Deep Purple

Turning to Crime

As songwriting royalties wither in the streaming age, artists increasingly record covers, often songs influential to their musical development. The pandemic further helped Deep Purple find time to cut this album of high-volume stompers. As your ears will tell you, these legendary veterans – including vocalist Ian Gillan, guitarist Steve Morse, and bassist Roger Glover – are having a blast, with Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Kiss) producing.

Morse shines on Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well,” snapping off its famous riff and adding lickety-split ascending runs. “Jenny Take a Ride!” is a sweaty rocker like the Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels blueprint. “Let the Good Times Roll” – a jump-blues standard by Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five – is a stylistic surprise from these hard-rock/metal pioneers.

Morse’s piercing guitar, including tasty vibrato, elevates the Bob Seger System’s “Lucifer.” The head-spinning finale jam, “Caught in the Act,” is a rousing medley encompassing “Going Down,” “Green Onions,” the Allman Brothers Band’s “Hot ’Lanta,” “Gimme Some Lovin’,” and Jake Holmes/Led Zeppelin’s immortal “Dazed and Confused.” It’s a scorcher.

Turning to Crime is not a major work – fun was clearly afoot – but Deep Purple’s criminal record is expunged.

This article originally appeared in VG’s February 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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