Made in Japan 25 - a review
This is the next in line in the 25th Anniversary Edition series. I have
mixed feelings about it, and I'll try to explain why. It's a 2-CD set. The
first disc is the original 2-LP set, remastered, sounding better than the
hitherto available CD, but no better than the luxurious "Live In Japan" 3CD
set from 1993. The second CD includes the encores missing from
aforementioned 3CD set, so between that and this new one, one has the full
Japanese concerts from August 1972 that for me changed the way live albums
were perceived, or indeed conceived.
Wait, this is not strictly true : in the liner notes of the 3CD edition, it says : "Of the three takes of Black Night, the one issued as a single (which comes from the Tokyo gig) can be found on 'Singles A's & B's', we picked the better for th eremaining two, from the first night in Osaka". Well on this new MiJ, the version of Black Night is unmistakably the one "issued as a single", unedited and with the original beginning tacked at the, er, beginning, but it *is* that one. So there's still one Black Night missing, even after 5 CDs worth of material. I think we should be told why.
Anyway, Lucille (August 16) is a competent enough version, but it does show
the band is tired and it's a far cry from the mayhemic version found on "In
Concert". The real treat is Speed King from the Tokyo concert on August 17.
This is one of the best versions committed to tape. Frenetic, with great
interplay and incredible vocals! About 2 minutes into the song, Ian G.
presumably spots security harrassing the audience, completely stops singing
and yells at the bouncers-seconds later a loud crash is heard, which can
only come from a mic stand making contact, and a huge cheer from the
audience. You can't really describe this, it's an electric moment,
illustrating the sheer unpredictability and danger of a Purple show.
In a nutshell, the musical contents of this new MiJ cannot be faulted. It's still, 25 years on, the yardstick by which all live LPs should be judged. Th epackaging I've no idea about, it's a generic EMI 'advance listening CD'. I just wish I knew where that second Osaka Black Night is... ;-)
Stathis N. Panagiotopoulos
Deep Purple Appreciation Society, Greece
P.O. Box 50322, Thessaloniki 54013,Greece
Another review by a strange unknown reviewer