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Deep Purple - 'Slaves And Masters' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/47/3c/eb/SlavesAndMasters-22-1377196609.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     August 22, 2013    
 
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Even though it’s now 23 years old, it’s aged extremely well.

Deep Purple is a band constantly delving into the archives. Finally, one of their most overlooked periods is the subject of a reissue – 1990’s ‘Slaves And Masters’, featuring Joe Lynn Turner on vocals.

Reforming the classic Ian Gillan fronted Mk II line-up in 1984 for ‘Perfect Strangers’, Purple came back with a bang. That became a whimper when they followed up with the rather average ‘House Of Blue Light’ in 1987. Internal frictions led to Gillan’s departure, and the search for a new singer was on.

After briefly having Jimi Jimison in the fold, who was pressured by his record label to stay solo, Purple settled on guitarist Ritchie Blackmore’s old Rainbow band-mate Joe Lynn Turner. Turner’s work with Rainbow led some to believe he was too polished for Deep Purple. Diehards never gave the record a try as a result. They missed a trick.

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‘Slaves And Masters’ is a terrific melodic rock album. It boasts nine excellent tracks, from the catchy opener ‘King Of Dreams’ to the rollicking closer ‘Wicked Ways’. Comparisons were made to Rainbow, as Purple had three ex-members in the form of Turner, Blackmore and Roger Glover. Sure, it’s more soulful and melodic than some Purple albums, but the presence of Jon Lord’s Hammond and string arrangements alone are enough to make this more Purple than Rainbow. Turner’s vocals are much smokier and raspier than his Rainbow days, and for me this album sounds no more like Rainbow than Whitesnake sounded like Purple when Lord and Paice were employed there.

The power ballad ‘Love Conquers All’ is excellent, showing Purple pursuing a more commercial slant, which may well have been the cause of some of the distress felt by die-hards. I thought ‘Slaves And Masters’ represented a great new approach and was much stronger than the follow up ‘The Battle Rages On’ which saw Gillan return, and Blackmore finish with Purple and move on.

The album now comes in digipack form, with a 3,500 word essay about what happened before, during and after this polarising period. There is the added attraction of the excellent album B-Side ‘Slow Down Sister’ added on. Sadly, the one other finished track this line up put out, the great ‘Fire, Ice & Dynamite’, written for the Willy Bogner film of the same name, is not included.

Joe Lynn Turner has his share of haters, but I’m certainly not one of them. This album convinced me of Joe’s talents. If you were one of those who shirked the album the first time, surely enough time now has passed to give it a shot. This has always been one of my favourite Deep Purple albums, and even though it’s now 23 years old, it’s aged extremely well. Excellent!

James Gaden

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Comments (2)add comment

Frank Beltran said:

...
Probably my fav JLT record... very inspired.... the best re era Purple record for me. Now all we need is a proper and official live release from this era.
 
November 06, 2013
Votes: +0

dim kolios said:

...
great album,great joe lynn turner!!!
 
November 12, 2013
Votes: +0

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