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EMI box set
The Highway Star

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Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
Disc 4
Disc 5
Disc 6

Garry Smith

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Disc 3

all tracks are regular album versions except where noted

1. Mandrake Root (Stockholm Nov 11 1970)
The band charges into the song like there's no tomorrow, and Blackmore handles most of the very inspired lead work. First released on Scandinavian Nights in Europe (and Live And Rare in the States), this version is taken from a newly found four-track master, remixed in June 2002. The sound improvement is marginal, with Ian's vocals a bit more prominent on the new version.

Next are four of Deep Purple's much lauded BBC sessions, plus a short interview with Jon Lord discussing the merits of then current hit single Black Night. There's fire and brimstone excitement in these recordings which in some instances surpasses even the original studio versions.
2. Grabsplatter (BBC session Sep 23 1970)
Grabsplatter was first released as a single b-side in the 1980s, and it features the song structure and riff that eventually evolved into I'm Alone (off the Fireball Anniversary Remaster).
3. Child In Time (BBC session Sep 23 1970)
4. Jon Lord Interview (BBC session Sep 23 1970)
5. Black Night (BBC session Sep 23 1970)
6. Into The Fire (BBC session Sep 23 1970)

Hearing such an energetic new version of Into The Fire after 32 years is a treat - and Gillan's double tracked vocals are scary for their clarity.

7. Fools (Fireball outtake)
Featuring the whole band rehearsing an early version of Fools, this high quality recording reveals Ian Gillan improvising over unfinished lyrics. The naked power is staggering and the track provides a fascinating insight into how songs would evolve through jamming. A rough version of the quiet middle section features Ritchie's embryonic 'cello' section, before Ian starts ad-libbing and the tape ends as they get ready to build the song back up again. An absolute highlight of the box set.

8. Fireball
9. No One Came
10. Demon's Eye

Three tracks off the Fireball album. The remastering doesn't really reveal anything new - and Demon's Eye was faulty on my first disc.

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