Top positive review
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As good as ANY Mk2 record!
on 2 December 2008
This album's a real mystery to me, but the quesion is more "Why?" than "Who?" Viz, why is this album reckoned to be the weakest DP Mk2 album? I've heard it described as a tired album, but that's belied by actually listening to the thing.
Woman from Tokyo is the real classic, as good as Smoke on the Water, and as memorable. A song to play again and again, and always find new points of interest. Piano solo that would impress Dave Brubeck. Blackmore keeps it nice and heavy, but doesn't dominate. The spine-tingling middle section would've sounded ham-fisted in other hands. Oh, and Gillan's vocal, into which he puts everything, and a bit more besides. Paice's drums are crisp and inventive, and even Glover gets busy when he needs to (even he under-rates himself).
Mary Long borrows a riff from Speed King, but is fairly relaxed by these guys' standards. Amusing swipe at 'moral crusaders'. Jazzy ending.
Super Trooper is an unknown Purple classic. A brilliant and clever riff from Glover, and a pleasingly heavy performance. Gillan manages to inject some wit into a fairly serious lyric. Does anyone else think this is Purple at their best?
Smooth Dancer again borrows a little from Speed King, but in a more Fireball style (perhaps). Raucous riffing and vocals, and great piano. Heavy rock'n'roll.
Rat Bat Blue - Or 'Rat Bat Blueprint for Still of the Night', perhaps. Play the Whitesnake gem after RBB, and hear the parallels. Exciting heavy rock as is all-too-seldom heard nowadays. And Lord's fastest solo?
Place in Line - A real fans' fave, as they say. Blues played as only Purple can. Menacingly heavy, with great vocals and lyrics. Then you get Blackmore Blues before the event. A fantastic solo, running from placid to near-hysterical. The end fade is interesting too.
And, of course, Our Lady - Purple getting adventurous again. Without the organ orgiastics, this is actually quite Hendrixy. Melody and power - a great mixture.
Must mention Painted Horse too, a lovely piece that also influenced a future classic hit - Rainbow's All Night Long.
An album that has grown, rightly, in stature over the years. Closer in feel to Fireball than In Rock or Machine Head. And what an interesting cover!