Welcome back to the Week of Singles 3! Each day this week we’ll be looking at rare singles and EPs.
MONDAY: OZZY OSBOURNE – Ultimate Live Ozzy (1986 CBS picture 12″ record)
TUESDAY: BON JOVI – Livin’ On A Prayer (double 12″ EP)
WEDNESDAY: ANTHRAX – Live from Sonisphere Festival 2010 (picture disc EP)
DEEP PURPLE – “Knocking at Your Back Door” / “Perfect Strangers” (1984 Polydor 12″ single)
What a find this was. While Simon Robinson has kept Deep Purple’s catalogue largely available on CD in lavish packages, here’s an oddity that has slipped through the cracks. Granted, interviews are fairly low on my collecting priority list. When something like this falls in your lap, you still gotta bite.
I got this limited edition (#9240/????) at an old used music store in Uptown Waterloo. I cannot remember the name; perhaps a kind reader will remind me. They were technically a “Christian” store but still carried music of all varieties. This 12″ was sitting on their shelves (price long lost) and I snagged it. The A-side contains not one but two hits, and the B-side, in depth interviews with all five Deep Purple members. All was harmonious in Deep Purple, coming off the high of making the album Perfect Strangers and embarking on a successful tour. The dischord did not return until The House of Blue Light. Therefore these interviews reflected a rare time of excitement and positivity for the short-lived Deep Purple MkIIb.
First, the music: To get both awesome singles from Perfect Strangers on one 12″ is handy! These are two of MkIIb’s best tracks, if not the two best tracks, period. By the end of the A-side, my mind is already blown by the grandiose, intelligent, classic sound of Deep Purple. Of note, these are the full length tracks, not single edits.
The interview side is helmed by Tommy Vance for the Friday Rock Show. Each member is interviewed separately, which is how it should be for Deep Purple. The amiable Jon speaks for 10 minutes, recalling Deep Purple history, particularly the very early years. They also discuss Jon’s few writing credits on the new album, a potential pot-stirring question. Ritchie Blackmore then reveals he doesn’t mind giving up being “the” leader of a band (Rainbow). Ritchie claims the hardest part of being the leader of a band was “trying to find the perfect member”. He sounds excited when discussing Deep Purple’s on-stage chemistry. Meanwhile, Roger Glover sounds like he’s eating a bag of crisps. He also sheds light on the early stages of the reunion, and the things they discussed to make it work. I enjoyed Ian Paice’s interview most; he dismisses what was going on in 80’s pop music as “a fashion show”. He proclaims that his goal for the reunited Deep Purple was to bring back a little bit of class to rock and roll. In my mind there is no question that they succeeded. Finally, the singer: Ian Gillian is soft-spoken and optimistic. He too is glad to have shed the responsibilities of being the leader of a solo band.
If you’re a Deep Purple collector and you find this record sitting on a shelf for a reasonable price, do not hesitate. Tommy Vance asks probing, intelligent questions and the result is an interview disc that will enjoy listening to more than once.
More Deep Purple:
- DEEP PURPLE – “Above and Beyond” (CD and 7″ singles, Edel)
- DEEP PURPLE – ”All the Time in the World” (2013 Edel single)
- DEEP PURPLE – The Battle Rages On… (1993 BMG)
- DEEP PURPLE – Collector’s Edition: The Bootleg Series 1984-2000 (12 CD set)
- DEEP PURPLE – Come Taste the Band (35th Anniversary edition)
- DEEP PURPLE – Deep Purple (1969 EMI, 2000 reissue)
- DEEP PURPLE – Inglewood (2002 Purple Records/Sonic Zoom)
- DEEP PURPLE – Listen, Learn, Read On (6 CD box set, 2002)
- DEEP PURPLE – Machine Head (40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition + vinyl + In Concert ’72 vinyl)
- DEEP PURPLE – NOW What?! (2013 edel)
- DEEP PURPLE – Perfect Strangers Live (2013 Eagle Vision 2LP/2CD/1DVD deluxe edition)
- DEEP PURPLE – Perks and Tit (2003 Purple Records/Sonic Zoom)
- DEEP PURPLE – Power House (1977 Warner Bros, Japanese import)
- DEEP PURPLE – Rapture of the Deep (2 CD special edition)
- DEEP PURPLE – Shades 1968-1998 (4 CD Rhino 1999 box set)
- DEEP PURPLE – Stormbringer (35th Anniversary Edition)