Releasing the well-received Progressive Rock album Whoosh! in 2020, Deep Purple return a little over a year later with Turning To Crime.
Their twenty-first overall studio album, Turning To Crime emerged on November 26, 2021 via earMUSIC and it is not your standard Deep Purple release. Continuing to add to their legacy, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ian Paice, Don Airey, and Steve Morse teamed up once again to record an album comprised strictly of cover tunes. Some might ask, why? Well, Deep Purple have spent over five decades writing and recording original music… so why not! Every musician has their influences, enjoy putting their own touch on their favorite songs, and Deep Purple are no different so they teamed up with Producer Bob Ezrin once more to bring together 12 tracks.
If you are curious what songs they picked to record, the selections range from Fleetwood Mac to Yardbird covers, and they all work pretty well. It starts out with 1966’s “7 And 7 Is.” Originally performed by Love, “7 And 7 Is” is a strong beginning as it is bursting right into the meat of the music. Next is “Rockin’ Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu” from Huey Smith and Deep Purple keep good vibes flowing.
From here you have some unique selections such as “Oh Well,” which was the first song Fleetwood Mac ever recorded and “Jenny Take A Ride!” from Mitch Ryder, also his first single from way back in 1965. Both translated in a timeless manner that is lively and catchy, they also dig into Bob Dylan’s “Watching The River Flow” and create a joyful atmosphere. Then you have a solid rendition of the brilliant Ray Charles song “Let The Good Times Roll,” “Dixie Chicken” by Little Feat, The Yardbirds’ “Shapes Of Things,” and a rich performance of Johnny Horton’s “The Battle Of New Orleans.”
Rounding out the near 50-minute exploration into musical history they get into the rhythm of Bob Seger’s “Lucifer,” walk down a psychedelic path with Cream’s “White Room,” and close it out with a medley called “Caught In The Act” (“Going Down” by Freddie King, “Green Onions” by Booker T. & the M. G.’s, “Hot ‘Lanta” by The Allman Brothers Band, “Dazed and Confused” by Led Zeppelin and “Gimme Some Lovin’” by The Spencer Davis Group).
Overall, Turning To Crime is catchy, upbeat and gives you some insight into what inspired Deep Purple’s own Rock-n-Roll journey Focusing on tracks mostly from back to the ’60s and ’70s, Deep Purple create some brilliant arrangements in their light and it well worth the time. That is why Cryptic Rock gives Turning To Crime 4 out of 5 stars.