Episode #241 – Deep Purple – Bananas (Part 2)

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Album Tracks:

All tracks by Gillan, Glover, Morse, Airey, Paice except where noted.

  1. Picture of Innocence (Gillan, Glover, Morse, Lord, Paice)
  2. I Got Your Number (Gillan, Glover, Morse, Lord, Paice, Bradford)
    • https://www.thehighwaystar.com/specials/bananas/glover.html
    • Although Jon Lord doesn’t play on Bananas (a guest spot was rumoured), he did contribute to the writing of two tracks; I’ve Got Your Number and Picture Of Innocence. We asked Roger Glover how these songs came into being:
    • Both I Got Your Number and Picture Of Innocence were songs that we wrote a few years ago, hence Jon’s inclusion as a writer but not as a performer, although he is on one of the demos.
    • POI started as a jam between IP and SM in Greg Rike Studios some 3 or 4 years ago. It was recorded on a DAT which I took home with me, put in to ProTools (a computer programme that, amongst other things, makes editing easy) in my home studio, took bits and pieces and spliced them together to form the arrangement pretty much as it now exists, adding some bass guitar. In November 2001 we had a writing session in Steve’s own studio in Ocala where I played the finished result to the rest of the band – we worked on it and eventually made a demo but with no finished lyrics. In LA, IG and I worked on the lyrics and finished it.
    • IGYN started at the same writing session in Orlando but by the time we made a demo in Steve’s studio it had undergone several changes; it was far, far more complicated to begin with – the riff was in various time signatures as the drums just thundered through in straight 4/4. We simplified it, wrote some lyrics, mostly IG’s, and started performing it under the title Up The Wall. However, it always felt unfinished and it was only when we got to LA and played it for Michael that he suggested that it needed a chorus, so we wrote one. As is often the case, IG sang garbled words over the band as we routined it, I thought I heard him sing the words ‘I got your number’ although he probably didn’t; he kind of sings words that aren’t words but sound like they are. Anyway, I sang them back to him and it clicked. There is the song. So, Jon wrote them with us but Don played on the record.
    • There are several ideas kicking around that were written while Jon was still with us and some of them have great potential. I hope one day we’ll be able to work on them again.
    • Good luck,
    • MB
      • – Those two songs started out as demos that they had recorded before I was involved. In rehearsal, we worked on the arrangements and streamlined them some more. Then we re-recorded them at Royaltone. They were pretty heavily re-arranged, just to make them flow better.
  3. Never a Word
  4. Bananas
  5. Doing It Tonight
  6. Contact Lost (Morse)
    • From the Bananas World Tour Programme:
      • Indian-American astronaut Kalpana Shawla chose Deep Purple Machine Heade and Purpendicular amongst other CDs as part of her music selection to take on the ill-fated Columbia shuttle mission ST-107. She had been to her first ever rock concert (Deep Purple of course) on the 7th June 2001 at Bossier City LA and commented that the concert was “A Spiritual Experience.”
      • When she decided to make “Space Truckin’ Her wake up call, her husband Jean-Pierre Harrision contacted Ian Gillan and a correspondence ensued, with Deep Purple fans worldwide being privy to the shuttle mission.
      • The CDs were signed by the band with the intention that they would be returned, presented with a certificate saying they had indeed been into space on a shuttle mission.
      • The Launce went without a hitch and the mission, some 79 scientific experiments, went very well. Ranging from meteorologicfal, monitoring dust storms and upward lightning, to the biological. Tragifcally, the shutt’es re-entry proved disastrous, with the shuttle breaking up minutes from reaching the ground as friends and family looked on.
      • After the disaster, Steve Morse wrote:
        • “While we were in California, the shuttle tragedy occurred. Ironically, I, as well as the other band members, had just gotten and e mail from one of the astronauts, Kalpana. We were lucky enough to have made acquaintance with many of the colks associated with STS 107 and were invited to the launch in a special area, but we had to go do the recording. I totally freaked out when I saw the disintegration on T.V. that afternoon, I brought in a little musical idea, which I titled, “Contact Lost,” which is probably going to be on the album to pay homage to all of them. Like combat forces, test pilots, police, and fire fighters, they all know they are exposing themselves to higher levels of risk, but nobody had ever been witness to such a horrendous accident on re-entry.”
      • In Mexico city, during a deep purple concert, a very special presentation took place. The husband of astronaut Kalpana Chawla, Jean-Pierre Harrison presented the band with the fragments of the recovered Deep Purple CDs she had taken into space with her.
      • The thoughts and prayers of the band and Deep Purple fans worldwide are with the family and friends of the crew of the Columbia.

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Bustin’ Out The Spreadsheet

Reception and Charts:

  • MB:– Yes, it is “classic”, because it is so brave. This record was not a matter of re-creating “Machine Head” or something. In fact, “Machine Head” was great because it was a bold departure at the time. It sure did not sound like “Hush”. Deep Purple is great when they push themselves, and that is what they did. Even people who do not like “Bananas” at first have said that they like it more and more once it sinks in.
  • As you know Martin Birch produced the classic albums and this new CD really marks the beginning of a new era that could have you in his old role as the guy that records with Deep Purple. That is what I hear people say. People are excited.
  • – I would love to be known favorably as “The guy who produced Deep Purple”. I would work with them anytime.
  • How do you rate the CD yourself if you can have your final say on it?
  • – I am very satisfied with “Bananas”. Great songs, great playing, great singing. It has its own sound, so some will love it, and some will not, but at least it will not be ignored. I would not trade the experience for the world.
  • Charts:
    • Argentina – 10
    • Austria – 12
    • Belgium – 42
    • Czech Republic – 17
    • Finland – 6
    • France – 50
    • Germany – 3
    • Italy – 13
    • Japan – 212
    • Norway – 19
    • Poland – 24
    • Sweden – 18
  • In Russia it reached Gold with 10,000 albums sold.


  • https://www.allmusic.com/album/bananas-mw0000318751
    • Bananas Review by David Jeffries  [-]
    • Bananas has every sign of being a disappointment. Jon Lord‘s grandiose keyboards were always a focus but he’s gone, it’s released in the heady age of Radiohead, and it’s got one of the oddest titles and the oddest cover art that ever graced a Deep Purple album. Surprise, it’s fantastic. New keyboardist Don Airey is an effective replacement, adding new sounds and styles and working the Hammond so well that an uncredited Lord appearance was rumored among fans. Lord has said he’s not playing on the album, but he did contribute some writing on the excellent “Picture of Innocence” and “I Got Your Number.” Those two tracks, followed by the winding and pastoral “Never a Word,” add up to a strikingly impressive suite that bridges the more bombastic first half of the album with the looser and more playful second half. That’s right, “Deep Purple” and “playful” in the same sentence. The thunk and chug is still there, but Bananas often turns to mid-tempo boogie and blues, allowing Ian Gillan‘s wry and witty delivery some deserved space while guitarist Steve Morse‘s time in Kansas and the Dixie Dregs pays off as never before. The funky light reggae of “Doing It Tonight” is downright smoky-bar slinky-sexy, and if the band doesn’t add it to every one of their encores for the rest of their career they’re nuts. Filled with hooks and songs that get better with each listen, there’s little to dislike about Bananas. Certainly the urgent “House of Pain” could have benefited from punchier production, and there’s a noticeable lack of lengthy solos throughout, but these are minor quibbles. Hipsters have already decided, and some hardcore fans will pine for the monolithic sound of Machine Head, but on Bananas Deep Purple sound comfortable, free to do what they want, and more than the sum of their parts than they have in a long, long time.
  • https://web.archive.org/web/20031126211856/http://www.chartattack.com/damn/2003/09/0904.cfm
    • Deep Purple: Bananas For Men In Bandanas
      Tuesday September 09, 2003 @ 04:30 PM
      By: ChartAttack.com Staff
    • Hammond-handed hard rock legends Deep Purple are returning with the rock ‘n’ rollsy Bananas, the third record of the Steve Morse era, and the first with new keyboardist/old friend Don Airey. Out everywhere by late September, all issues of the album will contain the same tracks — no bonuses apply.
    • “It’s broad, fresh, quick, but that’s kind of fresh. I think it’s round; it’s got a little more of a round personality,” says bassist Roger Glover when asked to come up with a few adjectives to articulate the new Deep Purple sound. “And it was done very quickly. Abandon took us five months to do. And why did it take five months? I can’t answer that. You go in the studio and you write a song and you put it down on tape. You think it would be so simple, but somehow it ends up being far more complicated because the vocals aren’t written or someone has to do a solo and they’re not feeling well that day. It gets put off and put off and put off. And then you end up, ‘Let’s take Sunday off; let’s take the weekend off’ and all of a sudden you look around and five months have gone by.”
    • Glover keenly understands the pitfalls of taking too long to make a record. Too much tweaking can make things too perfect.
    • “The album can become flattened out because you’ve perfected it to the point where you actually ironed the life out of it,” says Glover. “And as a producer, I’m aware of this but I’m also in the band. So I don’t have the authority that a producer would normally have, which is why I so welcome having a producer, something I’ve wanted, actually since Perfect Strangers. Right then, we should have had a producer, I think. But Michael [Bradford] was very good; he was very decisive and he’s very quick and he also realizes exactly the same thing; he was very good at cutting us off. Before we’d start improving things, he’d cut us off and go, ‘No, that’s good, that’s good the way it is.’ ‘But, but, but…’ ‘Sorry, move on.’ And he was very good at it because he didn’t have to say it in a forceful way. Because we had his trust, or he had our trust, it would be more like, ‘I don’t agree with you, but OK, let’s see how it works out.’ And I think for that reason, there are a couple of things that I would change. We finished a little too quickly for my liking. I wanted to do another couple days of jamming and have maybe another couple of songs in the pipeline or whatever. Then all of a sudden, we’d finished. Three weeks and four days, boom, ticket home. ‘But, but…’ ‘No buts. That’s it.'”
    • See www.deep-purple.com for preliminary plans for the inevitable worldwide tour, one which Roger figures will hit Canada in the dead of winter, or during the first inklings of spring.
    • —Martin Popoff
  • Jon Lord’s opinion on Bananas from the now defunct PicturedWithin.
    • https://web.archive.org/web/20031008211150/http://picturedwithin.com/tour/hell/pressconf.html
    • Metal Express Radio: You’ve written a couple of the tracks on the new Deep Purple album, but have you listened to the rest of it?
    • Jon Lord: Yes I have, yes.
    • Metal Express Radio: What do you think?
    • Jon Lord: It’s not what I expected, to be perfectly honest, because it’s not what we were writing when I left.
    • I think it’s very good, but I’m not… You see, it’s not my job to criticize that but I will give you an opinion if you remember that it’s only an opinion.
    • I don’t think the sound is very good to be perfectly honest. I thought Roger would have done a better job producing it, but there you go. That’s just me, and Michael Bradford is a rather large black chap and he’s going to sit on my head now, I know that, and hurt me. [laughter]
    • A couple of the songs surprised me. Err, I can see why they put it on, but… Never A Word, is it? It’s lovely but it just starts to get going and it stops, so that worried me slightly. But it’s in the same area I suppose as The Aviator and Fingers To The Bone and that kind of thing.
    • I think the opening track’s fabulous. Obviously I like the two that I was involved in writing because I was involved in writing them. [laughter]
    • Generally speaking I don’t think it’s the best Purple album ever, but I think it’s better than Abandon, which to me had no sense of direction. I don’t think it’s as good as Purpendicular, which I thought was probably the best Purple album along with In Rock, Machine Head and Perfect Strangers. I thought Purpendicular was right in there. I was immensely proud of that album and still am immensely proud of that album.
    • But I’ve got a feeling in my bones. These old bones of mine are telling me that this is going to be a successful album. The time feels right for them.
    • And it’s really strange to say “them” and not “us”.
  • Banshee Bananas – Associated Press
    • The metal kings are back with their best album since 1984’s Perfect Strangers, one that blends Deep Purple’s power chords and banshee vocals with the memorable melodic hooks that earned the band a place in rock history.
    • Bananas is the third studio album with former Kansas guitarist Steve Morse, who joined the band when Ritchie Blackmore decided to flush his career and dabble in medieval folk ballads in the worst career decision since David Caruso left “NYPD Blue.”
    • The first single, “House of Pain,” is a crunchy, catchy nugget, and Morse evokes Blackmore’s fluid solos on “Sun Goes Down.” Perhaps the best track is “Picture of Innocence,” which rails against the right-wing’s attempts to impose its vision of morality on society.
    • Despite 30-plus years of screaming and howling, Ian Gillian (sic) is still in fine voice, joining longtime Purple drummer Ian Pace (sic) and bassist Roger Glover. Keyboardist Jon Lord is out, replaced by hard rock veteran Don Airey, whose work with Rainbow (Blackmore’s first solo band) and Ozzy Osbourne is legendary in its own right.
    • Wayne Parry, Associated Press
  • Masters
    • Business Standard, September 13, 2003
    • Moving on to the best album of the month – it’s the latest offering from the grand daddies of hard rock, Deep Purple. After a five-year hiatus following their last album Abandon, Deep Purple are back with Bananas – an album title inspired by a newspaper photograph that bassist and oldest band member (sic) Roger Glover happened to chance upon.
    • The compositions are replete with catchy melodies, Steve Morse’s trademark guitar solos, Ian Paice’s magic on the cymbals and the majestic voice of Ian Gillan. This is as good as anything they’ve done in the past.
    • “Haunted” is already being touted as an all-time great rock ballad, and “Silver Tongue”, “Razzle Dazzle” and “Never A Word” (a personal favourite) might soon figure on most requested tracks on stations and charts across the world.
    • While the musicians continue to live up to their reputations and Ian Gillan’s Jesus Christ Superstar voice continues to flower like nurtured wine, newest member Don Airey does a commendable job in fitting into the shoes of legendary organ player Jon Lord.
    • Lord left the band last year to pursue a career in classical music. Purple fans will be looking forward to that one, especially after his roaring work in the Concerto series at the Royal Albert Hall.
    • – Soumik Sen
  • A band that has lost its shine and is searching for itself
    • From Italian daily La Repubblica
    • Vote: *****
    • The problem with Deep Purple is that they keep evoking the Mk II ghost (early 70s) and the quest for that long lost time makes them look more pathetic than their talent deserves. Morse and Lord [sic] are tonic, the rhythm section is ‘the good old days’, while Gillan, poor soul, does what he can.
      But the compositive shine doesn’t exist anymore. Haunted, an intense and choral ballad, is the only exception to the routine.
    • Flavio Brighenti
  • https://web.archive.org/web/20040205143948/https://www.themusicindex.com/rockahead/reviews/dpurple6.htm
    • Bananas
    • Thames/EMI 7243501049-2-8
    • Bananas is the first Deep Purple studio album in five years. In that time the band have performed the Concerto For Group and Orchestra and played countless live gigs all over the world. The band has also seen founder and keyboardist Jon Lord leave the band to be replaced by Don Airey. So what is the album like?
    • Well I actually found Bananas to be a very instant album, which grabs you from the opening notes of House Of Pain. The sound is still very much Deep Purple which means that Don Airey has fitted in almost seamlessly and not only that he has contributed to the song writing which also bodes well for the future. The old adage being that the band that writes and play together stays together right?
    • The sound is still very much Deep Purple which means that Don Airey has fitted in almost seamlessly and not only that he has contributed to the song writing which also bodes well for the future. The old adage being that the band that writes and play together stays together right?
    • The real question here is just how much of this album will make it into the live set? Well, already the band have been playing Haunted on selected dates for a while and now that the album is out I would hope and expect that a few more might make the live show like the aforementioned House Of Pain and Sun Goes Down with possibly the bluesy sounding Silver Tongue thrown in for good measure. The real test of this album will really be how much of this album makes the set and also stays in the set for a while longer than the tracks from the album Abandon. The fact is that many critics will no doubt savage this album and be reaching for their thesaurus in order to find some adjective that adequately sums up their derision. All good and well if the album was a real clunker but the fact is Bananas is a solid piece of work and the musicianship is of course up to the usual high standard. Hell even Gillan’s voice is holding up incredibly well and his performance on this album is probably the best performance since the Mark 2 line up reformed in the mid eighties.
    • As for the material for me at least the only filler on the album is Razzle Dazzle, which at the very least could have been saved for a bonus track or something like an extra track on a single. It just doesn’t come up to standard when placed next to excellent material like Walk On and Haunted. In fact it is those two tracks that are my favourite tracks on the album and in fact these two tracks are in my opinion better than anything on Abandon which was a pretty well received album in itself.
    • Other tracks of note are I Got Your Number and Never A Word which ably display both sides of the coin and in terms of song are miles apart and yet still retain that distinctive Deep Purple stamp.
    • In summing up Bananas should please long time Deep Purple fans who are expecting certain things from the band. Rest assured all the elements that go to make a Deep Purple album are all in evidence here. There are however subtle shifts in feel and song style that show the band are capable of moving forward which will please the fans who would like Deep Purple to be a little more adventurous. Bananas however will also frustrate the critics who will be dismayed to find that there is life in the old dog yet and Deep Purple look set certainly on the evidence presented on Bananas to be keen on sticking around for a few years yet. I for one am extremely pleased with that.
    • Highly recommended.

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