01. Speed King 02. Bloodsucker 03. Child In Time 04. Flight Of The Rat 05. Into The Fire 06. Living Wreck 07. Hard Lovin' Man
Anniversary Edition bonus tracks:
08. Black Night [original single version] 09. Studio Chat 10. Speed King [piano version] 11. Studio Chat 12. Cry Free [Roger Glover Remix] 13. Studio Chat 14. Jam Stew [unreleased instrumental] 15. Studio Chat 16. Flight Of The Rat [Roger Glover remix] 17. Studio Chat 18. Speed King [Roger Glover remix] 19. Studio Chat 20. Black Night [unedited Roger Glover remix]
"Child In Time" is one of the greatest things ever recorded.
With that out of the way, we can move on to the rest of the review. In Rock, though maybe a hair inferior to the eternally great Machine Head, still captures Deep Purple at the greatest point in its history. The Mark II lineup delivers its debut album with a sonic punch to the chest that leaves no doubts about where heavy metal originated.
"Speed King," the opening track, laid the groundwork for thrash in a time when heavy metal itself was barely in existence. Ian Gillan screams up a storm like Little Richard on acid, introducing himself to the world with all the subtlety of a unicorn being struck by lightning. He is enthusiastically backed up by one of music's greatest instrumental duos: Ritchie Blackmore on guitar and Jon Lord on organ. Blackmore's trademark guitar tone (achieved via his preferred Stratocaster on all songs but "Child In Time") battles for the spotlight with Lord's own trademark Hammond organ, aptly entitled "The Beast." The result is a crunchy, distorted powerhouse of musical fusion, a mélange of heavy English blues, classical, and hard rock.
In Rock sounds raw and aggressive, packed with the sort of energy and spirit normally reserved for first albums, which makes sense considering that this is the first Deep Purple album in this genre. Each musician is incredibly proficient, and each boasts an air of impressive musicianship. Ian Gillan cements his position as one of heavy music's greatest vocalists ever; his otherworldly performance on "Child In Time" has had a profound effect on, among others, Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden and Eric Adams of Manowar.
Being Deep Purple's first album in this style, In Rock is a little rough at times. There is, however, no major reason to detract from this classic. "Hard Lovin' Man" could be a tad shorter, "Flight Of The Rat" could be a bit better, but this has essentially everything a true Deep Purple record needs.
As previously stated, "Child In Time" alone is enough reason to buy a dozen copies of this album.