Deep Purple - A Fire In The Sky – A Career Spanning Collection album review

Comprehensive three-disc set charts Purple’s career highs

Cover art for Deep Purple - A Fire In The Sky – A Career Spanning Collection album

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It’s been something of a banner year for Deep Purple with the well received Infinite album and an impending continent wide tour set to take the band into Christmas. Little wonder then, that Rhino have decided to pull together this expansive collection that gives a generous nod to all of Deep Purple’s history. Admittedly, the cover looks like it’s been drawn by a child who’s just been given his first crayon, and the title sounds like the first suggestion someone threw out at a marketing meeting, but it’s hard to quibble with the track listing and the sustained and enduring songwriting from a band who have endured more splits, line-up changes and protracted and very public fallouts than your average Hollywood marriage.

Also, given Coverdale’s miserable take on the Purple legacy, Jon Lord’s passing and Ritchie Blackmore riding roughshod over his musical catalogue at this year’s Stone Free festival, it’s something of a relief to cherish Deep Purple in their pomp, and appreciate some of their latter day highlights – Vincent Price, Rapture Of The Deep – and work backwards from there, stumbling across forgotten gems as you go, not least a song like the eloquent Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming from 1996’s Purpendicular album. That said, it’s hard to imagine the Deep Purple fan who doesn’t already own the bulk of material here and who might need prompting to revisit the history of a band they already know and love.

Philip Wilding

Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion.