The Highway Star

Deep Purple - Abandon

22. Februar 2001 · Audio · andreas · Kein Kommentar

"Purpendicular to me is just a start" Roger Glover said in an interview back in September 1996. At that time I wasn’t too sure if I should like that idea or not - but after listening to Abandon for about a week now, things have brightened up a lot.

As Stathis wrote in his review, Purpendicular showed a band on its way to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new sounds and melodies, to boldly go where Deep Purple haven’t gone before. Abandon is the logical step after Purpendicular - presenting five musicians who found what they searched for and simply enjoy what they do.
Of course some die-hard Ritchie Blackmore fans will stand up and shout that this is no real Deep Purple - but how about the last albums with Ritchie? The name Deep Purple stands for progression and innovation and not for reproduction. They might have lost one of their trademarks - but they found a brilliant new one - and maybe even more important - found the way back to enjoy making music - a fact that’s audible in every little note on Abandon!

Track by track

Any Fule Kno That

Unlike “Ted The Mechanic” on Purpendicular, this one’s not just a great song but also a great opener. It starts with drums and organ and continues with a hooking riff and some brilliant vocal lines, setting the controls for the heart of the album.

Almost Human

Starting with a groovy beat this song keeps what its first seconds promise - a fine rocker, with a great melodious chorus. Definitively one of my favorites.

Don’t Make Me Happy

It’s stunning how good the band catches the feeling of “When A Blind Man
Cries” in this song. A great bluesy piece of music with a heavy chorus and some nice guitar work.

Seventh Heaven

For those who had the chance to listen to the House Of Blues concerts this one’s a well known tune. A lovely intro leads into a blasting riff; a heavy track with a beautiful quite mid-section.

Watching The Sky

An untypical song for Deep Purple. It starts with a key and guitar riff to slow down
after a while - leaving Ian’s voice covered with some effects and keys in the background - just to explode into the next part.

Fingers To The Bone

THE song on this album. This one hooks up in mind and will never again let you forget it. I must hear it live!

Jack Ruby

One of the more common songs on Abandon with the big problem of being the song after
“Fingers To The Bone”. Interesting solo section.

She Was

This one sounded a bit strange the first times I listened to it, but definitively grew after some time. A interesting riff that’s hard to describe. The feeling (not the music) might be comparable to
“Soon Forgotten”.


Hmmm. I really can’t remember. Not a bad one, but for sure a song that didn’t touch me too deep.


This one starts with a lovely intro just to mutate into a catchy riff. Maybe the fastest song on Abandon, it offers a dominating guitar and hammond riff and a interesting solo section.

Evil Louie

starts a bit like “Purpendicular Waltz”, but finds it’s own live after a few seconds. A great bridge leads to a great chorus.


A remake of an oldie but goodie, inspired by many fans who didn’t remember (!?) the original version during the House Of Blues tour 1997/98. This one walks a clever way between past and present. The guitar sounds different than on the other tracks and the solo parts are build upon the actual live performances. That’s how re-recordings should be.


To close this review, I give the word back to Roger Glover: “By expanding our horizons, by being more adventurous and having a bit more fun we’re actually entertaining people much more than just by churning out the same dreary standard stuff”

Well done, Purple!

Deep Purple - The Friends And Relatives Album

22. Februar 2001 · Audio · andreas · Kein Kommentar

From the pressinfo:

Deep Purple, one of the greatest acts in rock history just clebrated their 30th anniversary. So it’s exactly the right time to release an album packed with titles of the numerous band members of Deep Purple, their solo projects and other spinoff bands.

This album features classics of Deep Purple, Rainbow, David Coverdale, E.L.F., Glen Hughes, Tommy Bolin, Gillan and others.

There’s still an active fanclub and this remarkable double-CD is a must for these loyal fans."

Sometimes I sit and wonder
Sometimes I just sit
I hope you all know
What you’re doing

Who needs this thing?

Well, I think the pressinfo isn’t that wrong… This album is for sure not for the typical “have heard some Purple tunes and want to have them on CD”-listener.

But is it for “these loyal fans” of the “still active fanclub”? The song selection and combination isn’t that uninteresting, as it offers a view into the deepest corners of things Purple. But exactly when I hear things I might be not too familiar with, I want to read some information about the songs I’m listening to, about their story and about the people involved. And at this point this album offers nothing. The two-page booklet just shows the names of the bands, the songtitles, the writing credits and the copyright information - that’s all. Not even the names of the albums the songs are taken from…

Too bad “Deep Purple: The Friends And Relatives Album” was released in January - otherwise it would have been a perfect example for a “Cashing In On Christmas”-try…

Deep Purple - Total Abandon

22. Februar 2001 · Audio · andreas · Kein Kommentar

Reading the announcements of a new Deep Purple live album and video coming out, I had mixed feelings. Of course, as a fan it’s great to get as much live stuff from your favorite band as possible (at least if they still play “hand made” music), but on the other side, there was also live stuff published that better should have been locked away…

Having the same concert shot for video and audio recording added some hope to my mixed feelings - not only IMHO it’s far better to record and publish a complete show in one piece than to cut, copy and paste a so-called live album from the preselected highlights of several different shows. That’s maybe also one reason why so many people prefer a bootleg of high sound quality instead of an average official live recording.

“Live At The Olympia” was already released as a complete audio recording of the so-called “Steve Morse era” - but an official video recording was still missing.

Of course, some shows at the House Of Blues were filmed in January 1998 and one was also broadcasted as RealVideo over the internet - but whoever has really tried to WATCH such Real"Video" had to realize it’s far away from everything that is normally called “moving pictures”. [Some songs of the House Of Blues-shows finally made it to the “A Band Down Under” video, which will also be included on the upcoming TA! DVD release.]

When I heard the first notes of “Total Abandon” I felt a bit disappointed about the sound - it seemed to be too sparse for a perfect live recording. But with the show going on I realized how good the sound really is - it’s one of the few recordings where every instrument is clearly audible during each single moment.

The setlist is a typical “Morse era” setlist - some songs should have been thrown out and replaced by others - but maybe it was a intentional decision because of Purple coming to Australia for the very first time since 1985. On the other hand - wouldn’t that have been a perfect reason to re-include some songs from “The House Of Blue Light” or “The Battle Rages On” into the set?

The video starts as every ordinary rock video, showing how the stage was assembled and then… “Oh my god, why the hell THIS jacket?”. I don’t know if it’s exactly the same one - but it looks at least as the same jacket Ian Gillan was wearing during Deep Purples preformance at the “Harald Schmidt show” on German TV. Lucky me - after some songs Ian Gillan came back on stage area without it :)

The video itself is brilliant - filmed with 13 cameras, it offers a perfect mix between showing a lot of interesting details and changing camera views. Especially the camera above Jon Lord was a great idea - I was really wondering why it took that long until someone finally used that viewpoint - and I’m looking forward to the DVD release which will hopefully show more of that stunning material.

What more to say? - Take a listen/look for yourself!

Jon Lord - Pictured Within

22. Februar 2001 · Audio · andreas · Kein Kommentar

Sometimes I have the feeling it’s not only the evil emperor Palpatine from Star Wars who leans back in his chair from time to time and mumbles to himself “Everything is proceeding as I have forseen”. Looking at the tracklist of Jon Lords new solo album “Pictured Within”, the track “Wait A While” could have been a song describing the release procedure of this album, as the release has been delayed several times – but finally the album has emerged to face the public.

I have had the opportunity to listen to this album for some time now, but I still dig out new facets with every additional listen. “Pictured Within” is certainly not to be played in the background while washing your car or doing the housework; rather, it’s for these silent, private moments of life when you light a candle, turn off the lights and relax with a good glass of wine (or something similar for those not drinking alcohol).

I have most Jon Lord works in my collection and I’m not sure exactly what I expected when I first put the tape into my recorder, but even still “Pictured Within” was totally different from all my expectations. “This one has nothing to do with rock’n’roll” Jon Lord said in an interview, and that’s an accurate statement. Rather, it’s a collection of keyboard-based works with orchestral accompaniments for many of them.

When first listening to “Pictured Within” and seeking for something similar to offer as a comparison, only one album popped up in my mind: Jim Matheos’ “First Impressions” (guitarist for the band Fates Warning). an album recorded back in 1993 with a few other people using just acoustic guitar, cello and violin.

Most tracks on “Pictured Within” are instrumental; only three songs include vocals. The title track, “Pictured Within”, is sung by Miller Anderson – and I still wonder why I never heard of this guy before, as his voice is brilliant – and the other two tracks, “Evening Song” and “Wait A While”, are sung by Sam Brown.

“Wait A While” especially found a way to my heart during the very first listen; I can no longer say how much time I’ve spent listening to just this track. “Evening Song” is the newest track on the album (it was recorded in July) and replaces “Miles Away”, which will be left out of the final release (a fact that leaves me with some mixed feelings, as “Miles Away” was one of my personal favorites). But there’s still the chance to see it as a track on the hopefully-to-be-released “Wait A While” single.

Of course I can’t guarantee this, but I’m convinced everyone who gives “Pictured Within” a fair chance will find a bright shining jewel.

Deep Purple / Rage 1998-06-17

18. Juni 1998 · Konzerte · andreas · Kein Kommentar

The Setlist remains the Same - Deep Purple live in Karlsruhe

First of all a big “Hi” to the internet people I met before and after the show… ‘hope to see you all again soon!

The venue was a small hall in Karlsruhe (about 4000 people), which offered a poor sound and really two (TWO!) small doors to let the crowd in…

Opener were German metal band Rage together with a “chamber version” of the Lingua Mortis Orchestra - which featured only 3 of normally 22 people. They played a good show with only two problems:

  • the orchestra-people were way too low in the mix

  • the setlist - I really don’t understand why they only played songs out of their actual CD “XIII” and a cover of Rolling Stones “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 surprises that make a concert exciting? 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 songs like “Woman From Tokyo” or “Speed King”.

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 during the next 5 minutes…

Written for The Highway Star

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…

Written for