Deep Purple

A Fire in the Sky
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Deep Purple
A Fire in the Sky

There have been innumerable Deep Purple compilations, but this clever set includes at least one track from every Purp album. Three guitar legends are spotlighted – Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Morse, and Tommy Bolin, as well as bassists Roger Glover and Glenn Hughes – which makes for a more holistic view of the band’s 50-year history. For once, everyone gets their due.

The 40-song set kicks off, surprisingly, with the Morse barnburners “Hell To Pay” and “Vincent Price,” illustrating his two decades in the band. While old Blackmore fans may grouse, it’s hard to argue with Steve’s monster riffing on “Ted The Mechanic.” Many will also appreciate the inclusion of Tommy Bolin’s funkier guitarmanship, heard here “You Keep On Movin’” and the searing slide of “Dealer,” both from 1975.

From the notorious Man in Black, most of the ’70s masterpieces are here: “Highway Star,” “Burn,” “Smoke On The Water,” “Mistreated,” and more. Listen to Blackmore’s speedy ES-335 chops on 1968’s “Mandrake Root,” along with crunchers from the Mk. II reunions, such as “Perfect Strangers” (1984) and “The Battle Rages On” (1993).

In all, this collection weaves together a half century of guitar thunder from the mighty Purp – and does so with convincing authority.


This article originally appeared in VG February 2018 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.