on 16 October 2006
If you like Deep Purple but don't own Fireball, you are in for a real treat. This album is a hard rock masterpiece and Ian Gillan would totally agree with me. It's a shame that Fireball has been kind of forgotten about, it clearly holds up against In Rock and Machine Head. One nice thing about this album is, besides the great material, you won't be sick of ANY of the songs, because "classic rock" radio ignores this great stuff, just blows me away.
Anyhow, if you're just starting to collect their albums, maybe you already have Machine Head, this one won't disappoint. One of the great hard rock albums of the seventies.
Highlights: Fireball, Strange Kind of Woman, Anyone's Daughter, Fools and No One Came.
There can't be many men of a certain age who look at the cover of this album with our five hairy reprobates fireballing it upwards into some kind of galactic Hard Rock Nirvana - and feel the warm buzz of riffage humming in their pacemakers. Deep Purple's "Fireball" - even the name makes me tingle. And this rather cool and cheap little CD reissue featuring the classic Mark II line-up of the band will only make that itch to annoy the neighbours even more tempting. Let's detail the stubborn mule, the judge's daughter and the demon's eye...
Released October 1996 on EMI CDDEEPP 2 (Barcode 724385371127) - Tracks 1 to 7 make up the album "Fireball" originally released on vinyl LP September 1971 in the UK on Harvest SHVL 793. The album was released a month earlier in the USA on Warner Brothers BS 2564 with a different track list on Side 1. Replacing "Demon's Eye" as track 3 is "Strange Kind Of Woman" - issued only as a 7" single in the UK on Harvest HAR 5033 in February 1971 (see also 9 for it's non-album B-side).
Tracks 8 to 16 are Bonuses:
8 is "Strange Kind Of Woman" A-Side Remix 96
9 is "I'm Alone" - the non-album B-side of "Strange Kind Of Woman" released as a 7" single in the UK 12 February 1971 on Harvest HAR 5033
10 is "Freedom" - an Album outtake
11 is "Slow Train" - an Album outtake
12 is "Demon's Eye" Remix 96
13 is "The Noise Abatement Society Tapes - Midnight In Moscow, Robin Hood, William Tell"
13 is "Fireball" Take 1 (Instrumental)
14 is "Backwards Piano"
15 is "No One Came" Remix 96
With a total playing time of 78:46 minutes - you certainly get value for money and the outer stippled-effect card slipcase mimics the feel of the original gatefold album cover (a nice touch). The 28-page booklet is jam-packed with insider info and track-by-track reminiscences from vocalist Ian Gillan, Jon Lord, Roger Glover and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. There are superb foreign picture sleeves, in the studio photos and even Glover's hand-drawn original artwork ideas. All of it is held together with enthusiastic liners notes from SIMON ROBINSON with involvement from the DPAS (Deep Purple Appreciation Society). Rather oddly though for such a thorough release - UK and American copies of the original vinyl LP came with a gatefold lyric insert which isn't reproduced here...
But that niggle aside - the big news here is a fantastic new remaster done by tape supremo PETER MEW (with care) at Abbey Road that thrashes the horrible Eighties CD fans have had to live with for years now. This disc rocks with real muscle and clarity. And the extras are actually worthy of the moniker `bonus'.
With only seven tracks and some of them soft in the center ("Fools") - the press reaction wasn't all favourable despite the album's rapid assent to Number 1 on the UK charts in September 1971 and a healthy Number 30 placing in the USA. No matter what the critics thought - fans of Mark II Deep Purple have always loved it - sandwiched between the barnstorming "In Rock" from 1970 and the accomplished "Machine Head" in 1972.
It opens with a total barnstormer - the title track "Fireball" - hitting you with the rampant Hard Rock impact of "Immigrant Song" on Side 1 of 1970's "Led Zeppelin III". Not surprising then that their seventh UK single saw "Fireball" released 25 October 1971 on Harvest HAR 5045 with the album's "Demon's Eye" on its B-side. I love "Demon's Eye" - a great Purple song with that funky Rock swagger they had. "No No No" has that same sexy feel while the naughty lyrics to "Anyone's Daughter" has always brought a smile to my face ("hairy bums").
Side 2 opens with the trademark slashing of Blackmore on "The Mule" before it settles down into a keyboard/guitar duo groove. And although it divided people on release - I like the way "Fools" slows down into an almost operatic centerpiece before returning to the opening riff. The album ends with "No One Came" - a thudding Purple tune with Gillian letting it rip vocally. The two album outtakes "Freedom" and "Slow Train" are shockingly good and why they weren't used as a B-side to say "Fireball" is anyone's guess. The "Noise Abatement Tapes" is an instrumental amble with witty inclusions of Robin Hood and William Tell. The '96 remixes of "Strange Kind Of Woman" and "No One Came" don't do too much altering damage - just giving extra muscle to the overall sonic impact. Nice...
The Purps - don't you just love 'em. "Man you're music is really hot!" Gillan jokes on "No One Came". Yet it was and now it's even better...
Deep Purple's fifth studio album (and second under the now famous MKII line up) Fireball is an absolute stunner of an album, unfortunately underrated being sandwiched as it is between the classic In Rock and Machine Head albums.
For high quality, energetic and interesting rock music with amazing musicanship, Fireball is a shining example.
The album opening title track 'Fireball,' is a fast and frantic number with brilliant guitar and keyboard soloing from Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord, and a great drum performance from Ian Paice, overall one of the best songs in the band's repertoire.
The album is more varied than its predecessor, investigating various territories, from proggier numbers like 'Fools,' to the almost country 'No One's Daughter,' and the almost psychadelic drum showpiece 'The Mule.' Perhaps this variety is the reason the album wasn't as well received as the focused and direct In Rock album, but it definitely adds to the overall experience in hindsight as the band couldn't simply retread old ground anyway.
Stand Out tracks include the aforementioned title track and 'Fools,' as well as the rocking 'No One Came,' which ends the original album really well.
If you like Deep Purple you will definitely want to try out Fireball, a fine album indeed and more than worthy of a place in your collection.
The 25th anniversary edition expands on the original with a detailed set of linear notes about the making of the album, some remixes and alternative takes as well as the inclusion of single 'Strange Kind Of Woman,' and the very enjoyable album outtakes 'I'm Alone,' 'Freedom,' and 'Slow Train,' all of which expand on the album's rock side.
Sandwiched between 'In Rock' and 'Machine Head,' arguably DP's most popular studio albums, 'Fireball' is more ambitious than both, but not as good as either. Class will show, however, and it's still a great album. The title track stands out as a reminder of what the band do best, namely high-tempo hard rock. Thereafter, they probe a surprising array of styles. 'No No No' is a mid-paced song, which Ian Gillan's vocal enlivens.
'Demon's Eye' is stronger, a suitably malevolent slice of hard rock. 'Anyone's Daughter' is the big surprise, sounding like the something you'd hear on Bob Dylan's 'Bringing It All Back Home,' complete with amusing lyric. I like this song, though it doesn't sound as if it belongs here. 'The Mule' is a minor masterpiece, full of exotic, almost psychedelic touches. The guv'nor on this track though is Ian Paice, whose circular rhythms give the track its shape. 'Fools' is a bit routine in places, but is punctuated by some eerie passages and 'No One Came' sees DP going back more to basics. The addition of 'Strange Kind Of Woman' is a major bonus. It might take a little adjusting to, but 'Fireball' is well worth your patience.
on 15 July 2001
Fireball, on a first listen isn't really that impressive compared to other dp albums. Just listen to it again...and it hits you. Everything about this album just works and it sounds fantastic...covering hard rock to soft almost ballad like...to genius individual performances. Ian Gillan himself claimed this to be his favourite of all purple albums and based on his performance I can see why. It's a real shame there isn't more of this sort of stuff out these days.
on 11 March 2013
Sandwiched in between Purples' (IMHO) two best albums, In Rock and Machine Head, this album does not seem to be over popular with many die-hard Purple fans because its 'too funky' and doesn't have the great Richie Blackmore guitar riffs of the other two albums. The only really funky track is 'No No No', which is actually quite excellent. 'Anyones' Daughter' and 'Fools' are both quite a departure from the usual Purple style , but both are great in their own way--the first being a country style song and the other a very atmospheric piece cut through with heavy rock verses. There isn't really a bad track on the original album, but the bonus tracks on this 25th anniversary edition are well.....just typical bonus tracks really,although its nice to have the single 'Strange Kind of Woman' on an album.
Between 1970’s iconic ‘Deep Purple in Rock’ and 1972’s polished ‘Machine Head’ lies this often overlooked gem of British hard rock music from the Golden Age.
‘Fireball’ sees DP2 maturing into a more finely-honed quintet with less urgency and a slightly more melodious sound. The music here has more light and shade, the result not to the liking of some contemporary fans, but you have to say that in retrospect ‘Fireball’ is actually more listenable and varied than its gut-busting predecessor. From the high-octane opening track the pace slows a little to deliver two less frantic riff-based numbers ‘No No No’ and ‘Demon’s Eye’, then deviates into what has been described as a “Country & Western number”, ‘Anyone’s Daughter’.
The 25th Anniversary release is once again remastered by Peter Mew and sounds great, offering bonus material from the sessions including a storming 1996 remix of the single ‘Strange Kind of Woman’. The CD is presented in a jewel case inside a cardboard sleeve, with a long essay on history of the album and sleeve notes penned by Roger Glover in the 28-page booklet.
If you’re just getting to know the Purps but don’t know ‘Fireball’, give it a listen.
on 14 February 2000
When this album was launched in '71, the band was accused by John Peel of playing formula rock. It's a shame if any rock fan's first exposure to this album was influenced by this opinion, as it's totally offside. Fireball was, and still is a CLASSIC. Okay, so there are no Speed King or Hard Lovin' Man type scores on the album: what IS on the album, however, is an excellent mixture of hard rock (Fireball, Strange Kinda Woman),bloody good songs (No No No, Demon's Eye).We've all been there at some point in our lives where our parents took exception to a partner we had on tow at the time (Anyone's Daughter). The (old) 2nd side of the album, however, in my mind, ranks the score at 5 stars. The Mule, Fools and No one Came take DP on to another plateau altogether. Close your eyes and you could be listening to Pink Floyd or Zeppelin. DP elevate themselves from being merely an excellent hard rock band to leading edge prog rock. May be John Peel really meant Formula 1 Rock! It's a must for any music lover's collection.
on 5 December 2006
I dont want to get into a debate about which album is the best , but to me hearing Fireball remastered this is their best, obviously following `In rock` was no mean feat! Fireball has it all , my favourites are No one came, The mule, Fools, Demons eye, and the extra`s, Slow train, and Freedom .There is a loose but tight jammy feel that makes me think certain songs kinda just happened and progressed in the studio. overall a job well done. No one came for miles around and said man `who`s he`!,now wheres my Robin Hood outfit?.
on 18 September 2013
Much maligned for not being In Rock part 2 , this is a brilliant album.
I love the fact that In Rock, Fireball and Machine head are all differing aspects of the the MK2 lineup at their peak.
More freeflowing and experimental than in Rock, but all the better for it.
If anything, this album refects Deep Purple the way they sounded live at their peak (a bit jazzy and nicely loose with great driving rhythm section)
Its less straight up hard rock than the previous album, but no worse for it.
I first heard it as a tender 10 year old in 1977 when played it , In Rock and made in japan by my best mates big bro, back to back.
I was blown away and have been a fan ever since.