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Deep Purple - Fireball

On July 9, 1971, the album "Fireball" by the band "Deep Purple" was released.



This is the band's fifth album and its second in the MKII lineup that includes Ian Gillan as lead singer and Roger Glover as bassist.


This album is located between the two masterpieces "In Rock" and "Machine Head" and that is probably why it was in the shadow of these two greats, just like a valley between two-mountain.


In addition, the album does not include any "hit" and you probably do not even remember the names of more than half of the songs in it (if you take out of the equation "Strange Kind of Woman" which is not included in the European version of the album and came out only as a single).


Now add the fact that even the band members themselves do not consider this album a classic (except for Ian Gillen), and you have almost a full consensus regarding its status in the magnificent repertoire of the great band.


Indeed, this album is more experimental and lacks a uniform direction like its two big brothers. At the same time, this album has a very important part in the development of Deep Purple's sound on their way to the next masterpiece - "Machine Head".


In our humble opinion, this is one of the band's four greatest albums of all time (along with "In Rock", "Machine Head" and "Burn"), and you simply must not underestimate it.


The album includes only 7 tracks, with the third track in the British version ("Demon's Eye") replaced with the American version with the hit "Strange Kind of Woman".


The album opens up with the theme song "Fireball" and the operating sound of the engine ventilation system of the studio where the album was recorded, which immediately puts us "in the mood". When the sound of the air conditioner fades, Ian Paice's fast and famous double bass drumming enters, leading us like in a relay race to the song's famous riff. It's the fastest song on the album which exceptionally does not include a guitar solo. The solo you hear in the 1:49 minute of the song is Roger Glover's bass solo. Not many know but the idea for this song was "borrowed" from the Canadian band "Warpig" which released the song "Rock Star" a year earlier. Do not believe? Listen to the song and judge for yourself:


From there we move on to the second track - "No No No", a song with soul and blues influences in which Gillan proves his tremendous vocal abilities. The song features one major riff that repeats itself and a beautiful bluesy guitar solo by Ritchie Blackmore with an organ solo by Jon Lord towards the end of the song.


The third song "Demon's Eye" is perhaps the most "catchy" song on the album and this is probably why it also shares the same slot with "Strange Kind of Woman" from the American release. The song opens with Lord's monotonous keyboard riff and moves to a cool bluesy riff that can not leave anyone sitting in their chairs. Here, too, there is the constant duality of Deep Purple with solos by Jon Lord and Ritchie Blackmore.


The fourth track "Anyone's Daughter" is perhaps the band's most bizarre choice, which if it had been replaced with "Strange Kind of Woman" would surely have jumped this album to another level. An obscure country-folk-psychedelic section, which does not fully match the musical line of the album and the band, and which received negative reviews from all the critics and even from all the band members themselves.


The other side of the vinyl opens with "The Mule" and the sound of Paice's cymbals and tambourine which is immediately followed by Ritchie Blackmore's alternating chords take us to the central oriental riff. Except for Gillan's short text at the opening of the song, it's actually an instrumental piece that allows all the band members to marvel at their virtuosity. Ian Paice's psychedelic drumming which is very reminiscent of the Beatles' drumming in "Tomorrow Never Knows" remains throughout the song as a solid ground that allows for the improvisation of the rest of his bandmates. This song won an extra-long version at the band's performances and included an amazing drum solo by Ian Paice that lasted over 6 minutes.


The next song "Fools" is the longest on the album and it begins with a quiet and relaxed playing with Blackmore's guitar and Lord Hammond accompanying us to the "volcano" eruption at 1:39 of the song, in Gillan's powerful voice and wild guitar-bass-keyboards riff. There is no doubt that this is an epic piece that showcases the amazing abilities of this band. Excerpts from Blackmore's slide solo that begins around 4:15 of the song will be borrowed and later incorporated into solo excerpts from “The Black Man” in Deep Purple and Rainbow during their performances.


The album closes with "No One Came" which opens with Roger Glover's monotonous bass cut with Lord Hammond's entry and Gillan's powerful voice. Here too, we get the usual duality of a long guitar solo from Blackmore followed by Lord's Organ Solo, played on top of the main guitar riff.


"Strange Kind of Woman" was released only in the American edition of the album and as a separate single all over the world. The song talks about a complex relationship with a woman, probably a prostitute, and indeed its original name was supposed to be "Prostitute". This is the big "hit" from the time the album was released. The song won an amazing performance on the album "Made In Japan" with the famous dialogue between Blackmore's guitar and Ian Gillan's amazing voice imitating each other and the immortal scream at the end. The song is performed almost regularly in the band's performances and has become one of the songs most associated with it.


For Listening: Spotify, Apple Music


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