Fireball is the fifth album by English Rock band Deep Purple, released in 1971 and the second with the classic Mk II line-up. It was recorded at various times between September 1970 and June 1971. It would become the first of the band's three UK No. 1 albums, though it did not stay on the charts as long as its predecessor, Deep Purple in Rock.
The original UK version had "Demon's Eye" as its third track, but did not include "Strange Kind of Woman", which was instead released as a single there. It was vice versa on the American and Japanese releases. The boogie-inspired "Strange Kind of Woman" single reached No. 8 in the UK.
"Strange Kind of Woman" has been a staple of the live set up to the present day, and "Fireball" also made a few live appearances, mainly as an encore. "Strange Kind of Woman" and "The Mule" appear on the 1972 live album Made in Japan, with the latter morphing into an Ian Paicedrum solo.
"Anyone's Daughter" was played on the 1993–1994 tours, while "Fools", "No One Came", "I'm Alone", "Demon's Eye" and "No No No" have all made periodic appearances in various tours since 1996.
The original vinyl release was in a gatefold sleeve, with a generic Harvest LP-bag and a lyric-insert.
In September 2010 a limited edition 24k gold CD was released by Audio Fidelity. The CD was mastered from the original master tapes by Steve Hoffman. The gold CD contained the original USA track listing with "Strange Kind of Woman" and does not have "Demon's Eye".
Most of the band does not consider the album a classic, although it is one of Ian Gillan's favourites. He stated in a 1974 interview: "The reason I liked that so much was because I thought, from a writing point of view, it was really the beginning of tremendous possibilities of expression. And some of the tracks on that album are really, really inventive." However, Gillan also said that the inclusion of "Anyone's Daughter" on the album was "A good bit of fun, but a mistake."
Blackmore, in particular, stated publicly that he was not overly pleased with Fireball. He said of the production: "Fireball... that was a bit of a disaster, because it was thrown together in the studio. Management pressure, we had no time. 'You gotta play here, here, there, then you've got to make an LP.' I told them, 'you want an LP, you've got to give us time.' But they didn't. I just threw ideas to the group that I thought up on the spur of the moment."