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Perfect Strangers

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(45 Reviews)

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  • Perfect Strangers was Deep Purple’s reunion album from 1984, with the classic Mk II lineup.

    It was the perfect reply to Led Zeppelin’s In Through The Outdoor of 1979. Perfect Strangers could be one of their best works. If not, it’s certainly their most rounded, at least until 2005`s Rapture of the Deep. It’s a rock album from start to finish, and really, they never sounded so good together. Anchoring the album are 2 songs, “Knockin’ At Your Back Door”, and the title track. Both are rooted firmly in the Purple hard rock plan. They’re extensive, hulking groaners that allow Ritchie Blackmore the freedom to play his guitar. Jon Lord’s organ adds the glue that holds the band together, giving us something to pay attention to while there are breaks in the action. The organ is most powerful on “Mean Streak”. It’s a throwback to the primitive energy of their olden days. But it’s also here that we see exactly what Deep Purple really is: a rhythm band. Bassist Roger Glover and drummer Ian Paice keep the whole thing grooving, while Lord’s keys and Blackmore’s guitar insert accents of zing. Gillian’s voice sits atop all this, telling a story of a intoxicated girlfriend. On “Hungry Daze” we hear influences acquired during the band’s time off. Gillian’s voice, at times, sounds like his stint with Black Sabbath. Blackmore adds guitar work that reminds me of Rainbow. The next track is “Not Responsible” Gillian’s “funk you” anthem, where he explains that he’ll do anything he wants, and accept no responsibility for his actions.

    Perfect Strangers was a atypical album for Deep Purple. Never had the band sounded so cohesive. Never had they managed such a consistent sound over an entire album. Perhaps that’s why they called the album Perfect Strangers. Maybe they were five musicians, so diverse that they were strangers to each other in fact. Infinitely different people, that complimented each other perfectly. A piece of pure magic in my opinion.

    Highlights: Knockin’ At Your Back Door, Under The Gun, Perfect Strangers, Gypsy’s Kiss and Wasted Sunsets.

    NOTE: Be sure you get the Polydor version of this disc and not the 1999 Mercury/Universal version re-master, it just seems to breath better in my humble opinion.

    Posted on March 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This record reunited Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Gillan, and the finished product is by far the finest work by this band. Musically, Ritchie was hitting everything, by far his best since Rainbow. Ian was in top form, just after departing Black Sabbath after one album. The solos were tight, the vocals sounded like Ian back in the 70’s. The rhythm section of Glover, Paice, and Lord was second to none. People will think Machine Head was their shining moment, but one listen to this and I guarantee you will shake your head with amazement.

    Posted on March 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I remember waiting for this album like waiting for Xmas; And while only a handful of tracks could be considered ‘classic Deep Purple’, every song is solid, and all the players are in fine form. Blackmore is his usual unusual self, complete with angular, odd-scales, blues flurries, and his trademark, stinging vibrato; Ian sounds right at home, and the band just seems to follow close behind. This has been recently remastered(I don’t know about the paticular version I’m reviewing, but I know it’s out there…), so it sounds even better. And for being close to 25 years old, it still sounds great to me. A good CD to introduce younger listeners to these guys…it’s old, but not that old.

    Posted on March 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This is Deep Purple’s (Mark II) 1984 reunion album, and an album that fans had been waiting for since 1973 (when the famous Mark II line-up broke up because of internal conflicts within the band). As most fans I was a little concerned. Many years had gone bye since their last album together, and music had changed over the years. Gillan had his own band, Ritchie and Roger were doing great with Rainbow and Jon Lord spent his “sparetime” in Whitesnake with David Coverdale.

    Well, as this album shows there were no reason to worry about their ability to record a truly great album together. This is one of the few albums that I honestly can say that only contains great songs, and it has a lot of musical energy all the way through. The duelling soloes between Jon and Ritchie is way beyound great, and Roger’s and little Ian’s bass and drums keeps this train on the tracks. Big Ian’s vocals are amazing (even though he can’t scream as high as before- who needs screaming anyway?), and this album proves that he is one of the greatest rocksingers of all time.

    Stand-out tracks: Well….in fact- all of them!

    If you haven’t got this album yet, it’s your great loss! I suggest that you buy it:-)

    Posted on March 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This 1984 release–one of the most anticipated of that year, eventually going platinum–saw Deep Purple’s most successful line-up in a somewhat tentative reunion, fortunately bowing to pressure from their public to record and tour again. The first (and best) document of Purple’s 80s reunion era, “Perfect Strangers” is a thrilling album, one of the supergroup’s finest. The compositional output of Roger Glover, Ritchie Blackmore, and Ian Gillan is rough and gutsy, while remaining mystic and intriguing. The near lack of sincerity of Deep Purple’s reunited friendship is showcased in the hard-hitting, gripping songs, such as the agressive ‘Under the Gun,’ ‘A Gypsy’s Kiss,’ and the anti-preachy ‘Nobody’s Home,’ as the shaky reunion is captured more sympathetically on the ominous title cut. ‘Hungry Daze’ and ‘Wasted Sunsets’ are a gaze back at Purple’s fast-living days past (one full of fury, the other longing and lonesome), and ‘Knocking At Your Back Door’ gave the group a smash hit single. ‘Son Of Alerik’ is a bonus track for this remaster, a driven and alluring studio jam.The sound of the musicianship on this album could not be immitated; Blackmore’s trademark guitar is facinating, Glover’s bass reaches brilliant madness, Gillan’s barbed wire voice soars, as Jon Lord’s organ is a highlight as usual, and drummer Ian Paice remains out of his head. This album is a landmark for Deep Purple, and is aptly titled–the band was reunited only by pressure from their public, making them no longer musical mates, but “Perfect Strangers.” Not withstanding, the group were not strangers at all when it came to their common goal of making music.

    Posted on March 5, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now