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Five youngsters living life to the fullest

Here is a roundup of Turning to Crime reviews from the web that passed through our mailbag over the past couple of weeks.


Deep Purple’s new, vibrant covers disc, “Turning to Crime,” is a raucous, exhilarating effort, the latest achievement from a classic, timeless, and seemingly ageless band. Deep Purple make the songs their own not by rearranging them or making drastic changes but by simply putting their collective high-energy stamp and singular musicianship on the material. The band doesn’t just give the songs a boost; it’s more like a giant leap to a new level of excitement.

RIFF Magazine (7/10):

One could ask whether the world needs another cover of “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu,” “See See Rider” (part of Mitch Ryder medley “Jenny Take a Ride”) or “Let the Good Times Roll.” You could ask that about any number of Chuck Berry songs, too, but you almost never hear complaints about the myriad versions of “Roll Over Beethoven” or “Johnny B. Goode” out there.

But Deep Purple, true rock believers with their legacy of lightning guitar runs, classically inspired organ fills and straight-ahead hits like “Smoke on the Water,” “Highway Star” and “Perfect Strangers,” come out of left field with Turning to Crime. The album is a set of 11 covers (plus a mostly instrumental medley) that, while not always reworked enough to justify their existence, usually offers, at the very least, an interesting (and rollicking) listen.

Ultimate Classic Rock:

It’s an understatement to say that selections such as Huey “Piano” Smith’s “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu,” Little Feat’s “Dixie Chicken,” Louis Jordan’s brassy “Let the Good Times Roll,” Bob Dylan’s “Watching the River Flow” or Jimmy Driftwood’s “The Battle of New Orleans” seem out of the box. But these surprises are surprisingly convincing. Guitarist Steve Morse gets to employ some different playing techniques, Don Airey rolls out a little barrelhouse piano on some of the tracks and drummer Ian Paice sounds assured in the different rhythmic approaches. Gillan, meanwhile, can sing just about anything, so his voice winds up being the best ambassador for this unlikely fare.

The Aquarian:

If you’ve ever planned on hosting a backyard hoedown and wanted to book live music for it, don’t be surprised if people start suggesting Deep Purple after this new album of theirs comes out on Friday.

Turning to Crime is a delightful tribute to friends, contemporaries, and the songs that raised the members of Deep Purple. It’s an adventurous journey into the artists they emerged and might have even shared a stage with, and is a sincerely appreciated return. The tracklist may be varied, but Deep Purple reminds us that rock and roll will never die.

Louder Sound:

This record, which really should be titled Turning Back Time, is an absolute blast. For the first time, the band have collaborated remotely, out of necessity due to covid (a rendition of Huey ‘Piano’ Smith’s Rockin’ Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu must’ve been high on their tongue-in-cheek agenda). And it’s a triple-jabbed delight, with the band channelling their inner Showaddywaddy.


Deep Purple have returned with Turning to Crime, a humorous take on the album being 12 tracks and 50 minutes of entirely cover songs! The lazy attempt to stay relevant from many bands with sinful releases of covers or re-releases has long been criticised and Deep Purple recognise that. This album is anything but that, though.

American Songwriter (2.5/5):

At this point, one might conclude that Deep Purple are either content to turn themselves into a cover band, simply taking a breather prior to their next set of original offerings, or are merely finding themselves bankrupt as far as any new ideas of their own are concerned. Granted, they share each piece with their blustery trademark style, but even so, hearing Deep Purple cover a slice of archetypical Americana like “Battle of New Orleans” seems rather ludicrous. Bob Seger’s otherwise obscure “Lucifer” comes closest to fitting the bill, but aside from that, one has to wonder why they chose to revisit any of those other offerings.

Ultimately, those that are somewhat cynical might suggest that the album title is, in fact, all too apt.

Vintage Rock:

There’s nothing particularly profound or eloquent to say about this record other than it’s a pleasant reminder that Deep Purple’s ”Long Goodbye” has no end-date in sight. As long as they keep churning out a cohesive sonic assault of their own and other’s music without stumbling or lowering their standards, what else are they going to do? They’ve been on a roll with Ezrin for nearly 10 years and they’re not about to go down without a fight — even if it means Turning To Crime.

Weekend Notes:

I think this might be one of the best covers albums I have come across. There is not a bad track on this set. Not even an “it was okay” track. This version of the band – I believe we’re up to Mark VIII now – is, in my opinion, the best since their Mark II heyday.

Abaddon Magazine:

…And even with the famous artists, Deep Purple could’ve gone for their greatest hits. However, they didn’t. Once again, it would seem they picked by heart instead of wallet.

That’s why we got a record sounding so playful and energetic. Okay, I get it, sound recording studios these days have all the capabilities to make the dullest recordings sound dynamic. But there’s still this feeling Deep Purple quite enjoyed making this album. It actually does sound like a group of young and talented musicians, full of hope and admiration for their heroes, starting out as a band with covering what they’ve heard on the radio. No sheet music, simplified tabs or outsider help. Just five youngsters living life to the fullest and enjoying playing music as such.

Honorary mention: our contributor and co-founder of Perfect Strangers of Finland Matti Rinne wrote a review of the album for the local magazine Riffi. It’s naturally all in Finnish though.

13 Comments to “Five youngsters living life to the fullest”:

  1. 1
    aireight says:

    Can’t argue with any of these. An excellent Covid-Covers-Concept album.

  2. 2
    Ivica says:

    Listen after … “Whoosh !” like wine is ..old-better:)

  3. 3
    Adel Faragalla says:

    Doing cover songs is not easy when you don’t use a carbon copy of the original. Ask the thousands of artists who covered DP songs. But it’s a very good cover album and anyone who says different needs to clean their ears and hearts and minds.
    It’s an excellent album.

  4. 4
    DeeperPurps says:

    Just opened up the link to the review by American Songwriter which I can sum up in one word: “laughable”. Hard to take it seriously when in the first paragraph it refers to vocalist Ian GILLIAN. That reviewer even implies that Purple has co-opted some sort of “outlaw” approach, even in its early, classic albums – he is so far off the mark, it’s pitiful. The reviewer’s negative tone and anti-Deep Purple prejudice pervades throughout, right from the very first sentence with its rhetorically aspersive “predictability” shot across the bow. A later suggestion that the band might be “bankrupt… of new ideas” will give you a sense of where that reviewer’s head is at.

    I would expect to read such drivel in Rolling Stone Magazine, however even after almost 2 weeks since the release, that particular self-appointed sacred cow of rock journalism has not yet deigned to lower itself down to reviewing Purple’s latest offering.

    Am I surprised…..not in the least.

  5. 5
    Enan says:

    This album is a pure joy to listen to, and even more so during the holidays. Every song makes me smile. The word “fun” comes up over and again when people describe this record. The quality of the playing and production is marvelous. Congrats to the band and to Bob Ezrin and his crew for making this happen.

  6. 6
    James Steven Gemmell says:

    I’ve listened to and read many reviews. No one agrees on anything. Ha, ha! Surprise, eh? I think it’s a fun album. We’re fortunate they are still making albums, well into their 70s. A lot of people are six feet under at that age, and only a few of the classic bands from the 1960s are still making music or touring. So, I’m grateful this Christ Mass season.

  7. 7
    Uwe Hornung says:

    It sure sounds a lot more fun than The Battle Rages On did, let me tell you. That album still sounds painful to my ears today because of all the animosity you can hear and feel (the songs are ok, it’s the performance that is so cold/strained). Nasty piece of work alright. But historically interesting.

    In comparison, TTC sounds like five happy guys where only nature might one day summon one to leave. Remember how this could have turned out awful – UFO did themselves no favors with their covers album (The Salentino Cuts) as their parting shot.

  8. 8
    Dr. Bob says:

    It appears that American Songwriter listened to a different album than everyone else.

  9. 9
    Georgivs says:


    Yes, Gillian and Grover, that mediocre songwriting combo and their only true hit “Smokey Water”, the best version of which was performed by Beavis and Butthead on MTV.

  10. 10
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    I’ve lived in one of the shadows of Manhattan for 60 years and well, this American is digging the album! Open the minds?


    Ted :>

  11. 11
    Buttockss says:

    @ 4…. The first word of American Songwriter will give you all the information you need. America only focus is to find the next one hit wonder hit and sell millions it’s not about the music in America any more, so this review does not surprise me at all.

  12. 12
    Kidpurple says:

    American Songwriter- bullocks- typical treatment of Purple in the states- being fan of 50 years have had to put up with this bull..
    Our guys have always rocked and this album is FUN !
    Thanks Deep Purple!

  13. 13
    GAVIN MOFFAT says:

    It’s a covers album. We shouldn’t get it out of proportion. They set out to make an album which honoured what got them cranked about music as kids/young adults. They surpassed the expectations I had.

    As Roger Glover has said on more than one recent interview “We don’t care what anyone thinks of what we do”. They obviously are practical about including the hits in live shows because they are not at the other extreme … an “art rock” band. They do plan to entertain themselves … and as a consequence, us.

    News just in! … artists don’t think “What will people like?” They do what they are passionate about and if others like it so much the better. God this album sounds so good, cranked up 😀

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