ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 27, 1987
By Steve Newton
Deep Purple’s new album was recorded at the same studio, with the same engineer, as their 1984 reunion LP Perfect Strangers. Like Perfect Strangers, the production credits on The House of Blue Light go to “Roger Glover and Deep Purple”. The vast majority of songs on both albums were written by the team of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, singer Ian Gillan, and bassist Glover.
Not surprisingly, the music on Deep Purple’s latest album is not a heck of a lot different from the 1984 stuff. But that’s alright, because Perfect Strangers was a good album. Not great, mind you, like Machine Head, Who Do We Think We Are? or Burn, but not too shabby either.
Although there’s nothing as immediately likable as 1984’s “Knocking at Your Back Door” on the latest Purple project, there is enough nifty stuff here to please most long-time fans–and to capture a few new ones. “Mad Dog” and “Dead or Alive” are raging rockers that should appeal to modern -day headbangers, with Blackmore’s one-of-a-kind guitar wipeouts at the fore.
Ritchie’s also hot on “The Spanish Archer” and “The Unwritten Law”, and plays some wild slide-guitar on “Hard Livin’ Woman”. As usual he’s the star of the show, but the rest of the band is up to par ar as well. The only really weak spot on the album is the irritating “Mitzi Dupree”.