Deep Purple is one of those iconic bands, that keeps on ticking. This band has gone through more line up changes, than I do underpants in a year. Seriously though, they have had their ups and downs, over the years, but have still been able to hold it together in one incarnation or another for going on 40 years (If you take out the amount of time they we broken up in the 70's and 80's). That being said, last year the band released their 19th studio album Now What?!, which was praised by the critics, as being one of their best in years. The success of this release, has led the band to re-release the album in a gold edition deluxe version, which includes a bonus live CD, from the Now What?! Live tapes.
I have to say, though there was interest, I never picked up the first pressing of Now What?!. I am a fan of the band, but I just wasn't sure that I wanted to pluck down the $16 to buy it. When the Gold Edition was released, I thought to myself, maybe I'm missing out on something. Could this release be this strong? The last few releases were subpar, but maybe they had stepped it up for their latest. Well, I guess we all know what happened next. Yes, I decided to check this one out.
Now What?! is worth all of the hype. This is by far the best CD the lads have released in years. This CD is chock full of strong riffs, engaging melodies to make any rocker happy. As one would guess guitarist Steve Morse stands out, but I have to say, it was the new kid on the block, Don Airey (ex-Ozzy, Rainbow, Whitesnake) that stood out the most. Don lays down some serious riffs on this CD. Don was the perfect replacement for the late Jon Lord. There is a nice variety on the disk, which makes this one a keeper. The bonus is the live disk. The live disk showcases the band in top form and completes this very solid package.
Bottom Line: Deep Purple showing that they can still bring it. The best work Purple has done in quite sometime. Enjoyable from start to finish. The bonus, is that with the gold edition you also get a live disk full of classics.
Stand out Tracks: Wierdistan, Vincent Price, Out of Hand and Uncommon Man
-Ragman was pleasantly suprised by this one.