DEEP PURPLE — Perfect Strangers

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DEEP PURPLE - Perfect Strangers cover
3.95 | 68 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 1984

Filed under Hard Rock
By DEEP PURPLE

Tracklist

1. Knocking At Your Back Door (7:04)
2. Under The Gun (4:34)
3. Nobody's Home (3:59)
4. Mean Streak (4:20)
5. Perfect Strangers (5:21)
6. A Gypsy's Kiss (5:12)
7. Wasted Sunsets (3:57)
8. Hungry Daze (4:56)

Total Time 39:28

Line-up/Musicians

- Ian Gillan / vocals
- Ritchie Blackmore / guitar
- Jon Lord / organ, keyboards
- Roger Glover / bass
- Ian Paice / drums

About this release

Release date: September 16, 1984
Label: Polydor, Mercury

Cd Edition has the following bonus tracks:

9. Not Responsible (4:45)

Reissued in 1999 with the following bonus track:

9. Not Responsible (4:45)
10. Son Of Alerik (10:01)

Thanks to Pekka, Time Signature, Lynx33, 666sharon666, diamondblack for the updates

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Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
DEEP PURPLE is one of those groups where just about everybody in hard rock from the 70s seems to have been at one time or another at this point, but the second lineup that lasted from 1969-1973 that included Ian Gillan, Richie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice and Roger Glover is considered the classic and most popular lineup. This was the era of their most successful albums as well which include “In Rock,” “Fireball,” “Machine Head” and “Who Do We Think We Are.” So, of course, every DEEP PURPLE fan who remembered those days was obviously ecstatic when this lineup reunited in 1984 to release their first album in nine years. The hysteria was so heated that when the band finally released its eleventh studio album PERFECT STRANGERS, it shot straight up to the top 20 on album charts across the world and the tours in the US sold out so quickly that they were forced to add more live appearances and when all was said and done were only second to Bruce Springsteen in concert revenues in 1985.

This seems to be one of those love it or hate it albums where i see pure contempt and utter vitriol as well as words of praise. For me personally this was actually the first DEEP PURPLE album i ever heard. Of course, everyone has heard all those classic radio hits but i was a bit of a late bloomer to the PURPLE ones and it was PERFECT STRANGERS that sold me on their sound allowing me to break down the barriers and explore their discography further. I personally don’t understand all the disappointment in this one. I find this to be an excellent collection of melodic hard rockers with that classic signature keyboard sound that only Jon Lord can dish out. Ian Gillan’s vocals are just as good as ever and perhaps only Blackmore is a little less fiery than on his earlier contributions. For example, the only really killer guitar solo is on “Knocking At Your Back Door” although there are other good ones that erupt. Both Glover and Paice dish out some excellent rhythmic chops and the band is as tight as ever with lyrics that are often witty and clever.

I pretty much find most of these tracks appealing starting with the excellent opener “Knocking..” The pace continues with the following foot stomper “Under The Gun” and continues track by track from the excellent title track to the scorching “Gypsy’s Kiss”. The only tracks that feel a tad subpar are the sleepy “Wasted Sunset” and insipid Aerosmith sounding “Not Responsible.” This is actually one of the few DEEP PURPLE albums i spin on a regular basis as most of their albums are a little hit and miss in the consistency department. I find this to be an excellent comeback album but unfortunately the creative juices and band chemistry wasn’t meant to last because i can’t say i like a single album that came after this by the classic lineup. It seems that they drained their creative wells on this one and it probably would have been better for them to hit it hard, cash in and scurry back to all the bands they left to reunite instead of flooding the market with the jejuneness that followed. Still though, at least we got some excellent classic hard rockers on this one.
Sinkadotentree
"Perfect Strangers" was the big comeback for this band released in 1984. It had been some 8 years since this classic lineup had been together and so there was a lot of anticipation from fans over this one. For many fans though this would be a disappointment because it doesn't "sound" like their classic period, it sounds more like 80's Metal. Even Jon Lord seems to be often in the background. My top three songs include the opening track "Knocking At Your back Door" which sounds great as Gillan belts out the lyrics. The organ is in the background until late when the bass also comes to the fore. Nice guitar from Blackmore about half way through. "Under The Gun" is another good one that i'd call a catchy rocker. The title track along with the opening tune are by far the best two songs though. "Perfect Strangers" is amazing and it kicks off with some nasty organ and when the vocals come in i'm thinking Dio for some reason. If i wasn't such a fan of 80's Metal i'd probably be giving this 3 stars. And i have to think that this album did influence bands like MOTLEY CRUE and the like.
AtomicCrimsonRush
In 1984 Deep Purple reunited with the original line up and produced a killer album that was always one of my favourites. For a long time I had only the 2 masterpiece tracks 'Knocking at your Back Door' and 'Perfect Strangers' and hoped if the rest of the album were as incredible as these it would be a masterpiece. The truth is the rest of the album is not quite to the standard of these classics but it still solid hard rock.

Ritchie Blackmore is on fire as usual o lead guitar and has some awesome riffing on "Perfect Strangers" Ian Paice is fantastic on drums, Jon Lord is brilliant on keyboards, Roger Glover is te bass man and of course the incomparable Ian Gillan is incredible on vocals. With this line up the band had the potential to produce another masterpiece in the same vein as "In Rock" or "Machine Head". Unfortunately there are a few mediocre songs that mar this status but it still features some amazing musicianship and memorable songs.

'Wasted Sunsets' is a worthwhile ballad, with Gillan a powerhouse on vocals as Blackmore makes his guitar sing. 'Nobody's Home' has a fabulous riff and classic structure like the old days. 'Mean Streak' is another heavy rocker and one of the highlights of the album.

Everytime I hear the album though 'Perfect Strangers' simply jumps out, with it's orchestrated motifs and unbelievable keyboard wizardry from Lord. 'Knocking at Your Back Door' is quintessential DP with its brilliant intro, and astounding double entendre lyrics and infectious melody. Love the section where Gillan sings "she made electric shadows beyond her finger tips but none of us could reach that high," and of course "Sweet Lucy was a dancer but none of us would chance her because she was a Samurai..."

"Perfect Strangers" is the last great Deep Purple album before the whole thing went belly up and they became just another rock band. It is essential listening and definitely as good as the classics of yesteryear, though not quite a masterpiece.

Members reviews

SouthSideoftheSky
Perfect title track

Ian Gillan just came from working with Black Sabbath on the awful Born Again album. Ritchie Blackmore came from Rainbow where he had just made a series of quite horrible albums with Joe Lynn Turner on vocals. Perfect Strangers brings the two of them together again and they produce something a lot better. Indeed, Perfect Strangers is one of Deep Purple's best ever albums!

The sound quality is far superior to the often badly recorded 60's and early 70's albums. The songs are melodic and strong and the album is reasonably varied in terms of moods and tempos. The instrumental work is great on many tracks. I especially like A Gypsy's Kiss which has a very Neo-Classical instrumental break reminding of the great Burn title track. Perfect Strangers itself is also a truly excellent song. Wasted Sunsets slows the tempo down and it is great as well. Some lyrics are quite cheesy, but not totally unimaginative like many Hard Rock lyrics.

This album constituted a great come back for the band! And in many ways it is a more mature effort than many of their earlier works.

Recommended!
Raff
In 1984, eight years after they had disbanded in a mess of drugs, death and inner turmoil, Deep Purple regrouped with their classic, MKII lineup. A dream come true for the millions of dedicated followers of that legendary band (though probably motivated by purely financial reasons), it was not to last long, as the profound hostility between Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Gillan resurfaced soon afterwards, affecting the band's performance and their interpersonal dynamics. However, their comeback album, "Perfect Strangers", is a timely reminder of what the rock world had been missing since Deep Purple's melancholy split in 1976.

Now for the burning question: is it as good as Mark II's earlier material? Yes and no. Very strongly keyboard-driven, the album sees Jon Lord's brooding, powerful Hammond underpin most of the tracks, duelling with Blackmore's scintillating guitar in the time-honoured tradition of the band's immortal Seventies classics. Obviously, there are some straightforward hard rockers with a stronger Eighties flavour, like "Mean Streak" or "A Gypsy's Kiss", while other tracks have a more diverse, interesting structure - as it is the case of opener "Knocking at Your Back Door". After having been plagued by vocal problems in the early years of the Eighties, Ian Gillan is back to form again, both as a singer and as a lyricist. His vocal style is not as wild and untamed as it was in the former decade, relying on stratospherically high screams - now he takes advantage of the slower, more laid-back sound of the band to cultivate a more expressive, refined delivery, which still lasts to this day.

Ritchie Blackmore is.. well, Ritchie Blackmore: that is, the guitarist that defined playing for most of the aspiring axemen of the late Seventies and early Eighties. Though there may be more gifted guitarists in a purely technical sense, no one has his elegance of touch and his distinctive, crystal-clear sound. You can try to imitate Blackmore, but you sure cannot sound like him, nor contribute to the development of rock in the same way he did. The lengthy instrumental "Son of Alerik", included as a bonus track in the remastered edition, is proof enough of his abilities.

The title-track is possibly the highlight of the album, together with melancholy ballad "Wasted Sunsets", in which Ritchie's guitar dominates the proceedings together with Gillan's impassioned voice. "Perfect Strangers" is instead heavy on keyboards, and its distinctive, Oriental-flavoured riff recalls in some way Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir", though by no means a rip-off. The metronomically precise rhythm section of Roger Glover and Ian Paice does sterling work as usual, providing a rock-solid backbeat to Blackmore and Lord's fiery exertions.

Sadly, Deep Purple Mark II, Take 2 lasted the space of just another album, the vastly inferior "The House of Blue Light" - if one does not count the later, already doomed comeback of "The Battle Rages On", whose title fittingly described the struggle that led to Blackmore leaving the band for good. However, when "Perfect Strangers" was released the Purple star was still burning bright... and it still does to this day, though in a different incarnation. Highly recommended.

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