Warner Bros. and Rhino Records have reissued — with bonus tracks — the last album created by Deep Purple's most successful 1970's creative lineup, "Who Do We Think We Are." In 1972, Deep Purple hit its creative zenith with Machine Head, which spawned its signature hit "Smoke on the Water," as well as "Highway Star." As with so many rock acts, the band's success also planted the seeds for its demise. A grueling tour exacerbated egos and angers, and when the band began recording its studio followup "Who Do We Think We Are," lead singer Ian Gillan was debating whether to quit. When the record was finished, it effectively disappeared under the cloud of Gillan's and Roger Glover's departures, as well as the continuing chart and radio popularity of Machine Head, and an ill-timed but spectacular live album, Made in Japan, which was released almost simultaneously with "Who Do We Think We Are." In the summer of '73, both Machine Head and Made in Japan were flying high in the top 20 album charts, while the band's new studio record was slipping. Despite the trials of the making of "Who Do We Think We Are," and its lackluster chart performance, the album did spawn one of the band's other major hits, "Woman From Tokyo," as well as the FM favorite "Super Trouper." The reissued version includes 1999 remixes of "Our Lady," "Rat Bat Blue" and "Woman From Tokyo," as well as an alternate bridge recorded for the latter song. It also includes a 12-minute extended jam recorded during the first day of songwriting development sessions for the album, and an outake of "Painted Horse," a song originally intended to be on the disc that was held off due to disagreements between Gillan and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. The 24-page CD booklet includes a history of the sessions, as well as a personal remembrance of the period by Glover.
Rhino also has paired up with Atlantic to continue the Foreigner catalogue. Newly remastered versions of 1978's Double Vision and 1979's Head Games, which spawned the hits "Hot Blooded," "Double Vision," "Blue Morning, Blue Day," "Dirty White Boy" and "Head Games" are available. Head Games includes a previously unreleased track, "Zalia," and Double Vision offers live bonus tracks of "Hot Blooded" and "Love Maker."
On a more modern music front, Linkin Park's successful 2000 debut album, Hybrid Theory, has been reinterpreted and rerecorded with the help of remixers and industrial and rap artists. Reanimation takes the 12 tracks from the band's debut and remixes, adds raps, and generally reconstructs the pieces of the songs into new jams, thanks to artists like Jay Gordon (Orgy), Pharoahe Monch, Zion, Jonathan Davis and beat-mixing legends like Kutmasta Kurt, Alchemist and Evidence. With the addition of answering machine messages and different attacks on the same song, the end result is a 20-track disc with a lot of Linkin Park, but a lot of other stuff as well. Does it top the energy and conhesiveness of the original? No. But fans will want to hear their old favorites in a new way.
Bowie's first disc to be released on his own record label, ISO (in collaboration with Columbia), finds rock's most celebrated chameleon slipping in and out of a number of his favorite disguises, from the eerie, deep-voiced, sci-fi feel of the slow-burning opener "Sunday," to the edgy lyrics and simple but bombastic rock flair of "Cactus" to the romantic slow crooning of "Slip Away," to the "Heroes"-esque throb of "Slow Burn" (which features Pete Townshend on guitar).
There's no theme to this record, as recent efforts like Earthling and hours … have featured. Rather, Heathen is a collection of Bowie moods that features the singer-songwriter playing the majority of the instruments, and collaborating once again with Tony Visconti, who'd worked with Bowie on his late '70s albums.
Sometimes plaintive ("I Would be Your Slave"), seriously whimsical (the tinkly synthesizer-augmented lover's ultimatum "A Better Future"), meandering (the strange orchestral and techno-tone poem "I Took a Trip on a Gemini Spacecraft") and icily moving ("5:15 The Angels Have Gone"), Heathen doesn't take Bowie in any new directions, but it does provide new aural snapshots of Bowie in his various, well-known musical guises. It also allows him to play with an old favorite; he updates Neil Young's pensive "I've Been Waiting For You" with a modern beat and Foo Fighter Dave Grohl's guitar sound.
Even when Bowie is standing still musically, he still remains more interesting than most of the new breed of rock and techno innovators.
(Bowie and Moby will headline the Area 2 festival at Tinley Park's Tweeter Center today).