Friday, January 05, 2007

Deep Purple-In rock, 1970

Bringing Ian Gillan and Roger Glover into this band marked a bit of a change in style. This change would be the beginnings of what is probably the band's best and most successful period. I think this was the point where the band began to stretch out a bit and widen their structures. I think that Gillan's vocals especially helped the band to develop a far more fluid sound starting with this album. Deep Purple unfortunately get lost in the shadows of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin at times. Those two bands were giants in this genre at that time, but it's certainly arguable that Purple made just as much of an impact and were in the long run almost as influential as those other two bands. The opener "Speed King" manages to set the feel of this album. At first it's very in your face with the vocals coming right on and the music doesn't really pick up until almost a minute in. Yet when it does, it really takes off with long winding passages of layers of music just going in all directions but eventually they all come back to the same point. Ritchie Blackmore just peels off riffs effortlessly and everyone fits perfectly. Jon Lord attacks his Hammond organ like a man possessed. Bassist Roger Glover and Ian Paice make up one of the most underrated rhythm sections of all time. Much of the album continues somewhat like the opener with bits of organizes parts of songs intertwined with the crazy musical rampages in between. Still everyone in the band is skilled enough to pull it off and I am sure that this was not an easy task. These guys truly knew out to throw everything in a song yet make it sound extraordinary without seeming overly self-indulgent. "Child in time" is the longest track on the album at a little over ten minutes and it's probably the biggest highlight of the album. It begins with a spacey feel to it followed by some great screams by Gillan and then the music just takes off into a frenzy before returning to the more level music. "Flight of the rat" allows the band to get into more of a groove early on. The jam parts on this track may be a bit more confined, but no less spectacular. This whole album and all of their albums between 1970 and 1973 are just prime examples of how crazy instramental parts and solid song structures can work together. Of course you have to be very talented and creative to pull it off. Even though band is never called a progressive band, I think there are definite elements here that are very much like progressive music of the 70's. Just a very exciting, charged album that still seems very relevant to me.


Blogger Andre du Plessis said...

This was I think the first Deep Purple album I actually heard while I was still at high school. I wasn't so much into Deep Purple at that time as they where an old band. But they grew on my over the years (as I got older). I really started liking them a lot from the Perfect Strangers album though. Now after about 22 years of metal listening I truly enjoy their bluesy/rock/metal type of music. My brother got their live show DVD Perihelion the other day and it was a pretty awesome live show. I would have loved to see it live. I was lucky enough to see them the one time they were here in South Africa though. 'Child in Time' was a great song but a bit difficult to do on karaoke :0) I think even Gillan will never be able to repeat the intensity of how he did it back then. But as he said in an interview I saw once - they were very motivated at that stage still to sing it, as it was the era of the missiles being produced. Truly a very talented bunch. I am collecting their albums as I find them.

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of my older siblings liked Deep Purple a lot. Took me to a concert in 1972 when I was 6. Hippie central. Don't know what my mom was thinking. haha.

They didn't seem so 'devil-worshippy' as Zeppelin and Black Sabbath so maybe that's why.

But as much as I risk tomatoes being thrown at me, I really like "Burn" a lot. For being released in 1974, it rocks. Even though the original line-up is fantastic, of course, but Coverdale has a great rock voice, too.

4:37 AM  
Anonymous Robert Ethier said...

Thaks for the great review. I must admit, I got into Purple later in my musical development. other than "Smoke On The Water", I didn't know much about them until Perfect Strangers came out. then I went back and got into them. Child in Time has always been my favorite Gillan era song!!!

On My Watch, I'm with you on Burn. Coverdale and Hughes are fantastic vocalists. Mistreated is a monster song!

6:08 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

Deep Purple never gets the respect it deserves. Even many hard rock fans just say, "Oh yeah, great riff in Smoke on the Water." But the group was so much better than that.

-- david

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Hard Rock Hideout said...

I always considered Black Sabbath, Led Zepplin and Deep Purple, the early pioneers of Heavy Metal. I must have heard Purple tunes on the local radio station in Cincinnati thousands of times over the years.

If you guys want to hear a pretty good disc, pick up Ian Gillan's - Gillan's Inn. It is pretty damn good. It is more of a retrospective on Gillan's career. There are some great Deep Purple tunes on there.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Bruce said...

Ritchie Blackmore... 'nuff said.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Rhodeislandrock said...

Classic album, classic band. I would agree: put Led Zep, Sabbath, and Purple at the top of the Heavy Metal/Hard Rock heap. Purple always gets overlooked but they are a great band.

3:06 PM  

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