Monday, April 20, 2009
Second studio release from the Mach II lineup of Deep Purple and they waste no time in grabbing the listener with the explosive title track. Perfect example of dynamics in action, with Ian Gillan's shredding vocal topping a speedy riff that everyone clings to until the breakdowns with jazzy, lightning drum flourishes. Glover and Lord both take solos as the band roars back into the main theme, going out on a high note. Definitely one of the best things that they ever did.
Picked up my copy of this years ago for two dollars. The gatefold cover is well worn but the record itself is in great shape (no scratches, very little surface noise). The version I have has the remarkable "Strange Kind of Woman" in place of "Demon's Eye".
Stretching things out on stage was a specialty for these guys so the live versions of this generally eclipse the one on the album. "Anyone's Daughter" is a bit of a shaggy dog tale that wouldn't have sounded out of place on "Bringing It All Back Home". Dylanesque and like nothing else they had done before or since, Lord's piano carries the tune and Blackmore's fills are exceptional. Very Un-Purple-like.
Second side opens with the splashy vehicle that would be employed in their live sets to showcase Ian Paice ("The Mule"). One of rock's finest drummers, he is steady and inventive throughout this disc. Overall, this LP is a perfect soundtrack for knocking back a few beers (like most classic albums). Personally, I would swap "Fools" for "Demon's Eye", though you can have the best of both worlds by purchasing the reissue on CD, which gives you all the tracks from these sessions with bonus material.
This incarnation of the group was one of the strongest live acts of the early seventies.