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DEEP PURPLE Stormbringer EMI (2009)

Deep Purple

Stormbringer, the last of the Purple MK III albums, tends to divide the fans. It's altogether a funkier affair than its predecessor Burn (remastered in 2004) and more of a vehicle for Glenn Hughes. And it's Hughes who has remixed several tracks for this impressive reissue.

Ritchie Blackmore jumped ship soon after the album's release, and his playing is restrained throughout. Instead, there is some soulful vocal interplay from Coverdale and Hughes nearer in spirit to Hughes' old band Trapeze than anything in the Gillan/Glover canon. In truth, it's a patchy affair and lacks a killer track.

Instead we get some perfunctory funk workouts such as on 'You Can't Do It Right'. Only the title track and 'The Gypsy' will please Purple traditionalists whilst 'Soldier Of Fortune' would be reprised in Coverdale's act for successive generations. The bonus tracks sound fresh for the remix but I am sure fans would have preferred contemporaneous outtakes or live tracks if they existed.

EMI always do a good reissue and along with the extensive liner notes this time we get a bonus DVD with the original quad mixes. If you have a 5.1 surround system it's a great opportunity to hear this album as you would never have heard it in 1974, but you can still light a joss stick.

Here's hoping we don't have to wait another five years to hear the remastered and expanded version of 'Come Taste The Band'.


Review by David Randall

Best of 2009

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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