still enough of the progressive sound to keep it interesting, but there is less of that, however, there is more hard hitting heavy rock. Even so, the music also shows a more emotional side of the band, even Rod Evans was able to make the vocals sound convincing and emotional enough. Of course, he would be no match for Ian, who would sing on the next album, but he held his own.

We end up with a satisfying, yet far from perfect album from Deep Purple here. But, to me, it is that imperfect, less polished sound that seems to be more convincing to me. I still love parts of all three original albums, and play them regularly, probably just as much as their later albums like "Deep Purple in Rock", 'Machine Head', 'Fireball', 'Who Do We Think We Are' and even 'Burn'. But, I have never thought that DP was complete without their first three albums, this third one probably being the strongest of the original trilogy. It may sound a bit outdated now days, but on a great album, that doesn't matter. It is the sound that people keep coming back to and also continues to inspire.

 Now What?! by DEEP PURPLE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.92 | 333 ratings

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Now What?!
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by NickCrimsonII

4 stars Now What?! Simply, the proof that when a band has obtained a legendary status, it is undoubtedly deserved. The fact that Deep Purple's 19th album sounds that good, after all those years, speaks more than everything.

Some fantastic material is on here, you could say a return to the old school rock'n'roll days, the 'rockstar' attitude can be heard throughout the whole album, sounding as fresh as ever. We are presented with some strong melodies, catchy phrasing here and there, the nasty hard rock sounds is also here (with the aggression and the feeling of freedom), spectacular keyboard work from Don Airey, he's the powerhouse on 'Now What?!' (Of course, the album serves as a tribute to the late Jon Lord, who, I firmly believe, would have been proud of the record), brilliant Steve Morse, beast performance from him. Glover and Paice - no need to praise them, their work is as good as ever, Gillan sounds great, despite the fact that he has the most fragile instrument of them all.

The band explode with this album, which is a delicious mix of hard rock, prog, some heavier moments here, and some bluesier there, a delightful listen for every fan of the band. A pleasant return after seven years, the style of DP hasn't changed, and there is no need for that. Because doing what they're best at, with grace, passion, and attitude, is what Deep Purple is loved for.

Quite an enjoyable listen, the album could stand proudly in the DP catalogue, as one of their best albums, showing the young bands how it should be done and how it could be done after so many years.

 Stormbringer by DEEP PURPLE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.07 | 610 ratings

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Stormbringer
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

2 stars Stormbringer was Deep Purple's 9th full length album, and saw the band move more towards a funky sound, but retaining the hard-rock, blues inspired sound that they had in 'Burn'. This was also the 2nd album to feature David Coverdale as the lead singer as he replaced Ian Gilian as the lead singer. Ian, of course, would eventually sign up with Black Sabbath for one album, 'Born Again' and eventually reunite with Deep Purple in 1984 for the album 'Perfect Strangers'.

Stormbringer ended up being a fairly successful album, though it was a bit weaker than previous efforts. The long, jam-like sessions of the past were gone and were replaced with songs that were more vocally heavy and more basic hard rock tunes. Even though it was early for hair metal (the album was released in 1974), it seems to take on that style more than the psychedelic rock of their earlier albums.

Even though the mainstays Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Paice and Jon Lord were still in the band, it seems their influence was heard much less on this album. The album seems to be directed more towards Coverdale's one-dimensional vocals, but at least Glenn Hughes' vocals were also used fairly extensively on many tracks, it helped give a bit more variety to the album. Unfortunately, for Coverdale, that variety didn't follow him when he left Deep Purple in tears after the release of their following album 'Come Taste the Band' which saw the downfall of the popularity of the band as they continued to chase the more accessible sound of hard funk, sounding more like Grand Funk than anything else, a bad version of Grand Funk that is. Of course, Coverdale would see success with Whitesnake in the 80s, as his hair metal dreams came true. But then, I've never really been a fan of Coverdale as he seems to turn bands he is involved with towards a more commercial sound that is as one-dimensional as his voice.

Stormbringer, however, isn't a complete wash. The other band members still have some chances to show off, like Lord's organ solo in 'High Ball Shooter'. But unfortunately, most of the tracks have Coverdale's annoying vocals (like in the awful 'The Gypsy') that end up making the songs of the album sound too much alike. One of the main reasons I liked Deep Purple was because of their heavy rocking instrumentals and psychedelic leanings. This album just about totally goes against that sound, and Deep Purple just sounds like every other mediocre hard rock band. What might have been a great album only becomes an average one. After the next album, the band would basically fall apart until finally in 1984, they come out of hiding and emerge from the dregs of hair metal to produce a better album with the return of Ian and the release of 'Perfect Stranger.'

 Bad Attitude by DEEP PURPLE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1987
3.19 | 8 ratings

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Bad Attitude
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Mercury ‎PRO 473-1 was a 12" vinyl (33⅓ RPM) promotional single published in the US in 1987. The LP version of "Bad Attitude" appears on both sides.* 

Just as Yes had borrowed Andy Summers's arpeggiated guitar from "Every Breath You Take" (1983) for their own #1 hit "Owner of a Lonely Heart" (1984), Yes's fellow 1970s UK rockers Deep Purple borrowed heavily from "Owner" for "Bad Attitude."** The bass and guitar parts in the verses are very similar to "Owner," although the vocal melody is different. Even more blatant is the second guitar solo (2:52-3:26), during which Ritchie Blackmore, playing a guitar with a harmonizer effect, shreds over a clean bassline and drums, without a rhythm guitar part - - just as Trevor Rabin had on "Owner of a Lonely Heart."

  The verses, choruses, and that second guitar solo comprise the lion's share of "Bad Attitude." They're hard-rocking, telling the tale of a guy who's been stepped on one to many times. He demands to be treated as a person, which hasn't been the case up until now. As he says, "things have got to change." This is, of course, the approximate theme of every other 1980s rock song. What makes "Bad Attitude" special are three instrumental sections. The tune begins with Jon Lord's ominous organ which goes through a couple of chords before resolving after around twenty seconds. Bridging this section into the song proper are a couple of syncopated drum/bass/guitar double hits. This brief, foreboding prelude fits the song well, even if it is an atypical way to start a late-1980s AOR song. 

Then there's the first guitar solo (beginning at 2:30), which doubles as an instrumental bridge. Although the song doesn't change key or tempo here, the atmosphere shifts a bit. Based on the chorus, the listener anticipates that this section will start on a B-major chord, but it turns out to be A-major. This retrogradation, along with a change in the drum pattern, creates the sense that the song has slowed down a bit, ushering in a relatively contemplative guitar solo. A reprise of the syncopated motif from the intro brings back the song proper.

At the four-minute mark, just as the last chorus has wrapped up, we finally have incontestable truth that this is an art-rock song. The outro shifts to 12/4 time and the guitar evaporates along with the vocals. In their place is a synthesized string section playing a nicely orchestrated, slightly dramatic rhythm. Drummer Ian Paice punctuates the end of each twelve-measure passage with a drum fill as the song fades out.

Overall, "Bad Attitude" is a solid track, very much in line with 1987-vintage AOR, but with some nice prog flourishes. 

====

*This version differs a bit from the commercial 7" 45 RPM single, Mercury ‎885 820-7: "Bad Attitude (edit)" b/w "Black & White."

**In 1988, 1970s UK rockers Bad Company slowed down and altered the main riff of "Owner" for "No Smoke Without a Fire;" Yes themselves had done the same thing the prior year with "Big Generator."

 Deep Purple by DEEP PURPLE album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.61 | 614 ratings

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Deep Purple
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars DEEP PURPLE's Mark I lineup lasted only two short years but the band still managed to record three full albums, tour extensively and release a handful of singles, one of which "Hush" from the debut album "Shades Of Deep Purple" becoming a surprise hit and hitting the top 5 on the American Billboard charts. And consequently, due to that very success, the band members were constantly under pressure to repeat the pop hit formula however the musicians themselves wanted something else entirely. And such was the nature of the music business which meant that there had to be a middle ground between the ambitious progressive rock fusion with classical music and the more simplified pop hook tracks that could generate some income for a poorly managed Tetragrammaton Records that would soon fold and be absorbed by Warner Bros.

Despite the short time playing together, the band had evolved quite a bit since their nascent recordings in early 1968 and by the time the quintet of Rod Evans (lead vocals), Ritchie Blackmore (guitars), Jon Lord (keyboards, organs, piano), Nick Sempler (bass) and Ian Paice (drums, percussion) had reached their third album simply titled DEEP PURPLE also called DEEP PURPLE III, the band had unknowingly hit upon one of the great sounds in all of rock music. It's just that they didn't know that quite yet and would have to go through a few changes before superstardom would come knocking at their back door. Graced by an eerie amalgamation of characters on the Hieronymous Bosch cover art, so too does the music on this third installment of the DEEP PURPLE universe imbibe the many nectars of the musical world and because of that remains the band's most diverse and unique albums of the entire multi-decade canon.

The album was preceded by the non-album single "Emmarretta" which was hoped to generate enough interest to promote the album but the single failed to match the success of "Hush" and fell by the wayside rather quickly and likewise the third album sold rather poorly which prompted the dualistic talent of Jon Lord and Ritchie Blackmore to think about the changes that were needed to take the music to the next level, that of a more streamlined hard rock approach. This was a tumultuous time as the duo had to assemble a new lineup of DEEP PURPLE behind the scenes while carrying on the business as usual as they toured the US after having finally found some modicum of interest in their native UK. It was decided that Evans didn't have the vocal chops to take the music to the next level, an unfortunate limitation made all the clearly on this third album where the music had evolved into more progressive heights but the vocals didn't and kept the album from reaching the pinnacle of its potential. Likewise friction existed with Simper.

While steeped in both the 60s psychedelia blues rock riffing and classical expressionism, DEEP PURPLE III served as more than a transitional album for the Mark II lineup just around the corner but rather allowed the band to go hog wild experimenting with all kinds of different sounds possibly hoping throwing enough spaghetti against the wall that something would stick. The introductory "Chasing Shadows" prognosticates the DEEP PURPLE to come with a heavier guitar presence than on the previous two albums. Blackmore was clearly coming to fruition as a top tier guitarist and was beginning to display more ambitious speedy solos as well as a wealth of wah-wah effects which made it clear the heavier side of rock was where this band was heading. Likewise Ian Paice's drumming skills were finally let off the leash as he delivered a powerful bombastic African rhythmic fusion style present on the opening track that pummels the senses in an almost Santana like freneticism.

With bands like King Crimson and The Nice upping the ante in more adventurous arenas for rock, DEEP PURPLE were hot on their heels and on this third album demonstrate remarkably how they easily could've gone the progressive rock route in lieu of the less angular hard rock that they opted for. While "Blind" seems to revert to a couple years prior with a distinct Procol Harum type of softness clearly rooted in the 60s, Lord manages to crank out some stellar classical piano runs and Blackmore unleashes his own guitar tricks. This track in retrospect shows how the two main members were quickly outgrowing the limitations of the current lineup. Likewise the Donovan cover "Lalena" also keeps the band firmly placed in the 60s sound complete with those period organs. The album doesn't really come to life until the excellent instrumental "Faultline" cranks out the backmasking as a rhythmic instrument and serves as an intro for "The Painter" which cranks out a killer blues rock riff and organ mix that start to sound a bit like the Mark II stylistic shift but anchored into the past by Evans' relaxed vocal style. Paice is phenomenal in how he can produce a mood solely with his percussive drive.

Likewise "Why Didn't Rosemary?" and "BIrd Has Flown" both display a mature sound for the band's rhythm section as the guitar, bass, organs and drums have found their own spaces that inch even closer to the Mark II style. It now becomes obvious that Evans had to go as you can imagine Gillan screaming out a more sophisticated singing style complete with more emotive utterances. The cream of the crop for DEEP PURPLE III is the almighty progressive closer "April" which which was Jon Lord's dream come true as far as the perfect classical and rock hybridization. While the band had structured their compositions to include classical interludes and underpinnings, "April" went all the way in creating a perfect harmonizing melodic construct of classical music mixed with progressive rock that even included a complete string section to accompany the rock aspects. This sort of style was en vogue at this point in early prog nascency but nothing The Nice cranked out approached the magnanimous nature of this beautiful piece. Even Evans seems to have stepped up to add some of his best vocals on the album and what a fabulous way to end this phase of DEEP PURPLE before the change.

While the Mark I lineup continued to play, Blackmore and Lord were already rehearsing new material with new lead singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover leaving Evans and Simper in the dark about the numbered days and unfortunately the two found out through the grapevine and didn't exactly exit on good terms. While Evans would go on to sing lead for Captain Beyond and Simper would start Warhorse, the true winners were DEEP PURPLE themselves which under the Mark II lineup would become superstars and one of the most popular bands in rock history. The Mark I phase is certainly a precarious time for the origins of one of rock's most celebrated musical talents and although these early albums are hardly perfect, they were quite innovative for the time and despite the uneven quality of the tracks and inferior talent of certain members still managed to crank out some timeless music. Whether its for historical curiosity or for the love of early proto-prog and metal, then sampling the 60s nectar of this phase of DEEP PURPLE is mandatory and this third installation of the Mark I lineup is perhaps the band's most accomplished. Essential? Not really, but a fascinating album nonetheless with certain moments that are mind blowing.

3.5 stars but rounded down

 Fireball by DEEP PURPLE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.78 | 835 ratings

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Fireball
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by mohaveman

3 stars Lots of hard rock, some blues, some funkiness, and a dash of prog here and there...

FIREBALL is not the best effort of the Mark II Deep Purple lineup but it has some good tunes on it, along with some lesser efforts. The highlights are "Fireball", "The Mule" and "No No No". There is some experimentation of a kind of proggy way, but the majority of this album is firmly set in the Deep Puple trademarks of hard rocks and blues with a bit of funk thrown in. Apparently, Ian Gillian has said that this is one of his favorite DP albums.

It is hard to rate it on a prog site, but I would give it a firm 2 1/2 stars and round it up to a 3 star rating based on "The Mule" and the title track.

Thanks to Raff for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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