|Who Do We Think We Are|
|Studio album by|
|Recorded||July 1972 in Rome, Italy and October 1972 in Frankfurt, West Germany, with the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio|
|Genre||Hard rock, blues rock|
|Label||Purple (Europe, Oceania, South America)|
Warner Bros. (USA, Canada & Japan)
|Deep Purple chronology|
|Singles from Who Do We Think We Are|
|Ian Gillan chronology|
|Roger Glover chronology|
Who Do We Think We Are is the seventh studio album by the English hard rock band Deep Purple, released in 1973. It was Deep Purple's last album with singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover until Perfect Strangers came out in 1984.
Musically, the record showed a move to a more blues based sound, even featuring scat singing. Although its production and the band's behavior after its release showed the group in turmoil, with frontman Gillan remarking that "we'd all had major illnesses" and felt considerable fatigue, the album was a commercial success. Deep Purple became the US' top selling artist of calendar year 1973. The album also featured the energetic hard rock single "Woman from Tokyo", which has been performed on several tours by the band over the years.
Despite massive sales, the group disintegrated among much infighting between band members as well as conflicts with their managers. The album's line-up would come to an end after a final concert in Osaka, Japan on 29 June 1973.
"Woman from Tokyo", the first track recorded in July, is about touring Japan for the first time (e.g. the lyric "Fly into the Rising Sun"). The only other track released from the Rome sessions is the outtake "Painted Horse". The rest were recorded in Frankfurt after more touring (including Japan). The group, riven with internal strife, struggled to come up with tracks that they agreed upon. Members were not speaking to each other and many songs were finished only after schedules were arranged so they could record parts separately.
Of "Mary Long", Gillan said: "Mary Whitehouse and Lord Longford were particularly high-profile figures at the time, with very waggy-waggy finger attitudes... It was about the standards of the older generation, the whole moral framework, intellectual vandalism - all of the things that exist throughout the generations... Mary Whitehouse and Lord Longford became one person, fusing together to represent the hypocrisy that I saw at the time."
Ian Gillan left the band following this album, citing internal tensions - widely thought to include a feud with guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. However, in an interview supporting the Mark II Purple comeback album Perfect Strangers, Gillan stated that fatigue and management had a lot to do with it:
We had just come off 18 months of touring, and we'd all had major illnesses at one time or another. Looking back, if they'd have been decent managers, they would have said, 'All right, stop. I want you to all go on three months' holiday. I don't even want you to pick up an instrument.' But instead they pushed us to complete the album on time. We should have stopped. I think if we did, Deep Purple would have still been around to this day.
Added Jerry Bloom, editor of the book More Black than Purple:
At this point, Deep Purple had become hugely successful. Success breeds demand, demand breeds more work, more work means you're spending more time together. Generally, when you spend more time together, you get on each other's nerves.
Deep Purple get piles of passionate letters either violently against or pro the group. The angry ones generally start off "Who do Deep Purple think they are..."
Despite the chaotic birth of the album, "Woman from Tokyo" was a hit single and other songs picked up considerable airplay. Fans bought the album in record numbers. In the US, for example, it sold half a million copies in its first three months, achieving a gold record award faster than any Deep Purple album released up to that time.
It hit number 4 in the UK charts and number 15 in the US charts. These numbers helped make Deep Purple the best selling artist in the U.S. in 1973 (with the release of Made in Japan and the prior acclaim for Machine Head helping much as well).
In 2000 Who Do We Think We Are was remastered and re-released with bonus tracks. The last bonus track is a lengthy instrumental jam called "First Day Jam", that features Ritchie Blackmore on bass. Roger Glover, the group's usual bassist, was absent, allegedly lost in traffic.
In 2005 Audio Fidelity released their own re-mastering of the album on 24 karat Gold CD.
The album received mixed reviews. Ann Cheauvy of Rolling Stone reviewed the album negatively and comparing Who Do We Think We Are to the Deep Purple's breakthrough album In Rock wrote that the former "sounds so damn tired in spots that it's downright disconcerting" and "the band seems to just barely summon up enough energy to lay down the rhythm track, much less improvise." In a retrospective critical review, Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic expresses the same opinion and writes that apart from "Woman from Tokyo", the album's songs are "wildly inconsistent and find the band simply going through the motions", although he did praise "Rat Bat Blue". On the contrary, reviewer David Bowling writes in the Blogcritics site that Who Do We Think We Are "is one of the band's strongest and stands near the top of the Deep Purple catalogue in terms of quality", providing "some of the best hard rock of the era".
|1.||"Woman from Tokyo"||5:48|
|5.||"Rat Bat Blue"||5:23|
|6.||"Place in Line"||6:29|
|2000 Remastered CD Edition bonus tracks|
|8.||"Woman from Tokyo" ('99 Remix)||6:37|
|9.||"Woman from Tokyo" (Alternate bridge)||1:24|
|10.||"Painted Horse" (studio out-take)||5:19|
|11.||"Our Lady" ('99 Remix)||6:05|
|12.||"Rat Bat Blue" (writing session)||0:57|
|13.||"Rat Bat Blue" ('99 Remix)||5:49|
|14.||"First Day Jam" (instrumental)||11:31|
|USA||RIAA||1973||Gold (+ 500,000)|
|France||SNEP||1977||Gold (+ 100,000)|