Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Deep Purple - Perfect Strangers

Today (September 16th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Perfect Strangers, the eleventh studio album from the English rock band Deep Purple. It had been nine years since their last album, and this comeback did extremely well. The Platinum seller went to number 17 on the US Billboard Album chart (with thirty-two weeks total on the chart), number 16 in the Netherlands, number 5 in Austria and the UK, number two in Germany and Norway, and number 1 in Switzerland.

The line-up for the group at this point was Ritchie Blackmore on guitar, Jon Lord on organ and keyboards, Ian Paice on drums, Ian Gillan on vocals and Roger Glover on bass.

Side one begins with a seven minute version of “Knocking at Your Back Door”. As the third single, the mid-tempo rocker went to number 68 in the UK, number 61 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number 7 on the US Mainstream Rock chart.

“Under the Gun” touches upon the topic of war in the Middle East.

“Nobody’s Home”, released as the second single, went to number 20 on the US Mainstream Rock charts. The lyrics tell of seeing through a person’s surface only to expose the poser underneath.

“Mean Streak”, which closes the first side, is a blues rocking number about a tough as nails woman who takes her man for all he is worth.

Side two starts with the title track. “Perfect Strangers”, the first single, went to number 48 in the UK and number 12 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. The lyrics tell of a conversation between a person and one of their former lives, touching upon the subject of reincarnation. It has a winding and twisting rhythm to it that matches the ebb and flows of time.

“A Gypsy’s Kiss” kicks up the energy with an all-out rocking guitar riff from Blackmore. In a lot of ways, this track reminds me of the band’s earlier music.

“Wasted Sunsets” is all about regrets and missed opportunities, and how they can leave one feeling empty. Gillan’s vocals really hit that emotional plateau on this one, perfectly matched by Blackmore’s wailing guitar.

The original vinyl release ends with “Hungry Daze”, a song that recounts the band’s early days of performing in the late 1960’s.

The first CD release included a bonus track entitled “Not Responsible”, a song about a guy who does not stay accountable for his actions.

The 1999 CD release added another bonus track. “Son of Alerik” was the B-side to the first single; this version is ten minute long epic instrumental composition.

1 comment:

HERC said...

Man, I went cuckoo for this album as a college freshman in the Fall of 1984. In hindsight, I really can't say why although I have always had an affinity for the use of an organ in rock music.

My enthusiam for "Knockin' At Your Back Door" and the title track continues to this day and though I have continued to add subsequent reissues and remasters to the collection, I still have my original played to death vimyl album on the Vinyl Wall.

Thanks for this one.