Rock metal bands reviews promotion

'Slaves and Masters'

(BMG/RCA records
CD - 1990 reissued in 2012)

MARK: 95/100

  Deep Purple has been on my review list for long, and the reason why I've decided to pick up this thirteenth studio album from the British legends is to do justice to it. It is the only album featuring Joe Lynn Turner at the mike (some people even name it MK II without Gillan) which caused low interest and sparked bad criticism about its style and quality, in that it would be a mix between Purple and Rainbow, which can be partly true but not enough to describe it.
The title has nothing to do with sadomasochistic world pratcices; it is referred to recording techniques creating copies from the master.

AllMusic's Alex Henderson gave the album a negative review, saying that "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 same concept was expressed in the reviews by journalists Martin Popoff and Joel McIver, who described Slaves and Masters "a bit like a latter-day Rainbow album" and an "extravagant piece of AOR-ness ... incredibly lightweight", respectively.  However, they salvaged a few songs, such as "King of Dreams", "Love Conquers All" and "Fire in the Basement", which "make at least a reasonable effort to match Purple’s catalogue".

A lot of traditional fans described songs such as "Love Conquers All" as cheesy and predictable and would never have expected them from Deep Purple because it's so distant from the early recordings and Jon Lord had never sounded so soft. Others claim the album is an attempt to make Purple into a hair band at the and of the hair band era. Other people even go as far as saying it would have been better if there had been Gillan in the line-up. Somebody sums it up as 1981-1984 Rainbow with a better drummer and a keyboard player.

Jon Lord himself, more than his mates Glover and Paice, has never recognized this record as a Deep Purple album, but in a later interview dated October 1990 claimed he was getting more and more into it the more he was playing it, accepting the fact that Gillan and Blackmore don't like each other very much even if they respect each other.  On the other hand, Turner openly praised his parenthesis with Deep Purple as a dream come true by saying it was "probably the last great Purple album there was (...) It's a great album, (it) stands up to these days, one of the best recorded, best written (...) I can name every title and just go...who can beat that?"
I definitely agree with Turner (and Blackmore, who is satisfied, too) but apparently in 1990 most fans saw it the way Lord did and so it happened that many shows were cancelled on account of scarce ticket sales. I wish I had that crystal ball in the cover to see how all those guys have changed their mind in time and to see that they are regretting and wondering just what they were smoking when they made those claims the year "Slaves and Masters" came out.

The album was produced and mixed by Roger Glover, who already did the same job on Judas Priest's 1977 album "Sin After Sin", and was also the producer for Nazareth, Elf, Rory Gallagher, The Ian Gillan Band, Reflections, Status Quo, David Coverdale, Strapps, Rainbow and many others.
The production and the mixing were done at Greg Rike Productions in Florida and were followed by additional recordings and mixing, concluded by mastering work performed at the Sterling Sound in New York by Greg Calbi.

Lyricwise the band dealt with the following topics here:

-a sleight of hand casanova dumping the girls he seduced;
-a heartbreak;
-a domestic intrusion followed by rape;
-a fatiguing relationship which is almost over;
-a love declaration;
-a man left by a woman asking a fortuneteller for an answer regarding the end of his sorrow;
-heavy petting;
-surrendering to the arms of the alpha male just for one night.

As to the visual side, the back cover is similar to the front cover, in that the crystal ball and the fortune-teller's hands remain, as well as the colours, but while the back one contains the song titles, the front one depicts details inside the ball representing the past and future of the Hard Rock combo:'s career: you can see vinyls, a truck formed from a face where only a human ear is left, a lighthouse, a guitarist, a keyboard, an hourglass, two planets linked during an astral conjunction, the old Deep Purple logo and a few more. Some of these elements are misshaped reminding me of Salvador Dali's "Persistence of Memory", and this is something that almost nobody wrote anything about back then when the reviews and interviews were made in 1990. It was made by artist Thierry Thompson, who displays his operas in a gallery in Carmel-by-the Sea in California.

The songwriting started in 1988 when 4/5 of the band were in Florida and Gillan in the UK; they sent him music that he didn't like defining it 'not inspired' and he worked on very few vocals of the songs (Slow down Sister" and "King of Dreams") by recurring to temporary working titles such as "Woman from Tokyo" and "Black Night" , which appear on the 1989 demotape. In Spring 1989 Gillan was fired by just a call from the USA and in the end of the same year the slot was given to Turner, although the vocal lines were all but ready.



On the musical side, the opener "King of Dreams", accompanied by a pleasant video shot by James Foley at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (" "), contains an involving refrain, with the rest of the track being powerful and hypnotic and displaying a great keys solo. A penetrating riff enriched by Turner's adrenalinic fit voice range is the icy on the cake. This composition immediately shows the good balanced production in which a dry slightly echoed snare drum, the guitar licks and the keyboards lines, even when pretty delicate, seem to take the lion's share.
Rapid and heavily dependent on iconic keyboard work, "The Cut Runs Deep" throws into the record some Hard Rock tinted with AOR vocals and completed by a superb solo by shredding maestro Ritchie Blackmore. This is the first song composed by Deep Purple in 1988 during the songwriting process when Gillan was still in the band.
The first time I've listened to "Fire in the Basement" I couldn't believe my ears: the beginning might as well be a inspired by a potentially unreleased track from Iron Maiden's debut album due to the style and sounds chosen for the riff. This lively composition goes straight to the point and at a certain time it alternates Blues with fast thumping bass lines between a refrain and the other.
Another piece founded on feelings of disappointment in a love relationship, "Truth Hurts" is sung like Joe means it and is constantly ensued by poignancy to some extent both in the riffs and in the solo.
The long "Breakfast in Bed" even almost has a Southern Hard Rock taste, a Bad Company vibe in the refrain that promptly gets stuck to the brain stimulating sing-alongs; also, the rhythm shift preceding the bucolic guitar solo occurs in a vigorous manner and proves to be the right way to bring the song to the next level.
Maybe owing to the evidence that the album sounds massively American, Deep Purple decided to balance it with a European flavour by using a double bass in the initial seconds of "Love Conquers All"; the official video ("") matching the respective song indeed shows some naked women playing that instrument in order to emphasize the classic touch behind this ballad, one of the best ones ever produced in the history of Rock. Its refinement and occasional Bryan Adams-like vocals make us realize we are in front of a masterpiece and not a cloying tune at all, as Turner gives his utmost to leave his mark on this song flawless.
If you grab the vinyl version "Fortuneteller" will be at the fourth place, but on all CD versions it occupies the seventh position in the list. Its slow pace and richness in groove are a recipe for successful songwriting, as well as the guitar work and solo are precise, intense and adamantine to the point of delivering eternal freshness to the song, whereas the bass and the keyboard are of course hearable but don't play a protagonist's role.
"Too Much Is Not Enough" - my personal favourite - is so tight and involving and it was a bit of a shock when I first learned it wasn't even composed by the band; as a matter of fact it was recorded by Turner for the unreleased follow up of his first solo album "Rescue You", and it was also recorded by Paul Rodgers' and Kenney Jones's band The Law but they didn't release it, either. Turner's original version can be found on the bootleg Demos '88 - 91' and The Law version on The Law II bootleg. Turner re-recorded the song for his album "Hurry Up and Wai" in 1998.
The duty to end the platter is entrusted with "Wicked Ways", a tough opus urging listeners who are driving to push the gas pedal down until a slacking off arrives; the desire for more speed returns with the final climax. It's no surprise at all the song was regularly played live during the tour in support of the album in 1991. There are also two bonus tracks in the 2012 remastered reissues: "Slow down Sister" and "Love Conquers All" (single edit); also the recording sessions also produced "Fire, Ice & Dynamite" which became a movie soundtrack and "Heart Like A Hurricane" which has never been published so far.

To love Deep Purple is to love this album. It is so underrated. Turner, a really versatile singer, sounds greatly dramatic, melodic, polite and elegant here, I love the experimental direction they took, appreciate their bold approach to music. Rock, Pop, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Folk Rock, whatever Ritchie Blackmore touches becomes gold. What's not to like "Slaves and Masters"?
Definitely an album not to be forgotten or neglected again.




01. King Of Dreams
02. The Cut Runs Deep
03. Fire In The Basement
04. Truth Hurts
05. Breakfast In Bed
06. Love Conquers All
07. Fortuneteller
08. Too Much Is Not Enough
09. Wicked Ways
10. Slow Down Sister * (bonus track)
11. Love Conquers All (single edit) * (bonus track)


Hush Single 1968  
Shades of Deep Purple Full-length 1968  
Kentucky Woman Single 1968  
The Book of Taliesyn Full-length 1968  
I'm So Glad Single 1969  
Emmaretta Single 1969  
River Deep Mountain High Single 1969  
Help Single 1969  
Deep Purple Full-length 1969  
Hallelujah Single 1969  
Concerto for Group and Orchestra Live album 1969  
Best of Deep Purple Compilation 1970  
Speed King Single 1970  
Deep Purple in Rock Full-length 1970  
Black Night Single 1970  
Flight of the Rat Single 1970  
Child in Time Single 1970  
Strange Kind of Woman Single 1971  
Fireball Full-length 1971  
No No No Single 1971  
Fireball Single 1971  
Early Purple Compilation 1972  
The Best of Deep Purple Compilation 1972  
Never Before Single 1972  
Machine Head Full-length 1972  
Lazy Single 1972  
Smoke on the Water Single 1972  
Highway Star Single 1972  
Purple Passages Compilation 1972  
Made in Japan Live album 1972  
April Single 1973  
Black Night (live) Single 1973  
Space Truckin' Single 1973  
Super Trouper Single 1973  
Who Do We Think We Are Full-length 1973  
Woman from Tokyo Single 1973  
Mark I & II Compilation 1973  
Burn Single 1974  
Burn Full-length 1974  
Might Just Take Your Life Single 1974  
Lady Double Dealer Single 1974  
You Can't Do It Right Single 1974  
Stormbringer Full-length 1974  
Lay Down Stay Down Single 1975  
Stormbringer Single 1975  
24 Carat Purple Compilation 1975  
Gettin' Tighter Single 1975  
Come Taste the Band Full-length 1975  
You Keep On Moving Single 1975  
Made in Europe Live album 1976  
The Bird Has Flown Single 1977  
Deep Purple Compilation 1977  
The Mark 2 Purple Singles Compilation 1977  
Last Concert in Japan Live album 1977  
Smoke on the Water (live) Single 1977  
New Live & Rare EP 1977  
Powerhouse Compilation 1977  
Black Night (live) EP 1978  
The Singles A's and B's Compilation 1978  
New Live & Rare Vol. 2 EP 1978  
When We Rock, We Rock & When We Roll, We Roll Compilation 1978  
Child in Time (live) Single 1979  
Deep Purple in Rock EP 1979  
Deep Purple in Concert Live album 1980  
New, Live and Rare Compilation 1980  
Deepest Purple Compilation 1980  
New Live and Rare - Vol. 3 EP 1980  
California Jam, April 6th 1974 Video 1981  
Deep Purple Collection Compilation 1982  
Live in London Live album 1982  
Fireball EP 1984  
Concerto for Group and Orchestra Video 1984  
Knocking at Your Back Door Single 1984  
Nobody's Home Single 1984  
Perfect Strangers Single 1984  
Perfect Strangers Full-length 1984  
Rises over Japan - Highway Star Video 1985  
Fireworks Compilation 1985  
Greatest Purple Compilation 1985  
The Anthology Compilation 1985  
Call of the Wild Single 1987  
The Videosingles Video 1987  
The Best of Deep Purple Compilation 1987  
Bad Attitude Single 1987  
The House of Blue Light Full-length 1987  
Scandinavian Nights Live album 1988  
Smoke on the Water Compilation 1988  
Hush Single 1988  
Nobody's Perfect Live album 1988  
Hallelujah Single 1990  
Love Conquers All Single 1990  
Doing Their Thing Video 1990  
Scandinavian Nights Video 1990  
Smoke on the Water Split 1990  
Black Night - Best Compilation 1990  
King of Dreams Single 1990  
Slaves and Masters Full-length 1990  
In the Absence of Pink - Knebworth '85 Live album 1991  
Heavy Metal Pioneers Video 1991  
Knocking at Your Back Door: The Best of Deep Purple in the 80's Compilation 1991  
The Deep Purple Anthology Compilation 1991  
The Gemini Suite Live album 1993  
Purple Rainbows Split 1993  
I Successi Compilation 1993  
Progression Compilation 1993  
The Battle Rages On... Full-length 1993  
Anya Single 1993  
Time to Kill Single 1993  
Live in Japan Live album 1993  
Come Hell or High Water Video 1994  
Best on Stage 1970-1985 Boxed set 1994  
Smoke on the Water: The Best Music Collection Split 1994  
Smoke on the Water (The Best Of) Compilation 1994  
Soldier of Fortune: The Greatest Hits Compilation 1994  
Come Hell or High Water Live album 1994  
Anyone's Daughter Single 1994  
On the Wings of a Russian Foxbat - Live in California 1976 Live album 1995  
Ritchie Blackmore: Best Tracks Split 1995  
Child in Time 1984-88 Compilation 1995  
Ritchie Blackmore ‎- Anthology Vol.1 Split 1995  
Black Night Single 1995  
Aviator Single 1996  
Sometimes I Feel like Screaming Single 1996  
The Turtle Island Shuffle Single 1996  
Purpendicular Full-length 1996  
Best of Ritchie Blackmore Split 1996  
California Jamming Live album 1996  
MK III - The Final Concerts Live album 1996  
The Collection Compilation 1997  
Live at the Olympia '96 Live album 1997  
Any Fule Kno That Single 1998  
Purplexed Compilation 1998  
Abandon Full-length 1998  
30: Very Best Of Compilation 1998  
Smoke on the Water (live '99) Single 1999  
Total Abandon - Australia '99 Video 1999  
The Best of Ritchie Blackmore Split 1999  
Under the Gun Compilation 1999  
Shades 1968-1998 Boxed set 1999  
Total Abandon - Australia '99 Live album 1999  
Australia '99 Single 1999  
Deep Purple Greatest Hits Compilation 1999  
In Concert with the London Symphony Orchestra Live album 1999  
In Concert with the London Symphony Orchestra Video 1999  
Around the World 1995-1999 Video 2000  
Bombay Calling - Bombay Live '95 Video 2000  
New, Live & Rare - The Video Collection 1984-2000 Video 2000  
1420 Beachwood Drive: The California Rehearsals Pt 2 Compilation 2000  
Days May Come and Days May Go: The California Rehearsals June 1975 Compilation 2000  
The Very Best Of Compilation 2000  
Anthems Compilation 2000  
Live at the Rotterdam Ahoy: 30th October 2000 Live album 2001  
Space Vol 1 & 2 Live album 2001  
The Bootleg Series 1984-2000 Boxed set 2001  
The Soundboard Series Boxed set 2001  
Very Best Deep Purple Album Ever Compilation 2001  
In Profile Compilation 2001  
This Time Around - Live in Tokyo 1975 Live album 2001  
Inglewood - Live in California Live album 2002  
Live in Denmark '72 Live album 2002  
Singles Collection 68/76 Boxed set 2002  
20th Century Masters: The Best of Deep Purple Compilation 2002  
Perihelion Video 2002  
Listen, Learn, Read On Boxed set 2002  
Classic Albums: Machine Head Video 2002  
Kneel & Pray Live album 2003  
Winning Combinations Split 2003  
Purple Hits - The Best of Deep Purple Compilation 2003  
The Essential Compilation 2003  
Bananas Full-length 2003  
Deep Purple and Friends: Purple and Other Colours Compilation 2003  
Haunted Single 2003  
Live in Paris 1975: La dernière séance Live album 2003  
New Live & Rare - Volume Two Live album 2003  
The Early Years Compilation 2004  
Live on the BBC Live album 2004  
Perks and Tit Live album 2004  
Live Encounters Live album 2004  
The Family & Friends Albums Compilation 2004  
Deep Purple Forever - The Very Best of Deep Purple Compilation 2005  
The Platinum Collection Compilation 2005  
The Ultra Selection Compilation 2005  
Rhino Hi-Five: Deep Purple Compilation 2005  
Rapture of the Deep Full-length 2005  
The Collection Compilation 2006  
Live in Europe 1993 Boxed set 2006  
Highway Stars Compilation 2006  
Live at Montreux 1996 Live album 2006  
Live at Montreux 1996 Video 2006  
Live in Stuttgart 1993 Live album 2007  
NEC 1993 Live album 2007  
Live at Montreux 2006 Live album 2007  
Live at Montreux 2006 Video 2007  
Around the World Live Video 2008  
Greatest Hits Compilation 2008  
Introducing: Deep Purple Compilation 2009  
History, Hits & Highlights '68-'76 Video 2009  
Space Truckin Round the World Live Live album 2009  
The Collection Compilation 2011  
Hush / Speed King Single 2011  
Phoenix Rising Live album 2011  
BBC Sessions 1968-1970 Live album 2011  
Live at Montreux 2011 Live album 2011  
Live at Montreux 2011 Video 2011  
Icon Compilation 2012  
In Concert '72 Live album 2012  
All the Time in the World Single 2013  
Highway Star Split 2013  
Now What?! Full-length 2013  
First Sign of Madness Single 2013  
Vincent Price Single 2013  
Perfect Strangers Live Live album 2013  
The Complete Albums 1970-1976 Boxed set 2013  
Above and Beyond Single 2013  
The Now What?! Live Tapes Live album 2013  
Hard Road: The Mark 1 Studio Recordings 1968-69 Boxed set 2014  
Graz 1975 Live album 2014  
Live in Verona Video 2014  
Long Beach 1971 Live album 2015  
Out of Hand Single 2015 the Rising Sun (In Tokyo) Live album 2015  
From the Setting Sun… (In Wacken) Live album 2015  
Live at the NEC Video 2016  
Time for Bedlam Single 2017  
All I Got Is You Single 2017  
Limitless Compilation 2017  
Infinite Full-length 2017  
Johnny's Band Single 2017  
Classic Songs Live in Concert Live album 2017  
The Infinite Live Recordings, Vol. 1 Live album 2017  
A Fire in the Sky Compilation 2017  
From Here to Infinite - The Movie Video 2017  
Live in Newcastle 2001 Live album 2019  
Live in Rome 2013 Live album 2019  
Man Alive Single 2020  
Whoosh! Full-length 2020

Line-up on this record:

Joe Lynn Turner - v. (Sunstorm, Ахат (live), Joe Lynn Turner, Rated X, ex-Cem Köksal, ex-Rainbow, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, ex-Eridan (live), ex-Walter Giardino Temple (live), ex-Brazen Abbot, ex-Fandango, ex-Hughes Turner Project, ex-Legacy X, ex-Michael Men Project, ex-Mother's Army, ex-Nikolo Kotzev's Nostradamus)
Ritchie Blackmore - g. (also in Rainbow, Blackmore's Night, Candice Night, ex-Green Bullfrog, ex-Lord Caesar Sutch & the Roman Empire, ex-Neil Christian & the Crusaders, ex-Screaming Lord Sutch, ex-The Outlaws, ex-The Trip)
Jon Lord - organ, keyboard, string arrangements (ex-Who Cares, ex-Ashton & Lord, ex-Jon Lord, ex-Paice, Ashton & Lord, ex-St Valentine's Day Massacre, ex-The Art Wood Combo, ex-The Artwoods, ex-The Hoochie Coochie Men, ex-Whitesnake, ex-The Flower Pot Men (live))
Roger Glover - b., additional keys, production, mixing (also in Roger Glover, ex-Rainbow, ex-David Coverdale Band, ex-Episode Six, ex-Gillan & Glover, ex-Marlon)
Ian Paice - d. (ex-Gary Moore, ex-Green Bullfrog, ex-Paice, Ashton & Lord, ex-The Maze, ex-The MI 5, ex-The Shindigs, ex-Whitesnake)

Hertford - UK

Official sites:

More reviews of this album:
Italian video review:
English video review: