Deep Purple
Fireball


4.0
excellent

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
August 11th, 2009 | 201 replies | 16,255 views


Release Date: 1971 | Tracklist

Review Summary: More diverse, and just as excellent as In Rock.

8 of 9 thought this review was well written

Deep Purple: A Retrospective

Episode V: Fireball

A year after their landmark hard rock album In Rock, Deep Purple went on to release its follow-up Fireball with the same now-famous Mark II line-up. Although the basis of the album is still the same riff-driven hard rock, Deep Purple takes a step back while mixing their acquired style with new elements, among which blues, boogie and even country influences. Fireball is also not as heavy as its predecessor, featuring a far greater amount of more laid-back songs. Like almost any album released by Mark II Deep Purple, it is regarded as a classic in the band’s catalogue by fans and critics, though as far as the band themselves are concerned, only Ian Gillan regards it as highly.

Deep Purple Mk. II was:
- Ian Gillan ~ Vocals
- Richard Hugh Blackmore ~ Lead Guitar
- Roger David Glover ~ Bass Guitar
- Jon Douglas Lord ~ Keyboards/Organ
- Ian Anderson Pace ~ Drums


The opener title track is about as close as we get to In Rock. An energetic opening drum performance by Pace precedes what is the fastest song on the album, after its intro driven heavily by Gillan’s catchy vocal performance. He does not make use of falsetto as much as on In Rock either, but his powerful, convincing vocal delivery throughout the entire album and unique voice make more than up for it. The vocals are one of the strongest points on Fireball, and as such it is no surprise why only Gillan views the album as a classic. The only track where he falls away for a great deal is the largely instrumental The Mule, a relatively well-known cut (partially because of the fact it was used as an opportunity by Pace to show off his drumming skills on stage), and the only one of this album to make it to Made in Japan.

Anyone’s Daughter is a real oddity, and doesn’t quite sound like anything else Deep Purple ever did before or after. Apparently Ritchie Blackmore had been toying around with a country riff, which kept floating around in his head. When he showed it to the rest of the boys, Gillan came up with some fitting lyrics, and Deep Purple’s strangest track was born. It is great fun hearing it one or two times, but the appeal quickly disappears, and Anyone’s Daughter becomes a skipper. Another lower point on the album is No No No, which is unfortunately plagued by slightly annoying lyrics and being too repetitive. It could have well been cut some shorter from the more than 6 minutes it became.

The minor boogie elements found in the album come best to their right in closer No One Came and especially Demon’s Eye, each driven by a groovy instrumental section complemented with fitting vocals, making for two excellent outputs. The album’s absolute high however, is the 8:11 epic Fools. It switches psychedelic jam sessions in the beginning and middle with sudden loud parts, where Gillan puts down his best (and rustiest) performance on the entire album by far, coming up with some of the cleverest and catchiest lines he’s ever written. Fools is an often overlooked gem next to famous Deep Purple classics such as Highway Star and Smoke on the Water, but is one of their finest achievements. What’s more, it works also perfectly in the context of this album.

Perhaps not as well known to the bigger audience as In Rock or Machine Head due to lack of another Child in Time or Smoke on the Water, Fireball is another excellent achievement by Mark II. Mixing new elements with the hard rock style they discovered on their previous record, Deep Purple creates great fresh material on a mostly consistent, but also orginal record that is just a tiny step back in overall quality.

Recommended tracks:

Fools
Fireball
The Mule
Demon’s Eye



Recent reviews by this author
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user ratings (409)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
August 11th 2009



8170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Resubmit of an earlier review of this one. I completely re-wrote it, as most of my earlier reviews are pretty much crap.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 11th 2009



8321 Comments


great review again and also once again, here is some friednly editing:

Anyone’s Daughter is a real oddity, and doesn’t quite like anything else Deep Purple ever did.
I believe you meant isn't
One other lower point on the album is No No No,
would read better if it would just be another instead of one other

anyway I'll still pos this review, it is great to see how much you have improved as a writer from your first reviews.

FadeToBlack
August 11th 2009



10913 Comments


good to see you're still spamming up the system with reviews :P

i shall vote

Douchebag
August 11th 2009



3624 Comments


Good review, glad to see you reviewing the classic metal stuff.

Nagrarok
August 11th 2009



8170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@metalstyles: thanks for so loyally correcting my mistakes every time.

@Fade: Summer holiday = lots of time to write the things. I'll probably slow down majorly next month.

@Alligator: Deep Purple is NOT metal. They did inspire the scene though.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 11th 2009



8321 Comments


no problem Nagrarok, it's all for the cause of making this review site as good as it can be :-)

Douchebag
August 11th 2009



3624 Comments


oh ffs, Classic Rock then?

Nagrarok
August 11th 2009



8170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Classic Hard Rock, more in than direction, but they combine many different elements and it's hard to truly define a genre. Hard Rock is probably most accurate.

Douchebag
August 11th 2009



3624 Comments


Genre's for any band are rubbish to be honest.

Nagrarok
August 11th 2009



8170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you think so, why did you label them with classic metal in the first place?

Douchebag
August 11th 2009



3624 Comments


it was just a general thing to say. I didn't think it would have any dramatic rammifacations.

Nagrarok
August 11th 2009



8170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just saying you're contradicting your own statements. My Machine Head review will be coming Friday or Saturday btw, I'll be off for a few days.

ConorMichaelJoseph
August 11th 2009



1870 Comments


Sometimes I like this more than In Rock, other times vice versa, but either way it's still an awesome album.

shindip
August 11th 2009



3536 Comments


Great review. I dont like this album very much

mark7477
November 23rd 2010



392 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fireball was impressively good my favorite track is strange kind of woman which supposed to be on this album because i do own this CD perhaps this must be the U.K version.I also like fools which is so progressive,heavy and so underrated.

Nagrarok
November 23rd 2010



8170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fools is the best track here.

13themount
February 17th 2011



173 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is best MkII album after In Rock.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2011



20266 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fools is so fuckin good.

Jethro42
July 17th 2011



12388 Comments


Affirmative, it looks like it is.
Review was great.

rockandmetaljunkie
July 17th 2011



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The lyrics of "Anyone's Daughter" are so true.



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