Who Do We Think We Are

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Who Do We Think We Are
Studio album by Deep Purple
Released 13 January 1973 (US)
February 1973 (UK)
Recorded July 1972 in Rome, Italy and October 1972 in Frankfurt, Germany, with the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio
Genre Hard rock, blues rock
Length 34:27
Label EMI/Purple (UK)
Warner Bros. (US)
Producer Deep Purple
Deep Purple chronology
Machine Head
(1972)
Who Do We Think We Are
(1973)
Burn
(1974)
Ian Gillan chronology
Machine Head
(1972)
Who Do We Think We Are
(1973)
Child in Time
(1976)
Roger Glover chronology
Machine Head
(1972)
Who Do We Think We Are
(1973)
The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast
(1974)

Who Do We Think We Are is the seventh studio album by Deep Purple, released in 1973. It was Deep Purple's last album with singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover until Perfect Strangers in 1984.

Recording[edit]

Who Do We Think We Are was recorded in Rome in July 1972 and Frankfurt in October 1972, using the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio.

"Woman from Tokyo", the first track recorded in July 1972, 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 out-take "Painted Horse". The rest of the album was recorded in Frankfurt after more touring (including Japan).

Ian Gillan left the band following this album, citing internal tensions widely thought to include a feud with Blackmore. However, in an interview supporting the release of the 1984 Mark II Deep Purple comeback album Perfect Strangers, Gillan stated fatigue and management also 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.[1]

The last Mark II concert in the 1970s before Ian Gillan and Roger Glover left was in Osaka, Japan on 29 June 1973.

Album title and artwork[edit]

The original album artwork has many quoted articles from newspapers. One of them is from Melody Maker July 1972, where Ian Paice says:

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..."

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[2]
Sputnik Music 2/5 stars[3]

Although "Woman from Tokyo" was a hit single, the group – riven with internal strife – struggled to come up with tracks that everyone could agree upon. Members of the band weren't speaking to each other and many songs were only finished after carefully arranged schedules could be worked out for the band of fighting musicians to record their parts separately. Despite the chaotic birth of the album, the fans bought it in record numbers. It hit number 4 in the UK charts and number 15 in the US charts. It achieved a gold record award faster than any Deep Purple album released up to that time. These numbers helped make Deep Purple the best selling artist in the US in 1973 (see also Machine Head and Made in Japan).

Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic writes:

Except for opener "Woman From Tokyo", which hinted at glories past with its signature Ritchie Blackmore riff, the album's remaining cuts are wildly inconsistent and find the band simply going through the motions. The energetic "Rat Bat Blue" is a memorable exception to the rule, with its start-stop rhythm and Gillan's fine scat singing.

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, lost in traffic.

In 2005 Audio Fidelity released the album on a 24 karat Gold CD.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice

Original vinyl release[edit]

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Woman from Tokyo"   5:48
2. "Mary Long"   4:23
3. "Super Trouper"   2:54
4. "Smooth Dancer"   4:08
Side two
No. Title Length
5. "Rat Bat Blue"   5:23
6. "Place in Line"   6:29
7. "Our Lady"   5:12

Personnel[edit]

Deep Purple
Additional personnel
  • Produced by Deep Purple
  • Engineer – Martin Birch
  • Rolling Stones Mobile Unit: Jeremy Gee & Nick Watterton
  • Equipment – Ian Hansford, Rob Cooksey, Colin Hart, Ron Quinton
  • Cover Design – Roger Glover & John Coletta
  • Original album mixed by Ian Paice and Roger Glover
  • Bonus tracks remixed by Peter Denenberg with Roger Glover
  • Remastered and mastered by Peter Mew

Charts[edit]

References[edit]