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.