Album Review: “In Rock” By Deep Purple
A Seminal Hard Rock Album
Some rock acts achieved massive success from the get-go but for Deep Purple, they took their sweet time before they finally got their breakthrough with “In Rock”. It was a stunning way of opening the decade thus making them one of the greatest bands of that era. It served as the debut of the iconic Mark II lineup consisting of Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.
It’s heavy-hitting, loud, monstrous, and muscular. They pulled out all the stops and every single member of the group brought something different and thrilling to the table. The musicianship is top notch. There’s not one weak moment. The songs are fast-paced, heavy, and aggressive. It’s a monumental achievement and not even time could dim its greatness.
“Speed King” kicks things off nicely – it exudes raw power. Ritchie Blackmore’s virtuosity showed through and it’s clear that they meant business. “Bloodsucker” may not be as ferocious but it’s groovy and addicting to listen to. “Child in Time” is an epic 10-minute tune that serves as the highlight of this LP. The vocals, riffs, basslines, and drum fills – it’s an absolute masterpiece from start to end. It’s no mean feat to maintain the momentum for that long but Deep Purple did it and spectacularly at that. It’s one of Ian Gillan’s finest vocal performances.
“Flight of the Rat” is another searing number. It’s eight minutes of rock frenzy. “Into the Fire” is just as stellar as the other tracks but often overlooked. “Living Wreck” is a straightforward rocker with drummer Ian Paice stealing the spotlight. “Hard Lovin’ Man” is a blistering closer and the only suitable way of concluding a brilliant LP like this.
“In Rock” cemented their spot in the rock ‘n roll pantheon. With this album, they created the blueprint for several other hard rock and heavy metal acts.