Deep Purple

The Battle Rages On...

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Personality clashes are as much a part of Deep Purple as Ritchie Blackmore's penchant for black clothing. A revolving door of members resulted in different lineups being given their own labels. The most popular version of Purple has always been the Mark II model: Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Roger Glover, and Ian Paice. This particular quintet has gotten together and had members leave in each of the past three decades, and The Battle Rages On... was that lineup's contribution to the '90s. Following a brief stint where former Rainbow vocalist Joe Lynn Turner sang lead for Purple on the prior Slaves and Masters, Gillan returned for another go-round in 1993. Personal differences aside, The Battle Rages On... picks up on the kind of chemistry that made albums like Machine Head and Perfect Strangers classics. Three decades on, Blackmore's range on guitar is still impressive as he goes from playing with an arrogant swagger on "One Man's Meat" to a fleet-fingered flamenco intro that kicks off the epic "Anya." Elsewhere, "A Twist in the Tale" plays out with the same kind of intensity as "Highway Star," while the hard-driving title track proved to be prophetic as Blackmore departed the band.

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