Album no. 188/1001
This is Deep Purple’s breakthrough, a number 4 album in the UK and the precursor to a fifteen month world tour. It might not have their best-known stuff on it but it really put them on the map.
Deep Purple are the third member of the ‘unholy trinity’ of British heavy metal (along with Sabbath and Zeppelin). This is their fourth album, which is a lot considering they only formed in 1968. They really pumped them out back then.
It was also the first album to feature the ‘Mark II’ or ‘Classic’ lineup, which meant they replaced the singer and the bass player. As you do. Deep Purple went on to have Mark III and Mark IV, before breaking up for 8 years and coming back with Mark IIb, Mark V, Mark IIc, etc etc. The members had a bit of trouble getting along, it’s fair to say.
Have you listened to this album before?
NK: Somebody lent me a cd of this years ago, and I have no recollection of it whatsoever.
CL: I reckon I could maybe name 2 Deep Purple songs, and neither of them appear here. What a treat for me.
NK: I have to admit, I struggled to get into this! I was really looking forward to it, and I gave it a few goes, but none of the songs stayed with me.
CL: It’s very difficult for me to choose a standout because even though I listened to this a fair few times, it seems to have made no imprint on my memory. I suppose I quite like ‘Speed King’ (after the initial minute and a half of doing nothing).
NK: Yeah ‘Speed King’ is decent, and I like the drums on the intro of ‘Living Wreck’. I was expecting more big riffs, but they weren’t really here.
CL: I really wish ‘Black Night’ was included on the original tracklisting. It was only released as a single 😦
When would be the best time to listen to this?
NK: I’m not sure. I really paid attention to this, and I still didn’t really get into it.
CL: Hmm. It’s difficult to focus on because there aren’t really any standout moments? Catchy hooks, this ain’t.
NK: Yeah, maybe if you want to keep things low profile? Don’t know.
Why has this album been included on the list?
NK: They’re pretty handy technically, and they’re mixing the emerging heavy metal sound with a bit of organ which is different. I am more looking forward to some of their better known stuff. They do evolve their sound a bit, but mostly I think they write some really great songs.
CL: Surely Deep Purple were an inspiration behind Spinal Tap? They must’ve been. That fact alone permits it’s inclusion on this list.
Will you be listening again?
NK: Maybe? I don’t know, this wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t that great. It’s extremely competent, but not that exciting. I am more likely to wait for Machine Head.
CL: I don’t think I will – just because there’s too much noodling going on, and no memorable hooks. I’m hoping their next album might be a bit more impressive. That certainly has their best known song on it – FILLED with catchy hooks! – so I’m feeling more hopeful going forward.
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