RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Deep Purple – Now What?! Gold Deluxe Edition
Eagle Rock Entertainment

Rating: B+

Deep Purple returned last year with a new album that finally lived up to Deep Purple expectations.  After several releases that seemed promising, but when unleashed on the ears of the DP faithful, ultimately fell flat. The band has released Now What?!, which was produced by the iconic Bob Ezrin.

Long time guitarist, Steve Morse, and keyboardist, Don Airey, are the stars of the album, finally properly filling the shoes of those who they replaced (guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and keyboardist, Jon Lord) on a studio effort.  Oh, they’d been doing fine live for years, as the entire band is a powerhouse on stage.  It was just that up until this release, the new stuff, well, if truth be told, felt more like an Ian Gillan solo album than a Deep Purple release. This time with the help of Bob Ezrin, Deep Purple was able to harness the live energy and capture the essence of Deep Purple on tracks like “Hell to Pay,” “Vincent Price” and “A Simple Song.” 

All of the original Now What?! is included on this deluxe edition, as well as a bonus track titled “First Sign of Madness.”  What makes this deluxe edition so exciting is much more than a simple bonus track, as the edition also includes a second disc recorded live on the Now What?! tour in 2013.

The band, proud of their new album, included five songs from Now What?!, surprisingly leaving off several of the best.  The band did not include “A Simple Song,” “Weirdistan,” “Hell to Pay” or Uncommon Man,” but did manage to sneak in a few other strong tracks including the Steve Morse instrumental titled “Contact Lost,” which is an emotional piece of music.  Joining that one is “Vincent Price,” “All the Time in the World,” “Bodyline” and “Above and Beyond.”  The crowd reacts well to the new material, and they should, as there is not a weak song in the bunch.  However, when Deep Purple struts out the tried and true classics, including “Strange Kind of Woman,” “Lazy,” “Perfect Strangers,” “Black Night” and “Smoke on the Water,” the crowd, like the band, take the entire event to a higher place.  The inclusion of two long lost fan favorites, “Hard Loving Man” from In Rock and “No One Came” from Fireball are the icing on the cake.

If you were on the fence and still not sure if you should purchase Now What?! then this should make the decision easier for you.  If you bought the first one then, what the hell, get this one too.  After all, it’s not only got the extra live disc, the package is all gold and shiny which kinda makes ya happy.  All kidding aside, this is a cool special edition from one of the best rock bands in the history of the genre.

Now What?! Track list
1. A Simple Song
2. Weirdestan
3. Out Of Hand
4. Hell To Pay
5. BodyLine
6. Above And Beyond
7. Blood From A Stone
8. Uncommon Man
9. Apres Vous
10. All The Time In The World
11. Vincent Price
12. It'll Be Me

By Jeb Wright