Harry Brewer | S'port, La. | 05/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Deep Purple's classic album Fireball has been reissued, it has been remastered & has bonus tracks. Fireball was a groundbreaking album originally released in 1971 that peaked at #32 on the charts. At this point it was the second highest chart position for a Deep Purple album; their debut, Shades of Deep Purple, had peaked at #24 but that was a very different group. That was the group that had a hit with "Hush" which had hit #4 on the singles chart. There had been several member changes by this time.
The remastering on this album is excellent & this particular version is an import on the EMI International label. The original album had seven cuts: "Fireball", "No No No", "Demon's Eye", "Anyone's Daughter", "The Mule", "Fools" & No One Came". "Fireball" & "Demon's Eye" are the two outstanding tracks here. All of the remaining tracks are very good with the exception of "Anyone's Daughter". It's definitely filler & weak. It was Deep Purple's tongue-in-cheek effort at country music.
There are nine bonus tracks included in the 25th Anniversary Edition of Fireball. They include "Strange Kind of Woman", an A-side single that didn't chart, it has been remixed. "I'm Alone" is a B-side from a single. Two album out-takes have been included: "Freedom" & "Slow Train". All of these are average tracks with "Slow Train" being somewhat weak. Two remixes of the original songs are included: "Demon's Eye" & No One Came". An instrumental version of "Fireball" has been included that's interesting to hear. Two unreleased tracks are included that's basically Deep Purple fooling around in the studio that was captured on tape. They are "The Noise Abatement Society Tapes" & "Backwards Piano". The first of these is the group fooling around with some classics (such as "The William Tell Overture") & not always playing in tune or on time. It's a hoot the first few time you hear it then it gets old. The second one is exactly what the title says, it's not really necessary either.
The cd comes with a comprehensive booklet that has a lot of information from the period covering when this album was recorded. Photographs from the period are also included. The reissue of Fireball with remastering & bonus tracks is a good edition to one's musical library. Though not all the bonus material is necessary, it does allow us to get an insight into some of the other things that go on in the studio. It's not all business. Being a musician myself that has spent time in a recording studio I can tell you this, more goes on than what you think.
I would just like to add this: Deep Purple in this version (Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Roger Glover & Ian Paice) was an extremely talented group. Ian Gillan has to be one of the 5 greatest vocalists of rock. Blackmore the same for guitarists. The other three musicians would probably fit in somewhere among the 10 or 12 best at their respective instruments. A VERY talented group!"