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Deep Purple – 30: Very Best Of

Right to DEEP PURPLEs 30th anniversary, the „30 : very best of“ birthday compilation hits the stores. (Anyone took the time to count how many collections are already out there??? :)

Instead of featuring just several tracks taken from two or three albums, this one tries to give a view over 30 years of DEEP PURPLE in rock. Of course there are dozens of tracks that should be featured on such a compilation – and I’m also sure if you tell ten fans to write down the tracks that should be included in such a release, ten different tracklists will come out – because everyone has his own favorites that stand for his personal meaning of DEEP PURPLE – but as CD space is limited, you have to make a selection.
And so also Nigel Reeve, who compiled this release, had to make his selection. A selection that – when first looking at – annoyed me a bit. Where’s „April“? Where’s „Anya“? Where’s „Knocking At Your Backdoor“? were the first questions that popped up in my mind.

In my eyes the tracklist looks a bit unbalanced. There are three tracks taken from the „In Rock“ era and four tracks from „Machine Head“ but nothing from „Deep Purple“,

„The Book Of Taliesyn“, „The House Of Blue Light“, „Slaves and Masters“ (yes, „Slaves and Masters“ – maybe not the best, but a part of DEEP PURPLE history) and „The Battle Rages On“. To make 18 tracks fit on one single CD, Nigel Reeve also had to take a lot of single versions and edits instead of „full album versions“ – a fact that leaves me with some mixed feelings – „Child In Time“, for example, sounds way too short in the single edit.

So who are the people to buy this CD? Sure not the ones who already have most or all DEEP PURPLE CDs in their collection (even if some collectors just might get it because of completism). It’s a collection for those knowing some songs of DEEP PURPLE but never bought an album – and for newbies, as it’s at least an equal route to Purplemania as „Deepest Purple“ is.

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Dio / Narnia / Black Symphony 1998-10-09

First of all it was sort of depressing to see someone like DIO performing
in a small city in the middle of nowhere in a sports-hall.

The sound was bad the whole evening and it was really hard to find out what the bands were playing.

Black Symphony

As we arrived a bit late, BLACK SYMPHONY were already on stage and I was only able to catch the last two songs. Last song was a strange cover of „Smoke On The Water“ with the second verse sung twice – first by the bass player and after the solo by the singer…

Narnia

NARNIA entered the stage afterwards and – from the few things I was able to hear – were really good. They had the worst mix that evening – everytime there were vocals there was nothing else audible.

1998-10-09_dioDIO

It was my first time to hear DIO and I was looking forward to it for a long time. The master himself was great to incredibe – but this guy trying to play the guitar…. Either

  • Dio has lost his complete hearing or
  • I didn’t see the man with the gun who forced Dio to let this guy play

This guy ruinded every song with his playing, I still can’t believe how bad he really was. And I didn’t seem to be the only one. During the guitar solo, the  spots to the crowd were turned on and – there was *no* reaction :)

Setlist was fine, although some songs were (as always:) missing. It included „Heaven And Hell“, „Children Of The Sea“, „Rainbow In The Dark“, „Holy Diver“, „Stargazer“, „Mistreated“, „Catch The Rainbow“, „Man On The Silver Mountain“, „Neon Knights“, „Straight To Your Heard“, „The Last In Line“, „Long Live Rock’n’Roll“ and two new songs I don’t know.

Another thing I wasn’t able to understand was why the drum solo was placed after the third(!) song.

Overall an evening which leaves some mixed feelings…

Ronnie James Dio photo provided by Stefan Glas.

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Deep Purple live in Karlsruhe 1998-06-17

Just coming back from the show in Karlsruhe….

Opener were German metal band Rage together with a „chamber version“ of the Lingua Mortis orchestra (only 3 people of normally 22). Bad thing was these people  were way too low in the mix and Rage played only songs from their actual CD „XIII“ and the Rolling Stones cover „Paint It Black“…

Purple entered the stage at about 21:20 and played for less than two hours. The band was in a fine shape, especially Big I sounded better than on last tour…

A disappointing fact was the setlist: where were the promised surprises? Instead of keeping „Into The Fire“ in the setlist (only played once in Germany) and digging out some never-played-live songs, they re-introduced live standards like „Strange Kind Of Woman“ and kept sogs like „Woman From Tokyo“.

To sum up: it was a bit like a movie featuring some great actors but with a script you always have the feeling you know what will happen in the next 5 minutes…

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Deep Purple – Made In Japan 25th Anniversary

Tataaaaaa, here it is: The 25th anniversary release of one of the best live recordings of all times – DEEP PURPLEs „Made In Japan“.

I wasn’t too sure what to expect: „In Rock 25“ set a level that seemed impossible to top for further releases, and „Fireball 25“ finally showed me how brilliant the „Fireball“-recording really was. First problems IMHO came up with „Machine Head 25“ – the anniversary release of the DEEP PURPLE „hit album“ and mega seller – it was nice to get it in excellent sound and also to get the different mixes; but I was missing the things that made „In Rock 25“ and „Fireball 25“ so exciting – all that stuff that has never seen the light of being published over the years. And now „Made In Japan 25″…!? I already have the original CD release, the „Live In Japan“ 3CD set – and now again a 2CD set ahead to buy… sounded a little bit too much to me…

But finally I got the CDs – a typical EMI promotional release – so I can’t say anything about artwork, booklet, etc. The first CD features the original „Made In Japan“ in digitally enhanced sound whilst the second CD offers „Black Night“ and „Speed King“ from Tokyo (17th August) and „Lucille“ from Osaka (16th August), all labeled „previously unreleased“.

So I put CD1 into my CD-player, set the amp to „give the neighbours what they deserve“ and enjoyed a really blasting version of the original „Made In Japan“ set. I haven’t compared it to the mixes on „Live In Japan“, so I can’t say anything about further enhancement or things like that; but I can say for sure that it sounds damn fresh for a 25 years old recording.

Then it was time for the second CD. I was a bit disappointed when looking at the running-time: only about 22 minutes – so it has just the usual Maxi-CD problem: you put it in the player, press „start“ and don’t need to walk away very far, because you have to change the CD soon again. So I set my CD player to „loop mode“ and what should I say? I didn’t change the CD during the next 2 hours. This CD really rocks! „Black Night“ is a really nice take of that song – same goes for „Lucille“; but the real highlight is „Speed King“. Not only that is is a very electric and dynamic version of that song – it also captures a moment when something within the audience seemed to go wrong. I can’t exactly say what it is – maybe a struggle between the audience and security which Ian Gillan tried to solve – hopefully the booklet of the final release will tell us more.

So at the end there are just five words to say „Buy it, you won’t regret!“

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Deep Purple / Pan Ram tour 1996

deepPur.ple in Ulm (12/03 – first) and Hanau (30/03 – last gig in Germany) or „Who needs Ritchie Blackmore ???“

As I was just there to enjoy the music, I’ve made no notes and therefore here are only a few thoughts about both gigs:

the venue:

Both venues about the same size. No controls of the audience in Ulm, each one was searched in Hanau. „No Smoking!“ in Hanau – this must be the real spirit of Rock’n’Roll. :-)

the audience:

Typical deepPur.ple audience in Ulm – people of all ages, well mixed. In Hanau the average age of the audience seemed to be lower – more younger people than at the other DP gigs I’ve been.

the support: PAN RAM

In Ulm, I thought that I was one of the three or four people who enjoyed their show. The main part of the audience seemed to dislike them. In Hanau, their performance had become a little better than in Ulm. Also the acceptance by the audience was way better than in Ulm. No „deepPur.ple“ cries during their show, no whistles.

the sound:

Not so good in Ulm, but very clear and well balanced in Hanau.

the merchandise:

Partially cheaper in Hanau than in Ulm. I really don’t know why. I’ve bought a t-shirt, a mug and the yearbook, which is really great. Merchandise stand in the middle of the hall in Hanau, directly behind the mixing equipment.

deepPur.ple:

Really great at both venues – they really blew me away. The set included „Purpendicular Waltz“ in Hanau, which was left away in Ulm. Ian Gillan changed his clothing from his well know jacket in Ulm to a Purpendicular T-shirt in Hanau (where he was also wearing a grey hat, a grey pullover and a DP shawl from time to time). Roger was wearing a blue scarf in Ulm and one with Yin/Yan in Hanau. Steve used his wolf-T-shirt in Ulm and a multi-colored one in Hanau. Jon and Ian Paice desssed the same at both gigs.

Instead of a detailed review of the musical performance just one quotation of a guy who has seen them first back in ’72: „The best deepPur.ple I’ve ever seen! – Who needs Ritchie Blackmore?“

summary:

I had an absolutely great time – ‚hope to see them again soon…