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Dance on the thunder again

Photo © 1928 Lucille Handberg

Stormbringer cover art looks like hand drawn (because it is), but it is actually based on one of the most famous photos in the history of storm chasing. The dramatic picture (shown above) was taken on July 8th, 1927 (or 1928, depending on whom you believe), near Jasper, Minnesota, by a schoolgirl called Lucille Handberg. It appeared in the contemporary issue of The Milwaukee Sentinel, which had the story of the young photographer who chased the tornado to win a state fair prize.

Thanks to John Coulthart for the info (via Andrey Gusenkov).

19 Comments to “Dance on the thunder again”:

  1. 1
    Scoot says:

    Did not know that. Way cool.

  2. 2
    Drdp says:

    Rainbow Shaker on a Stallion Twister.
    Bareback Rider On The Eye Of The Sky.
    Ol’ Cov’ belting it out.

  3. 3
    Les Hedger says:

    It’s too bad the album didn’t live up to the power of the picture. The worse DP album DP ever made until ROTD.

  4. 4
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    Actually, this photo looks a little like a drawing itself….

    I remember when I went out and bought the “8-Track” tape when it first came out. Yes, “8-Track Tape” and yes, I still have it, along with a working player at home in my stereo system. I had finally gotten used to the MK-3 line-up and was enjoying the ‘Burn’ “8-Track” quite a bit. Upon seeing the cover art on this new release and its title, I was in total anticipation of it being a good follow-up to its predecessor. I plugged it into my car stereo as soon as I got in the car in the parking lot, ready to be amazed. The title track came first and I wasn’t let down….. yet. Then as the tape player continued on clicking along from track to track, I began a downward spiral from an emotional high to a feeling of disappointment and concern. WTF? Meaning…. “What the FUNK”! Yes, there were some fairly good tunes if one had to be a blind optimist but, overall this album blows and now I was right back where I was when I first heard ‘Burn’. Except this time, I never warmed up to the idea of this line-up and then on top of that when I heard them LIVE, playing the older MK2 material and how Glenn and David butchered them so badly I was realizing that my Favorite Band was no more. When Ritchie left and then MK4 came about with Bolin, I was sure this would end it for me. Ritchie’s guitar magic along with the now missing Gillan’s singing was what my main draw to Purple was about. NOW WHAT? Well, here I go again, to the store as soon as the “8-Track” was released and repeated the process with pure negative anticipation. I plugged it into the player and the opening track began…’Coming Home’. WOW! Great tune. My personal favorite on the album (I never will understand why they never played this one LIVE). Click by click the tape player kept going and I was completely overwhelmed with glee. As the opening track was titled, THEY ARE BACK HOME! They dropped the funk and put out a hell of a Rock album. Who the hell is this guy, Tommy Bolin? Though the Purple Riff-meister was absent, in his place was a fresh shot in the arm that I caressed whole heartedly and thus searched for and bought everything he had played on. One reason I guess it worked so well and I was so pleased was because it fell on the heels of such a lousy prior album. It was perfect timing for this change to take place. Unfortunately, what followed ended that honeymoon rather abruptly and the rest is history and now here we are enjoying a true masterpiece in the name of !NOW WHAT?. It’s hard to believe that it was 40 years ago when ‘Stormbringer’ hit the shelves and even harder to believe that my Favorite Band is still alive and kicking out some amazing music for our listening pleasure. Some of the players have changed, come and gone and come again. Thank goodness the band didn’t quit each time somebody left because they have given us quite an array of music over the years that has changed and evolved and been a true blessing. Hell, it’s been the backdrop soundtrack of my life since 1969. I can live with only listening to the 19 Deep Purple studio albums and various Live Albums and no others the rest of my life. Their music is diverse enough and there is enough of it to sooth the musical pallet for anyone’s lifetime.


  5. 5
    Micke says:

    Amazing pic!!

  6. 6
    Jeff Summers says:

    You could be describing my buying and listening experience Tracey and many others here can relate I’m sure. Great descriptive of those turbulent, exciting but insecure times for us DP fans. Slight difference is that I absolutely love Stormbringer now. I didnt get the funky, poppy aspect when I was a kid, although I loved the title track, LDD and SoF right from the off. 🙂

  7. 7
    MacGregor says:

    Tracy @ 4- a 8 track machine & still working, wow I haven’t seen or heard one of those since that glorious era. I remember when they were the latest ‘new’ thing, & didn’t they have the quad albums on them as well? Machine Head was quad from memory, as was TDSOTM by the Floyd. America’s History album also rings a bell & Lennon’s Imagine album of course. Sheesh, that takes me back & in regards to Stormbringer what an iconic album cover, & yes the album has it’s moments, the title track of course, Love Don’t Mean A Thing, Holy Man, Lady Double Dealer, Gypsy & Soldier of Fortune. That album came out during my final high school year, as did Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here, Black Sabbaths Sabotage & Led Zeppelin’s iconic double album Physical Graffiti! In regards to Stormbringer I can hear an early Rainbow influence in some of the songs I mentioned, particularly Stormbringer, Gypsy & Soldier Of Fortune. At least it spawned Rainbow, so all was good after Blackmore’s leaving Purple, but yes I remember reading as a youngster him leaving & I was devastated at the time! WTF, classic & I know what you mean with that funk comment, but I still prefer Stormbringer to Come Taste The Band, which I thought was even ‘funkier’ than Stormbringer in many ways. Cheers.

  8. 8
    Roy says:

    Amazing pic! And amazing drawing or paintwork Stormbringer’s LP cover was based upon also. I think I read somewhere that the band was actually inspired by a portrait an American painter from the 60’s or 70’s did based on that original pic, thus the cover. Being only about 10 or 11 at the time I ‘accidentally’ got exposed to the ST album thanks to my older brothers: huge DP fans then. I still remember them saying ST was crap (!) and then getting back to only playing Made in Japan, In Rock, etc. To say I was blown out by every single track from the Stormbringer LP would just not do justice. The Gillan-Glover outfit was alright BUT Coverdale and Hughes chorusing each other, Blackmore’s solos, Jon’s organ, Paice’s drumming… That was just pure dinamite. In fact, Burn and Stormbringer are to me the best legacy from that era and perhaps the best rock albums of all time. Then came Tommy Bolin and Coming Home, which just blew my mind again. A true rock and roll anthem, I never understood how they never played it (or actually recorded it) live (!) I couldn’t agree more with !Ch-BeerZ?

  9. 9
    Max says:

    @ Tracy:

    Nice memories you share here…But I`d like to get a word in for STORMBRINGER. I did not like it too much in the first place, expecting a hard rock album, especially because of the cover – but found myself listening to it later on more often than to most other albums. It sounds fresh to me, relaxed in places, even brave, exploring new territory, nice shot of R`n`B there. And I do like CTTB just the same. Great albums in my book.

  10. 10
    Louis says:

    @ Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder

    It took me 30 years to finally enjoy “Burn,” lol! Amazing that you still have a working 8-track. My copy of “Burn” is the original vinyl and since it has only been played a half-dozen times since 1975, It’s in VG condition (smile)!

  11. 11
    MacGregor says:

    Drdp @ 2- you are correct there, it is a classic track & Coverdale nails it. Stormbringer has some classic Purple tracks on it, the great tracks make it worth while indeed!
    Les Hedger@ 3- each to their own, but you can’t be serious? I could name 4 ‘so called’ Deep Purple albums that are not in the same league as Stormbringer!

  12. 12
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    Max @9;

    I too found myself listening to it later on. Especially when Purple pulled the plug after CTTB and was gone it seemed for good. I spent tons of time and money searching for ‘All Things Purple’. As much as I could find related to Purple and all its members were my obsession. Of course, since there was nothing to look forward to from the band inn the future, I was stuck with listening to what had already been released, including ‘Stormbringer’. As I stated above, if one wishes, he can find the good in the bad. Yes, there is some really good music on that record. But that is a subjective approach. There is some great music on all of Michael Jackson’s albums I’m sure. Good or bad isn’t the issue. It’s whether or not it fits in the picture or not. Thriller is a great song and it was an epic groundbreaking video also. It wouldn’t fit with Deep Purple and that is where I believe most of the tracks on Stormbringer belong…. somewhere else. It’s a lackluster album that Ritchie himself wasn’t proud of. His mind was already on his next venture…. Rainbow. Stormbringer would have been better suited as the first Rainbow album (as with Slaves & Masters should have been a Rainbow album). Really good music, but Deep Purple? Hardly. But does it really matter? No. It’s all good music and no matter what the title is or band name, I would have bought it because it was Purple related. Do I actually listen to all of it? No. there is much of the music from some of the ‘family tree’ that I am not in to. Does that mean I don’t think it is good? No, just not my cup of tea.

    Louis @10:

    Yeah, I too have the original vinyl in domestic, European and Japanese import, plus CD in the various remaster/remix forms as with all the rest of the catalogue. Most of the 8-tracks still work, but many have that typical issue whereas the little sponge or felt buffer inside the case is damaged or deteriorated making them unplayable. The tape is good though and some day I will come up with a repair replacement for that issue. Until then they are all stored away in boxes as is the vinyl. The digital age has been a blessing in that department. You can enjoy the music without wearing out the ‘good stuff’.


  13. 13
    joey says:

    I never really cared for the cover of Stormbringer, and it took awhile for this album to grow on me. I heard a few tracks on the radio and was disappointed, but of course being a huge DP fan, I still went out and bought the LP. The problem was this lp followed Burn and we all still wanted to rock . Stormbringer in my opinion probably would have been better served if it was saved for the Bolin mk iv lineup and released after Come taste the Band. It would have been easier to digest not being a Blackmore record.As for the cover. It still hasn’t grown on me. Cheers, Happy Holidays to all

  14. 14
    Les Hedger says:

    I remember buying CTTB and really enjoying it from first listen. I played it more times the first month I had it than I have ever played SB. CTTB sounded fresh and had more energy than SB IMHO.

  15. 15
    Micke says:

    @ Louis I played Burn half-dozen times in a couple of days in march 1974.. 😉

  16. 16
    purrfect stranger says:

    Stormbringer was a good album on the other hand Slaves and Bastards was not. In fact, ROTD is superior to S A B simply because it had Gillan on the vocals.

  17. 17
    Fender123 says:

    For me, the first 4 tracks of Burn went instantly into my “Purple Brain” as being in the same mould as what had gone before (albeit without the signature IG vocals), and I have consistently played those 4 songs ever since. I really wanted to like Stormbringer and for a time convinced myself that I did, but the truth for me is that it just does not work as a Purple album, or indeed “any” album. Aside from the title track and LDD (especially live) it does absolutely nothing for me and is the only DP album that never gets played. Personally it stands out as the weakest DP album ever, by far, and I’d go so far to say that if it did not have a DP label on it, it would have passed most of us by. But hey, it’s all about individual taste, it would get pretty boring if we all liked the same stuff! Cheers.

  18. 18
    Scott W. says:

    @17 “But hey, it’s all about individual taste, it would get pretty boring if we all liked the same stuff! Cheers.”
    Best statement i have read on this Forum for some time! It seems when people disagree on some point, intead of just reading someone else’s viewpoint and accepting it, animosity arises and certain people want others to only concurr to anothers viewpoint as ‘My way is The only way to think.’ or “My viewpoint is right and your’s is Wrong”! Enough of that shallowmindedness. Merry Christmas!

  19. 19
    Crazy Horst says:

    I agree with Tracy about the assessment of Stormbringer and CTTB.
    I disagree though that they took the funk out: CTTB is funky throughout, possibly even more so than its predecessor. The difference in my opinion is the songwriting and the playing – good and inspired on CTTB – lacklustre and formulaic on Stormbringer. For me, the worst downturns on SB are actually the R’n’R songs like High Ball Shooter – they absolutely don’t do anything at all for me. The funky stuff at least breathes a bit of fresh air into the record.
    Strombringer to this day is one of the few records of which I can’t sing the tunes and riffs on reading the tracklist, let alone remember the tracklist.

    But nevertheless, SB has its merits as being part of the history of the “first Deep Purple” as I like to call it. The good thing about those first 10 studio albums is that you can really see a development. From release to release there is a clear direction in which the band is moving and the development also reflects the way progressive music in general changed.
    CTTB and the ensuing tour in some way marked the peak of the band’s musical diversity – King Biscuit/Russian Foxbat goes a long way of proving that. The sad thing was, that they couldn’t pull it off very often and that only Lord and Paice were interested in honouring the old classics.

    After the reunion this adventurous spirit was pretty much gone and the band have spent the bigger part of their time going round in circles artistically (or moving back and forth if you like).
    I’m not going to go into that, but despite its quality, Perfect Strangers was a conservative record and after the dreadful morphing into a Foreigner clone towards 1990 there hasn’t been a sense of direction ever since.

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