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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Deep Purple

Live in Stuttgart 1993

Review by Gary Hill

I can’t recommend this live recording enough. Sure, some could argue about the song selection, but frankly, I think that’s true about just about any live album or concert experience. The band were purely on fire at this show, though. The sound quality is great and this is about as good as it gets for Deep Purple. This was to be the last tour for this line-up (Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice) and I can’t think of a better way to end on a high note. This thing is magic.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Highway Star
An extended and fairly dramatic bit of introductory music starts us off here as the band take the stage. The drums lead off the actual song and then the bass joins in the frantic jam. Keys come in next. The guitar completes the instrumental picture. They put in a pretty smoking hot rendition here. The guitar solo section feels like a departure from the studio rendition in a lot of ways. Beyond that, this feels pretty close. Even that solo incorporates part of the original solo.
Black Night
This hard rocker is delivered in very fine fashion. It seems like the band are purely on fire here and this just plain rocks out. Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord both deliver some inspired soloing, and the whole group just seem to gel exceptionally well. The instrumental section late in the number is particularly effective.
Talk about Love
While not as good as the previous two pieces, this is still a pretty strong hard rocking Deep Purple tune. It’s got some great riffing and Ian Gillan’s vocals are trademark.
Twist in the Tale
A fast paced Deep Purple jam, this is another strong one. It’s just not on the same level as the first couple numbers.
Perfect Strangers
Jon Lord’s organ opens this title track. I’ve always really loved the Perfect Strangers album and this song. I have to say that I might like this live version even more than I do the studio rendition. They take us in some different directions than those wandered on the original rendition and it works well. There is a killer jam later in the piece that includes both a keyboard solo and some seriously metallic moments.
Mule
This is a smoking hot instrumental. It seems to have at least one or two melodic nods to other acts. It’s part jam band, part prog and all killer hard rocking Deep Purple.
Beethoven's Ninth
Here we get a rocking take on a classical piece. They ramp it up scorching Deep Purple territory. Working through a number of shifts and changes this is another strong instrumental. This includes a Jon Lord keyboard solo segment in which he also works through several varying moods and modes. He also includes a different Beethoven piece and the audience sings along to that part at times. Some honky tonk piano later lends an old time rock and roll vibe. Some vaudeville music appears beyond that. A bit of “shave and a hair cut” ends it.
Knocking at Your Back Door

Lord’s keyboards start things off, continuing out from the previous piece. As Roget Glover’s bass enters, it brings something a bit extra to the table and we’re off into a killer version of another Deep Purple song I love. They throw in some serious jamming and alteration in the midst of this thing.

Anyone's Daughter
Here we get a less hard-edged tune. It’s more mainstream rock and, although a nice change, doesn’t really work as well as some of the rest to my ears.
Child in Time
I’m a huge fan of this song. To me it has always been a great combination of a progressive rock sound with psychedelic rock some early Pink Floyd and more classic Deep Purple. They put in a powerful, inspired performance here. They take it out into some different jams as they continue. At times it becomes a killer hard rock meets blues jam that’s very cool. Lord gets an organ solo in this thing and Blackmore solos all over it. After the seven and a half minute it gets brought back into the song proper.
Anya

There is an intricate and pretty extended instrumental introduction. From there they launch out into a jam that feels like it would have been at home on the Perfect Strangers album. There is a killer guitar solo led instrumental section later. Eventually it gives way to a mellow movement and the guitar is left by itself. There is some classical melody that emerges from that guitar before it drops away. The rhythm section returns and the cut builds its way back out from there. The jam works through several shifts and changes before landing back into the song proper.

Disc 2
Battle Rages On
The title track from what at the time was their latest disc, this is a smoking hot jam. It’s got all the classic Deep Purple trappings and includes some awesome soloing from both Blackmore and Lord. There are definitely some progressive rock like moments on this thing.
Lazy
With a smoking hot extended introduction, this Deep Purple classic is delivered in style. Harmonica brings some serious blues to the table and these guys just fire this thing up with killer instrumental interplay. Ian Paice gets a drum solo in the midst of this. There’s a quick reprise of the main theme at the end of the drum solo to end the piece.
In the Hall of the Mountain King
Another Deep Purple treatment of a classical piece, I’ve always loved the melody to this number. This is fairly short, but very cool.
Space Truckin'
Here’s a classic rendition of a Deep Purple classic. Although this is only two and a half minutes in length, it’s a real winner.
Woman from Tokyo
Although I’ve never really understood the high regard in which many hold this tune, this smoking hot live version really shows the full potential of the piece. The Ian Gillan screamfest here wears a little thin for me, though. Still, this is pretty short.
Paint It Black
Deep Purple tackle the classic Rolling Stones cut and it’s a great fit. They take it out from there into a killer jam that has a bit of a whirling dervish in at times. There’s some circus big top music during a keyboard dominated part of the musical excursion. 
Speed King
This old school Deep Purple tune gets a hard-edged live rendition here with a lot of instrumental exploration. It gets dropped back to a mellow movement, too. They include bits of several songs as they bring it back up into the rocking zone.
Hush

Another old-school classic Deep Purple tune gets performed here. While they seem to bring a little extra hard rocking “oomph” to the piece, they do seem to sacrifice a bit of the magic to get it. Still, this is pretty strong.

Smoke on the Water

It seems most bands with long careers have at least one song that got so much airplay that it kind of lost some of it’s charm because of the repetition. For Deep Purple, this is the one. Still, they can’t really do a show without playing it. They bring it in with a bit of a guitar solo introduction lending some bluesy charm. Blackmore even takes it into some classical guitar territory. This is an extended solo. In fact, it’s past the two and a half minute mark before the familiar guitar riff is heard and the band launch out into the song proper. There are some good instrumental moments in this. They drop it to a crowd singalong section. They bring it back to the song proper for a short reprise to end it. 

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