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Cream of The Crate: Album # 183 - Deep Purple: The Deep Purple Singles

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  • Cream of The Crate: Album # 183 - Deep Purple: The Deep Purple Singles

    "Prime contenders among the most searingly loud and heavy bands on both sides of the Atlantic."(RollingStone May 1972)
    Perhaps more than any other rock band, Deep Purple proved that a group of musicians could undergo consistent and even traumatic turnover, yet still achieve remarkable success over a long span of time
    ." (Eduardo Rovadavia - Classic Rock)
    "[This album]
    provide us with a fantastic insight into the development of the music of Deep Purple"
    (This review)

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    This is album review number One Hundred and Eighty Three in the series of retro-reviews of both vinyl and CD albums from my collection.

    The series is called Cream of The Crate and each review represents an album that I believe represents significant musical value, either because of its rarity, because it represents the best of a style or styles of a music or because there is something unique about the music, the group or the particular production. The first fifty reviews were based on vinyl albums from my collection, with the following fifty on CD albums from my collection. Links to all these reviews can be found at the bottom of the page.

    One of the developing music forms in the 1970's, was that of heavy metal music, and I have dipped into my crate for one of the few such albums i have.

    The group in this retro-review is Deep Purple and this is a vinyl album and is titled - The Deep Purple Singles. Released in Australia in 1980 by EMI on the Axis label it has the identifying code of AX.1042. It is an eleven track album.

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    It is said that the story of the formation of Deep Purple is a tangle of coincidences, nebulous ideas and raw enthusiasm. It started out with Chris Curtis who in 1967 carried around the fantasy of building a group centred around himself in his old Searchers role as both drummer and lead singer.

    His idea was to put together a band which would immediately be ready to take on the world. Because of his previous success with the Searchers his idea grabbed the attention of businessmen Tony Edwards and John Coletta, who agreed to finance and manage the new group, which at that time existed only in Curtis' imagination.

    Their investment would eventually pay off beyond their wildest dreams, but that would be largely due to the incredible musical chemistry between the first two musicians enrolled into the plan, that was organist Jon Lord and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and not really from Curtis, who would soon disappear from the scene.

    Brought together in December 1967, they quickly hit upon one of the most unique and universally loved 'sounds' in rock music. Even with Curtis out of the picture Edwards and Coletta had no hesitation in backing a group built around Lord and Blackmore. The line-up was quickly completed with experienced ex-Johnny Kidd & The Pirates bassist Nick Simper, plus singer Rod Evans and drummer Ian Paice, both from The Maze.

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    Deep Purple Mark I

    Once the band was finalised in March 1968, there was no hanging around, a debut tour followed in April (during which 'Deep Purple' was chosen to replace original name 'Roundabout'), and a first album was hurriedly recorded over a single weekend in May.

    This was Deep Purple Mark I !

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    Now on one hand this first version were busy - very busy and released three studio albums and one live album inside 9 months. But as we will see when we get to the singles that were released, the band was terribly lacking in direction and this was reflected in their music. Sure the group had a "hard" edge to it, but it was pop/commercially focussed and this didn't sit comfortably with Lord and Blackmore, and with the rise and rise of what was now called heavy rock and would soon be given the more apt label, of Heavy Metal, the two boys saw that this was the music Deep Purple should embrace.

    Simper and Evans, now seen as being unsuited to the band, were to be replaced.

    The split was not as straightforward as it could have been with both Simper and Evans kept uninformed as long as possible. Even after their replacements Ian Gillan and Roger Glover (from Episode Six) had already been enlisted and begun recording and rehearsing with the band, Simper and Evans remained in the dark, and continued to play live with the band for some time.

    Of course neither was pleased at learning of their demise from the band through the musicians' grapevine.

    The new lineup took Deep Purple into a number of realms, but in the main it was Heavy Metal that kept them alive. In 1973 there was another reforming and with it more struggles and more successes and the band actually went on in one form or another right through until today.

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    Rear L to R: Blackmore, Lord & Gillan
    Front: Paice & Glover

    This was Deep Purple Mark II.

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    All up 14 musicians can rightly claim to have been a member of Deep Purple at one time or another, and in addition to those in MkI and Mk II.

    Track Listing:

    Side 1

    1. Hush
    2. One More Rainy Day
    3. Emmaretta
    4. Wring That Neck
    5. Hallelujah
    6. April Part 1

    Side 2

    1. Black Nigh
    2. Speed King
    3. Strange Kind Of Woman
    4. I'm Alone
    5. Demon's Eye
    6. Fireball

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    This album has singles covering the period 1968 through to 1971 and so we are focussing on that period. Now there is little doubt in my mind that Deep Purple were predominantly a live music band, who did a good job post Mk I, with albums but not all that successful with singles. Certainly side 1 of this album which is a compilation of singles released during those early year, shows a certain weakness.

    Side 1 of the album really is the more "pop" phase of the group, and in the main were recorded by Deep Purple Mk I. Track 1 is Hush, a Joe South hit, which despite claims on the White version, was not written by him but was in fact written by Billy Joe Royal. The track was lifted from the band's first album - Shades of Deep Purple (1968).

    It kicked off with quite a rush selling 200,000 copies in the first fortnight, which at that time was a large number. In the US, music paper headlines screamed things like, "Unknown British group takes U.S by storm". The problem for the band was though, that back in their own country they were really failing to make much of an impression despite Hush.

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    Richie Blackmore

    Kicking off with the sound of a cockerel crowing, the electrified and uptempo version of Deep Purple certainly demanded that you listen. But listening back, while it is interesting to hear this early version of Deep Purple, and while the guitar playing of Richie Blackmore was already indicating that the man could play, the vocals of Ron Evans just don't sit right.


    The other "A" sides of singles from this side of the album are the very little known Hallelujah and, Emmaretta. The other three tracks were all B-sides, and while it might have been interesting" to have played them for you, I have halted on the A-side of the album with Emmaretta.

    The story goes that the track is about one of the females that was in the then New York caste of Hair. The track was lifted from the 3rd Deep Purple Album - which is the self titled "Deep Purple" sometimes referred to as Deep Purple III. Released in 1969 it is the last album with the Mark I lineup.

    The thing about Emmaretta was that it was deliberately produced to find a niche in the "hit market", and yet, in many ways it simply did not reflect the sound the group favoured playing live. In April 1969 the band headed back to the USA to try again. However they were failing desperately to grab a share of the audiences and with gate receipts really down and their financial situation being so dire, in an attempt to save on hotel bills they requested their manager, John Coletta, to return to the UK.

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    Ian Paice

    Emmaretta was released as a new single, backed by the early version of "Bird Has Flown" as its contemporary B-side. The single was to much dismay and disappointment, largely unsuccessful, failing to affect the US charts. Even though their most recent single there was doing poorly, the band was getting a reputation as a fine live act. The band had now really begun to develop their stage presence into something grander, going in a more loud and heavy direction, showcasing the instrumental talents of Blackmore and Lord which would be a hint of things to come. Deep Purple had effectively turned into a highly proficient band on stage." [Wikipedia]

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    The track itself is much about nothing, with no disrespect to the supposed young lady it was written about. It is worth listening to because it really is in many ways, the final straw that broke the back of the lineup of the Mark I version of the group.


    Now I haven't been all that kind in regard to the first side of the album, but the second side is a little different! This is where the music of Deep Purple really takes off, and where Deep Purple Mark II come into play.

    Track 1 on side two is Black Knight. Written by Blackmore, Gillan,Glover,Lord & Pace, it was actually released as a specialist single and later was put on the 1970 album - In Rock. The single was an immediate smash hit for the group, shooting to the number 2 position in the UK charts it gave the new face of Deep Purple the exposure on radio they had been seeking so hard for. yet strangely, the group didn't want it released as a single and it only happened at the insistence of their record label.

    In fact in one of those strange moments of musical connectivity, Black Night raced into the charts at almost the same time as rival Heavy Metal group - Black Sabbath's single, "Paranoid" was released. Albeit for a short period, all of a sudden Heavy Rock/Heavy Metal music briefly became hot commercial property. Another story is that bass player Roger Glover explained in a 1988 interview that the guitar riff was lifted from Ricky Nelson's version of George Gershwin's Summertime.

    Certainly the lyrics aren't going to win any major literary awards, but the tune has an infectious rhythm and a lot of energy. Interestingly, while most popular music are written in quatrains - that is, stanzas of 4 lines, in this the group have reverted back to a more medieval form of 6 line stanzas. One thing is for certain, the track certainly showed the direction the Deep Purple mark II were heading in.

    And, oh yes - the single was released in stereo!

    Black night is not right
    I don't feel so bright
    I don't care to sit tight
    Maybe I'll find on the way down the line
    That I'm free, free to be me
    Black night is a long way from home

    I don't want a dark tree
    I don't need a rough sea
    I can't feel, I can't see
    Maybe I'll find on the way down the line
    That I'm free, free to be me
    Black night is a long way from home

    Black night, black night
    I don't need black night
    I can't see dark light
    Maybe I'll find on the way down the line
    That I'm free, free to be me
    Black night is a long way from home

    Black Night

    Track 2 - Speed King, was the B-side to Black Night and it's loud, in fact it was reported as being the loudest track on their album Deep Purple In Rock.

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    Jon Lord

    Track 3 is Strange Kind Of Woman and was released as a single in early 1971 not long after Black Night, in order to capitalise on the success of that first single by Deep Purple Mk II. Although it didn't chart as high as Black Night, it still rose to a very respectable number 8 on the UK charts.

    The song was originally titled "prostitute, but thankfully was renamed after recognition that while prostitution as a "social service" might be acceptable, it wouldn't do much with the record buying public. As someone that I read somewhere commented, what is it about woman called Nancy in songs, it never ends of well for them.

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    Ian Gillan

    I have to say I enjoy the track, it's a good rocker but with a bluesy overtone. Funny, as soon as they stopped trying to write "pop" songs, they found that radio chart success that the "pop songs' was supposed to provide.

    There once was a woman
    A strange kind of woman
    The kind that gets written down in history

    Her name was Nancy
    Her face was nothing fancy
    She left a trail of happiness and misery

    I loved her
    Everybody loved her
    She loved everyone and gave them good return

    I tried to take her
    I even tried to break her
    She said, "I ain't for takin' won't you ever learn"

    I want you, I need you, I got to be near you
    I spent my money as I took my turn
    I want you, I need you, I got to be near you
    Ooh, I got a strange kind of woman

    She looked like a raver
    But I could never please her
    On Wednesday mornings boy, you can't go far

    I couldn't get her
    But things got better, she said
    "Saturday nights from now on baby, you're my star"

    I want you, I need you, I got to be near you
    I spent my money as I took my turn
    I want you, I need you, I got to be near you
    Ooh, I got a strange kind of woman

    She's my soul, I love you

    I want you, I need you, I got to be near you
    I spent my money as I took my turn
    I want you, I need you, I got to be near you
    Ooh, I got a strange kind of woman

    She finally said she loved me
    I wed her in a hurry
    No more callers and I glowed with pride

    I'm dreaming
    I feel like screaming
    I won my woman just before she died

    I want you, I need you, I got to be near you
    I spent my money as I took my turn
    I want you, I need you, I got to be near you
    Ooh, I got a strange kind of woman

    Who do you think you are?
    Who do you think you are?
    Who do we think we are?
    Oh my soul, I love you baby

    Strange Kind Of Woman

    I'm Alone is the B-side of the previous track, and to my knowledge was only ever released on compilation albums of the groups singles, and, the 1996 25th Anniversary of the Fireball album.

    The penultimate track - Demons Eye was released in December of 1981 as a follow up to Strange Kind Of Woman, which made it to the number 15 position. Lifted from the Fireball album it's a mid-tempo rock track loaded with power and fuzz guitar and, a most excellent Hammond organ break in the middle - it gets the thumbs up from me for that!. It was very much a favourite at live shows but just didn't catch enough ears to be a really successful single.

    The final track - track 6,is Fireball - taken from the album by the same name. What is most noticeable is that it has NO guitar solo, almost an absolute "no-no" for any self-respecting Heavy Rock band. But, what it does have, is a damn fine bass solo from Roger Glover.

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    Roger Glover

    It kicks off with what might be an air conditioner starting up??!! Full paced rock it is yet another song about unrequited love, although it sure isn't your average love song. Written by the group it is purported to be based upon an Ian Gillan experience. It does little for me, but seems to be enjoyed by committed Deep Purple fans.

    Me? I'm still trying to work out what the hell what the meaning of the an air conditioner is on the track!

    So, that's it! Before readers start jumping up and down screaming, what about Smoke On The Water, that must surely be their best and most popular single ever, just remember that track was released on the 1972 album Machine Head - which is the period just after that, which this album covers.

    The fact of the matter is that this is not by any means a great album, even a traditional "Greatest Hits" album, but the choice of tracks, the fact that they appear in a date based sequential order, what it does do, is to provide us with a fantastic insight into the development of the music of Deep Purple, and provides a good selection of material as appeared on singles, by Deep Purple Mark I and II.

    The Deep Purple Singles vinyl album is available on Ebay from between $10 and $30.00 but unless you are a vinyl collector, it's now available on a reissued CD for around $10.00.

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    VIDEOS - Dropping into Youtube reveals a few decent clips of these early forms of Deep Purple.

    Speed King

    Demons Eye



    If you are interested in checking out the first fifty vinyl albums reviewed, just click here

    If you are interested in checking out the first fifty (50) CD's reviewed by me, just click here

    If you are interested in checking out reviews 101 to 150 (Vinyl & CD) as reviewed by me, just click here


    Past album Reviews - Numbers 151 onward:

    Number 151 - The Shaggs: Philosophy Of The World

    Number 152 - The Animals: The Animals

    Number 153 - Omar Khorshid: Live in Australia 1981

    Number 154 - Alan Parsons Project: Tales of Mystery and Imagination (Edgar Allan Poe)

    Number 155 - Billy Thorpe: Tangier

    Number 156 - Aretha Franklin: The Best Of

    Number 157 - Big Bill Broonzy: Big Bill Blues [His 23 Greatest Songs]

    Number 158 - The Supremes: Where Did Our Love Go

    Number 159 - The Band: Stage Fright

    Number 160 - Ray Brown & The Whispers: Hits and More 1965 - 1968

    Number 161 - Guitar Junior: The Crawl

    Number 162 - Jimi Hendrix: Radio One

    Number 163 - Memphis Minnie: Queen Of The Blues

    Number 164 - Eno: Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)

    Number 165 - The Loved Ones: Magic Box

    Number 166 - Various Artists: On The Road Again [An Anthology Of Chicago Blues 1947 - 1954]

    Number 167 - Janis Joplin: Greatest Hits

    Number 168 - David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust

    Number 169 - Red Hot Chili Peppers: Californication

    Number 170 - Chain: Two Of A Kind

    Number 171 - Bob Marley and The Wailers - Legend

    Number 172 - Coco Taylor: What It takes

    Number 173 - Stevie Wonder: Original Musiquarium

    Number 174 - Various Artists: The Unissued 1963 Blues Festival

    Number 175 - Noeleen Batley: Little Treasure

    Number 176 - B.B. King: The Best Of

    Number 177 - Fleetwood Mac: Fleetwood Mac (The White Album)

    Number 178 - Memphis Slim: I Feel So Good

    Number 179 - Manfred Mann's Earth Band: Live Budapest

    Number 180 - Flowers: Icehouse

    Number 181 - Joe Tex: The Best of

    Number 182 - Chicago [Transit Authority]: Chicago Transit Authority
    Last edited by Rob Greaves; 28 April 2016, 05:46 PM.