- Speed King has cool parts, namely that vocal wail and the fat distorted bass, but it cannot compare in any way to Man On The Silver Mountain. The latter is a better composition, far catchier, has better performances, and it has Dio. Blackmore’s guitar layers under what could be a simple blues shuffle are just awesome.
- Bloodsucker oozes with heavy blues vibes and is a cool jam, but Self Portrait is just so much more interesting to me. The timing of the main riff, Dio’s incredible vocal melodies that somehow don’t clash with Blackmore’s noodling, the melodic guitar lead, once again it’s a more rewarding composition.
- Child in Time is essentially a long two-part song: one a dramatic build-up that culminates in screaming wails, the other another solid Deep Purple blues jam. In the end, it’s a more exciting piece of music than one of Rainbow’s weaker songs in Black Sheep (which is a cover song to begin with). I truly, truly hate the lack of vocal writing on Purple’s end (half of the damn song is nonsensical yelping) and that ending “dramatic” bit sounds like the whole band having a seriously painful orgasm.
- Flight of the Rat has many cool parts and, as always, great instrumental performances and another emotional showing from Ian Gillan, but still all sounds like a giant jam band writing on the spot. Catch the Rainbow couldn’t be more opposite. The composition is tight, the performances mesmerizing. Dio uses his rare breathy tone and has incredible harmonies, Blackmore’s playing is beautifully restrained, and those stutter-stop kick drum patterns and bass syncopation are just gorgeous. It’s a chilling tune. One of Dio and Blackmore’s best. It’s crazy to think that it only took Blackmore 5 years to go from blues rock jams to this gem.
- Into the Fire is a good rocker with some cool blues riffs and passion from Gillan, but I prefer the tonalities and melodies in Snake Charmer. Plus, that bass is on fire.
- Living Wreck is another solid blues rock tune, Temple of the King is fucking beautiful.
- Hard Lovin’ Man has a lot of drive and a cool gallop riff. The organ is a bit loud for my tastes and the lyrics once again suck, but overall it’s pretty badass. The little syncopated turn arounds throughout are nice. The ending, however, is stupid. A poorly edited wanking guitar solo with the band fading in and out around it…that’s not the end of a song, that’s the end of a jam. It’s just plain annoying. Still I’m Sad has a very similar riff and groove, but with added cowbell! When you play these back to back it almost feels like one complete song. Truth be told, I prefer the melodies and feel of Still I’m Sad, but it’s a cover and feels like an interlude, so I’ll give Purple another one.
Voting 5-2 in favor of Rainbow.