Deep Purple

Singles Box Set

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Although one does sometimes wonder whether there is not something ever-so-slightly self-defeating about CD-single box sets (who wants to get up to change the disc every five minutes?), as artifacts of the digital age, they have few peers. From ABBA to Black Sabbath, these little cases of perfectly reproduced period 45s make a magnificent conversation piece, and Deep Purple's contribution to the canon is one of the best of them all. Eleven discs round up each of the group's singles as issued in the U.K. and Europe between 1968 ("Hush") and 1976 ("You Keep On Moving") and, while there is nothing here that cannot be picked up on a full-length CD, still it is interesting to trace the band's overall development at 45 rpm. Following "Hush" with "Kentucky Woman" and "Emmaretta," after all, was simply the action of a band that had no direction, and not much clue as to what they'd do with one if they found it. "Hallelujah," the first recording to feature new members Ian Gillan and Roger Glover, says little for what Deep Purple would go on to create. But the moment the laser hits "Black Night," you know that this is a group absolutely in control of its destiny, rushing on through "Strange Kind of Woman," "Fireball," "Never Before" and "Woman from Tokyo" without missing a beat. Thereafter, two further singles -- "Might Just Take Your Life" and "You Keep On Moving" -- seem to have been issued more for the sake of having a new 45 out than for any hopes the band entertained of scoring an actual hit. But the former's instrumental B-side "Coronarias Redig" is a joy, while "Moving" itself is one of the group's all-time greatest numbers. With several singles incorporating non-album B-sides, and the picture sleeves featuring some genuinely nostalgic artistic notions, the box set is a joy to both play and behold. And, though you probably won't listen to it all that often, it's a wonderful thing to own, as well.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 0:46
2 3:40

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 4:43
2 5:14

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:00
2 5:14

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:44
2 3:59

Track Listing - Disc 11

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 1:23
2 3:06
blue highlight denotes track pick