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Deep Purple - In Concert With The London Symphony Orchestra  CD (album) cover

IN CONCERT WITH THE LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

3.66 | 34 ratings

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Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars As far as live concert, I think this performance is better enjoyed through the CD audio version, especially on pop part (Sam Brown) that I find it quite boring and I am not that patient enough to wait real Deep Purple on stage (especially in Pictures of Home) and also the orchestra parts. The performance of Steve Morse Band is also very attractive - well, Steve Morse is one of my favorite rock guitar players. Picture and sound quality are excellent.

Yeah, it's pretty clear right from the beginning of the sleeve where Jon Lord wrote that it's basically about his dream to bring alive the score he made thirty years ago when he with Deep Purple experimented "Concerto for Group and Orchestra". As the story goes, he said that it was triggered by someone named as Marco de Goeij, a young Dutch composer, who came to see him in Rotterdam before a Deep Purple concert and told him that, as the score of the concerto was lost (how come, Jon?). Marco offered to recreate the lost score by listening the recording and watching the video - over and over again. Of course, with the help of Mr Lord on parts that Marco could not grab it. So, the result was the concerto (again) of Marco's astonishing act of dedication.

To make it more appealing to modern crowd, the band made a concert at The Royal Albert Hall on 25th and 26th September 1999 with some additional celebrities like Ronnie James Dio, Sam Brown and also Steve Morse Band. As I go through Disc One which basically comprising the guest appearances, I can say that this is an excellent performance. It starts beautifully with a mellow "Pictured within" (8:38) where Jon Lord plays pivotal role in piano. It's then followed by Sam Brown to sing "Wait a while" (6:44), written by Jon Lord and Sam Brown. The excellent parts really when Ronnie James Dio takes the vocal job for a melodic and nice "Sitting in a dream" (4:01) followed by "Love is all" (4:40) which has good orchestration. The song that I do not like especially with the way Gillan's singing is "Via Miami" (4:52) - am not interested at all to enjoy this track.

"That's why God is singing the blues" (4:03) main attraction is when Steve Morse plays the acoustic guitar solo - it's really good! But not Ian Gillan's singing - may I am getting bored already with his singing style. "Take it off the top" (4:43) is performed excellently by Steve Morse band where the bass guitar playing by Dave LaRue is really good, combined by drum work played by Van Romaine. It's an energetic performance and very enjoyable.

I have to pay more attention to the last two tracks of Disc One. "Wring that neck" (4:38) appears brilliant with full orchestra added. In its original composition, this track has already been a true symphonic progressive rock music. This time the arrangements is much richer and it does make this Disc One really worth listening because this track offers great energy, complexity and drive. For those of you who love early prog, you must enjoy this track. This is one of Deep Purple's excellent tracks.

"Pictures of home" (9:26) is another favorite of mine where with this version the music starts with an orchestra followed dynamically by a drumwork of Ian Paice that sounds really great to start this wonderfully crafted composition. The inclusion of orchestra plus brass section have made the textures are better than any other version. Steve Morse performs his guitar solo flawlessly and stunningly. He is one of talented guitarists that I know. This concluding track of Disc One represents the best performance of Deep Purple in this live CD.

On Disc Two, I enjoy the first three tracks which basically three movements of "Concerto for Group and Orchestra" even though I'm probably not good in giving reasonable comparison between this "modern" version with those that was performed 30 years ago. So, I just enjoy these three movements and let the stream of orchestra music flow naturally into my mind. Of course, I like the dynamics of these orchestra as there are many breaks in some segments - typical in any classical composition.

The rock band continues to appear with track 4 "Ted The Mechanic" which has good riffs through guitar followed with great musical groove. It's a good track, performed excellently by the band. "Watching The Sky" is also a good rocker delivered excellently by the band. The band concludes the show with their legendary song "Smoke On The Water".

Overall, this is an excellent to any prog music collection. I have always admired Jon Lord's passion on orchestral arrangement as I can see clearly through his solo albums. Even though Deep Purple musical direction opted to move into solid hard rock music through the release of "In Rock", Jon Lord's love to classical music has never stopped. I recommend this live album for those who can appreciate the marriage between classical and rock music. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |

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