Saturday, January 1, 2011

Deep Purple - In Rock (1970)

Deep Purple In Rock is the band's first album with the Mk II lineup, which, two albums later, produced Machine Head, the album that boasts the immortal Smoke on the Water. That's the first Deep Purple album I ever got into, and it's a really solid album from start to finish. In Rock doesn't have the radio hits to rival Machine Head, but it's another really good, solid album from start to finish, and certainly blows Fireball (which followed In Rock and preceded Machine Head) out of the water.

In Rock kicks off with a classic Deep Purple rocker - Speed King - but the extended intro which never gets played on radio enhances the impact of the song, and emphasizes the power of the entire album to come. Child In Time has always been one of my favorite Deep Purple songs, both epic and atmospheric, with a nice slow build to a crashing crescendo. Flight of the Rat, reaching a jamming near-eight minutes, is great fun. The organ in Living Wreck is downright fierce. And the album closes with Hard Lovin' Man, a kickass track that is becoming one of my new favorites. Plus, all the tracks in between maintain the mood and power of the album. This is definitely one of Deep Purple's best albums, and a great showcase for hard rock.

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