REVIEW: Deep Purple – Power House (1977 Japanese import)

PH FRONT CD

DEEP PURPLE – Power House (1977  Warner Bros, Japanese import)

I have always loved listening to the Power House album, featuring the classic Deep Purple Mk II era. After Purple broke up in ’76, the market was inundated with compilations and live albums. This one, and others like Last Concert in Japan, and When We Rock We Rock… were snapped up by fans who wanted more Purple. All of these albums have been rendered redundant by superior, current Deep Purple remasters.  If you’re the kind of fan who collects all of those 70’s posthumous Hendrix albums, then you’ll dig Power House, a brief but enjoyable romp through less familiar Purple. You’ll even get the original liner notes by Simon Robinson.

Power House consisted of 6 then-unreleased tracks. Here’s your complete track list:

1. “Painted Horse”.  This is an outtake from the Who Do We Think We Are sessions in July 1972.  This is the track that Blackmore “didn’t like”.  He hated what Gillan did with the vocal, and demanded it be changed.  Gillan refused, and the result was a great, unique Deep Purple rocker that remained unreleased until after the band was defunct.

2. “Hush”
3. “Wring That Neck”
4. “Child In Time”
From the Concerto for Group and Orchestra program in September 1969.  The original hit LP release of the Concerto had just the three movements of that piece.  Deep Purple played a standard three song set before the Concerto, and here it was released on Power House.  These three versions remain among my favourite performances of these songs.  “Child In Time” had yet to be recorded on album, and Jon Lord’s melodies are experimental and in development.  Very cool.  It’s “Hush” that really smokes, a definitive version of this cover.  Gillan made it his own right there.

Today the Concerto is available remixed on two discs, with the full piece, the Deep Purple set, and the Royal Philharmonic’s rendition of Malcolm Arnold’s “Symphony No. 6”, which was also performed that night.

5. “Black Night”.  Another nearly definitive version in my books!  This is a B-side, recorded at the Made in Japan dates in August 1972.  This is widely available today on various extended versions of the Japan shows, the Singles A’s and B’s, 24 Carat Purple, and many others.

6. “Cry Free”.  Outtake from the Deep Purple In Rock sessions in January 1970.  It is incredible how fertile the band were in the early 1970’s.  As if In Rock wasn’t amazing enough, this kind of song doesn’t even make the album?  Amazing that Deep Purple’s outtakes were so impressive.  That they could throw this away speaks volumes of their confidence at the time.

Regardless of Power House being superseded in recent years by better packages, I still enjoy this album, in this sequence.

4/5 stars

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37 comments

  1. Awesome! It’s interesting the type of stuff you find if you look hard enough. It’s interesting that I consider Mk II to be the most successful era of Deep Purple.

    This is a great review! You’re going through a Deep Purple phase? Love it!

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  2. I am out of my element with this band. I know the hits, that’s about it. I don’t own any of their records. So these reviews are great, because at least it’s introducing me to things to look for, and (maybe) what to avoid.

    Also: If anybody’s up to the task of reviewing THAT MUCH of any band, it’s gotta be Lebrain. He probably listens to 12 CDs of the rawk before breakfast.

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    1. Well dude, I would be happy to give you a guided tour of their records when we hit Toronto. The great thing about this band is that if you find something on vinyl, it’s almost guaranteed to be a good purchase. Very few stinkers out there. Lots of merit to each album.

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        1. Well, isn’t that kind of a given? ;)

          But don’t worry, if you do decide to pick up some Purple you will be able to find the core albums easily.

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        1. Bwohaha oh they do! And for sure, will keep my eyes open! BTW you mentioned a Maiden boxset in another comment – which box set is that?

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        2. I have a couple that I’ve posted about. One is 10 disc set of singles, called The First Ten Years. The other is called Eddie’s Archive. It is a 6 CD box of rarities. I’d post a link but I’m not sure how to do that from my phone!

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        3. The First Ten Years – that’s an awesome set – the singles with Nicko doing his thing on them – okay I’m envious of anyone that owns that. No worries, now I know which ones I can Google it. Thank you!

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        4. Awesome! Finding them individually shouldn’t be too hard. They also released these on vinyl!

          I know there is also a Listen With Nicko! Part XI but I’ll be damned if I can remember what it’s on. I don’t have it.

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        5. What about Helloween – a band I knew of for years and only started enjoying recently – any suggestions as to a good place to start with their music?

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        6. I suppose! The only song I know from them is I Want Out, from the 80’s. Personally I would get one with Michael Kiske on vocals just because he was great.

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        7. Start with the two ‘Keeper of the Seven Keys’ albums. (Parts 1 and 2). There is a deluxe that has both albums together now.

          If you like those ‘Live in the UK’ is really worth tracking down. It’s the same album as ‘I Want Out -Live’ but it has an extra track.

          The next step would be the ‘Walls of Jericho/Helloween EP’ CD. It’s not to everyone’s taste as it’s thrashier and a lot of people don’t like Kai Hansen’s vocals but I think it’s incredible.

          I like ‘Pink Bubbles Go Ape’ too but it’s a little patchy.

          I don’t like they’re current singer so I wouldn’t really recommend any of those albums although they have their moments. You’d need to ask someone else about those!

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        8. Hey HMO thanks for the info – getting my ducks in a row then to order some CDs, ha ha! Some of their albums have odd titles…Pink Bubbles Go Ape? Sounds like an explosion in a candy store :-)

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        9. Yes, there was a bit of a strange sense of humour going on there… the cover was bizarre too! People with eggs over their eyes? And ‘Pink Bubbles…’ has a song on it called ‘Heavy Metal Hamsters’ as well.

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        10. A lot of their song names are, um, interesting…this could a fun adventure…I think I can do with some heavy metal hamster – I mean, I’m already conversing with squirrels ;-)

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