GETTING MORE TALE #462: The Deep Purple Project
If loyal readers know one thing about LeBrain, it is that he owns a lot of CDs.
I haven’t done a count in ages and I’m giving up on keeping track of these things. I estimate over 3000 CDs are in inventory currently. Add to that a few hundred tapes, LPs, DVDs and other miscellaneous musical formats.
For Christmas this year, I received a number of Deep Purple releases. Some of these releases would presumably replace older Deep Purple discs in my collection. For example, I expected the 5 CD box set Hard Road 1968-1969 to replace the first three Purple albums in my collection, and I could retire those discs permanently. This was not the case. I began checking, track by track, and it turns out the individual CD versions have tracks that are not on the Hard Road box set. “Hush” live from US TV is one such track. There are also BBC Top Gear sessions on the remastered CDs that are not on Hard Road, but I believe all of these are duplicated on yet another Deep Purple CD, BBC Sessions 1968-1970. On top of all that, there is another CD called The Early Years that covers the same ground, but it too has one exclusive track on it. That is an alternate take of “Kentucky Woman” that I don’t have elsewhere. This is crazy! How can anyone keep track of it all?
I’ve been ripping all the CDs in my collection to the computer in bits and pieces for a couple years. It didn’t have much rhyme or reason. If I wanted to listen to something, I ripped it at that time. If it was a new arrival, I’d rip it to PC on first listen. This Deep Purple situation got me to go over my entire Purple collection, looking for duplicates and redundant releases. (I didn’t find any.) This in turn prompted me to get the rest of my Purple albums ripped and digitized for good. This has turned out to be a monumental task.
My Deep Purple folder had 74 sub-folders in it, each one an album or a disc from one. That’s a lot of Purple. So how many did I have still to rip?
At first count, it was 64 more discs. That includes 12 discs from a box set called The Soundboard Series (the second of two 12 disc live Purple box sets I have!). It includes all the multi-disc sets I got for Christmas. With the exception of the Hard Road box set, these are all live discs, and all official releases! Then, I had to adjust my count. I found two more box sets tucked away (as box sets sometimes are, due to their odd shapes): On Tour MCMXCIII (4 discs), and Live Encounters (2 CDs, plus 2 DVDs too). Last week, a double live from Japan arrived at LeBrain HQ, called Live in Verona. Up that count to 72 more discs. So far, I’ve ripped 25 of them.
This isn’t even all the Deep Purple I have left un-ripped. I have some things that I don’t particularly need to listen to. The 3 CD Live in Japan was a great package for its time. It contained a remixed and expanded version of Made in Japan. While I always want a unique official remix in my collection, just to have it, I don’t need to listen to it since it has been usurped by the remixed (again) 4 CD deluxe Made in Japan. Who cares about a remix they did in ’93? Obviously I only care enough to keep it (for “completion”), not to play it. There are more like that, such as an earlier mix of California Jam that has since been replaced by a better, more complete version.
Now that you have a glimpse at what Obsessive Compulsive Disorder looks like up close, I’m sure you have one specific question.
“How many versions of ‘Smoke on the Water’ are there?” Well, it appears that I have 63 versions on CD. 63. Different. Versions. Of. “Smoke on the Water”. By Deep Purple. None of these are covers by other bands.
This, folks, is a shat-ton of Deep Purple! Won’t you join me each day this week for some live Purple action?