Deep Purple´s “Stormbringer” was released in November 1974, and nobody seems to pay much attention to the fact that it has just turned 40. It was the ninth studio album from Deep Purple, the second with the third version of the band – Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice, David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes. Produced by Martin Birch, it was a surprisingly easy going album, very laidback and funky. Some thougth they cruised and maybe they did drop the ball, but it´s still a great record. Nine tracks, 36,31 minutes long – no wonder they could release albums so often back in the day. The title track is classic Purple and I love songs like “The Gypsy” and “Soldier of Fortune”.
The cover was based on an iconic photograph of a hurricane, taken by Lucille Handberg on July 8 1927. The illustration for the Purple cover was done by Joe Garnett and it was designed by John Cabalka. Like “Burn”, it was not a foldout, which was a bit of a disapointment back in the day (the next album “Come Taste The Band” had a much cooler cover, more to enjoy).
I don´t think this album made Ritchie Blackmore leave. Had he wanted more control he could have insisted upon it. He had talked about leaving Purple even back in the MKII days. Also, perhaps he was thinking about his own future even as this was being made in the Summer of 1974. In the end, the band never really got around to support this album very much and Blackmore was out by April 1975.
Still, Deep Purple had a lot of balls producing an album like this.