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The good, the bad, and the ugly

What makes a good cover of a song? There are covers that strive to be as close to the original as possible. Personally, I don’t find them that interesting. It’s basically an exercise in futility: why listen to a copy, even a good one, when the original is just a couple of clicks away, right? And then there are covers that take the original, transform it inside out, and make it their own. The band responsible for us congregating here started its career from one of those (and there are a couple more brilliant covers on that first album).

Here is a cover that in our humble opinion ticks all the right boxes, and as a bonus it’s a very deep cut into the band’s catalogue — I’m Alone. Enjoy!

Jacopo Beltrandi – vocals
Luca Federici – guitars
Thomas Barbalonga – violin
Mirco Melone – double bass
Josè Manuel Salgado – percussion

Thanks to Luca Federici for bringing it to your attention.

30 Comments to “The good, the bad, and the ugly”:

  1. 1
    Gregster says:


    I enjoyed it right up until the violin came in…The guitar solo was quite good…And the Weiss Heim guitar intro was great with the cat keeping good time with its tail…

    Not for me, but I can see why people would like it, as it is a surprising & well done cover.

    Peace !

  2. 2
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Yup, it’s a good cover, I like the gypsy feel of it and how they extracted the ballad lurking in the song.

    Speaking of deep cuts …


    For whatever reason, Purple never played that song live (nor did Jon at his solo gigs), which excuses in my mind that Purple Rising stuck so closely to the original.

  3. 3
    George Martin says:

    If Blackmore’s Night did a version of this song, it kind of sounds like what I would expect.

  4. 4
    MacGregor says:

    Ha ha ha, well that worked very well indeed. I couldn’t remember where I had heard that song before & which lineup & album. I liked the cover version & many thanks thanks for posting it. I do own that Fireball album on cd with those extras & I always thought that song sounded more like Mark I Purple, it is very much an ode to that era is it not? Cheers.

  5. 5
    Adel Faragalla says:

    In my humble opinion, I think one the greatest mysteries of the extensive DP catalogue of songs is the fact that every single song has a life of its own and keep shouting to be played.
    Ian Gillan rates the album ‘Fireball’ highly and he is was right to take DP from the heavy sound of ‘In Rock’ and diverse into different territories.
    They played that song live in 2002/ 2003 on tour and I saw them live at wembley arena and it sounded so refreshing. Lynyrd Skynyrd was the middle act and the Darkness was the first act ( I wonder what happened to them)

    Forever in Love with DP
    Peace ✌️

  6. 6
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I am at liberty to state that The Darkness continue to do fine and remain a stellar live act, Adel, inviting young street musician talent on stage on their frequent tours.


    And Justin lends his learned music-analytical prowess to the larger public of course in the regular “Justin Rides Again” podcast:


    The Darkness are a UK national treasure!

  7. 7
    Ivica says:

    Two things are bothering me, and it’s the Mark II
    First question….(probably for Ritche)
    Why was the song “When a Blind Man Cries” not on the DP setlist? (72/73,84/88,1993)..it’s like Led Zeppelin not play “Since I’ve Been Loving You”… “When a Blind Man Cries” pure DP gold

    Second….finally, why didn’t “I’m Alone” find its place on the Fireball album? an amazing rock song, and it was only a B-side!? , What a rhythm, key-phrase, 3 amazing solos in song lasts 03- 09, i love this song!

  8. 8
    Gregster says:

    Adel said…

    qt.”In my humble opinion, I think one the greatest mysteries of the extensive DP catalogue of songs, is the fact that every single song has a life of its own and keep shouting to be played…Ian Gillan rates the album ‘Fireball’ highly, and he is / was right to take DP from the heavy sound of ‘In Rock’ and diverse into different territories”.

    +1 here…

    The Mk-I albums carry equal weight too, just as much as the Mk-II albums, though they are very different from each other..Mk-I was exploration, Mk-II innovation.

    How can one possibly forget the awesome success of Mk-I, landing in the US-of-A, & playing at Heff’s mansion…

    No wonder Rod wanted to stay, no need to inquire further…


    Peace !

  9. 9
    Rick says:

    At 2:44 I believe I hear the riff to “Hungry Daze”… Nice!!

  10. 10
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “Why was the song “When a Blind Man Cries” not on the DP setlist?”

    Hm … let’s see … it was in the set list the minute Ritchie got out of the band in 1993. That should really tell you something.

    I always thought it was a vastly underrated song and should have been on Machine Head; that album would have been even better and more rounded/balanced with a ballad. They could have even squeezed it on side 2 of MH and still not exceeded the “best quality for vinyl is 20 minutes per side or less” by more than a minute as the second side of MH is rather short (17:30).

    But I imagine that Ritchie wanted another In Rock’ish ‘no compromise’ album after the experimentation bordering on listlessness of Fireball. (Rainbow Rising could have used a ballad too, there sure was room enough on it!)

  11. 11
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Rick @9: Good catch, you’re right!

  12. 12
    MacGregor says:

    I just happened to come across that Blackmore interview yesterday where he is talking about the early 70’s. He said he was an angry young man at that stage, frustrated that certain bands & musical styles were rather popular at the time & he wondered why. He was definitely out to rock the house down, so any ballad or quieter songs went out the door. Fireball does have plenty of softer moments on it & the out of place Anyone’s Daughter. So by the time the Machine Head sessions came about he was not having any of it. It is a lovely song WABMC although I don’t see it working in a live setting at all. I suppose it gives certain people time for a ‘break’. Regarding the Fireball album which I rate really highly as it is a darker & more dramatic album in many ways, like In Rock. Fireball should have had Strange Kind of Woman on it instead of Anyone’s Daughter or even I’m Alone on the album, that original idea was from the In Rock sessions according to the booklet in the Fireball cd. Blackmore was on an agenda with Machine Head. Machine Head isn’t as dark as those two albums before it, it is more polished as we observe & it has nothing but quality songs on it, no ‘messing about’ as Blackmore would possibly put it. Cheers.

  13. 13
    Gregster says:

    @10…Re “When a blind-man cries”…

    The decision to leave-it-off “Machine Head” was the correct one imo. It doesn’t fit or work on the album, just like “Painted Horse” doesn’t work or fit into WDWTWA…Odd-balls they are.

    A little earlier in time through 1970-71, DP released singles, such as “Black Night” & say “Strange Kind of Woman”. You don’t find these classic tunes on any LP’s ( except for WB release with SKoW)… As a “B”-side release, “When a Blind-man cries” would have worked well if say “Lazy” was released as a single.

    I’d suggest at that time however, that “SOTW” was all that was necessary.

    Peace !

  14. 14
    MacGregor says:

    Yes it was a no no for anything ballad related early on in MKII & MKIII at first & even Rainbow with Dio to an extent but then things did change significantly. It just goes to show that if you can’t beat them, you join them. Commercial AOR ballads, as if there were not enough of them from so many artists, in the USA especially. But that is the ‘market’ Blackmore toed the line to. JLT did excel in that department within Rainbow as we know & whilst they are not bad songs at all (well some of them), it was done to death it seems. I don’t mind a decent ballad as long as the lyrics are ok & not tear jerking ‘oh please don’t leave, I will do anything for you to stay’ or ‘I have always loved you more than words can say & you know that etc etc’. All that hypocrisy crap that so many males go on with, just don’t forget all the partying & hedonism with all the others & it sounds so innocent doesn’t it? Poor sods. Cheers.

  15. 15
    Adel Faragalla says:

    Uwe Hornung@6
    Thank for the updates on the latest ‘Darkness’ situation
    Maybe I need to be open minded as I thought they were another band bites the dust.
    Peace ✌️

  16. 16
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I’m not anti-ballad at all, it’s just another way of expressing something and they have always existed in all forms of music. If Jeff Beck liked to play them, they can’t be that bad.

    WABMC is a great composition and it has always worked on stage and gone down well, at least at the 20 gigs or so where I have seen it performed at DP, Ian Gillan, Jon Lord or even Roger Glover concerts (the latter when with the Pete York Blues Project, with Miller Anderson cheerfully moaning: “In this next song, I’ll have to do the work of Ian Gillan AND Ritchie Blackmore AT THE SAME TIME!”). Both Jon Lord and Ian Gillan really took a liking to that song and both Steve and Simon have always shone on it.

    And I don’t think that Anyone’s Daughter fell out of place on Fireball at all, it’s very much part of that album’s flow and drama. To me, Fireball is a bit to DP what the White Album was to the Fab Four, an initially blank canvas to experiment on. Fireball is alongside with THOBL one of Purple’s most daring, dare I say progressive and prolific albums.

  17. 17
    timmi bottoms says:

    @ 6……. Just can never get into Justin Hawkins voice, and the rest of the band is just average at best , but we all have are likes and dislikes. Definitely no Gillian but then again who is.

  18. 18
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I love the bassist (Frankie Poullain) and his deadpan stage persona.


    And they sure can write a tune or two.

  19. 19
    IvoSan says:

    Good Cover. Lyrics would not be out of place in a country video, with pick up trucks and whatnot

    Regarding the absence of WABMC … it was definitely Ritchie. The day he got sick and Randy California had to stand in, they played that.

    Was it something in the lyrics? or that Blackmore didn’t want a slower song in their set? Anyone’s Daughter was tried and Ritchie probably felt that it killed the vibe of their 1971 shows. There are one or two bootlegs with that song. Not very good recordings overall but since Anyone’s Daughter was quiet and didn’t overload the cheap tape recorder, that song it’s worth the listen

  20. 20
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Justin Hawkins has (t)his court jester shtik, but he’s actually a very accomplished musician with a pair of excellent ears. Of course, that hilarious Tiny Tim-style falsetto takes some getting used to.

  21. 21
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Re WABMC, our longtime contributor Lizzie of the The Charismatic Voice digs it too!


    Actually, Ian singing it on the Naked Thunder Tour was also for me the first time I heard the song (which I had always loved before) played live. I remember being very happy (and surprised!) to hear it. Ian would introduce it into the Purple set once Ritchie, the eternal naysayer, was gone.


    “I don’t see it working in a live setting at all …” – are you sure, Herr MacGregor?

  22. 22
    timmi bottoms says:

    Pavarotti once called Ian Gillan a force of nature. He said he’s is his favorite all around singer in the world. Coming from an opera singer like that.. One of the greatest in the world. That’s quite a compliment.

  23. 23
    Gregster says:


    IG is singing better than ever, & the tone + timbre of his voice is extraordinary. His done well to both recover & gain on its prowess…Check out the South American gig from earlier this year !


    Let’s hope that the new album captures those nuances, & that it it isn’t over-produced.

    Peace !

  24. 24
    MacGregor says:

    As the Genesis song lyrics say, ‘I know what I like & I like what I know’. I have always said the WABMC song is a nice good song, it is that I don’t see a soft slow song working that well in a ‘heavy’ rock set list, that is what I prefer. I have also said often that it can give people a chance to rest a little or have a break perhaps. The musicians included, well some of them. Others could enjoy a plethora of that style of song in a live set list of a hard rock band. A show stopper we ask? Well not that as such just a show calmer & then back to the ‘rock’ music again. Time for a lullaby or a Lament or even a Lullament as some call them. A softer soothing relaxing & reflective moment. For some possibly, others not so! It all depends on which horse for which course, again. Cheers.

  25. 25
    John Regan says:

    Another great song that didn’t make the cut on Fireball was Freedom. Gillan’s vocals on this are stellar. A third song was Slow Train. As for I’m Alone, during the remastered version that Roger did, it was mentioned that the band worked for quite a number of days on the song. Roger couldn’t remember why it never made the cut, though.

  26. 26
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I’ve always loved it when Purple do ballads live, not just WABMC, but also This Time Around, Love Conquers All, Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming, Aviator, Fingers To The Bone, Don’t Make Me Happy, Haunted etc. It’s frankly what I expect from a grown-up rock act – pace your set, show the whole palette. I like heavy music but 100% energy all the time gets tiresome quickly, I’m no fan of the AC/DC, Motörhead or Ramones (at least their gigs were rarely longer than an hour or so) school of unmitigated sonic onslaught during a gig. What were/are they trying to prove?

    When no one’s watching, I even listen to Air Supply or this guy …


    And I‘ve greatly enjoyed myself on Neil Diamond gigs!

  27. 27
    Uwe Hornung says:

    John @25: ‘Slow Train’ was to me always a really weird number, a hodgepodge of the Grabsplatter riff, glued-on 60ies psychedelia (the corny ‘aahahahahaha’-chorus) and Gillan’s rather rushed narrative verse delivery, reminiscent of No One Came. Interesting, but overcooked, I’m not surprised it was deemed unsuitable even for the more experimental Fireball album.


    ‘Freedom’ otoh was perhaps a bit too much unadulterated love for Little Richard (especially the falsetto verse towards the end), had that been released as a single, I think the rock journos would have had a field day slagging it off as an archaic Little Richard pastiche.

    No worries, Little Richard influences would always reliably return with Purple …


    Little Richard + Jimi Hendrix are probably the two most noticeable black influences on the Mk II sound.


    Not forgetting Jimmy Smith of course, Jon had a good pair of ears as well!


  28. 28
    MacGregor says:

    I don’t want to start splitting hairs otherwise we will never get out of here. Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming a ballad? A rock epic I would call it. The Aviator I wouldn’t put in that category either & we have to love that Morse ‘Celtic’ feel to it & that always reminds me in a certain way of his ‘Highland Wedding’ from the High Tension Wires solo album. JLT & Blackmore & possibly Glover certainly did have their AOR way with Love Conquers All. Deep Rainbow indeed. In regards to This Time Around it is more ‘Operatic’ to me, well that is my take on it. A lovely song it is. I am not familiar with those other Morse era Purple songs within my memory, I will have to have another listen. Talking of ACDC (how did we get here) I have just read a Simon Phillips interview where he said that in 1990 he auditioned for them for a new album. Now I am in shock! Of course it didn’t work out & they all got along ok & agreed on the inevitable. I just cannot imagine his drumming EVER in that band. Cheers.

  29. 29
    GAVIN MOFFAT says:

    The current purple line up did the best cover of blind man .. on the live at Olympia album . Incendiary, epic, moving and beautiful. They could have stuck that kind of treatment t if it on Machine head instead of “never before “ but … it wouldn’t have been the same brilliant album .. just as it is.

  30. 30
    Uwe Hornung says:

    The “current” line-up of DP is two guys removed from the Olympia line-up: Jon and Steve have been replaced by Don and Simon! But I get it and it is a nice version, the whole Olympia recording was very spirited and full of good vibes, very much thanks to Steve.

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