‘Stormbringer’: Deep Purple Mk III’s Second Salvo Of 1974

‘Stormbringer’ was the second Purple album to feature Mk II staples Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, and Ian Paice along with David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes.

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Deep Purple 'Stormbringer' artwork - Courtesy: UMG
Deep Purple 'Stormbringer' artwork - Courtesy: UMG

The UK album chart of November 23, 1974 was quite a momentous one for rock fans. As Elton John’s Greatest Hits debuted at No.1, there were new entries in the Top 10 for Queen’s Sheer Heart Attack and SparksPropaganda, but there was also a new arrival at No.12 for the 1974 vintage of Deep Purple, with Stormbringer.

This was the second album (in the years after Ian Gillan’s departure and before his return) to feature the line-up of Mk II staples Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, and Ian Paice along with David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes. Further to that, it was this Purple configuration’s second album to be released in just nine months, after Burn appeared in the early part of 1974.

Comings and goings

The band toured in North America in late November and December, and during a break in dates, Blackmore headed for a studio to record tracks for an intended studio release. That project, featuring Ronnie James Dio among others, became Rainbow. The Deep Purple name appeared again on 1975’s Come Taste The Band, on which Blackmore was replaced by Tommy Bolin. The Mk II line-up was not reunited on a new studio record until 1984’s memorable Perfect Strangers.

Stormbringer was bookended by writing collaborations between Blackmore and Coverdale, the title song and “Soldier Of Fortune.” All of the rest of the band took part in the songwriting, which veered more towards soulful influences than perhaps any other Purple album. The album climbed healthily to No.6 in its second week before falling back to its original position.

Listen to the Rock This Way playlist for a generous helping of classic rock.

In the States, Stormbringer reached No.20, compared to the No.9 peak of Burn, but the loyalty of the band’s audience was underlined once again when, like its predecessor, it went gold. Melody Maker’s review, by Chris Charlesworth, was inaccurate in the short term but correct in the longer view: “There are enough good moments on Stormbringer,” he wrote, “to ensure they’ll be around a long time yet.”

A drastic change

Meanwhile in Sounds, writer Pete Makowski advised: “Approach Stormbringer cautiously, don’t expect the heavy side of Purple, it’s a more refined band with the same exciting elements that make them THE rock band. They’ve always been known for their quality in this field and now this album takes it a level higher, maybe a drastic change, but it had to happen some time, so why not now?

“’This ain’t what Purple are about,’ some may say despondently. But Purple may be getting closer to their roots than we think. Give it a listen.”

Buy or stream Stormbringer.



  1. Joris Platteau

    November 24, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Don’t forget the album “Come Taste The Band”, which appeared after “Stormbringer”, eventually without Ritchie Blackmore, but with the late Tommy Bolin, yet before the break-up until te reunion in the 80’s…!!!!

  2. Michiel Blijboom

    November 23, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Yes, no idea why they forget the mighty funk-rock monster and Whitesnake-blueprint ‘Come Taste The Band’!

  3. ivan

    December 18, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    I think this is the best album of Deep Purple !

  4. Ro Brooke

    January 23, 2017 at 2:19 am

    —– … and Pefect Strangers and The Battle Rages On and Abandon and Rapture of the Deep and …… the albums keep comin` !

  5. "A" 200

    November 24, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    those r&b and funk songs on Stormbringer just didn’t work.

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