Monday, 31 December 2001

The Top 10 Deep Purple Songs

In a somewhat vain attempt to show that I am far more than a wrestling journalist, yours truly has decided to take the plunge and show just what I can do by compiling a series of Top Ten lists on a variety of topics.


Some of you may recall that I compiled a couple of Top Ten lists for the old Two Sheds Chronicles newsletter, so this is my first one for a while.

THE TOP TEN DEEP PURPLE SONGS
Those who know me well will know that Deep Purple are my all-time favourite band. The Mark II line-up of Gillan, Blackmore, Glover, Lord & Paice is one of the best line-ups a group has ever had.

So here now for your viewing pleasure are my top ten favourite Purple songs.

1) SMOKE ON THE WATER, Machine Head, 1972.
Machine Head is thought of as Deep Purple's finest album ever, and rightfully so. This was Purple at it's peak, and this song had it all, with a guitar riff that has terrified ever music shop sales assistant for over thirty years.

The story of the song is well known. It tells the tale of how the album was actually recorded, the trials and tribulations that the band went through just to get the album made. Purple at their finest here.

2) SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE SCREAMING, Purpendicular, 1996.
Some said that when Purple reformed in 1983 they wouldn't be able to capture the same magic, the unique quality that made Purple so great the first time around.

When Ritchie Blackmore left, I had the feeling that they wouldn't be able to continue, that no one could replace "the man". The Purpendicular album, and this song in particular, showed that Steve Morse was a more than able replacement for Blackmore. The guy had big shoes to fill, and fill them he did. Just listen to the guitar solo on this song. Whenever you're feeling stressed, this is one of the songs you should listen to.

3) WHEN A BLIND MAN CRIES, 1972.
The song that Ritchie Blackmore hated when it was recorded during the Machine Head sessions in 1972 has gone on to lead a life of it's own. Very much in the blues style, this is one of the greatest rock ballads you could ever hear, recorded by a band in it's prime. Like the previous entry, this is a song to listen to if you are stressed.

4) BLACK NIGHT, 1970.
The second single to feature Ian Gillan on vocals and recorded during the In Rock sessions in 1970. Deep Purple were never really much of a singles band. Their albums always did their talking for them, but this single was different. Legend has it that Gillan wrote the lyrics just hours before the track was first recorded. If this is the case then Gillan's reputation as a songwriter is guaranteed.

5) BAD ATTITUDE, The House of Blue Light, 1987.
The opening track of the second album recorded after the bad re-formed in 1983. The album itself is something of a let down, but this track is worth the price alone. There's just something about the opening chords and beats of this heavy rock classic that just booms out of the stereo at you.

6) YOU KEEP ON MOVING, Come Taste The Band, 1975.
While Steve Morse ably filled Blackmore's shoes in the 1990's, sadly Tommy Bolin couldn't do it in 1975 when Blackmore left. Although the entire album isn't that bad, the direction Purple were taking as a band was just a little too extreme for some people, including some of those in the band. The last track on the album is the best track on the album, with David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes's vocals complimenting each other perfectly, However, this is a totally different Purple than that of 1972.

7) WOMAN FROM TOKYO, Who Do We Think We Are, 1973.
During the recording of Machine Head, cracks began to form in the band. While relationships became strained because of the constant heavy work schedule, Ian Gillan handed his notice in. Recording one more album with the band, Woman From Tokyo proved to be the gem of the album, a fitting swan song for Gillan as he, along with bass player Roger Glover, departed for pastures new.

8) BLOODSUCKER, In Rock, 1970 & Abandon, 1998.
A song that has featured on two Purple albums, almost thirty years apart. For me this is probably one of the most unheralded songs in Purple history. It's hard to decide just which version is good, as both are rock classics as far as I'm concerned.

9) ANY FULE KNO THAT, Abandon, 1998.
Jon Lord's last studio album as Purple's resident keys man proved to be a great. While Purpendicular two years before suggested that there was life for Purple after Blackmore, Abandon confirmed the fact, and this song was a great way of starting the album off. Steve Morse's solo and Gillan's lyrics and vocal tones showed that Purple were alive and well.

10) KING OF DREAMS, Slaves & Masters, 1990.
When Ian Gillan left the band to be replaced by Joe Lynn Turner, who had worked with Blackmore and Glover in Rainbow almost a decade earlier, many believed that Purple wouldn't last much longer. While the Slaves & Masters album was not their best effort, it was better than 1987's The House of Blue Light and 1993's The Battle Rages On. King of Dreams showed how good Turner was as a vocalist, and brought back memories of Rainbow's classic hits a decade earlier. Sadly, Turner's apparent reluctance to sing classic Purple songs proved to be his undoing. Gillan despite having a hate-hate relationship with Blackmore, would return to the fold a couple of years later.

So there you have it. No doubt some of you long-time Purple fans will be dismayed by my choice here. To those I say so what? This is, after all, just one man's opinion, and if we all agreed on the same things, life would be incredibly dull!