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The mighty Mark-II line-up broke-up with the departure of both Gillan and Glover, and Purple was once again looking for a singer and a bassist. The band got completely exhausted after the extensive tour for their masterpiece Machine Head, showing signs of decline on the following record Who Do We Think We Are, whose decent but inferior result compared with the preceding 3 albums made evident the need for change. Coverdale and Hughes were the ideal replacements that contributed essentially to the band’s sound modification, with certainly alternative styles to Roger and Gillan’s, also coming from different backgrounds and providing Purple of an unexpected funky essence.
This is one of the most diverse albums these guys ever did; they alternate different styles and influences on each cut. It’s totally clear from the very first number that there’s going to be no repetition or sequel of any of their previous releases. “Burn” is unique and speaks for itself, an advanced power/speed metal pioneer composition that denies all stereotypes and topics of 70’s hard rock with that rapid tempo, dynamic main riff and vital presence of melody and progression. No other in the pack is that fresh and inventive, featuring such an immaculate execution, admirable virtuosism and the talent of each group member during the delightful solos, those vivid vocal choruses and the whole cut development. However, the rest of this stuff offers a stunning variety of sounds, more traditional and usual for those times like the melodic heavy metal on “Might Just Take Your Life” or “What’s Goin’ On Here”, including incessant vocals and an absolutely elegant instrumental configuration, simplified from the opening title-track complexity and much more cheerful. Deep Purple recover aggression and speed with “Lay Down, Stay Down” and “You Fool No One” with Blackmore’s riffing very insistent and Paice’s loose rhythms making them so vigorous. Vocals once again take some control, ideal to sing along although once instrumental parts begin it’s time for instrumental supremacy and technique. Pickin’ parts are constantly rich and remarkably defined in those lengthy breaks exclusively conceived to let both Lord and Blackmore perform their extraordinary solos. The futuristic ““A” 200” is another expression of this record majestic instrumental display on which Jon has the chance to explore extravagant organ textures, while “Mistreated” puts all emphasis on Ritchie’s expressive leading riff and Coverdale’s melancholy voice.
An excellent work that meant the beginning of a new promising era for Purple. They refused to get stuck in the past and repeat the same formulas of the Mark-II years. Now they concentrate more on melody and sophistication, with those cleaner arrangements, not giving riffs all control because Hughes and Coverdale’s charming voices also become decisive to construct the songs. The combination of David’s powerful though tone with Glenn’s casual presence was fantastic; both are in complete synchronization giving the group’s music class and excellence. Velocity and aggression are still present, in a smaller percentage than before (Remember Deep Purple In Rock?) but still notable, innate on these tunes. It seems this time these guys wanted to offer something polished and more elegant, actually guitars aren’t that distorted and Lord’s organ moves away from the dirty texture of previous attempts. Instrumental difficulty hasn’t been modified, their intricate patterns and skilled passages are omnipresent elements here, even on those simpler tracks they manage to introduce some progressive sequence and solos to remind us their nature hasn’t changed, they still want it complicated. The exhibition of virtuosism is brilliant, Mark-III was also another super line-up lead by the 3 veterans in state of grace, supported by 2 new members who lack no potential or charisma, young blood for Purple. I must highlight Hughes’ very crude competent bass lines, which you can hear each second, sometimes even pickin’ and playing the riffs as a second rhythm guitar, brave and secure, and also the important contribution of both musicians on the song-writing process. They didn’t come to play and get paid only, they put their passion and ideas to build this new astonishing sound which made the band prevail and survive to the departure of Gillan and Glover.
A record that made a difference from the rest, its sound is undoubtedly advanced and surprising if you compare it to what most of bands were doing back then. These guys made their crucial contribution to heavy metal with the first number, specially, but in general weren’t they who invented it along with Black Sabbath? Their name might not be mentioned so often when people speak about the origins of metal, unfairly, but you listen to albums like this and soon realize this is where it all really started. Double bass-drums speed metal rhythms started with the Fireball title-track, “Burn” sounds pretty much of power metal and didn’t Deep Purple In Rock give absolute attention to aggression and speed like nobody else conceived before? Come on, let’s give them the credits they deserve.
On February the 15th 2014 I turned 30 years old. I have to say, it is an honor to have been born on the same year that saw the advent of masterpieces such as Powerslave, Defenders of the Faith or Ride the Lightning. This masterpiece here turned 40 on that very day, another honor for me. For Deep Purple, one of Britain’s greatest rock bands ever, Burn signaled the debut of the III Mark line-up, and what a debut it is! The eight long play in Deep Purple’s extensive discography is, in my book, their third best overall, and a monstrous hard rock statement. The major line-up change was like a breath of fresh air for the Brits, who were forced by their management to hurry up finishing their previous album, the disappointing and aptly titled Who Do We Think We Are, in order for them to hit the road ASAP. So it’s not surprising that said record was kind of a flop.
The album starts with the titular track, my second favorite Deep Purple tune only behind the aesthetically similar “Highway Star”, which I like to think of like an older brother to this one. “Burn” is a propulsive, proto-speed metal six minute, err... burner, that opens the album in magnificent form, setting the quality bar real high indeed for the rest of the eight compositions. The opening riffs remind me of Priest’s “Screaming for Vengeance” tune, but that’s not surprising at all since Rob and the boys were undoubtedly influenced by Purple’s works. A pyromancer witch’s revenge tale, it boasts the signature and extremely impressive Blackmore/Lord soloing on their prime, that start to melt everything in their path around the 2:15 mark, as well as the lightning fast fills of master drummer Ian Paice. Lord’s organs all over the place as well, and he has another incendiary spotlight moment around the 3:52 mark. This is fucking rock ‘n’ roll mates! WHAT A TUNE!
The following song cools things off a bit, and represent a significant change in style for the band, who employs some funky, sleazy sound here and gospel-like choruses. Nonetheless, “Might Just Take Your Life” is a good example of the combined vocal powers of newcomers bassist Glenn Hughes and future Whitesnake founder David Coverdale. The first one’s higher pitched style is more reminiscent of Purple’s previous frontman Ian Gillian, while Coverdale’s bluesy voice is more robust and masculine. To be honest, I prefer the latter, though I have to say both are (or maybe were) great singers in their own right and I enjoy them greatly here as well as on what they’d do later. The rest of the band’s pretty solid on this one, and well as on the other two tracks of side A of the vinyl, but they don’t really explode again ‘til side B. “Lay Down, Stay Down” is a more agile song which doesn’t deviate too far from the “Might Just Take Your Life” formula, while unleashing a great Blackmore solo at the end, while the bass-heavy “Sail Away” shows us some Rainbow-esque exotic cadence the axe master would further employ in his prolific career.
If it not were for “Burn”, side A wouldn’t have anything to compete against side B, which is arguably superior, or maybe has its quality more evenly distributed amongst its tracks. “You Fool No One” has some busy, outlandish and excellent percussion work thrown in by Paice, as well as yet another amazing Blackmore solo, and despite (or perhaps thanks to) its Beatle-esque vocal arrangements ends up catchier than the last three songs from side A. “What’s Goin’ on Here” sees the band return to the more familiar blues rock style, complete with a saloon-like piano solo by Lord. It maintains the sexual, hot-blooded character of the album, that only increments tenfold at the arrival of the monumental “Mistreated”. HOLY FUCK! Again, it has Blackmore and both singer’s all over the place, complete with a totally Robert Plant-ish “Baby, baby, baby”. The slow, sensual seven-minute tour de force that culminates in an orgasmic climax is the undisputed highlight here along with the title-track. Afterwards we’re left with the four minutes of the awesome futuristic instrumental “'A' 200” to light up a cigarette and pick up our clothes.
Their last great record of the 70’s, Burn would be followed by lesser releases until their 1984 (again, what a year!) magnificent Mark II rebirth, Perfect Strangers. The fires of Burn seemed to be extinguished too quickly for the Mark III line-up, and only some bright embers remained of it for Stormbringer to use. Nonetheless, this was and still is a success of an album, and 40 years later still burns hot for those of us who love hard rock music. In the extremely unlikely event some of you reading this have not listened to Deep Purple yet, I’d recommend you to first listen to In Rock and especially Machine Head before this one. Then, grab this, crank it up and let it BURN!
Blackmore and Gillan. Two enourmous egos tempered with equally enourmous talents. Yeah, the break up was impossible to avoid and some victims were about to take part on this (Roger Glover, a good bassist and great producer).
Around 1970-1976, Deep Purple was the greatest heavy metal act in the world. Their albums were the gold and platinum standards in terms of sales, production and most importantly, performance. Yeah, until today, the power and brilliance of "Made in Japan" is unreachable, the "Mark II trio" of heavy metal pioneering albums "In Rock", "Fireball" and "Machine Head" are still regarded as landmarks of the genre and Ritchie Blackmore-Jon Lord duet makes the finest virtuoso-couple ever.
Whatever. Gillan left (with his heavy metal attitude and unique voice) along with Glover, so, fresh air was needed (specially because of that weak release known as "Who do we Think we Are"). After some auditions, the unknown David Coverdale was hired and he recommended, later, bassist Glenn Hughes to fill the final vacancy. Great! Deep Purple shall continue!
And for the sake of many people, this album is as good as the holy trinity created in the seventies by the Mark II. Specially because it's completely driven by Ritchie Blackmore, the one and only Guitar Hero of early heavy metal. This record is a total creation of his mind (of course, the collaboration of the always-underrated Ian Paice and magic Maestro Lord are inmense) and it is completely evident when you check, song per song, that the sound of the album is almost totally driven by the guitar.
The blast opener "Burn" is a bliss. A speed-power metal song to the core, made to replace "Highway Star" in terms of brute strength. Alongside the magic soloing by Blackmore and Lord, we note a nice new feature in this always-changing band: the vocal duet by Blackmore and Hughes. Yes, of course, they have a little influence here, as well, in terms of composition. But, as I said before, Blackmore rules this record. Period.
"Might Just Take Your Life" may be the only song in this record which has a Coverdale/Hughes influence in a major manner than Blackmore's. It's a nice groovy song, with Lord's keyboarding giving the finest note.
Again, in "Lay Down Stay Down", we find Blackmore showing us who is in charge. The vocal duet sounds explodes and Ian Paice beats the hell out. This is heavy, traditional heavy, but heavy and nice. To me, an underrated song by Deep Purple. Almost the same happens with "Sail Away", with a slower and more moody tempo, of course. The beat remains metallic and gives a nice point to refresh the album.
"You Fool No One" is a great song, at least for me. Glenn Hughes is the star here, with backing vocals by Coverdale. Of course, the song sounds groovy and funky, we all noted it, but still has the Blackmore's heavy metal element in it. And, by the way, Ian Paice drumming excells. Take a little time to figure it out. He is a genious.
The only filler in the record "What's Goin on Here" remains a nice rocker, with funny lyrics and a nice co-op work by Hughes and Paice. Have I forgot to mention Maestro Lord? Well, yeah, he is brilliant in this piece as in the whole album (nothing new to tell here).
Finally, two Blackmore pieces: "Mistreated" and "A-200". The latter one is an enjoyable instrumental piece with not much to say about. But "Mistreated" is a hell of a heavy bluesy song, a traditional formula in Deep Purple's repertoire (remember "Lazy" or "Demon's Eye" for having some examples). That riff is majestic, so powerful and magic. The whole band, driven by that riff, plays a great performance. And Coverdale gives us, maybe, his finest vocal performance ever.
Yeah, this album is so freakin' great. Maybe with some funky touches, but great, specially because of Ritchie Blackmore. The Coverdale/Hughes Society was still a newbie, without such a great power to take the wheel in Deep Purple's destiny. But this was about to change soon... The downfall and the "comma" for DP would come soon... The band had to wait until "Perfect Strangers" to resurrect as the metal gods they always were. But that's another episode.
When a band loses a key member or members, it usually spells doom for the soldiers who carry on. With Deep Purple losing the wonderful talent in Ian Gillan and dropping Roger Glover, it could easily be concluded that this was just the beginning of the end for one of hottest rock bands of the 1970s. Further proof in the pudding was the choice of replacements in little-known David Coverdale and this funky bass player from Trapeze, Glenn Hughes. In fact, the “Burn” cover art with the members’ heads as wax candles could be a symbol for their careers melting away.
However, what we have here is the finest Deep Purple album. The songwriting is top notch and the inclusion of Coverdale and Hughes as vocalist brings a great mix of bluesy and soulful singing. Ritchie Blackmore always had an eye for talent and he didn’t miss here. The title track and the opener is one the best Purple songs. From the insane drumming of Ian Paice to the back and forth solos between Blackmore and keyboardist Jon Lord; this is the definition of a perfect song. The world is also introduced to the blend of Coverdale and Hughes.
The Brits keep the music flowing with the bluesy and slow rocker in “Might Just Take Your Life” which transitions to the walloping guitar riffing in “Lay Down, Stay Down.” The guitar solo is done well with a clean piano in the background to keep the beat. The back and forth between Hughes and Coverdale is also enjoyable as this is one of the standout tracks of the album.
One of the other positives is that each track is unique. “Sail Away” brings a funky edge to the proceedings with the bass riff and the Blackmore closing solo which features many wavy guitar notes sounds similar to Blackmore’s future band Rainbow’s epic “Stargazer.” Another one of the standouts is “What’s Going On Here” which sounds like a barroom rocker as I can see Lord doing the piano part while Coverdale and Hughes are enjoying the devil’s fuel in the background.
A final masterpiece is found with “Mistreated.” This is the only track with a single vocalist as Coverdale takes the helm and delivers his finest Purple performance next to “Soldier of Fortune.” His bluesy voice blends with the depressing riff provided by Blackmore perfectly and the emotional solo drives it home safely. Soothing bass and trembling drums really drive the sad mood it goes for. This is a grade A song from a grade A band.
“Burn” shows how a band can change members and deliver great music. The new blood in Hughes and Coverdale a perfect combination of soul and blues and combined with Blackmore’s trusty guitar wonders makes this an awesome album. My only quip is “You Fool No One” does not fit the Purple mode of hard rock as it is way too funky and groovy. However, the title track is I daresay the best Deep Purple song ever written. Don’t believe me? Just put this song on and feel the “burn.”
When I think of this album, I always think of Deep Purple as a school teacher in a classroom. As Purple outlines a lesson in how to change your style of music without compromising your integrity, Rush (a nerdy kid with thick glasses) takes notes. Judas Priest is the dumb kid who doesn’t get it and asks stupid questions like “but isn’t it okay if a band needs money?” Meanwhile, Metallica, Megadeth and Dream Theater are fast asleep in the back of the classroom, their notebooks open but blank. As the teacher takes attendance, he discovers that Def Leppard, In Flames, and Slayer are absent…
Deep Purple considered many famous musicians for the vacated bassist and singer spots, including Paul Rodgers of Bad Company (and Queen), and Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy. So why settle on two little-known singers, Glenn Hughes (who also played bass) and David Coverdale? For one thing, it gave the band a dual-vocal attack that few others could match. There are only a few bands with two singers who could both sing everything on their own. It’s precisely this fact that made Deep Purple MkIII such a force in the studio and onstage. (Watch Burn on California Jam if you want to see what I mean.)
As a whole, this album is also a marked shift away from the pre-metal sound that Deep Purple polished on In Rock through Machine Head. Much of this album is rooted in R&B, blues, and funk. Even “Lay Down, Stay Down”‘s metal riff is done in an R&B context, with barroom piano and tambourine playing. None of this matters because the album, as music, as art, and as good fun, just plain works.
Of course, this album’s fire-breathing metal scorcher is its title track. Its riff is a speed metal version of “Smoke on the Water”, and its vocals are screamed in a manner that reminds me more of Bruce Dickinson than of Whitesnake. And you gotta remember, Bruce Bruce himself was 16 and in boarding school at the time. Top everything off with ten-second screams of “Buuuuuuuuuurn!” from both vocalists, Jon Lord and Ritchie Blackmore playing beautiful solos, and Coverdale raising the mic-stand in the air like a wizard’s staff when performing it live, and you’ve got an undisputed metal classic.
Now is where things get tricky. Because the next song you hear is the organ-driven boogie-ish. number “Might Just Take Your Life”. It’s good mid-paced rock, reminiscent (very reminiscent) of something Paul Rodgers might sing. And it took on new stomping life when played live. All in all, a good song, yet a vast stylistic shift from the title track. You find yourself wondering if the same band produced these two songs. Most bands wouldn’t be able to pull this off, but Deep Purple isn’t most bands. Deep Purple are the inventors, not just of traditional metal, but also of power and speed metal. Deep Purple are the band whose In Rock album Bruce Dickinson still worships today. Deep Purple can do this and have it work splendidly.
The album continues with the very odd track “Lay Down, Stay Down”. Glenn Hughes called it a “funky rock’n’roller” on the Live in California ‘74 DVD, but then again, Hughes was probably drunk enough to call it anything. “Lay Down, Stay Down” is basically, as mentioned before, a metal riff and song dressed in R&B/boogie clothes. Both vocalists howl out their lines, drums pound, Blackmore drives the song with his somewhat intricate riff, and well, it just sounds like Purple had a damn good time recording it.
This stretch of three songs reaches its climax with the mournful funk shuffle “Sail Away”. Coverdale’s low voice is the defining thing about the song, and it lifts the song’s somewhat nonsensical lyric and makes it seem heartfelt and beautiful. Ritchie again adds another layer with his elegant soloing.
Unfortunately, the only unworthy track on here, “You Fool No One” was also one that they decided to play live and even release as a B-side. It has some nice vocals, and fast drumming from Ian Paice, BUT it’s simply too fast, too quick and panicky for its own good. Normally in metal, a fast song is a good thing, but somehow it just doesn’t work.
But then the album gets right back on track with the seedy drinking song, “What’s Going On Here”. Lines such as “Roll me over slowly, I've been drinkin' all night,” and “When they closed up the bar, you know, they left me for dead,” give it an authenticity that makes you sure that Coverdale and Hughes have been there. And again Blackmore makes the song work with his guitar line on the chorus.
And then it comes to the album’s blues masterpiece, “Mistreated”. I don’t know what Coverdale was so upset about when he sang the song – after all, hadn’t he just been hired by one of the best bands of all time? – but his performance kicks the entire genre of emo on its ass. This is real depression, something that whinecore bands sadly lack, real emotion that is so raw that you can’t help crying as you sing along. It’s a slow plodding, mournful electric blues song that has a vibe so unique you can’t help but wonder what would have happened if they had made more songs like it. Near the end of the song, it goes into double time, Blackmore soloing away over both vocalists’ crying ooohs and aaahs. And then…it stops, gives way to a final moan, sob, and shaky deep breath.
Really, after “Mistreated”, there is nothing for Coverdale to say, so he doesn’t, the rest of the band finishing things up with the strange, lurching instrumental “‘A’-200”. I find it slightly boring but good enough background music for playing chess. Yeah. Seriously, the song suffers for the lack of vocals, even if vocals wouldn’t have fit the music. And if you have the remaster, like I do, you’ll also get the funky instrumental “Coronarias Redig”, which has some very cool soloing.
“So, modern metal bands, take heart, because it is possible to pull off a style change without selling out. Hellooo…Metallica?” (shakes Metallica, who’s been dozing off in the back of the classroom, awake.) “Wha?” “Since you’ve been paying so much attention, I want you to tell me the things that allow a band to change their music without selling out.” “Who gives a shit, man? Once you’re famous, you can do whatever the hell you want.” (sighs)
This is my all time favorite Deep Purple album. With the departure of Gillan and Glover, Deep Purple came back with their strongest album. Since hearing this album, I have never compared anyone to Blackmore and Lord. Because the solos are SO GOOD. To top it off, Paice is a great drummer. Sure some drummers are faster but none sound as enjoyable. The combination of Coverdale and Hughes is fantastic. They both have very distinct voices. The title track is AMAZING!!!! Songs like that make you appreciate music so much more. The next two tracks Might Just Take Your Life and Lay Down, Stay Down are great songs, but not Burn great. Next is Sail Away, which I might actually enjoy more than Burn. Everything about that song is wonderful. Coverdale's voice is just filled with so much emotion! Then there is You Fool No One. That song is all about Paice. The drums overshadow everything else on the song. What's Goin' On Here is another solid song. Mistreated is along with Burn and Sail Away. Mistreated might not be enjoyed by everyone because it is at a slower pace than most Metal fans are used to. If that bothers you than you suck. Blackmore shines on this song. "A" 200 is a very interesting instrumental.This is a great album, and you will enjoy it, unless you do not consider anything but the mark II lineup as Deep Purple. It is sad, but yes I know a few people who believe that. If you do not own this album then you do not like Deep Purple. And if you do not like Deep Purple then you are beyond repair!
It was time for changes. Mk II could no longer exist since the rival between Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Gillan had left its scars to the band. After releasing a good but not so impressive album, which lacked the power of the previous ones (“Who do we think we are”), Ian decided to leave and Roger Glover was also forced to go. However, the guys who replaced them proved to be equally talented and ambitious. Bluesy David Coverdale was the selected one to be the singer and funky Glenn Hughes was the man to be bass player and second singer too. Both of them were hungry for the fame and glory they deserved.
But the ruling power was even then Ritchie (plus the other two original members). Although the funky and blues elements are apparent there, they avoided the experimentations of “Stormbringer” or “Come taste the band”, which disappointed so many hard-core fans of heavy music. Deep Purple Mk III wanted to cement their place to the hearts of their fans, so they decided to release another one powerful album, based on Ritchie’s heavy riffs. The two singers were not so dynamic though and they had not the ability to produce the powerful screams of Ian Gillan, but they were capable of singing with emotion and soulful vocals more than their predecessor. So, the new Deep Purple were ready to rise out of the ashes of the old one.
The first track “Burn” (10/10) is a great opener, the song that reminds me more of the previous line-up. If it hadn’t been for the two singers’ sistinctive voices, we would be confused talking about another blue-print of Mk II, not Mk III period. It’s as classic as “Smoke on the water” or “Speed king” and apparently the best song there. The next three “Might just take your life” (8/10), “Lay down stay down” (9/10) and “Sail away” (9/10) are a great mixture of Ritchie’s everlast heavy riffs and solos with the softer voices of David and Glenn which mark the changes in comparison to the past. These changes are still in “normal quantity”, since Ritchie’s still the leader, not leaving their fans imagine what would follow to the next two albums. “You fool no one” (7,5/10) and “What’s goin’ on here” (8,5/10) are also... results of that mixture. “Mistreated” (10/10) is the second classic track of the album, which is too slow for an avarage hard-rock fan or metal-head, but it sounds great with a David Coverdale’s outburst of emotions and a Ritchie Blackmore’s dramatic solo. It’s more a bluesy rock ballad, than a hard rock song, but that doesn’t mean that we should condemn it. It’s just bloody excellent! Finally, “A 200” (7/10), is a quite good instrumental (it has its moments), but a bit weak as a closer.
Conclusion: Many people like Coverdale’s Deep Purple more than Mk II. It depends on your taste. However, I don’t recomend this album to hard-core heavy metal fans, who may be dissatisfied by some blues and funk melodies that appear there. But if you don’t like “Burn” (the track), you are apparently a fan of... another music genre!