Deep Purple – Live In Graz 1975 (2014)

frontcover1Recorded live at the Liebenaur ice rink in Graz, Austria, ‘Graz 1975′ captures the Mark III Deep Purple lineup in one of its very last performances. However, this is hardly the sound of a band in its final hours.

Instead, it is that of a band charged and ready to take on the world. This show is often regarded as the “holy grail” of this lineup, and has been frequently traded in bootleg form by fans for years prior to this, its first official release.

Several shows on what turned out to be this lineup’s final tour were recorded using the fabled Rolling Stones mobile studio. Shortly after these concerts, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore would split to form Rainbow, and Purple would bring in Tommy Bolin to try and keep things rolling. ‘Graz 1975′ is a wall to wall feast, and may be the definitive portrait of this version of the band.

Deep Purple waste no time getting to the point here, kicking things off with the almighty ‘Burn.’ Without question it’s one of the greatest of all the band’s songs, and this version is absolutely captivating. The energy level goes right off the rails once that mighty riff kicks in.

labelSinger David Coverdale had clearly settled into his place in the band by this point. While he may never have captured the role with the brilliance that Ian Gillian had, he more than holds his own here. Newer recruit and bassist Glenn Hughes has also found a home here, adding his own personality to the mix both in playing and presentation.

Three tracks from the band’s then-current album ‘Stormbringer’ turn up here — ‘The Gypsy,’ ‘Lady Double Dealer’ and the title cut. All three are high octane stuff, surpassing the studio versions — with ‘Lady Double Dealer’ particularly killing. ‘Mistreated’ from the ‘Burn’ album gets a lengthy workout here, allowing Blackmore to show off with a bluesy but high energy solo. ‘You Fool No One,’ also from ‘Burn,’ maintains that same energy and surge for over 12 minutes.

There’s also a rock solid rendition of the all-time classic ‘Smoke On The Water.‘ One interesting thing about this version is the vocal harmonies provided by bassist Glenn Hughes during the second verse. His addition here adds a nice change up, taking the song somewhere else entirely.

blackmoreNow, time to nitpick. Do we really need another 20-minute-plus version of ‘Space Truckin’? Probably not. It’s noodle central for both Lord and Blackmore on this one. Thankfully, Mr. Paice holds down the fort, keeping the whole mess from blowing off into the wind.

That is the one main problem with any live Deep Purple outing, their tendency to go on and on. When they tighten it up, which is actually the case for most of the songs here, they are a force of nature. But when they meander, they get lost. As for the overall performance, it’s pretty damn amazing, and as for the sound quality, it’s all aces. This set was produced by the legendary Martin Birch, the man responsible for countless great hard rock records from Fleetwood Mac and Black Sabbath to Iron Maiden and beyond. His sharp approach on the initial recording, coupled with some tasty remixing and mastering from Martin Pullan shine this monster up just right.

In short, if you love Deep Purple, you will love this album. Even if you’re one of those who swear only by the Mark II lineup, there is no denying the band’s power here. Turn it up loud and let it rock! (by Dave Swanson)

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Personnel:
Ritchie Blackmore (guitar)
David Coverdale (vocals)
Glenn Hughes (bass, background vocals)
Jon Lord (keyboards)
Ian Paice (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Burn (Blackmore/Coverdale/Hughes/Lord/Paice) 7.51
02. Stormbringer (Blackmore/Coverdale) 5.08
03. The Gypsy (Blackmore/Coverdale/Hughes/Lord/Paice) 5.23
04. Lady Double Dealer (Blackmore/Coverdale) 4.31
05. Mistreated (Blackmore/Coverdale)  14.40
06. Smoke On The Water (Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice) 9.43
07. You Fool No One (Blackmore/Coverdale/Hughes/Lord/Paice) 12.15
08. Space Truckin’ (Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice) 20.22

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Deep Purple – In Rock (25th Anniversary Edition with bonus tracks) (1970/1995)

FrontCover1Deep Purple in Rock (also known as In Rock) is the fourth studio album by English Rock band Deep Purple, released in June 1970. It was the first studio album recorded by the classic Mark II line-up. Rod Evans (vocals) and Nick Simper (bass) had been fired in June 1969 and were replaced by Ian Gillan and Roger Glover, respectively.

Deep Purple in Rock was their breakthrough album in Europe and would peak at No. 4 in the UK, remaining in the charts for months (the band’s prior MK I albums had been much better received in North America than in their homeland). The album was supported by the hugely successful In Rock World Tour which lasted 15 months.

DeepPurple01Although this was the first studio album to feature the MK II line-up of the band, it was this line-up that had earlier recorded the live Concerto for Group and Orchestra. The album was also preceded by the single “Hallelujah”, the first studio recording that Gillan made with Deep Purple. “Hallelujah” was a Greenaway-Cook composition released in late 1969, but the song flopped. A second single, “Black Night”, was developed around the same time as the In Rock album, but not included on the album. “Black Night” fared much better, as it rose all the way to No. 2 on the UK charts.

In 2005 the album won the Classic Rock and Roll of Honour Award (given by the British monthly magazine Classic Rock) in the category Classic Album. The award was presented to Ian Gillan, Ian Paice, Jon Lord and Ritchie Blackmore.

Deep Purple’s earlier work ranged from psychedelic hard rock to orchestra-driven tracks and covers that ranged from The Beatles to Neil Diamond, among others, but on this record all tracks are credited to the five members of the band.

Booklet02AJon Lord used both the Leslie speaker and a Marshall amplifier with his Hammond organ, therefore the organ sound varies a lot throughout the songs. (Example: “Living Wreck” – Leslie speaker, “Hard Lovin’ Man” – Marshall amplifier).

Ritchie Blackmore used a Gibson ES-335 guitar on “Child in Time”, not his usual Fender Stratocaster. This album is his favourite, along with Machine Head.

The cover depicts the band in a rock sculpture inspired by Mount Rushmore. (by wikipedia)

DeepPurple02After satisfying all of their classical music kinks with keyboard player Jon Lord’s overblown Concerto for Group and Orchestra, Deep Purple’s soon to be classic Mark II version made its proper debut and established the sonic blueprint that would immortalize this lineup of the band on 1970’s awesome In Rock. The cacophony of sound (spearheaded by Ritchie Blackmore’s blistering guitar solo) introducing opener “Speed King” made it immediately obvious that the band was no longer fooling around, but the slightly less intense “Bloodsucker” did afford stunned listeners a chance to catch their breaths before the band launched into the album’s epic, ten-minute tour de force, “Child in Time.” In what still stands as arguably his single greatest performance, singer Ian Gillan led his bandmates on a series of hypnotizing crescendos, from the song’s gentle beginning through to its ear-shattering climax and then back again for an even more intense encore that brought the original vinyl album’s seismic first side to a close. Side two opened with the searing power chords of “Flight of the Rat” — another example of the band’s new take-no-prisoners hard rock stance, though at nearly eight minutes, it too found room for some extended soloing from Blackmore and Lord. Next, “Into the Fire” and “Living Wreck” proved more concise but equally appealing, and though closer “Hard Lovin’ Man” finally saw the new-look Deep Purple waffling on a bit too long before descending into feedback, the die was cast for one of heavy metal’s defining albums. (by Eduardo Rivadavia)

In other words: One of the most important album of rock history !

Booklet06APersonnel:
Ritchie Blackmore (guitar)
Ian Gillan (vocals)
Roger Glover (bass)
Jon Lord (keyboards)
Ian Paice (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Speed King  5.52
02. Bloodsucker 4.16
03. Child In Time 10.18
04. Flight Of The Rat 7.53
05. Into the Fire 3.30
06. Living Wreck 4.31
07. Hard Lovin’ Man 7.11
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08. Black Night (original single version) 3.27
09. Studio Chat (1) 0.28
10. Speed King (piano version) 4.14
11. Studio Chat (2) 0.25
12. Cry Free (Roger Glover remix) 3.20
13, Studio Chat (3) 0.05
14. Jam Stew”(unreleased instrumental) 2.30
15. Studio Chat (4) 0.40
16. Flight Of The Rat (Roger Glover remix) 7.53
17. Studio Chat (5) 0.31
18. Speed King (Roger Glover remix) 5.52
19. Studio Chat (6) 0.23
20. Black Night (unedited Roger Glover remix) 4.48

All songs written by Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.

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Deep Purple – Made In Japan (1972)

FrontCover1Recorded over three nights in August 1972, Deep Purple’s Made in Japan was the record that brought the band to headliner status in the U.S. and elsewhere, and it remains a landmark in the history of heavy metal music. Since reorganizing with singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover in 1969, Deep Purple had recorded three important albums — Deep Purple in Rock, Fireball, and Machine Head — and used the material to build a fierce live show. Made in Japan, its selections drawn from those albums, documented that show, in which songs were drawn out to ten and even nearly 20 minutes with no less intensity, as guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and organist Jon Lord soloed extensively and Gillan sang in a screech that became the envy of all metal bands to follow. The signature song, of course, was “Smoke on the Water,” with its memorable riff, which went on to become an BackCover1American hit single. But those extended workouts, particularly the moody “Child in Time,” with Gillan’s haunting falsetto wail and Blackmore’s amazingly fast playing, and “Space Truckin’,” with Lord’s organ effects, maintained the onslaught, making this a definitive treatment of the band’s catalog and its most impressive album. By stretching out and going to extremes, Deep Purple pushed its music into the kind of deliberate excess that made heavy metal what it became, and their audience recognized the breakthrough, propelling the original double LP into the U.S. Top Ten and sales over a million copies. (by William Ruhlmann)

In other words: A classic and one of the best hard-rock live albums ever recorded ! ! !

DeepPurpleLive1972Personnel:
Ritchie Blackmore (guitar)
Ian Gillan (vocals)
Roger Glover (bass)
Jon Lord (keyboards)
Ian Paice (drums)

InletATracklist:
01. Highway Star 6.45
02. Child In Time 12.19
03. Smoke On The Water 7.27
04. The Mule 9.45
05. Strange Kind Of Woman 9.10
06. Lazy 10.35
07. Space Truckin’ 20.02

All songs written by: Ritchie Blackmore – Ian Gillan – Roger Glover – Jon Lord – Ian Paice

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Happy Birthday, Mr. Ritchie Blackmore !

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