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Deep Purple: Turning to Crime

Just over a year after their successful album Whoosh!, Deep Purple and Bob Ezrin are back yet again with Turning to Crime, a sort of 'let's stay busy during COVID19' project where the band tackled recording some of their favorite classics from other artists...essentially Purple's first 'covers album'. For some, Turning to Crime will be a fun exercise, hearing our heroes Deep Purple having fun riffing on some well worn staples and obscure nuggets. For others, this will be a one-or-two listen and store on the shelf kind of experience. Count me somewhere in the middle; the last thing I wanted was a covers album from my favorite band after the succession of high quality releases we've seen from the band in recent years, but it's the hand we have been dealt with. Turning to Crime does have its moments, like the proggy take on Love's "7 and 7 Is", which is a delight, Don Airey delivering some wonderful synth lines and Ian Paice putting on a drum clinic. Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well" is fun, thanks to Steve Morse's expert guitar work, and "Jenny Take a Ride!" originally by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, is given a run ride from the Purple crew, loaded with Airey's Hammond and blazing solos from Morse. Not quite so sure about the band doing Little Feat, here choosing "Dixie Chicken", a quirky, funky, rootsy classic that seems somewhat out of Purple's realm, though Paice is stellar here and Airey's piano takes center stage, with Ian Gillan also seeming to be having a blast singing this little slice of '70s Americana. The Yardbirds "Shapes of Things" is solid, closer to Nazareth's version than Gary Moore's for sure, and Bob Seger's "Lucifer" might be the best rendition here, Purple making it their own with lots of savage Morse guitar and Airey's upfront Hammond & piano, Gillan also nailing a strong vocal. Here, they've really 'Purpled' the song, which is what I wish they would have done more of on this album. Tracks like Bob Dylan's "Watching the River Flow", Ray Charles' "Let the Good Times Roll", and Johnny Horton's "The Battle or New Orleans" sound fairly pedestrian and 'going through the motions'. Even their version of Cream's "White Room" sounds a bit safe...are there no other Cream songs to choose from? Closer "Caught in the Act" is a medley of a bunch of blues rock classics, and will no doubt go over live when the band gets back out on the road, but despite letting the band show off their musical might, it gives Gillan little to do.

Overall, I'm sure most Deep Purple fans can have a little bit of fun with Turning to Crime, but much beyond that I'm not so sure there's enough here to warrant more than a few weeks of curious listening. Let's hope that another studio album of all-original material is in our future and this isn't the final statement from this legendary band.

Track Listing
1. “7 and 7 Is” (Love)
2. “Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu” (Huey "Piano" Smith)
3. “Oh Well” (Fleetwood Mac)
4. “Jenny Take A Ride!” (Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels)
5. “Watching the River Flow” (Bob Dylan)
6. “Let the Good Times Roll” (Ray Charles & Quincy Jones)
7. “Dixie Chicken” (Little Feat)
8. “Shapes of Things” (Yardbirds)
9. “The Battle of New Orleans” (Lonnie Donegan/Johnny Horton)
10. “Lucifer” (Bob Seger System)
11. “White Room” (Cream)
12. “Caught in the Act” (Medley: "Going Down" /"Green Onions" / "Hot ‘Lanta" /"Dazed and Confused" / "Gimme Some Lovin’" )

Added: December 4th 2021
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 672
Language: english

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