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Artist: Deep Purple

Deep Purple


Deep Purple is an English hard rock band that formed in Hertfordshire in 1968. Together with groups such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, they're considered as heavy metal pioneers. Especially influential to later metal bands were Ian Gillan's powerful screams and Ritchie Blackmore's virtuoso solos. Deep Purple were also very influential to progressive music as well, with their style evolving over the years and incorporating a variety of genres from art rock to blues to psychedelia and more. The Early Days: Deep Purple's early output ranged from energetic rock (such as their cover of Joe South's "Hush", which became an iconic radio hit that climbed to #4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart) to strongly classically influenced pieces (such as "April", a fan-loved gem from their third album). Their first few albums contained very long solos, such as those on the band's covers of "Hey Joe" and "I'm So Glad". The appeal of the more heavy, arena-friendly tracks from the group brought them considerable success in the U.S., setting them apart from many English contemporaries, particularly in their 1968 debut album 'Shades of Deep Purple'. After their third album, founding member and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore in particular felt the band should move in a harder direction. He additionally felt that then singer Rod Evans and bassist Nicky Simper were incapable of working in that direction. Both were therefore let go, and Blackmore had them replaced with singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover from pop rock group Episode Six. What is now thought of as the classic Deep Purple line-up came to be when keyboardist Jon Lord and drummer Ian Paice came in, this line-up being often labeled as 'MK II' (in contrast to the previous 'MK I' with Evans and Simper). The first output of this revamped group was a mixed electric and orchestral album with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, 'Deep Purple in Concert', with the centrepiece being Lord's "Concerto for Group and Orchestra". The 1969 release earned some international commercial success despite (or, prehaps, because of) its novetly, reaching #149 on the Billboard 200 chart. The whole project was reputedly initiated after idle chat with the band's manager about the possibility led to him book the orchestra and give the inexperienced composer a dea
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Made in Japan (Deluxe Edition) by Deep Purple - ArtistDirect

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Deep Purple: Empire Pool, Wembley Melody Maker, Mar 1976

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THIS REVIEW SHOULD have been written in the white heat of anger after seeing Deep Purple play at the Empire Pool, Wembley, on Friday night. But now several hours have elapsed, it's Monday morning and it doesn't seem to matter any more.

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We learn the various reasons for the sad and dismal performance by the band: that they were suffering from jet lag, that Tommy Bolin was reputedly carried on stage to play, that the following night they redeemed themselves.

But the fact remains that the whole atmosphere surrounding the Pool was so depressing that it aroused in me feelings of pity for the audience, pity for the musicians and pity for the stewards, who not only had to endure the caterwauling din that Purple produced in the name of rock music, but attempt to control and pacify the anguish and torment the music seemed to induce in the young fans.

Quite apart from the spectacle of once-respected musicians degrading themselves, the spectacle of unhappy youth seeking some escape from the seeming vacuity of their lives was worrying and depressing.

The Empire Pool, an echoing, concrete bear-waiting pit, is eminently unsuitable for musical events. But this was hardly a musical event: just a band out to prove its position on the precise scale and an occasion to sell hot dogs and tee-shirts and all the tatty paraphernalia of the cheap circus this end of rock has become.

That some of the audience enjoyed themselves was undeniable. There were cheers, but there were also perceptive yells of "rubbish"' during Tommy Bolin's main guitar feature. His playing was deeply disappointing, combining all the worst excesses of the fraudulent lead guitarist satirised by rock's own sternest critics, Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias.

But there was no need for satire with this kind of cheap gimmickry. Unaccompanied, Bolin paused for minutes on end to egg the baying mob to further yelling, then savaged his guitar strings in a parody of the great, flamboyant guitarists who once vitalised rock.

I was sorry to see that great musician and gentleman, Jon Lord, involved in this mess, and his playing when audible through the PA, revealed flashes of his old love for jazz.

The only man who emerged with credit was Ian Paice, whose immaculate, ever-enthusiastic drumming, even in the most uncompromising circumstances, held the band together.

David Coverdale's screaming vocals were delivered with some heat, but didn't he yearn to sing something of quality and real soul, and not all these cheap wine and downers anthems for a zombie?

Around the hall, while the band were winning their final encore by sheer brute force, I watched attendants struggle to retain a demented youth, while another lay slumped on the concrete floor.

Music should not dispense despair, it should bring hope and joy. There is enough stress in society generated by God knows how many forces, without rock music feeding the process, and peddling aural narcotics.

Breakfast of Champions: Deep Purple's Machine Head Circular, May 1972

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IF YOU'RE OVER 20, you needn’t read on. Unless, of course, you want to hear why Deep Purple are a good group – just like Black Sabbath, Grand Funk, Led Zep, Alice Cooper and others. Or unless you’re over 20 and are a Deep Purple fan anyway (congratulations!).

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In past years I might’ve cringed at the name Deep Purple. They started out fine enough, with bombastic hit. Then about half the group split, and when they did reform they started running around with symphony orchestras and concertos and stuff like that. Nada.

Heavy Metal Wins Out

But when it comes down to selling a million records, a group gets down and does what they do best. In Deep Purple’s case it’s loud heavy metal rock. Their new album, Machine Head, is their best yet.

Fact is, when Machine Head arrived in the mail, I was so impressed (fevered even) that I sent in an unsolicited review to The New York Ti, whoops I mean Rolling Stone. It turned out, though, that Lester Bangs had already been assigned the review, so we’re presenting the unrun review’s debut here (in abridged form) as a suitable analysis of Deep Purple’s music. As an addendum, that is – we’re still dealing with the sociological aspect here, ‘cos I hear some cretins across the room sniggering.

Though Some Still Scoff

"The new British rock groups... So many of them just don’t have any roots. Look around. Rod Stewart has roots. Fleewood Mac have roots, but there aren't many. If it doesn’t have roots then I’m not interested," says Kim Simmonds, guitarist/leader of Savoy Brown.

Wanna fight, Kim??? Not that Deep Purple need any defense, but I would like to point out that anybody can be a duller-than-Drano imitation Creedence Clearwater rejuvenated British boogie band. Much less that I wouldn’t dream of trading a typical Deep Purple slice of heavy metal for the entire output of the Savouy Brownd Blooze Band. Kip Simmons and all.

And when you’re playing rock and roll and have a wallful of Marshall amps, who needs roots? I mean ask the Kingsmen if they had their B.B. King licks down pat.

So there.

Machine Head is really nice. As the review here says, the first side is a solid 20 minutes of relentlessly consistent heavy rock, with 'Never Before' in particular a great song – a blistering amphetamine guitar riff contrasted by a most effective melodic bridge in the middle of the song. The second side may let up a bit in the middle, but that still leaves 30 full minutes of crash boom bang.

And the cover. The cover is absolutely gorgeous.

Sticking up for the Persecuted

Finally, some thoughtless buffoons around town have been calling Warner Brothers the home of ageing wandering minstrels. This kind of slander really makes me mad. Goddamit, I like Warner Brothers – they have the most albums, the best albums and they’re the only company with the insight to send their promos out in a big box every month.

But more than that, you know the real reason I love Warner Brothers? Because they have Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper and Deep Purple. They may not have intended to wind up with said groups, but they’ve got them, and that’s what counts.

Deep Purple

And yes, Deep Purple. Let’s put it like this: I’ve played Machine Head 247 times so far, and if that isn’t a recommendation of the highest order, why, I don’t know what is. A great group.

Before You Pass This Review off as Lunacy, Think About Fact That You Would Have Considered it Gospel Had You Read It in Rolling Stone:

Machine Head
Deep Purple
Warner Bros. BS 2607

Deep Purple have had a lot of epithets hurled at them during their career, all of them uncomplimentary; I think they must be one of the few groups who have never received a favorable review.

The bombastic Deep Purple who took on 'River Deep Mountain High' were a basically different band together from the recent classical-rock/heavy metal (now you see ’em, now you don’t) bombastic Deep Purple tagged by one critic as "schtick collectors with no personal vision," but it’s ok – bombastic goings-on have never been too well received until lately, and besides, it seems like everyone and anyone English was getting it in the face back then. While in some cases it was deserved, it seems like the Wall Street Stone just didn’t much like those English groups...strange.

Machine Head is a different matter... The entire first side is competent Third Generation rock: four five-minute songs that crunch along (most of the inspired moments coming in 'Never Before', a most effective combination of heavy metal and melody), setting up a splendid 20-minute drone of the energetic street-clatter heavy metal fans have come to love so much.

Side Two is less even, the middle of the side occupied by a seven-minute cut, 'Lazy', that brings out my hereditary impatience with anything under 130 decibels... Sandwiched around 'Lazy', however, are 'Smoke on the Water' and 'Space Truckin’', two of Machine Head’s best cuts. 'Smoke on the Water' is a number about the trials and tribulations of a rock band, which in Deep Purple’s case includes the recording studio burning down. On 'Space Truckin’', Deep Purple come up with some good riffs and really cook the way any self-respecting bunch of Limeys with a wall of Marshall amps ought to.

...All in all, Machine Head has a lot of good heavy metal noise for those who can’t do without. While for my money Deep Purple may be no Sabbath or Led Zep (we can’t all be King Kong, y’know), on this album I definitely find them far superior to a number of touted Third generation bands – Uriah Heep, REO Speedwagon, Bull Angus – that, for me at least, just don’t make it. It’s been a pleasure giving Deep Purple what may well be their first good review ever.

Returns so far show rave reviews of the new Deep Purple album in Rolling Stone, Phonograph Record Magazine and sundry other publications. Though in some cases it’s hard to tell whether the reviewers were raving about the album or just plain raving, it’s a sign – whether of the times, modern decadence or recently enlightened critical standards, Circular just dunno. In any event, Circ leaves Deep Purple with these words of wisdom: keep a knockin’ and keep a rockin’.


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Top Albums

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Smoke on the Water cover art

Smoke on the Water

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Highway Star cover art

Highway Star

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Child in Time cover art

Child in Time

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Hush cover art


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Black Night cover art

Black Night

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Perfect Strangers cover art

Perfect Strangers

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