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This record (in CD form) was my very first experience of hard rock gods Deep Purple, and I must say that to this day, more than 10 years alter I first listened to it, it’s a pretty recommendable and more than decent compilation of their work. It contains some of it finest repertoire, and though some choices might be disputable, most of the tracks here are utterly essential and I can’t imagine a single metalhead who hasn’t already listened and memorized most of them and sing them even in a coma state. For the influence and impact these helluva songs had and still have on the metal world are humongous. Sure, Sabbath was the very first heavy metal band, but Purple’s offerings are the very cornerstone of the sound of zillions of bands that emerged later playing, mainly but not only, speed, power, progressive and melodic metal.
Now, this compilation does have some “flaws”. One could say that the first songs are not in their best version. Both “Black Night” and “Speed King” on Deepest Purple are the single versions, and though almost as good as their original forms they are edited and omit good parts (“Black Night” lasting almost 5 minutes in the un-edited version which showcases all of the boys musical abilities during its last minute while “Speed King” has an abrasive guitar introduction courtesy of master Blackmore himself in it’s album version). This fact only accentuates that the reason of this compilation was to capitalize on Deep Purple’s well-deserved status as one of rock’s greats. But perhaps some at EMI, or even drummer Ian Paice himself, who was responsible for the chosen songs, could have thought of the potential of giving something extra to the Purple-craving masses, a plus to this compilation, just as in Ozzy’s Ozzman Cometh which opens with two previously unreleased (at that time) versions of Black Sabbath songs while he was in the band. Truth is they lacked that vision, but fortunately for us fans those complete, and for me, ultimate, versions came to us as bonus tracks in the 90’s re-releases of their classic albums.
So besides that little, almost unimportant complain, one could argue about the obvious suggestions for this compilation: “Pictures of Home”, the pop rock-infused yet classic “Hush”, “The Mule”, and a personal favorite of their Mark III years, “Soldier of Fortune”, amongst a few others. But that really depends on subjective taste, and as stated before, their all-time classics are contained here. From the hard rock staple, mighty and kinda overplayed “Smoke on the Water”, whose guitar riff has been recently voted the best in rock by a british university or magazine (I can’t recall precisely), to the proto-speed metal Fireball and the progressive, towering Child in Time with it’s magnificent, timeless, vocal/guitar duel by Gillian/Blackmore respectively, to the glorious “Highway Star”, my favorite Purple song containing some of the best soloing in existence, both in guitar and organ, and the underrated “Burn” which itself is like the MKIII answer to “Highway Star” and comes close in terms of awesomeness, this is a must have for anyone venturing into Deep Purple’s legacy for their first time. It worked perfect for me, a stranger to their music at the time, to the point that even now that I’ve listened to almost all of their material, whenever I suggest a Deep Purple compilation for a friend, the play-list on said compilation won’t be much different to Deepest Purple.
So we have the ultimate classics of Mark II (and if you don’t know what that means, it refers to the deepest purple age of DP, consisted by Ian Gillian on vocals, Ritchie Blackmore on guitar, Roger Glover on bass, mighty Jon Lord on keyboards and lightning-fast Ian Paice on drums) and a fair deal of material by the less-classic MKIII (David Coverdale on vocals, Glenn Hughes on bass and also vocals, with Blackmore, Paice and Lord). By the time of this review’s creation, several tons of other Deep Purple compilations now exist, some more complete perhaps, while others are completely unnecessary, but in this reviewer’s eyes and especially, ears, this one remains THE DEEPEST.
Oh, wow. These are the first two words that came to mind when I first put this cd on. Technically this CD does everything right. The guitar riffs are excellent, catchy and melodic with lots of harmony woven into the songs. The bass line is catchy and full of hooks, and the drumming is dead on aim. The vocals are also very good and blends with the music like well mixed paint.
Unfortunately, despite all of these perfections many of the songs on this cd fall short. The CD displays the workings of band that would have been alot better IMO if they would have taken a chance to fail.
Don't get me wrong, this CD is good and the interesting songs far outweigh the boring ones. I would suggest that if you're curious about this album then go ahead and buy it used.
Stand Out Tracks:
Smoke on the Water
Child in Time