By Roberto Boschian – Track Addicts Podcast
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has officially announced Deep Purple will join the class of 2016. They will be inducted April 8th during a ceremony at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The band has been nominated several times and in 2009, during Metallica’s induction, James Hetfield gave the rock hall a little nudge by mentioning Deep Purple in his induction speech.
With all this Deep Purple news going around, I thought it would be fun to go over my Deep Purple vinyl collection and highlight what each one means to me and how I got exposed to them early on in my musical years. Enjoy!
Machine Head (1972)
Although my favorite line-up of Deep Purple would be the Coverdale/Hughes era, it is undeniable that ‘Machine Head’ is probably the album that is getting the band into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. The band’s signature songs ‘Smoke On The Water,’ and ‘Highway Star’ appear on this album. This would probably be the best album to start with if you are unfamiliar with Deep Purple.
Shortly after the band released ‘Machine Head,’ vocalist Ian Gillian and bassist Roger Glover left the group amid disagreements with guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. They were replaced by Trapeze bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes and a then unknown teenage vocalist by the name of David Coverdale, who would go on to huge success with Whitesnake. ‘Burn’ is a powerhouse record in the fact that you have Hughes and Coverdale sharing lead vocal duties and Blackmore’s guitar work is at it’s peak here.
‘Stormbringer’ is the follow up album to ‘Burn’ however the two are very different in sound….in a good way though. Hughes and Coverdale start to take more of a lead role in the songwriting. Their style is more soul and funk influenced as opposed to Blackmore’s hard rock riffs. This shift in musical direction would lead to Blackmore’s departure from the group and his formation of Rainbow with Ronnie James Dio.
Made In Europe (1974)
A live EP from the ‘Stormbringer’ tour, the album features 5 tracks and is Ritchie Blackmore’s last hurrah with the group until his return in 1984. Definitely on my Top 10 list of greatest live albums of all time.
Come Taste The Band (1975)
My favorite Deep Purple album! James Gang guitarist Tommy Bolin steps in on guitar for this album, replacing mainstay Ritchie Blackmore. It was actually Blackmore’s recommendation to the group to hire Bolin. Now with Hughes, Coverdale, and the american Bolin in total control, the sound of the band once again changes drastically. Bolin’s slide guitar and Coverdale rock god vocals makes this album sound like Led Zeppelin and the Allman Brothers had a love child. Critics deem this album as ‘not worthy’ due to the absence of Ian Gillian and Ritchie Blackmore, but I am here to tell you this album is AMAZING and changed my musical outlook as a teenager.
Perfect Strangers (1984)
This reunites the classic ‘Machine Head’ lineup of the band. There are a few strong cuts on this album like ‘Knockin’ At Your Back Door,’ and ‘Perfect Strangers.’ Definitely one to pick up if you find it for a few bucks.
Slaves and Masters (1991)
Yet another odd twist in the band’s history, this album features vocalist Joe Lynn Turner, who had played with Blackmore and Roger Glover in Rainbow a few years earlier. Because the album features three Rainbow members, the album definitely sounds like one of their albums. The album has a very ‘Arena Rock’ sound, with big Aerosmith style hooks and slick production. This is yet another release that the rock hall and Rolling Stone magazine are sure to ignore, but you shouldn’t.
Deep Purple remains an important group in my musical collection, because they have spawned so many of my favorite groups like Rainbow, Whitesnake, Dio, and Glenn Hughes, who we will get into in future blogs!