Friday, June 22, 2007

Deep Purple-Perfect Strangers, 1984

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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".

11 Comments:

Blogger David Amulet said...

I still enjoy this one, although I like "Knocking At Your Door" and "Perfect Strangers" more than the rest. "Son of Alerik" sounds like like a studio jam that should have been worked into something else, but it has its moments.

I think this is the last Deep Purple recording of anything worth listening to. Do you agree?

-- david

4:42 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

David-Actually I may be on my own, but I really enjoyed "The Battle rages on". That was like 1993 or so.

4:44 AM  
Anonymous Robert Ethier said...

The song Perfect Strangers was just a MONSTER!!!! I remember just rocking out to it over and over and over...I do agree with you that it was a very strong comeback. Great review!!!

5:39 AM  
Blogger Earl Capps said...

Definitely an excellent album. They needed a fresh start.

Now where are they these days? Maybe they can repeat the old magic.

5:52 AM  
Anonymous Ray Gillen, RIP said...

One of my favorite Purple records and it includes one of Gillan's all-time great lyrics:

Sweet Lucy was a dancer,
But none of us could chance her
Because she was a samurai

Pure insane Ian Gillan poetry

6:59 AM  
Anonymous Pete said...

I love this album, bought it back in the fall of '85 and listened to it a lot throughout that school year. It was a very strong comeback, and in my opinion, didn't have a weak track on it.

Unfortunately, they followed in '87 with "The House Of Blue Light" which was a huge let-down.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Jay said...

I think I remember these guys. Back in '84 I was a sophomore in high school and all I listened to was metal.

I'm gonna check them out on iTunes and see if I remember them.

2:54 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Robert-Thanks.

Earl-They are still around, but Ritchie Blackmore left the band years ago over disagreements and Jon Lord retired a few years ago.

ray gillen-Those are some good lyrics.

jay-I was a freshman in high school when this came out and remember several songs getting played on the radio.

6:44 PM  
Anonymous TJ said...

this band's still rocking ... last watched their concert in Malaysia in 1999 (Blackmore was no longer there) ... and missed their concert during Formula One race in Sepang few years back.

9:29 PM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

I think this may be the best reunion of all-time. It's the full classic line-up and they really sound like they'd never been apart. Mark, I too liked The battle Rages On, but I haven't heard it in years.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Andre du Plessis said...

Awesome album a total classic, just couldn't stop listening to it when it came out.

12:34 AM  

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