Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Deep Purple-FIREBALL CD (EMI Australia)

Okay, it has been a slow week. But (as usual) that isn't going to stop me from presenting for you (the discerning BLOG TO COMM reader) yet another bout of pontificating on an album I'm sure you wouldn't wanna be caught dead listening to lest all your "hip" friends give you the excommunication treatment for even being in the mere "presence" of such utter trash. Ifyaknowaddamean...

I got FIREBALL as part of a Deep Purple box set that starts with IN ROCK and goes on up through their late-seventies post-Blackmore turdsters which I certainly did not appreciate (I woulda preferred a box set starting with SHADES OF DEEP PURPLE up through MACHINE HEAD so at least so I could get the opportunity to hear such neglected [and probably for a good reason!] albums such as CONCERTO FOR GROUP AND ORCHESTRA which always did sink way 'neath my radarscope). But I guess I'll settle on getting what I can get, and considering all of the raves that people like Lester Bangs and Mike Saunders were making about how much Deep Purple were "the British MC5" on such albums as IN ROCK and this wonder I guess I'd just better find out for myself about these disques any which way I can!

If you think I'm that "hard up" that I have to check out some cruddy old Deep Purple albums to get at least a faux MC5 kick you're absolutely right! But check out FIREBALL I did and what did I get but a tad bit of disappointment in finding out that this 'un isn't exactly the Brit Isles answer to KICK OUT THE JAMS. It doesn't even sound as metallically-inclined as previous album IN ROCK which is the one the serious early-seventies HM mongers love to take the Five comparisons with, and that is cause for even more consternation in these parts considering how much I could use a high energy fix in these days of sullen doldrums! FIREBALL is in fact kinda mid-tempo metal, not "heavy" in the standard sense and overall what we would probably call supermarket box boy music custom-made for the seventies sopors and acne crowd. Only that would be an insult to the pockmarked ones who used to go for this music whole hog, and ya gotta feel sorry for a class that Chuck Eddy had so much empathy for. Nothing here really stands out from the usual showoff metallic riffage (which isn't a bad thing mind you), and I gotta admit that my usually sieve-like brain retained very little of whatever energy or verve FIREBALL exuded even after a grand total of three spins, not successively of course.

But amidst the bigtime hard rock meanderings I found at least a few moments of interest starting on side two, using old vinyl technoterminology. "The Mule" was a good enough dirger that some wags might feel like drawing up "Lucky Man" comparisons with (thanks to the synthesizer solo), but I felt it more or less had elements that the Sweet would eventually use for their hotcha opus "Sweet FA" a few years down the line. Followup "Fools" was also an attention-grabber even with some of those patented "look how cool we are" riffs tossed in. But two tracks don't exactly make entire albums, and the Sweet were really the ones who could draw up those Detroit rock comparisons (see the review of BLOCKBUSTER in where-else-but CREEM) without making the critic in question looking like a total nimnul even if that critic was Billy Altman. As for Deep Purple, they were better off covering Joe South and Neil Diamond before getting into the really heavy mode, and maybe I should finally give Episode Six a try as well. Now if I can only wrangle up one of those cheapo Scepter Records albums with the generic gold record cover that you used to see all over the place back in the day...

1 comment:

Woody said...

Never expected to see DP on this blog. In Rock is my favorite tape by them, but Fireball has some great tunes.

You should write up Funky Junction's tribute to Deep Purple (it's Thin Lizzy under a different name).