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Deep Purple

Live In London

Review by Greg Olma

There has been much said about the different lineups of Deep Purple but for my money, the Mk 3 lineup stands up as their best.  I know purists will disagree with me and say that Ian Gillan is the only singer worthy of being in the band.  I think when he left Deep Purple, the band lost one great singer and acquired two great singers in David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes.  For me, this lineup was more exciting and their Burn album proved it.  This live show from London is a prime example of how raw and primal Deep Purple were back in 1974.  Sure, there were extended version of tunes like “Mistreated,” which is one and half times the length of the original but somehow they managed to keep things exciting.  I did a little research and according to many people’s recollections, this CD is the full show.  They did not do an encore (a practice for which Blackmore was notorious) so this is as good as it’s going to get.  You know you have a good live album when it makes you wish you were there.  For hardcore Deep Purple fans, this is a must buy but I would recommend it even for the casual Purple fan.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 5 at

Track by Track Review
Disc 1

How can you go wrong with this track?  This is the perfect opener and you can hear that the band is on fire.  The vocal interplay between Coverdale and Hughes is truly something to behold.  Even though the studio version is great, this live take is much better because it is rawer and they attack it with a lot of passion.

Might Just Take Your Life

This is an odd cut to play after the fierce version of “Burn” but since they were promoting their Burn album, it only makes sense that they play songs from it.  Musically, it is very similar to the original version.

Lay Down, Stay Down

I liked that fact that Coverdale and Hughes brought in different elements into the band.  This cut has a bit of funk in it and the vocal interplay between the two main singers is great.  Ritchie Blackmore puts in a great solo here and you can tell he is really pushing his playing.  It’s not what you would expect from Deep Purple but a great live track none the less.


You can tell that this number was meant to be the showpiece of the concert.  The song starts off with Blackmore soloing a bit but after almost a minute it kicks in with that familiar riff.  As mentioned earlier, this version gets the “extended jam” treatment but it never gets boring or drawn out.  This may not be the best version of the song (I think the recording is lacking, not the band) but it is a great recording, none the less.

Smoke On The Water

For those who think it is wrong for anyone to sing this track other than Gillan; I will have to agree.  Coverdale and Hughes do an admirable job but this one is Gillan’s signature song.  Gillan even made Black Sabbath play it when he was in that band.  Also, Blackmore does a weird little guitar intro that just doesn’t fit.  Made In Japan has the definitive live version of this, so any other recording is going to pale in comparison.

Disc 2
You Fool No One

Now this is more like it.  I love the Burn album so I’m more than happy to get more material from record.  This version is extended with a Blackmore solo and Ian Paice drum solo.  Normally, I am not a fan of adding these parts on live albums.  They may be great when you are there but they don’t always transfer very well onto record (or CD in this case).  I have to say that both solos are very good and they really add to the overall effect of this live experience of this record.

Space Truckin’

Clocking in at just over 30 minutes, this is probably the longest version of “Space Truckin’” out there.  It’s a good version but it would have been  better if they shaved off five to ten minutes.  There are some parts that really go nowhere and it might have been great seeing it live with some chemical enhancement, but listening to it straight 37 years later leaves me a bit bored.

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