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Deep Purple - Made in Japan CD (album) cover


Deep Purple



4.51 | 693 ratings

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Gustavo Froes
5 stars Made In Japan is the culmination of Deep Purple's most prosperous years,concerning everything written by the Mk II between mid 69 and late 71.The trio of albums found in between this wonderful years for rock music are the essence of the band's career,and fit as a powerful and rich repertoire for the shows.Everything made after this was faded to be forever overshadowed by the furious roaring of the Mk II's live act.The glory and majesty of the band's performances by 1973 was recorded here and presented to us in it's unparalelled rawness,with no overdubs at all.Yet the most gratifying merit of Made In Japan is to flawlessly capture the spur of the moment,the magic of that particular point in time for Deep Purple.Even though it's clear that,by that summer,inner relations were already tense and threatening(and apparently Gillan and Blackmore were no longer talking to each other....),the band simply could not make it wrong on stage.

Because it magically makes you feel as if you were just there,in Tokyo/Osaka by mid 1973(and most importantly because it is unbelievably spontaneous ),this is the perfect live album.

It's also worth mentioning that Made In Japan comfortably achieves what is apparently impossible:every single one of the songs in the set list are arguably better than their studio originals.In some cases,the difference is absurd.The Highway Star we hear in Machine Head,for instance,is trampled by this live opus that is one of the ultimate rock experiences of all time.The fury and brutality of the Mk II is brought back to life,quite in the fashion of In Rock.By the time Jon Lord is playing his wild Hammond solo,you get the dimension of this album.Faster,agressive and simply...majestic.

Child In Time,one of the finest pieces of music ever wrote,fits perfectly as the direct follower to Highway Star.Even tough the guitar solo is not as amazing as what was heard at In Rock,the sum-up of it's elements makes it the most atmospheric live number ever recorded.If Ian Gillan's screams weren't mind-blowing enough on studio,here it's almost unbelievable.His thrilling high-pitches lead the song to a growing instensity,and reforce the impression that this is the most stunning live show ever recorded.

And we're off to Smoke On the Water,not the best song they ever played,but still a good old-fashioned rocker.Needless to say it is majorly improved,and the anthologic riff fits just marvelously in the album's context.This tune is notably heavier here,and as every other track,extended.The extra minutes are not,however,sacrificed to unnecessary soloing.Everything about this album seems just about right.

The Mule is mainly a vehicle for virtuosity show-off,pretentious and proud.However Deep Purple managed to create songs which admittedly deserved such adjectives and still sound about the most exciting music to be found in the genre.A very long drum solo(which may not have the appeal of the Live in Denmark DVD for not containing any image)consumes the track's majority of time,the band coming in for it's wonderfully exotic riff-driven introduction/conclusion,simply amazing.

Strange Kind of Woman comes in to show how much can a true band improve it's music on stage.This just gotta be the most genious improvement over a studio song ever recorded,mainly for the music itself,slightly altered with longer guitar solos.The remaining time of this 10 minutes track is used for priceless entertainment,with the famous guitar/vocals duel,and thousands of hand claps as background.If it's necessary to point out highlights in albums such as this, this is one of them.

There's not much to be said about Lazy,other than the band's most significant instrumental piece is improved with less tight soloing,giving us a sample of how much a guitarrist was Blackmore.Just pure Hard-Blues magic.

I'm running out of compliments for this glorious masterpiece of rock music,but believe me,the best is kept for the very end.Space Truckin',not that great a song on Machine Head,becomes a monster of hard rock here,and arguably the most incredible stage number of the early seventies.Despite the improvements over the song itself,which seems to be wrote for this concert(and moment)alone,Deep Purple comes back for nearly 15 minutes of progressive-like solos and instrumental constrasts,all shining with the perfect atmosphere of the show.As the last thrashes are heard through the amps,I'm actually exhausted(and I mean that in the most positive way imaginable).

This is the sum-up, the conclusion of Deep Purple's prime.In this three-year period that started with Simper and Evans departure and finished with this album,the band truly did fantastic rock music, paralleled only by Led Zeppelin's studio perfection(at least as far as the hard rock genre goes).But a live album that captures with such elegance and pride it's creators nature is yet to be recorded.

The intensity of Made In Japan is quite simply unmatchable.

Gustavo Froes | 5/5 |


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