Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt: My 10 Favorite Metal Albums

Bandleader shouts out classics including Judas Priest's 'Sad Wings of Destiny' and Morbid Angel's 'Altars of Madness'

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Deep Purple, 'Stormbringer' (1974)
10
9/10

9. Deep Purple, 'Stormbringer' (1974)

It's difficult because I love all of the Deep Purple records. I love The House of Blue Light or Perfect Strangers; the early ones; I love the ones with the first singer [Rod Evans]. But I just went for Stormbringer, which Ritchie Blackmore, not that I know him, but he wouldn't agree. He hates that record, I think. But he wrote a couple of songs. He wrote the best songs on there. He wrote the title track, "Lady Double Dealer," "Soldier of Fortune," "The Gypsy." All fantastic, amazing, well-written, classic hard-rock songs, with a great singer, David Coverdale, [and a] great backup singer – and I would have wanted him to be more of a backup singer, maybe – Glenn Hughes. Ian Paice, of course, is one of the best hard-rock drummers in the Seventies, I think. 

It's just an amazing record, I think. It's got the best rock ballad, top-three rock ballad, in "Soldier of Fortune," a song that we have covered, actually, live, and recorded a couple of times in the studio. Beautiful, beautiful song. David Coverdale was such a good singer in those days. Such a fucking fantastic, phenomenal singer. And then you have the songs that Glenn Hughes wrote, like "Hold On" and "Holy Man." Good songs, but he wanted to be Stevie Wonder. It's true! I think he was so influenced by Stevie Wonder. In interviews, he said that he met Stevie Wonder, and Stevie Wonder was a fan of his, and Stevie Wonder said that he was the best white soul singer he's heard, or something like that, which kind of egged him on, I think. So he was writing these soulful songs that were by no means bad; they were great songs, but it wasn't really Deep Purple songs. And I think those songs were the reason why Ritchie Blackmore doesn't like this album. ... He made this famous quote, which I'm not sure I should repeat, about the Stormbringer record being "shoeshine music." ... It's allegedly what he said to Glenn Hughes about his songs on there. 

But it's a really, really good album, I think. It deserves a place in any top-10 hard-rock list. Just like most of the other Deep Purple records, as far as I'm concerned; they're all stuff that you should be aware of. You should pay attention to what Deep Purple did. It makes me happy that you're doing these kind of things, to once again spread Deep Purple in Rolling Stone. Because a lot of people have forgotten. Like our fans, when I talk to them, and I mention Deep Purple, they go, like, "Isn't that dad rock?" I'm like, "Yeah, but it's fucking good!" ... You know, that's where it all comes from. Like these bands the younger kids are listening to today, they wouldn't really be there without Deep Purple, if you know what I mean. But that's beside the point because it's so fucking good, that's all they should know. 

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