Purple People

May 15, 2017

Glenn Hughes bootleg

A wedge of Glenn Hughes back-catalogue is appearing through the new Purple label run via Cherry Red.  Some offer no extras over and above what has been out before, but Feel gains a bonus disc of live material from Holland, Germany and Japan recorded in 1994.  Source is not known, the shows have all appeared as bootlegs but they may have gone looking for original tapes.  Addiction, one of my faves from the man, has a live show from Holland in 1995 as a bonus disc. Again this has appeared as a decent bootleg before (one of the boot sleeves is shown above.)  Thanks to Mark Maddock.
(A few people keep asking but this is nothing to do with the Purple label as run by Simon which was closed a few years ago now after Tony Edwards died.)
Also busy on the archive front is Graham Bonnet, with a new Anthology CD/DVD combo any time and there is a more recent CD/DVD set taken from a festival slot in Italy in 2016 also on the way.  His biography is in the very final stages of production and is expected to be in print during June. Check the publisher’s site for more info or to register for early details.  Thanks to Stephen Hines for the info (and owner of one of the best email names I’ve seen so far!).

Infinite set-list spoiler!

May 14, 2017

flight-case

Well the wait is over and the Infinite tour set list is now doing the rounds after Saturday’s opening show.  And no fewer than four songs from the new album have made it, including what seem to be the top three judging from most people’s feedback on the album.  And interestingly two songs from Now What have also stayed the distance. However this does mean that there is only one other reunion era track left, and the other half of the set is much as before.

If you do not want know the details look away now!

Time For Bedlam / Fireball / Bloodsucker / Strange Kind of Woman  / Johnny’s Band  / Uncommon Man  / The Surprising  / Lazy  / Birds Of Prey  / Hell To Pay  / Perfect Strangers  / Space Truckin’ / Smoke On The Water. Encores : Highway Star / Hush / Black Night

Seems a bit of a shame to break up the two new ‘epics’ with Lazy on the face of it, but we’ll have to wait and hear how it sounds.

Alt sleeve

May 11, 2017

Deep Purple Infinite alternate Australian sleeve

For those who only bought the regular CD (hands up!) here is the cover variation of the 2 disc edition of the new album, the one with regular CD and the DVD combined.  I imagine in the age of vinyl us collectors would be madly trying to locate copies as it does look very different with this image on the front! Still finding that type a bit heavy handed mind…
How’s the actual music on the album faring up a month on though? I actually put a few tracks on, then ran some from Now What right after to try and get a feel for the two side by side at the weekend (while I was testing the hi-fi having finally got it onto the new shelves!).  I think my faves from Now What have a bit of an edge, sounding more thought out and planned. The stand-outs on Infinite still hold good though.  Now we’re just four days from seeing which tracks make it to the new set!  Sweepstake anyone?

The Chart Show

May 4, 2017

David Browne has put together a chart for those of us who enjoy stats, which compares the highest positions reached for Now What with the new album Infinite.  This chart covers the first month of the new release, but realistically unless there is a sudden surge somewhere this should be the final best placings. It gives us a good idea of where it has sold best and while it hasn’t got quite as many number 1 slots, it has charted higher in more countries than Now What. Infinite has also given the band 7 ‘best chart position since’ placings, sometimes as far back as the Seventies, and it is the best selling album for the band in the UK since 1984 which is a real milestone. World sales are estimated at 135,000 for the month although this figure will grow.

Deep Purple Infinite chart positions

Glenn ‘n Graham

April 28, 2017

Glenn Hughes has been added to the bill at the Ramblin’ Man Fair in Maidstone, playing on the Saturday bill, July 29th.  The event also has a Friday evening bill, which sees Graham Bonnet Band supporting Saxon.  All this according to the ad. on the back page of this month’s issue of Viz!  Naturally given the source I went to the festival site to double check…

Glenn Hughes 2017

More Rainbow

April 26, 2017

Rainbow Birmingham 2CD

I don’t think we needed a tarot woman to predict that the audio of Rainbow‘s 2016 NEC show (or whatever they’re called the arena this week!) would appear as a stand alone 2CD release after a suitable window for the set which first turned up as a bonus on the Japanese edition of the 2016 tour set last year. Live In Birmingham 2016 also includes two songs not performed at the German shows, Burn and Soldier Of Fortune.  According to people who did all three gigs (and Ritchie!) the NEC was the best of the lot.
1 Highway Star / Spotlight Kid / Mistreated / Since You Been Gone / Man On The Silver Mountain / Soldier Of Fortune / Difficult To Cure / Catch The Rainbow.  
2 Perfect Strangers / Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll / Child In Time / Stargazer / Medley: Black Night / Woman From Tokyo / Black Night / Burn / Smoke On The Water
This is by way of the build up to this years concerts and is out the second week of June. I’m not sure if this is the finished cover, but it is the image sent out with the press release.

National charts

April 18, 2017

Over Easter, Infinite has been number one in the rock charts, and number one in the independent label charts, but remarkably it is at number six in the national UK album charts up against yer Ed Sheerans and Take Thats (and people I’ve never heard of!).

UK natioanl album chart

 

Roger, track by track

April 11, 2017

Interesting to read what the story is behind each of the new album tracks, courtesy of Classic Rock. You can read their full feature here (http://teamrock.com/feature/2017-04-09/roger-glovers-track-by-track-guide-to-deep-purples-infinite) but thought DTB viewers may find it useful. Meanwhile, our Facebook page has got lots of people reacting – mostly positively – to the new album.

Time For Bedlam

At the end of a jam that sounds promising, I’ll ask if anyone in the band has a working title for the song. Time For Bedlam was one of mine — it’s a fun play on words — and occasionally a working title will present itself as a proper title. It was even considered as an album title at one point, but we were talked out of it.
When we write the songs, we steep ourselves in the atmosphere of the song and try and figure out what it’s about. And this one sounded vicious. Especially the keyboard solo. It was bedlam.

Hip Boots

I don’t know how true it is, but years and years ago I heard that the origin of the word ‘hip’ comes from a southern American phrase that says, “you can bury me up to my knees in shit, but I’ve got my hip boots on.” And I’ve had this in the back of my brain for 20 years. It’s a song about freedom, and about being above it all.
I like that fact that it goes into 3/4 time. To me, that’s a real kicker.

All I Got Is You

It comes from a phrase Ian Paice uses. You’ll be telling him something, and he’ll be looking at you with a blank look on his face, and finally he’ll say, “Look at it this way. You’ve got me: all I’ve got is you!” Ian’s sense of humour is based on insults.
There’s no forethought about where an album might be going, but we knew we didn’t want to write love songs. We didn’t want to write about fast cars and girls. We should write lyrics for our age. We were looking for stories, and for words we could get our teeth into. And this is a funny song about a relationship gone bad.

One Night In Vegas

This has a really cool groove, going down that Freddie King 16s feel, which we love. It’s one of my favourite tracks.
Don Airey told me this story about a band who played Las Vegas, and the bass player went out and got really drunk. He woke up the next morning with a hangover, unable to remember anything, with a girl he didn’t know lying next to him. He asked who she was, and she said, “I’m your wife!” And they’re still together after 30 years!

Get Me Outta Here

I was sitting at home in my studio messing around with Pro Tools, and took four bars of Paicey’s intro to Bodyline [from 2013’s Now What?!] and slowed it right down. It became almost a reggae tempo, and it sounded great. The drums get thicker, but Ian’s swing feel still comes through. I just loved it, so I wrote a riff over it, and it just resonated with me. The song just flowed.
Maybe I was thinking about The Animals We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, maybe I was thinking about the state of the world we’re in. You just want to run away from it.

The Surprising

Steve started played this pretty chord sequence, and it sounded great. We all joined in a we jammed around it. I gave it the working title of “The Surprising Mr Morse” because it was a surprising thing he played.
They’re Ian Gillan’s words, and I suppose it’s about temptation, but they’re ambiguous, and I like ambiguous words. People can read want they want into it. People will anyway, even when you spell it out. Smoke On The Water is completely literal, and yet a DJ once asked me if we really set fire to an island. You can’t stop people putting their own meaning to a lyric.

Johnny’s Band

Johnny’s Band was almost a pop song. Steve came up with the idea, and not all the band liked it at first: Ian Paice thought it was a bit flippant, but Ian Gillan loved it, and eventually we decided to do it. We knew what the meter of the song was going to be, and realised it needed something really strong over the chorus to make it work.
I was thinking about VH1’s Behind The Music, and that every band’s story is the same. They start with nothing, then they get some success, then they get huge success, then drink and drugs and women destroy them, then they end up suing each other, then 20 years later they get back together again because they realise it was the best time they ever had. Johnny’s Band is the story of every band. It’s a universal story. But it’s not about Purple! There’s a reference to Louie Louie in the guitar solo that places it firmly in the 60s.

On Top Of The World

It’s based on one of Gillan’s true stories, and it happened to him a long time ago, I think in Kuala Lumpar. He had one of those nights, and ended up on top of a building where all the hookers and street dancers lived. He was telling us this story, and Bob [producer Bob Ezrin] wanted to fit the story into the backing track, but it’s too long, and by the end of the afternoon they’d agreed that it wasn’t working.
I had an idea, and condensed the story into a shorter form, but it was still too long for a song. We were just on the point of abandoning it, and I thought, “why don’t we just do something at the end?” And that’s how it came about.

Birds Of Prey

We stated working on a riff I had in the rehearsal room, and after a brief arrangement we did a first take, and I still love that take. We just had so much fun with it because it was so hard and heavy. On the recorded version the ending goes around two or three times, but on the jam we had it goes on 10 or 12 times. We just couldn’t stop playing it. Steve and Don swap solos, and there’s a lovely sense of freedom about it.
People say that they want peace, but it occurred to me that we’ll never have peace. The world has never had peace, and it never will, because the natural state of human beings is conflict. It’s wishful thinking: we’re always going to be at odds with something, and I wanted to say something about that. My first image was 9/11 — hence Birds Of Prey — but it goes way beyond that.
One of the things I really like about the song is that it doesn’t repeat itself. It’s not verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo. It takes you on a journey.

Roadhouse Blues

This was Paicey’s idea. On Now What?! we didn’t Jerry Lee Lewis’s It’ll Be Me [it featured on the Deluxe Editions] purely for fun, and Bob suggested we pick another old track. We spent about a minute thinking: Bo Diddley? Bob Dylan?
Then Paicey related this story about working with tribute bands when he’s off the road, to keep his hand in and to keep fit. They were doing Black Night, and at the end the singer went into Roadhouse Blues. So he suggested it, and Bob said, “that’s it! Let’s do it!” It took less than half an hour, and it’s all live: vocals, harmonica, the lot.

friday on my mind

April 5, 2017

Purple’s label have issued a couple of nice quick fire question and answer videos culled from recent interviews which make fun viewing ahead of the album’s final release on FRIDAY.

part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Viod3e7dKLI

part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK10XetAuCs

Dave Browne has been keeping us up to speed on these and others and says it seems that Bob Ezrin is responsible for “Roadhouse Blues”, after suggesting that they close the album with an old cover version, like last time (um, depends on which of the four versions of the album you were sold Bob!). Ian Paice suggested Roadhouse as he’d performed it recently with a tribute act. Frustratingly, for those who haven’t taken to it, Roger says that they had two more really good original song ideas for the album which were set aside but still may be returned to.

Although we posted a couple of album previews below a few days back, I have opened a proper review page so feel free to send us your thoughts over the next weeks or two!

Infinite-alt-1

LP Reviews and News

March 17, 2017

infinitereleasedate

This is going to be a long one!  I promised a review for last Monday but it’s been a mad week work wise so my thoughts and those of another fan lucky enough to have been allowed a listen (please do not pester either, reviews are mostly done via a secure streaming server these days) follow further down the page after the news:

The ‘making of’ documentary shown over the weekend on Sky will be on the DVD package, and in a longer form (after paying your subs and having to watch ads every 10 mins, it came down to about an hour; the DVD is 90 mins.) It is being repeated tonight I think, and premiered in Cardiff today by the production company too (I thanked them for their nice invite, but need more than 24 hours notice to travel that distance these days!)
The prog. did give the distinct impression that Steve Morse is really struggling with his hand, which as many know has been encased in a medical support bandage on stage for a couple of years now. He is not sure how much longer he can carry on playing. This naturally cast a shadow over what most say was an otherwise insightful programme:

“The Sky Arts documentary was very enjoyable, and a good teaser for the album – sadly broken up by ads every 10 minutes. Very interesting to see how much Bob Ezrin was able to just jump in (eg at the height of Steve overdubbing his solo on Birds Of Prey) – to say things like “no, not like that…”
A real highlight was the first instrumental take of Bedlam, performed live in the studio. This includes the solos. Amazing to watch. The track finished at that point, with everyone congratulating Don on his playing.
The main health issue seems to be Steve’s arthritic right hand. He was saying it might be the last album he’d be able to record.”
David Browne

“Ian Gillan and Roger Glover explain that the title of ‘All I Got Is You’ comes from an expression Paicey has been using for decades.  Ian Gillan comments that Little Ian always wanted paying for contributing the odd word to the lyrics – “He’s a very funny guy. He’s an annoying fuck actually!” (laughs).
Steve explained his condition as being a consequence of his playing technique over the past 50 years; the way he twists his hand across his guitar so that he can both pick the strings and use the heel of his hand to mute them has led to osteoarthritis in his wrist – basically the cartilage has worn away, so bone is rubbing on bone if he plays like this, causing pain.”
Tim Summers

And nobody should underestimate the power of coverage like this; in that well known tax dodger’s online shop it went from No. 70 in the pre-sale chart to 58 about an hour after the broadcast. It went up to 26 the next day and was in the top ten by Sunday afternoon!  The docco is also being screened in selected cinemas across Germany this week, Edel – clearly enthused by the reaction to the last album – seem to be going great guns on the promotion again.

INFINITE ALBUM REVIEWS

Having been playing this for a few days now it will be interesting to see what everyone else makes of it. Now What did mark a bit of a change in direction and experimentation and this one feels like it was recorded in much the same spirit. Overall it’s very solid musically; there are nods to Purple’s past which many will pick up on, but it’s often a grungier and denser sound than the last album, and were they to graft a large chunk of these tracks into the stage set this year (if!) it should make for a killer show.
In a way it is a shame they feel they can’t trial tracks so much on stage now for fear of pirating, as some of the material does sound like it comes from a standing start, whereas the one cut they have done live is quickly becoming a favourite. There are a couple too many good time late night bar stories from Ian Gillan lyrically for me, in these uncertain times there are more pressing matters which might have inspired another barbed lyric or two, and certainly the backings would take a heavier approach in this department from the front man. But when he does find the muse outside the tavern it all comes together and Birds Of Prey is a good example, sounding very grown up.  I think this is the one Classic Rock sort of dismissed as a Zepp knock off (in fact I was more reminded of Yes at one point, maybe CR’s prog rock comments were more on the button than I realised); yes Steve gives it a real Pagey type rhythm, but takes it much further and to me CR missed the point rather; once you move on from the opening few bars it is very much a Purple track and it’ll be a proper humdinger on stage, believe me.
Time For Bedlam most have now heard and it makes a strong opener. I can hear the Pictures Of Home echoes which some have mentioned, reinforced mostly by Ian’s vocal melody line and Steve Morse’s work, but it’s hardly a distraction. I still can’t make my mind up about the chanted vocal section which top and tail this but otherwise it is infused with the spirit of Purple throughout.
The Surprising is one of the longer offerings, and they range far and wide over the course of a sometimes slower more laid back track. Lovely vocals from Ian, full of emotion at times. The band sort of go for epic, me I’d have been as happy to edit out the wandering middle section and tighten it all up, but it clearly gives them a kicking off point for a live take. There are nods back to Gates Of Babylon here, and even Clannad at one point for those old enough to remember them.
Hip Boots is one which has been around for a while and whilst it may not (though give it time) be a killer track, it has grown on me a lot and you can see why they gave it second place in the running order. I love the loose rambling feel to it and Steve’s playing (which it has to be said is stunning here) is absorbing, while Don likewise gives it just the right amount of Hammond. Worth the price of admission alone.
The band get dirtier on One Night In Vegas, which reminds me a little of Almost Human, one of my favourites from the SM era, and the same vibe runs through Get Me Outta Here although lyrically the latter doesn’t really stir the pot enough for me.
The riff to Johnny’s Band is bugging me, it’ll click eventually I’m sure. Ian has covered this sort of ground before on Purpendicular and places. It’s OK in a road house sort of way and Radio 2 apparently went for if big time the other week, so at least listeners there will know about the album.
Elsewhere people will love as I do Roger’s thumping bass through On Top Of The World which should sound great via some decent speakers. I’m less convinced by All I Got Is You, despite the care worn vox and often caustic lyrics, while for me the cover version which they inexplicably tag onto the end of the album is a box set bonus at best.  Though Ann reckons it’s IG’s best singing on the album, so it’s already dividing opinion at DPAS towers.  On first listen it just sounded like a studio warm up, and it has since been confirmed that’s exactly what it is.  It might have worked better sequenced earlier in the album, but I won’t be rushing back.
Well, some good tracks to add to the now two decade long Steve Morse era output and I’m sure everyone who has stuck with the band thus far will find something here to enjoy in varying degrees. I should add I’ve been listening to fairly compressed official MP3s (with permission!) so it seems silly to try and comment on overall sound and production until I buy the CD. And buy it I will.  Simon Robinson

I’m generally enjoying it more with each listen… Time for Bedlam – A solid opener, the vocoder effect seems fitting and natural after a few spins.  A restrained vocal means that much can be conveyed with slight inflections – as seen with IG’s ‘We are never alone’ line towards the end.  Rather wonderful.
Hip Boots – Sprightly, sweary, no nonsense – this is good stuff actually.  Much better than the rather tentative limited run of live try-outs would suggest.
All I Got is You – The old put-down (‘You’ve got me, but all I’ve got is you’) is given a pleasing run-out in what initially seems to be a fairly standard Mk Morse/Airey type work-out.  A space age solo from Don merges into a laidback one from Steve.  Improves with repeated listening.  More swearing from IG to finish!
One Night in Vegas –  IG in storyteller mode, Don in bar room boogie mode.  Good, if slightly cruise-controlly for this band.
Get Me Outta Here – Lovely Paicey intro and then a backing that initially brings ‘Nasty Piece of Work’ from ‘Battle Rage On’ to mind.  Again, solid if lacking a little oomph… the brooding backing deserves better than the rather lazy lyric writing here.
The Surprising –  Now we’re talking! Eerie keyboards give way to moody guitar (which sounds like Metallica according to my daughter) – which set up IG’s mournful  almost Johnny Cash-like vocal – and he’s in storyteller mode again – to great effect! ‘There I was, wide awake and dreaming…’ – marvellous.  Authoritative drumming from Paicey heralds the instrumental breaks with Don’s almost movie soundtrack like keyboard work suiting the mood perfectly. Steve almost blows it with a fairly standard Dregs/Classical Gassy type solo, before bringing it back down nicely before the coda.  Extraordinary track.
Johnny’s Band – Radio-friendly Purple (Ken Bruce has already played it on BBC Radio 2).  A sort of tamed-down ‘Junkyard Blues’ riff backs more IG story telling, this time about…well, a band obviously.  A little lightweight maybe, but pleasant enough.
On Top of the World – Starts out as a fairly standard Airey/Morse backing track, but repeated listenings reveal a nice solid latter-day Purple track, with more storytelling in the vocals. Nice solos, and even the rather strange spoken section towards the end is starting to bed-in a bit now.
Birds of Prey – The battle for my favourite track is between this and ‘The Surprising’; here we have a great brooding rock track that builds and builds to a shattering finish.  A display of controlled power and musical dynamics. Great stuff!
Roadhouse Blues –  Somewhat disposable warm-up type treatment of The Doors song here.  Comparable to ‘It’ll Be Me’ from NW?!  Misplaced after the fitting crescendo of ‘Birds of Prey’, which would have made a suitable finale to the album.  There probably is a place for this sort of Purple (a ‘Basement Tapes’ type album?) – but last song on this album isn’t it.
Overall a mixed bag then – repeated listenings are helping appreciate the ‘lesser’ tracks (well, most of them).  A worthy effort all the same.  Hopefully it won’t be the last studio album, but if it is, then it’s not a bad way to go out.
Tim Summers