The House of Blue Light is the twelfth studio album by Deep Purple, released in 1987. It is the second recording by the re-formed Mark II lineup.
The albums creation was an exceedingly long and difficult process, and Ritchie Blackmore has said much of it was re-recorded.
Several tracks on the LP version are shorter than those of the original CD released in 1987. The 1999 CD remaster used the original vinyl master tapes, and so its running time is correspondingly shorter than the original CD version as well.
Two promotional videos to the songs “Bad Attitude” and “Call of the Wild” were produced. However, only the first featured members of the band.
“Bad Attitude” (Blackmore, Gillan, Glover, Lord) 4:43 (5:04 on original release)
“The Unwritten Law” (Blackmore, Gillan, Glover, Paice) 4:34 (4:54 on original release)
“Call of the Wild” (Gillan, Blackmore, Glover, Lord) 4:50 (4:48 on original release)
“Mad Dog” (Blackmore, Gillan, Glover) 4:29 (4:36 on original release)
“Black & White” (Blackmore, Gillan, Glover, Lord) 3:39 (4:39 on original release)
“Hard Lovin’ Woman” (Blackmore, Gillan, Glover) 3:24 (3:25 on original release)
“The Spanish Archer” (Blackmore, Gillan, Glover) 4:56 (5:32 on original release)
“Strangeways” (Blackmore, Gillan, Glover) 5:56 (7:35 on original release)
“Mitzi Dupree” (Blackmore, Gillan, Glover) 5:03 (5:05 on original release)
“Dead or Alive” (Blackmore, Gillan, Glover) 4:42 (5:01 on original release)
Ian Gillan: Vocals, congas, harmonica
Ritchie Blackmore: Guitar
Roger Glover: Bass guitar
Jon Lord: Keyboards, synthesizer
Ian Paice: Drums
Label: Polydor – 831 318-2
Format: CD, Album
Genre: Hard Rock
1 Bad Attitude 5:04
2 The Unwritten Law 4:54 Written-By – Paice*
3 Call Of The Wild 4:48
4 Mad Dog 4:36
5 Black & White 4:39
6 Hard Lovin’ Woman 3:25
7 The Spanish Archer 5:31
8 Strangeways 7:36
9 Mitzi Dupree 5:05
10 Dead Or Alive 5:00
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Polygram Records, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Polygram Records, Inc.
Mixed At – Union Studios, Munich
Mastered At – Sterling Sound
Bass, Synthesizer – Roger Glover
Drums – Ian Paice
Guitar – Ritchie Blackmore
Keyboards – Jon Lord
Producer – Deep Purple, Roger Glover
Vocals, Congas, Harmonica – Ian Gillan
Written-By – Gillan*, Lord* (tracks: 1, 3, 5), Blackmore*, Glover*
Cover Printed in W. Germany
On CD write Made In UK
Matrix / Runout: 831 318-2 02 ✳
Label Code: LC 0309
- This album was a mix of the classic Purple sound and an attempt at a contemporary tone. “The House of Blue Light was a weird album and hard to put together,” keyboardist Jon Lord told Modern Keyboard. “We made the massive mistake of trying to make our music current. We discovered that people didn’t want us to that. They wanted us to do what we do best.”Lord is responsible for many of the high points on the record. His playing is such a part of the signature Deep Purple style, and on tracks like lead single “Call of the Wild” and the rollicking album closer “Dead or Alive,” he’s doing much of the heavy lifting.Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore certainly doesn’t slouch, breaking out memorable riffs on “The Unwritten Law” and “Mad Dog,” along with wiry solos on “The Spanish Archer” and “Strangeways.” But The House of Blue Light as a whole is hardly a guitar album like the band’s watershed moments Machine Head and Deep Purple in Rock.Frontman Ian Gillan is in fine form vocally, even if his lyrics are a bit heavy-handed. “Mitzi Dupree,” for instance, blunders down the familiar path of Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re an American Band” and Purple’s own “Knocking at Your Back Door” in being about a woman with crude talents, in this case involving ping-pong balls. Gillan disliked “Dead or Alive”. “I’m pretty pleased with it,” the singer conceded. “I would say delighted, but I won’t because I feel there should only be eight tracks on it. Still, it is a good album overall.”
5.0 out of 5 stars “Blue Light”: a Blue Print For What Should Have Been a Hit,
If you’re looking to absorb some more of Deep Purples rib-crunching, dramatic hard rock, but want something that hasn’t been as endlessly re-released on compilations or on classic rock radio lately, “The House Of Blue Light” is an ideal find.
Released in 1987, Deep Purples second “reunion album” was overlooked upon release, but is actually one of their most precisely formulaic albums since “In Rock.” While its not as daring as their 70s releases, “Blue Light” is a highly enjoyable blueprint for the plan of finding a hit. Each track sounds like an attempt to score a hit single, which means the band rarely crosses any musical boundaries, but that’s part of the albums hard-edged charm. Despite a strict, limited approach, Deep Purples musicianship still carries the power of a fiery chariot battalion, and they gut it out on each song with admirability. Whats most important is that the group takes the seemingly cliched ideas of ‘Mad Dog,’ ‘Bad Attitude,’ or ‘Black and White’ and presents them as stunning, addictive hard rock tracks. If one were to hand these musical ideas to most other bands, the results would not be as satisfying. Ian Gillan’s lyrics do the impossible task of sounding fresh, despite the limited formula, and Richie Blackmore and Jon Lord are typically dazzling, anchored by the rhythm section of producer Roger Glover and Ian Paice. Virtually all of the music here is catchy and exciting, most notably on the addictive ‘Call of the Wild,’ ‘The Unwritten Law,’ ‘The Spanish Archer,’ and ‘Dead Or Alive,’ a song that expresses the dangers of drug addiction, with a very frank, thats-the-way-it-is perspective, preached with force by musicians who have been there and back. ‘Hard Lovin’ Woman,’ ‘Bad Attitude,’ and ‘Dead Or Alive’ would be featured on the in-concert “Nobodys Perfect,” the latter receiving a blazing treatment including a slightly bluesy intro.
Due to the unfortunate fact that it was dismissed upon its release, “The House of Blue Light” is quickly becoming more and more rare to find in music stores, like its two predecessors “Slaves and Masters” and “The Battle Rages On.” This makes it all the more pertinent that these albums not be lost among Purple fans. They are worthy additions to an already-bracing cannon of work.
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated album,
In my opinion, HOBL is the most underrated album of the band. True, only 3 years after their legendary reunion, Deep Purple was going through another crisis, which probably had its influence on the way fans received this recording… “Ahhh, this is one of their worst albums because I heard that the band was going through tough times”. Also, the sound here is different than what we always expected from them.
Bad Attitude and Unwritten Law – as heavy as DP does it. Sound here reminds of the “In Rock” days and at the same time shows an innovative side of the band. Excellent vocals by Gillan.
Call of the wild is a never-seen-before piece of Purple. Somewhat mellow and unusual.
Mad Dog – simply an excellent work! Very heavy and fast Black and white – blending vocal chorus works out well. The song sounds like a slow heavy train that just got back onto its tracks Hard Lovin Woman – rock’n’rollish tune, one of the concert favorites in 80s Spanish Archer – another classic. Remarkable play by Ritchie and great lyrics Strangeways – quite an odd song. Again purplishly heavy rhythm. Mitzi Dupree – pinch me… Is this DP? Call it blues rock, call it white blues, but again the band shows something unique. Finally, what a great closing with Dead or Alive. Highlight of the song is the keyboard solo by Jon Lord and another great vocal parts make this song.
Overall, this album shows the DP in quite an unusual light. Blue light.