DEEP PURPLE - "MADE IN JAPAN" (EMI)
Almost 25 years ago to the day, Deep Purple released the legendary "Made in Japan" double live LP, arguably the best live album ever to have been released (which is a bold statement considering albums like Kiss "Alive II", as well as Thin Lizzy's "Live and Dangerous" that I always hear people raving about). "Made in Japan" featured Deep Purple on their absolute height that was never again regained. The way Ian Gillan sung (even though he claimed to still be recovering from a cold :-) and the way Ritchie Blackmore's Stratocaster wailed…shivers down my spine. If ever I get sent to an uninhabited island with a solar-powered disc man and one CD to choose, it would be "Made in Japan". Some brilliant CDs have been released after 1973, but none of them are to me pregnant with so many good memories, none of them I know note-perfect by heart, not like "Made in Japan". After Kiss, Deep Purple started everything that now comprises my musical (lack of?) taste.
About two years ago, the classic "In Rock" was re-released. It was remastered, with some added - and totally superfluous - tracks. Piano-only editions, for example, quadrophonic remixes, demo version of old tripe. Not exactly what anyone had been waiting for, methinks. "Fireball" and "Machinehead" have been re-released, equally superfluously. Roger Glover is losing a lot of credulity here. Utter dosh wasters.
So all those versions I left where I found them. Not so with "Made in Japan". The original CD has been remastered (now finally without the right and left channels reversed such as was the case on the original) and a bonus CD added. The bonus CD includes 20 minutes of previously unreleased recordings of the three gigs that "Made in Japan" was culled from. These were lacking even on the triple CD "Live in Japan" Connoisseur Collection album: "Speed King", "Lucille" and "Black Night" (strictly taken, this same version of "Black Night" could already be found on "24 Carat Purple" and Connoisseur's "Singles A's and B's, but this is an extended version with a longer intro). With this album being available in the "nice price" category, you would be start raving bonkers to let a piece of musical arch-history like this leave your hands unpurchased!
And the cool thing is that they're planning on re-releasing "Made in Europe", "Live in London" and "In Concert", too, with added bonus stuff! Here's looking forward to those...
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Written March 1998
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