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Who Do We Think We Are

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  • By the time ‘Who Do We Think We Are’ was released, Ritchie Blackmore’s reputation for being, shall we say, difficult was certainly known by anyone with slightly more than a casual interest in Deep Purple. If one can imagine the stress of trying to put out an album, to say nothing of a good one, under those circumstances, it makes the success of this album all the more remarkable. Contrary to the critics, fans embraced this as another fine effort and its continued popularity speaks for itself. If it lacked the originality of their previous three studio albums (admittedly it falls short in that regard), it still rocked, and effectively disguised whatever discontent the naysayers read into it. Honestly, I play this album as often as I do any other DP Mark II album and easily enjoy it just as much. Reading so-called professional reviews, one gets the feeling that hating a band takes on a life of its own at some point. Only a critic could explain why.

    Posted on February 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This album from the Mark II version of Deep Purple is best known for the huge hit “Woman From Tokyo” that starts out the disc. When people talk about the classic Deep Purple albums usually this is not one of them that gets mentioned, but I think it is underrated. The album would prove to be the last for the mark II lineup as tensions were high at the time of its recording. Every song here is good “Mary Long”, “Super Trouper”, “Smooth Dancer”, “Rat Bat Blue”, “Place In Line” and “Our Lady” are all classic purple. The whole band is in fine form instrumentally and Gillan’s voice at its peak. I have had a love hate relationship with many of Deep Purple’s albums over the years, but this one is one of their best in my opinion.

    Posted on February 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • THE BAND: Ian Gillan (vocals, harmonica), Ritchie Blackmore (guitars), Roger Glover (bass), Jon Lord (piano, organ, keyboards), Ian Paice (drums & percussion).

    THE DISC: (1973) Originally 7 songs clocking in at approximately 34 minutes. This digitally remastered 2002 release contains 7 bonus tracks making the total listen just over 72 minutes. Included with the disc is a 24-page booklet containing song titles/credits/times (no song lyrics), numerous band photos, and 16 pages of band insight from the time of this recording (circa 1972-73) from writer Simon Robinson and bassist Roger Glover. All songs written by Deep Purple. Recorded by the Rolling Stones Mobile unit in Rome and Frankfurt, between July and October 1972. Originally on the EMI / Warner Bros Records label. This reissue is on Rhino / Warner Bros.

    COMMENTS: For me, this album was bitter sweet. Deep Purple is/was one of my all-time favorite rock bands… ever. This would be the last time during those magical 1970’s that the best line-up DP had would record together. Deep Purple was riding high from “Machine Head” and their best live recording “Made In Japan” (both released in 1972). They were easily the top selling rock act of 1973. Yet, the band was in complete turmoil. Among the factors – Blackmore and Gillan (in a power struggle) were not speaking to each other; pressure to record a worthy follow-up to “Machine Head” was proving to be a difficult task; on the road constantly – five U.S. tours in one year (as well as Europe and Japan); and Blackmore getting sick and the band having to make up cancelled tour dates. As the liner notes read – the album was “musically abrasive and lyrically bitter”. Three months after the release of “Who Do We Think We Are”, Gillan and Glover resigned… and the album never really saw the light of day on the road in concert. The album garnered one bonafied hit, “Woman From Tokyo”. Here, you get the primary version as well as a ‘99 remix lasting almost 50 seconds longer than the original. On the remix version, Gillan’s vocals are slightly different in spots, as is Blackmore’s guitar solo. The other ‘99 remixes are cool as well, “Rat Bat Blue” and “Our Lady” – both deserving tracks. “Who Do We Think We Are” had several classic deep album cuts, including “Mary Long”, the spacey “Super Trooper”, the fast paced “Smooth Dancer”, and the band’s other favorite tune from the album “Rat Bat Blue”. Only “Our Lady” seems oddly out of place here – a nice ballad concentrating more on the melody and lyrics (and no Blackmore or Lord solos). Gems from the vault – the song “Painted Horse” was a studio outtake – Gillan wanted it here on the album, but it was ultimately scrapped by Blackmore – simply a great tune… cool melody, smooth vocals, Gillan’s harmonica fits nicely with Blackmore’s rhythm guitar. And, “First Day Jam” is exactly what it says it is… eleven minutes of DP doing what they did best (the highlight being Jon Lord’s keyboard playing). “Who Do We Think We Are” might not be a 5-star album based on the music alone (like “Machine Head” or “Burn” might be), but the remastered sound, the amazing bonus tracks, and the extensive liner notes all together make this Rhino reissue a must have Deep Purple disc (5 stars).

    Posted on February 16, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • By the time this recorded was being recorded, this great band was coming apart at the seems. With Ritchie Blackmore & Ian Gillan not on speaking terms, Roger Glover, about to be shown the door and Jon Lord & Ian Paice trapped right in the center of all of this, tensions ran high as Deep Purple was imploding from it’s very center.

    It was the biggest year of the band’s history {1972} and Machine Head was their most popular record. “Smoke On The Water” was riding high world-wide as the biggest single from the group. Now it was July, and Deep Purple were in the recording studio once more, this time in Rome to begin working on the follow-up to: “Machine Head”. Tired from way too much touring, Ritchie had begun voicing negative opinions about Ian Gillan’s vocal performance. After almost a month in Rome, only Two Tracks stood completed: “Painted Horse” and “Woman from Tokyo”. It was the Begining of the end for this version of the purple monster.

    After the famous shows in Tokyo and Osaka in August 72, Ian Gillan, stated in a letter to Deep Purple’s Management of his intentions to quit the band. After a long tour of The UK in September, the following month, the band flew to Frankfurt to complete the recording of the new album. For a group, under this much strain, the results should have been dire and depressing, instead for some of us, this would be the finest studio release by Purple Mk.2.

    “Woman From Tokyo”, captures the spirit of the August 1972 Japan Shows in fine fashion {and it all must have been a vision, because it was recorded BEFORE those shows!}.”Mary Long”, is straight-up rock and transfered well to the Deep Purple concert stage. “Smooth Dancer”, is famous because of Ian’s lyric references to Ritchie that just begin to describe the tensions between the two of them.

    Side Two for me was the prize, as it contained my two favorite Purple tracks: “Rat Bat Blue” & “Place In Line”. The first is one of DP’s best firery rockers and the fine blues of: “Place In Line” is a keeper with Ian’s gruff vocals….both are under-regarded classics.

    As for the bonus cuts, some Remixes are offered: “Rat Bat Blue”,”Woman from Tokyo”,”Our Lady”. “Painted Horse” is now here where it belongs at last. “First Day Jam” features, Jon Lord, and this is just about as loose as these guys have ever been on record.

    Now you can purchase this gem, re-mastered and expanded {72 Minutes}. The best one just got a whole lot better!
    Four Stars !!!

    Posted on February 16, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Released in March of 1973 this album was the last of the classic original Mark II lineup (until the mid-eighties) which included Ian Gillian, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Roger Glover and Ian Paice. The album produced one hit in “Woman From Tokyo” but the album was full of great songs including “Rat Bat Blue”, “Smooth Dancer”, and “Mary Long”, etc. During the recording of “Who Do We Think We Are” there were apparently “intense personal differences” that led to both Gillian and Glover leaving the band. This special remastered version includes seven never before released remixes, outtakes, etc. The sound quality of this remastered cd is excellent and superior to the earlier versions of this cd. There is also a 23 page booklet included which has some rare pictures of the band as well as information on the making of the album. A true classic album that represents one of rocks most talented and loudest bands. Highly recommended!

    Posted on February 16, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now