Deep Purple - Bananas - 2004 - Sanctuary Records Reviewed by: Ken Pierce
1. House Of Pain 2. Sun Goes Down 3. Haunted 4. Razzle Dazzle 5. I Got Your Number 6. Walk On 7. Picture Of Innocence 8. Silver Tongue 9. Never A Word 10. Doing It Tonight 11. Bananas 12. Sun Goes Down 13. Contact Lost
Proving that time does not stand still for any band, Veteran rockers Deep Purple have returned with a new recording entitled “Bananas”. The group has also proven that even after all the years that have gone by that they can still deliver solid rock and roll that any age can enjoy. The lineup for the group is Ian Gillen (vox), Ian Paice (drums) and Roger Glover (bass) from the original Purple lineup as well as Don Airey and Steve Morse. Don has stepped in for the now retired John Lord while Steve has been in filling the space left by Richie Blackmore for a couple of years on the guitar. While I am a die hard Blackmore fan, there was probably no wiser choice than Mr. Morse. His stellar years of creativity in the progressive Dixie Dregs has shown he is more than capable of filling Richie’s shoes.
Beginning the disk is a rocking number called 'House Of Pain' which I liked a lot. Ian Gillan sounds great once again. This whole track moves and sets a pretty rocking pace. I liked the feel of this one, and found myself repeating it a couple of times. “When The Sun Goes Down” was also good because it had the most “Lord-like” keyboards going on. I miss John Lord, but he wanted to retire and no one can fault him that. Don Airey is a well known staple in rock music and plays the Deep Purple part to a tee.
“Razzle Dazzle” did not really thrill me, but I can’t put a finger on what it was that I did not like. Yet “Silver Tongue” which followed it I just loved. The entire feel and groove of the beat had me tapping on the desk as I listened. Guitars drove the tune like a machine press and some of it even has a Van Halen vibe to it. That might have been what made me like it a lot. “Bananas” (the title track) is also an interesting number. This piece in particular had a very Emerson, Lake & Palmer feel to it at parts and I rather enjoyed it since I was not accustomed to Purple using this style. Don Airey did a great job at making the boards sound like that of Keith Emerson.
There are a few slow numbers on the disk but the pace of the song does not take away from the feel of tune. They are crafted well and with the exception of 'Haunted' which I felt dragged a little. I feel this song in particular would have been more suited to be a Garth Brooks sort of artist, more so than a Deep Purple. I will leave some of the CD to everyones investigation but bring up one final note on it.
Closing out the CD is “Contact Lost” which is an instrumental piece by Steve Morse that is dedicated to the Astronauts of the Space Shuttle Columbia. Apparently the band was quite popular among one of the Astronauts on the flight and they emailed each other. When the Shuttle came down and was recovered, several Deep Purple CDs were said to be found among the wreckage of the craft.
I recommend this release more for the longer termed DP fan than a newbie who is just checking out their music for the first time. This applies unless you find yourself attending the current tour as this will be a good primer for material they will probably concentrate on.
Deep Purple Official Site - www.deep-purple.com
--Ken Pierce 06.04.04
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