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Reviews of Bananas
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Classic Rock Revisited
Moe Cullity
Robert Daems
Electric Basement
Rich Franz
Fabricio Geo
Robert Gloria
Rasmus Heide
Tracy Heyder
Dave Hodgkinson
Paer Holmgren
Benny Holmström
Ted Hurst
Ed 'Janx' Jankauskas
Fredrik Jiglund
Dennis Karlsson
Martin Karski
Mark Dorson King
Stefan Krüger
Christer Lorichs
Don Love
Jeremy Marples
Melodic Rock.com
René Mikkelsen

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Bananas in Berlin
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Roger Glover's website
Ian Gillan's website
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Multilayered rock

I received the "Bananas" CD two days ago, and I have played it repeatedly ever since. Maybe I should have done a review after the first listen, but I recall not really liking "Abandon" at first listen, though now I think it's great. Still, it's not as great as Bananas.

Fellas, you're in for a treat. It almost (almost...) reaches the heights of "Purpendicular" (IMO, the finest Purple album since "Burn"). Kicking off in fine style with "House Of Pain". After just hearing five seconds of this song, I was all smiles. Heavy guitar intro with some kick-ass cowbell from Paicey, this is Purple at its best. Pretty simple arrangement (or as simple as you can get with Morse in the band...), and a definite candidate for a set-opener. Next up is "Sun Goes Down", opening with some big, fat organ chords from Don Airey - a bit a la "Soon Forgotten". This was not a number I paid much attention to at the first listen, but it has grown on me since.

Then it's single/ballad time. "Haunted" is to be the first single from the album. Again, not initially impressed - was expecting the beauty of "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" - but an OK track. "Razzle Dazzle" and "Silver Tongue" are both fine rockers, which would have fitted perfectly on both "Abandon" and "Purpendicular". Then comes "Walk On". Great song. Again, simplicity prevails on this laid back song. An instant favourite of mine.

And now we're rolling! "Pictures Of Innocence" rocks away nicely with some very Gillanesque lyrics ("...there goes my mannish boyhood..."), followed by everyone's favourite "I've Got Your Number". Then something happens. "Never A Word" begins... I don't know, but I could imagine this is a "love it-or-hate it" song. Well - I love it! It's this kind of unexplainable beauty that Steve Morse has added to the band. At first I figured this was an instrumental. But no - just as you're completely captivated but the 2½ minutes of pure bliss that has caressed your ears - Gillan enters. Multilayered vocal harmonies dominate the last minute of this superb track. Beautiful...

But the bliss and beauty don't last long, as our Purple lads go "Bananas" on the title track. Again, a candidate for the live-repertoire. "Doing It Tonight" proceds to bring the album to a close. This one also hit me right away. Great, great song - and please, don't get miffed at the sampled "yeah, yeah" throughout the song. I think it fits in just right.

Last track is the instrumental "Contact Lost". Short and quite pretty. Kind of what Blackmore used to do in his later Rainbow days ("Weiss Heim" etc.). So, to Purple fans near and far - forget all that bollocks about album titles and album covers. I tell you - it rocks!

René Mikkelsen

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