Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Deep Purple from Worst to First

Deep Purple has had four vocalists, two keyboardists, four guitarists (one being Joe Satriani who only toured with the band and didn't actually record an album), three bassists, and one drummer. Their overall material has included everything from the blues to psychedelic to progressive rock. This is easily the hardest list I've tried to compile. Just when I think I have the order just the way I want it I go back and listen to a specific release and I arrive in the land of indecision again. But after days of struggling, I've finally come up with a list that I'm willing post.

18. Stormbringer (1974) - Stormbringer has an incredible title track, but I find the rest of the album to be sorely lacking. Well, I suppose there are a few decent songs like Soldier of Fortune and Lady Double Dealer. But it's no Burn, that's for sure. There's a bit more funk and soul on this album, but Ritchie Blackmore doesn't do funk and soul well. Although Blackmore has long been considered to be a musical tyrant, I can understand how he became so frustrated with the musical direction that Deep Purple was taking that he left to form his own band. Had Blackmore's heart been in this project it might have turned out better.

Stormbringer (4:03)
Love Don't Mean a Thing (4:23)
Holy Man (4:28)
Hold On (5:05)
Lady Double Dealer (3:19)
You Can't Do It Right (With the One You Love) (3:24)
High Ball Shooter (4:26)
The Gypsy (4:13)
Soldier of Fortune (3:14)
Holy Man [Glenn Hughes remix] [35th anniversary bonus track] (4:32)
You Can't Do It Right (With the One You Love) [Glenn Hughes remix] [35th anniversary bonus track] (3:27)
Love Don't Mean a Thing [Glenn Hughes remix] [35th anniversary bonus track] (5:07)
Hold On [Glenn Hughes remix] [35th anniversary bonus track] (5:11)
High Ball Shooter (instrumental) [35th anniversary bonus track] (4:30)

Line-up: David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice

17. Shades of Deep Purple (1968) - Deep Purple's first album is a psychedelic curiosity for anyone unfamiliar with the beginnings of the band. Consisting of one instrumental, four cover songs, and three decent  original songs, I don't think there are many people that would consider this to be an all-time classic. Ritchie Blackmore sounds more like a Jimi Hendrix clone than the neo-classical genius he would later become. So I guess it's no coincidence that Hey Joe is one of the songs they decided to cover. Mandrake Root is the best song on this album (even if the cover of Hush is the most well known), but the song screams of Hendrix's Foxey Lady during the verses and I guess that's no coincidence either.

Well, I guess every band has to start somewhere.

And the Address (4:38)
Hush (4:24)
One More Rainy Day (3:40)
Prelude: Happiness/I'm So Glad (7:19)
Mandrake Root (6:09)
Help (6:01)
Love Help Me (3:49)
Hey Joe (7:33)
Shadows (album outtake) [re-issue bonus track] (3:39)
Love Help Me (instrumental version) [re-issue bonus track] (3:30)
Help (alternate take) [re-issue bonus track] (5:24)
Hey Joe (BBC Top Gear Session; 14 January 1969) [re-issue bonus track] (4:06)
Hush (live US TV 1968) [re-issue bonus track] (3:53)

Line-up: Rod Evans, Nick Simpler, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice

16. Deep Purple (1969) - The final album to feature the first line-up of the band, Deep Purple's self-titled release features more of the same material that they did on their first and second albums: curious psychedelic rock with a cover song or two. In this case the only cover song on here is Lalena, a Donovan song. Why didn't Rosemary? (supposedly inspired by watching the movie Rosemary's Baby) and Bird has Flown are two of the better songs on the album. Ritchie Blackmore's guitar still sounds a bit too much like Jimi Hendrix for my taste. Luckily, Blackmore would find himself in time for Ian Gillan's arrival. Vocalist Rod Evans would briefly go on to make better music with Captain Beyond before dropping off the face of the earth and bassist Nick Simpler pretty much just dropped off the face of the earth.

Chasing Shadows (5:34)
Blind (5:26)
Lalena (5:05)
Fault Line (1:46)
The Painter (3:51)
Why Didn't Rosemary? (5:04)
Bird Has Flown (5:36)
April (12:10)
The Bird Has Flown (alternate b-side version) [re-issue bonus track] (2:54)
Emmaretta (single a-side) [re-issue bonus track] (3:00)
Emmaretta (BBC radio session; 16 January 1969) [re-issue bonus track] (3:09)
Lalena (BBC radio session; 6 June 1969) [re-issue bonus track] (3:33)
The Painter (BBC radio session; 6 June 1969) [re-issue bonus track] (2:18)

Line-up: Rod Evans, Nick Simpler, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice

The Book of Taliesyn (1968) - Featuring three odd cover tunes and four original songs (one being an instrumental), The Book of Taliesyn is another typical early Purple release. The cover of Kentucky Woman is the most well known song from this album, but Shield is a much better song. It's the kind of song that would be great to drop acid to. Jon Lord's keyboard riff is certainly creepy. The ten-minute cover of River Deep, Mountain High is the centerpiece of the album and it shows what early Purple did best: taking other people's songs and bloating them up to where they were almost unrecognizable. 

Listen, Learn, Read On (4:05)
Wring That Neck (5:13)
Kentucky Woman (4:44)
Exposition/We Can Work It Out (medley) (7:06)
Shield (6:06)
Anthem (6:31)
River Deep, Mountain High (10:12)
Oh No No No (studio outtake) [re-issue bonus track] (4:25)
It's All Over (BBC Top Gear session; 16 January 1969) [re-issue bonus track] (4:14)
Hey Bop a Re Bop"(BBC Top Gear session; 16 January 1969) [re-issue bonus track] (3:31)
Wring That Neck (BBC Top Gear session; 16 January 1969) [re-issue bonus track] (4:42)
Playground (remixed instrumental studio outtake; 18 August 1968) [re-issue bonus track] (4:29)

Line-up: Rod Evans, Nick Simpler, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice

14. Come Taste the Band (1975) - Heavier than Stormbringer, the first Deep Purple album to not feature Ritchie Blackmore is a peculiar album. I suppose it could be called a relatively decent rock album, but it's nothing too memorable. And it's clearly not a Deep Purple album to my ears. It sounds more like a Coverdale/Hughes solo project under the Deep Purple name (much like Seventh Star was an Iommi/Hughes solo project under the Black Sabbath name). It just doesn't fit the Deep Purple mold (and yes, I know there are a few that can fit this claim... I'm pretty sure you'll find all of them at the bottom of this list, too). But again, I still consider this to be a decent effort and much better than Stormbringer. It would have been interesting see if this line-up could have done something better, but Purple called it quits in early '76 and then Tommy Bolin died from a drug overdose only months later.

Comin' Home (3:54)
Lady Luck (2:48)
Gettin' Tighter (3:36)
Dealer (3:53)
I Need Love (4:24)
Drifter (4:05)
Love Child (3:07)
This Time Around/Owed to 'G' (6:13)
You Keep on Moving (5:22)
You Keep on Moving (Single Edit) [bonus track] (4:32)

Disc two (2010 Kevin Shirley Remixes)
Comin' Home (4:08)
Lady Luck (2:46)
Gettin' Tighter (4:23)
Dealer (3:55)
I Need Love (5:16)
You Keep on Moving (5:18)
Love Child (3:05)
This Time Around (3:24)
Owed to 'G' (2:56)
Drifter (3:59) 
Same in LA [previously unreleased] (3:19)
Bolin/Paice Jam [previously unreleased] (5:47)

Line-up: David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, Tommy Bolin, Jon Lord, Ian Paice

13. Slaves and Masters (1990) - Call this Purple Rainbow if you want because that is exactly what it is. It's a Rainbow album under another name. Now I will say that I like this release more than I like any of the other post-Dio Rainbow albums. In fact, I probably like this album a lot more than I should because I just know it had to be a blatant attempt by Ritchie Blackmore to finalize his concrete control over Deep Purple. Well, I guess Blackmore failed because the next album would have Ian Gillan back on vocals. But, for whatever reasons, I consider this album to be a real gem. The only reason I rank it so low is because it's a Rainbow album, damn it.

King of Dreams (5:28)
The Cut Runs Deep (5:42)
Fire in the Basement (4:43)
Truth Hurts (5:14)
Breakfast in Bed (5:17)
Love Conquers All (3:47)
Fortuneteller (5:49)
Too Much Is Not Enough (4:17)
Wicked Ways (6:33)

Line-up: Joe Lynn Turner, Roger Glover, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice

12. The House of Blue Light (1987) - This is the first album on this list that, to me, is a genuine Deep Purple album. Although this is 80's Purple and not the classic Purple of the early 70's. It sounds like Purple is trying to blend into the time and that's not necessarily a good thing. I mean, why the hell is Jon Lord playing synthesizers? Ritchie Blackmore still sounds like he's trying to get over a Rainbow hangover because every song on this album screams of trying to get a hit-single. I'd expect that from Rainbow, but not from Deep Purple. Honestly, there are moments when I think I'm listening to a Journey song and not a Deep Purple song. That's because this is 80's Purple and the songs are exactly what they are meant to be: catchy as hell. Bad Attitude, The Unwritten Law, Call of the Wild, and The Spanish Archer are the better songs on the album. 

I can never so no to an album that features Ian Gillan. He's the voice of Purple for me and he's the main reason I enjoy listening to this album, 80's sound or not. 

Bad Attitude (5:04)
The Unwritten Law (4:54)
Call of the Wild (4:48)
Mad Dog (4:36)
Black & White (4:39)
Hard Lovin' Woman (3:25)
The Spanish Archer (5:32)
Strangeways (5:59)
Mitzi Dupree (5:05)
Dead or Alive (5:01)

Line-up: Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice

11. The Battle Rages On... (1993) - The final album from the classic line-up, The Battle Rages On... doesn't quite sound like the blatant money-grab its predecessors The House of Blue Light and Slaves and Masters are. A lot of the overtly-melodic crap is gone and we are left with what is largely a rock album. Although there still is a bit of an eighties feel to it. The fantastic title track, Ramshackle Man, Solitaire, and Anya are the real meat of this album. The other songs are decent rockers, but the album as a whole isn't quite as strong as should be considering that it's the final album of the classic line-up. But then that's why it's the final album. They just couldn't write well together anymore and you can sort of hear the strain through the song. You can certainly hear the strain in the title track because it's such an angry song.

I should probably note that this was Ritchie Blackmore's second to last rock album. After this he would re-form Rainbow with Doogie White on vocals and put out one album called A Stranger in Us All. After that Blackmore would forsake rock music entirely and play only medieval folk music with his new band Blackmore's Night.

Blackmore's Night has put out eight total albums, one of them being a Christmas album.

The Battle Rages On (5:57)
Lick It Up (4:00)
Anya (6:32)
Talk About Love (4:08)
Time to Kill (5:51)
Ramshackle Man (5:34)
A Twist in the Tale (4:17)
Nasty Piece of Work (4:37)
Solitaire (4:42)
One Man's Meat (4:39)

Line-up: Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice

10. Perfect Strangers (1984) - After Ian Gillan's all too brief stint in Black Sabbath ended, the vocalist came back for what would be the first Deep Purple album in nine years and the first one to feature Gillan in eleven years. Blackmore and Glover were coming back from Rainbow. Jon Lord was coming back from Whitesnake. And Ian Paice was coming back from Gary Moore's band. I believe the time away from Deep Purple did every one good and the members came back to Purple with an intent to write a strong record. And they succeeded. The 80's sound that would haunt The House of Blue Light and Slaves and Masters isn't quite there yet and that's a good thing. It makes the album sound that much stronger. Knocking at Your Back Door is a fantastic album opener, but it's the subject matter that really grabs. Who ever thought that a song about anal intercourse would make for such a great Purple song? Perfect Strangers is a great song even though it doesn't feature a single guitar solo or a keyboard solo. It just has a Kashmir-esque groove to it. Blackmore and Lord play off each other very well on this album and it's a sound that was missing from many of the prior Purple releases. Perfect Strangers really should be appreciated for that reason because it would largely vanish on the releases that followed. It's not quite on the  same level as the releases from what this line-up did the first time around. It's more of a seed that could have grown into something greater, but never really did.

Knocking at Your Back Door (7:09)
Under the Gun (4:40)
Nobody's Home (4:01)
Mean Streak (4:26)
Perfect Strangers (5:31)
A Gypsy's Kiss (5:14)
Wasted Sunsets (3:58)
Hungry Daze (5:01)
Not Responsible [re-issue bonus track] (4:53)
Son of Alerik [re-issue bonus track] (10:01)

Line-up: Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice

09. Rapture of the Deep (2005) - You ever wonder what Deep Purple sounds like when the members don't hate each other and they are not concerned about being popular or trendy? Well, Deep Purple's most recent release is a good example of that. It's the fourth album to feature Dixie Dregs guitarist Steve Morse and the second album to feature former Whitesnake and Colosseum II keyboardist Don Airey. The band really meshes and the material shows it. Rapture of the Deep and Clearly Quite Absurd are two of the best songs Purple have put out in two decades. Wrong Man, Money Talks, Back to Back, and Don't Let Go are steady rockers. MTV is a rather funny song about the current state of all things Purple. MTV and classic rock radio won't play any of their new stuff even though there is nothing wrong with the material. No one wants to talk about the new albums, but apparently everyone wants to hear the story about Smoke on the Water even though it has been told a million times over. I mean, how many people know that Deep Purple have more than two songs?

Ian Gillan can't wail like he used to and he really doesn't need to. Of course he gives it the old college try every now and then and it works most of the time. But it's not quite Child in Time. Just enjoy the music because it's fun modern rock music from a bunch of old hands who have been there and done that. The Deep Purple of the 80's is long gone and the Purple of the 90's and 00's is so much better.

Special Tour 2 Disc Edition (Released June 2006)

Money Talks (5:32)
Girls Like That (4:02)
Wrong Man (4:53)
Rapture of the Deep (5:55)
Clearly Quite Absurd (5:25)
Don't Let Go (4:33)
Back to Back (4:04)
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (4:19)
MTV [limited edition bonus track] (4:56)
Junkyard Blues (5:33)
Before Time Began (6:30)

Disc Two
Clearly Quite Absurd [New Version] (3:39)
Things I Never Said [Japanese-only track on original CD issue] (4:49)
The Well-Dressed Guitar [Instrumental outtake from Bananas sessions] (2:52)
Rapture of the Deep [Live] (5:15)
Wrong Man [Live] (4:29)
Highway Star [Live] (8:09)
Smoke on the Water [Live] (6:50)
Perfect Strangers [Live] (6:41)

***Live tracks recorded October 10, 2005 at London's Hard Rock Cafe***

Line-up: Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Steve Morse, Don Airey, Ian Paice

08. Abandon (1998) - The second album to feature newcomer Steve Morse and the last album to feature founding member Jon Lord, Abandon is another strong entry in the Purple catalog. The first song Any Fule Kno That is explicit for a Purple song (it features the word "shit") and Ian Gillan's vocal delivery is what could almost be described as rapping. It's a great song though as long as you don't take it too seriously. It's meant to be fun. Don't Make Me Happy is a bluesy song in the vein of When A Blind Man CriesSometimes I Feel Like Screaming, and MistreatedFingers to the Bone is a great ballad and another example of the great musicianship that the departure of Ritchie Blackmore has revived within the band.

The final song on the album is a reworking of Bloodsucker, a song from Deep Purple In Rock. I'm not saying the cover is better than the original, but it's clear that the ghost of Ritchie Blackmore doesn't hover over Steve Morse's shoulders. Of course, Ian Gillan can't hit those high notes like he used to so he has to sing it  a bit differently.

Any Fule Kno That (4:29)
Almost Human (4:26)
Don't Make Me Happy (4:56)
Seventh Heaven (5:25)
Watching the Sky (5:26)
Fingers to the Bone (4:47)
Jack Ruby (3:48)
She Was (4:19)
Whatsername (4:26)
'69 (4:59)
Evil Louie (4:56)
Bludsucker (4:27)

Line-up: Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Steve Morse, Jon Lord, Ian Paice

07. Bananas (2003) - Perhaps the most curious of Purple's album titles (next to The Book of Taliesyn, of course), Bananas builds on the strength of its predecessor and continues to explore what this new Purple can do. Haunted, Picture of Innocence, Walk On, and I Got Your Number are new classics. Never a Word is a curious song that feels like a Blackmore's Night song. Very Jethro Tull-ish kind of thing. Not a bad song, but certainly different. Razzle Dazzle has "goofy" written all over it. Maybe I'm crazy, but I love the song for the same reason I love Any Fule Kno That from Abandon. The final song Contact Lost is a beautiful instrumental Steve Morse wrote about the Columbia astronauts.

The final verdict is that this album is about a coin-flip better than Abandon. Or maybe I like them equally and I just don't want to have a tie. Seriously, it's tough to judge them separately because they go so well together. Could have been a double album.

House of Pain (3:34)
Sun Goes Down (4:10)
Haunted (4:22
Razzle Dazzle (3:28)
Silver Tongue (4:03)
Walk On (7:04)
Picture of Innocence (5:11)
I Got Your Number (6:01)
Never a Word (3:46)
Bananas (4:51)
Doing It Tonight (3:28)
Contact Lost (1:27)

Line-up: Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Steve Morse, Don Airey, Ian Paice

06. Purpendicular (1996) - After Ritchie Blackmore left the band, Deep Purple hooked up with Joe Satriani for a tour. Apparently, working with a guitarist who wasn't neurotic gave the band a brilliant idea. What if they actually made an album with a guitarist who wasn't a complete asshole? What if they actually tried having fun? It's a stretch, right? Well, Purple made it work. Although Joe Satriani wouldn't be the guitarist of the future. Joe had to fulfill a multi-album solo deal with Sony that he had just signed. (Don't you just hate those contract things?) Well, all was not lost. Purple drafted Steve Morse. Considering that the Pruple of the 80's had done everything they could to tarnish the memory of the classic Purple line-up (well, maybe I'm over-stating things a bit)... I don't think the pressure on Morse was what it could have or should have been.

The album starts off heavy and groovy with Vavoom: Ted the Mechanic. Right away something is clearly different about Purple: there are pinch harmonics. The solos have more of a "virtuoso" feel. Similar to Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. And just when you think you know what Morse can do he surprises you with songs like Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming and The Aviator. Just simply amazing songwriting and playing. After listening to The Battle Rages On... it wouldn't be hard to wonder if the Purple ones had been abducted by aliens. Because these songs are just so freaking good. A Touch Away and Loosen My Strings are great songs to relax to. Much like The Aviator although not in terms of sound. Just in terms of the "feel." I could sit in the grass, watch the dog walk around, and listen to those songs without a care in the world. For some reason I keep wanting to say that The Aviator could be the soundtrack to an Irish march. It just sounds right to me.

Soon Forgotten is a herky-jerky song that could be the soundtrack for a schizophrenic breakdown or sea sickness. It just has that sense of raft float on unsteady waters, ready to tip over at any moment. Cascades: I'm Not Your Lover is a great rocker. At first you think you're in church with the way the keyboards sound and the peculiar unintelligible speaking, but the rug cuts out from under you are thrown into one great song. This song certainly contains one of the best keyboard-guitar duels in all of Purple-dom.

Vavoom: Ted the Mechanic (4:16)
Loosen My Strings (5:57)
Soon Forgotten (4:47)
Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming (7:29)
Cascades: I'm Not Your Lover (4:43)
The Aviator (5:20)
Rosa's Cantina (5:10)
A Castle Full of Rascals (5:11)
A Touch Away (4:36)
Hey Cisco (5:53)
Somebody Stole My Guitar (4:09)
The Purpendicular Waltz (4:45)
Don't Hold Your Breath [U.S. and Japanese Edition only hidden track] (4:39)

Line-up: Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Steve Morse, Jon Lord, Ian Paice

05. Who Do We Think We Are! (1973) - The most criminally under-rated release from the classic line-up. You just can't go wrong with this album. Never even mind Woman from Tokyo. That's a great song, no doubt, but there are other great songs to be found here. Mary Long? Fuhgedabout it! I could listen to that song all day. Smooth Dancer is a classic. It's got the feel of Speed King meets Black Night. How can anyone go wrong with a combo like that? Place in Line recalls Lazy in parts and B.B King in others. During the verses Gillan gives his best blues voice and it is a surprising performance. Not quite classic (and perhaps a bit jarring like the almost-rapping in Any Fule Kno That), but still a good quality work. Our Lady, the song that ends the album, feels like a combination of In the Court of the Crimson King and I Am the Walrus.

Perhaps not quite on the level of its predecessors, but it shouldn't be considered to be just another footnote in the long Purple catalog.

Woman from Tokyo (5:48)
Mary Long (4:23)
Super Trouper (2:54)
Smooth Dancer (4:08)
Rat Bat Blue (5:23)
Place in Line (6:29)
Our Lady (5:12)
Woman from Tokyo ('99 Remix) [re-issue bonus track] (6:37)
Woman from Tokyo (Alternate bridge) [re-issue bonus track] (1:24)
Painted Horse (studio out-take) [re-issue bonus track] (5:19)
Our Lady ('99 Remix) [re-issue bonus track] (6:05)
Rat Bat Blue (writing session) [re-issue bonus track] (0:57)
Rat Bat Blue ('99 Remix) [re-issue bonus track] (5:49)
First Day Jam (instrumental) [re-issue bonus track] (11:31)

Line-up: Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice

04. Burn (1974) - The departure of Ian Gillan and Roger Glover could have marked the end for the band, but they soldiered on as they had before and created a masterpiece. David Coverdale and Glen Hughes fit the mold of Purple well and they bring a bluesy and soul feel that wasn't quite present on earlier albums and would be more prominent on Stormbringer. It works on this album, though. Burn, Mistreated, Might Just Take Your Life, and Sail Away are amazing songs. Certainly on par with anything the classic line-up did before they broke up. The only thing missing from this album is the song Stormbringer. It should have been on this album.

Burn (6:00)
Might Just Take Your Life (4:36)
Lay Down, Stay Down (4:15)
Sail Away (5:48)
You Fool No One (4:47)
What's Goin' On Here (4:55)
Mistreated (7:25)
A' 200 (3:51)
Coronarias Redig (2004 remix) [re-issue bonus track] (5:30)
Burn (2004 remix) [re-issue bonus track] (6:00)
Mistreated (2004 remix) [re-issue bonus track] (7:28)
You Fool No One (2004 remix) [re-issue bonus track] (4:57)
Sail Away (2004 remix) [re-issue bonus track] (5:37)

Line-up: David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice

03. Fireball (1971) - For whatever reason most of Deep Purple doesn't consider this album to be a classic. Except for Ian Gillan. But apparently Ian Gillan has stated that he has problems with the album. The main one being the song Anyone's Daughter. He calls the song "A good bit of fun, but a mistake." Well, I like the song. Yeah, it's different. It's got a country-blues vibe and it is fun. That part Gillan wasn't wrong about. Fireball, Strange Kind of Woman, Demon's Eye, and No No No are all Purple classics. Fools is a tremendous atmospheric song that most folks probably haven't heard. No One Came is a groovy, heavy song. That's what this entire album is about really. It's heavy, but it has a groove and a swagger to it. 

Fireball (3:25)
No No No (6:54)
Demon's Eye [European release only] (5:19)
Strange Kind of Woman [not on European release] (4:07) 
Anyone's Daughter (4:43)
The Mule (5:23)
Fools (8:21)
No One Came (6:28)
Strange Kind of Woman (a-side remix '96) [re-issue bonus track] (4:07)
I'm Alone [re-issue bonus track] (3:08)
Freedom (album out-take) [re-issue bonus track] (3:37)
Slow Train (album out-take) [re-issue bonus track] (5:38)
Demon's Eye (remix '96) [re-issue bonus track] (6:13)
The Noise Abatement Society Tapes [re-issue bonus track] (4:17)
Fireball (take 1 - instrumental) [re-issue bonus track] (4:09)
Backwards Piano [re-issue bonus track] (0:56)
No One Came (remix '96) [re-issue bonus track] (6:24)

Line-up: Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice

02. Deep Purple In Rock (1970) - The first classic Purple release. Well, unless you a huge fan of the Rod Evans era or the live album Concerto for Group and Orchestra (aka the first album with Ian Gillan). It's heavy. It's fast. It helped lay the foundation for what would later become heavy metal. What more do you need to know?

Speed King (5:52)
Bloodsucker (4:11)
Child in Time (10:16)
Flight of the Rat (7:53)
Into the Fire (3:29)
Living Wreck (4:30)
Hard Lovin' Man (7:10)
Black Night (original single version) [re-issue bonus track] (3:27)
Studio Chat (1) [re-issue bonus track] (0:28)
Speed King (piano version) [re-issue bonus track] (4:14)
Studio Chat (2) [re-issue bonus track] (0:25)
Cry Free (Roger Glover remix) [re-issue bonus track]  (3:20)
Studio Chat (3) [re-issue bonus track] (0:05)
Jam Stew (unreleased instrumental) [re-issue bonus track]  (2:30)
Studio Chat (4) [re-issue bonus track] (0:40)
Flight of the Rat (Roger Glover remix) [re-issue bonus track] (7:53)
Studio Chat (5) [re-issue bonus track] (0:31)
Speed King (Roger Glover remix) [re-issue bonus track] (5:52)
Studio Chat (6) [re-issue bonus track] (0:23)
Black Night (unedited Roger Glover remix) [re-issue bonus track] (4:47)

Line-up: Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice

01. Machine Head (1972) - Yes, I know Smoke on the Water is so overplayed that you could just go insane. But it seems like all anyone knows about it is the main riff. And Highway Star is a close second to overplayed. But what about Space Truckin'? That great keyboard riff at the beginning? And what about Lazy? Or Maybe I'm a Leo? Why doesn't classic rock radio play those from time to time? Or what about any of the lesser known songs from any of these great albums I just mentioned? Okay, I better simmer down. This is a Deep Purple list and not a radio rant. I was tempted to put In Rock at number one and I suppose any argument made about it would be a real good one. But there isn't any real right or wrong answer. They are both so good that it doesn't matter. Consider them tied for first place if you want to. 

Highway Star (6:08)
Maybe I'm a Leo (4:52)
Pictures of Home (5:08)
Never Before (4:00)
Smoke on the Water 5:42)
Lazy (7:24)
Space Truckin' (4:35)
When a Blind Man Cries (b-side) [re-issue bonus track] (3:32)
Maybe I'm a Leo (Quadrophonic mix) [re-issue bonus track] (5:00)
Lazy (Quadrophonic mix) [re-issue bonus track] (6:57)

Disc Two (The Roger Glover remixes)
Highway Star 6:39
Maybe I'm a Leo 5:25
Pictures of Home 5:21
Never Before 3:59
Smoke on the Water (contains an alternate guitar solo) 6:18
Lazy 7:33
Space Truckin' 4:52
When a Blind Man Cries 3:33

Line-up: Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice


  1. Good job keeping up with all of the lineup changes. I agree with Strombringer. How did they come up with such an awesome song and nothing else on that album. There's an idea for a list, mediocre albums with one great song.

  2. I picked up the dvd "Come Hell Or High Water" which is from a pair of shows in 1993 right before Ritchie left for the final time. I just got it yesterday and I only have watched part of it. What I saw was very good despite Ritchie being Ritchie. The dvd got off to a rocky start when Ritchie was late coming out for the opening song, Highway Star. Then when he was in the middle of a solo, he walked to the back of the stage and the next thing you see is water flying and one of the camera lenses gets wet. Then in between songs, there are interviews with the band members (except for Ritchie) complaining about Ritchie without actually mentioning him by name. I guess I know where they got the title for this. Despite all the Ritchie stuff, the dvd seems pretty good.

  3. I'll have to get that one. Especially since it's got some Battle Rages On material on it. I've always wondered how that stuff would sound live.

    I've got the live albums Live at the Rotterdam Ahoy (it's the 2001 line-up of Purple performed with an orchestra with a few songs sung by Dio including a version of "Rainbow in the Dark."), Made in Japan, Last Concert in Japan (this has Tommy Bolin on guitar. I've heard that it's heavily edited and that it was later re-released as a full show under the title of "This Time Around" but I don't have that one and I can't say for sure if it's better than Last Concert in Japan or not), and Nobody's Perfect (The Gillan era reunion album from 1988 which isn't quite up to par with Made in Japan, but it has a live version of "Hush" on it).

  4. I picked up a copy of the 25th anniversary edition of Burn the other day. I have not listened to this album in a really long time. I had this on vinyl and somewhere along the way it disappeared (one of my friends borrowing it and not giving it back is the most likely scenario). The remaster sounds great. These special edition Deep Purple albums from the 70s are really good. Like Machine Head, they did some remixes but still left the original mixes on the cd. That's the way to do that, remix if you want but keep the original too.

  5. Well, I'll have to check that one out. My dad still has Burn and Perfect Strangers on vinyl. He used to have Fireball on eight track, too, but he got rid of it somewhere along the way.

    I never paid attention to how much Deep Purple stuff we have on iTunes. They were sort of *cough* downloaded for free a couple years ago. Of course, ya get what you pay for. A few songs from Fireball are missing and the last minute of "Living Wreck" and "Child in Time" from In Rock are chopped off. But other than that, everything else is intact, I believe. I need to get them on CD though so I can properly listen to them.

  6. I've been on a tear lately of trying to get special editions I missed getting a few years ago. I found the 35th anniversary edition of Stormbringer on E-bay. What is interesting about this one is that it's from Argentina and is a double cd, the first cd is the same as the version I found on amazon but the 2nd disc is a dvd-audio of the quad mix from the 70's (there was a couple of years that a quadrophonic system was being sold and many albums during this period had quad versions as well as stereo). I'm looking forward to sticking that disc in my blu-ray player and hearing it on 4 speakers. Now, Stormbringer is certainly not one of my favorite Deep Purple albums but I listened to the new cd today and actually liked it better than I used to. As with the other anniversary Purple releases, the remaster is outstanding and Glenn Hughes remixed a few tracks and his remixes are on the cd too. Even though this isn't one of my favorites, I never fault a band for not wanting to do the same thing over and over again.

  7. Back to the Stormbringer anniversary edition. I listened to the dvd audio disc and there are two versions of the album, a quad mix (in 5.1 surround) and a PCM stereo mix. I didn't like the quad mix (very bass heavy, when I turn it up loud, the thumping is distracting) but the PCM stereo version sounds fantastic. Too bad I'm listening to "Stormbringer" and not "In Rock". I'm about finished with my intense listening of Stormbringer for a while and I love the fist and last tracks, it's just all the stuff in the middle that's shaky. The other two I like on the album are Lady Double Dealer and Holy Man. Next in my anniversary edition quest will be Fireball. I'd love to find some more dvd-audio albums.

  8. I'm still on my special edition cd binge. I've also got a stack I haven't been able to listen to yet. I found this ebay seller, that has all kinds of older cds really cheap (brand new, not used).

    Thoughts on "In Rock" anniversary edition: This is another top notch Deep Purple re-release. The remaster sounds great and there are some good bonus tracks here too. One thing I haven't mentioned with these Deep Purple re-releases is that they each come with an extensive booklet with very candid stories about the making of each of these albums. The booklets alone are worth the money spent on the cd. For instance in this one, there is the story of making "Black Night". The record company didn't think they could release anything on "In rock" as a single so they asked the band to cut another song that could be a single. They couldn't come up with anything so they ended up "borrowing" the riff from a Ricky Nelson song, the melody from Canned Heat's "Back On The Road Again" and just made up some nonsensical lyrics. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you make a hit song!

    As far as interesting bonus tracks, there's the original "Black Night" and an extended version. There's "Cry Free" and there's is a really good studio jam. My only complaint (and it's a little one) is that I wish that when bands do these special editions, they would keep the original album on one disk and the bonus tracks on another. I like to have the original sacred document on a disk all by itself. Purple did this with "Machine Head", "Come Taste the Band" and "Stormbringer." but not the others.