Deep Purple - Burn review


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Band: Deep Purple
Album: Burn
Release date: February 1974

01. Burn
02. Might Just Take Your Life
03. Lay Down, Stay Down
04. Sail Away
05. You Fool No One
06. What's Goin' On Here
07. Mistreated
08. 'A' 200

Burn was the first Deep Purple album to feature the Mark III lineup; returning from Mark II were the living legends Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, and Ian Paice. Vocalist Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover had departed, to be replaced by David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes, respectively. These additions brought to the band an entirely new set of influences and a novel musical direction, which set apart the Mark III albums from the rest of Deep Purple's material. Burn is a step down from the Mark II era, in terms of both sound and substance, but Coverdale and Hughes had some impossibly big shoes to fill.

The new arrivals have roots in funk, R&B, and soul, a drastic departure from the classical/blues/hard rock mix for which Deep Purple had become known. Glenn Hughes had taken the position only upon learning that he would be joined by David Coverdale, because this meant he would have a musical counterpart to back up his creative input. He certainly wasted no time in taking an active role in the songwriting process, evidenced by the noticeable presence of the aforementioned funky and soulful elements. Sometimes, Burn almost sounds like Deep Purple accidentally walked in on a gospel choir. Put simply, there is very little of the heavy, exciting, groundbreaking Deep Purple to be found on Burn. The title track is a marvelous exception, embodying everything that this album could have and should have been, but there are few other positive aspects. "Sail Away" and "Mistreated" are decent, but not great.

Ritchie Blackmore is still present, but his riffs are not as engaging or memorable, and he sounds as if he, too, is bored with this album. Ian Gillan's absence is hard to look past; despite the admirable efforts of Coverdale and Hughes, both accomplished vocalists, not even two singers can make up for the loss of such golden pipes. The space left by Roger Glover is not adequately filled either, as Hughes did not consider himself a bassist so much as another singer, and had no intentions of continuing Glover's complex machinations. By far, however, the most noticeable and disappointing change is the lack of The Beast, Jon Lord's Hammond organ. Lord does perform on this album, but for some reason he entirely abandons the loud, aggressive sound that made him a force to be reckoned with on previous albums. Instead of the loud, distorted monster that turned the organ into a lead instrument, Lord uses an "average rock and roll keyboard" sound that does nothing to enhance the album. On some tracks, he even uses a basic piano sound, which only reinforces the aspects of funk, R&B, and soul brought in by Coverdale and Hughes.

David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes are both very talented musicians, but they were brought in to replace two vital cogs in the Deep Purple machine. The styles that they took with them do not gel very well with the classic sound of Deep Purple, and the result is a mundane tour of perfectly standard 1970s rock and roll. There is nothing special or interesting about it.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 6
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 7
Production: 8

Written by ScreamingSteelUS | 28.09.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 7   Visited by: 45 users
28.09.2012 - 18:50
Mountain King
K i K o
6.5? Burn might their best heavy metal track. My favorite with "Space Truckin'". 6.5 means its a really bad album and Burn was definitely one of their successful albums but of course everyone has their own opinion...
28.09.2012 - 21:14
6.5 means it was between "average" and "good." I don't think it's really bad, it's just nothing special/mediocre/okay. The title track, though, is fantastic.
Row, row, fight the power
Djently down the stream

I'm the Agent of Steel.
29.09.2012 - 00:24
Although you fundamented your rating, i don't agree at all with it.. I gave the album an 8, despite the difference in style, Deep Purple were able to mantain an amazing level of hard rock, with some funkie tunes here and there. It's a great album, definitely the best of Mark III, Hughes and Coverdale were great substitutes to Glover and Gillan, in my opinion, they weren't worst or better..they were different
29.09.2012 - 21:43
I think it's a fair review. The album has some of the greatest stuff they ever released; the title track, Sail Away, Mistreated, but on the flip side a lot stuff which I can barely listen to, like Lay Down, Stay Down and What's Goin' On Here.
30.09.2012 - 23:29
I think that performance of this album is at least 9....album is lso a least of the best with MH, In Rock and Stormbringer....
01.10.2012 - 11:03
Account deleted
I disagree with both rating and review; there is a whole story how this line up and album came into being. Initially, Blackmore almost gave up DP, wanting to make an album with Phil Lynott; it did not happen; then he wanted Paul Rodgers as lead vocalist (Rodgers formed Bad Company). It was Ritchie especially that wanted some new blood in the band, and fortunately Coverdale (22 years old at the time) and Hughes brought some energy to the band. Ritchie tried to play the dictator, rejected some ideas that came from the young ones (some of them would be used later on Come Taste the Band, as I heard Hughes say it in an interview). The chemistry among musician worked out fine, unfortunately only this time as turmoil started again to happen when they recorded their next album, Stormbringer (Ritchie left and formed Rainbow).

To me, Burn is one of DP's best albums, I understand the disappointment that some have with Stormbringer or CTTB, but not with Burn.
04.10.2012 - 02:15
Ace Frawley
The Spaceman
Good review. Reckon the rating given is almost spot on, because there are some weak tracks here. I love the title track on this album but not much else is memorable.
The sun shines over The Fool...

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