Classic Review: Deep Purple – Fireball

Deep_purple_–_fireballWritten by Rainer Kerber

I think about Deep Purple you must not lose too many words. Established in 1967 as “Roundabout”, the band later renamed themselves Deep Purple a year later. And under that name they are still on tour today. In a few weeks the 20th studio album will be released. In addition, the legendary rockers will go on their Farewell tour. Before this happens, I want to turn the wheel of time back by more than forty years.

In September 1971, Fireball, the fifth long play record of the Hard rock legends, was released. the disc was recorded in the period between September 1970 and June 1971 by the legendary MK II occupation. The album snagged top positions worldwide in the music charts and earned first place in Germany and UK. The single ‘Strange Kind Of Woman’ would later chart in at eight on the British charts.

With Fireball Deep Purple delivered the blueprint for the later development of speed metal. Once you can hear the studio ventilation for a few seconds provide double bass and guitar for fast pace. Jon Lords’ organ solo, as well as the tambourine hit by Ian Gillan, leave a lasting impressions here. ‘No No No’ comes much quieter and more bluesier, therefore stamping powerfully from the boxes with great interplay between guitar and Hammond organ. Although the song is a bit forgotten, it is a prime example for the typical Deep Purple sound.

‘Demon’s Eye’ closes seamlessly, but sounds lighter and more lively. In the middle part the Hammond organ dominates again, distorted but melodic.

‘Anyone’s Daughter’ actually sounds less like Deep Purple, but delivers an interesting musical colour. With the Folk touch, this is a suitable ending for the first side of the record.

Side 2 then starts with the psychedelically sounding ‘The Mule.’ After tambourine sounds, the guitar chords just burst out of the boxes. The song is underlined by unrhythmic driving drumbeats by Ian Paice. In live performances, there’s often a lengthy drum solo.

‘Fools’ is one of my absolute all-time favourites from Deep Purple. From my point of view this song is punishably undervalued and is almost not played on the radio. After a quiet instrumental introduction, ruthless fat riffs follow, which really roll over the listener. And the guitar solo of Ritchie Blackmore sounds like an electrically amplified violin, accompanied by Shaker sounds delivering a goosebumps inspiring atmosphere.

‘No One Came’ is the bouncer of the album with catchy and groovy melodies. Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord are brilliant with solos on guitar and Hammond.

On Fireball Deep Purple convince with great experimentation. The songs are varied and cover a wide range of hard rock. On the plate is perhaps not a “hit” as in other albums but so some song gem. In my view, “Fireball” is quite a reference for the entire work of the band, and if you don’t know Deep Purple, then by all means start with this album!


Ian Gillan – Vocals
Ritchie Blackmore – Guitar
Jon Lord – Hammond
Roger Glover – Bass
Ian Paice – Drums

Label: Harvest Records / Warner Bros.

Out: September, 15th 1971

Duration: 40:30

Track list:

Side 1

  • Fireball
  • No No No
  • Demon’s Eye
  • Anyone’s Daughter

Side 2

  • The Mule
  • Fools
  • No One Came

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