Review Summary: Burning The Past4 of 4 thought this review was well written
This is the 7th Deep Purple album that was released within a year or less of the last album and although 'Who Do We Think We Are' was a significant drop in quality from the usual Deep Purple standard, 'Burn' is a quick and startling jump in quality back into the league of 'In Rock', 'Fireball' and 'Machine Head'. In contrast to the draggy feel of 'Who Do We Think We Are', 'Burn' feels fresh, lively and relevant. The purple fire is still burning!
In this album, Ian Gillan and Roger Glover make way for Mark III, consisting of newcomers David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes. Both of these serve as vocalists for the album; David Coverdale having the more deep, raw voice and Glenn Hughes having the more higher pitched, showy voice. This lends to some brilliant vocal harmonies appearing throughout the album, which has happened before in Deep Purple, but not of this quality. Glenn Hughes also takes the role of the bassist for the album, giving a funkier feel to the album, which comes as a nice surprise.
The addition of these members looks to have made the original members think smarter with their song-writing skills, as songs such as the title track, 'Sail Away' and 'Mistreated' are right up there with gems such as 'Child In Time', 'Fools' and 'Highway Star'. 'Mistreated', in particular should be singled out due to the sheer amount of emotion that Coverdale pours into this beautiful song, as well as Ritchie Blackmore's fantastic bluesy guitar work. The only song which doesn't work is the synth-drenched instrumental closer, '“A” 200', which may have served as an interesting into, but is instead placed after 'Mistreated', which makes this song look awful.
Richie Blackmore's style, at this point, is getting heavier and heavier and is approaching what would define the guitar work found in albums such as 'Rising' and 'Long Live Rock 'n Roll', which is definitely not a bad direction. Ian Paice is on fire on songs like the fill-happy title track and the 'Chasing Shadows'-esque 'You Fool No One', but is also solid throughout the entire album. Jon Lord is brilliant as always, but instead of using his usual organ, he used a piano on 'What's Going On Here' which gives a nice classic rock 'n roll flavour to it.
In conclusion, 'Burn' is an astoundingly quick and major comeback for Deep Purple, and while not quite on par with 'In Rock' or 'Machine Head', a lot of the material really does show how great Deep Purple are. The next album would come within the same year, which sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, as an album like 'Burn' doesn't just come often. Was it a disaster though?