[ d e e p P u r . p l e )
Funky Junction review - side 2
The Highway Star

The basic information about
the album

One man's tortured
relationship with Funky Junction

What our reviewer thought
of the record
(And Side 2!)

What Funky Junction thought
of our review!

Album review

Side 2

1. Hush
Some sort of squeaky toy used for the effect at the start. The attempt to imitate Jon at the start doesn't quite come off, but they do get the lumpy rhythm quite accurately. And the vocalist sounds really like Rod Evans - so maybe the other tracks are what RE would have sounded like on the Mk 2 material. There's quite a lot of life about this track - they capture the laboured funky(!) sound of the DP version.
(33s, 143K) - the squeaky toy kicks off side 2

(18s, 80K) - Benny White does sound like Rod Evans

(33s, 135K) - part of the organ solo

2. Rising Sun
Instrumental version of "House of the Rising Sun". Lots of power without going over the top. Builds up from a quiet start, gets very emotional, then slows and quietens for the end. Beautifully structured and played. The best track on the album by a mile.

(39s, 159K) - Eric Bell introduces the main theme

(37s, 151K) - the best keyboards bit on the album
3. Speed King
This is based on the UK/European version, so they try to copy the blast at the start, and the quiet organ bit. The vocalist just can't cope with this song. There's too much echo (or stereo) on the organ in the middle, but at least the organ and guitar parts complement each other, unlike on some other cover versions. It's OK.

(31s, 127K) - the blast at the start

(83s, 340K) - middle section & part of solos
4. Corina
I believe that this is a traditional folk or blues song. It's a straightforward bopalong tune, with nothing exceptional about it, which any working band could churn out without wakening up.

(31s, 127K) - the start - you can fill in the rest yourselves!

Final (1996) impressions are that it's not as bad as I thought. You tend to remember the bad bits - the vocals, the guitar solo in "Fireball", all of "Dan", the squeaky toy on "Hush". Of course, it's still not good, so don't go hunting for it, and don't spend a lot of money when you find it. I've seen it going for 10 UK pounds at a record fair - it just isn't worth that money, unless you have that much to burn. (On the other hand, if you're a Purple fanatic, how can you resist?)

Later thoughts - in 2001 - are that maybe I was a bit harsh. This was never going to be an album to challenge "In Rock". Given the time available, the DP cover versions are pretty good. The playing is very competent - at times it's very good. And Benny White sings the DP songs with conviction, sticking pretty close to the phrasing and melodies of the originals. It's worth noting that David Coverdale and Joe Lynn Turner always struggled with their predecessors' songs.

Garry Smith - garry@caleyjag.demon.co.uk

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