The music is solid, certainly Deep Purple. The singing leaves more to wish for. Keeps one wondering, is it really his voice or is the recording that poor. No match for full vocal frontmen Gillan and Coverdale. All on all, worth while purchasing and owning.
For the first five minutes of Down to Earth, one feels like cracking open the champagne to celebrate a triumphant return. To a deliciously dirty blues riff that sounds like Led Zeppelin getting hot and sweaty with prime Black Sabbath, ”Gets Me Through” finds Ozzy deconstructing his showbiz persona in a Robbie Williams-turns-rock-god style: ”I’m not the kind of person you think I am . . . I try to entertain you the best I can.” It’s a brilliant track that’s at least partially a parody, yet it rocks like a bastard. The rest of the album, however, isn’t quite up to the opener’s high standards. ”Facing Hell,” while a fine foot-stomper, is stuffed with horror clichés. The same goes for ”Black Illusion” and ”Can You Hear Them.” The album really goes off the rails, though, with ”Dreamer” where Ozzy weeps about global warming and ”You Know,” in which our hero apologizes to his kids. But even at its worst Down to Earth displays enough eccentricity to keep one entertained and brimming with respect. –Ian Watson
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This is Deep Purple at the bottom, releasing a mediocre set of songs aimed directly to sound commercial and almost pop at some points.
Of course, when you talk about Paice, Blackmore, Lord and Glover, you will always find some great stuff in the middle of this waste, given that they are such stupendous musicians.
Have no doubt: this is the “Bent Out of Shape” of Deep Purple’s discography. (for those who don’t know, Bent Out Of Shape was the last Rainbow album with Joe Lynn Turner – and it’s disastrous, an abomination.)
After always reading what a travesty this album was supposed to be, I didn’t expect much. But after listening to this great piece of rock, clearly the only problem is with the listeners. People who want to hate an album will usually hate it. People who claim Turner is a pop crooner don’t know what they’re talking about. Turner is that rare rock singer who can sing at all volume levels. A crooner is a ballad singer who sings every note softly(Perry Como.) It sounds like Blackmore asked Turner to sound more like Coverdale and Hughes. He’s got a much bluesier sound than he used with Rainbow and it is very effective in this music.
If Ian Gillan is the only singer you want to hear in this band then you should ignore this album. But if you want to hear Blackmore and Lord play with the most versatile singer they’ve ever had then this album is for you.
Well, Deep Purple had a noticably different (matching the times) sound post-reunion as it was, but this album sounds different even from the ones around it. It’s the “Machine Head” lineup, but with Ian Gillan replaced on vocals with Joe Lynn Turner, who has a very different style – Turner has a smoother, crooner rock voice like David Coverdale (I’ve noticed Blackmore never tried to find another singer in the Gillan vein when he worked with different singers in Purple!). The band similarly seems toned down to match – this album doesn’t seem to have the kick of “Perfect Strangers” or “Battle Rages On”. So, if your looking for more like that you won’t find it here! But, the songs are good hard rock more in the style of mid/early 80’s Whitesnake, and I rather like this album now I’ve gotten used to it for what it is.
Slaves and Masters was recorded in 1990/1991 after Ritchie Blackmore fired Ian Gillan from the band. Gillan was replaced by Joe Lynn Turner, who was Blackmore’s cohort in Rainbow from 1981-1984. Consequently, this album turns out sounding like a Turner-era Rainbow album more than a Purple album. Personally, I’m not a fan of JLT Rainbow–give me Ronnie James Dio any day–but I have to admit that I like this album better than the three Rainbow albums with JLT. The first three tracks–King of Dreams, The Cut Runs Deep, and Fire In the Basement–are all pretty good. Unfortunately, after that, the album goes south rather quickly. Truth Hurts is an OK ballad-like song, but most of the album sounds like Ritchie is trying to get an 80s-style pop-rock hit. I’d recommend this only if you’re a Purple fanatic completist like me or if you really, really, really love Joe Lynn Turner. Incidentally, Turner was unceremoniously dumped after the tour and Blackmore reluctantly replaced him with Gillan after much complaining from Lord, Paice, Glover, and fans.