Deep Purple released Infinite on this day in 2017.
This is the twentieth studio album from this legendary band and the fourth from the Mark VIII lineup. It is also the second album the group did with legendary rock producer Bob Ezrin, whose collaboration began with the band in 2012. This followup to Now What?! was recorded in 2016 predominantly in Nashville, in a process carefully recorded by the documentary From Here to Infinite.
It’s a little heavier than the last one. It’s a bit more prog, as we say in England.Don Airey about the sound of Infinite. Retrieved from here.
The album has a hard edge, reflective of the angry state of the world at the time of the album’s recording. It also features incredibly virtuosic work by five musicians who had at the time been companions onstage and in the studio for almost fifteen years straight. At the same time, despite being late in their catalogue, this album was hailed as a return to Purple’s roots, namely as a hard rock band with strong blues leanings balanced with progressive tendencies.
The album was a massive success upon release, drawing huge critical acclaim from critics and praise from listeners. Perhaps the most obvious reflection of its embrace by the musical world is the fact that it reached #1 on both the German and the Swiss charts, #3 on Italian and Norwegian charts, #4 on Finnish Charts, #5 on Belgian and Swedish charts, #6 on UK and Netherlands charts, and #10 on French charts. Many of these positions are the highest the band have earned in these countries in a significant amount of time; the Italian position, for instance, is the highest the band earned since 1973.
At the time of its release, it was surrounded by a massive media campaign and many a question about whether or not it was the last album from Deep Purple, with many questions about the band members’ advancing age. The tour to support it was even called “The Long Goodbye Tour”. Thankfully, however, the album has found a followup with Whoosh!, which was released three years after Infinite. With plans to tour in support of Whoosh! scuttled by the COVID-19 Pandemic, however, the jury is still out on whether “The Long Goodbye Tour” may indeed be the last major tour the band undertakes. As of this writing in April 2021, the band has yet to get back on the road to support Whoosh!
On a personal note, this is the album which turned me from someone aware of Deep Purple from some vague sense into a lifelong fan. Midway through “The Surprising” upon my first listening to the album, some power took hold of me and I found myself compelled to find more. I make no apologies for the fact that this album and the lineup that birthed it will forever be my Deep Purple.
- Edit on 2020-06-03: Added chart information.
- Edit on 2020-09-17: Optimized for new site.
- Edit on 2021-04-07: Updated information regarding touring.