||MARK TAYLOR'S BIG CITY NIGHTS
'Slaves And Masters'
(Hear No Evil Recordings)
The most controversial and hot debated album in all of Deep Purple's long illustrious career, and one that still divides opinion to this day.
When Deep Purple reformed in 1984 with the classic Mk II line up, the world waited with baited breath to see if the band could return to their dynamic form that rightly saw them as one of the greatest heavy rock bands ever along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath as the pioneers of heavy rock and metal.
Although 85s 'Perfect Strangers' and 'House Of The Blue Light' a couple of years later didn't set the world alight as planned, both albums still had a depth of quality that kept the Purple dream alive for most rock fans the world over. However, old annoyances within the band reared their ugly head once again with Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Gillan having continuous public spats ended with the shock announcement that Purple had fired Ian Gillan.
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The search was on for a new singer and names thrown into the hat included Tony Brock of Strangeways, Survivor's Jimi Jamieson, Kal Swan from Tytan and Lion and even Aussie's Jimmy Barnes and John Farnham's names were mentioned.
However it was reported in the pages of Kerrang! magazine that their office was full of grown men crying when they announced that former Rainbow singer Joe Lynn Turner was re-uniting with Blackmore to be the new singer of Deep Purple.
Originally released by Sony music in 1990, the album was met by disdain by most fans labelling the band as Deep Rainbow and they weren't far off the mark. Anyone looking for all out rockers such as the ball busting 'Highway Star' or 'Burn' were going to be left deflated by what was on offer here.
Deep Purple have never been a band afraid to take risks but no one was quite prepared for Purple to go down a slick polished commercial route as they did with 'Slaves And Masters'.
Time is a great healer and now is the perfect time to re-investigate this album of hidden treasure. Once you accept that it really is a Deep Rainbow album, a successor to Rainbow's 'Bent Out Of Shape' you could say, which like that album was produced by Roger Glover and followed in the footsteps of adult rock material of the smooth 'Street Of Dreams' single, only 'Slaves And Masters' had the added bonus of having the finest musicians of offer with the organic Hammond work of Jon Lord and Ian Paice added to the refined sound that was lacking somewhat in latter day Rainbow.
Six songs from this album made the live set including album opener and first single 'King Of Dreams' built from a neat laid back jam with a commercial clarity. 'The Cut Runs Deep' has a heavy chug whilst 'Fire In The Basement' is a heavy blues scorcher.
The morose 'Truth Hurts' is a deep meaningful number that tears at the heart as does the ballad and second single 'Love Conquers All' which features a signature deep solo from Blackmore. The dreamy haze of 'Fortuneteller' is sublime and is the style that suits Turner's voice the best.
There is only one song on here that is a bit of a throw away in the shape of the poppy 'Too Much Is Not Enough', a track written by Turner and a couple of outside writers which was brought to the table when the band were recording in New York.
This release sees a few bonus tracks with the single edits plus the B-Side track 'Slow Down Sister' which is worthy of inclusion.
This Mk V line up were to only record this album. With diminishing album and ticket sales it wasn't long before Ian Gillan was re-instated back to the fold to work on the 'Battle Rages On' album, an album that Turner had started to work on but as with 'Slaves And Masters' is an album that can proudly sit with the rest of Deep Purple's varied and influential catalogue.