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Deep Purple - Made in Japan CD (album) cover


Deep Purple



4.51 | 688 ratings

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5 stars The mother of all live albums ! (on par with "Live" from Uriah Heep, "Slade Alive!", "Rock'n'Roll Animal" from Lou Reed, "Genesis Live" and "YesSongs" IMO). I saw the Purple performed this tour in Brussels (March 20, 1973 - I was forteen) in a packed Forest National and it is quite a souvenir. At that time, I was listening to MIJ again and again. I had even taped it so that I could go out and walk carrying my cassette recorder to be able to listen to MIJ away from home (kind a precursory version for a walkman). I knew already by heart the seven songs of this incredible live effort.

"Highway Star" was their classic opener in those days (they will re-use it later on again as such). If I would be critical and honest, I would say that two songs are better in their studio versions "Child" and "Space". Two are on par "Highway" and "The Mule". What is incredible here is the way the band copes together. The extreme complicity between Gillan and Blackmore at the time is enormous on stage (only to be equalled / surpassed with the Page / Plant one). The way Ian responds to Ritchie in "Strange Kind of Woman" is superb and will be a Purple standard. This version is superior to the studio one. "Smoke on the Water" is another song that surpasses the studio work. It will make this average song (it had never been one of my fave on "Machine Head") an anthem for millions of fans and for more than three decades to come (it is still played during their live sets in 2006). This version of "The Mule" is gorgeous. It has little to do with the original and brings Ian Paice on the front end. He supplies a fantastic drum solo which definitely belongs to the era. It is said that during some live renditions of "Fireball" (the track) he was the fastest drummer in the world. He should also be considered as one of the top ten drummer of all time.

Each member of the band (except Roger) will produce an extensive solo part while the others will take a break. this might sound boring, but it was the trademark of live concert in those times.

I never understood why "Space Truckin" should be extended to almost 20 minutes but anyway it fits within the ensemble and closes the first release of Made In Japan. On the 25th anniversary edition, in 1998 some bonus tracks will be added. Each of them is an encore : "Lucille" from the Osaka concert on August 16th, "Black Night" and "Speed King" from the Tokyo concert on August 17th (the latter was previously unreleased).

To cash in, their record company released a triple album called "Live In Japan" which represents almost the entire three mythical Japanese concerts. I say almost because to get it truely completed, the fan will need to get the fabulous six CD set "Listen, Learn, Read On (not yet mentioned on this site) to get the sole lacking track of those great moments : The Osaka encore "Black Night" from August 16th. This makes it quite expensive to get the whole stuff, doesn't it ? Made In Japan will reach Nr. 6 in the US and 16 in the UK charts.

Although the sound is not always great and that the Purple will release a double live album called "In Concert - BBC" in 1980 but recorded in March 1972 for its "Machine Head" part which is IMO better than MIJ I will rate this album five stars.

To be complete since I have read here and there some erroneous information about the tracklist, I will outline where and when each track has been recorded : Highway Star : Osaka (August 16th, 1972) Child In Time : Osaka (August 16th, 1972) Smoke On The Water : Osaka (August 15th, 1972) The Mule : Tokyo (August 17th, 1972) Strange Kind Of Woman : Osaka (August 16th, 1972) Lazy : Tokyo (August 17th, 1972) Space Truckin' : Osaka (August 16th, 1972)

Keep on (hard) rocking.

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |


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