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Perfect Strangers 30th Anniversary - contemporary Rolling Stone review


29th October 2014 was the 30th anniversary of the release of Deep Purple's comeback album Perfect Strangers.

I found a contemporary Rolling Stone review of the album. What makes this extra topical is that Rolling Stone is, as far as I know, highly influential in Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, who recently, apparently (source, anyone? Glover?) dismissed Deep Purple as one hit wonders.

As Rolling Stone have never been known for their love of hard, let alnone heavy, rock, it is perhaps fitting this review is dated almost three months after the album release. Hardly a priority for the magazine then. Perhaps the editor-in-chief simply, in the end, shoved it to one of his/her staff with a two-day deadline.

I think the review is fair though. An interesting point by the reviewer is that most of the songs sound like jams. I can understand that, if you think what kind of music was fashionable at the time.

I really like the reviewer's take on wasted Sunsets. I never thought about it as a rock star reflecting on his life.

"The title track comes blasting out of nowhere, like an I'm-alive-and-well message from an old friend you'd given up for dead. With its steamy vocal and genuine, if uncharacteristic, touches of wit throbbing above Deep Purple's heavy signature sound, "Perfect Strangers" sets the tone for this venerable band's reunion album. Lead singer Ian Gillan – who's never been in finer, and deeper, throat – sinuously glides into lyrics that suggest these veterans have something to say about where they've been in the last few years ("Can you remember, remember my name ... I am the echo of your past") and have lots more to offer in the future. For a moment, you almost wonder why Purple ever faded away in the first place. Until, that is, you hear the rest of the album.

Excepting the title cut and the rambunctious but less effective "Knocking at Your Back Door," the material consists of hastily knocked-off jams that allow guitar demigod Ritchie Blackmore to whip out his finger exercises in public. The band spent about six to eight weeks recording this comeback. (The current lineup is actually neither the original nor the final Deep Purple but the most successful – of "Smoke on the Water" fame.) It doesn't sound as if they spent much more time thinking about it, either.

Blackmore's Strat has such a great roar that you're willing to just let it reverberate in your eardrums for a bit. And it's nice to hear Jon Lord's unsynthesized organ squalls, Ian Paice's meaty pounding, Gillan's howls and whispers and Roger Glover's solid bass lines once again. Eventually, though, it's "enough of the sound check already – where are the songs?" Instead of Glover, an outside producer might have forced the band to tighten up its licks and arrangements. Then again, did Deep Purple ever have more than one or two really good, concise numbers on an album? Maybe they're just making the kind of record they always did, the only kind they know how to make.

So why are they doing this? To cash in on the current heavy-metal craze, in which dozens of young upstarts are making fortunes playing Purple riffs? Following a recent meet-the-press shebang promoting the album and impending world tour, the band members (minus the temperamental Blackmore, who, true to his "enigmage," didn't show) insisted they don't need the dough. Perhaps the answer lies in "Wasted Sunsets," a portrait of an aging rock star who's got "gold and silver for the blues" but nothing to do except drink the nights away. It's nice that Perfect Strangers got the Purples out of their respective mansions; too bad they didn't venture farther from home. (RS 442)
~ Deborah Frost (February 28, 1985)"
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Re: Perfect Strangers 30th Anniversary - contemporary Rolling Stone review


A typical crappy Rolling Stone review. They were than happy to say DP did it for the money when in fact they didn't.
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Re: Perfect Strangers 30th Anniversary - contemporary Rolling Stone review


The publisher for Rolling Stone is the chairman for the Rock and Roll Hall of Shame committee...

That said, yes, most if not all of those songs are jams, that's how most songs start and that's been DP's m.o. since the band started. The magazine practically worships every note the Grateful Dead have ever played; don't tell me any of their songs didn't start from jams. The magazine is biased; always has been, always will be.
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Re: Perfect Strangers 30th Anniversary - contemporary Rolling Stone review


quote:

Then again, did Deep Purple ever have more than one or two really good, concise numbers on an album?


A very funny review. emoticon
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Re: Perfect Strangers 30th Anniversary - contemporary Rolling Stone review


quote:

Witchy Nightmare wrote:

quote:

Then again, did Deep Purple ever have more than one or two really good, concise numbers on an album?


A very funny review. emoticon



Yes - I would ask the reviewer that did anyone ever have more than one or two really good, concise numbers on an album? emoticon
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Re: Perfect Strangers 30th Anniversary - contemporary Rolling Stone review


Did they ever have more than one or two really good, concise reviews in an editon of the mag?

Seriously: I like reading reviews of DP albums or shows bei non-DP fans. It can open a fan's eyes a bit. But this one is pure rubbish. If there wasn't the 1985 date and the reference to a "title track", I'd assume that Mrs Frost has listened to HOBL instead of PS by mistake without noticing it.
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Re: Perfect Strangers 30th Anniversary - contemporary Rolling Stone review


Yes, I like reading different stuff, too. Ten years ago, a review in Record Collector said the current line up is clearly influenced by ZZ Top and Guns n Roses. I went what, but I started thinking about it and it made a lot of sense coming from a non-fan. The songs are not similar but there are stylistic similarities.

Last edited by Rezi, 1/11/2014, 23:07
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Re: Perfect Strangers 30th Anniversary - contemporary Rolling Stone review


quote:

Rezi wrote:
Ten years ago, a review in Record Collector said the current line up is clearly influenced by ZZ Top and Guns n Roses.


Nonsense.

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Re: Perfect Strangers 30th Anniversary - contemporary Rolling Stone review


quote:

Witchy Nightmare wrote:

quote:

Rezi wrote:
Ten years ago, a review in Record Collector said the current line up is clearly influenced by ZZ Top and Guns n Roses.


Nonsense.




That was my initial reaction. But I saw where the reviewer was coming from. Aerosmith was the third band s/he mentioned. Walk this Way - all over Purp -Bananas period. Mr Brownstone, many grooves are not unlike latter day ZZ Top tracks such as Sharp Dressed Man.

Last edited by Rezi, 2/11/2014, 9:52
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Re: Perfect Strangers 30th Anniversary - contemporary Rolling Stone review


quote:

Rezi wrote:

Mr Brownstone, many grooves are not unlike latter day ZZ Top tracks such as Sharp Dressed Man.


Which songs do you mean? The only ZZ Top-like song that comes to my mind is Hell To Pay, and imho that is the weakest NW song. The vocal lines may be as simple as those of ZZ Top, but from the instrumental side there's a huge difference.
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