cream of the crate: album review # 183 – deep purple: the deep purple singles

cream of the crate: album review # 183 – deep purple: the deep purple singles

 

  This review was originally posted on the first Toorak Times web site where publications ceased on that site in March 2017. The old site will be permanently closed in 2020 and these reviews are being re-published in order to preserve them on the current Toorak Times/Tagg site.

 

 

"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)

This is album retro-review number 183 in the series of retro-reviews of both vinyl and Cd albums in my collection.

The series is called
“Cream of The Crate” and each review represents an album that I believe is of significant musical value, either because of it’s rarity, because it represents the best of a style or styles of music or because there is something unique about the group or the music.

Links to the previous 150 reviews can be found at the bottom of this review.

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.

cream of the crate: album review # 183 – deep purple: the deep purple singles
Vinyl label – [CLICK to enlarge]
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.

They were organist Jon Lord and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. Ironically little came 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.

Once the band was finalised in March 1968, there was no hanging around. Very quickly 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 !

cream of the crate: album review # 183 – deep purple: the deep purple singles
[CLICK to enlarge]
cream of the crate: album review # 183 – deep purple: the deep purple singles
Deep Purple Mark I – [CLICK to enlarge]
 

 

Now on one hand this first version of the group were kept busy – very busy. They released three studio albums and one live album inside 9 months.

However, 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. Then with the rise and rise of a style of music that would be given the 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.

This was Deep Purple Mark II.

cream of the crate: album review # 183 – deep purple: the deep purple singles
[CLICK to enlarge]
cream of the crate: album review # 183 – deep purple: the deep purple singles
Rear L to R: Blackmore, Lord & Gillan, Front: Paice & Glover – [CLICK to enlarge]
 

 

All up 14 musicians can rightly claim to have been a member of Deep Purple at one time or another 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


cream of the crate: album review # 183 – deep purple: the deep purple singles
Rear Cover: Including track listing – [CLICK to enlarge]

 

This album has singles covering the period 1968 through to 1971.

So it is that I am 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 that 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.

This was 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.

cream of the crate: album review # 183 – deep purple: the deep purple singles
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 now, 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 really play, the vocals of Ron Evans just don’t sit right.

Hush

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.

None of us lose anything by doing this.

The story goes that the track is actually 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” and is 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 and in an attempt to save on hotel bills, they requested their manager, John Coletta, to return to the UK.

cream of the crate: album review # 183 – deep purple: the deep purple singles
Ian Paice – [CLICK to enlarge]

 

Emmaretta was released as a new single, backed by the early version of “Bird Has Flown” as its contemporary B-side.

cream of the crate: album review # 183 – deep purple: the deep purple singles
[CLICK to enlarge]
The single was, too 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. They had 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]

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.

Emmaretta

Now I haven’t been all that kind in regard to the first side of the album, but the other 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.

Now, it’s loud, in fact it was reported as being the loudest track on their album Deep Purple In Rock.

cream of the crate: album review # 183 – deep purple: the deep purple singles
Jon Lord

 

Track 3 is Strange Kind Of Woman.

It 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?

cream of the crate: album review # 183 – deep purple: the deep purple singles
Ian Gillan – [CLICK to enlarge]

 

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?
Superstar
Who do you think you are?
Superstar
Superstar
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.

To my knowledge it 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.

cream of the crate: album review # 183 – deep purple: the deep purple singles
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 as a traditional “Greatest Hits” album.

However the choice of tracks at least appears in a date based sequential order.

What this album 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, both by Deep Purple Mark I and II.

The Deep Purple Singles vinyl album is available on Ebay from between $20 and $30.00 but unless you are a vinyl collector, it’s now available on a reissued CD for around $10.00.

Click image for larger version.  Name: Deep-Purple---Deep-Purple-Singles_VSml-Cover.jpg  Views: 23  Size: 38.3 KB  ID: 28117


VIDEOS:

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

 

Speed King

 

Demons Eye

 

Fireball


Previous Cream of The Crate Albums:

 

To view/listen the first 50 vinyl album reviews just click the image below –

cream of the crate cd review #2 : robert johnson – the complete recordings

 

To view/listen the first 50 Cd album reviews just click the image below –

 

To view/listen album reviews 101 – 150 just click the image below –

 

Click to open the following reviews covering #’s 151 onward.

#151.  The Shaggs – Philosophy of the World

#152.  The Animals – The Animals

#153. Omah Khorshid & His Group  – Live In Australia 1981

#154. Alan Parsons Project – Tales of Mystery and Imagination: Edgar Allan Poe

#155. Billy Thorpe – Tangier

#156. Aretha Franklin – The Best Of

#157. Big Bill Broonzy – Big Bill’s Blues

#158. The Supremes – Where Did Our Love Go 

#159. The Band – Stage Fright

#160. Ray Brown and the Whispers – Hits and More 1965 – 1968

#161. Guitar Junior – The Crawl

#162. Jimi Hendrix – Radio One

#163. Memphis Minnie – Queen of the Blues

#164. Eno – Taking Tiger Mountain (by Strategy)

#165. The Loved Ones – Magic Box

#166. Various Artists – On The Road Again [ An Anthology of Chicago Blues 1947 – 1954]

#167. Janis Joplin – Greatest Hits 

#168. David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust [The Motion Picture]

#169. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication

#170.  Chain – Two Of A Kind

#171. Bob Marley – Legend

#172. Koko Taylor – What It Takes

#173. Stevie Wonder – Original Musiquarium

#174. Various Artists – The Unissued 1963 Blues Festival

#175. Noeleen Batley – Little Treasure

#176. B.B. King – The Best Of

#177. Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac

#178 – Memphis Slim – I Feel So Good

#179. Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – Live at Budapest

#180. Flowers – Icehouse

#181. Joe Tex – The Best Of

#182. Chicago [Transit Authority] – Chicago Transit Authority