30 December 1984
a year on from the reunion announcement and the excitement level
was building; the magazine carried quite astonishingly detailed
reports on the making of the album (looking back you'd imagine
we were taping in to GCHQ but I'm sure we weren't!) and of -
well, football matches. Various members of the band were seen
at charity matches in the UK during breaks from tour rehearsals
in sunny Bedford. And there on page 3 - proof positive; a photo
of, no not some topless dolly, but someone's hand grasping two
tickets for one of the band's debut gigs in New Zealand. I'd
better come clean; it was my hand, the tickets were photocopies
airmailed over by a dpas correspondent (we're still a decade
away from e-mail and digital cameras), and it wasn't even strictly
speaking a photograph - I just held my hand very still under
a repro camera and shot it straight to Agfa copyproof paper
(think of it as a giant Polaroid machine about five feet high
and taking sheets of paper up to A3).
Then came the hard part, reviewing the album. Reading the magazine,
all my anxieties come back to haunt me twenty years on; I even
couldn't bring myself to buy it on the day of release and then
I got the cassette 'cos the
sleeve sucked and I wanted the extra track. Like a prat I took
the album apart of course, which quickly scuppered our chances
of any exclusives from the reunion! I did want to be as honest
about it as I possibly could though, even if only for my own
benefit. After all a lot of people were going round, having
heard advance tapes, saying it was the best Purple album - ever.
It's just in me; I expect everyone to do their utmost on whatever
they're doing creatively. It wasn't the best album ever, not
even perhaps the best Rainbow album of all time, but there was
a lot to enjoy about it and, while some cuts were crying out
to be done live, even at the time I doubted the title track
could be improved on when the touring started. I was wrong there.
The rest of the magazine rounded up the last few bits of solo
news - Rainbow and Gillan videos - and then broke down into
various features, including the first attempt at documenting
Paicey's early career, an Illustrated German single discography,
a big update on the Green Bullfrog, and a load of reviews. Play
list wise I was thoroughly enjoying Gillan's Sabbath LP and
some of the US Whitesnake remixes too, plus my four faves off
the new Purple LP - "Knocking..", the title track, "Gypsys Kiss"
and "Nobody's Home" if you're interested. I was however thoroughly
disappointed by the new live Talking Heads album as well, and
had gone back to the bootlegs.
We ended the 24 page issue (glossy art paper throughout again!)
with the first official image of the new line-up (lifted from
a Swedish magazine - we had no other sources), some images from
the "Perfect Strangers" promo video, and right at the end a
break-down of the first Aussie gig which arrived just in time
to be included. Howie Kehl who sent it is still in the fan-club.
The magazine cover is still one of my faves, contrasting the
new and old line-up pictures. The grey tint effect took all
morning to get right on the repro camera (you could do it in
60 seconds now) when the boss was upstairs. The works where
I did freelance design and artwork (sounds grand but it was
mostly just laying out leaflets and stuff to help pay the rent
a couple of days a week) was in a draughty old chapel - the
offices were on the converted balcony - so if I heard him creaking
down the stairs I could switch to some official work! I also
notice a couple of feeble attempts at phototypesetting on one
page but I can't for the life of me recall how they were done
unless it was via a second-hand IBM Selectric Golfball that
I lusted after and invested in (the letters were moulded on
a golfball shaped device which could be quickly changed, thus
giving you a variety of typefaces). It broke down after a couple
of days and it took me months to get my cash back.
And even though it was a joy to be able to celebrate our thirtieth
issue with a brand new Deep Purple album, I was so distressed
by the album art that I couldn't even bring myself to grab the
promo posters up around the city. Anyone else gets access to
time travel they'll do something really interesting. Me, I'd
go back and redo the Perfect Strangers sleeve. And drop in at
the Speakeasy in July 1969. And the set of the film Lock Up
30: DIGEST & INDEX
: Rehearsing & Recording
REVIEW : Perfect Strangers
REVIEW : Perth (the first reunion show)
: Touring As A Four Piece
REVIEW : Love Ain't No Stranger (US 7")
REVIEW : The Mask
& Recording - News
began on May 1st . They were held at The Base Lodge (owned by
the Von Trapp family), tucked away in Northern Vermont. The
musicians began by just jamming to get the feel of playing together
again. According to Jon (and as predicted by Cozy Powell), Ritchie
was brimming over with ideas. By June 3rd the album material
was worked out, and given the temporary title 'The Sound Of
Music'. The state authorities turned down an application to
tape at the lodge, causing a delay while the party was moved
to Horizons, a large house in Stowe, Vermont. Recording there
began on July 10th. Roger Glover did the production, although
he had been dead against doing it initially.
Live rehearsals ended around October 19th, after a couple of
weeks spent in the Antico room of St.Peter's Hall, Bedford (England).
It was only now that they dared try out older material, beginning
with 'Highway Star' (once they'd worked out the key) and working
their way through most of the 1972 set. While there the band
also did interviews for Tommy Vance at the BBC and Phil Easton
of Radio City among others. The band have been followed by video
cameras from the off, and some of this was cobbled together
for a promo video to accompany the title track.
the band had been busy mixing and rehearsing, touring plans
were being organised back in America. The initial dates showed
a tour starting in Christchurch, New Zealand on November 26th,
but things were subsequently rearranged to kick off in Perth,
Australia on November 27th.
Strangers - Album Review
album hit the record stores here on October 29th, though most
London stores held out for the official release date of November
2nd. The cover appalls me; looks like something a thirteen year
old would carve into a school desk in a moment of boredom. The
music; you know damn well that what went down at those rehearsals
and in the studio must have been electric, yet the energy doesn't
always communicate itself to the listener, which is a shame.
The temptation in reviewing it is to get carried away by the
fact that they are back together, and rave about the goodies
while playing down the more mediocre stuff. That would be wrong.
'Knocking At Your Back Door' effortlessly crosses the gap between
commercial and hard rock in a way Rainbow tried so long to achieve...
lovely chugging strings at the intro, Paicey lays into it, the
Hammond swirling about, and a very typical Blackmore riff. Polished
performances all round and disgustingly catchy. 'Nobody's Home'
is a hard rocking steal from 'Lay Down Stay Down' amongst others.
'Mean Streak' doesn't consist of much at all - pounding bass,
hi-hat and what sounds like good organ work buried in a really
muddy sound. I find it hard to say a lot about the title track.
It is everything Purple ever were to me, if I had to justify
the reunion to anyone this cut would suffice. Ian's vocals charged
with emotion, all set over a gorgeous piece of work from the
band. It belongs up there with the best of everything they've
done before. 'Wasted Sunsets' is nicely predictable. It could
have made a blinder, I'd have liked a quiet start, taking it
up gradually to increase the power. 'Hungry Daze' is a bit of
a let down, the best bit being the middle part - Third Stone
From The Sun revisited!
Burn album is probably the closest point of reference in terms
of how I feel about the album overall. That too was recorded
quickly, and showed a marked change of style. This time we've
been prepared somewhat with Rainbow, and the shadow of that
band is fairly strong. More variety in the manner of Gillan's
output over the past few years wouldn't go amiss.
Entertainment Centre, November 27th 1984 - Live Review
show kicked off with 'Highway Star', and then went into 'Nobody's
Home' after which Ian finally chatted with the crowd. 'Strange
Kind Of Woman' followed, with some duelling in the middle, and
even a bit of 'Jesus Christ Superstar'! A short blues preceded
'A Gypsy's Kiss', and a short Blackmore doodle led into 'Lazy'
which was kept short and used for Ian Paice to solo in. The
band were still trying to get their hand signals worked out
during 'Child In Time', and the song went on longer than it
should when first Jon and then Ian missed their cues! The Rainbow
instrumental 'Difficult To Cure' was an unexpected inclusion,
with Ritchie on the Taurus pedals and Jon soloing away at the
close. 'Space Truckin' was a 10-12 minute version to end the
this first gig they came back to do 'Black Night', followed
by a non too serious 'Smoke On The Water' - Ian asking the crowd
for the words!" Howard Kehl
As A Four Piece - News
what are you contributing to the Deep Purple reunion? "Jon
Lord" comes the sharp reply from an audibly irritated David
Coverdale to yet another inane US radio station question. Should
he and the rest of the band retain their sanity until December
22nd when the tour finally ends, it looks like the American
market will at last be open to Whitesnake.
Mel Galley hospitalised, and Jon Lord off to pastures 'new',
Coverdale made the best of the situation and took the now four
piece band over to the USA in July (plus off-stage keyboards
man Richard Bailey). They did a short tour supporting Dio, making
enough of an impact to justify a return visit after a Japanese
festival tour in August. Those shows were filmed, with a resulting
video release to follow.
was then back to America for four months slogging around in
the wake of Quiet Riot, with David adopting the torn t-shirt
and studded belt look they go for there now! They issued 'Slow
An' Easy' as a single there and followed it with 'Love Ain't
No Stranger', making promo videos for both.
Ain't No Stranger - Single Review
7 .29171: USA: 1984
grief, it's excellent. They've taken what many people reckon
was the only passable cut from the UK 'Slide It In' album and
turned it into a really powerful piece of work. It just blasts
out of the speakers, and took me by complete surprise. I'd put
this up there with 'Fool For Your Loving' and 'Don't Break My
Heart Again', it is that impressive. Guitar break still a bit
naff, but that's all. Hell, I'm going to have to get down to
the import rack and see what Mr Keith Olsen has done with the
rest of it all.
back to the top
Mask - Album Review
POLD 5139: UK: June 1984
latest solo LP got rather lost in the wake of the reunion announcement.
I had quite a few surprised but favourable reviews, while others
were a little more suspicious of all the influences they saw:
World' is a great opener, the title track is great_ a lot longer
than the accompanying single, and with good drums too (c/o Chuck
Burgi). 'Fake It' reminds me of The Police, and is the weakest
track on side one. 'Hip Level' is the equal best track overall,
with a fantastic guitar work out in the middle. There's even
a short bass solo on the last song, and the playing throughout
is of a high standard." Stuart.
The UK single was The Mask / You're So Remote (POSP 678).
In April Glenn made his first visit back to Britain for seven
years to record his contributions on the 'Phenomena' project.
Galley (Mel's brother) is doing the music, and has assembled
quite a few old friends. Apart from Glenn and Mel (who has also
done some of the writing) there's Cozy Powell, Richard Bailey,
Neil Murray and others. It
looks like Hughes/Thrall have not got back together after all,
and after rejecting an offer earlier in the year Glenn has now
done some recording with Gary Moore.
to the top
in the magazine.......details of the Deep Purple reunion......the
tour rehearsals in Bedford.....reviews of Perfect Strangers....video
news.....book reviews....the Q&A column....Rod Evans / Ian Paice
Deep Purple, Italian singles discography.....Green Bullfrog feature.....Deep
Purple, Rainbow and Black Sabbath bootleg reviews....and much more....
the magazine can
be purchased from the dpas
2003 DPAS/Darker Than Blue.
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