Thursday, December 21, 2006

Number 686 - Deep Purple

Number 686

Deep Purple


Genre:Hard Rock
Ed Rivadavia sums it up best with his thoughts on "Machine Head" by Deep Purple, he says.... "Led Zeppelin's fourth album, Black Sabbath's Paranoid, and Deep Purple's Machine Head stand as the Holy Trinity of English hard rock. These recordings provide the blueprint followed by virtually every heavy rock & roll band since the mid-'70s. Though probably the least celebrated of the three, Machine Head contains the mother of all guitar riffs in "Smoke on the Water," a song that needs no further explanation. The album also features the classic "Highway Star," which epitomizes all of Deep Purple's intensity and versatility, while featuring perhaps the greatest soloing duel ever between guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and organist Jon Lord. Also in top form is singer Ian Gillan (simply one of the finest singers of his generation, bar none), who explodes with amazing power and range throughout. Gillan lets the band take over on the largely instrumental "Lazy," which would evolve into an incredible live jam".
Deep Purple survived a seemingly endless series of lineup changes and a dramatic mid-career shift from grandiose progressive rock to ear-shattering heavy metal to emerge as a true institution of the British hard rock community; once credited in the -Guinness Book of World Records as the globe's loudest band, their revolving-door roster launched the careers of performers including Ritchie Blackmore, David Coverdale, and Ian Gillan. Deep Purple was formed in Hertford, England, in 1968, with an inaugural lineup that featured guitarist Blackmore, vocalist Rod Evans, bassist Nick Simper, keyboardist Jon Lord, and drummer Ian Paice. Initially dubbed Roundabout, the group was first assembled as a session band for ex-Searchers drummer Chris Curtis but quickly went their own way, touring Scandinavia before beginning work on their debut LP, Shades of Deep Purple. The most pop-oriented release of their career, the album generated a Top Five American hit with its reading of Joe South's "Hush" but otherwise went unnoticed at home.
Blackmore took creative control of the band, steering it towards a heavier, guitar-dominated approach which took full advantage of Gillan's powerful vocals. The gambit worked; 1970's Deep Purple in Rock heralded the beginning of the group's most creatively and commercially successful period. At home, the album
sold over a million copies, with the subsequent non-LP single "Black Night" falling just shy of topping the U.K. pop charts. 1971's Fireball was also a smash, scoring a hit with "Strange Kind of Woman." Plans to record the follow-up at the Casino in Montreux, Switzerland, were derailed after the venue burned down during a live appearance by Frank Zappa, but the experience inspired Deep Purple's most enduring hit, the AOR staple "Smoke on the Water." The song, featured on the multi-platinum classic Machine Head, reached the U.S. Top Five in mid-1972 and positioned Deep Purple among rock's elite; the band consolidated its status with the 1973 studio follow-up Who Do We Think We Are and the hit "Woman From Tokyo."
However, long-simmering creative differences between Blackmore and Gillan pushed the latter out of the group that same year, with Glover soon exiting as well; singer David Coverdale and bassist/singer Glenn Hughes were recruited for 1974's Burn, and Gillan meanwhile formed a band bearing his own name. After completing 1974's Stormbringer, Blackmore left Deep Purple to form Rainbow with vocalist Ronnie James Dio; his replacement was ex-James Gang guitarist Tommy Bolin, who made his debut on Come Taste the Band. All the changes clearly took their toll, however, and following a farewell tour, the group dissolved in 1976 with Coverdale going on to form Whitesnake; Bolin died of a drug overdose later in the year. The classic lineup of Blackmore, Gillan, Lord, Glover, and Paice reunited Deep Purple in 1984 for a new album, the platinum smash Perfect Strangers; The House of Blue Light followed three years later, but as past tensions resurfaced, Gillan again exited in mid-1989. Onetime Rainbow vocalist Joe Lynn Turner was recruited for 1990's Slaves and Masters before Gillan again rejoined to record The Battle Rages On..., an apt title as Blackmore quit the group midway through the supporting tour, to be temporarily replaced by Joe Satriani.
In 1994, Steve Morse took over the guitar slot, fresh from a stint in Kansas; the revitalized group returned to the studio for 1996's Purpendicular, which proved a success among the Purple faithful. 1998's Abandon followed, as well as a 1999 orchestral performance released the following year as Live at the Royal Albert Hall. Deep Purple was given the box set treatment the same year with the four-disc set Shades: 1968-1998, which collected hits, demos, live takes, and unreleased tracks from throughout the years (touching upon all of Purple's different lineups). The late '90s/early 2000s saw the release of several other archival releases and collections ( Machine Head 25th Anniversary, Friends & Relatives, Rhino's The Very Best Of, and Days May Come and Days May Go: The 1975 California Rehearsals), as well as a slew of DVDs (Total Abandon: Live Australia 1999, In Concert with the London Symphony Orchestra, Bombay Calling, and New Live & Rare). Former member Blackmore also kept himself busy after leaving the band by issuing a single album with his briefly resuscitated outfit Rainbow (1998's Stranger in Us All), before forming the Renaissance-inspired Blackmore's Night with fiancée/vocalist Candice Night. Despite numerous lineup upheavals during their career, Deep Purple remains alive and well in the 21st century. ~ Jason Ankeny & Greg Prato
For Led Zeppelin see Number 957
For Black Sabbath see Number 979 & Number 826
For Rainbow see Number 959
For Joe Satriani see Number 688
What does Rolling Stone think about the Purple Ones?
I just don't understand, as Ann-Margret once sang, why an exciting band like Deep Purple, who consistently hit the top of the charts in Merrie Olde and have taken Europe by storm, remain a comparatively unknown quantity to American audiences. Especially when said audiences have wholeheartedly embraced bands with similar musical aims and not one more ampere of excitement.
It's a shame, but Deep Purple themselves are at least partially to blame. Their first two American albums on Tetragrammaton were mostly uninspired, despite some good cover versions of songs like "I'm So Glad" and "Hush." The basic problem seemed to be that the group hadn't really learned to write yet, so the covers were the best way to grow without losing the audience. Except that no self-respecting late-Sixties rock band wants to put out an album with nothing but covers on it, so we were left with a bunch of boring originals, half of them instrumental.
Crowbarreds choice for Website to find more on Deep Purple
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (Hush! we are not saying nada) and the Album ranked at Number (D.Purple kept blowing our headphones, we couldnt actually rate a whole album!)
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

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