Wednesday, 14 November 2012

CD Review: Burn, by Deep Purple (1974)

With the band on top of the world but torn apart by personality conflicts and claims of artistic fatigue, David Coverdale replaces Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes replaces Roger Glover (and, by sharing vocal duties with Coverdale, Hughes also replaces Gillan), and Deep Purple's Mark III line-up is born. And it immediately catches fire. Burn is filled with inspirational energy, and represents a strong return to form following the relatively uninspired Who Do We Think We Are (1973).

The dual vocalist experiment ultimately proved to be unconvincing and unnecessary. Although Coverdale and Hughes share vocal duties on every track except Mistreated, which Coverdale handles by himself, Coverdale's deep and bluesy voice is by far more powerful and more interesting, and he establishes himself as the defacto new voice of the band.

But never mind the vocals, Burn is a lot more about Ritchie Blackmore's guitar and Jon Lord's keyboards. The title track and album opener is one of Purple's masterpieces, a power hungry riff providing the structure for majestic guitar solos and lyrical interplay between Lord and Blackmore. Lay Down, Stay Down is an otherwise bland track elevated by a wizardly 60 second Blackmore solo that contains all sorts of DNA for the future of metal guitar magic. And on the bouncy What's Going On Here Blackmore and Lord create a classic tag team, taking turns embellishing an infectious rock and roll tune.

Mistreated is another of Deep Purple's all-time great tracks, Coverdale's proper debut into the big leagues, teaming with Blackmore to compare buckets full of tear and anguish. While Blackmore's guitar cries defiantly, Coverdale convincingly dredges up emotions from the bottom of the trampled hearts drawer.

40 percent of the band was turned over, but Deep Purple made a case that there is life yet in the new-look line-up. Burn simply sizzles.


Ritchie Blackmore - Guitar
David Coverdale - Lead Vocals
Glenn Hughes - Bass, Vocals
Jon Lord - Keyboards
Ian Paice - Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Burn - 10 *see below*
2. Might Just Take Your Life - 7
3. Lay Down, Stay Down - 8
4. Sail Away - 7
5. You Fool No One - 8
6. What's Going On Here - 8
7. Mistreated - 10
8. "A" 200 - 7

Average: 8.13

Produced by Deep Purple.
Engineered by Martin Birch.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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