Ranking the Discography: Deep Purple Part XXI: Whoosh! (2020)

Whoosh! Is Deep Purple’s most recent album that I am counting for the purpose of this series. (I’m ignoring the 2021 Turning to Crime because it’s a cover album) Three singles were released: “Throw My Bones”, “Man Alive”, and “Nothing At All”) It charted at #4 in both the UK and the US.

Members:

Ian Gillan: vocals

Steve Morse: guitar

Roger Glover: bass

Dan Airey: keyboards

Ian Paice: drums

The Tracks:

  1. “Throw My Bones”: This is a good opener, and Morse and Airey put on good riffs.
  2. ” Drop the Weapon “: This has some great rhythm from Paice.
  3. ” We’re All the Same in the Dark”: I like the message of this song, and it’s one of the best songs.
  4. “Nothing at All”: I feel this is the weakest of the 3 singles.
  5. “No Need to Shout” : Another weak one for me, although the drumming is good.
  6. “Step by Step “: A decent song, but not much else.
  7. ” What the What”: I feel this is the worst song overall. It’s got a bad title, and the lyrics are ridiculous.
  8. “The Long Way Around”: The album begins to pick up with this one.
  9. ” The Power of the Moon “: Another favorite song on the album.
  10. ” Remission Possible”: This is just a prologue for the next song.
  11. “Man Alive”: Everyone gives an excellent part to this, making it one of the best.
  12. ” And the Address “: Of the two instrumentals, this is the one I like the best. The guitars and keyboards are great.
  13. ” Dancing in My Sleep” (bonus): This was a decent closer.

Final Verdict: Although I did enjoy this album a lot on first listen, I feel like the band is trying to play it safe. It still rocks, but I wouldn’t call it phenomenal.

Grade: C+

Ranking the Discography: Deep Purple Part XX: Infinite (2017)

Infinite reached #105 on the Billboard Albums Chart and 6 in the UK. It had 4 singles( “Time For Bedlam”, “All I Got is You”, “Johnny’s Band”, and “The Surprising” )

Members:

Ian Gillan: vocals

Steve Morse: guitar

Roger Glover: bass

Don Airey: keyboards

Ian Paice: drums

The Tracks:

  1. “Time For Bedlam “: The first single is an impressive opener. I’m becoming more tolerant of Gillan’s changes in his voice due to his age.
  2. ” Hip Boots”: A dirty tune (and not just because of the cursing) with a good bass and some excellent guitar riffs. One of my favorite songs from the album.
  3. “All I Got Is You”: A great rocker, and some excellent drumming from Paice.
  4. ” One Night in Vegas”: Airey sounds great on this.
  5. “Get Me Out of Here”: This one’s not bad, and it has a fun sound to it.
  6. ” The Surprising “: This song took more than one listen, but I liked it.
  7. ” Johnny’s Band”: A nice cool rhythm for this one.
  8. “On Top of the World” : More sneering vocals from Gillan and solid guitar work.
  9. “Birds of Prey “: Another favorite, with one of the best solos.
  10. ” Roadhouse Blues”: I didn’t much care for this cover. But Steve d does have a good solo, and Airey seems up to the challenge of the original.

Final Verdict: The best offering from this iteration of the band so far.

Grade: B+

Ranking the Discography: Deep Purple Part XIX: Now What?!

Now What?! was released in 2013. It had 5 singles and received positive reviews from various sites. It was the first Deep Purple album since 1993’s The Battle Rages On to enter the UK Top 40.

Members:

Ian Gillan: vocals

Steve Morse: guitar

Roger Glover: bass

Ian Paice: drums, percussion

The Tracks

  1. “A Simple Song”: Pretty good way to start. This sounds like a great overture.
  2. ” Weirdistan “: This song rocks! Steve and Roger play some good licks.
  3. “Out of Hand”: Gillan may be showing his age, but he doesn’t sound bad. Some good rhythm too.
  4. ” Hell to Pay”: This is a decent rocker with a good keyboard session.
  5. “Body Line”: I didn’t like this one much.
  6. ” Above and Beyond “: One of the best songs on the album.
  7. ” Blood From a Stone”: This one was pretty good. Loved the guitar effects.
  8. “Uncommon Man”: Both this and “Above and Beyond” are dedicated to Jon Lord, and Airey has a cool fanfare that was inspired by “Fanfare For the Common Man” .
  9. “Apr├Ęs Vous”: Some good rhythm on this one.
  10. ” All the Time in the World”: A pretty decent single.
  11. “Vincent Price”: An excellent tribute to the horror movie icon.

Final Verdict: Overall, a good album, but not the best.

Grade: B

Ranking the Discography Part XVIII: Rapture of the Deep

Rapture of the Deep was released in 2005. Unlike the last two albums, this album isn’t skipped on Spotify. The album reached #81 in the UK and #43 in the US.

Members:

Ian Gillan: vocals

Steve Morse: guitar

Roger Glover: bass

Dan Airey: keyboards

Ian Paice: drums

The Tracks:

  1. “Money Talks”: This is a great opener. Steve and Roger have great chemistry, and Steve has an excellent solo.
  2. “Girls Like That”: Airey’s keyboards really shine here.
  3. “Wrong Man”: The rhythm section sounds great.
  4. ” Rapture of the Deep “:The title track is the best song on the album, and another chance for Airey to shine.
  5. ” Clearly Quite Absurd”: I didn’t like this at first, but on the second listen, it sounded better.
  6. “Don’t Let Go”: I love Airey’s solo.
  7. ” Back to Back”: Some solid drumming and two great solos from Morse and Airey.
  8. “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye”: The rhythm slams on this.
  9. ” Junkyard Blues “: Paice kills it on the drums.
  10. ” Before Time Began”: The closer has good bass and keys.

Final Verdict: While Gillan’s singing isn’t that great anymore, everyone else, especially Airey, makes up for it. This album really allows him to shine.

Grade: B+

Ranking the Discography: Deep Purple Part XVII: Bananas (2003)

Released in 2003, Bananas was the first album to feature the current lineup of Deep Purple, with Ian Paice as the only remaining founding member. Jon Lord was replaced by current keyboardist Don Airey, whose previous credits included Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne (on Blizzard of Ozz and Bark at the Moon) , and Empire.

Members:

Ian Gillan: vocals

Steve Morse: guitar

Don Airey: keyboards

Roger Glover: bass

Ian Paice: drums

The Tracks:

  1. “House of Pain”: Paice’s drumming is good, but Gillan’s voice is shot.
  2. ” Sun Goes Down”: Airey is trying on the keys, but it’s not working.
  3. “Haunted”: It tries to be a good slow song, but it doesn’t work.
  4. ” Razzle Dazzle”: Finally, a good song!
  5. “Silver Tongue”: Morse has a good riff going, but Gillan still sounds like he could use a voice coach.
  6. “Walk On”: We finally get to hear Airey play some keyboards. One of the few good songs.
  7. “Picture of Innocence” : Another good song, with Morse doing some great guitar work.
  8. “I’ve Got Your Number” : This is decent.
  9. “Never a Word”: Are we trying to be a subpar Pink Floyd?
  10. ” Bananas”: I like the harmonica on this.
  11. “Doing It Tonight”: Morse is the only good part, but even that doesn’t work.
  12. ” Contact Lost”: A short instrumental requiem for the crashed Space Shuttle Columbia. It’s gorgeous.

Final Verdict: In case you can’t tell, this album is a disappointment. I had to go on YouTube for this, Spotify is doing Deep Purple a favor by skipping this album.

Grade: D

Ranking the Discography: Deep Purple Part XVI: Abandon (1998)

Abandon was the last album to feature Jon Lord. Lord left the band in 2002, and died of pancreatic cancer in 2012. The album reached #76 in the UK. The title is actually a pun, as in “A Band On Tour .”

Members:

Ian Gillan: vocals

Steve Morse: guitars

Roger Glover: bass

Jon Lord: keyboards

Ian Paice: drums

  1. “Any Fule Know Dat”: This is a strong opener with rapid-fire vocals. Paice lays down a nice rhythm. Lord’s solo is great, and Morse can shred!
  2. “Almost Human”: Good rhythm, and Steve is dynamite.
  3. ” Don’t Make Me Happy”: Pretty good low-key song, and Loed sounds cool.
  4. “Seventh Heaven”: Paice has rapid-fire drumming, and Lord and Morse sound awesome. One of my favorite songs on the album.
  5. “Watching the Sky”: On first listen, I didn’t like this, but it grew on me. Once the band kicks in, it sounds cool.
  6. “Fingers to the Bone”: Lord and Morse are the stars here, and there’s a nice soft harmonica.
  7. “Jack Ruby”: Morse does some more shredding and Lord has an awesome solo. Another favorite.
  8. ” Whatsername “: I didn’t care for this one.
  9. ” 69″ : Awesome keyboards on this one.
  10. “Evil Louie” : The best song on the album!
  11. “Bludsucker”: This is actually a reworked version of the song “Bloodsucker” from In Rock. It’s not bad.

Final Verdict: A fitting farewell for Jon Lord. It’s a shame this is another album Spotify skips.

Grade: A-

Ranking the Discography: Deep Purple Part XVIII: Purpendicular (1996)

Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple after The Battle Rages On. In 1997, he met Candice Knight, which eventually led to them forming the folk music group Blackmore ‘s Knight. He was replaced by Steve Morse, who had a band called the Dixie Dregs. He also joined Kansas in the 1980’s. In addition to these, he’s also worked with Angelfire and the supergroup Flying Colors.

Purpendicular had 2 singles: “Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming” and ” The Aviator “. It reached #58 in the UK, but did not chart in America. It was produced by Darren Schneider and Keith Andrews. The album is not on Spotify.

Members:

Ian Gillan: vocals

Steve Morse: guitar

Jon Lord: keyboards

Roger Glover: bass

Ian Paice: drums

The Tracks:

  1. “Vavoom: Ted the Mechanic”: Gillan based this song on a man he met in a pub during the recording if The House of Blue Light. The song really allows Morse to show his skills.
  2. ” Loosen My Strings “: Glover has a great bassline on here and Paice has a cool beat.
  3. ” Soon Forgotten “: Jon Lord ‘s keyboards are excellent. I saw a comment on YouTube that said this song sounded like “Willy Wonka nightmare music”.
  4. ” Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming “: This was one of the first songs Deep Purple recorded with Morse. It’s one of the best songs on the album. It kind of makes me wonder if the band was listening to Alice in Chains.
  5. “Cascades: I’m Not Your Lover”: A great song with some of Gillan’s best vocals.
  6. ” The Aviator “: Another one of my favorite songs. Lord and Morse are the stars on this one.
  7. ” Rosa’s Cantina”: My first thought when I heard this was “Paice sounds nice on this! He can go!”
  8. “A Castle Full of Rascals”: Another good bassline from Glover.
  9. ” A Touch Away”: Lord’s keyboards are great.
  10. “Hey Cisco”: This is one of the few songs I don’t like on the album, but I don’t hate it.
  11. “Somebody Stole My Guitar”: Funny title, but Morse has a wicked solo on this.
  12. “The Purpendicular Waltz”: The only other song I didn’t like. But I didn’t hate it either.

Final Verdict: An excellent start for Morse. Just because Spotify skipped it doesn’t mean you should. Check it out!

Grade: A

Ranking the Discography: Deep Purple Part XIV: The Battle Rages On…(1993)

The Battle Rages On was the last album to feature the Mark II lineup. They were originally going to hire Mike DiMeo as a replacement for Joe Lynn Turner, but they eventually rehired Gillian instead, thus causing the album to be reworked. Two singles were released: “Anya” and “Time to Kill”. The album reached #192 in the US and #21 in the UK. Blackmore was so infuriated with the album that he left the band during the tour, and was replaced by Joe Satriani. The album was produced by Thom Panunzio.

Members:

Ian Gillian: vocals

Ritchie Blackmore: guitar

Roger Glover: bass

Jon Lord: keyboards

Ian Paice: drums

The Tracks:

  1. “The Battle Rages On” : Gillian ‘s back with a vengeance on this, and Blackmore and Lord sound great. The song sounds made for a DND campaign.
  2. “Lick It Up”: A corny title, but it has a great hook. Paice’s drumming has a good groove.
  3. ” Anya”: Another very strong song with great vocals, and Lord really shows off. One of the best songs on the album.
  4. “Talk About Love”: The drumming and bass are good on this one, and Gillian hasn’t lost his stride yet.
  5. ” Time to Kill “: Both of the singles are pretty strong.
  6. ” Ramshackle Man”: This is a great tale, and Lord’s keyboard gets a good focus.
  7. “A Twist of the Tale” : Another one of my favorite songs, probably right behind “Anya” and the title track.
  8. “Nasty Piece of Work “: This is a fun tune. I keep wondering why Blackmore hated this album.
  9. ” Solitaire”: This one has a good bassline.
  10. “One Man’s Meat”: The only song I didn’t really care for. But I don’t think I hate it.

Final Verdict: An amazing album for Mark II’s last hurrah.

Grade: A+

Ranking the Discography: Deep Purple Part XIII: Slaves and Masters

After The House of Blue Light, Ian Gillian was fired by the band. Blackmore suggested they replace him with Joe Lynn Turner, who was currently leading Rainbow. Two singles were released: “King of Dreams” and “Love Conquers All” . The album made it to #45 in the UK and #87 in the US. This is Turner’s only appearance with Deep Purple.

Members:

Joe Lynn Turner: vocals

Ritchie Blackmore: guitar

Roger Glover: bass, additional keyboards and producer

Jon Lord: organ, keyboards, string arrangement

Ian Paice: drums and percussion

The Tracks:

  1. “King of Dreams”: This is one of the best songs. Turner’s vocals are great and the song lulled me into a false sense of security.
  2. ” The Cut Runs Deep “: Blackmore has good guitar moments, but Lord sounds terrible on the keys.
  3. ” Fire in the Basement “: A decent rocker, but not much else.
  4. “Truth Hurts”: Paice sounds like he’s not even trying to start a rhythm. The vocals are great.
  5. ” Breakfast in Bed”: The worst song on the album. It’s pretty corny.
  6. “Love Conquers All “: The weakest of the two singles. I almost felt like skipping this one.
  7. ” Fortuneteller”: Another one of the best songs, but it doesn’t save the album.
  8. “Too Much Is Not Enough”: Lord sounds terrible on this, but Blackmore sounds decent.
  9. “Wicked Ways “: A decent closer, but not much else.

Final Verdict: Sometimes when I do these Rankings, I come across an album that makes me think “Do I have to talk about this one?” This is one of those times. Turner is really the best thing about the album, but most of it doesn’t sound like Deep Purple at all. They sound too mainstream and poppy.

Grade: D

Ranking the Discography: Deep Purple Part XII: The House of Blue Light (1987)

House of Blue Light was the 6th album for the Mark II lineup of Deep Purple. It had two singles: “Call of the Wild” and “Bad Attitude”. The album reached #10 in the UK and #34 in the US.

Members:

Ian Gillian: vocals

Ritchie Blackmore: guitar

Roger Glover: bass

Jon Lord: keyboards

Ian Paice: drums

The Tracks:

  1. “Bad Attitude” : A great opening song, with a good guitar and bass.
  2. “The Unwritten Law “: Gillian has some of his best vocals on this album. One of my favorite songs.
  3. “Call of the Wild ” : Of the two singles, this is my favorite. Everyone brings their A-game.
  4. “Mad Dog “: This one’s a little cheesy for my taste.
  5. ” Black and White”: Another one of my favorite songs, with excellent vocals from Gillian and some good keyboards from Lord.
  6. “Hard Lovin’ Man”: I didn’t like this song.
  7. ” The Spanish Archer”: A great song with good drumming.
  8. “Strangeways: Lord does some of his best keyboards on this one.
  9. ” Mitzi Dupree”: Another song I thought was too cheesy.
  10. “Dead or Alive “: Pretty good closing song with a good bass.

Final Verdict: While there are some strong tracks on this, the cheesy ones lose me a little.

Grade: B+