Deep Purple studio albums revisited – part two

Following on from part one, which dealt with the output of Deep Purple pre-split, this post will look at their reunion albums up to and including Purpendicular.  This means the most recent four albums are missing, but I no longer actively follow that line-up of the band and it would be wrong of me to comment on something in which I had no interest!

Mark Five (Mark Two, rebooted)

  • Vocals – Ian Gillan
  • Guitar – Ritchie Blackmore
  • Bass – Roger Glover
  • Keyboards – Jon Lord
  • Drums – Ian Paice

This definitive line-up returned in 1984 with one of the best rock records ever made, which still stands up today.  Then a mis-step towards commerciality and another breakup caused the band’s musical style to waver, before a final catastrophic collapse in 1993.

The albums

‘Perfect Strangers’, released October 1984

  • Knocking at Your Back Door
  • Under The Gun
  • Nobody’s Home
  • Mean Streak
  • Perfect Strangers
  • A Gypsy’s Kiss
  • Wasted Sunsets
  • Hungry Daze
  • Not Responsible (cassette and CD only)

High point: there are so many, with hardly a dud throughout the album.  But if pushed, the beautiful ‘Wasted Sunsets’.

Low point: A Gypsy’s Kiss is probably the one I listen to least of this set.

Marks out of five: five.

‘The House of Blue Light’, released January 1987

  • Bad Attitude
  • The Unwritten Law
  • Call of the Wild
  • Mad Dog
  • Black and White
  • Hard Lovin’ Woman
  • The Spanish Archer
  • Strangeways
  • Mitzi Dupree
  • Dead or Alive

High point: it’s a strange album which is far too geared to the idea of the ‘radio play’ single.  But I love the organ bits on Bad Attitude.

Low point: Black and White is pretty unmemorable.

Marks out of five: two.

Mark Six

  • Vocals – Joe Lynn Turner
  • Guitar – Ritchie Blackmore 
  • Bass – Roger Glover 
  • Keyboards – Jon Lord 
  • Drums – Ian Paice 

Ian Gillan’s departure from the band brought former Rainbow singer Joe Lynn Turner back to be reunited with former colleagues Blackmore and Glover, with a new slick sound for the band.  Sadly after one excellent album and tour this association came to an end.

Album:

‘Slaves and Masters’, released October 1990

  • King of Dreams
  • The Cut Runs Deep
  • Fire in the Basement
  • Truth Hurts
  • Breakfast in Bed
  • Love Conquers All
  • Fortuneteller 
  • Too Much is Not Enough
  • Wicked Ways

High point: Fortuneteller is worth a couple of minutes of anyone’s time.

Low point: I like Too Much is Not Enough, but it isn’t a Deep Purple song.

Marks out of five: five

Mark Seven (another reboot for Mark Two)

This reunion was a mistake and the resulting album does not stand up well today. Perhaps it is a conflict of styles. But its dated rock sounds and pretty dreadful lyrics have killed it.

Album:

‘The Battle Rages On’, released July 1993

  • The Battle Rages On
  • Lick it Up
  • Any
  • Talk About Love
  • Time to Kill
  • Ramshackle Man
  • A Twist in the Tale 
  • One Man’s Meat
  • Solitaire 

High point: I love Solitaire.  But Ramshackle Man is almost back to Purple at their finest.

Low point: One Man’s Meat and Lick it Up suffer from really childish lyrics.

Marks out of five: three

Mark Eight

  • Vocals – Ian Gillan
  • Guitar – Steve Morse
  • Bass – Roger Glover
  • Keyboards – Jon Lord 
  • Drums – Ian Paice 

After the 1993 tour conflict reared its head in the band and for whatever reason,.Ritchie Blackmore departed to reform Rainbow.  The new album was an odd mix of material which could have been on any earlier album plus new songs which were a stylistic departure.

The only album I will comment on is their first.

Album:

‘Purpendicular’, released February 1996

  • Vavoom: Ted the Mechanic
  • Loosen My Strings
  • Soon Forgotten
  • Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming
  • Cascades: I’m Not Your Lover
  • The Aviator
  • Rosa’s Cantina
  • A Castle Full of Rascals
  • A Touch Away

High point: A Touch Away and Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming are good songs

Low point: Ted the Mechanic.  The lyrics are awful. 

Marks out of five: one.

About Louise Penn

Writer, reviewer, fan. View all posts by Louise Penn

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