Album Review – DEEP PURPLE – A Fire in The Sky (Parlophone)
Review by Geoff Jenke
The question I guess is, does the world really need yet another Deep Purple compilation? Purple would have the most compilation albums by any band ever, well maybe except for Aerosmith.
In the 1970’s, hard rock was celebrated by the Holy Trinity, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. Except for a few years in the late 70’s, Deep Purple has been a going concern in various formats since 1968. In 2017 they released one of their finest albums since the 70’s in Infinite.
A Fire in The Sky collects songs from each of their 19 studio albums, from their debut, Shades of Purple, in 1968 to 2013’s Now What?! The compilation is available as a single CD as well as a three CD set.
The single CD concentrates on the bands singles with most versions on the album “Single edits” of their most popular songs. It is for this reason that this version of the album should be avoided like the plague. Hell, they even cut Child in Time in half. Sacrilege! You get the obvious big hitters in Smoke on the Water, Hush, Black Night, Woman from Tokyo, Burn, Perfect Strangers and Hell To Pay from the 2013’s Now What?! all with inglorious shortened “Single edit” formats. Strictly for collectors only.
The three CD set delves deeper into the history of the band with at least one song from every studio album released. This is where the real gold is. The set starts with tracks from the 2013 album and works backwards to Hush from the 1968 debut. In between are the hits and great album tracks from the band. So, for every Smoke on the Water and Woman from Tokyo, there is a Demon’s Eye, Rat Bat Blue, Dealer, Battle Rages On and Any Fule Kno That.
It is also good to see that finally, pre-Ian Gillan songs make a compilation set. The three albums Purple released prior to Gillan joining were extremely good. Songs like Kentucky Woman, The Bird Has Flown, Emmaretta and Mandrake Root deserve their inclusion.
More than a dozen members have gone through Deep Purple and each line-up has something to offer to the history of the band as is shown by this set. Deep Purple are still touring and hopefully we will see them in Australia soon.
So, does the world need another Deep Purple compilation? Most definitely, when it is as good as this one. I would have given this 3-CD set a perfect 10/10 if it had included a track off their latest album, Infinite, thus taking in the complete history of the band.
I guess with 2018 being their 50th year anniversary, we may see another compilation from the band next year.