Deep Purple
Stormbringer


3.5
great

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
October 16th, 2009 | 89 replies | 11,282 views


Release Date: 1974 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An inferior repetition exercise, but one not too shabby.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Deep Purple: A Retrospective

Episode X: Stormbringer

Stormbringer came soon after the fantastic Burn; even in the same year, 1974. Though it features essentially the same approach as its predecessor, being hard rock infused with blues and funk elements, it is often seen as a disappointment among most. Even Ritchie Blackmore, long-time member and probably the most important one at that, lost faith in his main musical experience and quit after the album, leaving a still young Mark III in shambles. He would go on to form the initially great new hard rock outfit Rainbow, which featured Ronnie James Dio at its heyday.

Deep Purple Mk. III was:

- David Coverdale ~ Lead Vocals
- Richard Hugh Blackmore ~ Lead Guitar
- Glenn Hughes ~ Bass Guitar, Vocals
- Jon Douglas Lord ~ Keyboards
- Ian Anderson Pace ~ Drums

Still, the second and last output this line-up brought forth isn’t half-bad at all, and there are quite some catchy rockers to be encountered. The greatest issue is however inevitably clear from the beginning: Stormbringer doesn’t quite hold the punch that Burn did. Funk becomes even more dominant here, along with a slight touch of soul here and there, and Purple is actually moving gradually away from their classic hard rock sound.

Burn was intense, as fiery as its title suggested, so powerful that not many albums from its time couldn’t hold a candle up to it. Stormbringer, on the other hand, has problems starting up. Surely, the title track is an excellent opener, but there is no sense of fierceness, and Coverdale takes the vocal march all by himself, while him and Hughes’ harmonies proved to be so effective before. The point where things get up to the assault level of Burn, You Fool No One or What’s Going on Here only arrives at the fifth track Lady Double Dealer, which almost seems fit to belong on Burn. Highball Shooter follows this pattern.

That doesn’t mean that we should have gotten a complete repetition exercise, of course. A greater amount of funk and soul is potentially interesting, but Deep Purple get the amount of ingredients wrong this time, rather than the ingredients themselves. Love Don’t Mean a Thing and Holy Man both start off as relaxing songs, but you’ll grow bored with them just a tad too quick. The Gypsy, however, which runs in the same vein, finds the right amount of power to hold its momentum.

Holy Man and You Can’t Do It Right (With The One You Love) are clearly the most soul-influenced, which is most notable in the vocal department. Hearing a band such as Deep Purple attempt a fusion with soul is interesting, and the result shouldn’t be called poor, but neither is it that good, and you can’t help but feel we’d rather leave that genre in the hands of others.

The most interesting, and certainly most unique moment is the closer and fan favourite Soldier of Fortune, a semi-acoustic, soft ballad similar to When A Blind Man Cries (an excellent and unfortunate outtake from the Machine Head sessions). While not managing to recapture the other’s older glory, it remains the most touching take on the album.

Stormbringer is a disappointment after Burn. Of course it is. That said, perhaps its inferiority is the main reason it did not become such a success. Mark III’s latest output can be, from time to time and in a relaxed state of mood, very greatly enjoyed. It is one of Purple’s calmest albums so far, and while not all we could hope for, certainly infinitely better than some of the post-Perfect Strangers records we got saddled up with. The verdict remains simple: like everything these Brits put out in the golden 70’s, it is no doubt worth looking into.

Recommended tracks:

Soldier of Fortune
Lady Double Dealer
Stormbringer
Highball Shooter



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user ratings (221)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
LepreCon
October 16th 2009



3600 Comments


Excellent review
Great album
's all I need to say

EVedder27
October 16th 2009



6088 Comments


Well done Nag as always

Nagrarok
October 16th 2009



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the approval guys. It is really a shame Mark III didn't give us more than a mere 2 albums, they were great.

stargazer76
October 16th 2009



218 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Great review - pos'd.

Stormbringer doesn’t hold the punch that Burn did and I can't understand how this can be rated as a 3.5 (GREAT) album!

Roderick
October 16th 2009



5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i love opeth's cover of soldier of fortune
this album isn't very good compared to other deep purple albums (stormbringer and soldier of fortune are awesome though, maybe along with lady double dealer)

Nagrarok
October 17th 2009



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Opeth covered Soldier of Fortune? That's a surprise.

stargazer76
October 17th 2009



218 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Opeth's version of "Soldier of Fortune" was included as Track 9 on the "Ghost Reveries" CD+DVD Special Edition.

Nagrarok
October 17th 2009



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Stormbringer doesn’t hold the punch that Burn did and I can't understand how this can be rated as a 3.5 (GREAT) album!


You've got Burn rated a 2.5. I am confused.

fireaboveicebelow
October 17th 2009



6837 Comments


The most interesting, and certainly most unique moment is the closer and fan favourite Soldier of Fortune. A semi-acoustic, soft ballad similar to When A Blind Man Cries (an excellent and unfortunate outtake from the Machine Head sessions).
the first period should be a comma

good review though I like this record

stargazer76
October 17th 2009



218 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Nagrarok - I personally think that Burn was an average album, but it had far more punch than than Stormbringer which I consider to be poor.

Unfortunately Sputnik only has ratings in this area of good, average, poor, very poor. I wouldn't class this as "very poor" & I wouldn't quite class Burn as "good", but there is a big difference between the two albums.

Parallels
July 13th 2011



6640 Comments


lol that title track is so funky. so funky its good.

MO
October 8th 2011



18260 Comments


the gypsy is such one of their best

Digging: Immolation - Dawn of Possession

rockandmetaljunkie
December 17th 2011



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The title track, 2, and 9 are the only good songs here.
In general the album is average, not to say poor.
With this release dp showed that they had past their prime.

rockandmetaljunkie
December 17th 2011



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Matthijs van der Lee your reviewing contribution is really huge.
You should review more records from the 60's-70's.

13themount
January 16th 2012



173 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Gypsy and SoF are best songs. There is good stuff here but perhaps not really Purple.

Parallels
April 24th 2012



6640 Comments


title track is hilarious

manosg
October 11th 2012



5735 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's really interesting to hear how this band evolves with each album. In Stormbringer they sound as if they're holding back something though. The longest song here is just 5 minutes long (Hold on) even though they released 7 and 8 min. songs in almost each of their previous albums. The only other album that didn't have a long song is interestingly Who Do We Think We Are.

Nevertheless, a really good album and a great review.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
October 11th 2012



20014 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent album.

Titan
February 11th 2013



4799 Comments


god damn the title track kicks ass

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 11th 2013



20014 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed. Love this album.



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