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Space Vol 1 & 2
The Highway Star

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Aachen 1970

This is the real thing - adrenalin-driven, no-frills, sweat-soaked live Purple. Often mentioned as one of the band's best shows of the time, there's a special kind of joy associated with holding this CD in your hands. The recording was originally released as a single LP bootleg in 1970, and this is the remastered officially released CD version. It is the first in a (hopefully very long) series of 70s Deep Purple bootlegs re-released on Purple Records in Sheffield, England.

A sense of danger and excitement permeates this CD. From Jon Lord's delicate classical snippets in "Wring That Neck", over Ian Paice's tour-de-force drum solo in "Paint It Black", to Blackmore's sonic barrage during the second half of "Mandrake Root", there's simply nothing quite like the raw power on offer here. The Aachen show features more than 70 minutes of high-powered Mark 2 from possibly one of their most vibrant eras. The show was taped two days before the excellent "Doing Their Thing" video (filmed in Manchester, England). While musical similarities between two shows of such close proximity is inevitable, the two recordings are still the perfect proof of Purple's explosive forever-changing live show.

CD booklet

Thanks to an extremely well done remastering, every instrument is crystal clear in the mix and the EQ'ing is next to perfect. Even Gillan's conga playing during "Mandrake Root" is very evident in the mix - a rarity in itself. The show was originally taped directly from the soundboard - or, according to legend, in a VW van driven under the stage! - so it's not your run-of-the-mill early 70s bootleg with more audience chatter than music. Gillan's vocals are overloaded in some places, but compared to the otherwise very fine balance between the instruments, and with the origin of the recording in mind, this is peanuts.

The digipack front is a faithful reproduction of the original artwork from the LP, and the entire package is tastefully kept in a semi-tatty design that only enhances the overall feel. The booklet contains liner notes with more details than you could ever dream of getting from any other Deep Purple archive/live CD label. (But maybe The Highway Star can get a mention next time...)

Original vinyl bootleg

Kudos to Simon Robinson and his crew for finally getting this (long overdue) series off the ground. The CD is only available from the DPAS and, as the cover states, "is for collectors only - mastered from original bootleg recordings. The sound quality is not comparable with normal CD releases." I dare you to miss it. Other announced shows in this series include Copenhagen 1972 and Long Beach 1971. Roll them on.

Garry Smith supplied us with an amazing transcript of the complete "Space Vol 1 & 2" - an incredible undertaking which lets you 'read the sound...'

Did you buy this? Please send us your review

Rasmus Heide

All photos from the CD booklet are © Purple Records.

This special last updated November 24, 2002


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