DEEP PURPLE – Slaves And Masters [remastered limited deluxe edition] (2013)
UK label Cherry Red / Fear No Evil has released the deluxe edition of DEEP PURPLE’s “Slaves And Masters”, the only album from the band featuring former Rainbow singer Joe Lynn Turner. Now remastered and expanded, the CD features three rare bonus tracks: “Slow Down Sister” (B-side of “Love Conquers All” 12-inch and 45 rpm single) and the hard-to-find 45 rpm single edit of “Love Conquers All” and “King Of Dreams”, as well as an excellent 16 page booklet featuring a 3,500 word essay telling the story of the album, and never seen images and memorabilia, with initial pressings in a strictly limited edition digipak.
“Slaves And Masters” is the most controversial and hot debated album in all of Deep Purple’s long illustrious career, and one that still divides opinion to this day.
Essentially what happened was that Ian Gillan was sacked in 1989 by a band increasingly dominated by Ritchie Blackmore. In the aftermath, Ritchie brought his former Rainbow vocalist Joe Lynn Turner to record “Slaves And Masters”, an album that was more American AOR than British Hard Rock.
So in fact there’s no serious trouble. The only thing you can criticize is use of the Deep Purple moniker, but even that is justified because the rest of the musicians are the original members which made this band famous; Roger Glover, Ian Paice and Jon Lord.
Truth is that “Slaves And Masters” is a really good, fairly consistent record. It was written and arranged according to the era when it was conceived (1990), in the vein of the Melodic Hard Rock popular at the time, that twilight period between late eighties air-brushed hair metal and the crushing fist of grunge that was to follow.
This is plainly evident from the superb opening track, also included as a bonus single edit, “King Of Dreams” which combines great traction, a memorable chorus and of course great melodic leads by Turner.
“Fire In the Basement” has all the classic Purple ingredients: Blackmore’s idiosyncratic guitar figures, Jon Lord’s sweeping Hammond while Turner added a honed AOR vocal style and swagger to update things to 1990. Ditto on “Wicked Ways” which is given greater drama by Jon Lord’s deft orchestration.
On reflection, “Breakfast In Bed” could be straight out of the eighties Bad Company songbook, “Fortuneteller” might be construed as Rainbow transported to a new decade, while “Too Much Is Not Enough”, penned by Turner and a couple of outside writers brings an AOR feel to the table.
The album also spawned an international hit with the standout ballad “Love Conquers All”, now included as well as bonus in its single edit and with the non-album B-side “Slow Down Sister”, a little gem of song.
What this album does demonstrate – even to the naysayers – Deep Purple never really rested on the their laurels and even if “Slaves And Masters” deviated slightly from the Gillan-led template, it is a very good Americanized Melodic Hard Rock record with the glossy sound & production typical from the early nineties.
In fact, there is perhaps a greater connection now between “Slaves And Masters” and the band’s latest offering ‘Now What?’ in terms of adaptability and relevance to the time of release.
This limited edition reissue is really ‘deluxe’; very good remastered sound, excellent digipak quality and a fantastic extensive booklet plenty of rare photos and useful, revealing liner notes.
01 – King Of Dreams
02 – The Cut Runs Deep
03 – Fire in the Basement
04 – Truth Hurts
05 – Breakfast in Bed
06 – Love Conquers All
07 – Fortuneteller
08 – Too Much Is Not Enough
09 – Wicked Ways
10 – Love Conquers All (single edit) [bonus track]
11 – King Of Dreams (single edit) [bonus track]
12 – Slow Down Sister (single b-side) [bonus track]
Joe Lynn Turner – vocals
Ritchie Blackmore – guitars
Jon Lord – keyboards, hammond, string arrangements
Roger Glover – bass, backing vocals
Ian Paice – drums, percussion
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