What does it sound like?:
Does the world really need another Deep Purple compilation? Probably not, and the title and artwork of this set don’t particularly inspire confidence. However, this is belied by the very good selection of tracks chosen for this three cd set, which covers the band’s career from their 1968 debut up to 2013’s Now What – there’s nothing from this year’s Infinite, presumably as it’s not been out very long. The compilers have included at least one song from each studio album, thus covering all the various line ups of the band, and giving a welcome airing to some songs that don’t normally get much attention. Thus alongside the obvious Child In Time, Highway Star, Woman From Tokyo, etc, you get King Of Dreams from 1990’s Slaves and Masters with Joe Lynn Turner on vocals, You Keep Me Moving from the underrated Come Taste The Band with Blackmore replaced by Tommy Bolin, as well as the choicest cuts from their really quite neglected latest sequence of albums released in the 2000’s. Of course it’s always great to hear their legendary early seventies work, focussing on the interplay of Gillan’s vocals with Blackmore’s guitar and the late Jon Lord’s epic keyboards, but in some ways, as I recall someone pointed out in the recent Whitesnake thread, it’s the Coverdale era material that has actually aged best. Certainly classics like Mistreated, Stormbringer and Burn sound better than ever. There’s also a fair share of songs from the Steve Morse era – his playing is maybe not to everyone’s taste, but he’s undoubtedly a fine guitarist. Quite irritatingly they have failed to include one of my personal favourites Spanish Archer, but that’s inevitably the case with these compilations, and for some reason the sequencing starts with the most recent material and then works chronologically backwards to end with their earliest work. Perhaps they wanted to give more prominence to their most recent albums, which have rather slipped under the radar – who knows.
What does it all *mean*?
Plus points for covering all the nineteen albums: minus points for unforgivably using single edits of some key songs. If you’re going to give us a retrospective of the band’s career, let’s have these pieces in their full, unadulterated majesty please.
Goes well with…
Hard rock night.
Might suit people who like…
A good introduction to the band for the newcomer, but do seek out the cream of the individual studio albums themselves, and of course their seminal Made In Japan live set.