Tracks: 7, total time: 34:41, year: 1973, genre: Rock
2002 Warner Bros. Records & Rhino Entertainment Company
2005 Audio Fidelity
Originally Released January 1973
CDEdition Released 1987 ??
Remastered + Expanded 25th AnniversaryCD Edition Released August 6, 2002
Audio Fidelity Gold CD HDCD Edition Released September 6, 2005
AMG EXPERT REVIEW: Deep Purple had kicked off the ’70s with a new lineup and a string of brilliant albums that quickly established them (along with fellow British giants Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath) as a major force in the popularization of hard rock and heavy metal. All the while, their reputation as one of the decade’s fiercest live units complemented this body of work and earned them almost instant legendarystatus. But with 1973’s disappointing Who Do We Think We Are — the fourth and final studio outing by the original run of Purple’sclassic Mark II lineup — all the fire and inspiration that hadmade the previous year’s Machine Head their greatest triumph mysteriously vanished from sight. Vastly inferior to all three of itsfamous predecessors, the album revealed an exhausted band clearly splintering at the seams. 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. In fact, many of these don’t so much resemble songs as loose jam sessions quickly thrown together in the studio with varying degrees of enthusiasm. “Mary Long” and “Super Trouper” are prime examples, featuring generic solos from Blackmore and organist Jon Lord, and uncharacteristically inane lyrics from soon-to-be former singer Ian Gillan. With its start-stop rhythm and Gillan’s fine scat singing, the energetic “Rat Bat Blue” is a memorable exception to the rule, but the yawn-inducing blues of “Place in the Line” and the gospel mediocrity of “Our Lady” bring the album to a close with a whimper rather than a shout. [The 2000 reissue adds new liner notes by bassist Roger Glover and seven new bonus tracks: two different takes of “Woman From Tokyo,” two different takes of “Rat Bat Blue,” theinstrumental “First Day Jam,” the outtake “Painted Horse,” and aremake of “Our Lady.”] — Ed Rivadavia
Amazon.com Album Description (25th Anniversary Edition)
Digitally remastered reissue featuring 7 bonus tracks, ‘Woman From Tokyo’ (’99 remix & Alt. Bridge), ‘Painted Horse’ (Studio Outtake), ‘Our Lady’ (’99 remix), ‘Rat Bat Blue’ (Writing session & ’99 remix) & ‘First Day Jam’ (Instrumental). 2002.
Amazon.com Customer Review
Mark II Line Upat Their Second Worst, October 16, 2004
Reviewer: Captain Jax “captain_jax”
This is, without a doubt in my mind, the second worst album put out by the Mark II line-up. (The worst one: The House of Blue Light). I am a huge Deep Purple fan (check out my reviews of Made in Japan and Perfect Strangers and my Listmania section), but I’m also an honest person. At time that this record was made, Blackmore and Gillan were not speaking, so how can memorablesongs be born when there’s no communication between the lyricistand composer?
People tout “Woman From Tokyo” as one of DeepPurple’s greatest songs, but it is their most pop-oriented throw-away bits that ever hit the radio. The same people who wrote “Smoke on the Water” wasted their time with this song? Hard to imagine and yet it is so. “Mary Long,” “Super Trouper,” and “Smooth Dancer” are of a generic sort, bringing very little in the way of originality to this album. The best songs are “Rat Bat Blue” and “Our Lady.” “Our Lady” is an interesting song because it shows JonLord’s constantly fabulous organ playing. The remixes and outtakes are simply okay. “First Day Jam” is an average sort of jam session. It might be interesting to Deep Purple fans looking to hearBlackmore play bass, but he doesn’t go crazy with it as he does the old six-string.
Listening to this album, I can hear the foundation of a once great rock band crumbling away; stress and hedonism hardly produces impressive music. And perhaps it was only alittle time that these guys needed to be able to, once again, create great music. Twelve years later, the impressive Perfect Strangers hit the world, forcing rock fans to recognize this band forthe talent it possesses. This is only for the hard-core Deep Purple fans looking to complete their collection.
Amazon.com Customer Review
A talented band hits problems, March 3, 2004
Reviewer: Ilya Malafeyev (Russia)
I must say that I’m not at all a devoted Deep Purple fan, but I respect this band for the impact they made in the history of rock music. So, my opinion is totally unbiased, and probably won’t please the fans.
Of many DP’s line-upchanges, this one (Gillan-Blackmore-Lord-Glover-Paice), known asMark II, is the strongest. Together they released 4 studio albums in the 70s, that became instant hard-rock classics. This albumis the 4th by Mk II, and I’m sorry to say, it is the weakest of them. I don’t know what happened. Either they really ran out of ideas, like the other reviewer suggested, or personal problems andthe inevitability of their break up casted a shadow on the songwriting, or whatever else, but half of the songs here fail to ignite a spark in me. They sound too generic rockers to my ear. I’m talking about “Woman from Tokyo” (surprise!), “Super Trooper”, and”Smooth Dancer”. On the other hand, there are some really hittingbluesy rockers, like faster-paced “Rat Bat Blue”, or “Place in the Line”, that shifts from balladry to rock towards its later half.
The remastered CD contains bonus tracks, that are fans-oriented. You have remixes of 3 tracks from the original album, thatsound a little more sharp, but nothing special, and 2 minute-and-a-half outtakes from studio writing tapes. There’s also a new track “Painted Horse”, which doesn’t stray very far from the mood ofthe album. The only thing making sense to me among the bonus-tracks is an excellent 14+ minute studio jam, where the professionalism of the band-members shines.
My attitude towards this CD isstrange. Half the times I listen to it, I have pleasure, the other half, it bores me to death. Its definite saving grace is phenomenal virtuoso keyboardist Jon Lord, whose performance is excellent to say the least. I’d give a try to ths record just to hear him play! Though this album is better than many hard-rock albums ofthe 70s, it’s definitely inferior to any other Mk II recordings,and, perhaps, to “Stormbringer”, too.
Amazon.com Customer Review
4.5 stars – Gillan’s swansong with Deep Purple, February 29,2004
Reviewer: Darth Kommissar (Las Vegas, NV (USA))
Who Do WeThink We Are (1973.) Deep Purple’s seventh album, and their lastone with vocalist Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover (until thereunion.)
By the time 1973 rolled around, Deep Purple had gained a huge following, and was known as one of the world’s finest rock bands. Any old doubts that Ian Gillan would not be as a good avocalist as Rod Evans has been long since shattered. Unfortunately, tension in the band was rising, and many members of the bandwere no longer getting along, making their future together questionable. In 1973 the band released what would be their last albumwith Ian Gillan and Roger Glover (until the 1984 reunion) – Who Do We Think We Are. Read on for my review of this album.
The band kicks the album off with the classic hard rocker, Woman From Tokyo. Although this album never gained the same amount of fame asits predecessor, Machine Head, this particular song would go onto be a huge hit. To this day, it remains one of their few songsthat still gets radio play on a regular basis. The other songs onthe album never gained this kind of popularity, but they are noless excellent. Mary Long is excellent classic hard rock its finest. You’ve gotta love the inventive lyrics in the chorus. Super Trouper is a rocker reminiscent of Iron Maiden’s early days with their first vocalist to appear on recordings, Paul Di’Anno. This similarity of sounds goes to show just how influential Deep Purplereally was. Smooth Dancer is fast-paced bluesy rock at its verybest. The backing piano track makes this one similar to David Bowie’s Suffragette City. Despite an awkward title, Rat Bat Blue isanother one of many strong rockers this album has to offer. All in all, the band served up another excellent album.
In additionto the original issue of this album that arrived on CD back whenCDs were first becoming popular, the band has since released a remastered version of the album. The remastered edition features an assortment of bonus tracks, which nearly double the number of tracks on the album! If you don’t own this album yet but plan to buy it, make sure you buy the remastered one! This is a great album already, but these bonus tracks are the icing on the cake.
Who Do We Think We Are was an excellent last Gillan-era album forDeep Purple. Following the release of this album, Gillan went onto form his own band, appropriately called the Ian Gillan Band. Later on he would sing for Black Sabbath on one album. Roger Glover also went on to do something he enjoyed doing – producing albums for various artists. Following this album, vocalist David Coverdale (later of Whitesnake) and bassist Glenn Hughes (who would ALSO sing for Black Sabbath on one album in the future.) My final verdict for this album is simple – it’s not quite as good as, say,Fireball or Machine head, but it’s still excellent. No Deep Purple collection is complete without this album.
Amazon.com Customer Review
Tension-Racked Album Spells the End for this Era, November 30, 2003
Reviewer: Bud Sturguess (Seminole, Texas, USA)
“Who Do We Think We Are” clearly spells tension. Actually, this 1973 release is one of the better examples of a “break-up album.” Although it was one of the greatest rock attractions ever, Deep Purple still suffered from its share of inner squabbles, and sure enough, after this album, the band lost two essential members in frontman Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover. The indignation within made for one of Deep Purple’s most interesting albums of the 70s.
The captivating title suggests the group’s awareness of thefact that, amidst such dreadful personal circumstances, followingthe colossal “Machine Head” would be a daunting task to say theleast. The music within this album revealed a much more restrained flow, but many tracks still managed to become classics; in ‘Woman From Tokyo’ for instance, one finds very little of the “freedom-in-the-studio” feeling that made something like ‘Smoke On the Water’ so memorable. Instead, this song became one of Purple’s most enduring numbers, but also managed to show the strain the bandwas under, while still delivering the consummate punch. The forcible ‘Rat Bat Blue’ is another highlight, and the contempt-riddenmessage of ‘Mary Long’ is probably the song that defines the album best. However it is the slower paced ‘Our Lady’ that closes thealbum–and this era of Deep Purple–with articulation.
Althoughit often contains flashes of the dull themes of lust and fast times, “Who Do We Think We Are” manages to bury these elements by proving that this band could still create a solid body of work, despite the fact that Gillan and Glover (and soon to follow guitarist Ritchie Blackmore) already had one foot out the door.
Amazon.com Customer Review
Tension can be a good thing !, January 21,2003
Reviewer: John (New York, NY USA)
Deep Purple’s 1973 “WhoDo We Think We Are” is a fantastic album that’s been shuffled into the background behind some of those other Purple classics “Machine Head” and “Made In Japan”. The great production, the hard driving polished playing and the killer songs make for one really enjoyable album. It’s a shame that this lineup (Blackmore, Gillan,Glover, Lord and Paice) didn’t stay together after the `73 tour.I’ve read all the reviews on this album and it seems that the big favorites are “Woman From Tokyo”, “Smooth Dancer” and “Rat BatBlue”. While other songs like “Mary Long”, “Our Lady” “Super Trooper” and “Place In Line” get there share of votes too. Even the unreleased bonus track “Painted Horse” gets votes and I’ve alwaysliked that rare track. All this great feedback proves something I’ve known all along, this is one great album.
Long Live DP!
Amazon.com Customer Review
An unjustly ignored classic album., August 16, 2002
Reviewer: David K. Monroe (Lilburn, GA USA)
Well, I’m so glad I waited and didn’t have to pay import prices for this great album! This remaster package has been available in England and Europe for a couple years, but is now available in the U.S.
Keeping with the standard operating procedure of Deep PurpleMK II, every song on this album is a heavy-duty rocker, althoughthere’s more mid-tempo offerings than previously. Nevertheless,this work shows a great deal of progress for a band that Ian Gillan would soon abandon as “stagnant.” The songs are more streamlined, and solos are cut back a bit. “Woman from Tokyo” and “SmoothDancer” show a return to a pop sensibility that had been absent from Purple since “Fireball.” Whereas “Machine Head” and “Deep Purple In Rock” featured screaming guitar-organ duels on nearly every track, only “Rat Bat Blue” and “Place in Line” feature extendedexploration. “Our Lady”, the most unusual track, features no solos at all, but only soaring melody and metallic washes of organ accompaniment. The only stinker here is “Mary Long”, which is basically a rant against a couple of British conservative figures whohave since fallen into obscurity. It’s parody, not pointed criticism, and it hasn’t aged well.
In contrast to previous Purpleremasters, the featured remixes and bonus tracks are not that great. The remixes of “Woman from Tokyo” and “Rat Bat Blue” are verygood, but not susbstantial improvements. The remix of “Our Lady”is actually inferior to the original, in my opinion. The “alternate bridge” from “Woman from Tokyo” is just that, an alternate bridge, clipped from the middle of the song, and thus only a curiosity. “Painted Horse”, the one unreleased track from these sessions, was shelved because of the band’s dissatisfaction with Gillan’s vocals. Sure enough, his mournful moan does disappoint. The album’s closer, “First Day Jam”, is an enjoyable curiosity, and features Blackmore on bass, supporting Jon Lord’s keyboard excursions.
So, while the bonus material is no great shakes, the remastered original album material is outstanding, and should help to raise this record in the conciousness of DP fans. Glover’s pulsingbass is all grin-inducing joy on “Woman from Tokyo”, Lord’s virtuoso keyboards dazzle on “Rat Bat Blue”, and Blackmore’s guitar sizzles and screams throughout. “Smooth Dancer”, a pummelling, powerful rocker, is a fascinating psycho-drama account of the tensionbetween Blackmore and Gillan, and it’s easily one of the best songs Purple ever recorded. “Who Do We Think We Are” is Purple’s lost classic album, a clever fusion of hard rock sounds and pop songs structures that unfortunately didn’t get the chance to go anyfurther.
Half.com Product Notes
Deep Purple: Ian Gillan (vocals); Ritchie Blackmore (guitar); Jon Lord (keyboards); Roger Glover (bass); Ian Paice (drums).
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
After establishing itself as a hard-rock giant, thanks to endless touring and the release of such milestone recordsas MACHINE HEAD and IN ROCK, Deep Purple was in a state of turmoil when it went into the studio to record 1972’s WHO DO WE THINK WE ARE? Despite all the infighting, the band pulled together longenough to record seven tracks that only bolstered the band’s reputation.
The best-known song, “Woman From Tokyo,” boasted a riff as memorable as the one that defined “Smoke on the Water” and was later admitted by Ritchie Blackmore to have been cribbed fromEric Clapton’s “Cat Squirrel.” Although Blackmore’s always-impressive riffing stands out on such songs as “Mary Long” and “Place in Line,” this album also spotlights how far Jon Lord’s contributions on organ went toward defining the band’s sound. Lord’s mastery was such that in addition to the impressive solos on “Place inLine,” his sweeping runs are the highlight of the stop-and-go “Rat Bat Blue.” On this roller coaster ride of an album, the membersof Deep Purple come together best on “Our Lady,” a five-minute-plus epic driven by Lord’s churning organ and Ian Gillan’s Wagnerian vocals. © Muze/MTS Inc.
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