The fourteenth full-length studio album by legendary British Hard Rock band.
Released in 1993, it's the last album recorded with the band's classic MK II line-up, which reunited for a second time (the first reunion being for 1984's "Perfect Strangers").
Personality clashes are as much a part of Deep Purple as Ritchie Blackmore's penchant for black clothing. A revolving door of members resulted in different lineups being given their own labels. The most popular version of Purple has always been the Mark II model: Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Roger Glover, and Ian Paice. This particular quintet has gotten together and had members leave in each of the past three decades, and "The Battle Rages On..." was that lineup's contribution to the '90s. Following a brief stint where former Rainbow vocalist Joe Lynn Turner sang lead for Purple on the prior "Slaves And Masters", Gillan returned for another go-round in 1993. Even though Mike DiMeo was initially chosen as the singer for the album after Joe Lynn Turner was fired, Ian Gillan eventually returned to the band in late 1992 and had to rework much of the material already existing for it, which had been intended for Joe Lynn Turner and DiMeo. After his firing, Turner would admit Ritchie Blackmore referred to the album as "The cattle grazes on". Blackmore became infuriated at the non-melodic elements and quit mid tour after the show of 17 November in Helsinki, Finland. American guitarist Joe Satriani joined Deep Purple as a temporary replacement for the duration of the tour. A handful of working tracks written during "The Battle Rages On..." sessions would turn up on subsequent solo releases by Turner, under different titles.
Personal differences aside, "The Battle Rages On..." picks up on the kind of chemistry that made albums like "Machine Head" and "Perfect Strangers" classics. Three decades on, Blackmore's range on guitar is still impressive as he goes from playing with an arrogant swagger on "One Man's Meat" to a fleet-fingered flamenco intro that kicks off the epic "Anya". Elsewhere, "A Twist in the Tale" plays out with the same kind of intensity as "Highway Star", while the hard-driving title track proved to be prophetic as Blackmore departed the band...
This album is as much a victim of the year it was released in as it was in being associated with the breakup of the band. It comes recommended to fans of Classic Rock and early 70s Metal, but fans of post-Ozzy Sabbath are also encouraged to check this one out. Don’t let the lack of interest fool you, there is some quality material on here!!
RCA/BMG International, 1993 (74321 15420 2). Made in Germany. Pressed in Austria. Re-press.
1. The Battle Rages On 5:57
2. Lick It Up 4:00
3. Anya 6:32
4. Talk About Love 4:07
5. Time To Kill 5:51
6. Ramshackle Man 5:34
7. A Twist In The Tale 4:17
8. Nasty Piece Of Work 4:36
9. Solitaire 4:42
10. One Man's Meat 4:38
Total playing time: 50:19 min.