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Deep Purple - Made in Japan CD (album) cover


Deep Purple



4.51 | 688 ratings

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Symphonic Team
5 stars Deep Purple's History Making Live Masterpiece.

Deep Purple's "Made in Japan" is one of the all time greatest immortal live albums in rock history. It features the band at their brilliant best and promoting their masterpiece albums "In Rock" and "Machine Head", both milestones in themselves. The lineup is the infamous Deep Purple lineup that has become rock legend; featuring on vocals the air raid sirens of high octave metal hero Ian Gillan, the pounding drums of Ian Paice, the guitar wizardry of Ritchie Blackmore, the keyboard magician Jon Lord and the wonderful Roger Glover, bass guitarist extraordinaire. The live performance features the best of the band to this point and these lengthy versions are even better than the studio renditions. The album hits the mark with a rocking start with the hard driving 'Highway Star', the kid sister of 'Speed King'. The dynamic interplay of guitar and organ is wonderful and draws the listener in as it builds into the first verse. "Nobody Gonna Take My Car, I'm Gonna Race It To The Ground, Nobody Gonna Beat My Car, It's Gonna Break The Speed Of Sound" The lyrics embody the essence of the revhead and live Gillan is able to use his power vocals to full effect. But it's all about the riffs for this band and Blackmore delivers everytime; the true metal progenitor of lead guitar finesse, becoming a guitar hero with this album.

'Child In Time' is next running or a whopping 12 minutes. The song is a masterpiece, but live it surpasses even the album version. Gillan explodes on vocals reaching ear splitting notes after a gentle start. The song builds into a paroxysm of thunderous guitar riffs and Lord's keyboards are incredible. It builds into heavier sections with massive keyboard sweeps and fret melting lead guitar. An amazing wall of sound is generated with the rhythm machine of Paice and Glover. Eventually it settles into a serene passage until the finale where all members of the band blaze away and lift off into the stratosphere with crunching chord changes and a freak out of shattering noise as Gillan moans the pangs of child birth; perhaps it represents the birth of heavy metal, and the band deliver.

'Smoke On The Water' follows, beginning with a terrific variation of the opening classic riff. It is the most recognizable riff in rock history that every guitarist knows. The actual thematic content is fascinating about how a "stupid with a flare gun" burned down the recording studio of Frank Zappa and the Mothers in Montreux. Now the event is immortalised forever in song. This will perhaps remain the all time greatest Deep Purple song especially due to the 7 note chord riff. The live version is sensational with a scorching lead break and Lord's shimmering keyboard attack.

'The Mule' follows next with a lengthy instrumental break, and the song runs out to 9 minutes in length. Ian Paice drums up a storm on his Ludwig kit soloing for quite some time. His precision drumming and atmospheric arrangement has become a benchmark for drummers worldwide.

'Strange Kind Of Woman' is also lengthy at 10 minutes and is great to hear as it was one of the biggest singles or the group not available on studio vinyl during this time. It was a chance for the band to kick back and groove along to a pleasing riff. The section where Gillan imitates Blackmore's guitar is often quoted as a master stroke and was influential to many bands to follow. It sounds as though Blackmore was trying to trick Gillan but they trade off perfectly and it is amusing and part of the experience of the live set, reminiscent of Plant and Page of Led Zeppelin.

'Lazy' is a 10 minute opus with tons of keyboard soloing and Blackmore insane on bluesy guitar. It is a terrific lengthy jamming track about a dude so lazy he just stays in bed. Lord is awe inspiring on the organ solo and it really showcases his skill.

'Space Truckin'' follows and clocks in at a mammoth 20 minutes. It is another of the quintessential DP tracks. The power riffs and grinding organ absolutely slam to the wall. The lengthy version originally took up an entire side of the double vinyl album. It features huge spacey solos with Jon Lord's Hammond and his experimental ring modulator sounds. He unleashes a furious tirade of powerful organ stabs as Glover maintains a consistent bassline with Paice backing on drums. The session lasts for almost 15 minutes and is technical and progressive while maintaining strong rock rhythms. The Hammond solo is based on 'Mandrake Root' from the early DP albums.

"Made In Japan" is a classic masterpiece that is one of the most famous live albums in history. Every track is killer and the band are at the peak of their powers. It is a testament of the greatness of Deep Purple in the early years of proto-metal and the progressive nuances throughout, with intricate time sig changes and lengthy jamming solos, make it the ultimate live album of 1972.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 5/5 |


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