The thirteenth full-length studio album by legendary British Hard Rock band.
"Slaves And Masters" was the definitely one of the most controversial and criticized albums of all time in the history of Deep Purple. This formation is known as Mark V, one of the many changes in the band's formation, more than their share of personnel changes over the years. In 1990, their lineup consisted of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore (who had returned to the Purple fold in 1984 after leaving the band to form Rainbow following the release of "Stormbringer" in November 1974), singer Joe Lynn Turner, keyboardist/organist Jon Lord, drummer Ian Paice, and bassist Roger Glover. This is the only Deep Purple album to feature former Rainbow lead vocalist Joe Lynn Turner, who had joined the previous year after the firing of Ian Gillan. Before hiring Turner, the band had considered singer Jimi Jamison of Survivor, but other obligations made him unavailable. Turner was still a member of the band when they began writing and recording their next album in 1992, but under duress from managers who were eyeing a 25th anniversary tour, Deep Purple ultimately decided to bring back Gillan to the line-up for their 1993 studio album "The Battle Rages On...". A handful of working tracks originally intended for the follow-up to "Slaves And Masters" would turn up on subsequent solo releases by Turner. "Too Much Is Not Enough" was re-recorded by Turner for his album "Hurry Up And Wait" (1998).
Longtime Purple followers continued to hope that Blackmore (who made promising contributions to the sound of 1984's reunion LP "Perfect Strangers") would help the band to reclaim the Metal throne, but "Slaves And Masters" was hardly the album to further the cause. The songwriting is weak and pedestrian, and most of the time, the once-mighty Purple (who were at least 16 years past their prime) sound like a generic Foreigner wannabe. The album dramatically sold below expectations, as compared to Deep Purple's previous album, "The House Of Blue Light" with Gillan, which charted at No. 34 in the US.VDespite underwhelming album sales, Deep Purple had a relatively successful tour in support of "Slaves And Masters" in 1991, especially for the band's European leg.
Technically the band stands together and makes a good performance but this album doesn't contain any of the elements that made Deep Purple famous throughout the world. Most tracks are about love with a mix of Whitesnake and 80's Rainbow, the only songs that are actually Hard Rock oriented are "Breakfast In Bed", "Fire In The Basement", and "Wicked Ways" which are the best on the album. Lyrically the album is good; Ritchie, Joe, Roger and the others are great songwriters and they kept their usual performance in this area. The best thing on the album is the production, thanks to Roger Glover - he works not only for bass but also for production, definitely he is one of the greatest artists in the music industry.
All in all, what puts this album in the bottom of the band's discography is the concept, the fact that they composed something that was so usual to hear in the 80's. Nowadays, none of the songs in this album are in the setlist of the band for live shows. It's definitely a consequence of the failure this album was, even the band knows the level this album is at compared with other classics. "Slaves And Masters" is not a a complete disaster, but it's definitely the worst album the band ever made. Although it had a relatively successful tour in 1991, it was way too melodic for the Hard Rock fans of Deep Purple.
Following its release, "Slaves And Masters" peaked at No. 87 on the US Billboard 200 chart.
RCA/ BMG Music, 1990 (74321 18719 2). Made in Germany.
1. King Of Dreams 5:30
2. The Cut Runs Deep 5:42
3. Fire In The Basement 4:43
4. Truth Hurts 5:14
5. Breakfast In Bed 5:16
6. Love Conquers All 3:47
7. Fortuneteller 5:45
8. Too Much Is Not Enough 4:19
9. Wicked Ways 6:35
Total playing time: 46:51 min.