Fireball (1971.) Deep Purple's fifth album. When a band switches lead singers, it can mean one of two things - the band will either go forward into a new golden age with unparalleled successes, or they will be forever damaged, and many of their fans will desert them. Deep Purple is fortunate enough to be one of the bands that falls into the former category. With their Deep Purple In Rock album, the band established that they could get along just fine without Rod Evans. And not long after the release of that album, the follow-up arrived. Read on for my review of 1971's Fireball. The title track kicks off the album. This straight-up, fact-pased classic metal at its finest. The lyrics are top-notch, and the keyboard solo is great. The second track, No No No, is NOT the same song Def Leppard would record ten years later on their High 'N' Dry album - this is a seventies pop-rock tune done the way seventies pop-rock was meant to be heard. Once again, the keyboards are great. The most irregular song on the album is Anyone's Daughter, which sounds like a cross between Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and Lou Reed. Surprisingly, this manages to be a pretty good song, assuming Deep Purple doesn't nomally do songs of this style. Next up we have The Mule. This is a classic hard rocker, simiar to I'm So Glad, a song the band covered on their first album. Once again, it's a great song. Fools is a slower-paced track, but it's no less heavy than the other ones. And, of course, the band closes the album out with No One Came, a rocker that's the perfect fusion of sixties and seventies rock styles alike. All in all, this is one hell of album. original American pressing of this album featured the track Strange Kind Of Woman, while the original British pressing featured the track Demon's Eye. You're ordering the American version here on Amazon, so you'll get the former track (but don't despair! BOTH of these tracks are available on Rhino's The Best Of Deep Purple, so regardless of what edition you buy, you can get the other track on that compilation.) Another edition of the album available is the anniversary editon, which features BOTH of the tracks mentioned above, as well as a whole second disc of bonus material! If you're a Deep Purple die-hard, you may want to shell out the extra money and get the anniversary edition. But regardless which one of the many editions you purchase, this is an excellent album. All in all, Fireball is a classic rock masterpiece. I don't know if I'd call it my favorite one of their albums (it's hard to pick favorites with this band since all of their stuff is so good), but it's well worth buying. If you don't own it, what are you waiting for?Read more ›
Released in 1971, Fireball is Deep Purple's fifth studio album and second with the classic and then current MK II Lineup of Ritchie Blackmore (guitars), Ian Gillan (vocals), Roger Glover (bass), John Lord (Organ, keyboards) and Ian Paice (Drums). Fireball has the unenviable fortune of being sandwiched between its predecessor, the successful and acclaimed In Rock album and its follow up Machine Head with THAT song on it everyone knows. It's a hard task to make a follow up to a great album like In Rock and while Fireball doesn't quite succeed it's still very much a good, classic record (sadly with the exception of Gillan it seems the majority of the band disagrees). It's hard not to compare it to other albums from the MK II lineup and it may seem a little less impressive, there are many songs I like but nothing really struck me as much as some of the other efforts except the title track.
"Fireball" the title track is a very fast and heavy opener with a great riff and Gillan's voice is aggressive, even the keyboards towards the end are excellent, a magnificent track to start an album with and I feel one of the best Purple songs, just my opinion. Sadly the first track is very much the peak of the album and the rest doesn't quite match or come up to its standard. "No, No, No" is a journey, it has great groove, progressions and it's unmistakably Purple. The highlight to me might the oddest, most out of place song on the album, "Anyone's Daughter". It doesn't sound or have much in common with the DP we know. It definitely has a folk feeling to it and isn't plugged in; it's a much softer song but an amazing one nonetheless. "The Mule" is my least liked track here. The same redundant drum rolls throughout make it tiring and it's too repetitive despite some interesting Organ/Keyboard work by Lord. "Fools" is one the heavier tracks and Gillan shines with a certain aggressive tone in his voice; it's one of the most rocking headbanging song and as a result, a personal favorite. It drifts off to a melodic section in the middle before returning to a more rock sound, at over 8 minutes it's a bit of a trip and a neat one at that. "Strange Kind of Woman" is one of the strongest tracks and in the U.K. version of Fireball this track is left off and replaced instead with "Demon's Eye" which is also worth checking out. "No One Came" ends thing on a heavier and somewhat epic note and concludes the album rather well as a lengthy cut, a terrific piece to end the album with.
While a great album, I don't think it's one of their absolute best. Someone else might be thinking exactly the opposite everyone has and is entitled to their own opinion which part of what makes a critique fun to talk about. However, to be fair Deep Purple has made so many fantastic recordings and different lineups/eras of the bands that it is only normal we all have our preferences and some albums will be seen as weaker. That said, Fireball is solid and none of its eight tracks are bad. The MK II lineup is often regarded as the classic lineup of the band and all their recordings are excellent this one included. A must-own for a Purple fan (or rock fans in general who would do well to pick up this), has plenty of good material that make it interesting (with odd pieces like "Anyone's Daughter" and more traditional songs like the title track and 8 minutes epic such as "Fools") and is well worth the purchase. 4/5 stars.Read more ›
There seems to be a major resurgence of interest in 1970s music as today's 15-25 year olds rediscover music from that decade. I grew up in the 70s and my friends' teenaged sons and their friends are now frequently asking me about 70s bands and looking for lesser known bands and albums from that era.
Deep Purple is one band I've told them all about.
Having said that, Deep Purple is hardly a "lesser known" band but, in my defence, I've discovered that many of the young guys asking me about 70s music are not very familiar with Deep Purple. So to help rectify that situation.......
My favorite Deep Purple album is Machine Head. I've reviewed it on Amazon with a 5 star rating and I recommend buying the 25th anniversary edition with the Roger Glover remixes and the extra tracks. Machine Head is one of the essential albums for any collection of 70s music. You need to have Machine Head in your music collection before you can claim to have a respectable collection of 1970s music.
Fireball is also one of the Deep Purple albums I recommend buying for your collection. It's not up to the standard of Machine Head but it's a good album nonetheless. I've given Machine Head a 5 star rating so, by comparison, I'll give Fireball 4 stars.
The strongest tracks on this album (IMHO) are Fireball, No No No and Strange Kind of Woman. They've all been posted on You Tube if you want to check them out before you buy this album. Amazon also has these tracks available for download on its US site. But at the current price of this CD, buy the CD rather than the mp3 downloads.
Deep Purple was a band that went through a number of personnel changes over the years. You'll see references in the reviews to Mk 1, Mk 2 etc., referring to the different personnel lineups in the band at various times. This is the Mk 2 lineup of the band, the one that released Machine Head, and IMHO the most influential lineup in the band's history.
I saw Deep Purple in concert a few months ago in Victoria, B.C. Great show! Three guys from the Mk 2 line up (Roger Glover, Ian Gillan and Ian Paice) are still in the band; they're in their mid to late 60s but they still put on a really good show. If you get a chance to see them live, GO! One track from this album, Strange Kind Of Woman, was included in their current live set.
Bottom line: Fireball is a good album and one that's worth getting for your Deep Purple collection. If you're discovering/re-discovering or exploring 1970s music, this is an album you should check out.Read more ›