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Fireball: 25th Anniversary Edition - Deep Purple

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£5.37 Best Offer by: betamonline.com See more offers
6 Reviews

Genre: Hard Rock & Metal - Heavy Metal / Artist: Deep Purple / Audio CD released 1996-10-14 at EMI

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    6 Reviews
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      11.02.2013 19:27
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      Flaming, brooding, and just a bit too daft.

      While Deep Purple will forever be synonymous with THAT riff which is either a work of dumb genius, or jus tplain dumb, there was a lot more to them than the alabtross that is 'Smoke on the Water'. A band that has at least two virtuoso members and a love of classical music was always going to be more than just a chord-pounding proto-metal band, and their experimental side has often been overlooked.

      It took a while for Deep Purple to gain momentum. Whereas most bands make their biggest statements in their first few records, it took at least four albums and a significant line-up change for them to realise their potential. Their first three studio albums where mostly underwritten, light-weight 60s psychedelia with the odd glimmer of something grander in there. And the less said about 'Concerto for Group and Orchestra' the better, suffice to say that it was their biggest missed opportunity. 'Fireball' comes hot on the heels of the influential and alarmingly loud and (for the time) brutal 'In Rock', and although some of the heaviness has been retained, it is an eclectic mix of darker sounds with some frivolity chucked in.

      The title track warps and clatters into view breathlessly, and tears along like 'Speed King' with guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and organist Jon Lord trading salvos of aggressive riffs, as Gillan's vocals are screaming along at one moment, and all soothing tones the next. 'Demon's Eye' and 'No No No' offer up some more ethereal sounding passages and darker flavours, interestingly arranged and unusual in structure. But all this comes to a jarring halt with 'Anyone's Daughter', a country-flavoured song that tells the mildly amusing story of the protagonist's philandering and all the hot water it lands him in. It juts out like a sore thumb, both lyrically and tonally. It would have been better left as a b-side, perhaps. The band themselves have voiced this opinion, and feel that it lets the overall quality and feel down. It's a sentiment I'm inclined to agree with. And while I am all for albums and artists varying their repetoire to break ruts and lessen the risk of becoming dull, it's Ok on the first listen, but doesn't come survive the 'skip' option on repeated spins.

      Side two, as was, opens with the tempestuous 'The Mule', driven by a monstrous drum riff and hypnotic guitar runs. I always loved this track, not least because I always thought it was dedicated to the deceptive and villainous 'Mule' character from Asimov's sci-fi 'Foundation' series. Following it is the darker-textured 'Fools', which makes full use of the cello's dark and haunting tones. It all then takes a bit of a turn for the odd again, as 'No One Came' is a rockabilly style piece that is all good-natured grins and silliness in a similar vein of 'Anyone's Daughter'. Gillan recounts the tale of a gig with very few attendees, conjuring up mental images of Spinal Tap playing second fiddle to the puppet show (well, it does in my head anyway).

      The 25th anniversary edition comes with an extra disc of bonus material, which makes for an interesting and worthy addition, although it's hardly full of overlooked classics. Included is the single 'Strange Kind of Woman', which continues the pounding rock but in a slightly less interesting guise. Several dropped songs from the sessions turn up in well-recorded form. 'I'm Alone' sounds remarkably like The Doors, 'Freedom' is a bit forgettable. 'Slow Train' is the strongest of these dropped songs, and would not have sounded out of place on the album proper.

      This is a mixed effort from Deep Purple, as they at turns sound dark and sinister, and at others all good-natured and quirky. They tend to work better on the former, and I think they probably agree that the humour was better left to the likes of Viv Stanshall and Frank Zappa. But it's a worthy effort all the same, brilliantly played with bags of chemistry between the band members and each one having a very strong musical identity in their own right. It's also woth noting that the bonus material adds some depth to the sessions, and the strongest tracks on the album can be listed with the very best of Deep Purple's material in their whole catalogue.

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      12.08.2009 15:33
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      Not a classic

      Fireball is Deep Purple's 5th album and was originally released in 1971, it's often highly praised and Ian Gillan considers it to be one of the band's classic albums whilst the rest of the band don't, I'm afraid that I'm with the rest of the band.

      It's not as guitar driven as I would like it, some tracks like "No One Came" go overboard on the organ sound. Throughout the album the lyrics have a sort of cheesy entertainment value. I personally really enjoy the song "Anyone's Daughter" although it's a completely different kettle of fish from the rest of album, it's a brilliant fun song.

      Fireball is a pretty odd album in that it seems very disjointed, each song in a way sounds a bit like a mini-project and it just seems that they have been shoved together on one album but the order hasn't been thought out. Individually there's many good songs.

      Another stand out track for me is No, No, No. This is one of the most guitar influenced tracks, from the outset it's clear that it's going to be one hell of a funky song. The vocals burst into the track as eagerly as the opening riff, Deep Purple sound surprisingly similar to Led Zeppelin on this track actually.

      Fools is another favourite of mine, starting off in a completely different way - quiet and dark, almost sermonish it's slightly psychedelic and shows a completely different side to the band, a chilled out Pink Floyd like sound for a while before bursting into a lively rock n roll belter of a track.

      I can't bring myself to give it 3 stars, but it probably deserves around 3.5 stars.

      1 Fireball
      2 No No No
      3 Demon's Eye
      4 Anyone's Daughter
      5 Mule
      6 Fools
      7 No One Came
      8 Strange Kind Of Woman
      9 I'm Alone
      10 Freedom
      9 I'm Alone
      10 Freedom
      11 Slow Train
      12 Demon's Eye (2)
      13 Midnight In Moscow
      14 Robin Hood
      15 William Tell
      16 Fireball (1)
      17 Piano Insert
      18 No One Came (2)

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      22.04.2006 08:27
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      The music, dummy!

      What a good album this is. 1971 vintage British progressive rock from one of the finest bands to come from these shores. This is from the revered "Mark 2" version of Deep Purple; Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Jon Lord, Roger Glover and Ian Paice. I think it's fair to say most fans prefer this line up over the others.

      After the breakthrough of In Rock, the band spent quite a while getting this album recorded. Whilst that earlier album was hard rock to the bone, this one is more melodic and tries out a few different styles, notably in the crazy-but-fun C&W twang of "Anyone's Daughter" and the physchadelic tones of "The Mule", a sound very 1968 in its tone. "demon's Eye" shows the band at its funkiest, with a throbbing synth (ooeer missus) holding it all together. But overall the band sound tight and together in the impressive driving rock of "Fools" and "No One Came", together with Ian Gillan's intelligent lyrics about the state of the world and being a rock star.

      "Fireball", the title track, is a pure adrenalin rush propelled by Paice's frantic drumming, and shows the band in full flight as they drive it on up into the stratosphere, just like the title in fact.

      This is a really good album. Paice's drumming is outstanding, Gillan's vocals are superb, Lord throws in some nifty keyboard lines, Blackmore does just enough, equally great licks without showing off excessively, and the genius that is Roger Glover stands in the shadows and holds it all together. A tip though: it doesn't have "Strange Kind Of Woman", that was released as a single only before the album. You'll have to get the remastered 25th Anniversary Edition to hear that one. Top class.

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        21.03.2002 13:47
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        Before I write this I must caveat it by saying that I have just got back froma Deep Purple gig in St Petersburg where they blew me away. They were awesome - brilliant brilliant brilliant!! OK, it helped that I happened by chance to stay at the same hotel as them , get to the very front of the arena (mad Russian crowd there - it was wild!) and was thrown one of Ian Paices drumsticks at the end of the gig - but the music and performance was great! And so I have been going over a few of the old Puprle albums - and generally people regared the classic 3 albums as In Rock, Fireball and Machine Head, with Fireball often cited as the weakest of the 3 (not an insult - the others are fantastic albums) I think one of the reason diehard Purple fans prefer the other 2 is that Fireball is musically very diverse and strays from the more metal style of the other 2 albums. For me though, this adds a dimension which actually makes it my favourate album. So on to the album... It starts with Fireball,the title track and a real cruncher. Good drum intro, and a good pace. Gillans vocals at his best. The recently released remastered vbersion has a great version of this with no vocals, just Jon Lord and Ritchie Blackmore going for it bigtime - well worth a listen. The No No No - one of the weaker songs on the album, but still pretty good. Next is Demons Eye, with a great bass line on it - a very catchy tune. Anone's Daughter is a folk style song which apparently in its days caused contoversy - it was the first single on the album and people thought Deep Purple had sold out. In fact it is a great song - it shows the humour of the band and Ian Gillan in particular. It is a tale of how he kept getting in trouble with all his different girlfriends parents who didn't like their daughters going out with a "hairy bum". Happy ending though - he gets a rich mans daughter pregnant, which apparently is what he always wa
        nted. This is one of my all time DP faves. The Mule, with some great drums - a good song about all the illegal substances they (allegedly) took in those days. This still features on the live set, which is quite surprising. No One Came - a song written about an unsuccessful rock band (to quote Gillan - "This song thankfully never came true"). Still a live favourate - good vocals and quite a funny song! Final track is Strange Kind of Woman - originally called Prostitute - about falling in love with a hooker. A real DP classic which unfortunately doesn't make the live set any more - but a very catchy tune with a good beat. As mentioned, this album has recently been rereleased with remastered tracks on plus also some outtakes from the studio of the band jamming together (Williams Tells Overture, Robin Hood...) and the history of the album. recommend this to all rock fans - it is a classic album that you will play to death!!

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          08.08.2000 06:10
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          FIREBALL was different, yes it was vintage Purple. From the moment that the air conditioning system was switched on to the reversed fade out on “No One Came”. It was not one of those all out head banging albums. It was in some way more grown up, more intricate, more poetic and more thoughtful. Or may be that was my mates and me. We certainly identified with the sentiments. “ I stood under your bedroom window. Throwing up a brick” That last line was soon changed! We were forever having parties and guess what “ No one came” our parents were As Stubborn as a “The Mule” Wherever we asked for something we were tolled “ No No No”. In general in the pubescent state that we were mostly we felt like “ Fools” We were glad to have something that said it all for us. Something to get lost in. something to take away all the pain.

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            11.07.2000 01:17

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            This album features the Mark II line up and seven tracks the title track being the best known. a couple of strange tracks on this one, "fools" complete with a pink floyd style intro and rather lacklustre altogether,and "anyones daughter" with what sounds like honky tonk piano and slide guitars and is just awful. The remaining tracks are all well up to standard with "fireball", "demons eye" and "the mule" the most listenable. Not a classic purple album then, but certainly worth having,although the standout tracks here feature on later live and compilation albums.

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        • Product Details

          Disc #1 Tracklisting
          1 Fireball
          2 No No No
          3 Demon's Eye
          4 Anyone's Daughter
          5 Mule
          6 Fools
          7 No One Came
          8 Strange Kind Of Woman
          9 I'm Alone
          10 Freedom
          11 Slow Train
          12 Demon's Eye (2)
          13 Midnight In Moscow
          14 Robin Hood
          15 William Tell
          16 Fireball (1)
          17 Piano Insert
          18 No One Came (2)