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Made In Japan: The Remastered Edition

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(41 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • Why, you might ask, is a lover of Jamaican reggae and ska, and of 70s Black American music, writing a review of a heavy metal band?

    Well firstly because I love music of all types, and secondly, quite simply because this is the best live recording of any genre that money can buy!

    It is THE definitive live album bar none, and one that every serious lover of music must have in their collection. It documents one of those once-in-a-lifetime occasions when a group of people come together (and here I must include the recording engineer and the audience) and produce something really special. This is metal’s finest moment and one Deep Purple or indeed any other hard rock/metal band have never managed to equal, let alone surpass.

    Here is an album that somehow manages to capture what most live recordings don’t. It hasn’t been fiddled with later in the studio so play it loud through a set of headphones and you are there. Sure, everything may be louder than everthing else but that does not mean that any one instrument drowns out any other. The recording engineer did a fantastic job in this respect – truly amazing given its thirty-four year vintage.

    As for the content, yeah, some of the solos went on a bit by today’s standards, but then the likes of Blackmore and Paice (who incidentally as a drummer I rate just marginally behind the truly great and highly creative Ginger Baker) were so damn good as musicians that they had every right to be a bit self-indulgent. That said, I think Ian Paice could have demonstrated his prowess on the drums in two minutes rather than six or seven. Space Truckin’ also goes on way too long and the quality of recording is not as good as the other tracks. But I quibble.

    These were real musicians playing real musical instruments before a live audience, nothing else, – surely what rock music was supposed to be all about! Gillan gets the vocal balance just right, Lord is the only person in the history of rock music that can get one of those god-awful ’70s organs to sound anywhere decent, while Glover drives the whole thing along with a good thumping bass. These guys played so well that you have to keep reminding yourself that this is a live album. That’s the difference between truly professional musicians and all the other the second-raters. Listen to Blackmore about five and a half minutes into “Child in Time” and you’ll see what I mean. I don’t care what genre it is, to hear someone play any instrument as well as this before a live audience is quite simply awe-inspiring!

    The second CD in the remastered set is a bit of a waste of space however. The tracks are fine as pieces of musicianship go, but the sound quality is very poor and no amount of remastering can make them better. Still, as it’s a bonus it shouldn’t detract from the overall rating. They must have been the tracks rejected the first time around.

    So there you have it. If you are a next generation metalhead and haven’t heard this, I suggest that you fork over the few bucks and invest in a bit of metal history. Bands like this are where it all started. Play it a few times, compare it to today, and then like me you’ll probably wonder where it all went wrong!

    Posted on February 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This is the only live document of Mark 2 Deep Purple you’ll ever need. The superb improvisational skills of each member of the band are constantly on display; these are long sprawling jams travelling at breakneck speed. I can’t even begin to describe how enjoyable this record is to listen to. Sure, these songs are incredibly long but excess was what hard rock in the 1970s was all about. Each band member shines here.

    There is one thing about this package that is a little bit confusing, though. Even though I do own the 25th Anniversary Edition, the edition I own contains remastered versions of the studio tracks played here live. I have looked but I can’t seem to find it. That’s a good thing, however. I felt the studio tracks were somewhat unnecessary and detracted from the whole experience, anyway. Buy this set now, especially because it doesn’t have the annoying and somewhat superfluous remastered studio tracks.

    What’s the long and the short of all this, I hear you ask? It is that no self-respecting hard rock fan or Deep Purple fan should be without this set. 100% classic!

    Posted on February 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • oh yeah….THIS is why I always liked Purple more than Led Zep, nothing against Zep mind you. This has got to be one of the all time great live recordings by a rock band. For me, ‘Highway Star’ says it all. This version makes the one on MACHINE HEAD pale by comparison, and that WAS a good version! They are simply firing on all cylinders on this track, the big Purple sound in all its glory.

    Jon Lord is one of my all time favorite Hammond players, he just makes the damn thing breath fire. His playing on this track and CD just goes to confirm why the Hammond organ, in the right hands, is one of the greatest instruments ever created. It is such a powerful instrument and Lord takes full advantage. He was the X factor in this band, the perfect compliment to Blackmore’s fiery guitar work, what a duo! Gillan’s voice is in great form and what can I say about Ian Paice on drums, one of my favorite drummers ever since I was turned on to the IN ROCK recording way back when. And of course, Roger Glover is the glue that holds it all together. For me, they just don’t make bands like this anymore. The MKII version remains one of my favorite bands beacuse I loved the songs and they had the musical chops to back it up. THIS is what good, solid hard rock music is all about. Oh yeah, one of the highlights of my life was to actually meet and talk with Ritchie Blackmore back in the 80’s. Crank this bad boy up and stand back, no turkey is served here, LONG LIVE PURPLE!!!

    Posted on February 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Arguably one of the best live documents from one of the best hard rock bands ever. It has never sounded better having finally been remastered. Sure some of the songs stretch out a little (well some more than a little ie “Space Truckin”), but that’s what makes this album so great. The band uses the studio versions to springboard into some of the finest rock jams ever put on tape. If you have the 2 lp vinyl set (and I know you’re out there), definitely upgrade to this cd version. Every rock collection needs & deserves this album, I hope my review can give you the nudge toward the “add to cart” button.

    Posted on February 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • It really irritates me when people say that heavy metal is the only style of music that Deep Purple were good at. Sure, they may have mastered that style more than any other, but most people seem to be ignorant of the fact that Purple could play blues and jazz EXCELLENTLY. C’mon people, these lads were way too talented to be reduced to ‘just heavy metal’. Anyway, this album may very well be the greatest live rock album ever. Each member of the band are at their best on this one, especially Ritchie. The intensity level is off the page.”HIGHWAY STAR”: Twice as monstrous as the studio original. Gillan spits out the lyrics like a madman, while the rest of the band chugs along at a breakneck pace. Contains some of Ritchie’s awesome finger-flashing at the end, which totally obliterates the studio version.”CHILD IN TIME”: This is Deep Purple’s unparalleled masterpiece. But Gillan’s vocals on this version aren’t nearly as good as they usually were. But Ritchie makes up for it with a jazzy solo that must be heard to be believed. I personally love the part where he keeps playing the same chord sequence over and over until you think you’re gonna burst if he doesn’t stop! And he does it so fast, and without making a single mistake. Ritchie is unreal.”SMOKE ON THE WATER”: Their most famous song, mainly because of the legendary guitar riff, which sounds even more powerful on this version. This is the riff that inspired a generation. Features a cool guitar/organ competition at the end, in which Ritchie and Jon try to outdo each other. Ritchie’s solo is also awesome.”THE MULE”: Ian Paice is the greatest drummer that ever lived, just a shade above Ginger Baker. His drum solo on this song will convince you.”STRANGE KIND OF WOMAN”: This is unquestionably the best song on the album. Ritchie’s blues licks have never been better. In particular, listen to the second solo, where he builds up the tension and then releases it in a stunning climax. It’s like an orgasm. It may be the best solo he’s ever played. And this is also the song that features the famous guitar/vocal competition. Gillan mimics Blackmore’s notes so perfectly that it’s downright scary.”LAZY”: Features an organ intro that just boggles the mind. Cool harmonica from Gillan and excellent licks from Blackmore.”SPACE TRUCKIN’”: Overrated. The long, instrumental section is definitely not Purple at their best. But it’s still interesting.All in all, this is a must-have for any hard rock lover. A journalist for Kerrang! Magazine once wrote, and I quote, “There are moments on this album that have never been beaten in the history of rock music”. That pretty much says it all.Oh, and the bonus tracks aren’t really that great. But this re-mastered version is still worth buying, mainly for the superb sound quality.

    Posted on February 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now