Deep Purple

When We Rock, We Rock & When We Roll, We Roll

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No marks whatsoever for what, even all these years later, must surely rank among the most grotesque titles ever grafted onto a defenseless album, and no points either for trying to cram the best of a decade's worth of Deep Purple onto two sides of vinyl without losing either the epic majesty of their best-known cuts or the instrumental prowess of the individual members. It simply cannot be done -- and that's before one considers the vast gulf that separates the work of the band's earliest (pre-Ian Gillan) incarnation and that which cut the landmarks of the early to mid-'70s. No matter that they are all fine performances. "Hard Road," "Hush," and "Kentucky Woman" can barely remain in the same room as "Smoke on the Water," "Woman From Tokyo," and "Highway Star," let alone share the same slab of vinyl, while "Burn," the sole representative of Mk III: The Final Concerts, is all the more out of sorts for David Coverdale's presence as an utterly dissimilar vocalist to either of his predecessors. Indeed, disregard the fact that this is a Deep Purple album, and it could as easily be a various-artists collection, bereft not only of sonic continuity, but of musical consistency as well. In the ever-expanding world of Deep Purple compilations, this is one to avoid. (As if you could even bring yourself to ask for it by name.)

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