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The last battle

German magazine ROCKS is running a feature on The Battle Rages On and subsequent tour as the cover story of their latest issue (2023/6). We are being told that the article is well written and illustrated, albeit does not contain anything we haven’t already learned from elsewhere.

The issue can be ordered through the publisher with worldwide delivery.

Thanks to Tobias Janaschke for the info.

30 Comments to “The last battle”:

  1. 1
    Gregster says:


    It is good-news that the Mk-II line-up is still worthy of print, even 30-years after its 2nd demise…

    *I do hope that they write a paragraph or two about the incredible success that followed with Steve Morse, & how the band changed into a pioneering millennia rock force, that really no-one could touch. Every album & every year that passed increased the distance to the competition.

    Anyhow, for my $00:02, I’ll rank the re-union albums out of ten, & maybe we’ll have further discussion about them later, among ourselves…

    Perfect Strangers = 7/10.

    The House of Blue Light = 7.5/10.

    The Battle Rages On = 8/10.

    Nobody’s Perfect ( Live album )= 7/10.

    Live in Europe ( 1993 Live album boxed-set with 2 x full-shows & 4 x discs ) = 8/10.

    There are some DVD’s available too that are quite good too of that era.

    Peace !

  2. 2
    Fernando Azevedo says:

    Hello, Gregster.
    My ratings for these albums are:

    1) Perfect Strangers = 9 / 10

    2) The House of Blue Light = 7.5 / 10

    3) The Battle Rages On = 5.5 / 10

  3. 3
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Mine would be

    THOBL = 8/10 (almost progressive in parts)

    PS = 6/10 (two killer tracks and lots of fillers, but it sure was great to have them back!)

    TBRAO = 4/10 (the album sounds distraught and cold to me, depressive)

    The two live albums are ok for me, but it would be stretching the truth if I claimed that I hear them often.

    Btw, to me Slaves & Masters is not really worse than Perfect Strangers and certainly better than TBRAO (Gillan having returned to the fold was the best thing about that). S&M sounded like a cohesive and organic effort to me though Joe is certainly no Ian Gillan and I couldn’t see that line-up lasting long. But of course there is more than a grain of truth to the comment that S&M might be a good album, but not really one with a classic DP sound. I’ve never met anyone with a working knowledge of what DP is who in a blind test would have recognized a track off S&M as a song by DP – Joe’s AOR voice really carried that album into another realm.

  4. 4
    timmi bottoms says:

    Mine are…………..Perfect Strangers = 9 / 10…………..The House of Blue Light = 8.5 / 10……………….. The Battle Rages on = 8 / 10.

  5. 5
    ARTEMIS V. says:



  6. 6
    Matthew says:

    If Made In Japan is 10/10 (as you can’t get better than that!) I’m struggling to put any post MK3 recordings above 6!

  7. 7
    Ivica says:

    9/10 Perfect Strangers album

    10″Perfect Strangers” ,“Knocking At Your Back Door”,Wasted Sunsetc,
    9“A Gypsy’s Kiss”,” ,Son of Alerik”,
    8 ,”Hungry Daze”,Nobody’s Home,Under the Gun”

    7/10 The House of Blue Light

    8“The Unwritten Law” ,“Mad Dog”,”Bad Attitude,”Strangeways”,”Dead Or Alive”

    6,5/10“The Battle Rages On”

    10 “The Battle Rages On,”Anya”
    8-“Ramshackle Man”

  8. 8
    Dave says:

    Perfect Strangers 8.5/10

    House Of Blue Light 7.5/10

    The Battle Rages On 7/10. The title track is special for me cuz I remember seeing them in AC around 2007 I believe. They came out for the encore and opened with this song. At the end of the song Ian Gillan says,” Some things will never change.” He was right and I will never forget it.
    Slaves And Masters isnt bad but to call it Deep Purple makes me cringe.

  9. 9
    Dietmar Paul says:

    Perfect Strangers 8/10 awfull Production

    Blue Light 6/10 modern 80 Style but cold in my ears
    – although I Like Bad Attitude, Mitzi Dupree, Ritchie Guitar in Spanisch Archer but Gillan Sounds drunken on Black and White

    TBRO 9/10 quite a good Album under difficult circumstances best Production of the three. Gillan found His voice again …

    Come hell or high water 9,5 /10

  10. 10
    MacGregor says:

    I might as well chip in. Perfect Strangers 6/10, THOBL 8/10 & TBRO 7/10. That mighty opening track & album title song TBRO is the strongest that the reunion Purple came to the early 1970’s glory days. It has all the ingredients of that mighty time with MK2. What a song to commence an album with. And there are another 4-5 really good songs on that album. I do think that TBRO gets put down too much, so it is nice to see some folks here really appreciating it. THOBL is my favourite though. Cheers.

  11. 11
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “… but Gillan sounds drunken on Black and White”

    I love his delivery on that song! You hear his anger and disgust. If it was alcohol-induced, he should perhaps drink more regularly when recording!

    The song is also noteworthy for its syncopated organ in the verse …


    … played by … wait for it … ROGER GLOVER !!! Yup, Roger sampled Jon’s organ sound and played how he thought the organ part might go for demo purposes. Jon heard it, nodded and said to Roger’s incredulity “Why even change it?” And so what you hear is Roger on the recording. Jon, true sport he was, also proposed that they credit the organ part on the record sleeve to “Jon Lord’s keyboards played by Roger Glover”. Priceless.

    THOBL holds a special place in my heart. I put it third only behind Machine Head and WDWTWA among Mk II’s complete studio output, that’s how much I like it. It’s an extremely varied and in parts even daring album. Not a track on it that I don’t enjoy and Black & White with its groove and sardonic lyrics is one of its highlights.


    “Hi! I am Mitzi, the Queen of the Ping Pong! Where you going, boy …”

    THAT, gentlemen, is sheer bloody poetry. Eat your heart out, Robert Plant …

    And I never knew until now that the fabulously talented marks(wo)man Ms Mitzi Dupree was black.


    Nor that her real name was/is Michelle Pradia.



    Mitzi/Ms Pradia, wherever you are, you took aim for the hearts of gazillion of DP fans and won us over! You pinged our pongs with a pop.

    Flash thought: Why did no one think of asking her to guest on the song with one of her flute solos?

    “Patrons packed the house daily to see Ms. Pradia — utilizing parts of her anatomy other than her mouth or hands — perform stunts such as play the flute, smoke a cigarette and pop ping pong balls into the audience.”

  12. 12
    Zen says:

    Perfect Strangers 8.5/10
    House of Blue Light 9/10
    The Battle Rages On 10/10

    Nobody’s Perfect 8/10
    Come Hell or High Water 9/10

    In retrospect, I’m quite happy with the MKII reunion.

  13. 13
    James Steven Gemmell says:

    “Nobody’s Perfect” was maybe a 7 by most bands’ standards, but by Mark II standards it was probably a 2. With some of the same songs, it really paled in comparison to “Made In Japan.” Gillan’s vocals were nowhere near as good, Ritchie’s guitar playing was sloppy.

  14. 14
    Greg FURLONG says:

    Perfect strangers 6/10
    House of Blue Light 8/10
    Battle Rages on 8.5/10
    Nobodys perfect 5.5/10
    Come Hell or High Water 9/10
    I’ll add another …
    Slaves and Masters was probably the worst Album ever in Deep Purples History 3/10
    Made in Japan 10.5/10

  15. 15
    Max says:

    Perfect Strangers 8/10

    The House of Blue Light 9/10

    Nobody’s Perfect 7/10

    The Battle Rages on 7/10

    Live in Europe 10/10 (with NEC 8/10 and Stuttgart 12/10)

  16. 16
    MacGregor says:

    @ 11 – “Flash thought: Why did no one think of asking her to guest on the song with one of her flute solos”? Where would that fit in Uwe?????? Maybe you could stop beating around the ‘bush’ & come clean? Oh my where could this all lead to? This reminds me of Rik Mayall & Adrian Edmondson in a Bottom episode, the one with the blow up doll. Ade (Edward Hitler) is pissed as a mute & also with poor eye sight then pumps the doll up (with air from a compressor) & begins to read the instructions. Rik cringes with embarrassment (he was the one who bought it). ‘Blimey’ says Ade, ‘she is a busy lady isn’t she’? Rick cringes more & denies knowing anything about her. Edwards then says, “it says here she has 3 large offices”. So it begs the question with Mitzee, which ‘orifice’ did she use or did she use all three or even two. A talented lady no doubt. Cheers.

  17. 17
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “Maybe you could stop beating around the ‘bush’ …”

    😂😂😂 A good man should know when he’s beaten, Herr MacGregor, you fierce bush dingo of a cunning linguist, I herewith bow to you!

    I still think that ‘Mitzi Dupree’ is one of the most charming little chance meeting stories ever told in a rock song.

    Speaking of blow up dolls, hasn’t Bryan Ferry honored them best?


  18. 18
    Rob says:

    Enjoying this thread. Won’t grade all the reunion albums but will say that I found them all just a little uninspired, a tiny bit generic, by Mk 2 standards, especially TBRO, though there are some hugely enjoyable moments. By contrast, I found Purpendicular quirky and innovative, not as high energy as I expect from DP, but more of a consistent, coherent whole. I guess the if all things return, it probably remains true that all things come to an end eventually. Farewell Blackers, au revoir Morse, but welcome indeed Maccie-B!

  19. 19
    Rost says:

    My ranking of the reunion albums as follows:
    Perfect Strangers 10/10 my all time favourite.
    HoBL 6.5/10
    Nobody’s Perfect 7/10
    TBRO 8.5/10
    Ritchie in exept some not moody nights played as never before and never after. Only Gillan was a filler.

  20. 20
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Yup, Rob, I get what you mean, 80ies Purple sounded neither unleashed anymore nor yet relaxed, it was just a tiny bit forced and self-conscious (I still lapped it up eagerly, I was starved after the drought of the Rainbow and post-Marsden Whitesnake years!). Maybe you can’t muster that same type of devil-may-care ebullience anymore once you’re turning forty. And they all had a reputation and a life style to support.

    Purpendicular wasn’t an album of angry, but confident young men either (and how could it have been?), but the band sounded incredibly at ease with itself and unafraid to try out new things. That was the infectious charm of that album.

  21. 21
    MacGregor says:

    Mr Bryan Ferry & company, it also has other connotations as well by the sound of it.
    I didn’t know that song at all, thanks for the link. A strange band in certain aspects is Roxy Music. Any band with Ferry & Eno in it most probably will be. They were adventurous & different & I did own the Bryan Ferry Let’s Stick Together album in my youth. A collection of re released Roxy Music songs & a few covers from my memory of it. I have to admit to not knowing most of their music. Cheers.

  22. 22
    Nino says:

    Perfect strangers 8/10
    House of Blue Light 8/10
    Battle Rages on 5/10

    Nobody’s perfect 7/10
    Come Hell or High Water 5/10
    Live in Europe 7/10

    Slaves and Masters 2/10

  23. 23
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I too was first and foremost a hard & heavy rocker in the mid-seventies. But Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry intrigued me. Their music was unaccustomed to my ears and probably as far removed from Deep Purple as I could get (though Roger Glover guested on an Andy Mackay – Roxy’s horn and occasional second keyboard player – solo album which I of course owned and Roxy violinist/keyboard player Eddie Jobson played on Butterfly Ball plus Roxy bassist John Gustafson joined the Ian Gillan Band – there are connections everywhere if you look for them!), but I stuck to listening to that sometimes angular, strange music (early Roxy was a far cry from the crowd-pleasing smooth balladeers they became in the 80ies) until its charm engulfed me.

  24. 24
    Micke says:

    Perfect Strangers 8/10 House 8/10 Nobodys Perfect 6/10 Slaves 7/10 Battle 7/10 Come Hell 9/10

  25. 25
    Jean-Christophe says:

    Perfect Strangers: 9/10
    HOTBL: 9,75/10
    Nobody’s Perfect: 7/10
    Slaves & Masters: 7/10
    TBRO: 7,5/10
    Come Hell: 6/10 (a serious lack of GUITAR on this one, no?)

  26. 26
    Gregster says:


    Thanks for everyone’s replies, & after a week or so, there’s been 16-numbered replies, with the studio albums getting the most responses…And these are the averaged-out results below…For the 1993 live effort, I’ve combined it with the title “Come Hell or High Water”, since most people know that title / DVD / CD…

    Perfect Strangers = 7.875…

    The House of Blue Light = 7.765…

    The Battle Rages On = 7.25…

    Nobody’s Perfect = 6.773…

    Come Hell or High Water = 8.0…

    Surprising to see how the results average-out, especially with TBRO, as it seems to be the most divided between scores given…

    Anyhow, for my tastes, Perfect Strangers is a great album, but the most unbalanced to my ears, as they’re always asking “Where’s Jon Lord” ?…That’s not to say there’s too much guitar, just not enough input from Jon Lord to make note of…

    THOBL I think is an awesome representative work, that indicates what the band should have been working towards further…It’s balanced-out with lots of different styles, & has a tune on it that will please anyone who listens to the album…

    TBRO is my personal fave, as its both balanced-out between RB & JL, & has a heavier vibe consistently through it, reminding us that the thunder-of-old is still very-much alive & well, it just need prodding from time-to-time.

    “Nobody’s Perfect” was a nice treat to get, & hear the band using modern recording equipment, but comedy substituted quality musical performances over-all, & it doesn’t get the play-back here at my place as others do…

    I have the boxed set of “CHoHW”, that features 2 x shows, Stuttgart & NEC, & both shows better Nobody’s Perfect, with the NEC having a more aggressive nature about it when JL & RB deliver the goods, & Stuttgart being a more relaxed, & consistent show from start to finish. Both shows however do have elements within them where the energy-levels near MiJ, but you’d have to carefully listen to both & select the best material to make your own superb mix…Sadly, some of RB’s better solos are in tunes that he doesn’t otherwise play much else on, but still, you could make your own copy of tunes from these concerts, that ball-parks MiJ, but has the modern sound, & the last recordings to be made of Mk-II live. Ian Gillan sings very well, Ian Paice delivers some inspired fills here & there, & Roger has never sounded clearer, or played better.

    Peace !

  27. 27
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Ignoring the deject performance and Gillan not really feeling at home with the songs, I think TBRO consists overwhelmingly of fillers. Ritchie had run out of ideas, rewarming Rainbow riffs, and the other guys were not allowed to contribute enough. Gillan sounds distant from it all. Yes, the production is more forceful and Gillan was back plus Anya and Solitiaire are nice tunes + TBRO (the song) is interesting, but that is about it. When I heard that Ritchie left in late 1993, I was actually relieved. I had seen the dreaded Mannheim performance (and Frankfurt a few weeks before, which was good) – it was high time for something/someone to give. You could cut the air between Ritchie and Ian G with a knife. Horrible.

    And let’s not forget that Ritchie’s discontent carried right into the Rainbow reunion. The inner-band atmosphere of the Dougie-fronted line-up deteriorated to discontent quickly too (once again based on lack of success in the US I believe). I saw the Göteborg performance in 1996 (man, that was almost 30 years ago!), that was depressive as hell as well.

  28. 28
    MacGregor says:

    Yes ole Blackers was over the heavy rock thing by the 1990’s & there is nothing wrong with that, although perhaps to get out a little earlier if possible might have been a good thing for all concerned. The Rainbow album Stranger In Us All I like but I never chased a live performance from that band. And yes I have sussed a few clips years ago online, it was what I thought it would be, uninspiring & a stab in the dark. All that bullshit hype about a ‘Classic’ Rainbow reunion I never fell for either. Media rubbish fuelled by a comment from Cozy wasn’t it, probably joking knowing his habit of dancing with the media at times. Dio was never contacted about that & it wouldn’t have worked out anyway. With Blackmore chewing the cud & Cozy & Dio not seeing eye to eye allegedly with the Sabbath thing in 1991, enough said there me thinks. Now where is my Hurdy-gurdy, oh shit Blackmore took it in the night, what a dastardy act. Oh well at least I can put away my medieval renaissance Celtic new age BN concert costume, the last thing I need is anyone seeing me in that! Speaking of medieval costumes, I wonder if Uwe wears one when he goes to a BN concert. Imagine that. Cheers.

  29. 29
    Gregster says:


    Perhaps one-of-the-benefits of living in the antipodes, is that back in the 1990’s, band tours were rare, internet was rarer, & news of the day-to-day politics & antics was unheard of…This means that albums such as TBRO fulfil their intent with much glory & power, since the dull-drum of politics doesn’t come with the package…

    (And even DPAS magazines only came around every-so-often with any news)…

    To be honest, I remember thinking WTF is going on with this band ???…Though happy Ian Gillan was back, what happened to JLT & why ???…

    From what I remember, it was claimed from management, audiences, & even band-members themselves, that the 21st anniversary of MiJ was upon us, & that meant a Mk-II album & follow-up tour…And that’s what we got !

    I realize that Ian Gillan asked people not to buy the live recordings offered, as he wasn’t happy with them, & they represented a very sad & disappointing time in the bands life…And so even I passed them up until 2014 or so, when the boxed-set appeared…

    Anyhow, TBRO kicks ass when cranked, all the way through…The live albums are quite good too, with the results showing a band working quite well at the professional level, & they offer infinitely better listening than “Last Concert in Japan” does lol !

    And they also represent a signpost that says 30-years of top-quality Deep Purple to come…Look out !!!

    “DP is dead…Long live DP” !!!

    Peace !

  30. 30
    MacGregor says:

    @ 29 – it was the 25th anniversary of DP that management pushed for with MK2 after the JLT debacle. Not that I was thinking of that all, I was glad as were many others also & with much relief to see & hear that Gillan was back & there was a new album on the way, hooray. It was good to see some appreciation here recently for TBRO & THOBL, excellent. Cheers.

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