I don’t know what lies ahead…Opening line of the album, from the song “Throw My Bones”
Deep Purple released Whoosh! on this day in 2020.
This album is the twenty-first studio album from Deep Purple, and the fifth by its Mark VIII lineup. It comes three years after Infinite, which at the time was built up as the band’s final studio outing. Whoosh! also served as the third time the band joined forces with producer Bob Ezrin, who had also produced their previous two efforts.
After the meditative Now What?! and the gritty Infinite, Whoosh! involves a great emotional range, hitting on everything from existential dread to over-the-top playfulness. It consists of thirteen tracks, ranging in length from one minute and thirty-eight seconds to five minutes and thirty-nine seconds.
Like many other musical events of 2020, Whoosh!‘s release date was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, it was going to be released on June 12. However, the band decided to delay the release until the most severe lockdowns were eased.
Prior to the full album’s release, three singles appeared on the band’s YouTube channel: “Throw My Bones“, “Man Alive“, and “Nothing At All“. The last of these was released after the originally-planned release date and served to tide over fans until the August release date.
[P]erhaps one of the most stupidly fun and outrageously silly albums of the year – and goodness, we’re all in need of a bit of fun right now, aren’t we?New Musical Express’ review of the album. Retrieved from here.
Whoosh! received good reviews from most sources, with many publications noting it as one of the bright spots of a very gloomy year. I reviewed it myself here.
Besides getting favorable praise, Whoosh! performed incredibly well on charts, reaching #1 on no less than six national charts: Belgian (Wallonia), Swiss, German, Austrian, Finnish, and Scottish. In most of these charts, it actually outperformed Infinite. On the German charts, its #1 position meant that the band had achieved a hat trick: they had reached #1 on charts three times in a row. Meanwhile, in the UK, home country to four of the five band members, the group reached #4. At the time of its release, it provided serious competition to an album by contemporary pop star Taylor Swift, a significant achievement which proves the band’s staying power. What’s more, this album performed better than any Purple album since Burn, released 46 years ago in 1974!
As of this writing, the group has yet to go on tour in support of the album. The Mark VIII lineup which created this album has to date never taken such a long pause in touring. However, many dates will hopefully start coming again later in 2021.
When I first listened to the album last year, I thought the album was the best the group has yet made. A year on, I stand by that statement; the album has grown on me as time has gone on. I understand that not everyone agrees with me, but that really speaks to the overall quality of Deep Purple’s output if not every fan is united in their choice of favorite work.