On This Day (February 15)…Accidentally On Purpose is Released

Ian Gillan and Roger Glover’s joint album Accidentally On Purpose was released on this day in 1988, according to an interview with Chris Welch.

Album cover. Retrieved from here.

Gillan and Glover had by this point been friends and musical partners for over twenty years, since their early days in Episode Six. The most recent album they had made with Deep Purple, House of Blue Light, had apparently been quite unpleasant to make. To help themselves feel better after the experience, Gillan and Glover created this album together, including writing while on tour with the rest of Deep Purple.

I looked at Roger and said, “You look fucking drained!” He said he was, so I came back with, “I tell you what. I’ve got an idea. Let’s go and make a record!” Well, he just stood and looked at me totally dumbfounded, so I followed it up with, “Look, Rog, we’ve just finished a record, and it’s like a bad fuck.” So we got hold of Nick Blagona, and took off for the Caribbean to write and record something joyful: Accidentally on Purpose.

Ian Gillan, from his autobiography Highway Star: A Journey in Rock

The album was recorded in part on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, in part in New York. As well as working together and with engineer Nick Blagona, Gillan and Glover brought in a few session players. Perhaps the most high-profile was Dr. John, who contributed keyboard work.

Cover of a single from the album. Retrieved from here.

The resulting menagerie of songs is very difficult to categorize, with vast differences in style and sound both from the rest of their discographies. It fit the two, however; Roger Glover had in his discography everything from abstract concept albums to 80s synthpop, while Ian Gillan’s comfortably eccentric character shines through on this album.

Reviews suggest that press at the time didn’t quite know what to make of it, as Accidentally on Purpose is quite different than anything the two had created separately or together. Gillan himself has this to say about it:

I have to say that everybody I know who has a copy of Accidentally on Purpose, tells me it’s their favorite; and, of all the records I’ve made, it’s the one I play the most.

Ian Gillan, from his autobiography Highway Star: A Journey in Rock

As someone who has a copy of Accidentally on Purpose, I have to agree with this high praise.

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