nicky simper

Part 141: When We Rock, We Rock, and When We Roll, We Roll

RECORD STORE TALES Part 141:  When We Rock, We Rock, and When We Roll, We Roll

I’d always liked Deep Purple, since I first heard the song “Knockin’ On Your Back Door”.  But I wasn’t a Deep Purple collector until 1996.  Until then I only owned three:  Deepest Purple, Perfect Strangers, and Knockin’ On Your Back Door.

In 1996 two critical events occurred:  Deep Purple released the incredible comeback record, Purpendicular, with Steve Morse.  I was also dumped by a girl who went and married the next guy, a few months later.  That kind of took the wind out of my sails.  And what’s better for putting the wind back in, than some new music?

I had T-Trev order Purpendicular for me.  I hadn’t even heard a note, or seen a review.  It was an import.  Wasn’t even released in this country yet. Yet, new music was what the doctor ordered.

The CD arrived open, as did almost all discs imported from England.  (Do you not seal your discs in England?)  T-Rev gave it a test spin before I arrived.  The track was called “Vavoom: Ted the Mechanic”.

“There’s some crazy stuff on here.  Hope you like it”.

In three listens, I loved it.

The quest was on to get more.  I taped some rare stuff off my buddy Vuckovich:  Anthology (the vinyl, not the CD version) , and Power House.  Both contained rare tracks that were not available on CD at the time.  We had copies of Shades Of and Book of Taliesyn, and I bought those as well.   Book Of was a cheap reproduction, unfortunately I paid $16 for it without realizing.  You could hear that it was taken from a vinyl copy.  We also had a used copy of When We Rock, We Rock, so I grabbed that too.  It had some live stuff from Made In Japan on it.

The local library had a copy of Deep Purple, the final Rod Evans album, which I recorded.  It quickly became a favourite.

At Sam the Record Man downtown, I found both Concerto For Group and Orchestra and King Biscuit Flower Hour.  I fell in love with the Concerto big time.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work well for store play.  The quiet parts were inaudible.

Later that summer, Tom directed me to a copy of The House of Blue Light, used with some water damage on the cover, at a Christian record store in Waterloo.  I took it because it was impossible to find on CD.   And finally, T-Rev and I hit HMV in Toronto, where I acquired a beautiful 25th Anniversary edition of In Rock, and the accompanying “Black Night” limited edition single.

Don’t break the case, the autographs are etched into the plastic!

That was just 1996, and I hadn’t even scratched the surface yet.  I didn’t even have Fireball, Machine Head, Made in Japan, or Who Do We Think We Are yet!  It would take time.  Back then you didn’t necessarily buy in order of preference, you bought in order of opportunity.

It was a lot of Deep Purple to absorb in a short period of time, but that’s how Purple became one of my top five favourite bands today.  Sometimes you just need to dive in…and sometimes you just need a little push to do so.  Thanks for dumping me, chickie!

REVIEW: Deep Purple – Listen, Learn, Read On (6 CD box set)

In ages past when spells were cast

In a time of men and steel

When a man was taught no special thing

It was all done by feel

So, listen

So, learn

So, read on….

PURPLE BOX FRONT

DEEP PURPLE – Listen, Learn, Read On (6 CD box set, 2002)  (currently $298 on amazon.ca)

I recently listened to this box set again over the course of two weekends. Delving into the gorgeous box, 6 CDs, 120 pages of text, pictures, and credits, I felt fully immersed in a Purple world. Of all the Deep Purple box sets, and there are a lot of them, this one truly is a must. Covering the years of Deep Purple’s first era (1968-1976) plus surprises, there has never been a more comprehensive set of rarities and album cuts by this band.

Starting off with solo tracks by each member of the first four versions of Deep Purple, I never had any of these tracks before, except for the one by Episode Six. I was really impressed with The Outlaws’ (featuring Blackmore) version of “Keep A Knocking”. It was also great to finally have “Medusa” by Trapeze.

After a handful of very 60’s tracks by Deep Purple Mk I, the set really begins. Ian Gillan and Roger Glover helped create an entire new beast. Before too long we’re immersed in demos, rare live versions, remasters, outtakes and the odd album cut. My only complaint was that “Speed King” is not included in its album version, as I think it is superior to the two versions included. Suitable to this version of Purple, disc three kicks off with the 30 minute version of “Mandrake Root” from the 1970 Stockholm concert. Through Fireball, Machine Head, and Who Do We Think We Are, you can hear the band grow, experiment, and eventually stagnate. However, by the end of disc 4, David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes are on board. The band was revitalized with the Burn album, but had not changed in their jamming tendencies. Disc five contains the 30 minute version of “Space Truckin'” from the Gaumont, and an unreleased 12 minute version of “Mistreated”, as well as an 18 minute version of “You Fool No One”.

The final disc contains some then-unreleased quad mixes from Stormbringer (now available in a surround sound DVD) and the final recordings of the band. Tommy Bolin replaces Blackmore, and there is material here from his first rehearsals (from the Days May Come CD). By the time the Last Concert In Japan material hits the speakers, you are overwhelmed and exhausted by the majesty of Deep Purple. Simon Robinson wisely ended the set with a remastered verion of “You Keep On Moving”.

Robinson’s liner notes are, of course, detailed and exemplary. It will take you longer to finish them than it will to listen to this monstrous set.  Tracklist is below, for your perusal and analysis.  Click the gallery and enlarge.

5/5 stars. The buck stops here, this is the one.