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“This was another hard choice. It could have been Machine Head, and I do have to say that the solo on Kentucky Woman [from 1968] ranks as one of the greatest guitar solos ever.
“I don’t know if this is the best Deep Purple album ever, but stylistically, as a guitar record, it defines the sound very succinctly, one which people ripped off and turned into parody.
“There’s no hits on the album, but that doesn’t matter. Listen to the solo on The Mule – unbelievable. Strange Kind Of Woman has some beautiful playing, as well. Ritchie Blackmore has his sound together, and he was using the Strat in a way that really spoke.
“It’s interesting – guitarists and guitars, what makes their sound. When I think of Clapton playing a Gibson, to me, that’s Eric Clapton, even though he’s been playing a Strat for the last 50,000 years. But when I think of Jimi Hendrix and Ritchie Blackmore, the Strat’s their instrument.”