Detail - back cover of Deep Purple's "Perfect Stranger" (Polydor)
I can clearly remember the first time I saw the video for "Perfect Strangers," the title track of the 1984 "reunion" album of the '70's heyday line-up of Gillan, Glover, Lord, Paice and Blackmore.
Jon Lord's ferocious Hammond organ intro through a Marshall guitar amp was such an awesome and welcome contrast to the cheesy, fabricated sounds of the day - I was hooked - and when Paice's thwump/crash brought the rest of the band in I swear every hair on my body stood straight up.
The next day I hopped on my bike, headed down to the local used record store and bought every Purple album on the shelf. And so began my lifelong love affair with Deep Purple, and I do mean love affair - you don't often run into a casual Purple fan. Those of us into Purple bleed Deep Purple.
Now, having been in diapers when the final Coverdale/Hughes/Bolin version of the band officially called it quits in 1976, I've never suffered from the "Mk II (early '70's line-up) is the real Deep Purple" mentality. The enigma that is Deep Purple is more than any one individual - it is the sum of its parts. There's a reason why the band has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide during its 40 year plus run. And while members come and go, the end result is always top shelf, including their live performances.
The last time I saw Deep Purple was in Vancouver in 2003 and after having seen many of my favourite "seasoned" bands mailing in their performances in recent years I was relieved but not surprised to see and hear the true passion that this band continues to deliver onstage. Purple live is hard rock music at its finest and I can't wait to see them again...and again...and again.
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