DEEP PURPLE — Burn (review)

DEEP PURPLE — Burn album cover Album · 1974 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Even without reaching the level of ground-breaking perfection of "In Rock" or "Machine Head", "Burn" can be easily considered as one of the band's classic releases, and there is a lot in it for music lovers to appreciate - for one thing, the interplay between Lord and Blackmore, and Paice's amazing (as always) drum work.

It is also true there is a funky groove here that might not be to the taste of many metal fans, due to the influence of new bassist and vocalist Glenn Hughes. Now, I may be biased because Hughes is my favourite singer, and his vocal duels with David Coverdale are absolutely stunning. As to Coverdale himself, before his questionable descent into hair-metal in the late '80s, he was one hell of a rock-blues vocalist whose rugged, passionate tones could give you goose pimples - just listen to his performance on "Mistreated". By the way, Hughes is not credited as a writer on the sleeve because of contractual hassles, but his contribution to the songwriting is quite evident.

The record's highlights, in my opinion, are the thunderous title-track, with a killer riff by the Man in Black and fantastic keyboard work courtesy of Mr Jon Lord, the above- mentioned "Mistreated" and the slower, somber "Sail Away", with outstanding vocal performances by both Coverdale and Hughes. "Might Just Take Your Life", released as a single, is the catchiest number on the album, with a driving chorus propelled by Lord's stunning Hammond work. I am also rather partial to the closing instrumental "A200", which, for a change, showcases Lord's synth playing. However, all the tracks are equally worthy of mention, and the quality is consistently high.

Though "Burn" might not be really metal as we know it nowadays, anyone who loves rock music should give it a listen (or possibly more than one). It is a pity that internal strife soon tore Deep Purple Mark Three apart - judging from this album, they had the potential to achieve things as great as the band's previous line-up.
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