Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge Alice Cooper fan, from the time I raided my big brother’s room and absconded with his Alice Cooper Goes to Hell vinyl many years ago. My little Radio Shack turntable was never the same, and I loved its ability to stack multiple records for continuous listening, which was useful when I pillaged my brother’s collection for more Alice Cooper albums. Would his latest record make the stack if I still owned that beloved stereo?
Whenever I write about Deep Purple, I always mention that, no matter what classic rock radio would try and have you believe, the band has a rich history that goes way beyond Smoke On The Water. Sure, Machine Head is probably their definitive moment, the album that should have already put them in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. However, there is more to Deep Purple than just one album, or even one line-up.
The folks at Eagle Rock recently released the 8 track Deep Purple Live in California 1974, capturing the line-up of David Coverdale (vocals), Glenn Hughes (bass/vocals), Ritchie Blackmore (guitar), Jon Lord (keyboards) and Ian Paice (drums) at the massive California Jam Festival, where the band played in front of 200,000 fans and more watching on television. This version of Deep Purple had recently released the album Burn, the first with Coverdale and Hughes, and it’s a great rock record, a bit of a hidden classic that deserves a wider audience to this day.
One of the band’s I’ve grown increasingly fond of over the past few years is Deep Purple. Working in rock radio for the first part of my career, I was familiar with all the big hits (read that as the songs that would make the fairly stringent rotation list) – Smoke On The Water, Highway Star, Hush, Kentucky Woman, Woman From Tokyo. You’d never hear anything from the Mark III line-up, songs like Burn and Stormbringer, which are fantastic slabs of rock. And even the classic Mark II line-up’s 80’s comeback hits, Perfect Strangers and Knocking At Your Back Door, never seemed to get radio play.
Thankfully, the good folks at Eagle Rock have helped spread the word about Deep Purple’s stellar catalogue with various DVD releases, including Phoenix Rising and the brand new DVD, Perfect Strangers Live.
What Do You Mean Deep Purple Has More Than One Album? Andy Burns On Phoenix Rising and Total Abandon
Here’s a little something you may not know – I spent nearly a decade working in the world of rock radio. It was a dream come to true for a music lover like myself, who memorized obscure bios and lyrics and moments in rock history. However, in all that time I spent working in the biz, I don’t think I once heard Deep Purple’s Burn on the radio.
Burn, the great track featuring David Coverdale on vocals. Wait a minute, you don’t know that song? You didn’t know that David Coverdale, future frontman for Whitesnake frontman and one-off Jimmy Page collaborator was even in Deep Purple???
It’s true, folks. Contrary to what rock radio in North America will tell you, Deep Purple is more than Smoke On The Water and Machine Head.