Deep Purple Book Reviews

Gettin' Tighter, Deep Purple : '68-'76

Author Martin Popoff. Published Canada 2008
244 pages A5 paperback. Colour cover. Mono inside.

Another book on the band's classic era, this one taking it album by album and using exclusive interviews with band members old and new the author has done over the years. Martin has done numerous books on the rock scene (including one on Rainbow in 2005) and Deep Purple are one of his favourite bands, so you won't find any catty asides here. It's a text based book and I enjoyed it, and certainly learned a few snippets we didn't know (did you realise Mick Underwood was up for the Zeppelin gig at one point?!).

There are some illustrations but the quality is poor (though it has a nice colour cover), so buy it for the read.

SR (with thanks to Scott Wood)

It can be ordered via DPASMailorder while stock lasts.


"A very entertaining read, based around a no-holds-barred track by track analysis of the band's catalogue and Martin Popoff's personal interviews with members of the band. There are quite a few stories which I'd never heard, and others which felt brand new approached from a variety of different perspectives.

At times I had to grudgingly agree with his brutally honest appraisals of works such as Deep Purple's third album and the Concerto, but it was a bit surprising to read that he doesn't much like Made In Japan. However, he does explain his reasons with clarity, and although I don't agree with the assessment it has helped my own appreciation of the album.

The strong US / Canadian viewpoint also lends a different twist to the tale, together with the author's entertaining writing style. The straightforward manner of the narrative does throw up a few glitches. It doesn't always read as if the interviews have been been transcribed with complete understanding, and indeed the interviewees are allowed to lose their thread mid-sentence and disappear off on a tangent. Leaving me at times thinking - "could we go back a bit...?" On the other hand, as these are not polished media sound-bites it does add extra vitality to an already energetic read.

The interviews are full of nuggets, with bits snipped from contemporary (non-Purple) performers who crossed their paths. Of the Purple people, Glenn Hughes' voice is heard a lot more than in the Illustrated Biography, but does sadly grate at times. He does come across as a bit too self-reverential at times, in a third person way, but his thoughts are expertly woven into the narrative, and give the Mk3 / Mk4 chapters an extra dimension.

And finally, Popoff lays a trail that left me wanting to follow the story into a much more virgin territory - the reunion years (which are covered in the follow-up book 'A Castle Full Of Rascals"). It's one sequel that I'm really looking forward to!"

review: Mark Ainsworth