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Deep Purple - Made In Japan CD (album) cover

MADE IN JAPAN

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

4.50 | 513 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars You better bow your head

Often cited as one of the greatest live albums ever released, "Made in Japan" is indeed a worthy record of a band at its peak. Recorded in 1972, mainly in Osaka but with a couple of songs from the Tokyo gig the same week, the album fits in the Deep Purple time line just after "Machine head". It is no surprise then that four of the seven tracks on that album are featured, including a 20 minute version of "Space truckin'". The rest of the set list is made up of the sublime "Child in time" from "In rock", "Strange kind of woman" (A non album single) and the "The mule" from "Fireball".

The double LP sold for about the same price as a single album at the time, making it an attractive proposition for those looking to investigate the music of this rapidly ascending band.

It is perhaps astonishing now to think that the prime motive behind the album was the record company's wish to fight back against the bootleggers, the band initially being reticent about the idea. In one of a number of parallels with Uriah Heep's subsequent "Live '73" several gigs were recorded, but fate dictated that for technical reasons by and large only one of the recordings was considered entirely fit for purpose, the Budokan tapes being overlooked altogether.

The overriding plus from this album is the incredible sound quality. The band assert that no overdubs have ever been done to the original recordings, the remastered version simply using modern technology to further enhance the original tapes.

Most of the renditions here are faithful to the studio originals, whilst featuring variations on the solos and of course an obligatory drum solo (on "The mule"). "Strange kind of woman" becomes a 10 minute affair, due in part to call and response section between Blackmore and Gillan, and the band allow themselves to indulge in a jam on "Space truckin'".

In all, a fine live album indeed, which has over time become the yardstick by which other such releases are judged.

The remastered CD puts the four sides of the original LP on a single disc. A second disc of CD single length is added containing 3 songs played as encores during the tour. These include the single "Black night" plus "Speed king" from "In rock". Both these performances are Tokyo recordings, while the third encore, a cover of the Little Richard (with Albert Collins) song "Lucille", was only performed in Osaka. The sleeve of the remastered CD is different to the original European release, the front picture of the band being surrounded by a black (it couldn't be more black!) edging.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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