Deep Purple : Turning To Crime : 2021
2LP clear vinyl + CD : Ear Music
Please watch the video above for the full video
I must admit when I first heard that Deep Purple was going to do an album of covers it filled me with dread. I don’t really like albums like this and my UFO collection is missing one album because their final one was a covers album.
However, with most bands unable to play in 2020 due to the pandemic, recording an album of covers as a stop gab must have seemed a good idea.
At first glance, the song list did not seem inspiring but I had forgotten that Deep Purple had started out doing a lot of covers and their interpretation of other artists songs was always innovative and interesting.
So what are my thoughts?
I actually really like it, in fact, I totally love it!
It’s a lot of fun and there are some fantastic moments. You can tell the band are having a complete ball. Ian Gillan sings his heart out and he sounds better here than he has in years.
Highlights for me are really great ‘Deep Purple’ versions of 7 and 7 Is (Love ) Oh Well ( Fleetwood Mac) Shapes of Things ( Yardbirds ) Lucifer ( Bob Seger ) and White Room ( Cream ).
The guitar and keyboard interplay between Steve Morse and Dona Airey is amazing and my favourite track is probably ‘Oh Well due to the almost angelic guitar at the end which just floats over some really melancholy keyboards from Don.
The other thing to mention is the actual production by Bob Ezrin which is simply amazing. We all know they perform Green Onions on stage now as part of the encore but it really sounds here like you are in the room with them. The quality of the Hammond organ, guitar, drums and bass is just amazing.
This album is just perfect for these troubled times and I would bet even people who think they don’t like Deep Purple will enjoy this. It is a joyous and fun album from beginning to end.
The last track called ‘Caught In the Act’ is a medley touching on tracks from Don Nix, Booker T, Allman Brothers, Zeppelin, Spencer Davis. Did you imagine ever thinking you would see Deep Purple cover Led Zeppelin?
The cover of Jenny Take a Ride by Mitch Ryder is also worthy of a mention and the use of brass and female backing vocals (especially of Let The Good Times Roll) also adds to the party atmosphere that the album generates
The album also includes versions of Rockin Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu, Watching The River Flow, Let the Good Times Roll, Dixie Chicken and The Battle of New Orleans.
Give it a stream and see what you think.
As it says on the back cover, serve with a pinch of salt and play loud!
Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine