Spin #11 : Deep Purple : Stormbringer
Band Members on record : Ritchie Blackmore (Lead guitar), David Coverdale (Vocals), Glenn Hughes (Bass guitar/vocals), Jon Lord (keyboards), Ian Paice (Drums)
Deep Purple : Stormbringer Year Released : 1974 (original pressing) Produced by Deep Purple and Martin Birch Label: Purple Records Price Range: $30-50AUD Speed: 33 1/3RPM Album Before : Burn (1974) Album After : Come Taste The Band (1975) Further Listening : Richie Blackmore's Rainbow LP : 1 x Black LP Mood for enjoying: This record will make you reach for your air guitar or drum sticks to tap along to the music. It has funk and rock & roll with good feel rhythm. Play this one on the weekend when powering through some chores (washing up dishes and folding up the laundry). You'll be amazed what good music can do to speed up chore times. Track Listing:
LP Side A
Stormbringer - 4:03
Love Don't Mean A Thing - 4:23
Holy Man - 4:28
Hold On - 5:05
Side B Lady Double Dealer - 3:19
You Can't Do It Right (With The One You Love) - 3:24
High Ball Shooter - 4:26
The Gypsy - 4:13
Soldier of Fortune - 3:14
What's in the Sleeve ? 1 x Black LP from Purple records in a poly bag slip. Record sleeve is a bit worn as you'd imagine being released in 1974. Quality on the record is still very good though and I have placed all our records in a plastic outer sleeve to further protect them. I like the fact that the band has placed the lyrics on the back of the record sleeve and you can sing along during the listen.
"I've been on my own so long, won't you lend me your hand. I've been out in the cold too long won't you understand" ~ Holy Man - Side A
Welcome to Spin #11 - Deep Purple : Stormbringer
Come and take a seat by the fire or heater as the temperature continues to drop here on the east coast of Australia. I always find music nicer to listen to when you are all rugged up and taking the time to completely relax and appreciate what you're listening to. That's what I love about the listening process of a Long Play and that you have to listen to the whole side through (unless you really really dislike a song and can drop the stylus in the dead space between songs - but I suggest don't buy that album if you cant let it spin).
I also wanted to pay respects to all our ANZACS (fallen and serving), Lest We Forget.
For our spin #11, I have chosen a 70's classic band and album that might not be as big as their other studio albums - it's Deep Purple : 'Stormbringer'. I remember getting into Deep Purple as a youngling by going through my dads cassette collection. Like most people the first song that springs to mind with Deep Purple would be 'Smoke On the Water' and albums like 'Machine Head' and 'In Rock'. It was a few years later that I heard the powerful title track from 'Stormbringer' that made me go searching for this record. It's a special record and finding the original pressing from 1974 in very good condition was very exciting. A few issues with playback on Side B but relatively good.
For the review I used the set up in our loungeroom as it provided a better range of sound (4 bookshelf speakers spaced across the main wall, approximately 3.5metres in coverage of the wall). The set up consists of a Sherwood Turntable (PM-9805) and Sherwood Receiver (RX-4508) complete with 4 x Sherwood Bookshelf speakers. Even though I have our 8 month old daughter slobbering all over my leg as she cruises along the lounge edge and our 3 year old son is playing with his cars, I love that we can listen to music as a family.
Drop the Needle (of course means place the stylus nicely on your wax):
I have to be strategic with this spin out in the loungeroom and I make sure that our children are sufficiently distracted with their toys before unlocking our loungeroom record hutch. I lift the lid of the unit and place 'Stormbringer' on the platter and turn on the power of the receiver. Because this record is a little bit older I do like to give the record a brush before spinning. I place the stylus down on the spinning wax and close the lid before prying hands can attempt to grab the turntable.
The instant sound of the first track 'Stormbringer' makes our son stand up and run like a madman around our coffee table, he loves it. I love it too and surprisingly this album is regarded as a weak point for the band. Time tends to either give the listener a fresh pair of ears in order to appreciate a record or it tends to not age very well. In this instance I can take this album on it's standalone value and not compare it to earlier Purple albums. The first song is such a strong chugging song that would sound great up loud on any car trip - big driving song. This is the second album released in the same year by the band after 'Burn', which is worth checking out too. After Ian Gillan and Roger Glover left the band, new members David Coverdale (later of Whitesnake fame) and Glenn Hughes really took control of the direction. Deep Purple would show a more blues/funk fused style that I think worked really well. 'Stormbringer' just starts with an absolute classic track that seems to tick all the boxes for a 70's Purple song.
It ends and the dead space fills the room with silence before the second song starts coming through the speakers, 'Love Don't Mean a Thing'. Hughes and Coverdale share the vocals on this one and is a very different song to the opener. I liked how the band lost their lead vocalist and bass player but were able to put out strong album after album. This song is very bluesy and the guitar twang that kicks off the song has me visualising sitting out on a porch in a rocking chair in the muggy south of USA. Tapping along to this one with my foot and taking in the lyrics that are printed on the back cover of the sleeve. Very different style compared to 'Stormbringer'.
I have heard that Richie Blackmore didn't like the direction the band was heading and left shortly after this record to start his own band, 'Richie Blackmore's - Rainbow'. Which is important because he paired up with lead vocalist Ronnie James Dio (later of Black Sabbath fame). The next song is 'Holy Man', Sung by Hughes which continues the blues/rock feel of song two. It starts off so light and peaceful before rolling into the chorus (see lyrics above). The guitars and keyboard work together so well, "The hour glass keeps turning, with not enough sand to see. I am a holy man, so don't you bother me". I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this and other Deep Purple albums - What would be your standout album and/or song? (leave your answers in the comments section below).
The last song on Side A is 'Hold On' is another bluesy number and longest track on the record. The start with Lord on the keyboards blends well with the lower toned vocals of Coverdale and Hughes. Then the chorus hits with a higher toned vocals and I feel myself nodding along to this one. It's the bass line on this song by Hughes that stands out for me. Side A comes to an end and I make sure to distract our son before standing up to flip the LP.
With the LP flipped and our son distracted, the fast charging first song on Side B comes through the speakers with gusto. 'Lady Double Dealer' brings the pace up and the drums of Paice and guitar of Blackmore dominate this one. Might be a contender for favourite song off the album at the moment with close competition from 'Stormbringer'. The harmonies and classic Purple sound of climbing guitars towards the midway part of the song show just how good they really were as a band, no matter who they had in their lineup over the years. Sometimes I wish I could have seen certain bands at the peak of their powers - Deep Purple is definitely one of those bands. "Two timin' woman tryin' to take me for a ride.
You're a hard lover honey but you sure don't keep me satisfied. I wanna be there to try to make you see. There ain't no woman gonna make a fool outta me"
As the start of 'You Can't Do It Right (With The One You Love)' starts, I can hear a few pops and skips happening on this press. Unfortunately you will come across records in your collection or over time that can't be salvaged with cleaning or extra care. I will look for a better press of 'Stormbringer' eventually as Side B does have quite a few issues here and there. This song with the double vocals is a nice song but after the punchiness of 'Lady Double Dealer', it seems a bit weak. I can see that this is one of the songs that Blackmore wasn't happy with due to the funky styles filtering into the songs.
After a few more skips by the stylus (and yes I brushed this record remember) we roll into 'High Ball Shooter' where the guitar of Blackmore counts in all the other instruments before Coverdale and Hughes get stuck in with the tandem lyrics. Paice on the kit and Blackmore again control this song and it brings the rock/blues style back to the record. I especially like the solo from Lord on the keyboard in the middle of this one as it comes through the speakers so cleanly. The warmth on this record is easy to feel and the previous owner/s to me have enjoyed this one so much. It ends with Paice and Lord drumming and striking the keys before the sound of 'The Gypsy' plays.
Once again the start of this one has the stylus slightly skipping along, making the listening experience a tough one. I guess it took us until Spin #11 to hit a record with a few issues. Once the song starts though it does seem to find its groove and stay true. 'The Gypsy' reminds me a lot of the darker sound that Purple are so good at musically until the vocals of Coverdale and Hughes begin. The story of a traveller seeing the Gypsy is a theme that is used so well by musicians , especially when it comes to Rock & Roll or Metal. Ronnie James Dio springs to mind when I hear the title of this track. "I came to see you once before, One hundred years ago.
You took my hand and broke the spell, That should have let me go. But my years have gone so slowly, So I'm here again my friend. For now my life is at an end" The song doesn't have a lot of lyrics but the long sections of music make the lyrics that are there stand out ever more. It's a great song and pairs well with the end of the album.
The tempo of the last song of the album, 'Soldier of Fortune' is very well paced and is a clear album standout for me. It was never released as a standalone single by Deep Purple but has been covered nicely by Opeth (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al8M1UaPkoQ&t=200s) and Whitesnake to name a few. I think having such a soft and pensive song to end the album brings the listener closer and makes them want to spin it again. Side B has a strong finish and cements this album for me as a must have in the collection. What do you all think? Is this one that you are going to add to yours now that you've had a listen?
I hope you enjoyed listening along or just reading through our latest Spin with us. Give us a like on our social pages and don't forget to get involved in the mid week sneak peak to see if you can guess the upcoming spin. Hopefully you all got some good deals for Record Store Day 2022 this year (23/04/2022)! If you did get something highly coveted, please let us know in the comments section.
Until our next Spin, Be Kind to your loved ones and Be Kind to your Wax!