Ritchie Blackmore left the band after the last album, ‘Stormbringer’, due to creative differences with David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes. I find this funny considering Ritchie brought them in to help take the band in a new direction and Ritchie ended up not liking that direction. So Deep Purple was done…or were they?
David talked Jon Lord and Ian Paice to continue and they did. Now before they could continue, they needed a new guitar player and in comes Tommy Bolin, a bloody American. This upset quite a few diehard UK Purple fans. And probably part of the reason the album didn’t do that well.
David had heard Tommy’s playing on Jazz fusion drummer Billy Cobham’s solo album called ‘Spectrum’ and thought he would be perfect. And we all know now that David has an ear for great guitarists (can you say John Sykes and Steve Vai to name a couple). Tommy was a great guitar player and it is too bad his heroin addiction would take a life way too soon a little over a year after the album’s release.
Deep Purple would continue and this would end up being the first Deep Purple album to not feature either Ritchie Blackmore or even Ian Gillan. As a result, a lot of people don’t really consider this a Deep Purple album. Now that is crazy because if they consider ‘Burn’ to be a Deep Purple album, then this one is as well as the sound and feel is so similar to that album and quite possibly could be better. I know I might be in the minority, but I really like this album.