Thursday, April 13, 2017

Throwback Thursday: In Rock, by Deep Purple

In late 1969 Deep Purple had built up notoriety as a tasteful blend of pop and prog rock. However, they weren't really happy with the current direction they were going and wanted to go heavier and harder. This lead them to kick out singer Rod Evans and bassist Nick Simper and replace them with iconic members singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover. The following year they would put out their breakout hit album Deep Purple in Rock, which would catapult them into the stratosphere and set the tone for the kind of music they would be making from that point forward.

Deep Purple in Rock is a lot more of a straightforward hard rock record than anything they had released previously. Gone were the melodic pop rock hits and free form jazz odysseys. Now Deep Purple could easily keep up with the likes of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath in terms of heaviness. With Gillan's wild screams, Ritchie Blacmore's unchained guitar playing, and the rest of the band's drive and punch they became a force to be reckoned with on this record.

Speed King is easily one of the most fun tracks on In Rock. It's zippy, punchy, and fun while taking lyrics from a bunch of 50's rock and roll classics and throwing them into one cohesive song. One of the other cool things this song features is a bit of a duel/conversation between Blackmore's guitar and Jon Lord's organ. While this song is a tribute to the past in a way, it was still blazing the trail for the future of hard rock and metal as we know them today. This is the definition of rock n' roll ruckus.

The most iconic and powerful tune on the whole record however is without a doubt Child in Time. This song goes on almost 10 and a half minutes and features every last member of the band giving it their all. There are jams, well placed astounding emotional screams, and poignant lyrics. It goes back and forth between soft and loud and builds up to crashes in the most epic of ways. That said, I can only imagine how poor Ian Paice felt after drumming that song each time.

If you want to hear where Deep Purple as we know them really began, Deep Purple in Rock is the way to go. The previous three albums of course are important and have good stuff on them, but historically speaking this is where the band took on the iconic essential form that we remember them having. It's got serious balls to it while also not being afraid to be adventurous and go beyond the bounds of your typical 3 minute rock n' roll tune. Pick this up ASAP.

Deep Purple in Rock, by Deep Purple receives 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Speed King
2. Bloodsucker
3. Child in Time
4. Flight of the Rat
5. Into the Fire
6. Living Wreck
7. Hard Loving Man

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