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Deep Purple - 2003 Bananas



ARTIST: Deep Purple
ALBUM: Bananas
LABEL: EMI
SERIAL: 7243 5 91048 2 9
YEAR: 2003

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Ian Gillan - vocals * Steve Morse - guitars * Roger Glover - bass * Don Airey - keyboards * Ian Paice - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 House Of Pain * 02 Sun Goes Down * 03 Haunted * 04 Razzle Dazzle * 05 Silver Tongue * 06 Walk On * 07 Picture Of Innocence * 08 I Got Your Number * 09 Never A Word * 10 Bananas * 11 Doing It Tonight * 12 Contact Lost

WEBLINKS: www.deeppurple.com


Background
There is something to be said about longevity. That is one word which can be easily applied to Deep Purple, an outfit that has been around as long as I can remember, and one that is still doing the business too! I'm not sure the same can be said for all those young puppies who are todays sad excuse for rock music. Their inattention to detail reflects their short-lived aspirations and often short attention spans, a sure-fire way to end up on the scrap heap of hard rock. Take a lesson from these grandfathers of rock dear boys, and learn from the masters. Why is it then that the old dinosaurs are still around, and still pumping out the music? Probably because they still believe in it, and trends/fashions come and go like strikers for Leeds United! Line-up wise, Keyboard maestro Don Airey lends a pair of new hands in lieu of organic mainstay Jon Lord, and ensures that nothing is lost on performance and sound. The inspiration for the album title is unusual to say the least, and if humor is one of the catalysts behind it, well DP are well 'on-song' then!


The Songs
Opening up with 'House Of Pain', the band revert to the 'feel-good' familiarity of older Purple material, with Morse and Airey in particular, not straying far from the well-trodden path cut by Messrs Blackmore and Lord. 'Sun Goes Down' on the other hand, takes on a very earthy sound, loads of 'retro' moments topped off by a fluid solo from Morse, and those ever-present keyboards. A ballad called 'Haunted' comes in at No#3. A melancholy affair, which reminded me of Ozzy Osbourne's 'So Tired' ('Bark At The Moon' era) though others may hear it differently. Rockin' up the house is the excellent 'Razzle Dazzle'. This one makes DP sound mainstream.. with this they sound like any number of bands which in itself might not be such a good thing. Talkin' about 'house', check out 'Silver Tongue'. A good grunty song which has a funk element to it. Get Joyce Kennedy to sing it and we're in Mothers Finest territory! You could describe 'Walk On' as a change-up tune. This 'near epic' integrates Dire Straits simplicity with the mood and crescendo-building of past greats such as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers, though the anticipated 'Freebird' styled romp toward the end never came unfortunately. What a shame! The bluesy energetic affair that is 'I Got Your Number' is followed by the mystical and ethereal sounding 'Never A Word', styled in the same fashion as an olde world ballad from the likes of Steve Howe and Yes. The title track is an album highlight, complete with superb guitar/keyboard interplay. 'Doing It Tonight' is equally enjoyable and humorous as the title would suggest. It's about a guy with an active imagination who thinks he can get it on with a woman who is way out of his league.. ha ha! The closer ends on a more sombre note however. The guitar instrumental 'Contact Lost', is a Steve Morse ode to the destruction of the Columbia Space Shuttle during February 2003.


In Summary
All in all, a fun, well put-together selection of tunes, demonstrating that this band have not lost their touch. Gotta say overall, Ian Gillan is in fine voice, and he looks pretty good too. Shame then about his recent drink-driving conviction eh? So, if it's a bunch of classic rockers that you're after, then look no further. It ain't exactly new nor original, but what the hey?


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