Deep Purple-Perfect Strangers, 1984
The Mark 2 line-up of Deep Purple had not recorded in eleven years by this point and the band had actually been broken up for almost a decade as well. Things had changed in music as heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest had rose in popularity and LA bands like Motley Crue and Ratt were on the rise. Yet Deep Purple made it work on this album and it sure didn't sound like this band hadn't played together for a long time. "Knocking At Your Back Door" is up first and it has a killer opening and it moves forward rather smoothly. "Under The Gun" has a moody feel to it and a straightforward approach. "Nobody's Home" is one of my favorites here with Ian Gillan's natural vocals and a tremendously thick sound to the music. "Mean Streak" is a bouncy track that allows Jon Lord some space to work. Although the beat does sound a little like Alice Cooper's "Schools out'. "Perfect Strangers" is fairly slow with a big drum beat and good control of the pace. "A Gypsy's Kiss" bursts on with swirls of music from everyone and it might be the most like old Deep Purple. "Wasted Sunsets" is a bit slow and rambling and although well played, it just isn't at the level of the rest of the songs."Hungry Daze" has a unique sound to it and there are several tempo changes and it may one of the most interesting tracks. "Not Responsible" is a tight, fairly simple sounding song yet the band milks it for all it's worth. "Son of Alerik" is a bonus track that's on the CD and not the vinyl. It's over ten minutes and has a whole lot of playing from Blackmore so it's certainly worth hearing. Overall this is a great album and I think it's best fourth best of their long career. I think it works as a reunion album because it manages to blend Purple's classic sound with what was going on in hard rock in 1984. They used the organ, Blackmore's flowing style and such but they also knew it was the 80's so they became a little more direct and heavier when needed. The year 1984 was a great, highly competitive year for hard rock and metal yet this album put Deep Purple rightback into the thick of things. A very strong album indeed.
***Saturday I will wrap up Reunion album week with a look at the "Top five best hard rock/metal reunion albums".