Deep Purple - Fireball
Warner Bros. Records
Hard Rock
7 songs (39:16)
Release year: 1971
Deep Purple, Warner Bros. Records
Reviewed by Thomas

Before I start the review, I should stress that the US and European release differ from one another. While the US release contains the hit single Strange Kind of Woman, it's replaced by Demon's Eye on the European. I'll include the latter in this review, since it's obviously on my copy.

Deep Purple don't need much of an introduction. If you aren't familiar with them, stop reading here, and go get Deep Purple in Rock or Machine Head. If you're already properly into the heroic Brits, you'll know that this is squeezed in between the two mentioned classics. Hence, this never gets talked about as much nor getting the praise it deserves. As for me personally, I like this better than Machine Head, but it's also a well known fact that many thinks it doesn't even come close. Taste is unarguable as we all now, so I'll just cut right to the chase. Apart from Ian Gillan, this album isn't even considered a classic among the other performing members, Anybody's Daughter is also classified as a great deal of fun, but a mistake otherwise, which I sincerely disagree with.

Every day, when I'm on my way top work way too early, I usually put Fireball on and rocks on and sing along in half-sleep on both train and metro to the other passengers displeasure. Whenever the fantastic, energetic, riff-y and groovy title-track in, I can't do nothing but rock along to the speedy, catchy beats, great dual guitar and keyboard work from personal favourites Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord as well as the ever so stellar vocals delivered by Ian Gillan. His voice screams desperation, soiled by the lovely, dirty production (which was probably as clear as you'd get it back then), and coloured by his awesome style and range. He does everything right, and I especially like him on the bluesy Demon's Eye, funky No No No and the aforementioned country-influenced Anyone's Daughter. As I have already mentioned, Blackmore and Lord has no equals, and might have the best chemistry among the band-members. One is always following the other through tight lead breaks and edgy, rough riffs. Drummer Paice, is well-paced (pun intended) and sharp, tightening every gap, as well as throwing in excellent breaks in every song. In other words, this is Deep Purple at their peak, where they were firmly placed after In Rock, this, and Machine Head. there's not much more to say about the musicians really. When you have such a star-struck line-up like this, baptised the Classic MK II line-up for the record, you know what you'll get.

When it comes to the songs previously unmentioned, things takes a dip tempo-wise after the lively Anyone's Daughter. The Mule is a little more mid-paced and moody, with repetitive rhythms, and psychedelic keyboard-melodies. Even though it's fairly low on riffs, some parts are more lively than others, and it's a very intense song. Fools is also a slow-goer, a long one, that clocks in for over just over 8 minutes. Don't expect no Child in Time, as this isn't quite of that calibre, but it's still great. Slow, crunching riffs, that gives me a feeling of early Sabbath, and even Dio (R.I.P) at his prime. Like a ship of to distant shores it sails slowly, and ends softly before the more upbeat closer No One Came sums up another terrific album. Even though the oddly high keyboard in the middle of a solo feels slightly out of place, it's a joyous song, with sparkling energy, jam-like solo's, both keyboard and guitar that will bring forth that warm, fuzzy feeling. Gillan sounds top notch as always, adding depth and strength to the finishing blow.

So, I think we can all agree on that Fireball is clinched in between two unclimbable mountains. At least when it comes to success. As I stated, this is for me a better album than Machine Head, but there will guaranteed be masses that disagree with me. However, I think that everyone will join the underrated-chantry, as this album never actually got the recognition it deserves. It's a brilliant album that consists of all the lovable elements that makes Deep Purple the timeless, classic band, that always will hold an important spot in the history of music.

Killing Songs :
All, but my favourites are Fireball, Demon's Eye and No One Came
Thomas quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Deep Purple that we have reviewed:
Deep Purple - Who Do We Think We Are reviewed by Thomas and quoted 81 / 100
Deep Purple - Deep Purple in Rock reviewed by Thomas and quoted CLASSIC
Deep Purple - History, Hits & Highlights '68 - '76 (DVD) reviewed by Marty and quoted no quote
Deep Purple - Around The World Live (DVD Box Set) reviewed by Marty and quoted no quote
Deep Purple - In Concert With The London Symphony Orchestra (DVD) reviewed by Marty and quoted no quote
To see all 10 reviews click here
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