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Deep Purple

Rapture Of The Deep (Special Edition 2CD)

Review by Greg Olma

Deep Purple never seems to get the respect that they deserve. Everyone talks about Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath as the creators of the hard rock sound. For my money, Deep Purple has had just as much of an impact in creating that genre as the other bands. It is hard to believe that they have been putting out albums since 1968, although there was a 9 year gap from 1975-1984. This is the second release for this particular line-up and there is still life left in these elder statesmen of rock. The overall feel is a bit looser and more “fun” than Bananas. Steve Morse has proven to be an excellent replacement for Ritchie Blackmore and Don Airey has slid into the keyboard slot effortlessly. I have always thought that Roger Glover and Ian Paice made up one of the most solid rhythm sections and they haven’t lost any of their “magic touch” as this CD will prove. Ian Gillan’s vocals may not have all the high pitched screams of yesteryear but he has retained that distinct voice and proceeded to sing in a range that suits the songs and his vocal abilities. He sounds absolutely great and at home on this disc.

The only issue I have with this release is that it forces the fans to purchase the record again. To promote a tour, Eagle Records has released a 2 CD version. They decided that a special track added was not enough so they added a whole extra disk. Aside from getting 3 new studio tracks, you get 5 live tracks from a show in 2005. If you are a Deep Purple complete-ist, then you have to get this (even if you purchased the regular release). If you have not previously purchased this album, then I would suggest tracking down this version for the bonus material.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Money Talks
A guitar noise intro opens up this disk. As things start, you get that distinct Purple keyboard sound then before you know it, you’re engulfed in a great funky rocker. Ian Gillan sounds a bit restrained but sound good nonetheless. There is a small part that sounds like the song “Perfect Strangers.” Overall, this is a great way to start things off.
Girls Like That
This song has an older Deep Purple sound. It is really keyboard heavy and Gillan is a bit less restrained. He even lets off a few of his signature screams but nothing like “Child In Time.”
Wrong Man
Steve Morse shines on this track with a nice guitar solo. It’s a good rocker with a catchy melody. Although it is bass heavy, the keyboards over the top of it lighten up the cut a little.
Rapture of the Deep
Deep Purple must have know this was the best track on the CD (in my opinion, of course) so they named the whole disc after it. It has a Middle Eastern flavor to it and it has that great guitar/keyboard interplay that is such an integral part of the Deep Purple sound. Even thought the only time the title is sung is at the end, the chorus is really catchy.
Clearly Quite Absurd
This is mainly a piano ballad with acoustic guitars and orchestral sounds added to give it a full production. It is unlike the typical Deep Purple song but that is what makes it good. The band seems to be comfortable stretching out and adding new styles into the Purple arsenal. The tune gets heavier towards the end.
Don't Let Go
Steve Morse shows us his many sides on this one. He plays very much like the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. The song has a blues bar band sound. There is also a good piano/guitar solo tucked in there.
Back To Back
The keyboards sound a little like something from an ELP album. It is a funky rocker but otherwise just average compared to the great material that came before this cut.
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye
The band seems like they kicked it into high gear for this fast paced rocker. This is a typical fast Deep Purple track and Gillan is able to get in a few of his screams in there. This is one of the better tracks on this record.
MTV
This is a “fun” song and aside from Ian Gillan, it does not sound like Deep Purple. It has a melodic catchy chorus but it’s not a track that should be on the CD. It should have been a B-side of a single.
Junkyard Blues
When all you want is a good jam song, the guys deliver with this blues rock track. Morse is really given room to show his “stuff.” The guitar/piano interplay is really good and the overall feel of the track is just raw playing.
Before Time Began
I could swear that it was David Gilmour singing on this later day Pink Floyd sounding intro. As the song progresses, it does sound more like Gillan and Deep Purple. The lyrics are really relevant to the world around us now with people killing each other in the name of religion. This tune is a really unique way to end this album.
Disc 2
Clearly Quite Absurd – New Version
In this “new version,” the vocals sound a little more natural, like he is sitting in the same room singing. Other than that, the overall feel of the track is the same and is more of a “remix” than a “new version.”
Things I Never Said
This is a great rocker that I would have put on the CD instead of “MTV.” It is not breaking any new ground for the guys but it is a good track.
The Well Dressed Guitar (Studio Version)
We finally get the studio version of the Steve Morse live showcase. This instrumental has been in the set for many years but they finally put it out in studio form. Just listening to it will let you know why he was chosen to replace Blackmore.
Rapture Of The Deep (Live)
This is very similar to the studio version which is good because the song does not need any “tweaking.” The mix is just OK.
Wrong Man (Live)
The mix on this piece is much better. It is a heavier version but not much more different than the studio track. The band does not seem to jam as much as they used to and they stick to the original version (at least for the newer tunes).
Highway Star (Live)
There is a little bit of a guitar workout before the song kicks in 2 minutes later. This is still a good version but Gillan can’t reach those high notes and it does take away from the track a bit.
Smoke On The Water (Live)
I can die without ever hearing this song again. The band has to play it but I for one am done with it. This version is bass heavy and Gillan sounds better but I really don’t need another version of this “classic.”
Perfect Strangers (Live)
Steve Morse overplays this cut. It seems like he is trying to fill in the sound with guitar playing but the beauty of the track was the keyboards. Even Gillan doesn’t seem like he is into playing this track anymore. It’s a shame because this is a great song and definitely a highlight of the show.
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