By the time of this 1971 release, Deep Purple was in the midst of making the transition from the hard-edged pop of the band's first line-up to a band that was battling Led Zeppelin for the hard rock crown. Having already gotten off to a great start with DEEP PURPLE IN ROCK, this Purple lineup of Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Roger Glover, and Ian Paice fit together like interlocking pieces. Blessed with such unerring chemistry, Purple raised the bar for hard rock with such nuggets as the hard-driving title track and the grinding "Fools". Elsewhere, they show surprising range with the country-flavoured "Anyone's Daughter" (featuring some impressive finger picking by Blackmore) and the Jimi Hendrix-influenced "No One Came" (which includes a dollop of psychedelic backwards guitar). Also included is the Purple epic "The Mule", a sweeping tour de force dominated by Blackmore's Middle Eastern-tinged soloing and Lord's Pink Floyd-ian keyboard runs. The song became a highlight of Deep Purple's live shows.