SIMON ROBINSON & STEPHEN CLARE – Deep Purple – Wait for the Ricochet
This excellent book on Deep Purple’s immortal In Rock album by authors Simon Robinson and Stephen Clare is a thoroughly detailed analysis and close study of the aforementioned masterpiece, which is to say that this 168-page thing of beauty discusses each and every conceivable aspect of the events leading up to the writing of the album as well as the whole recording process and the resulting 1970 tour. No stone is left unturned and Deep Purple – Wait for the Ricochet is exactly what you need if you want to understand how and why the mighty Purple managed to come up with something so bold, innovative, and musically challenging as this particular album. It helped define a genre and remains to this day a towering example of British hard rock at its finest and most progressive. As you can probably imagine, a book chronicling the making of In Rock is both fascinating and thought-provoking; it offers a whole new perspective on the entire creative process as well as all the hard work, decisions, and logistics that went into making the album a reality.
The amount of details that Robinson and Clare have unearthed and brought to light is staggering and the research conducted by these two gentlemen is mind-blowing. Everything that you can possibly dream of in relation to In Rock is presented in the book. You get dates and timelines, an overview of the concerts and tours, a closer look at the song structures and arrangements, a cool presentation of what instruments were used, and so on and so forth. The list of topics covered is pretty damn long. I especially enjoyed reading about where the band’s ideas originated from as well as what inspired them, both musically and lyrically. I found it thrilling to read about the rehearsals and the endless jams on and off the stage that essentially spawned the songs that constitute In Rock. It was also incredibly cool to read how the fans and critics perceived and rated the album when it as unleashed almost fifty years ago. Can you imagine how daring and adventurous it must have been back then in 1970? Like I said, everything that is of relevance with respect to In Rock is to be found within the pages of Wait for the Ricochet. In addition, the pictures and old press clippings and so on that adorn many of the pages are superb and certainly evoke an atmosphere of an era that long gone. While there is an awful lot to absorb and digest here, this book is truly a joy to read and each chapter vibrates with passion and love for the subject. You can tell that Robinson and Clare are deeply devoted to the album and band yet they also come across as brutally honest and suitably critical here and there, which is great.
There can be little doubt that In Rock is one of the defining hard rock/heavy metal masterpieces. It still stands tall and proud as one of the most intense, raw, and wonderfully creative records ever conceived. Very few albums come close to rivaling the sheer audacity and brilliance of it and the fact that Blackmore and Glover still rate it as one of Purple’s best albums (if not the best) basically says it all. I strongly recommend that you get a hold of this excellent book and immerse yourself in it while listening to In Rock. It is one awesome journey that you ought to embark on ASAP, especially if you consider yourself a fan of Deep Purple.