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Deep Purple - Abandon

Review: 134
Date: 27 Jun 03


Rating: 5 Stars

Ian Gillan - Vocals
Steve Morse - Guitars
Jon Lord - Keyboards
Roger Glover - Bass
Ian Paice - Drums

Tracks Listing:
Any fule kno that
Almost human
Don't make me happy
Seventh heaven
Watching the sky
Fingers to the bone
Jack Ruby
She was
Evil Louie

All spelling mistakes in the titles on purpose by the band, must of got a bit of Sladitice.


When legendary guitarist Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple for the second time on the eve of the Japanese leg of 'The Battle Rages on Tour' in 1993, most thought it was the end of this historic band. Because they were contractually obligated to do the Japanese shows, the band considered doing the shows without a banjo player, but feeling this would cheat their loyal Japanese following, a replacement had to be considered at short notice. Not easy to find someone who was capable of filling such big shoes, let alone that was available, and most importantly was brave enough to take it on.

Ian Gillan said as a joke: "How about Joe Satriani?" Bruce Payne, longtime manager of the band, saw the funny side but also thought, "Why Not?". Phone calls were made, contracts written down on scraps of paper and Purple played six of their most unique concerts ever in Japan. No rehearsals with the new guitarist (they did send Joe some tapes of Blackmore's last couple of concerts with Purple to give him a clue, which he listened to on the flight over to Japan), just straight out onto the stage and play. The results were spectacular as can be borne out by the very high quality of the Bootlegs from the shows. Even though Joe does at one stage forget the opening riff to "Smoke on the water" and has to be reminded.

But Joe Satriani could not stay on a permanent basis with Deep Purple, so it was back to audition tapes for the other remaining four of the Classic Mark 2 lineup of the band. The name of American Steve Morse (ex Dixie Dregs and Kansas, he had also been voted best overall guitarist by Guitar Magazine three consecutive years running) was brought up. But the band was not keen as another talented American (Tommy Bolin) had been drafted into the band the last time that Blackmore left with disastrous results. Steve Morse himself was not keen either seeing it as a step backwards, as he had already been drafted into one Dinosaur Rock Band in it's death throes and although the financial rewards were great, artistically these things left a lot to be desired. A rehearsal was set up anyway, and as they say the rest is history. Musically as well as socially the band and their new guitarist got along famously, to check all was well. After furious rehearsals a short but by no means small tour was set up to check whether the chemistry would last. Early 1995 saw the new Purple playing five concerts in India to a combined audience of over one million people, to mass critical and public acclaim.

So instead of it being the end of Deep Purple, Blackmore's departure signaled a completely new - and most would say better - Purple. Certainly the fun was back and now the band was writing together again. Both the concerts and the recording showed the band scaling new heights. A new album was recorded "Pupundicular", released in 1996. It showed a fresh new band with their creative juices flowing. A massive world tour followed with plenty of songs from the new album aired, plus, mainly through Steve Morse brand new fire, was injected into the old classics. At the end of this tour the band went back into the studio with renewed confidence, coming up with the results of which were laid down on this fine CD of over an hour's worth of Hard Rock as only Purple know how,

Songs such as "Watching the Sky" and "Almost Human" rock-a-long in classic style. Ian Paice once again proving he is the world's leading Rock 'n' Roll drummer. Roger Glover, the ultimate Hard Rock bass guitarist, driving the band along using his guitar as a lead instrument, forcing the groove of each song down the listeners throat so that they cannot help but take notice. Jon Lord was and still is the original rock keyboard player often imitated, but never equaled. There has really only ever been one vocalist for Deep Purple, and it is Ian Gillan. Nobody has the range to cover all of Purples different sound scapes. Many have tried, but none have ever come close. And Steve Morse has found himself a permanent home for his incredible Guitar Pyrotechnics, capable of turning a song on its head with a flurry of his fingers.

"Abandon" is a classic Rock album that should be an automatic in any decent collection of Rock music.

Now in 2002 Jon Lord, the master of the Hammond organ, has decided it is time to hang up his Deep Purple keyboards and concentrate on his solo projects. Purple has drafted in longtime friend and keyboard wizard Don Airey. They are presently out on the road breaking in the new band before returning to the studio again. Rest assured, whatever they come up with it will be top notch Deep Purple.


Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew


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