DEEP PURPLE – “Woman From Tokyo” (Originally 1973, 1998 Warner Japan CD reissue)
The 2:56 single edit of Deep Purple’s “Woman From Tokyo” is somewhat of a rarity on CD. It’s not on the Singles A’s and B’s. You could get it on a Japanese box set called Purple Chronicle.
The original song was almost six minutes, so half of the tune was chopped out for single release. The intro is mangled. The middle section is missing, and cut in such an amateurish way. The guitar solo is missing. Rule of thumb: never cut the friggin’ guitar solo from a Deep Purple song, of all bands! This is a butcher job of a single edit. Probably why it never made the cut to Singles A’s and B’s.
The B-side “Super Trouper” is also 2:56, but unedited. That’s just how the song goes, one of Purple’s shortest. No, it’s not an Abba cover, but both songs were named after Super Trouper stage lights. Some of Ian Gillan’s lyrics can be interpreted to be about his impending departure from Deep Purple. “I wanna be like I was before, but this time I’m gonna know the score.” A lot of looking in the rear view mirror in this song. A lot of past-tense.
Because of the butcher job on the “Woman From Tokyo” edit, the B-side here outshines the A-side. The single at least has lyrics. For collectors and analysts only!
DEEP PURPLE – In Rock (1970, 1995 EMI anniversary edition)
Deep Purple In Rock: The title speaks mountains about the music. They didn’t want there to be any question regarding what kind of band Deep Purple were. The first version of the band, Deep Purple Mk I, made three psychedelic but still clearly rock and roll albums. Wanting to rock harder, they ditched singer Rod Evans and bassist Nick Simper, and brought aboard Ian Gillan and Roger Glover. However the first album released by Deep Purple Mk II was…Concerto for Group and Orchestra? There was also a wishy-washy gospel rock single called “Hallelujah” that went nowhere. Indeed, there was some confusion in terms of public perception. In Rock was designed from the start to reaffirm.
With In Rock, producer Martin Birch commenced a long and fruitful relationship with Deep Purple. The single was a track called “Black Night” which, oddly enough, wasn’t on the album. It was a response to a record label request for a single, so the band nicked the bassline from Gershwin and wrote a simple rock track with nonsensical lyrics. It was an immediate hit. Appropriately, the original single version of “Black Night” is included on this 25th anniversary edition of In Rock.
The B-side to “Black Night” was an edited version of opening album track, “Speed King”. The full length version was even edited down for some releases of the In Rock album, except in the UK. Almost a minute of noisy instrumental freakout explosively starts the full enchilada. This leads to a calming, light Jon Lord organ, misleading you into thinking the onslaught is over. Think again.
“Speed King” is a quintessential Deep Purple track, cementing their instrumental prowess and lyrical credentials. The sheer velocity of the track alone packs a whallop, but the sonics are just as powerful. “Speed King” has a deep, gut-punching heaviness. There is also a long instrumental section, custom built for the jam-loving audiences of the era. The words are cut and pasted from classic rock and roll hits in one stream of consciousness. The best word for “Speed King” is “exhausting”. Listening through feels like you just finished a sprint. The band were trying to capture the same vibe as Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire”, but overdid it just a smidge!
And what of that new singer? Ian Gillan didn’t get to do much screaming in his previous band (with Glover), Episode Six. In Deep Purple, his unmistakable wail sets world records for pitch and volume. Without Ian Gillan, there would be no Bruce Dickinson, and therefore Iron Maiden could never have existed as we know it today. In Rock features Ian at his peak powers. Nobody can touch In Rock, not even Bruce in his prime.
“Bloodsucker” is a vintage, grinding organ-based groove. In Rock has a very bass-heavy mix, but clear and defined. This helps the low growling Hammond combine with Roger Glover’s pulsing bass to form a wave of sound. Ride that wave on “Bloodsucker”, with a cool double-tracked Gillan vocal that keeps the thing slightly off-balance. Drummer Ian Paice can never be underappreciated, and in 1970 he was one of the hardest hitters on the field. “Bloodsucker” leaves massive Yeti footprints because of that beat.
One of the most important songs in the Deep Purple canon is “Child in Time”, a 10 minute composition of light and shade that transforms as you listen. As it begins gently, Ian Gillan gets to utilize the soothing side of his voice. “Child in Time” is almost a lullaby…until it is not. Wait for the ricochet. This album is called Deep Purple In Rock after all. Not Deep Purple In Bed or Deep Purple At Church.
In 1970, this would have been the moment you get up and flip the record. To do that, you would have to peel yourself from the floor.
The second side of In Rock features lesser played tracks, but no less impressive. “Flight of the Rat” takes off amidst a Blackmore guitar rocket riff. Though fast, it is a step off the pedal from “Speed King” and with enough vocal melody to keep one hanging on. Lord and Blackmore both solo, fighting to be champion but with no clear winner. All the while, Glover and Paice keep the pulse going through the time changes. Then it is “Into the Fire”, a rarely played unsung classic that the band resurrected on tour in 2000 and 2014. Bopping heavily along, “Into the Fire” will burn if you let it. Then the drums of “Living Wreck” fade in, with a incredibly deep natural echo that you feel in the bones. The snare sound rings sharp. “Living Wreck” was actually one of the first tracks taped, and just listen to Ritchie Blackmore’s tone on the lead solo! This is truly a triumph of studio recordings.
Finally “Hard Loving Man” closes In Rock with one of the heaviest Purple riffs in their history. Deep Purple invented the heavy metal chug on “Hard Loving Man”. Meanwhile Jon Lord contributes to the sludge by hitting as many keys simultaneously as he seemingly can! What a track, and much like “Speed King” at the start, it leaves you beaten and out of breath.
No Deep Purple album has come close to In Rock for brute strength. The band and Martin Birch truly captured something special in the studio, back when that meant finding the right amp for the right instrument in the right room. It’s much like alchemy, only real. In Rock is an artifact of the way they used to do it, and evidence of why it can’t seem to be repeated. The monument on the album cover was an apt indicator of what the new Deep Purple sounded like.
The 25th anniversary edition contains a wealth of bonus material, interspersed with amusing studio chat, such as:
Jon Lord (singing): “I smashed the microphooooone.”
Martin Birch: “Are you going to hit it again?”
Jon Lord: “I don’t think so.”
In addition to the original single “Black Night”, there is a fascinating alternate take of “Speed King”. The band were toying with a version featuring piano instead of organ, which completely changed its character. This version was recorded and accidentally released on a single instead of the proper one. Here it is as a bonus track, showing you a work in progress and what could have been.
Then we have a Roger Glover remix of “Cry Free”, one of the earliest songs recorded (30 takes total) but ultimately rejected. It was first released on the 1977 posthumous Deep Purple album Power House, one of many releases that EMI put out during the period the band were broken up. Glover oversaw remixes of many of Deep Purple’s reissues beginning here. The differences are subtle but not unnoticeable. Glover also remixed “Black Night” (more on that later), “Flight of the Rat” and “Speed King” (including intro) for these bonus tracks. They might be described as “fuller sounding”. “Black Night” was expanded to include a previously unheard outro. Then there is “Jam Stew”, an instrumental with a chicken-pickin’ lick that has been all but forgotten. It was played for the BBC once with improvised vocals; that version can be found on BBC Sessions 1968-1970. Ritchie used the riff later in 1970 for a side project album called Green Bullfrog.
With these bonus tracks, the In Rock anniversary edition is expanded from 43 to 78 minutes. For fans that needed every last morsel, there was still one more release to be found. To coincide with the anniversary edition in 1995, EMI released a limited and numbered CD single of “Black Night”. (How many made? I don’t know, but I have #2908.) This three track single has two versions not on the In Rock CD: a single edit of the “Black Night” Glover remix, and a “matching mix” by Glover of “Speed King”. This “matching mix” seems to be an edited remix without the noisy intro. They’re not essential except to the collector.
To date, this 1995 anniversary edition is still the only expanded edition of In Rock. With the rare photos and expansive Simon Robinson essay inside, it is the obvious definitive edition, 22 years reigning strong. They even tried to get Ritchie Blackmore involved with the reissue. He offered one quote for the booklet: “This is my favourite LP along with Machine Head.” Be very careful if seeking out a mint condition copy of this CD. The jewel case itself is very special. The autographs and notes on the front cover are not on the front cover. They are etched into the plastic of the jewel case. Mine is safely enclosed in a scratch proof plastic sleeve, but finding an original jewel case intact will not be an easy task on the second hand market.
I can’t resist reviewing this golden oldie, the first compilation released by Purple Records in 1975. Purple had not yet broken up — that wouldn’t happen for another year — but most of the members on this record had left the band. It’s rarely a good sign when a band in their final death throes release a compilation album.
This CD is extraordinarily rare in these parts. When I first started managing the Record Store at which I spent most of my years, I put my name in “reserve” for any used copies that may come in. That was April 1996. Here we are in June 2015, and I only just got it on CD. I did get it on vinyl in the late 90’s, even though I have all the songs, because I enjoy having significant greatest hits albums in my collection. (See point 4, “Historical significance”, in Getting More Tale #367.) Unfortunately, as was the case with many CD issues from the late 80’s, the cover art isn’t even near the same colour as the original golden LP. The CD renders it to a dark, pee-stain yellow.
Saucy Aaron, from the KeepsMeAlive, texted me last month from Toronto, in Sonic Boom on Spadina. “Cool Purple comp,” he texted. “Very short though.” He sent me a pic with a $7.99 price tag, and I told him to snag it! That’s the kind of guy he is. He saw a Purple compilation CD and texted me a photo, unsure if I’d even care, on the off-chance that he’d be helping out a fellow collector. And he did! All it needed was a new jewel case.
Because I have all the songs elsewhere, I haven’t played 24 Carat Purple in a long time. It’s interesting that this, their first kinda-official hits album, only focuses on the Ian Gillan years, even though another version of Purple was currently functioning. I suppose that makes sense, from a contemporary point of view.
“Woman From Tokyo” is a great track to get the party started. I’ve only seen Purple once, on the Purpendicular tour. I recall that this was tune that really got the dudes in their mid-40’s bouncing. Now I’m in my mid-40’s, and I’m still bouncing to it. It’s a nice, safe Purple single. Jon Lord’s piano solo is, well, bouncy! I defy you to sit perfectly still with this song playing.
More to my taste is the accelerated blast through the clouds that is “Fireball”. To me, this track has it all — the perfect Purple mixture of adrenaline, speed, musicianship and that organ! The live “Strange Kind of Woman” brings things back to a moderate pace. Most of the time, I would be opposed to a live track substituting a studio version on a “hits” set, but Made in Japan was more popular than many of their studio albums! This live take, complete with Ian laughing through some of the lines, is probably my favourite anyway. Because Purple were as much a live act as an album band, one can easily make arguments for including live tracks of this stature.
“Never Before”, on the other hand, may have been a single but it’s nobody’s favourite Purple song. Of all their singles, perhaps it is the most ordinary. But at 4:00, it was about the right length to squeeze in before “Black Night” on a side of vinyl. “Black Night” was the real treat for fans in 1975, since this was the live version released only as a B-side before. This electric version is a must-own for its ferocity. It was recorded at the final show of the three that were taped for Made in Japan. Feedback-laden and ragged, this version of “Black Night” kills the others.
Side two of the record was devoted to long bombers, with “Speed King” coming in shortest at 5:50. That means this is the full-on version of “Speed King” complete with intro, which was edited off American copies of Deep Purple In Rock. For some listeners, this intro (purely 50 seconds of instrumental guitar-fucking and drum-wailing, followed by a mellow organ passage) would be completely new to them. Normally you would expect a record label to plop on an edited single version.
Made in Japan is the source for the last two tracks, “Smoke on the Water” and “Child in Time”. The mathematically inclined have probably already calculated that this means 24 Carat Purple is actually 57% live! I think that’s OK in the long run. Consider: “Smoke on the Water” in its live incarnation was released as a successful single. The live “Child in Time” contains, according to my friend Uncle Meat, “the greatest guitar solo of all time.” Since he said it, it must be true, and therefore inclusion of these two live versions is forgiven.
I feel like giving this long-deleted album a number rating is kind of meaningless. Yes it was a great listen, but it’s just a compilation from a band that most people agree are an albums band.
DEEP PURPLE – Who Do We Think We Are (1973, 2000 EMI)
Five solid years of work had taken their toll on Deep Purple. Relations between the band members (particularly Gillan and Blackmore) were frayed, especially since all the touring behind Machine Head and Made in Japan. There was all sorts of bad blood, including management disputes and illness (hepatitis for Ian Gillan).
The band settled in Rome with the Rolling (truck) Stones mobile studio, but found that the vehicle could not enter the premises, as the stone arch in the drive was not tall enough for the truck! Several weeks of work in Rome resulted in only one usable track, “Woman From Tokyo” which was released as a single. [See below for a cool 1998 CD reissue of “Woman From Tokyo” (2:56 edit)/”Super Trouper”!] Another song, the excellent “Painted Horse”, was rejected because Blackmore didn’t like it. It wasn’t even released as a B-side.
A few months later the band re-convened in Frankfurt Germany to finish the new record. Perhaps due to sheer fatigue, they settled into a simpler, bluesy sound without the experimentation that marked albums like In Rock and Fireball. The only really progressive moment on the album was a breakneck synthesizer solo on “Rat Bat Blue”.
The resultant album, Who Do We Think We Are, is generally considered the weakest of the original MkII studio quadrilogy. That still makes it better than many bands’ best albums. That aside, it is obvious by listening to it that Deep Purple were not putting as much in, and getting less out.
“Woman From Tokyo” is still a great Deep Purple track, very similar to the direction of Machine Head: straightforward, and slamming. It has a mellow, dreamy bridge before it assails you once more with its inimitable guitar riff.
It’s too bad that a song like “Mary Long” hasn’t been a perennial concert favourite. This scathing attack on two British social campaigners teases the prudish! “When did you lose your virginity, Mary Long? When will you lose your stupidity, Mary Long?” Glover’s bass groove carries the song, a real driving tune. Absolutely monstrous in the car.
“Super Trouper”, less than three minutes long, feels incomplete. It feels like it needed a chorus, although it is still heavy and a Purple sledge. Closing Side One, “Smooth Dancer” is Ian Gillan’s underhanded attack upon Richie Blackmore. Black suede was his favourite clothing:
Black suede, don’t mean you’re good for me Black suede, just brings your mystery I want to be inside of you But you’re black and I don’t know what to do
You’re a smooth dancer But it’s alright, ‘cos I’m a freelancer And you can never break me though you try To make me think you’re magical
Even though Ian’s not fond of Richie at this point, it’s important to hear the line “I want to be inside of you, but you’re black and I don’t know what to do.” Ian would have loved to be able to connect with Richie, but was simply unable to get inside the man in black. Glover too has stated that Ian was frustrated by his inability to connect personally with Richie.
“Rat Bat Blue” (named for Ian Paice’s drum pattern that is the foundation of the song) is a great unsung classic. Funky and hard-hitting, “Rat Bat Blue” could have been a classic had it been released by a band that still wanted to be a band. “Rat Bat Blue” is my favourite on the album! (Note: the first time I bought the original CD at my own store, I ran into a manufacturing flaw – a moment of silence near the end where Ian sings, “Aaaaalright.” The CD with the defect just has “Aaaaaa” and then a second of silence! My boss would not let me exchange it.)
The final two songs (on a seven song record!) are both a bit slow. “Place in Line” has some swinging jamming blues to it, and “Our Lady” has gospel flavors and an incredible organ solo. Neither would be remembered as Deep Purple classics, although “Our Lady” is very special. Notice there’s no guitar solo, either. Jon does all the serious work.
The remastered edition has some cool bonus tracks. There are several 1999 remixes, with Roger Glover assisting at the mixing console. Like prior Deep Purple remixes, you can hear additional guitar and other bits that weren’t there before. They are great companion pieces to the album tracks, particularly the smouldering “Rat Bat Blue”. There are also two snippets from the writing sessions: an unheard bridge from “Woman From Tokyo” and a bit of a deleted intro from “Rat Bat Blue”. An eleven-minute instrumental “first day jam” is interesting because it has no guitar. Roger Glover was late to the session, so that’s Blackmore on bass!
Finally, the rare outtake “Painted Horse” is restored to CD. You could get it previously on the posthumous Power House compilation CD, but once placed on the album, it’s clearly one of the best tunes. Why it was disliked is beyond me. Maybe it’s Ian’s falsetto vocal or harmonica. I think they just serve to make the song more unique. This remastered version sounds loads fuller than the one of Power House. I also love Ian’s lyrics. “Why did the carpenter die?”
For the geeks, I’m sure you will enjoy the fully loaded CD booklet, with another essay by Glover, remembering times good and bad.
I like Who Do We Think We Are enough for a solid rating, but I’m not sure it that accurately reflects how Deep Purple fans at large felt about it. If Machine Head, Fireball and In Rock are all 5/5 stars, then Who Do We Think We Are can be justified at:
ALCATRAZZ – Disturbing the Peace (1985 EMI, 2001 Light Without Heat)
Released as part of Steve Vai’s The Secret Jewel Box
This is the only Alcatrazz album I own. The reason I own it is Steve Vai. I’m a Steve Vai fan before I’m a Graham Bonnet or Yngwie Malmsteen fan. Plus, this album was reissued exclusively in Steve’s stunning looking Secret Jewel Box (2001) as CD 2. The collector in me wanted that box set and I was glad Steve was so thorough as to include collaborative efforts like this one in his box set. According to Steve’s 2001 liner notes, Alcatrazz was one of his favourite band experiences and I think you can hear that.
Disturbing the Peace, Alaztrazz’s second LP, is very idea-heavy. It’s dense musically and conceptually while still being straight-ahead rock music. It’s the same trick Steve pulled on David Lee Roth’s universally acclaimed Eat ‘Em and Smile record. Vai is credited as a co-writer on every track, except the instrumental “Lighter Shade of Green” on which he has sole credit. Clearly, his input on the album is tremendous as it is literally covered with his fingerprints. His style is all but fully formed (he had already recorded and released his experimental first solo album, Flex-able). His guitar sound was certainly well on its way, and the way it shimmers with multiple layers is omnipresent on Disturbing the Peace. Hell, Vai even recycles melodies from Flex-able, which he would recycle yet again on Passion & Warfare!
(Note: I’m referring to the melody from Steve’s “Answers” from Passion and Warfare, which is also in “Wire and Wood” on Disturbing the Peace and “Little Green Men” on Flex-able. While this is strictly conjecture, I assume this melody to be among the many that Steve “heard” in his lucid dreams that inspired the Passion and Warfare album. Another such melody is “Liberty”, which was based on recollections of a lucid dream.)
There are some really great songs on Disturbing the Peace. “God Blessed Video” (which had its own great video that featured Steve extensively) is a great example of the kind of powerful, melodic hard rock Graham Bonnet can produce. It superficially resembles Rainbow’s “Death Valley Driver” (surely a coincidence) and has the same relentless drum stomp and chugging riff. This is all left in the dust by Steve who anticipates his role as the “Devil’s Guitarist” from the movie Crossroads by stewing up an unconventionally wicked guitar solo.
The more straightforward metal of “Mercy” is credited to the whole band, also including Gary Shea (bass), Jan Uvena (drums) and Jimmy Waldo (keyboards). That’s probably why it’s much more standard in construction. Bonnet’s pipes get quite a workout, and Steve’s solo is jaw dropping. The solo section here absolutely sounds like a prototype for Passion and Warfare. “Will You Be Home Tonight” is steamy, a bit more laid back and heavy with atmosphere. None of this prevents Bonnet from wailing, nor Vai for throwing down some space-age bluesy licks. This kind of thing would come in handy for Whitesnake, later on.
The aforementioned “Wire and Wood” is actually the most Rainbow-like of the songs. At times it almost sounds like a leftover from Down to Earth, but then Vai reminds us that this it was now 1985 and there’s a new kid on the block. Side one closed with “Desert Diamond”, Steve Vai on Choral sitar this time. This time I’m reminded of a similar gimmick on “My Little Man”, which Steve co-wrote for Ozzy’s Ozzmosis album.
“Stripper” is pretty far from lyrically sophisticated. While “A dark and crowded room / Warm beer that’s stale” does set the scene, it’s not really a story that needed telling, I suppose. Similarly, “Painted Lover” could not misconstrued as poetry. “She just wants that hard stash, hot from your pocket.” I’m sure, Graham.
It’s kind of weird hearing trashy lyrics like this sung over Steve’s schooled and intricate melodies and tricks. It’s like the smartest kid in class helping out a less talented classmate or something. Nothing against Graham of course, he’s had more hits than I have, so what do I know?
Steve’s “Lighter Shade of Green” solo is a brief intro to “Sons and Lovers”, one of the most accessible hard rock songs. It has a grand chorus, courtesy of Graham, the kind of thing he’s very good at. “Skyfire” (surely named after the 1985 Transformers character, right?) is a very 1980’s sounding groove. I like the fast chuggy parts, the strong melodies, and Steve’s guitar bits. I also like that I’m going to start a rumor that it’s named after the Transformers character. (It’s actually about a UFO that Graham sighted.)
The only song I kinda don’t like is the last one, “Breaking the Heart of the City”. It’s here that I feel the Vai/Bonnet experiment fails somewhat. It sounds like it wants to be dark, heavy, and ominous, but Steve is whimsical at times, space-y and too smart. Meanwhile I’m feeling that the song needs something gritty, some more chug, a little bit of grind, you know?
After revisiting Disturbing the Peace, I now feel an urge to get No Parole From Rock ‘n’ Roll and compare. Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen are polar opposites stylistically and it’ll be interesting to hear Yngwie’s version of Alcatrazz.
Interestingly, Disturbing the Peace was produced by Eddie Kramer!
Welcome back to WTF Search Terms. Below you will find 10 phrases that people typed into a search engine like Google, which somehow took them to mikeladano.com. The 10 terms below have one thing in common: I have no idea what the answers would be. If you can help out these people, post your knowledge in the comment section, or these may forever remain unsolved mysteries! Enjoy.
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DEEP PURPLE: Inglewood (2002 Purple Records/Sonic Zoom)
Re-released in 2009 as Live at Inglewood 1968
Most casual rock fans think of Deep Purple Mk II when they think of this band: Gillan, Glover, Blackmore, Lord, and Paice. Before that classic lineup formed in late 1969, the prototypical Deep Purple Mk I recorded three studio albums. One of which (1969’s Deep Purple) is truly an excellent piece of work
Deep Purple Mk I consisted of lead vocalist Rod Evans (later of Captain Beyond), bassist Nicky Simper (later of Warhorse) and of course Richie Blackmore, Jon Lord, and Ian Paice. They were more of a psychedelic hippy jam band than the heavy rock band that would record In Rock and Machine Head, and Made in Japan. As such, their live shows lack the ferociousness you’re used to. Having said that, this is an important historical document. It is bootleg quality, recorded in mono, but this is also the only live album of the Deep Purple Mk I years.
Track listing: 1.”Hush”, 2.”Kentucky Woman”, 3.”Mandrake Root”, 4.”Help”, 5.”Wring That Neck”, 6.”River Deep, Mountain High”, 7.”Hey Joe”. Seven numbers. Purple were the opening band for Cream that night. Purple’s setlist is mostly covers, with only two originals! Cream were recording that night, and part of their set the following day ended up on Goodbye. No audio tapes of Deep Purple survived, if they were recorded at all. That this CD exists is a miracle of sorts. It is actually from a video (not film) recording of the night. They were experimenting with a new video camera and were trying out various angles on Purple’s set. The tape sat for decades and degraded so badly that the video was a mere grey fog…but the audio portion survived. This CD is the result, and it is actually a complete recording of the Deep Purple set. No songs went unrecorded.
Blackmore was still playing a Gibson, so his guitar sound is still prototypical, beefy and out of control. Evans was no Ian Gillan, preferring to croon. Most of the songs are long meandering jams. While Deep Purple were excellent as musicians even back then, their jams only occasionally rise to the electricity they are now known and remembered for. They had only been together nine months.
Opening with “Hush”, they sound a bit restrained compared to the more kinetic album version. Rod and Richie provide some flash, but it’s a bit sluggish. “Kentucky Woman” is more action packed, and during Jon’s organ solo, for a moment — just a second — you can hear a hint of the future of “Highway Star” emerge between he and Ian Paice. “Mandrake Root” is an original, but for long stretches all you can make out is crashes and bangs of various things on various instruments.
I like Rod Evans’ understated introduction to “Wring that Neck”: “It features once again our guitarist, who is…to my mind ’cause I play with him, one of the greatest guitarists I’ve ever played with. True! He’s not bad, for a young’un.” Once Blackmore is in tune, he proves the flattery was justified. He’s obviously much more comfortable on something like this. I enjoy his bouncing, teasing solo. It is an antecedent of his style later on.
Jon asks the crowd if they’ve seen 2001; the mild clapping indicates that some have. The band crash into an organ-dominated version of “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” before jamming into “River Deep, Mountain High”. A workable version unfolds, and then the band close with a surprisingly emphatic “Hey Joe”.
For its sonic issues (dips in volume and the like) and sometimes sluggish set, this is still buried treasure. There are a few Mk I live BBC sessions available on Purple remasters and box sets; but this is it, the only complete live show released thus far. Only one other is known to exist.
I have the Sonic Zoom digipack mail-order release. No matter the CD you purchase, all come with an excellent informative booklet with more information inside than you can absorb in one sitting. As mentioned though, this is bootleg quality. Don’t expect sonic clarity, don’t expect separation of the instruments. This is a one-mic recording, and there’s only so much you can do to clean it up.
If you’re a fan, add this historic recording to your library. If not, stick to one of more official live releases, like Made in Japan or In the Absence of Pink.
Trevor told me about Warren first. “He’s a big guy,” he said, “With big, blonde Sammy Hagar hair and glasses. Nice though. He was friends with my mom when I was growing up. I used to call him Wookiee!”
Warren was bringing in some promo CDs to sell, and Trevor was giving me a heads up and asked me to treat him right. Warren is a fan of a lot of the same musicians I am (guys like Ritchie Blackmore and Steve Morse) but his passion was bass. His favourite bassist was Chris Squire of Yes. So obviously Warren and I were going to get along. We did, and he frequently came to me as his first stop for selling music, buying music, and making conversation.
Warren was trying to do a few music magazines. He originally worked on a country music mag, but that wasn’t his thing and soon he started up Global Bass Online. Warren needed help with some of the interviews. He was really excited to be speaking to Victor Wooten, but he needed someone to interview Eddie Jackson, from Queensryche. Queensryche were promoting their new CD and DVD, Live Evolution. Warren gave me copies of each, and asked if I wanted to write the Jackson piece.
“Are you kidding?” I said, stunned. “You want me to talk to Edbass?”
A pause from Warren. “Who?”
“Edbass,” I replied. “That’s how Eddie Jackson credits himself on the album.”
“Oh!” said Warren. “Yes, Eddie Jackson. I know you can do it. Here’s a cassette deck you can plug into your phone. And here’s Eddie’s cell phone number. He’s expecting your call, he knows what’s going on.”
Wow. Eddie Jackson was expecting my call. Cool.
Warren and I collaborated on some initial bass-related questions, but he left the rest up to me. He gave me tips, but told me that I was a good conversationalist and that I would be fine.
I called up Eddie that night, keeping in mind that Seattle was 3 hours behind us. Eddie answered, we had a brief chat and set up an hour the following day to do the interview.
DEEP PURPLE – Collector’s Edition: The Bootleg Series 1984-2000 (2000 Thames Thompson, Australia only, 12 CD set)
There are two (!) 12 CD Deep Purple bootleg collections; this is the first and best of them. Although Deep Purple’s career is chock full of live albums chronicling this period, this set does feature many treats that are hard to find or not available on official live albums. These really are bootlegs; the band decided to release their own versions of pre-existing audience bootleg albums! All artwork, errors included, are copied from the original bootleg releases.
Before you get too excited I will state right off the bat: There’s no Deep Purple Mk V or VI. No Joe Lynn Turner, or Joe Satriani. There is, however, a show from 1995 with Steve Morse, previewing tracks from the yet-to-be recorded Purpendicular album. This transitional period is very cool. You get to hear Morse perform “Anyone’s Daughter”, which was dropped from the set not long after. Since Morse and Blackmore’s styles are vastly different, it’s a cool take on a track that you don’t hear often as it is. In addition, you’ll hear Morse reinvent “Woman From Tokyo” on a bootleg from 2000.
The Bootleg Series also contains my favourite version of “The Battle Rages On” ever released. 1995, Ft. Lauderdale Florida, Ian Gillan tore the roof off with that song. In my mind I always imagined his screams directed towards Blackmore, even though he was probably furthest from Gillan’s mind. It’s a magical version, you can hear the electricity and the emotion. Just awesome.
Also a treat is a revisiting of the old In Rock classic, “Into the Fire” from 2000. This version crushes! Unfortunately, a stiff and slow version of “Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming” follows it. Deep Purple are that kind of band, usually they just kill it. But their history does contain rare stumbles, and this take of “Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming” is nothing stacked up against other versions available. On the other hand, Purple just smoke the Abandon track “’69” immediately afterwards! They extend this concise rocker to include an extended jam with a nod and wink to “Paint It, Black”.
Other highlights: Blackmore’s solo spot “Difficult to Cure”. Rarely heard 80’s-era tracks such as “Under the Gun”, “A Gypsy’s Kiss”, “Nobody’s Home”, “The Unwritten Law”, “Bad Attitude”, “Hard Lovin’ Woman”, and “Dead or Alive”. You can’t buy a live version of “The Unwritten Law” anywhere else. “Fools”, a rarely played track from Fireball, simply crushes. Holy Ian Paice, Batman! Steve puts his own slant on the guitar part in “Fools”, but it is his solo spot on “Cascades” that is truly intoxicating.
These being bootlegs, don’t expect sound quality or packaging or liner notes, unfortunately. The sound quality does improve as you go from the oldest discs to the most recent. The oldest shows have a lot of crowd noise, and poor sounding drums. By the time you get the Japan 2000 show, things sound much better although can still stray towards muddy at times. Packaging-wise, what you see is what you get: A box, six jewel cases, front covers and back covers.
This was an Australia-only release. I have no idea what it’s worth today. I haven’t seen one in years.
I decided that there’s no point rating these bootlegs individually. For one, it’s a set, and when it came down to splitting hairs, I like them equally. And that speaks volumes as to the consistency of this band.
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!