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Made in Japan

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Average Rating
★★★★★
(57 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • I’m pretty sure that “Made In Japan” was my first live album. The first one I owned, I mean, I wasn’t in the band.

    I didn’t know a whole lot about Deep Purple…only “Smoke On The Water” would have rung a bell, I guess, but I really liked the album. Still do.
    Opening with the punding, up-tempo “Highway Star”, this is vintage Deep Purple. Richie Blackmore’s guitar and Jon Lord’s characteristic organ are vying for first chair, Purple had one of rock’s greatest vocalist in Ian Gillan, and a top-notch rhythm section in drummer Ian Paice and bassist Roger Glover.
    “Made In Japan” was recorded over three nights in 1972, and the band perform selections from “Deep Purple In Rock”, “Fireball”, and their highwater mark “Machine Head”. This may only be a seven-track album, but it runs for over 76 minutes, complete with numerous solos including a grand drum solo during “The Mule”.

    Blending thundering hard rock with strands of jazz, pop and classical music, Purple do a memorable 12-minute “Child In Time”, loose but effective renditions of “Strange Kind Of Woman” and “Smoke On The Water”, and a driving “Space Truckin’”.
    Deep Purple, and their excessive live albums in particular, may be a bit of an acquired taste…there is just as much organ here as there is guitar, and Ian Gillan’s vocals may seem hysterical to some. But “Made In Japan” is a must-have for Purple fans, of course, and while those who are merely curious should probably start off with a good compilation or the “Machine Head” album, you really should give this one a try as well. This colourful album has a lot to answer for….it played no small part in making hard rock and heavy metal what it is.

    Posted on November 27, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I feel compelled to review this record, in the hopes that I can express how much it means to me, and hopefully convince others to check it out..

    This was the second record I ever owned, the first being “Machine Head”, which stands out as one of my all time favorite studio records. Deep Purple’s lineup was absolutely top notch; all great musicians, all completely complimentary in style, coming together to make one unified, powerful greater whole. What could be greater than that album?

    When I brought home Made in Japan, and listened to Highway Star, I was flat-out floored. This was true power; a band at its creative and performing zenith. The band was the song; it was a killin’ machine, it had everything, I loved it, I needed it, it turned me on. For me, the very concept of rock and roll was given physical form by that recording. The energy, the interplay of the band, the awesome musical moments still amaze me, 33 years later.

    After this album, I judged every band by the quality of its live recordings. Few ever stood up to this effort, which took incredible raw material and somehow transformed it into near perfection.

    Highlights: Highway star (possibly the greatest live interpretation ever captured), Strange Kind of Woman (amazing dymnamics and a spectacular moment at the end when Ian Gillian screams solo, then sighs “Ooh my soul, I love you baby”, and screams again, as the band careens into the ending), Lazy, the first part of Space Truckin’ (prior to the extended jam – this is the only throwaway part of the record IMHO), Child in Time (an homage to their earliest recordings, and a Gillian showpiece).

    After hearing what is posible in a live recording like this, its mind-boggling that people let their favorite musicians get away with pre recorded live pieces or lip-syncing. Few bands have the chops and unified sense of identity that are on display on this album. Buy it and enjoy!

    Posted on November 27, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Deep Purple is the most underrated rock group. With that said, “Made in Japan” is the best rock live recording ever. I usually shy away from statements like that, but if one analyzes each song and the players, one might understand why I made this statement. Firstly, “Highway Star” is a grab-your-attention explosion that grips you from beginning to end. “Child in Time,” on the other hand, is like the slow build-up of magma before the volcanic explosive ending. “Smoke on the Water” is what it is – one of the best and most imitated songs of all time. “The Mule” showcases Paice’s unbelievable drumming capabilities. “Strange Kind of Woman” begins great, but I could do without Gillan’s whooping at the end of the song; it goes on for about 3 minutes too long. “Lazy” is an example of Blackmore’s spontaneity. “Space Truckin’” is, however, the premier song on the album. Twenty minutes of interaction between Lord and Blackmore is mind-blowing. Finding this album was like discovering a rare gem for me. The musicians are all on top of their game. Ian Gillan is the top vocalist from that era. Blackmore is intense and intensly creative. All of them give their best. If you have never listened to Deep Purple before, this is the album to introduce yourself to them. That’s how I did it.

    Posted on November 26, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I’m sorry to say that all that has come (and gone) our way on the hard rock scene since the 1968 – 1975 era has mostly been a combination of rubbish and recyclables. Which makes me very happy to travel back into time to the simpler but not happier era of 1972. It was a time when giants like Yes, Led Zeppelin, The Stones, The Who and Deep Purple ruled the arenas and the airwaves. A time when musicianship and innovation were reaching ever higher in pursuit of the lost power chords and mega-drum solos that legends are born from ….. . This album captures all that rock music can offer; the dazzling speed of Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar, the raw thunder of Roger Glover’s bass, the precision of Jon Lord’s organ, the sonic screams of Ian Gillian and the percussive genius of Ian Paice, hard rock’s finest drummer. When you listen to these songs, you are witnessing the birth of modern heavy metal and hard rock; you will never forget these explosive versions of ‘Smoke on the Water’, ‘Highway Star’, ‘Lazy’ and ‘Child in Time’. Never. The songs are as relevant today as they were when I first heard them as a teenager in New Mexico. The only other comparable live rock album would be Led Zeppelin’s ‘The Song Remains The Same.’

    Posted on November 26, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • THE BAND: Ritchie Blackmore (guitars), Ian Gillan (vocals), Jon Lord (keyboards), Roger Glover (bass), Ian Paice (drums & percussion).

    THE DISC: (1973) 2 vinyl albums now on 1 disc. 7 songs clocking in at approximately 77 minutes. Included with the disc is a 6-page booklet with original artwork and black & white photos, song titles, song times, and a brief 1-page intro. Songs recorded live in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. A new ‘25th Anniversary Edition’ 2-disc version is available as of 1998 – with digitally remastered sound and bonus tracks (and very much worth looking for)… an added 21 minutes featuring the songs “Black Night”, “Speed King” and “Lucille”. There is also a more complete (rare) 3-disc version availabe as well. Label – Warner Bros.

    COMMENTS: “Made In Japan” is perhaps one of the best live recordings of a hard rock / heavy metal act ever. Think of the other classic acts that had great live albums from the past… Peter Frampton, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Foghat, UFO, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Iron Maiden, etc. Outside of Kiss, I don’t think any of these recordings offer the full package of excellent sound quality/production, emotion, excitement, audience participation, and a great selection of songs. The audience was respectfully quiet during the songs and really let it out in between them. The slower parts of “Child In Time” – you can hear a pin drop. It’s interesting to listen, when “Smoke On The Water” is introduced by Gillan the crowd is silent… almost like they’re not sure what they’re about to hear. The 6 minute drum solo on “The Mule” was enthralling from Ian Paice – one of the best rock drummers EVER. Jon Lord’s keyboard work is 2nd to none. His best work on this album is on the songs “Lazy” and “Child In Time”. Seems that Lord and Blackmore had some great fun dueling back and forth. Some of the tunes, like “Strange Kind of Woman” and “Child In Time” sound better here than on the studio album. Gillan’s interaction with the audience at the end of “Strange Kind Of Woman” is priceless. Ritchie Blackmore’s trademark guitar sound and blistering solo’s are amazing. 7 total songs – short track list but 6 of the 7 songs are 9+ minutes or longer. Two songs (“The Mule”, Strange Kind Of Woman”) from “Fireball”; one song (“Child In Time”) from “In Rock”; and four from “Machne Head”. The album closer is the marathon “Space Truckin’” clocking in at just under 20 minutes. “Made In Japan” is a highlight reel of two great shows on the “Machine Head Tour” in ‘73. The only thing wrong with this original issue is that it’s just not long enough. Now, with the remastered “25th Anniversary” edition you can buy more of the show. Classic disc (5 stars).

    Posted on November 26, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now