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Steve’s track-by-track

Steve Morse; photo © Jim Rakete; image courtesy of kayos ProductionsMusic Radar has track-by-track commentary of Now what?! from Steve Morse:

A Simple Song

This was Rog playing a dyad riff on the bass. We had a lot of variations on that part. Whenever anybody brings in an idea, they have to be prepared that it’s going to change. But this thing of Roger’s was simple and elegant enough that we pretty much wanted to leave it as was.

I made a little melody, and Ian worked up what he was going to do vocally. It is what the title says it is: a simple song. No big guitar solo. It didn’t need it.

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11 Comments to “Steve’s track-by-track”:

  1. 1
    Andre says:

    The most interesting part is that Steve consciously revealed that he embraced a few influences of David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, and Randy Rhoads.
    Tiny thing I could complain is Steve also said he at many opportunites tried to hide from ‘explosing’ his solos. I mean I love crazy guitar solos, something that come beyond prediction (something Ritchie Blackmore is capable of), but in his description he implicitly say that ‘simple’ is the keyword of his guitar playing on this album.
    I will immediately buy and listen to the album, to verify if my grasps above are valid or not.

    Above all, I would say that Steve’s words on each tracks are interesting, I can smell a very good and relax environment when they made this album. Sure it will be great.

  2. 2
    Tracy(Zero the Hero) Heyder says:

    Though I am ecstatic that the new album is something entirely different from all others, I’m not all that keen on Steve’s constant reference to influences by so many other musicians for his way of playing and Don’s. This is Deep Purple. One the most influential bands ever. By desiring a totally different sound for a new Purple album should not mean trying to sound like some other band or musician. Is that creativity or just grabbing some stuff from elsewhere???!!! Also, I read no reference to any song being dedicated to the Maestro. I was under the impression that ‘Uncommon Man’ was just that. Apparently instead it is Aaron Copeland that gets the creds. Referring to the 9th song ‘Apres Vu’ he actually states… “The beginning, again, is some common ground between me and Don – Argent, Genesis and even Deep Purple.” Even Deep Purple???!!! Gilmour, Page, Clapton, Beck, Hendrix, and Rhodes are the influences referenced regarding Guitar work on a Deep Purple album whereby none of which hold a candle to TMIB whom WAS the signature Purple sound and most influential guitarist of all? Statements like these are the tell tale signs as to why Steve Morse has been in the band so long yet is looked upon as the new session player still. I haven’t read one of his interviews whereby he refers to Purple as His Band. It’s him and Those Guys. This is where that ‘shut up and play’ quote really comes in….. No reference to Jon Lord regarding Airey’s influence and none from Ritchie regarding the long list Morse pulled from. I would have much rather he just claimed ‘creative efforts’ toward a new sound instead of ‘copying efforts’ from elsewhere. GeeZ?! Still can’t wait to hear it. Unfortunately when I do, I’ll be remembering each of these ‘track by track’ descriptions which will make me think I’m listening to a CD Sampler of 11 songs from 11 different bands instead of it being a Deep Purple album. Thanks for the visual Steve.


  3. 3
    LRT says:

    I agree with Tracy, always have about this, it’s Deep Purple. But, just like on Purpendicular, it seems in order to come up with something fresh and original sounding they have to think of other bands. The only other bands I even remotely hear on this are ELP, Asia, Yes and Queen, maybe the Pink Floyd factor is there, but that to me sounds like Gillan solo shining thru, especially with Don’t Moog sound. I was already feeling that was going to be evident with Bob Ezrin producing, and I was right. “Above and Beyond” sounds like The Aviator meets Asia, and “Uncommon Man” again sounds like ELP meets Yes, meets Gillan(Future Shock side 2) a couple sound LIKE Sabbath in “Out Of Hand” and “Vincent Price” which sounds kind of like Sabbath meets Queen. Either way it’s one of those great Purple albums because they made an effort to sound new, and some good old factors wind up keeping it grounded as them. But this is light years better than what they usually do. Jamming with some words and killer vocals thrown in.

  4. 4
    Eddie6string says:

    Vanilla Fudge, Cream, Elvis – They’ve all influenced DP at some stage!!!

    In isolation musicians tend to repeat themselves or implode (dissapearing up their own Ar!?s).
    I loved it when Frank Zappa used to do the ‘Carlos Santana’ Take off – I’ve heard many Take off the Man in Black, but few, very few could imitate Steve Morse – that says a lot I think!

  5. 5
    Tracy(Zero the Hero) Heyder says:

    Eddie I realize they all have their musical influences. Even Ritchie alludes to that. My point was that with each track, Steve made reference to somebody else and Purple last. That’s all. My other point was him playing with ‘those guys’. He is The Guitarist for Deep Purple. He still comes across as a fill in when he discusses his part…..


  6. 6
    Average Joe Blow says:

    As a young kid growing up in the ’70s, my exposure to Deep Purple was through one of my older siblings record collection that contained Made In Japan, Machine Head, Stormbringer and Made In Europe. I listened to those four albums a lot. As I grew into a teenager in the ’80smy DP exposure was enhanced mainly with a compilation cassette tape of the MK 1 line-up, which I also liked a lot. By the time Perfect Strangers came out, I was less impressed and stuck with the older albums. By the time House of Blue Light, Nobody’s Perfect, Slaves and Masters and The Battle Rages On came out, I kind of fell off the Purple bandwagon, but the mid-80s was also a time when my musical tastes evolve into the more fusion/prog direction, and The Dixie Dregs became one of my faorite bands, even though they stopped touring andreleasing albums throughout mos of the ’80s, tha is, until Steve Morse released The Introduction. I became an instant huge Steve Morse fan.

    When I heard that he had become the guitar player for Deep Purple, my attention was drawn back toards them in abig way, because I was somewhat dsappointed with their ’80s and early ’90s output. The first moment I heard Purpendicular, then Abandon, ty became a favorite ad frequently listened to band for me. During the 2000’s, I gradually found myself neglection Deep Purple and once again, was unaware that they had released Bananas and Rapture of the Deep.

    Then about four or five years ago, I got onto a Steve Morse kick in a big way and sought out every recording of his that I could find through the wonderful world of the internet, including his Deep Purple related work. As I discovered tha several live albums came out, as well as Bananas and RotD, it led to my revitalization back into the Deep Purple world and I purchased the entire catalog, sans Masters and Slaves.

    It was because of Steve Morse that I became a born again deep Purple fan, and I’m excited as Hell that I can hear a new album from them again as it’s coming out.

    Personally, I love Ritchie Blackmore’s work with Deep Purple, and to much lesser extent, rainbow, and still unable to wrap myself around his Medieval Festival music, I’ve embraced the notion that, despite his legendary status as the original guitar player, the Steve Morse era line-up is just as awesome as any other era.

    I like a lot of what Tommy Bolin did outside of Deep Purple, but don’t get the same enjoyment out of Come Taste the Band and the various live offerings from hat line-up.

    I also finally warmed up to Perfect Strangers, House of Blue Light, Nobodys Perfect (Gillians voice on that version of Child in Time just kicks my ass) and think The Battle Rages On was somewhat a return to form for the MK 2 line-up.

  7. 7
    Vavoom says:

    You guys are overreacting. You can’t expect Steve to reinvent the wheel for the album. Every guitar player has his influences. Steve didn’t copy anything, he used it for inspiration. The new album is different just like Fireball was different compared to Machine Head and Abandon was different compared to Purpendicular. Still it is definitely a DP album and in my personal opinion it is fantastic.

    Oh and yeah, the entire album is dedicated to Jon Lord. It says on the cover.

  8. 8
    HZ says:

    …common ground between me and Don – Argent, Genesis and even Deep Purple.


    Even Deep Purple in these days is far from Deep Purple! Steve praising Page, Gilmour, etc., and dare to mention DP as influence…

    OK, that’s OK, I’m calm…

  9. 9
    HZ says:

    If other members of “DP” join him in praising Page, admiting he’s the best (together with Clapton and Beck) and Ritchie is the worst, they might even be included into RRHOF in 2020., after only few other ass kisses. 🙂

    Joke. 🙂

    Not very funny though…

  10. 10
    Eddie6string says:

    Tracy I do take your valid point on board.

    I guess to some degree, Steve having at least one other band in his own right, he may never see himself as being carved from the same stone as the other guys, or three of them at least. This coupled with his genuine modesty, probably leans him toward the ‘Hired Gun’ mentality. Let’s ask him!
    It’s about time THS got a Non FAQ feature, where we can get our quirky obsessions nurtured by asking the guys semi-esoteric
    questions that they may know the answer to – I’m sure we could do better than ‘What’s your favourite colour Plectrum Don?’ or ‘Which end of the Keys do you blow into?’
    If the band, management & Crew all respect THS as has been intimated, then someone from THS should have enough Kudos with DP to turn Journalistic ‘Super-snoop’ on our behalf & ask the not so Bleeding obvious. The first question I would ask is ‘Why haven’t the Dregs supported DP on tour (1999 Concerto doesn’t count)? The benefits would be more than obvious & Steve never stops playing his guitar, plugged or unplugged.

    Anyway it’s just a thought whilst I try to keep calm awaiting the arrival of new CD.

  11. 11
    Robert Bidasio says:

    Tracy, I think you’re reading too much into Steve’s descriptors. All music and musicians are influenced by something. How would you describe the songs without making reference to another song or band that other people have heard? It’s not so easy. It’s like trying to describe the color purple. And the order in which Steve lists these references citing Purple last is, to me, that in the end it IS Deep Purple having the final say. As far as “those guys”. if anything. Steve is (still) in awe of his band mates and feels honored to be on-board. If you knew Steve you’d know that he is the most humble and unassuming rock superstar ever. Deep Purple is lucky to have him and I shudder to think of where they would be now without him.

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