You’d think winter in Wisconsin would be a good time to hole up in the office and rip vinyl like mad. But no. In the last five months, I’ve ripped exactly five LPs. Not exactly a breathtaking pace.
One of those records was one I’ve loved since getting it almost 40 years ago. Needing an album side for my other blog, The Midnight Tracker, I ripped Deep Purple’s “Who Do We Think We Are” a few weeks ago.
It was released in January 1973, during my sophomore year in high school. At that time, I didn’t have a lot of records, so I played it a lot. Though I hadn’t listened to it in years, I still knew almost every note and line when I ripped it.
In the latter part of 1972, a worn-out Deep Purple was hurled into studios in Rome and Frankfurt after a year and a half of touring. They slammed out this record, which has only seven cuts and wasn’t well regarded by the critics. “Woman From Tokyo” was the single, but this might be the best cut.
“Rat Bat Blue,” Deep Purple, from “Who Do We Think We Are,” 1973. (The buy link is to a remastered 2002 CD release with extra tracks. Two more versions of “Rat Bat Blue,” one from the writing sessions and a 1999 remix, are on that CD. It also is available digitally.)
Ritchie Blackmore’s chugging guitar licks drive this one, as you’d expect. That is, until the late, great Jon Lord wrests control halfway through with a gleefully mad prog organ solo. Then you have Ian Gillan’s classic rock-star vocals, sometimes snarled, sometimes screamed.
It all makes for a wonderful trip back in time.
Please visit our other blog, The Midnight Tracker, for more vintage vinyl, one side at a time.