A “covers” album by Deep Purple produced by Bob Ezrin. When you hear that you are likely to say “things we never thought we’d see Alex”. In the world of Hard Rock you think of Deep Purple as coming from the Big Bang more than being a group of musicians that had influences that shaped them. But pull back the curtain on one of the absolute pioneering bands of modern music, these songs were their “Smoke On The Water”. The songs that made them pick up the sticks, the mic, etc.
“7 And 7 Is” was by a band called simple Love from California. They did the song originally in 1966 just a few years prior to Deep Purple’s entry into the business. “Rockin’ Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu” has been covered by the likes of Aerosmith, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, and the Grateful Dead but was originally done in 1957 by Huey “Piano” Smith and the Clowns. At this point in the album it is only fitting at a band that started in the 60’s did a tribute to Peter Green with Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well”. Of the first three songs, this is the first that really gets the Deep Purple train in full motion. Steve Morse just goes off on a solo between the first and second verses. “Jenny Take A Ride” from Mitch Rider and the Detroite Wheels is up next. In case the title doesn’t ring a bell, think “See See Rider”. This song belongs to Ian Paice as the drums really are what brings this song to life. Deep Purple doing a Bob Dylan song, “Watching The River Flow” my have you scratching your head. Steve Morse with a slide might perplex you more. Both Sonny and Cher as well as Barbra Streisand have covered the next song, Shirley and Lee’s “Let The Good Times Roll”. This has all the element of a jazz, night-club band.
The next song, honestly I was afraid to listen to. Just having no idea how it would sound. Little Feet’s “Dixie Chicken” was done pretty close to the original. No British band could do a covers album and not include the Yardbirds. “Shapes of Things” sound like it belongs in what you would expect for DP to have been listening to. The #1 Jimmy Driftwood hit “The Battle Of New Orleans” is another song you might not recognize by title but “In 1814, we took a little trip Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip” will ring more than a few bells. Maybe the high water mark of the album is “Lucifer” originally done by Bob Seger. This sounds like it could be song right off any of their catalog albums. Cream’s “White Room” was done very tastefully and with the respect any British band would pay Cream. The medley “Caught In The Act” rounds out the album featuring a nice take on Jeff Beck’s “Going Down”, Zeppelin, the Spencer Davis Group, the Allman Brothers, and Booker T and the M.G.’s.
There’s no denying overall when you hear Ian Gillan’s voice, this is indeed Deep Purple. The songs, while not obvious choices, provide a fascinating look at what made the band that influenced so many.
1) 7 And 7 Is
2) Rockin’ Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu
3) Oh Well
4) Jenny Take A Ride!
5) Watching The River Flow
6) Let The Good Times Roll
7) Dixie Chicken
8) Shapes Of Things
9) The Battle Of New Orleans
11) White Room
12) Caught In The Act [Medley: Going Down /Green Onions / Hot ‘Lanta /Dazed and Confused / Gimme Some Lovin’ ]