Sunday, June 01, 2008

Deep Purple - Burn

I’ve been a fan of DP since “Hush” first hit the radio – what a great freakin’ single! – but I admit that I didn’t really delve “deeply” into the band until they hit with “Smoke on the Water”. Machine Head was a fantastic album all the way through and I then backtracked through the other tunes on their past outings and also thought that Who Do We Think We Are was pretty damn cool.

Once DP Mach II (with Ian Gillian and Roger Clover on vocals and bass respectively) broke up, though, of course everyone wondered if they could come back as strong.

Well, it was a yes and no answer. While the next line-up, with Glenn Hughes on bass and previously unknown David Cloverdale on vocals, was very strong, they never hit the popularity that they had with Gillian and Glover.

Burn was their first album with the 3rd line up and I still think it is pretty killer!

Opening with the title cut, DP showed they were back with a vengeance with this powerful riff-rocker. When Cloverdale comes in it is a revelation – he has a super vocal tone, and while quite different from Gillian, he is just as powerful. More soulful, I suppose but he totally worked in this context. Bassist Hughes is also a terrific vocalist and the two traded off regularly, adding another dimension to the sound.

The instrumentalists are as tight as ever, as well, and Blackmore’s playing is mind-boggling on this tune as he rocks out the main riff, takes a wild solo and does simultaneous lick playing with Jon Lord on organ. This is just as tight as the previous line-up and an amazing album opener.

“Might Just Take Your Life” continues the dark lyrics of David’s but is another very hip, rockin’, heavy riff. More nice harmonies and trade-offs from the two new singers, too.

They step up the energy with “Lay Down, Stay Down” – the band certainly didn’t want anyone to think that they wimped out with this record! Once again, David and Glenn do a cool job of each taking a verse and then singing harmony parts together. Definitely a new dimension to the group, while the group continues to cook behind them.

Still another groovy riff from Ritchie starts out “Sail Away”, which is more a funky feel – in a British white boy way – probably some of Hughes influence there.

Ian Paice gets to show off some of his superb drumming skills with “You Fool No One”, a percussion driven number that again has a bit of a funky riff to it. It’s still definitely Purple, though! Paice is one of the best drummers from the time and he and Glenn do lock together and let Blackmore and Lord shine over them with their intricate solos.

They get a little bluesier with “What’s Going on Here” but are still as heavy as ever! Nice piano solo from Lord on this one. They go for the slow blues in “Mistreated”, while still maintaining the prominent guitar riffs. Cloverdale gives a passionate, if slightly over-done, delivery – a bit like a heavier Joe Cocker or Paul Rogers, who the band was considering as a replacement for Gillian at one point.

The album closer in a synthesizer driven and somewhat mediocre tune simply titled “ “A” 200”, which, funnily enough, is a lice remedy! The song is pretty forgettable though.

The CD includes several bonus tracks, including “Coronarius Redig”, a b-side from one of the singles from this album and a cool instrumental in which Blackmore really stretches out and shows off. Nice stuff.

The other 4 tracks are simply remixes of songs from the album and aren’t radical enough for the changes to really stand out. Good for completeists, but not truly essential.

But this is another great album from these heavy rockers and well worth the purchase!