‘Fireball’ is the 5th studio album from the innovators of hard rock, Deep Purple and is second in the quintessential Mark II Trilogy with In Rock (1970) being the first and ‘Machine Head’, the last.
The LP features trademark guitar and organ interplay between Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord, in addition to their highly-skilled riffs and solos, complete with the vocals of ‘silver-throated screamer’ Ian Gillan. But, the real star of the album is the drummer Ian Paice, who had given an over-the-top edge to this LP with his thunderous beats, aptly supported by the partner-in-crime, Roger Glover on bass.
The LP opens with the double bass drum assault of Ian Paice leading into the title track Fireball at breakneck speed. Ian Gillan shines on this one with his silver screams while Blackmore and Lord do their usual guitar-organ interplay. However, the most delicate touch to this song is perhaps the use of tambourine during the outro of the track, which takes it to a smooth fade-out in tandem with the drums. The follow-up, No No No is a mid-tempo hard rock and a complete mood-swing from its thunderous predecessor, mostly due to a dreamy guitar solo played by Blackmore. The next track, Demon’s Eye is a classic Deep Purple staple with its bluesy riff and yet another, guitar solo from Blackmore. Side A closes with Anyone’s Daughter, a surprise departure into country-rock theme with some slide guitar by Blackmore and an impressive piano by Lord.
Side B of the LP opens with The Mule with some great jazz drumming from Paice and yet another great riff from Blackmore. Later, this would become live staple of Deep Purple Mark II with an extended drum solo of Paice augmented in between, as can be heard on the classic live double LP, ‘Made in Japan’. Fools begins with a very calm intro that dates back to the early Deep Purple albums before launching into a crisp and heavy riff. The LP closes with No One Came is a catchy groove with a beautiful guitar-organ interplay between Blackmore and Lord.
Fireball is a classic, genre-defining album from Deep Purple and is a must-have for all self-respecting rock fans who love riff-driven, distorted organ-based hard rock. The LP has been released in India by HMV, Calcutta in 1971 on Harvest label.
Highly recommended for all fans and record collectors of early ‘70s British hard rock!
You can listen to the album here before deciding to purchase the LP: https://youtu.be/wJ_JvzfhodQ
Artist: Deep Purple
Original Year of Release (First Pressing): 1971 (Harvest Records)
Indian Pressing: 1971 (Harvest Records by HMV, Calcutta)
Latest Vinyl Pressing/Reissue: 2016(Harvest Records/Rhino Records)
Genre: Hard Rock
Reviewed by Aveek Chatterjee
Aveek Chatterjee is a Calcutta-based corporate professional and a passionate fan of classic rock, prog and blues of ‘60s-‘70s. He’s an amateur drummer and stills finds time to jamwith his son playing the guitar. He’s an avid collector of classic rock LPs, CDs and DVDs. However, his Audio-Technica turntable set-up and the collection of 1000+vinyl LPs featuring many rare & hard-to-find albums of classic rock are his prized possessions.