In 1972, any self-respecting headbanger had a vinyl copy of Machine Head at the forefront of their collection. And so it should be in 2016.
Now here’s your chance to purchase the Purple’s purple period in one deluxe box – this seven-LP trove includes all the studio albums they made between Machine Head (1972) and The House Of Blue Light (1987), so no Made In Japan and none of the seminal predecessors (Shades Of, In Rock, Fireball et al).
Make that purple, with patches, although to be fair Sabbath’s catalogue is similarly spotty. Machine Head remains unimpeachable, and not just because it features Smoke On The Water, Highway Star and Space Truckin’. Thereafter, it’s a question of taste and commitment.
Some swear by Who Do We Think We Are (1973), others deem it lacklustre. You’re never going to get a consensus around Deep Purple because of the inconsistency of their output, but that’s hardly surprising considering their ever-changing lineup. Burn (1974) found them back on track but Stormbringer (also ’74) was a soul-funk step too far for many.
Come Taste The Band (1975) found the Mk IV line-up far adrift from their original blueprint while Perfect Strangers (1984) saw the return of DP Mk II (confused? You will be), somewhat re-energised, albeit with a surfeit of synth-y gloss. And if The House… caught a fractured band struggling to keep up with contemporary trends, it has energy to spare. Dead Or Alive? You bet.