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What do you think of Now what?!

Deep Purple - Now what?! artwork; image courtesy of Edel/earMUSIC

The new album has been out for a while now, the dust seems to be settling down, and it’s time for another poll here at The Highway Star.

We tried to put together a variety of the most often expressed opinions of the album, and you can always post your opinion in free form in the comments.

The poll closes at 23:59 UTC on Tuesday, May 21. You need Javascript and cookies enabled to vote.

What do you think of Now what?!

  • Their best since Purpendicular (41%, 578 Votes)
  • Their best since Perfect Strangers (23%, 328 Votes)
  • Their best since the 70s (12%, 167 Votes)
  • It's okay, on par with the last 4 (8%, 119 Votes)
  • Best thing since sliced bread (4%, 60 Votes)
  • It's a fine album, but it's not Deep Purple (4%, 57 Votes)
  • Listened to it, put it on the shelf (3%, 43 Votes)
  • Have not heard it yet (3%, 41 Votes)
  • None of the above (feel free to comment) (2%, 34 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,427

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105 Comments to “What do you think of Now what?!”:

  1. 1
    François Lefevre says:

    A pure masterpiece !! We need a Now What ?! 2 ……..

  2. 2
    Pedro Gajardo says:

    la formula perfecta de como hacer buen rock.

  3. 3
    Tom Koifman says:


  4. 4
    Average Joe Blow says:

    Being from the US, I just picked up my copy of the Limited Edition version today, and am listening for the first time right now while writing this. My real time first impression is as follows…

    A Simple Song – Reminds me of Fools. Would love if they play this one life, that they allow Steve Morse to on up. Great song!

    Weirdistan – Very modern sounding song that has a nice rocking and progressive vibe. Great solos by Don Airey and Steve Morse! I like the new direction they take with this one. Excellent!

    Out of Hand – Sounds like a classic sounding Deep Purple track that has a nice fat heavy groove and riff. Steve Morse really lights up on this one (Ritchie who?).

    Hell To Pay – Heard the clips of this one online so knew what to expect. A straightforward rocker with a classic Morse type arranged solo. The Airey solo is a fitting tribute to Jon Lord (RIP), which reminds me of the jam they used to do in Space Truckin’. The album version is much better than the edited version.

    Body Line – This one has Steve Morse’s signature style all over it. LOVE IT!!! Great funky swinging groove and hook in the bridge. This is the type of song that really got me back into Deep Purple when Steve Morse joined.

    Above and Beyond – Nice and unusual for Deep Purple to switch up time signatures. Unpredictable and enjoyable. Nice prog-ish feel.

    Blood From a Stone – Nice laid back groove with a rocking chorus and bridge. Another unpredictable song.

    Uncommon Man – Moody intro that flows out of the previous song featuring Airey and Morse. When they get into the meat of the song, it really opens up into another unpredictable prog rock direction. Don Airey and Steve Morse play nicely off of each other.

    Aprèz Vous – A classicaly influenced intro to a big chunky rocking groove. The beginning of the big jam has a classic Bob Ezrin type vibe that rolls into some fantasic interplay between Morse and Airey.

    All The Time In The World – The first song put online, and one that really grew on me before even hearing it in it’s proper place on the album. A well written song with plenty of room for live explorations into deeper layers. I like it.

    Vincent Price – Dark and sinister (Alice Cooper sure has rubbed off on Bob Ezrin). Steve Morse is such a musical genius. Ian Gillian even gets a classic scream in. Glad to see Deep Purple aren’t afraid to continue evolving without the need to have to try to sound like they did when they put themselves on the map. True professionals and artists.

    It’ll Be Me (exclusive bonus track) – Another unexpected direction for Deep Purple to do a barrelhouse blues track fitting of being right smack dab in the middle of Nashville.

    My thoughts of the album on a whole is that it’s an instant classic that will grow on me with each listening. Many unpredictable directions that show the band to be in top form and proficient in any style they choose to play. Ian Gillian is in fine voice and delivery. Some of the best lyrics he and Roger Glover have ever written. Roger Glover and Ian Paice hold down the pocket like the seasoned professionals they are.

    Production-wise, top notch. Sounds big, full and well balanced.

    My choice was Best thing since sliced bread. I’m hesitant to stack it next to any other albums from their catalog because I think it’s an excellent piece of work that stands well on it’s own.

    I was a huge Steve Morse fan long before he became a member of Deep Purple, so naturally, I love all of the albums he plays on. I primed myself for Now What?! by listening to Purpendicular and Abandon, two albums I adore.

    I now look forward to the next live album to see where they take these songs in the evolution process of the stage. Some of them have potential to become real monsters.

  5. 5
    Marie Rose says:

    It’s Deep Purple 2013!!!:)
    It’s great, interesting, exciting, surprising, musically intelligent and creative made by top class musicians!!! I LOVE IT and have listened to it every day since I’ve got my copy and every time I discover something new!!!:)
    The album captures the soul of Deep Purple, yet “allowing” brilliant Steve Morse and genius Don Airey to take more place which lifts Deep Purple to even higher grounds. The songs of this album are the new DP classics to be.
    THANK YOU GUYS!!!:)<3<3<3

  6. 6
    Arnaud says:

    The best album since Purpendicular, I think. In the spirit of Fireball with some drum’s sound from In Rock album.
    THE great song : Uncommon man.
    My favorite : A Simple Song

  7. 7
    Kasper Kjærsgaard says:

    The first listening in the car home was a bit disapointing but when I heard it on a proper stereo I was in awe! It’s a truely masterpiece!

  8. 8
    Ivica says:

    NW? as often as I listen to everything better and better and better …
    It may be surprising, as a curse .. but I DP the best album of the time Mashine Head
    The album has no weak songs, weak moment
    12 songs over an hour / this would be the time the LP was almost double album / great rock music of a wide range of elements of hard rock, psychedelic, blues, progressive rock, classical elements …
    DP are excellent musicians, broad musical diapason
    Guys and Bob have made an excellent job
    Don Airey and Steve Morse have released the brake, got out of the shadows a Jon and Ritchie .. and give their full contribution to this excellent album
    Don Airey’s first name, his sound dominates ,Jon would probably be pleased ,Manzarek and Keith Emerson too.. hehe
    Don .. God bless you
    Gillanov voice suited his age and powers
    final scream of “Vincent Price” good -old Ian
    Paice and Glover are like wine
    Expect seven to eight songs from the NW? the new set list
    time to Deep Purple made ​​a departure from Made in Japan

    Worth the wait eight years, top album, old school-new-modern packageé am pleasantly surprised

  9. 9
    Stefan S. says:

    Now what?! is a amazing record, which sounds fresh, mysterious and with some titles commercial, but that´s not bad.
    I think, every record of deep purple has it´s own character and was made by Deep Purple.

    For me, the ranking is from (1984- 2013)
    1.Perfect strangers/Now what?!/ Abandon = all on place 1

    Abandon ist one of the most unterrated records of DP, I think

  10. 10
    CptHook1971 says:

    NOW WHAT?! is on its way to become the most succesful DP album since PERFECT STRANGER or THE HOUSE OF BLUE LIGHT, or even more. this would have been my choice.

    to me it’s very difficult to answer, because my most favored album beside PERFECT STRANGERS is the one and only ABANDON!!!!! …but that’s not the whole story. i like them all with only little difference or preference. each of them has great tracks, even the much criticised SLAVES & MASTERS.

    so, here’s my choice (only 3 of each):

    PERFECT STRANGERS: Wasted Sunsets, K.A.Y.B.D., P.S.
    THE HOUSE OF BLUE LIGHT: Mitzi Dupree (RIFF IS MY STANDARD RINGTONE), Bad Attitude, Dead Or Alive
    SLAVES & MASTERS: King Of Dreams, The Cut Runs Deep, Fire In The Basement
    THE BATTLE RAGES ON: T.B.R.O., Anya, Solitaire
    PURPENDICULAR: Vavoom…, Sometimes I Feel…, Rosa’s Cantina
    ABANDON: Don’t Make Me Happy, Seventh Heaven, Watching The Sky
    BANANAS: Sun Goes Down, Walk On, Silver Tongue
    RAPTURE OF THE DEEP: Money Talks, Wrong Man, Clearly Quite Absurd
    …and now… my first choice, my first impression from the new album:
    NOW WHAT?!: Hell To Pay, Blood From A Stone, Vincent Price …or Uncommon Man …or Above And Beyond …it’s so fresh, i’ll have to listen it more often… 😉


  11. 11
    Eddie6string says:

    I have to say that almost all & None of the above!!

    The spirit within the band – still experimenting/pushing boundaries – is in the same territories as DP MK1 (14 bar blues aside). Just great to hear these guys having fun & meaning every note – every member a Master of their Art – What’s not to like?!

    The first ever Gig my son came to was Jon’s farewell at Plymouth UK & he has kept DP on his music devices ever since – His first comment on the new material was “Wow – that keyboard player has really grown into the band!” I have to agree!

    With a blend like this, …’Anything could happen in the next half hour!’

  12. 12
    Skúli says:

    “None of the above” – It’s a great album that grows on the listener, distinctly Purple and a fine addition to the Morse era, clearly stronger than Abandon and Rapture of the Deep and very much on par with Purpendicular and Bananas. In many ways better than both Perfect Strangers and Purpendicular. They should have dropped Vincent Price from the album altogether.

    …in my opinion 🙂

  13. 13
    Peter Laurino says:

    Finally a cd I can listen to. I liked Abandon and Perpendicular, after those 2 I just didn’t get it. This one has great songs . Don’s playing is inspiring. Wow. Steve is great, love the bass sound. All around a great cd.

  14. 14
    saso says:


  15. 15
    Atharri says:

    Now What is in my opinion a very good rock album, I think it is very difficult (and unfair) to compare it to Perfect Strangers, Machine head, Burn or whatever album. Then was then, Now What!? is Now (What!?)!


  16. 16
    Bob W says:

    Now What is an excellent album and this has changed my stance on Deep Purple, post Richie days. Its so refreshing to be excited by the band, who’s last couple of albums did not do it for me, sorry.

    I have been a fan for many a year now, but my first love was Rainbow and that continues to be my favorite. I first heard Since You Been Gone and the Down To Earth album in 1980 at the age of 10 and was hooked there and then. I was then again taken with I surrender and then heard Smoke On The Water…. wow. It was at this time that the older lads on my street were all rockers and wearing denim jackets with band patches on. I was fascinated by the bands displayed and one of the guys educated me on the bands and how Rainbow, Deep Purple, Whitesnake and Black Sabbath were all related.

    I was also a huge Queen fan at this time and progressed with my love of rock music throughout my school days. This was by following the then bands of the day – Ratt, Van Halen, Cinderella, Motley Crue etc. My best friends older brother used to get video tapes full of band videos and we used to bunk of school and spend all day watching them.

    It was not until i left school that i discovered more about Rainbow and Deep Purple. First i was given a double album of both Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow and Rising. This opened my eyes to the Dio era and at the same time i bought Deepest Purple and was blown away by the classics.

    I then moved to Jersey aged 17 to be a seafood chef and i met a girl who had the Best of Rainbow double album on tape in her car. I ended up with the tapes and spent my days cooking lobster while blasting out Rainbow in the kitchens. It was also at this time that the Mk2 line up released the second version of Hush and it was played on the radio on a regular basis. From here i went out to a small record shop to buy more and the only album they had was Holy Diver. Wow, double Wow. I was well and truly blown away.

    On my return to the UK i bought loads of Purple albums of which the real gem was Made In Japan and between my love of Rainbow and Purple i was in seventh heaven from then on. This showed that first and foremost i was a Ritchie disciple and by now he was out of Rainbow and back in Purple.

    I did not get to see the Mk2 line up live and then Joe joined and they put out Slaves and Master. Anyone reading this will instantly see i was a happy lad indeed. Despite the die hards who slag off this album and line up, i for one was very happy with he album.

    Its not Purple album overall, It was a Deep Rainbow album, but i loved it. I still did not get to see the band live until the 25th anniversary tour and i loved it. I then saw Rainbow when they reformed in 1995 at the Hammersmith show on the 3rd of November, his best ever London show by all accounts. It was also my 25th birthday and that made me feel that amazing things do happen in life.

    I then saw Purple on the Purpendicular tour. I was very lucky to get tickets for the City Hall in Sheffield. I called in the venue on the day of the gig hoping to get a few ticket returns, as the gig was sold out and once again i was blessed as the band had just released the front row of tickets only ten minutes before i arrived.

    They were awesome and Steve Morse was fantastic i have to say, but for me i was still missing Richie. The strange memory i have from that gig is During Highway Star Ian Gillan went of the side of the stage and i could see him drinking a can of Heiniken whilst stand on one leg and spinning around and tapping the top of his head. Very strange indeed.

    I came away thinking how amazing the band were, but how i would still love to see them with Richie on guitar.

    Then two years ago i finally went to see Blackmores Night in Buxton. I dressed up like a reject Blackadder and sat on the front row. After resisting his new form of music for years, i have to say i was once again blown away and after 3 hours on stage, where he was happy and smiling and not only cracking jokes, but getting audience members up on stage to dance at the end.

    There is no two ways about it. Whatever Richie plays he is truly fantastic, but its when he rocks it out that i am most happy.

    Now aged 42 (young by many of the purple fans on here) i have come to the following stance. I love all things Purple, Rainbow etc.

    I got a copy of Now What last week and after listening to it quite a few times now…. I think its excellent, Brilliant.. the best album since Perfect Strangers. I take my hat of to the band for progressing against the unmovable Richie die hards with both Morse and Airy.

    There are so many tracks on this album that shine. I love Apres Vous and Hell To Pay and Vincent Price and Bodyline.

    I will be going to see the band on this tour.

    I have just heard the album sampler from Blackmores Night’s new album and i am sorry Richie, but as beautiful and different as it is, it does not compere to the Now What Album.

    I hope he listens to this album and without stopping what he does with Candy, thinks about also rocking it up again on another album project.

    So to all you beautiful people out there in the Purple family clan. I say whatever your particular line up, guitarist, album or style. I am so very happy to have experienced all the music made and be part of the millions of fans who love this band.

    To the band itself… Nice one guys, you have made an excellent album and i am in true awe of you all. Lets hope its not your last and i look forward to seeing you on the tour.

    Big love and respect.

    Bob W 🙂

  17. 17
    shaun says:

    still not released in Australia whats the holdup?im spewing as all we hear is dodgy youtube recordings which cant do it justice,pull your finger out edel records!!!

  18. 18
    Alberto says:

    is a good album by Gillan

  19. 19
    HardRockPete says:

    I voted their best since the 70s since I couldn’t choose more than one option. My true feeling is that it’s their best since the 70s/ PS/ Purpendicular (I rate both PS and Purp on par with WDWTWA). Now What?! is just a great record:-)

  20. 20
    Roberto says:

    Their best since “Bananas”…”Purpendicular” is a masterpiece, so better than “Now What?!”…while “Rapture” is their worst album of the Morse era together with “Abandon”…

  21. 21
    Matt Love says:

    It’s my favourite Purple album since Abandon… which I thought had some great tracks, notably for me: Any Fool Kno That, Fingers To The Bone, Whatsername, Seventh Heaven, 69, Evil Louie…

    And it had a very dark production which I thought went well.

    I think the production on Bananas and Rapture was very below par… I never listen to those albums. I hope RG does a remix one day ! 🙁

  22. 22
    Paul Leask says:

    As Mr. Gillan once wrote “I want some music in my car”. Now What ?! has not come out of the car CD player since I bought it…. Great Record, Thank You All

  23. 23
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    Amazing record. Out of this world!!!! 5 (highway) stars!!!!


  24. 24
    Michel Duval says:

    As good as Rapture and Purpendicular, better (much better) than Bananas and Abandon… just to talk about the Morse (and Airey) era… But maybe it’s too early to talk about it.
    Let’s just listen and enjoy !!

  25. 25
    Kev says:

    Still got slightly mixed feelings on the album. Some great moments on there and some low key moments. Weirdistan is fabulous and as good as anything they’ve done in my opinion. This track also seems to me to be very much in the vein of HOBL which I still think is massively underrated. Great opening too with A Simple song. I’m almost disappointed that this isn’t TWO simple songs as the the quiet intro is beatiful and in some ways I wish they’d played that out to a natural end for the whole song. The first half of the album left me smiling from ear to ear with all sorts of influences coming to mind. The aforementioned HOBL, Bodyline has the flavour and experimentation of Fireball and the excellent Above and Beyond has a groove only Purple can set as Blackmore once said about Perfect Strangers. There’s even some folky medieval influences creeping in there!! However it then seems to lose its way for me. Uncommon Man tries slightly too hard to be an epic whilst All the Time in the World seems more suited to a Gillan solo album. I really don’t know what to make of It’ll be Me. Does this really belong on a Purple album. It sounds like an old Dave Edmunds or Shakin Stevens single! Played well and good fun no doubt but what it’s doing on here I don’t know. Blood from a Stone will sound massively heavy live and Aprez Vous has its moments but Vincent Price largely saves the second half though I still feel there’s more to come from this track. Maybe the live setting will really see it blossom. All in all a very good album and evidence if any were needed that they can still produce the goods when they want to. Now if they were to really focus, is there a final truly classic album to come from this line up. I hope so. Anyway Weirdistan back on at full volume…Thanks guys.

  26. 26
    Scott says:

    This is the album I’ve been waiting to be released as the rightful follow-up to Purpendicular. Following Ritchies retirement from the band, Purpendicular was a fine integration of Steve’s style of playing with Deep Purples style. In my ears, it just worked, and it sounded like the logical next step of musical progression by the band. There was exciement in the writing and in the performance, and that excitement showed in Live at the Olympia. This was still a band with much to offer. I just wasn’t as enthused about Abandon, Bananas or Rapture, though there was nice work on each release, it just didn’t grab my attention. NOW WHAT remedies the disappointment I felt in the previous releases. Between A Simple Song to Vincent Price, you get to hear a band showing why they have the reputation as fine players and writers. I don’t know how much of this came as a result of Bob guiding the band to this end, but the result is flawless. I’d be willing to consider this a perfect album. Much the way Machine Head was a perfect album, where you just wanted to hear every song on the album, Now What offers the same continuity. I have no urge to press next track while listening. This is not the 1970’s Deep Purple. And that’s not a bad thing. They aren’t eating themselves by rehashing their past This is Deep Purple for the Twenty-teens, with nods to their history. And that is a good thing.

  27. 27
    Victor Martinez says:

    Never been my style to compare past efforts with recent releases – time and space has a way of making that pointless. What I love about this release is the easy flow it carries throughout the album (I have the vinyl version). The whole album highlights the musicians involved as though they are all in the same place – relaxed with one another, and, quite comfortable with who they are, today! Kudos to Deep Purple and Bob Ezrin for delivering a gem!

  28. 28
    Side Door Johnny says:

    The common consensus seems to be “it’s the best album since Purpendicular” and I would agree with that. There was a sticker on the front of my CD when I bought it that said “Perfect Strangers meets Made in Japan”, but I would have to disagree with that, To me it’s a combination of Bananas and Rapture of the Deep, with Ezrin editing all the extra widdly widdly that Airey and Morse would have had on there.

    I like the “Mandrake Root Tribute Jam” in the middle of Hell to Pay, and the Jazz/Funk bass groove in the middle on Apres Vous, but I wouldn’t say they come too close to the inspiration and drive of Jon and Ritchie’s improvs on Made in Japan.

    Vincent Price is a cool song, but is it just me, or does that one sound a little too much like General Heavy Metal for Deep Purple? Sounds like Dream Theatre or Symphony X.

    Overall I think it’s a Very Good album, and I thank Deep Purple for giving it to us. It’s amazing to see a bunch of 68 year olds putting out the rock album of the year. Not that age has anything to do with anything, but here in Canada at least, most people only care about the likes of Bieber, Spears and Minaj.

  29. 29
    davev a says:

    even allowing for them getting on….fair to say a lot of older fans will not recognise this stuff,,,have not really liked them since all the changes,,to many I think…

  30. 30
    George says:

    The best thing since the 70’s! A true highlight in DP history.

    Somebody may think I’m exaggerating, but I don’t think so. With its diversity, freshness, live mood, prog direction and hardness it stands above Perfect Strangers for me.

    We’re waiting for yet another one, willingly produced by Bob Erzrin again.

  31. 31
    Another Martin says:

    The system… or was it me? appears to have lost my original comment, made before having access to all the wonderful emotions/reactions shared by Highway Star readers. So here goes again, more or less:

    I see we all react differently to post-WDWTWA albums. But in my opinion, Now What is something completely different, because it is the first album since the demise of Mk IIa, which I can enjoy as a whole album. It is consistently excellent. For sure, I have my favourite tracks even on this album, but… guess what? even they change as I listen more and more. There are certainly some tracks on preceding albums (from 1975 until ROTD) that are probably better than any on NW, but NW is by far the best whole album.

    Thank you Deep Purple for having accompanied me throughout my life; your music has been there for me through thick and thin, and this latest offering is really a “bonus album”. Bravo

  32. 32
    bill norman says:

    i love dp this is a great album most people compain about albums being the same every dp album is dfferent best yet

  33. 33
    micaloneus says:


    Best album of the Morse era in my opinion.
    Purpendicular and Rapture Of The Deep are tied for second, Bananas third, Abandon next…

    Thank you Deep Purple and Bob Ezrin.

  34. 34
    CJA74 says:

    Well it’s a hell of a lot better than Rapture anyway. Vincent Price sounds like it
    could have been a leftover song from Alice Cooper and Bob Ezrin’s Welcome 2 My Nighmare. I love DP… favorite band and this album is better than all the other trash out there, but I don’t know. I listen to it and hear ELP, Mark Knopfler, radio friendly metal, etc., etc., and not a whole lot of DP…. Sorry.

  35. 35
    Chip says:

    I think it is the best reunion era CD period.

    Simple Song: A fantastic track. The furious 2nd half of the song really sounds fresh and angry.
    Wierdistan: It’s a good track with a catchy chorus. Not my favorite track but a good song none the less.
    Out of Hand: Epic track with a Perfect Strangers kind of feel. Morse has a brilliant solo spot here. One of the best tracks of the reunion era.
    Hell To Pay: Good song. Airey’s unabridged solo is brilliant.
    Bodyline: Meh…..This is the only song on the album I consistently skip. Very generic song.
    Above and Beyond: I like the core song a lot. The ELP inspired keyboard open and bridge parts just sound a bit out of touch with the main song. I like it better now then at first…when I was skipping this along with Bodyline. It’s good….but one of my least favorite songs.
    Blood From A Stone: Instant classic. Gillan’s voice is perfect here. Lyrics are great. Much like simple song….the hard portions of the song sound fresh and angry and amazing.
    Uncommon Man: Good song. I think the ELPish synth line is a little much, but overall this is a really ambitious song that for the most part is great.
    Aprez Vous: Good song with a tremendous bridge section. I wish the guitar/organ duel had been extended out about 30 more seconds. This one has really grown on me with repeated listens.
    All The Time: Great groove. Good song. Not one of my favorites, but it beats the hell out of Haunted for a slower effort.
    Vincent Price: Another instant classic. This is just a ton of fun!

    So 3 songs that are instant classics and all but Bodyline are really good to brodering on great.

    Thanks for a great recording!

  36. 36
    MacGregor says:

    If there is a sticker saying ‘Perfect Strangers meets Made In Japan” on some CD ‘s that says it all really from a marketing point of view! It should be standing alone upon it’s release, not being compared to a totally different lineup & era of music! But marketing sells as we know, well at least it attempts to & if not, then throw it away, next……….! Any comparison to anything previous to Purpendicular is 100% irrelevant! It is what it is!

  37. 37
    nzbiker says:

    Yeah I gotta saythat this truly is the best since Machine Head in my opinion.
    It is strong,powerful and a real Purple album!!!!
    Farken well done guys !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. 38
    purplepriest1965 says:


    I truly enjoy stories like these.
    Thank you.


  39. 39
    Xavier Gomez says:

    -yes, “its good to be king…” finally, brilliance and precision of a band that prove it has gone “Above and Beyond” the shadow of Blackmore and Jon. it is heartening to hear the heart and soul on Jon on many tracks, and as a Purple fan, I am glad to hear an album which is not restrictive to its signposts, it flows in dept and creativity. Shine on uncommon men.

  40. 40
    Jack says:

    It’s the Best Morse Era Purple album!!! Bob Ezrin has provided fresh ears!!! Great album and great production!!! I’m glad the album is doing so well!!! Purple forever!!!

  41. 41
    micaloneus says:

    My brother called me and said the new LP is finally DEEP PURPLE’S, SGT. PEPPER. Love it!!

  42. 42
    jörg says:

    The best one since Purpendicular and Abandon. And one of the best Albums they made ever.
    The Album sounds great and big. Listen to it since 26.04.2013 every day, and it seems ,while i am hearing it, there is even more to discover.
    Love it. Brilliant. God bless Jon Lord.

  43. 43
    Deep ?urp!e Fan says:

    Great Record! My Morse era list;
    1. Perpendicular
    2. Now What?!
    3. Bananas
    4. Rapture Of The Deep
    5. Abandon

  44. 44
    LRT says:

    @34 -please point out the Mark Knopfler reference, I’m curious to say the least.

    @36 -easy to predict this much by now: those prepared not to like something, will most likely not like, or not admit to liking that something. 🙂 Crow must taste good about now, it’s black anyway. 😉

  45. 45
    Kidd Purple says:

    Just got my copy! Kick out the Jams !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Awesome!!(only 2 copies At best buy ) ?

  46. 46
    Robert Daems says:

    This album is certainly the best since Perfect Strangers. I didn’t know what to expect from a band that keeps repeating 70’s songs in their setlist, although they have made these wonderful songs since Morse and Airey arrived.

    Now What?! has been influenced by Don Airey very heavily, and he has become my new hero. I love the production of this album. Finally Deep Purple has an album on which I can cleary hear the bass note for note. (Thank you Bob Ezrin)
    The lyrics are lovely, especially on “Above and Beyond” which has a Jon Lord memory attached to it. I have the feeling this song was written under the influence of Jon’s spirit.
    Uncommon man was a nice one to hear on the day the dutch king was inaugurated (april 30th, a few days after the release of the album.) It’s good to be king… loved that lyric on that day.
    I keep playing the album in my car and at home, my children are getting used to it (12, 13 and 14 years old) one of them even likes the record.

    Hopefully a lot of this new material will be played during the upcoming tour. (preferably accompanied by some other Morse/Airey songs.)

    To me Deep Purple have ressurected and finally arrived in the 21st century. I hope they will play 21st century songs during their concerts. We shouldn’t forget that Morse is with the band for 20 years now, longer than any other banjoplayer ever has been with Deep Purple.

    For me: the album of the year!!! Well done guys! Don’t wait another 8 years to come up with such a masterpiece!

  47. 47
    Job says:

    I am voting best since Purpendicular which I prefer over Perfect Strangers

  48. 48
    john says:

    It’s a great album and a great surprise. They have captured all the sounds and solos of their last eight-year-touring and use them to do an album which is as good and fresh as PS… but 30 years later!!!

    I hope I’ll see them soon, with my 5-year-old boy (and maye some day with the other one, who’s now a moth since been born, who knows…)

    They ARE a legend. And all I can say is I thaaaaaaaaaaaaankyou!!!

  49. 49
    xcllranderson says:

    I rate it as the best album since Machine Head, though it has the diversity of Fireball. The songs are more happenings and it certainly has a much looser feel than any of their albums over the last 30 years.

    Ezrin has done wonders with them, as has their decision, by their own admission, to return to the way they used to record. This is a full team effort with both Airey and Morse finally coming of age. Their respective contributions are just scintillating. Gillan’s vocals play to his strengths and his lyrics are magical, whilst both Paice and Glover provide solid, but creative rhythm.

    My favourites remain ‘A Simple Song’ and ‘Uncommon Man’, though ‘Body Line’, ‘Out of Hand’ and ‘Weirdistan’ are not far behind. Oh, and if you haven’t yet twigged, the stuff about Zeno’s ‘toytus’ is simply Gillan’s play on the word ‘tortoise’…Check out your Greek philosophy. 😉

  50. 50
    Dr. Bob says:

    Before I talk about the new album, DP is my favorite band because In Rock, Machine Head, & Made in Japan are my three favorite albums in the history of music and their music live is the best. I like a lot of other DP music, but not a fan of most albums after Burn. I go to concerts wanting to hear the Machine Head tour. There are several albums (CTTB, HOTBL, S&M, Abandon, Bananas) that I listened to a few of times and put them on the shelf. So I am biased and wanted to disclose that.

    Although I’ve heard the songs on youtube, I got my cd this morning and have been listening to the entire album all day because I’m from that viewpoint that the album is the piece of art to be judged. Having said that I’d have to say that it might be their best album since Burn. The sound is great and Gillans voice is the best that it has been in 7-8 years. The play of the members is very good, but I’m going to give the MVP to Don. The keyboards have been mostly in the background throughout the post-reunion era, but on the new album it is thankfully in the forefront. That metal show had Lord #1 & Airey #2 best keyboard players in the history of hard rock/heavy metal. With with his preformance on What Now?! Don has convinced me that he belongs in that spot. When I see DP on the next tour, I want to hear at least half, if not the whole album, with SOTW & Highway Star in the encore.

  51. 51
    crab says:

    Why is everyone on this page praising this album? There may be only a few good songs, but it is not the best since perpendicular or abandon. you all must be listening to this album 1000 times so that brainwashing sets in. Deep Purple should hang in the towel and pass the torch to Coverdale and Hughes.

  52. 52
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:


    I picked up on it too. On Vincent Price when Morse comes in for a solo, you can actually pic up the riff from ‘Money for Nothing’ by Dire Straights.

    I sent in a review for posting as a separate subject that actually makes reference to this…. Come on THS, post it.


  53. 53
    MacGregor says:

    Where’s Tracy, not to see a comment here isn’t right it seems! He must be chomping at the bit by now, surely!
    I think the 8 years without an album have contributed to a freshness to this album big time! Ezrin has helped in a way, but seriously, the guys have some newer ideas to toss around, & it works! The Morse era stands alone as does the Blackmore era! It is of no point at all to compare them. A rock band is defined by the guitar usually, a different guitarist means a different beast. A totally different ‘feel’ to the songs. This album is a breathe of fresh air for me, as Purpendicular is a long time ago & this new album reminds me of that freshness, something new! What can also define a decent album or song, is how long it lasts as a good album or a good song, meaning, in years to come, this album sounds like it will stand alone & be remembered as a good record! Father Time will tell.

  54. 54
    Purple Tickler says:

    Absolutely love it, fantastic and well worth the wait.

    Gets better and better. My 2 least favourite songs are “Above and Beyond” and “Uncommon Man”. Above and beyond sounds too much like genesis and uncommon man has far too long intro and fake trumpets, which I dont like.

    Everything else is SUPERB imho.

    Need the band in Copenhagen Again !

  55. 55
    Paul says:

    I will listen the CD again, critics in papers indicated the cd would be good or even excelent

    Maybe they gave me a rouch mix version or a complete wrong CD because this CD is not coming close to Pefect Strangers or Purpendicular


  56. 56
    purplepriest1965 says:


    I thought the cd opened with a 2 minute intro by Mark Knopfler? : )

  57. 57
    purplepriest1965 says:


    You have this stance and you re wrong.

    Speaking for myself I know it is not true.

    I will be critical and at the same time I ll admit what I enjoy.

    In general I hoped for more. It is not bad and like with earlier Morse era albums I have my moments in songs I like more or less.

    But I expected them this time to give it more agressiveness.
    I guess we can finally give up on that.
    Roger said something along the lines of ” We left that sound behind ages ago and I m happy with that.”

    I dont criticise them for it, they are old. But still…….Pity.

    And what about the so called longer songs?A bit here and there but not as hoped for.
    A simple song should have been, like Sun Goes Down or a few tracks on ROTD extended.

    I m one of those silly bums that kinda like BodyLine : )

    Despite the continuing samey tempo on the album I think Gillan’s singing is versatile and sometimes I really like it.

    I m not all that impressed with Vincent Price.

    And there is more which triggers my doubts.

    Reputationwise it seems it is going to be a succes and not something to be ashamed for, really.
    But I do have friends that think otherwise.

    But hey, this is about what I think.
    And I appearantly have this love/hate relationship with the band now.

    It still evokes a lot of passionate debate, thats cool.

  58. 58
    purplepriest1965 says:


    The intro of A Simple Song to me seems evidently Dire Straits as well.

  59. 59
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    I have a really hard time rating Purple Albums against each other. They ALL stand alone. That’s the beauty of this band. Their albums are like blow jobs. The worst one I ever had was AWESOME?!

    So I chose “Best thing since sliced bread”. I can do without sliced bread. No Purple? No way!


  60. 60
    LRT says:

    That “fake trumpet” is a keyboard patch, therefor nothing fake about it really. You would have to complain about the parts in Vincent Price and Above and Beyond’s voice sampling. (unless that is where we actually hear Ezrin sing?) Who knows, who care’s, it’s good, why rock that boat any… just enjoy. Funny how some also run to pick something apart… obvious where that comes from, being many rightful places, especially after 8 years. But nice try, good is here to stay, and that is the ultimate goal that hasn’t exactly been reached and just might this time.

  61. 61
    LRT says:

    Thanks, Tracy, didn’t pick up on it, but it does ring of a bit Knopfler there. Why he do that?! 🙂 I’d say it’s just southern picking in the same vein, and probably influenced by Knopfler though, of course. I always wished he’d act like he knew which old band he’d joined by putting more Purple into it than other bands. I still think that needs some work, unfortunately. He’s not in Joe Perry’s shoes, after all.(kill that tone!)

  62. 62
    gustavo from Argentina says:


  63. 63
    T says:

    Deep Purple had a lot riding on this album.

    After two passable albums and nearly eight years, one wondered if perhaps the band had lost its mojo and if any new album would be worth the wait. Grumpy fans unquestionably would be hard to please, and since so much time had gone by, what the term “Deep Purple” means varies widely from person to person. It’s been a long time since the halcyon days of Mark II.

    Comparing Morse Era music to Blackmore’s is a little apples to oranges, but assessing the Morse albums is more in context. That said, it is safe to conclude that NOW What?! easily falls into place as the best album since Abandon with musicianship, creativity, and production values on par with what a Deep Purple album should be and a worthy follow-up to the Purpendicular sound. In short, Deep Purple came through under some difficult circumstances and sure-fire scrutiny. You have to give them credit. It sounds like Deep Purple listened, and offered something for everyone.

    What people “hear” in the music is testament to the diversity of styles included within the confines of the CD. I have been listening to the album constantly, particularly during my very early morning (5:30 a.m.) commutes to work and again at various times during the work day itself. I managed to get the album much earlier than the American release date and it has become quite familiar by now.

    In “A Simple Song,” I hear a vague echo of the riff to Quiet Riot’s “Bang Your Head”–lightly played of course. That impression has since gone away.

    “Out of Hand” starts out with “airy” sounds (no pun intended!) similar to “Eyes of the World” but quickly becomes Black Sabbath.

    Claims that NOW What?! is Made in Japan meets Perfect Strangers are not too far off when considering the keyboard solo and accompanying drums and bass are very similar to Lord’s solo on the extended portion just following Space Truckin’ while “Above & Beyond” has rhythmic components similar to “Perfect Strangers”. While some hear Yes or Emerson, Lake & Palmer, to me, louder sections of “Above and Beyond” sound Van Halen. Think “I’ll Wait”. The softer verses are Episode Six.

    Continuity can be heard in several tracks. “Blood from a Stone”–despite the “Riders of the Storm” components–and Après Vous both harken back to Bananas. The former is reminiscent of “Picture of Innocence” while the latter is somewhat “Silver Tongue” in nature, both new songs executed much better, however.

    Then there is (Fanfare) for the “Uncommon Man” with the Romanesque trumpet sounds–the antithesis of Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the COMMON Man. It is good to be king, indeed.

    My impressions have changed over the past ten days or so and will continue to “evolve” (apologies to Obama–not!) but one thing has not changed: the production values are a vast improvement over the previous couple of records, and the first impressions haven’t been this positive since Purpendicular.

    Very, very well done! Nashville was good to Deep Purple. No place like the South.

  64. 64
    cyclone says:

    @63 still waiting for my copy. It shipped so they say and can’t wait to go through it with a fine tooth comb. Your review sounds promising after the long wait between albums.

  65. 65
    Jerry says:

    By far and away the best album the band has done in the Steve Morse era. It’s also an album I want to play from start to finish (standard edition) without skipping any tracks. Has rejuvenated my interest in the band. I just hope as a result of all the positive feedback that they have the courage to build the live set around it as these songs will be stupendous live.

  66. 66
    Scott says:

    Love the album! The production makes it a little different from other DP albums, so I see no need for comparison. But it works for me. Through first listen the instant stand out for me was Blood from A Stone, though track for track it is a very strong album. Some thoughts that came to mind while listening:
    Bodyline should be an instant classic in Strip Clubs and Burlesque Bars all over the world.

    Above and Beyond to my ears sounds like a tribute to Jon Lord, especially lyrically. Was that the band’s intention?

    Uncommon Man should be chosen for a movie soundtrack. The structure, the long intro, make it fitting for a movie.

    Vincent Price, on first listen I thought of as an Alice Cooper song. But with that guitar line, (or is it a synth?), I think there was only one direction Gillan could go lyrically. It made me smile, I’ve always admired the humour in the band.

  67. 67
    MacGregor says:

    It is a good album, not a GREAT album, there is a difference! The instrumental music is the key to it, a return to what they used to do in so many ways! In some ways it may be their swansong me thinks! At least a decent effort to go out with!

  68. 68
    Zank Rappa says:

    I bought the vinyl version of NOW What?! and I’m blown away.
    What an excellent LP from beginning to end.
    The sound quality is really good too.
    Thanks to all involved.

  69. 69
    purple1 says:

    I have to say this album should go along side IN rock fireball & machine head its that damn good!!! best album of the reunion era. and I’m a dedicated purple fan since 1977 when i discovered rock.

  70. 70
    Mark O\'Neill says:

    It’s their best since at least HOBL, love every second of it!!!

  71. 71
    Steve B says:

    Along with a sizeable number of critics I consider this the best album since machine head with maybe perfect strangers being the exception. It has much of what I love about early purple , interplay between the keyboards and guitar. The melodies are there , the musicianship is excellent, you can hum the tunes and they stick in your head. True Ian’s voice is less powerful but hey he is great for a pensioner and still delivers more than most singers have ever done. The LP is excellent quality as other people have already said and it’s still good on cd. Overall an album I have enjoyed since I got my grubby hands on . Well done to the band and Bob

  72. 72
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    The one we have been waiting for.

    1. A Simple Song-
    Great opener to the album. The subtle intro that becomes a full blown plodding rocker with all the Purple signature nuances. Airey pulls out all the stops regarding the classic ‘Jon Lord’ sound right off the bat with bits and pieces from the MK1 ‘Hush’ era and more of the evolved way he played later on. The vocals are done with the style of old also. They brought back Gillans ‘harmony with himself’, not used in a long time. Morse plays with grand finesse that along with Airey complement each other quite nicely. Paicey and Glover are that typical rhythm glue that holds it all together. Then the outro- back to the intro….. SUPERB!

    2. Weirdistan-
    I don’t know who ‘Stan’ is but he must be pretty ‘Weird’. This tune comes at you from many directions. The charging intro leads into an awesome backdrop beat and bass that grabs you by the balls. The vocals kick in and again, the ‘Gillan Harmony’ is a welcome return. Morse does some amazing spotty inserts throughout. Airey adds some ‘synth’ work reminiscent of when Lord tried it first on the ‘Burn’ album. Nice touch. The song goes through many levels with much back and forth from Airey and Morse. And that ending…. GREAT!

    3. Out of Hand-
    Haunting intro from Airey that sounds like a scene from a ‘Hitchcock Movie’ leads into another great plodding Rocker which reminds me of my favorite track from ‘Abandon’…. Evil Louie. Morse actually grabs some ‘Blackmoreish’ sound and throws it in the mix just enough to say…. ‘Here ya go’. This song is pretty straight forward and heavy and brings out the ‘head bang’ in you immediately. FANTASTIC!

    4. Hell to Pay-
    This little ditty really gets the feet tapping and the fist pumping. Wasn’t sure about this one when it was first leaked on Youtube with backing chorus and all, but it actually fits well on the album. Gillan sounds great and the short back and forth from Airey and Morse along with the tempo is a nice ‘Jolt’ of fun, packed with room for stretching out and jamming ‘live’. If they don’t include this tune on their live set, there’s ‘Gonna be Hell….Hell to Pay’. WOW!

    5. Body Line-
    Nice complicated drum intro from Paicey that sets the tone for this ‘groover’. I don’t usually think of or feel the urge to dance when listening to Purple music, but this track gets my ‘groove on’ big time. Has a strong ‘Purpendicular’ feel to it. Gillan hits the mark on his vocal approach to this odd track. This is one that I wasn’t sure about upon first listen, but it grew on me very quickly and really does pull you to the dance floor in your mind. GROOVY!

    6. Above and Beyond-
    This is obviously Don Airey’s baby. It does seem to have an ELP/Asia overtone that you can’t miss, but that’s due to the majority of the song melody coming from the keyboard with virtually no typical ‘Lord Style Hammond’ used. Has a kind of ‘Renaissance’ feel to it once the lyrical melody starts. Sort of a ‘Bananas/Purpendicular’ type track. Nice changes from melody to chorus to instrumental breaks. Another one that grows on you. NICE!

    7. Blood from a Stone-
    Man! What can one say about this stand-out track? The Paicey/Morse ‘Hawaiian Intro’ leading into the Airey ‘Wurlitzer’ overtone is truly eerie. Jim Morrison was in the studio when they came up with this one and he got to watch and hear the true vocal master bring it home subtly and then the song lights up with a bang with the entire band blowing up. Then it’s back to the main rhythm and some fine guitar/keyboard work. ‘You Keep On Moving’ comes to mind also. The many changes throughout the tune are incredible and by far one of the most complex songs Purple has ever done. Ever. AMAZING!

    8. Uncommon Man-
    What an intro!!!!! The ‘Lost Contact’ style nod to ‘Mr. Jon Lord’ brings shivers to the core. The main body of the song once it gets going is a reminder of ‘Gillan Band’ along with some Colin Towns keys thrown in. Very little Lord style Hammond on this, but just enough which is actually pretty cool. These guys stand on their own and pay an amazing and sincere homage to the Great Maestro with their own style of playing. The words say it all…. He truly was 20 feet tall and he definitely was KING. He has to be giving the boys a huge thumbs up for this. BOMBASTIC!

    9. Après Vous-
    ‘Seventh Heaven’, ‘Castle Full of Rascals’ and ‘Zero the Hero’, plus nice Keyboard/Guitar interplay. “Dark Purple”. Need I say more???? YEEEEESSSSSS!!!

    10. All the Time in the World-
    Again as with ‘Hell to Pay’, even though I did like the tune upon listening to the promo on Youtube, I wasn’t sure it was all that. Now that I hear it along with the rest of the album it totally makes sense and has become a truly strong song in my opinion. Though it is a softer track, it isn’t mushy like ‘Haunted’. This one has room to grow also. Hey, I was worried being the first song to be released for sampling of the album though. But there truly was a reward at the end and no hurry for sure. Though they truly don’t have ‘All the Time in the World’, they did use their time wisely when making this album and writing this tune. Nice structure and hook. I constantly sing it when…. “Wooooo No Worries, No Hurry….. Here we are with all the time in the world”. FRIGGIN’ LOVELY!!

    11. Vincent Price-
    Not sure what to think about this one. Starting with the Airey ‘Phantom of the Opera’ intro, then the ‘Nightwish Chorus’ then the sinister body of the song along with some howling in the background. Then comes the Morse solo that is chorused and combined with a ‘Money for Nothing’ from Dire Straights undertone. It ends with an Ozzy vocal and Gillan high note all at once. Has to be Ezrin’s Baby. Alice Cooper has to be eating his heart out after hearing this. I could hear it on one of his albums. What a bizarre yet delightful tune from Purple. Pure fun and perfect placement for this track. The finishing touch to a completely different offering from the boys. GADZOOKS!!!

    The 2 bonus tracks I won’t waste my time with here. Though they are nice tunes for the ear, they don’t do the album justice and I am pleased that they realized it and didn’t include them on it. Though out of the 2, ‘First Sign of Madness’ is beginning to grow on me. Nice piano work. NOW WHAT?! is ALBUM ROCK at it’s finest with NO FILLERS! This is the album that should have followed ‘Abandon’. It really does culminate the aura of ‘Purpendicular and Abandon’ perfectly, yet goes to a much more creative level branching out in so many directions yet maintaining a continuity that makes it so complete. There is Classic Purple intertwined with Present Purple and BEYOND. Anybody here whom has any reservations regarding the creativity of these stalwart iconic masters has got to be completely set straight to the contrary after listening to this amazing effort by this incredibly talented band of musical gypsies whom together prove to be nothing short of Perfect Purple. There are no session players here anymore. Morse and Airey have brushed all of that ‘New Guy’ crap aside by their stand out performances. The 5 of them together are ONE. All doubt has been washed away. They came through like gang busters by making the 8 years worth the wait. If this is their last album, it’s the crème de la crème. But one thing this offering does do is make me beg for MORE!!!!

    Yes I am a long time Deep Purple fan. I’ve been one since 1969 when I was 13 years old and first heard HUSH on the radio. But I am pleased to state that I have never been more of a fan of this band than I am right now after hearing this incredible work of art. I am truly proud of them and even more, proud FOR them. They should be very proud of this record. The one thing I wonder after listening to it over and over andloving it more and more each time is “NOW WHAT?!”


  73. 73
    T says:

    Re: #38

    If you like personal music stories, click on my “T”.

  74. 74
    Andrew Melnyk says:

    What great comments!

    Purpendicular just didn’t do it for me, for some reason. I love Abandon–heavy rock with finesse and some great lyrics–but the songs are a bit too similar to one another. On Bananas the guys seemed to be having a great time, but none of the songs really impresses. I also like ROTD a lot, for the vocals and lyrics and instrumental passages, but except for Money Talks the riffs just aren’t good enough for Purple. All things considered, Now What?! is the best album of the Morse era, in my view: some great riffs, a variety of moods, musical imagination, and of course superb instrumental virtuosity.

    This Tuesday I’ll play it for my 20 year old son. I want to know what he thinks, as a young Purple fan.

  75. 75
    CJA74 says:

    OK, some people are hearing what I hear ! Still don’t get me wrong from my first post.
    I really do love the CD. My least favorites are the Bradford produced stuff, by far. Still
    DP at their worst are still the best ever. So to me there never has been a poor album by the band or even all the off-shoot bands.

  76. 76
    purplepriest1965 says:


    Dontchya have a fb account? : )

  77. 77
    Tom Fox says:

    this albums great- Don to the fore and some great solos.hope to hear a good selection live in october.the Gillan scream right at the end brought a big grin to my face!best since purpendicular imho.Saw the in review with the Ians on later and they said the spirit of Jon was in the room-might explain the gigantic Hammond sound!

  78. 78
    MacGregor says:

    Tracy @ 72, that is a good review you have compiled, a good read. I like the album, in some ways it is the best Morse era album.
    The track Après Vous is excellent, classic Purple there indeed! Also, Vincent Price is a good riff! Cheers!

  79. 79
    T says:

    Re: #76

    No. My employers prohibit us from having one.

  80. 80
    Leonr2z says:

    This is just a great album. Unmistakably Purple yet different. Love the way Don Airey has been brought to the fore in the mix too. So much of Jon’s spirit in there.

    Can’t wait for the tour.

  81. 81
    T says:

    Re: #72


    Well said at the bottom of your review regarding being proud OF Deep Purple as well as FOR Deep Purple.

    DP always has been the Rodney Dangerfield of rock groups (no respect) despite their continuing activity for four and a half decades and practically inventing the hard rock genre. It is good to see the success and excitement over an album that sounds like one they *wanted* to do rather than *had* to do

    The sound is big and thick, the songs are thoughtful, and the album is full of ‘tude. It is time to brag again.

    Like I once said, DP were never gone…but they are back in a big way. I just hope the effort is rewarded with some proper recognition for a change.



  82. 82
    Terry says:

    It sounds good , they have put in a better effort than the last few albums. Don Airey is the star here, seems Jon Lords death made him play better. But it’s not really how i want a DP album to sound. It’s to polished & perfect. Ian’s voice has been put through computer’s & worked on to sound young. Prefer the way he sounded & sang on his Tool Box cd. I want something rougher & harder like AC/DC or the Battle Rages On cd. With no restrictions, just playing & letting loose. Roger is a far better producer than he think he is. Purpendicular is a top sounding album mixed by him.

  83. 83
    Guillermo-Heavy Rock says:

    Ohhh! I’m sorry it is late for the poll
    I think this album yes, it is the best since Purpendicular!!!
    This album with the songs, they are very, very different and with many styles. It’s very good to listen to, all of my friends who has listened with me have liked it.
    Congratulations to the band, very nice work! All these 8 years were good enough.

  84. 84
    Dr. Bob says:

    Now that I’ve listened to What Now?! dozens of times, I’m ready to give a song by song review and reassess my initial perceptions.

    1. A Simple Song: The 1st two minutes is too slow & pretty for my tastes, especially for the 1st song on the album. But the rest of the song really rocks. If I was to make one change to the album, it would be to shorten the intro to 40-60 seconds. It will be interesting to see what they do with A Simple Song live. Maybe they cut the intro out and start with the riff when played live like they usually did with Speed King? Do they keep the intro slow & pretty, or does Morse amp up the intro solo. I can imagine them going straight to the main riff after unrelated instrumental solos & improvs.

    2. Weirdistan: One of my favorites that keeps getting better with more listening. Good groove, nice keyboard & guitar solos. This should be stretched out in the live show with some improv.

    3. Out of Hand: One of the best riffs on the album. I like the sound of this style of vocals for Ian. The guitar solo sounds Blackmorish but then resolves into pure Morse. I like it when he does that.

    4. Hell to Pay: This is a fresh classic that HAS to be included in the live shows. They have to know that we’re all going to sing along with the chorus. The full album version is much better than the shortened single version that was released as a promotional youtube video. Wonderful organ solo! Lord must have been channeling through Don on that one.

    5. Bodyline: The chorus lyrics are goofy but the tune is catchy. The rhythm section has a solid groove. My appreciation of the play of Glover has grown with this album. At 1st listening I thought that it was a weak link, but now I really like this song and think that it could be even better live.

    6. Above & Beyond: This one sounds the least Purple (or most ?urp!e). It sounds like ELP, but at least it sounds like the kind of ELP that I like best. The interesting part is just as I was getting used to Ian singing masterfully in a lower range throughout the album, that last verse really stands out. It’s not a bad song, but probably the weakest on this album.

    7. Blood from Stone: A bit of the Doors, a bit of the blues, and a bit of Nirvana (quiet verse, loud chorus) is in this one, but it resolves itself as a deep shade of purple in the end. Not a fan of electric piano but Don makes it work for me on this one. I like it.

    8. Uncommon Man: It’s good to be king… One of my favorites, and I’m surprised by that because it sounds more ELP/Yes than purple. But this is a well-structured song that flows, changes, and resolves it’s many threads. That makes it interesting and fresh with each listening. I can see this being stretched out live with extended keyboard solos & improv.

    9. Apres Vous: I have no idea what it means. But to be fair, I barely pay attention to lyrics even when they are in English. But it’s another favorite that I’d like to see in the live show. Guitar-Keyboard dual solos. Love it!

    10. All the Time in the World: The single version was the 1st to be released and followed by promotional performances. Clearly their hope is that this song will attract mainstream success. I hope so, but it’s too slow & pretty for my ears. Like Blind Man, it is well produced and performed beautifully. It is a good song and it gives us a view of the optimistic state of where the band is today. It’s just not my kind of music and the only track that I consider skipping.

    11. Vincent Price: Rock & Roll will never die, and Vincent Price is back again! Yes it’s goofy, but this is one of those rare songs with a sound that just pops out of the speakers and grabs your attention. Love Gillan’s final scream?! I didn’t expect to hear that again. This one is my favorite. Be prepared to hear a lot of this around Halloween time. This must be in the show with some larger than life monsters marching around on stage like Iron Maiden’s Eddie or Alice Cooper’s Frankenstein or cyclops.

    Bonus songs — It’ll Be Me & First Sign of Madness: No. I guess that these two songs are the boys in Nashville having fun. Thankfully they are “bonus” songs not officially on the album, so I don’t have to listen to them again. They just don’t rank with Black Night, Painted Horse, Cry Free, Grabplatter, or Jam Stew as must have bonus/b-sides.

    Overall: Band members said in interviews that the new album was fresh, had various styles of music, had elements of the 70s, but would sound distinctly Deep Purple. They also said that Ezrin helped them find ways to resolve good sounding music ideas into songs. I have to agree with them on all of those accounts. What Now?! sounds like it could have been the 1st reunion album, pays tribute to classic prog rock, and yet it is fresh. My first impression was that this might be their best album since burn and certainly the best in the Morse-era. After dozens of listenings, I count 7 or 8 songs on What Now?! that I’d like to see in their next show. For me that is unprecedented. So while there are a handful of songs since Burn that are better than the best of What Now?!, the consistency of quality on the album as a whole reaffirms my high ranking.

  85. 85
    Ben Bell says:

    There’s a much (much) longer review on my website, but in short: an excellent album that, despite the hype, showcases a band I fell are playing and writing in the now, rather than trying to recapture former glories.

    Despite some great stuff on the past few albums, this is the first one in a long time I feel hasn’t had any filler. It’s all good, with even my least favourite tracks standing up well in comparison to couterparts on ROTD, Bananas and Abandon.

    Picking favourites is hard, but the run through 6, 7 and 8 really works. Special note of credit to Don Airey, who in the unenviable position of filling Jon Lord’s shoes is really making the position his own now.

    It’s better than anything from MkII renuinion era, and while it’s too different to compare directly, it stands up well to classic era albums and to Purpendicular. 10/10.

    Now What?! Easy: stuff the set with plenty of material from this album, play live for a bit, then keep on writing and playing like this for the 20th!

  86. 86
    purplepriest1965 says:

    After weeks of playing I still think it is an ok album, not a classic and not a hardrockalbum at all.

  87. 87
    Svante Axbacke says:

    @86: Define hardrock.

  88. 88
    MacGregor says:

    Ben Bell @ 85 – said ” It’s better than anything from MkII renuinion era, and while it’s too different to compare directly, it stands up well to classic era albums and to Purpendicular. 10/10.”
    A contradiction in it’s terms here Ben. It stands on it’s own as a good Morse era album & definitely the best Airey/ Morse era album in my book! The Mark 2 reunion albums are standing on their own as well, they are good albums as well, but with different members in the band, impossible & irrelevant to compare! Just my opinion! As I have stated earlier, because they haven’t done anything for 8 years, it is fresh in many ways, if they turn around & do another one, it more than likely won’t have the ideas & ‘kick’ that this new album has! That would definitely be a ‘Now What” moment! A good Coda album to go out with! I just cannot imagine Gillan at 70 still gigging! Time stands still! Not!

  89. 89
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    Yes and also define classic….. Not that it matters that much. You are among a tiny minority whom expressed this. But it was expected.


  90. 90
    Boswell\'s Johnson says:

    One of the absolute stand out aspects of ?! is Ian’s singing. Yes, the musicianship and improvisation is fantastic, but Ian has managed to transition to a lower register and style very successfully. There have not been a lot of singers who could do it this well.

  91. 91
    MacGregor says:

    My definition of ‘hard rock’ is Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep etc! Well at least back in the early 70’s, that’s what it was called before the questionable ‘heavy metal’ tag was used! Personally, I loathe heavy metal being coined as a phrase for the above mentioned bands, even Tony Iommi calls Sabbath hard rock! Jimmy Page & Robert Plant refused to appear on that documentary a few years back on heavy metal, simply because they loathe the fact that Zeppelin are called metal. They are not metal & Purple are definitely not metal!

  92. 92
    Andrey Barabanshchikov says:

    This year nominees for Grammy Award Best Reggae Album are: Bitty Mclean, Slightly Stoopid and Deep Purple who surprisingly shifted their career for what people call hard rock to Jamaican tunes.
    Says Ian Gillan (with joint in his hand), “The Wailers were my first substance, sorry influence! Then we had Bob Ezrin on board who would work with such massive reggae kings as Pink Floyd, Kiss and Alice Cooper. Man, his weed was cool!”
    And Grammy goes to…

  93. 93
    stormin says:

    Disappointed to see only Vincent Price made the setlist at the Rabat gig,hope for more when we see them in the UK later in the year

  94. 94
    purplepriest1965 says:


    You re contradicting yourself.

  95. 95
    purplepriest1965 says:


    Accussing me of sour grapes is easy as well.
    Goodluck watching the band live this tour.

  96. 96
    purplepriest1965 says:



    Should I really?!

    Once you said to me comparing musicians , you know who, was nonsense.Reasoning they all have the same quality and that is stupid to compare.

    I have seen the rabat YT’s.
    Larry probably will tell me he had a bad night or that the yt quality is not pro shot and all that, but I sure hope for all of you it will improve further on down the road of the tour.

    It confirms my idea that Gillan can sound very well in the studio but live he is history.

    I used to blame him for ruining his voice with the bad care for his health, to use a euphemism, but now he is just old.

    People cant help being old, although some still sound amazing.

    For exam,ple DIO, he delivered even when he was almost dead.
    Klaus Maeine is AMAZING!!!!
    Bruce Dickinson still delivers, maybe even more so compared to the early Iron Maiden years.
    Glenn, apart from the screaming that spoils everything he does, still has a big voice.

    And there must be more.

    It is a tragedy but our God is dying in his bubble of beers.

  97. 97
    Tracy (Zero the Hero) Heyder says:

    PP @95:

    Sour grapes? You? Glad you realize it. Yes it truly is way too easy. As easy as it is to push a guy off of a cliff when he walks up to the edge and stands there until the push. As for seeing ?ur?!e Live this tour, you may be right. At least this year anyway, based on their proposed schedule. Hopefully they will make it to the US in 2014. Hopefully at the same time, they will come within crawling distance of your area and you will muster up enough dough to partake. Of course, you will probably skip the concert and steal your experience from Youtube, as you most likely did with the album. Once a rat, always a rat. Hey, it’s not your fault. As with anybody whom lives free off the system. It’s somebody else’s fault….


  98. 98
    purplepriest1965 says:


    I always said I ll buy the album when it is time. For me that is..
    I ll even pay the full price for a vinyl, harder to get those second hand or at lowered prices.


    Usually they always resorted to AHOY in Rotterdam but since Amsterdam opened the Heineken Music Hall they skip Rotterdam.

    It must be the hookers and drugs because Ian Gillan said he does not do sightseeing since seeing something once is enough.

    Since the Morse era there was always ” something” I could enjoy, but more and more it became not enough.

    You once told you did good for yourself.
    So how come you can’t muster, LIKE A REAL FAN WITH A BIG MOUTH, the trip to Europe or somewhere else?!

    I even went twice to London 99 way back. Did you?
    Did you see them at that open air festival playing several Abandon songs?
    Did you see them in 87? Four times? Even travelled to Nurnberg by bus which was hell, but I did it.
    Travelled abroad twice to see the S & M show in Paris and Bruxelles. Did you?
    Saw the TBRO tour three times, even went to Germany again for a show.

    I met Rasmus outside the hall who said he saw about the whole tour with his truck. Great idea! Did you?

    I should have at least done some more TBRO shows, but money always being tight and not knowing they would split again so soon I choise to postpone.

    I should have seen them in Germany and or Italy in 88 but I was too passive, thinking they would come again to Rotterdam.
    Bad choice indeed, because they were in great shape in 88.

    I almost travelled to the south of France to see them in 1996, but I fell ill after a bad working experience on a vineyard, more north.
    But even then I saw them in Rotterdam, earlier that year.
    In the same period I saw Rainbow in Rotterdam, which was sold out I believe.

    Such a contrast with the not sold out clubcircuit gigs by Ian Gillan during the Naked Thunder Tour. I should seen him with the TOOLBOX tour, I love the album, but again I skipped because he did not come here.
    But I read in Darker Than Blue mags of way back the Toolbox tourshows were again half empty.

    Me, not mustering the dough?!
    It got me broke, man.

    So, show me, Tracy.

  99. 99
    purrfect stranger says:

    Other than Uncommon Man, Hell to Pay, and All the Time in the World this is an excellent CD. No extra tracks on my CD but those first three songs are fantastic. Don Airey is splendid on this CD. The interchanging leads between him and Morse are damn ass good. Listened to this album three times straight from Long Beach to Fresno. Glover and Ian Paice are SOLID and smooth as silk. This is the best Purple album since Battle Rages On, not an epic CD like In Rock or Machine Head but easily their best of the Morse Era. Thank you for an excellent CD.

  100. 100
    michael whitehead says:

    I have to listened to Now what many times now and i find the songs remind me of the Progressive flourish of Mark One and the power of Mark two combined. Quite a nice combination and i would not hesitate to rate this Album as Deep purple’s Best since Burn. A very smooth offering indeed!

  101. 101
    Tracy (Zero the Hero) Heyder says:

    Well Mark….

    Being as that I have been a married family man with children since 1979, a career, many responsibilities and many hobbies, my ability to travel all over the world was hindered, but I did to do a lot of it here in the States. They have played here (somewhere) in promotion of all of their albums and I have seen each since they toured ‘Burn’ early 1974. Missed HOBL, S&M and TBRO though. Those were turbulent times for me and traveling was out of the question. In your case, you can drive, hitchhike, take a bus or ride with a friend to all of those places you listed. I would have to come up with 2 round trip overseas airline tickets to head over there. I have flown a couple of times domestically to see them, but I can’t justify the expense of flying over there for a show. Probably the main reason you haven’t been here yet….. Though I did go to Europe for 10 days on our Honeymoon in 1996 and toured France, Germany, London. Switzerland, and Amsterdam. Unfortunately, Purple weren’t playing. But, we had just seen them in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on one of their 4 secret gigs promoting ‘Purpendiclar’ before we left. When are you heading over here? I’d love to share a ‘Red Dog’ with ya…..


  102. 102
    purplepriest1965 says:


    Unfortunately I have NEVER been in a position I could afford the forementioned behaviour.

    Still I did.

    It DID cost me an arm and an leg, actually.

    Had to fight hard to come back from finacial bankruptcy more than once.
    And yes, I only blame myself for not handling the balance of my priorities as well as you appearantly were able to.

    It is all in the past and I cant change things like that.

    Would love to travel a lot etc but my health is giving me a hard time.
    And after all those years in which I kinda indulged wheras I should have been more careful I DO balnce my priorities in such a way I almost seldom see shows now.

    But I had my fill : )

  103. 103
    Tracy (Zero the Hero) Heyder says:

    Yeah, I too have had my share of improper balancing some priorities and have done much juggling to compensate. The ‘human’ nature leaning towards various temptations (costly record collecting among other things) sometimes gets the best of us….

    Still, I would love to share a couple of ‘Red Dogs’ with ya some day at a Purple show…. Wouldn’t that be a hoot?


  104. 104
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I suppose you are talking beers here?

  105. 105
    Tracy (Zero the Hero) Heyder says:

    Yes. BeerZ here…..


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