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Deep Purple - Perfect Strangers CD (album) cover


Deep Purple



3.49 | 573 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars DEEP PURPLE is one of those groups where just about everybody in hard rock from the 70s seems to have been at one time or another at this point, but the second lineup that lasted from 1969-1973 that included Ian Gillan, Richie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice and Roger Glover is considered the classic and most popular lineup. This was the era of their most successful albums as well which include "In Rock," "Fireball," "Machine Head" and "Who Do We Think We Are." So, of course, every DEEP PURPLE fan who remembered those days was obviously ecstatic when this lineup reunited in 1984 to release their first album in nine years. The hysteria was so heated that when the band finally released its eleventh studio album PERFECT STRANGERS, it shot straight up to the top 20 on album charts across the world and the tours in the US sold out so quickly that they were forced to add more live appearances and when all was said and done were only second to Bruce Springsteen in concert revenues in 1985.

This seems to be one of those love it or hate it albums where i see pure contempt and utter vitriol as well as words of praise. For me personally this was actually the first DEEP PURPLE album i ever heard. Of course, everyone has heard all those classic radio hits but i was a bit of a late bloomer to the PURPLE ones and it was PERFECT STRANGERS that sold me on their sound allowing me to break down the barriers and explore their discography further. I personally don't understand all the disappointment in this one. I find this to be an excellent collection of melodic hard rockers with that classic signature keyboard sound that only Jon Lord can dish out. Ian Gillan's vocals are just as good as ever and perhaps only Blackmore is a little less fiery than on his earlier contributions. For example, the only really killer guitar solo is on "Knocking At Your Back Door" although there are other good ones that erupt. Both Glover and Paice dish out some excellent rhythmic chops and the band is as tight as ever with lyrics that are often witty and clever.

I pretty much find most of these tracks appealing starting with the excellent opener "Knocking.." The pace continues with the following foot stomper "Under The Gun" and continues track by track from the excellent title track to the scorching "Gypsy's Kiss". The only tracks that feel a tad subpar are the sleepy "Wasted Sunset" and insipid Aerosmith sounding "Not Responsible." This is actually one of the few DEEP PURPLE albums i spin on a regular basis as most of their albums are a little hit and miss in the consistency department. I find this to be an excellent comeback album but unfortunately the creative juices and band chemistry wasn't meant to last because i can't say i like a single album that came after this by the classic lineup. It seems that they drained their creative wells on this one and it probably would have been better for them to hit it hard, cash in and scurry back to all the bands they left to reunite instead of flooding the market with the jejuneness that followed. Still though, at least we got some excellent classic hard rockers on this one.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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