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‘Perfect Strangers’: Deep Purple And A Momentous Mk II Reunion

In November 1984, the Mk II Deep Purple line-up of Blackmore-Gillan-Glover-Lord-Paice reconvened in style.

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Deep Purple ‘Perfect Strangers' artwork - Courtesy: UMG
Deep Purple ‘Perfect Strangers' artwork - Courtesy: UMG

Rock fans, and especially Deep Purple devotees, had been hoping against hope that it could happen for years.

For all the bad blood, for all of the emotional ups and downs the band’s first phase of success in the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was always that faint possibility that the classic Mk II line-up might find a way of working together again. On November 2, 1984, that became tangible, when the Blackmore-Gillan-Glover-Lord-Paice line-up released the reunion album Perfect Strangers.

The last three albums of Purple’s 1970s incarnation had not featured Ian Gillan on lead vocals or Roger Glover on bass; the last one, Come Taste The Band, had not featured guitar hero Ritchie Blackmore either. The internal tensions among band members that surfaced around that time had much to do with the intense recording and touring schedule that the band were subject to at the time, and the ill health it had caused.

The Beatles - Now And Then
The Beatles - Now And Then
The Beatles - Now And Then

For the second half of the 1970s and well into the 80s, all of the band went about their own noteworthy business, Gillan fronting his own band to chart success and Blackmore forming Rainbow. Their former band mates also expanded their musical horizons, in Whitesnake and with Gary Moore’s band, among other projects.

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Then, miraculously, 11 years after the last Mk II Purple album, 1973’s Who Do We Think We Are, word emerged that the team were back together, and recording a new album in Vermont. Perfect Strangers charted in the UK on November 10, produced by Glover and the band, and became a dramatic new entry into a catalog that continues to expand excitingly to this day.

New music from a ‘now band’

“I think nostalgia is great, as long as you don’t start earning too much money off of it,” Glover said in 1985. “That’s why I prefer not to think of us as an oldies band. We’re a now band. We’re musicians living, breathing, working and making music right now.”

Listen to uDiscover Music’s Deep Purple Best Of playlist.

“The title track comes blasting out of nowhere,” wrote Deborah Frost in Rolling Stone, “like an I’m-alive-and-well message from an old friend you’d given up for dead.” Warmly received by most Purple fans, Perfect Strangers made its UK debut at No.5, their highest peak with a studio record since Burn reached No.4 in 1974.

A US chart entry followed on the December 1 Billboard chart; Strangers became only the band’s second to go platinum in America (after the 1972 classic Machine Head) and reached No.17 in a 32-week chart run there.

Buy or stream Perfect Strangers.



  1. saxman69

    November 3, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    This article contains some factual errors.

    Ian Gillan did not join Rainbow at any point during its lifetime. It was bassist Roger Glover who joined Rainbow in 1979 and stayed with the band until the Deep Purple reunion in 1984.

    Ian Paice was with Whitesnake for three years between 1979 and 1982. Jon Lord was in the band at the same time. He teamed up with Gary Moore in 1982 and stayed with him until the Deep Purple reunion in 1984. The article makes it seem that Paice wasn’t in Whitesnake but was working with Gary Moore at that time.

    Does this site employ any fact checkers?

    • Dino

      November 5, 2014 at 2:12 am

      Well put. I was thinking the same thing

    • Mark Pratt

      November 6, 2014 at 9:01 am

      Read this article again nowhere does it say Ian Gillan joined rainbow it says he fronted his own band and Ritchie formed rainbow.

  2. Joe Cogan

    May 31, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    This is actually my favorite DP album.

  3. Paul

    November 11, 2015 at 5:21 am

    Fact checker? 30 plus years later? Fact : The Best Hard Rock Line-up EVER put out a Fantastic piece of music and gave us that were too young to see Deep Purple live during the first incarnation of The Best Hard Rock Line-up EVER a opportunity to see history. I was a Junior in High School when The Purple played Sold Out Show ( 13,000 tickets sold in 2 hours.. the Bass ticket center crashed) at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. I was told by the older people I was with that it felt like 1972 again. The 80’s had some horrible music. ..Perfect Strangers still sounds fresh today.RIP Mr. Lord. Do the exact facts really matter?

  4. Radcliffe

    November 4, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Does anyone remember Pace Ashton Lord?….think I saw them at Newcastle city Hall back in the day


    November 5, 2017 at 12:37 am

    Jon Lord recorded the first Whitesnake albul in 78. Paice joined in 1980. Or late 1979…

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The Beatles Red and Blue Boxsets
The Beatles Red and Blue Boxsets
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