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Deep Purple

Live in Concert

Review by Gary Hill

This is an unusual, but interesting release. Each CD is from a different concert, and actually a different era of the band. The packaging is just a gatefold cardboard sleeve that is pretty bare bones. The difference in the sound of the band on the two CDs is quite interesting to me.

The first disc, which has the better sound quality, features a show from 1997. The lineup on that CD is Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord, Steve Morse and Ian Paice. The sound seems a little proggier than some eras of the band. Then again, Morse's presence brings a lot of that. With the exception of a couple songs on the second disc, I think I prefer this one to that other show. One oddity here for a live recording is a general lack of audience sound. That said, a lot of times that's added in on mixing on live albums.

The second disc was recorded in 1991. While the sound is not quite at the same level as the first disc, it isn't really bad. The lineup on that show is Ritchie Blackmore, Roger Glover, Jon Lord, Ian Paice and Joe Lynn Turner. The set at time leans a little too much on more arena rock vibes. Overall, it's another solid recording of a live performance, though. CD two differs from the first disc in terms of the missing audience sounds, too.

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Track by Track Review
CD 1: 1997

They bring this vintage rocker in with style. It rocks out well. There is some crazy organ jamming at play later on in this opening tune.

A short drum showcase starts this. The cut fires out with fierce and furious rocking.
Ted The Mechanic
I really love the riffing and driving hard rock on this powerhouse tune. It's my favorite to this point of the album.
Pictures Of Home
Another highlight of the set, they put in a smoking hot live performance of this classic. The guitar soloing is insane on this, and I also love the bass showcase section. The excursion into classical music is a great touch, as well.
Black Night
There is some killer instrumental interplay on the extensive jam mid-track on this. It's another powerhouse live performance.
Cascades - I'm Not Your Lover
I dig the feedback laden intro section that makes up the first half of this two-fer. They drive it out with a fierce, nearly metal jam from there. The guitar solo section late in the track is all about the melodic, trippy, sort of sounds for a while. It's decidedly Steve Morse. That gives way to more rocking jamming further down the road.
Woman From Tokyo
This rocker is a classic, and it gets a cool live performance here. The piano solo section on this is all class.
Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming
Acoustic guitar based sounds bring this into being. The tune is a melodic number that's not quite a ballad, but almost. The instrumental section gets into some nearly proggy territory.
Rosa's Cantina

There is a bit of a funky groove to this cool rocker. It's solid, but not really a standout to me.

No One Came
A driving hard rocking number, this is quite the powerhouse. In fact, I'd say that it's screaming hot.
Smoke On The Water
There is some killer guitar soloing that serves as the introduction to this. It works through a number of recognizable songs during the jamming. They put in quite an inspired and fired up rendition of the classic song. The only thing is, that tune has been done so many times, it's feels a little past its prime to me. I do love the killer organ solo after it winds up, though. That gives way to a piano solo that has some definite classical elements.
CD 2: 1991
Black Night

Keyboards get this going as an introduction. The group power into this hard rocking tune from there. This includes some extensive crowd participation, and they include a bit of Rainbow's "Long Live Rock and Roll."

Fire In The Basement
This driving hard rocker is all class. The jam later in the track features some killer organ work. The bass gets a bit of a solo, too. This has a spoken section mid-track, but it gets back into the song proper from there.
King Of Dreams

I like the hints of prog that show up on this song. There is an arena rocking, pop rock type of element at the core of the song, though. This is not one of my favorites here, but it works pretty well. The instrumental section is trademark Deep Purple and rocks out so well.

Love Conquers All
This has an arena rock ballad approach to it. It's too generic to feel like Deep Purple to me. It's not a bad song, but it's just not something that stands as tall as the rest here. It does get into more power ballad territory as it continues.
Difficult To Cure
This is a classical instrumental jam that was originally a Rainbow song. It works well here.
Jon Lord Solo
This comes in classical and works out from there. While it's a Lord solo, Roger Glover accompanies him during parts of this. The solo works into some Beethoven on piano later. From there, we get some honky-tonk jamming that makes me think of Keith Emerson. We get powered up keyboard jamming beyond that point. That gives way to the next song.
Knockin' At Your Backdoor
I love this song from Perfect Strangers. It's one of my favorite Deep Purple songs. They bring it in with all the style and charm you would expect. This really is a powerhouse rendition, and Turner pulls off the vocal performance quite well. They take this into some cool territory as they work into the instrumental section. It gets both proggy elements and some really intense power late.
They bring this in with a driving, hard rocking rendition. While this is mostly faithful, it gets more intense at times. There is some cool harmonica soloing built into it.
Highway Star
Another old school classic, gets a killer live rendition here. This is on fire.
Smoke On The Water
Here we get another live version of the song they are pretty much obligated to do at every concert. This is a solid rendition, and it includes plenty of audience participation. Nearly six minutes in, they tear out into "Woman from Tokyo." It's not a bad version, but I don' t care for the vocals on that part of the track. They sort of merge it with "Smoke on the Water" as it continues, with only a short part of "Woman From Tokyo" being played.
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