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An album somewhat out-of-line with the Deep Purple of the time. Perhaps more "soul" focused. As a result this album is often missing from a Purple fans music cache. Well worth the occasional listen though and probably more musically acclaimed today than when released.
Stormbringer is the second album of the so called "MkIII" line-up of Deep Purple. Coverdale and Hughes have been the new elements in the combo since 1973, and their influences are particularly obvious on that album. The previous opus "Burn", released the same year (1974), explored a more bluesy path than what the line-up with Gillan and Glover did. With "Stormbringer", Deep Purple not only offers its own interpretation of rythm & blues, but goes as far as reaching the remote shores of soul and funk rock. Needless to say that their core fans were a little bit lost, or even disappointed, at the time of its release. It would take a few decades to see the "Stormbringer" album gaining the appreciation it deserves. First, because of its opening track, a model of epic power rock, where the dual use of Coverdale's and Hughes' vocals brings wonderful energy. Then with an alternation of funky tunes (Love Don't Mean a Thing, Holy Man, Hold On), rock'n'roll templates (Lady Double Dealer, Highball Shooter) and soul/folk ballads (The Gypsy, Soldier of Fortune). "Stormbringer" appears today as one of the most achieved album of Deep Purple in terms of artistic coherence. The album also features the only two songs of Deep Purple on which Ritchie plays without being featured in the credits. Nevertheless, what Ritchie used to call "shoeshine music" seems to represent for him the ultimate challenge and to make him deliver one of his best solos ever: listen to "Hold On", and you'll know what I mean...