Deep Purple
Perfect Strangers


4.0
excellent

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
August 20th, 2009 | 62 replies


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the better examples of a reunion album.

Deep Purple: A Retrospective

Episode XIII: Perfect Strangers

Although Mark III had brought Deep Purple new success when their classic line-up fell apart, the band’s final composition in the 70’s, Mark IV, led to their ultimate ending, making for a short but mostly successful career from 1968 to 1976. Ritchie Blackmore had since 1974 left to form Rainbow, and was joined by Roger Glover later. Ian Gillan was involved with Black Sabbath and his solo career. Jon Lord and David Coverdale were now in Whitesnake, Glenn Hughes continued various projects, Ian Pace joined the Gary Moore band, and Tommy Bolin had passed away at age 25 by a drug overdose.

And still, a reunion of the classic Mark II was what followed. In 1984, Blackmore, Gillan, Glover, Lord and Pace returned from their respective projects and created what was first deemed impossible. A money-grabbing attempt? Maybe. As is well-known, Mark II didn’t exactly get along well with each other. Nevertheless, the reception to Deep Purple’s first album in 8 years, Perfect Strangers, was fantastic by fans, and mostly positive by critics.

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 album will immediately invoke feelings of nostalgia if you are familiar with classic Mark II material. The band has obviously aged and sounds a bit more restrained here, but nevertheless impressive. The change in Gillan’s vocals is obviously most notable. He sounds a bit more nasal than during his prime in the 70’s, but still manages to put down a very catchy performance. Lord’s keyboard melodies are not as swift as before either, but make up for it with flavour. Blackmore and his Stratocaster are still a force of nature, and the man delivers those riffs and bluesy solos that are typical of him like he’s never even been away.

The material featured on Perfect Strangers is mostly quality work. The sexual innuendo-packed and catchy opener Knocking At Your Back Door, the slow-galloping rhythm section that drives the title track and the superb guitar and keyboard melodies that lead the straight-out rock ‘n roll track Gypsy’s Kiss are among the best moments on the album. Variation is aplenty, with the heavily organ-driven Under the Gun, the slower blues moment on Wasted Sunsets with two classic solos from the master himself. While Nobody’s Home is mainly vocal-driven, it contains that old-fashioned Blackmore-Lord duelling we missed a lot. Hungry Daze makes for one of the lesser moments on the album for its lack of momentum but has those eastern-flavoured keyboard melodies reminiscent of Rainbow’s Gates of Babylon.

Most of all, what we hear here is a band that really wishes to go for it at their reunion, providing us with nostalgic material that doesn’t quite copy their early 70’s output, showing still new sides of creativity. Perfect Strangers is definitely not a simple move made for paying the bills, but rather one of the better examples of a reunion album. Deep Purple maintain their classic sound and creates enough variety to provide us with an excellent, solid album, and it is recommended to check this out after Mark II (pre-reunion) and III.

Recommended tracks:

Perfect Strangers
Gypsy’s Kiss
Knocking At Your Back Door
Nobody’s Home



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user ratings (256)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
August 20th 2009


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The other review this had was pretty uninformative and repetitive.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 20th 2009


8357 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review. I just noticed that the track-order I have is a mess, but naah, I'm too lazy to fix that. Good album too

Nagrarok
August 20th 2009


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's funny how you're the only user managing to comment on my DP reviews.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 20th 2009


8357 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

well at least you've got me hahahahaha

Nagrarok
August 20th 2009


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

True, but it is still a shame the rest of our sputnikian community doesn't give a damn about Deep Purple. No matter, for I will continue reviewing.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 20th 2009


8357 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah classic rock is largely underrated here and if not neccesarily underrated, then at least overlooked.

Douchebag
August 20th 2009


3624 Comments


I enjoy your reviews, but I don't have any Deep Puple albums so I can't really talk about them

ah well, keep it up.

Nagrarok
August 20th 2009


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I will. And get some Deep Purple albums in that case.

LepreCon
August 20th 2009


4084 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A great reunion album, alright. Not really a touch on the classic Gillian-fronted records though

shindip
August 20th 2009


3536 Comments


Great review. Reunion album usually suck, but I guess this is an exception.

Rhino
May 15th 2010


71 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You know how Crazy Train and Welcome To The Jungle are always used for things like hockey games, when the team skates onto the ice or something? I've always thought the intro to Perfect Strangers would also be great for that.

Nagrarok
May 15th 2010


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Indeed it would.

13themount
February 17th 2011


173 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Solid comeback album - Title track is best song MkII came up with second time around.

PagePlant
September 9th 2011


44 Comments


Knockin' on Your Back Door is the best song MkII came up with second time around.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
September 9th 2011


20652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^Agreed.

Digging: Townes Van Zandt - Townes Van Zandt

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2011


20652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

THE LOG WAS IN MY POCKET WHEN LUCY MET THE ROCKET

TheNotrap
September 29th 2011


8068 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

CAN YOU REMEMBER REMEMBER MY NAAAAME

Digging: Cannibal Corpse - A Skeletal Domain

Itishappeningagain
April 1st 2012


317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

FUCKING RULES

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2012


20652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agreed.

Titan
February 20th 2013


4884 Comments


spinning this now....



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