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Deep Purple - Deep Purple In Concert CD (album) cover


Deep Purple



4.37 | 123 ratings

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4 stars Coming as it did eight years after the career defining Made in Japan, this album has always been in the shadow of its predecessor. However there is much to recommend it. It contains two In Concert programs broadcast by the BBC that featured the formidable Deep Purple Mk2. The first CD is of a show in 1970 while the second is from 1972. Each program was an hour long with usually two acts per program, Deep Purple were allotted the full hour to perform. The second show ran on significantly and is 75 minutes.

With the CD re-release of the album the original running order has been restored as has the DJ commentary. I found the commentary on the 1972 concert by Mike Harding slightly irritating, the 1970 concert has a minimalist John Peel and is much better. The full 1972 concert is also included; due to its length the vinyl version was missing Smoke on the Water and Maybe I'm a Leo. The 1970 concert is also mono reprocessed for stereo, but this is a minor quibble.

There are only 4 songs in the first concert which means we are treated to lengthy doses of improvisation. First up is an energetic Speed king which serves as a great opener, this is followed by Child in Time and this isn't the best performance of this classic, as Gillan falters on the vocals. Wring that Neck is the first song with an improvised section and for me does not sustain interest throughout its 18 minutes. Mandrake Root on the other hand is simply superb with some inspired band interplay and an outstanding Blackmore solo in the middle.

Fast forward to 1972 and they are on the In Concert program again this time plugging the soon to be released Machine Head. All but two of the songs are from this album. The highlight of the early part of the show is Strange Kind of Woman with a great call and answer section from Blackmore and Gillan. This is significantly better that the version that appears on Made in Japan where the two are working against each other instead of with each other.

Maybe I'm a Leo and Never Before keep up the pace then it's into a rousing version of Lazy. The improvisation is left for a lengthy Space Trucking. Although pretty similar, this version is superior to the track on Made in Japan.

Smoke on the Water is slightly low key, but remember the song hadn't been released and had not yet achieved "mythical" status. "Here's a bit of boogaloo" as Gillan announces Lucille which rounds of the set in rocking style, again this is superior to Made in Japan.

Despite the reservations, to my mind this is a better purchase as an example Mk2 Deep Purple's live shows. The 1972 set in particular is superb. Although I have owned a vinyl copy since 1980 I hadn't played it in a dog's age. I picked up the CD re-release only just recently and it's been on my player regularly ever since.

A well deserved 4.5 stars.

jimpetrie2000 | 4/5 |


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