DEEP PURPLE — Burn (review)

DEEP PURPLE — Burn album cover Album · 1974 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
Over Hughes and Coverdale - the burning bush.

The brand new Mk III lineup returned to Montreux with the Rolling Stones mobile studio, presumably to try and capture some of the mojo of the iconic Machine Head album.

There are moments of that, indeed, the whole album smokes, to coin a phrase, but really, the most iconic thing about this album is the cover.

"Burn" carries all the hallmarks that would find their way into the debut of Blackmore's new band the following year, topped by the fledgeling machismo of new frontman David Coverdale. The riff is of legend, and the song construction is almost a template for songs like "Man on the Silver Mountain". Blackmore's solos are more articulate here than they've ever been - and that's really saying something.

As rock songs go, the remainder are way beyond filler - this was a great band, after all. Coverdale's voice contrasts badly with that of Hughes especially in places during "Might Just Take Your Life", a tune he only truly owned in his post-Purple band, Whitesnake.

"Lay Down, Stay Down" is a mighty piledriver of a song, but again, I'd prefer it if Coverdale took all the main vocal duties, as Hughes' voice is rather thin and wavery.

"Sail Away" is almost like a kind of heavy Disco piece - nothing wrong with that - this is, after all, just before disco went crap. You could almost sing "Ah-ha-ha-ha, Staying Alive..." to it though.

There aren't any real surprises here, or on the rest of the album - all the music is top-quality funky boogie rock (with the exception of the MIGHTY "Mistreated" - a true slow rock song, not a ballad per se), with lovely arrangement touches, some great singing (Coverdale), some mediochre singing (Hughes), some brilliant drumming, solid keyboards, bass where you'd expect bass to be - and then there's A200, which is a surprise, although not a very good one.

In summary, a great album, an essential for any rock collection - but your metal collection would survive just fine without it. Maybe it'd miss Blackmore's superlative soloing, but that's it.

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