Of course this is not a 1974 CD, but the 2019 remaster of an album that is considered to be one of the best Norwegian prog albums ever.
Now the problem with such a claim is, that when you are not familiar with the original album, there will be no emotional ties to the album. And time is not always kind to such an album either.
Well, on to the album then. When listening to this, it is easy to hear why they were seen as the Norwegian counterpart to Yes. You hear similar polyphonic vocals, extended instrumental parts, a prominent bass, tempo changes and various solos. And of course long compositions with diverse arrangements.
So I have no doubts that people into the original will love it is now again available, even on vinyl. And it is clear why the album is held in such high regard. Both the songwriting as well as the playing are on par with their far more well known colleagues. So no problems there.
But it is clearly an album of it’s time, no matter how good the remastering was done. Yet when you consider how many prog addicts keep returning to the classics, that is not a bad thing either. This will sit effortlessly along all their beloved albums…
Okay, it is a daunting and maybe even impossible task to pick one Deep Purple album that says it all. Not only because the band has had various incarnations and corresponding sound, but also because a lot of their work is just so darn good.
And as it is my blog, I just took this album out of the shelf today and played it again. Ahhh, the memories…
Opening with that famous lick of Burn, it is clear that Blackmore is on fire here. But also new boys David Coverdale with his smooth blues infused voice and bass player and vocalist Glenn Hughes, who displays a lot of soul in his vocals, are not fooling around. The band is completed with the keyboards of Jon Lord, and the expert drumming of the vastly underrated Ian Paice.
After the heavenly rocker that is Burn (that chorus will always stay with ya) comes the more mid paced Might Just Take Your Life. Again a great vocal delivery and a catchy chorus. And Lord gets to abuse his Hammond a little more here, nice! Lay Down Stay Down is a high energy riffing workout that is trade mark Purple. But with a lot of soul added because of the vocals. The 2 vocalist share and trade, creating a new dimension in the Purple song book. Sail Away opens with a riff that is played throughout the song. But it never gets old, especially because the melodies hold your attention with ease. The keyboard solo is not something we heard Purple do much. But as the guitar takes over soon with a great melody, we still know who´s at play here.
You Fool No One is a very fast song, with a riff and cowbell use to match. Again the vocal melodies are spell binding. What´s Going On Here is vintage Purple with it´s blues tinged feel and arrangement. Next track Mistreated is of course classic. A Blackmore riff that will last forever and Coverdale pouring out his heart like there´s no tomorrow. Sorrow never sounded so good… The album closes with A 200. A lot more synthesisers than we are used to from the guys. But as this is Deep Purple, you can rest assured this instrumental track is a fitting closer. You all do know these guys can play right 😉