Criminally Underrated

Just been directed toward a nicely written piece by A.Y.Marsh, discussing his ten most neglected rock albums. Amongst the haul are three with Deep Purple connections – namely Who Do We Think We Are and Come Taste The Band (fairly timely given the recent reissue), as well as Sabbath’s 1986 offering Seventh Star. A.Y. argues the case cogently for these and seven other records he feel get a poor press simply because of people being too quick to go long with perceived wisdom. Check the article out at A.Y.Marsh’s Blog. And then get stuck into his posting titled King Of Pilchards…

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5 Responses to “Criminally Underrated”

  1. jamie williamson Says:

    I guess I’d go for under-rated, but maybe not criminally under-rated. I got WDWTWA right when it came out (just after the New Year ’73 in the US) – perfect timing, as I ‘d just “discovered” DP at the end of the previous summer and finished tracking down the available albums (Machine Head, Fireball, In Rock, the double LP Purple Passages compilation of Mark 1 – the Concerto looked, ummm… suspect to a 13 year-old into heavy rock, so I didn’t get that for a while). I thought WDWTWA was great and played it a lot – Mary Long’s chorus pissed my Mom off, I loved the “hit,” and pretty much all the rest. The sedate Our Lady left me a little cool but it certainly didn’t bother me. And I did play it enough that there was very little in the way of “hmm… don’t remember that” when I bought the re-master a while back and listened to it for the first time in probably 25 years. My take now? I think it’s a good album, though not nearly as good as its three predecessors or as good as Burn. To me it does have the feel of an album that was recorded due to contractual obligations. Blackmore is pretty sedate, though the blues tinged break on Mary Long (my favourite song on the album now) is great, and the Place in Line solo is interesting. Rat Bat Blue leaves me kind of cold, except for the (brilliant) organ solo (did anyone ever notice that the main riff is almost the same as the Allman Bros One Way Out? Or, to go on a tangent, Lay Down Stay Down is almost Mountain’s Blood of the Sun?); as does the “hit” (Woman From Tokyo), though I kind of liked the re-mix with more guitar on the CD, and the melodic middle section with piano is pretty. Our Lady ranks a lot higher than it did at age 13. Oddly, I like Painted Horse more than many of the album cuts proper (and would side with Gillan rather than Blackmore with regard to the vocal track). A good album, though for me a bit more like a Deep Purple “product” than the others – and, I remember, the running time was notably shorter than its three predecessors or Burn. The fact that only Mary Long ever made it into the live set seems to support the “product” aspect! Of course, while I think the live shows I’ve heard (Long Beach from April and Boston from May) from the Mk 2 1973 are a blast, they sound bit like “well I guess we can have some fun savaging this material a while longer to fulfill our live contractual obligations.” What is more fun than hearing 1970s DP savage their material?
    I got CTTB when it came out, was pretty open minded about the fact that Blackmore was gone and already liked Bolin’s playing, and I remember on the whole thinking it was a solid album, though I’d expected Lord to assume a bit more of an active role on the creative level than he did. It was never constantly on my turntable, though, and I expect my old vinyl copy is a great deal closer to mint than WDWTWA. I’ll probably pick up the new remaster and check it out once more – my memories of it are positive pretty much.
    I’m an English teacher, and have now done a good job avoiding the 100 essays awaiting me in the next room – I guess DP is a good diversion..!

    • simon robinson Says:

      Thanks for that Jamie; reminded me of my first airing of the album in my parent’s newly decorated lounge, sneaking it onto my Dad’s Sony hi-fi while he was still at work (I’d dodged off school to get down to Virgina Records to pick the album up). Somehow I could tell straight away that the band were pulling apart as I listened to it, the whole ambience was moody and distant. That said it still has some good cuts on it, and remains a good farewell album in many ways.
      Now get back to your marking! And I trust you use a purple biro….

  2. Angelos Karagiannis Says:

    WDWTWA is in my opinion the best Deep Purple LP. Ian’ s vocals are amazing.
    The songs are excellent. Jon Lord’s sound is very powerful. The solo on Rat Bat Blue? How did he nail that? Ritchie’s solo on SUPER TROUPER is a composition on its own within the song. After this LP Ritchie’s playing changed dramatically. It seems that he stopped taking his time when playing solos and started attacking the fretboard like a maniac, something that someone can observe watching LIVE BETWEEN THE EYES and generally hearing him soloing in the years during the DP reunion.
    Back to WDWTWA; another factor that makes me liking the LP is that except WFT all the other songs have not been played to death by DP like the songs off MACHINE HEAD. Also they are not on any compilations or live LP’s, you have to put on WDWTWA to hear them.
    And finally something about Jon Lord. Did you know that during the Mark 2 period (70-73) he did not use a Leslie speaker cabinet as an amplifier for his Hammond? He stopped using them after The Concerto and started again on the BURN tour (I’m not sure about the one time that they played the Concerto for Group and Orchestra in America).

    • simon robinson Says:

      Interesting point Angelos. Certainly in all the shots we have over this time, Jon is almost always using a pair of Marshall cabinets with those open shaped panels on the top.

  3. Stephen Clare Says:

    I would agree that WDWTWA has always been underated, the remaster certainly showed it to be probably the best recorded album by Mk 2 and it is a lot heavier than some give it credit for.

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