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Deep Purple: Perfect Strangers

Deborah Frost, Rolling Stone, 28 February 1985

The title track comes blasting out of nowhere, like an I'm-alive-and-well message from an old friend you'd given up for dead. With its steamy vocal and genuine, if uncharacteristic, touches of wit throbbing above Deep Purple's heavy signature sound, 'Perfect Strangers' sets the tone for this venerable band's reunion album. Lead singer Ian Gillan – who's never been in finer, and deeper, throat – sinuously glides into lyrics that suggest these veterans have something to say about where they've been in the last few years ("Can you remember, remember my name ... I am the echo of your past") and have lots more to offer in the future. For a moment, you almost wonder why Purple ever faded away in the first place. Until, that is, you hear the rest of the album.

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