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Lead up to the Album:
- Roger: “I wrote [the poem] it about a year before the album. The album came about because I’d been wanting to do an album for a while but kept putting it off. The only way I’d get it done would be to actually book the time and then I wouldn’t have an excuse. So this I did, went to Musicland with Simon and Mickey Lee and spent a week laying down tracks over which I was going to sing, with a little help from Liza Strike and Helen Chapelle who were due to arrive a week later. What happened was I got cold feet when it came to my singing and abandoned the idea. Rather than go home and forfeit the studio time and musicians I’d already paid for, I decided to try something really off the cuff, not to mention off the wall, based on that strange poem.”
- It was exhilarating actually, not knowing what I was going to do (or not knowing what I was doing) and just forcing myself to come up with something in the hour or so before the rest of them came into the studio each day. My only credo was that I really didn’t want to use the electric guitar; I’d had enough of it and I reasoned that it should be possible to make dramatic music without that crutch. It’s a matter of conjecture whether I succeeded or not, but if one went by record sales then I’d have to admit that I didn’t. Only one piece of music survived from the earlier abandoned recordings and that was used for the third section (water).
- There two other musicians that I would mention: Ronnie Aspery, the sax player from Back Door who sometime later gave me the unforgettable quote when I asked him what he’d been up to and he replied that he’d had enough of doing sessions and was writing more, saying, “I’d rather be an architect than a bricklayer.” The other one is Graham Preskett, a super bloke and musician who orchestrated my ideas with a great deal of talent and zeal, and who sang whilst playing the electric violin. I’m indebted to everyone who appeared on that album, not the least of whom was Martin Birch, they gave me a lot of support when I needed it most.
- Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals, Producer, Engineer – Martin Birch
- Drums, Tabla, Percussion – Simon Phillips
- Lead Vocals – Helen Chappelle, Liza Strike
- Piano, Organ, Percussion – Mickey Lee Soule
- Saxophone, Flute – Ronnie Aspery*
- Synthesizer [Arp 2600, Oberheim Polyphonic], Bass Guitar, Percussion, Tabla, Sitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vibraphone [Vibes], Backing Vocals, Producer, Written-By – Roger Glover
- Violin [Electric], Clarinet, Arranged By [Strings], Conductor [Strings] – Graham Preskett
- Hundreds of credits including Whitesnake’s “Snakebite” album, Coverdale’s “Northwinds,” and the Judi Dench version of “The Butterfly Ball”
- Written-By – Martin Birch (tracks: B2, B3)
- Engineer [Assistant] – Hans Menzel
- Worked on Stormbringer, Jon Lord’s Sarabande, also with Uriah Heep, Donna Summer, and Rory Gallagher
- Mastered By – Greg*
- Meaning Greg Calbi of https://sterling-sound.com/engineer/greg-calbi/
- Over 4,000 entries on Discogs including John Lennon, Lou Reed, Funkadelic, Kansas, and Bruce Springsteen
- Leader [Munich Philharmonic] – Fritz Sonnleitner
- Conducted a large number of classical recordings
- Strings – Munich Philharmonis, The*
Album Art & Booklet Review
- Graphics – Tony Cohen (2)
- Only other credit is the cover for “The Rutles” album.
- Photography By [Image] – Ken Randall
- Only 3 other credits including Rick Wakeman’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth
- Back Cover
- Bruce Payne for managing
- Mack for the intro
- Stuart Wicks for the equipment
- Francoise and Anne for the food
- Stefan Kresic for being physically Immaculate
- Graham Preskett for being spiritually immaculate
- Judi and Gillian for just being
- Cosy Powell for blowing my trumpet
- Ken Randall for the image
- Tony Cohen for the graphics
- The First Ring Made of Clay (Glover)
- The Next a Ring of Fire (Glover)
- The Third Ring’s Watery Flow (Glover)
- The Fourth Rings With The Wind (Glover, Birch)
- Finale (Glover, Birch)
Reception and Review
- “A long-winded labour of love” by Geoff Barton in Sounds Magazine, 8 April, 1978:
- If I asked you which of the five members of Deep Purple Mk. II you reckoned had had the most success since the split, you’d probably say Ritchie Blackmore — and you’d be right.
- But who would you place after Rainbow’s Man in Black?
- The author puts Roger in second place due to his production.
- Called the album “a labour of love, no doubt about it, but sadly not a resounding success.”
- “Superior to some of Jon Lord’s similar work, i.e. “Sarabande.”
- “Overall it lacks cohesion and direction.”
- “It’s a commendable, proficient all round effort, but no ‘Tubular Bells’ or anything.”
- German review, rough translation by Jorg Planer: “They said that this is a milestone of classic rock (in the meaning of symphonic rock), that has nothing to do with his former work in Deep Purple.”
In The News . . .
- Sunday, March 8, posted image on instagram page with no explanation.
- Woosh! Single being released on April 18 on German Record Store Day: http://www.recordstoredaygermany.de/exklusive-releases/releases-2020/
This Week in Purple History . . .
March 30 through April 5
- April 3 & 5, 1975 – the performance that would become “Made in Europe”
- April 5, 1998 – Cozy Powell dies
- April 4, 2014 – Concert celebrating Jon Lord at the Royal Albert Hall
For Further Information:
- Elements / The Mask liner notes
- Comments about the show? Things you’d like us to cover? We’d love to hear from you. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or @ us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
- Touched by Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story by Greg Prato
- Deep Purple: A Matter of Fact by Jerry Bloom
- Smoke on the Water: The Deep Purple Story by Dave Thompson
- The Road of Golden Dust: The Deep Purple Story 1968-1976 by Jerry Bloom
- Child in Time by Ian Gillan