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When they shone bright, they were blinding!
on 17 March 2017
This is a very tricky album to review. There is no doubt, that when Deep Purple were at the top of their game they were untouchable as a heavy metal /rock band! However, that is not the whole story and to some extent this compilation album covers much of their history in telling it. The first disc is interesting. As expected it kicks off with 'Hush' and other songs from the mark 1 line up. The musicianship is excellent, but the group depend more on that as they hadn't really got strong songwriters. So they rely on quite a few cover versions of which Neil Diamond's 'Kentucky woman' really stands out and their cover of 'Hey Joe really doesn't. But towards the end of that disc and on disc two things really kick into top gear and all the old favourites are on show. This of course includes two of the greatest opening tracks to an album of all time in the shape of 'Highway Star' and 'Burn'. The only song that really lets down this part of the collection is the rather mean-spirited 'Mary Long'! But in general both the mark 2 and 3 line-ups show the group in blinding form with Richie Blackmore's unique and astounding guitar work, a rhythm section that had to be one of the most powerful and best around and in Jon Lord one of the best rock organists around!
Disc three has some interesting stuff from the Mark three line up and even includes some of mark four with Tommy Bolin replacing Richie Blackmore. However, towards the end of this disc (after the band had reformed) the band seemed to be running out of ideas with songs that often start with a good riff but rarely go anywhere.
Overall, one gets the impression that Deep Purple were a band that really shone brightly for the first part of the 70s and have rather faded since. That said, let's be thankful for those few years because when they shone bright, they were blinding! Probably worth 3 1/2 stars, but not 4!