Deep Purple’s first big hit was a cover – Joe South’s “Hush” in 1968 – and they’ve recorded a few more over the years. But the idea of a full cover album was not on their minds when producer Bob Ezrin introduced the concept at the start of the pandemic, which gave rise to the new Turning to crime.
“There was a conference call one day, and Bob said, ‘I have an idea,'” singer Ian Gillan told UCR. “He said, ‘You can’t get together to write. Why not get together just to play? Which means virtually. Little by little, a few tapes were sent and we started to add our parts, and it all fell into place very quickly. It took no effort. “
It took a bit of convincing, however. “We had a long discussion about this,” recalls Gillan. “You can never improve on an original, so that’s a challenge. But Deep Purple is first and foremost an instrumental band. It always has been. Music comes first for us. So the songs we picked were songs. songs that we could purple. I think I didn’t see it that way, but the guys were, and I’m so glad they did. It was really lucky for the guys to do it. stretch a bit after all those months locked up. “
Including renditions of Love’s “7 and 7 Is” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well” with videos for both, Turning to crime comes just 15 months after Deep Purple’s last studio album, Phew! – their fastest turnaround since the mid-’70s. Gillan says about 50 songs were taken into account and eventually reduced to the last dozen, adding with a chuckle: “I’m very happy that none of mine have been played. ‘was chosen for the final choice. “
What will surprise many fans is the range of the album; Hard rock tracks like “White Room” by Cream, “Shapes of Things” by Yardbirds or “Lucifer” by Bob Seger – even “Jenny Take a Ride” by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels – are perfectly in character, but the likes of “Rockin ‘Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu” by Huey “Piano” Smith, “Dixie Chicken” by Little Feat, “Let the Good Times Roll” by Louis Jordan and “The Battle of New Orleans” by Jimmy Driftwood do are nothing expected for a Purple enthusiast to hear from the band.
“When I joined Deep Purple [in 1969], I left what used to be called a band, or a west coast band, to what became a hard rock band, a heavy rock band, a heavy metal band Gillan remembers. “Everyone was obsessed with having a fucking label for everything. We never signed up for it. All this music, at all levels, we considered it to be rock. Anything that wasn’t Bing Crosby or Frank Sinatra was rock. There was music for adults and music for children, that was it. And [rock] was children’s music. So all on [the album] that’s what we would consider rock. “
Well, almost everything.
“I think [drummer] Ian Paice had some concerns about ‘The Battle of New Orleans’, “Gillan laughs.” But Roger and I used to sing that song in an episode called Episode Six in the 60s. [Guitarist] Steve Morse, being an American, thought to himself, “How can you sing a song about the British being beaten by the Americans?” I said, ‘I know you I wouldn’t do that, Steve. [Laughs] You have to understand this British humor; we laugh at everything, including ourselves – and especially ourselves. It’s just a great song, so we had a lot of fun doing it. “
The closing medley of the album “Caught in the Act” also features clips from “Going Down” by Jeff Beck Group, Booker T. and “Green Onions” by MG, “Hot ‘Lanta, Allman Brothers Band, “” Dazed and Confused “by Led Zeppelin and” Gimme Some Lovin ‘”by Spencer Davis Group. “It’s just an example of what we do when we come back for the encore,” says Gillan. “Don Airey starts playing a song; nobody knows what it’s going to be, and that’s the fun. Sometimes it’s two songs, sometimes it’s six. There’s no plan. [the medley] It was Bob’s idea: “Do what you do on stage”.
Watch the video “Rockin” Pneumonia and Boogie Woogie Flu by Deep Purple
Gillan says that a second volume of Turning to crime isn’t out of the question – maybe, he adds, like something that could be done between studio albums. For now, however, Deep Purple is eager to get back on the road, with dates currently set for the Rock Legends cruise in February departing Florida and then Europe the rest of the year, followed by Asia. and Australia in 2023. Nothing is planned for the Machine head the album’s 50th anniversary next year (“We’ve done it about six times already,” Gillan notes), but it’s clear Deep Purple no longer says the “long goodbye” professed a few years ago .
“It was a bit of a dodgy moment,” said Gillan, who also used the pandemic lockdown to write a book, though he’s not yet saying if it’s a memoir or something. something else. “We were at the end of our relationship with our manager at the time, and a couple of us were not doing very well, had illnesses and operations and stuff. All kinds of crazy things were suggested. about gadgets to promote a tour Someone said, ‘If we do the farewell tour, everyone will think it’s the last tour.’ Neither of us liked the idea, but there was pressure from the office, so we said, “Let’s call it Long Goodbye, and that leaves the field open.”
“But it’s not over after all,” he adds. “We’re not going anywhere – yet.”
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