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Deep Purple – Graz 1975

Back in 1975 DEEP PURPLE MK III were playing their final shows, with the majority of the band and the audience not even knowing. Ritchie Blackmore, unsatisfied with most tracks on the latest DEEP PURPLE album “Stormbringer” collaborated with singer Ronnie James Dio to record a solo single (which grew to an entire album) and finally took the decision to leave DEEP PURPLE and form a new band called RAINBOW. During a short touring break before the last of the planned dates, Blackmore informed the management about his decision to leave and the management took the opportinity to bring in the Rolling Stones mobile recording studio to capture the MKIII final shows taking place in Graz, Saarbrücken and Paris.

Graz 1975 cover; image courtesy of DP(o)

As the band didn’t break up after Ritchie Blackmore left and the rest of the band continued with Tommy Bolin, the live recordings weren’t published as intended and it took until October 1976 for at least some of the material (the majority taken from the Saarbrücken show) to be released on an heavily edited live album called “Made In Europe”. Another 20 years later, “MK III The Final Concerts” was released, using mostly recordings from Paris with additional five tracks from Graz. In 2001 the Paris show finally got a release in its entirety and another 13 years later the still unpublished songs “The Gypsy”, “Lady Double Dealer” and “Smoke On The Water” of the Graz show are finally released under the “The Official Deep Purple (Overseas) Live Series” banner.

While the disc starts with quite straight performances of “Burn” (DC: that was the title of the album “Burn”), “Stormbringer” (DC: this is the title of the last album), “The Gypsy” (GH: this one’s called “The Gypsy”) and “Lady Double Dealer” (GH: this is called “Lady double dealer”) the show changes from “Mistreated” (GH: it’s a blues song called “Mistreated”) on with the inclusion of less or more extensive and inspired solo parts. While most of the original MK III stuff is fun to listen to, especially “Smoke On The Water” (DC: this is a song from the album “Made In Japan”) with Glenn Hughes and David Coverdale singing against each other sounds horrible and the inclusion of “Georgia On My Mind” and “With A Little Help From My Friends” during the end of the song sounds misplaced.

It is also audible that Ritchie Blackmore sounds closer to the soon-to-follow RAINBOW-days than to the Mark II era, even including bits and pieces of the soon-to-be-released “Still I’m Sad” during the intro to “You Fool No One” (DC: a song called “You fool no one”). The album concludes with “Space Truckin'” (GH: a song which has been with us quite a while), another MK II tune which sounds mistreated by the MK III vocalists and some strange instrumental parts.

Although it’s good to see at least some new stuff being released from the vaults instead of a record company publishing the same things over and over again, it’s annoying this release of the Graz show is still incomplete and lacks the encores. Hopefully the final product will clarify the reason as the press info doesn’t even mention the show being incomplete.

34 Comments to “Deep Purple – Graz 1975”:

  1. 1
    NotACat says:

    Wasn’t “Smoke on the Water” originally from the “Machine Head” album?

  2. 2
    Michele Mick Ritchie Teso says:

    Highway from Graz cannot ne heard.awfull

  3. 3
    MacGregor says:

    The ‘Made In Europe’ lp was always enough for me of the MK3 lineup ‘live’ all those years ago! With the California Jam film also, I always felt I didn’t need to hear anything else from this lineup in a ‘live’ situation. A few weeks ago I listened to the Paris bits & pieces for the first time, mainly to hear Gypsy ‘live’! Now I know why I was content with the concerts that I had already owned.
    I suppose with the ‘Live In Europe’ recording, we don’t have to put up with the ‘banter’ for want of a better word, between the songs!
    I would have loved a ‘live’ version of Gypsy on the Live In Europe set, played a little slower of course!
    With much relief, Rainbow had kicked into gear thankfully & that is where my allegiance instantly transferred to! Cheers!

  4. 4
    Stephen James Smith says:

    “Black Sheep…” refers to Ritchie’s feelings about his position within Deep Purple at that time. Like the Murphy’s, he’s not bitter (much!)

  5. 5
    Karl Oberchristl says:

    ich war dabei…

  6. 6
    Cameron Jones says:

    Stormbringer is one of their best albums don’t understand Ritchie’s problem with the slbum

  7. 7
    Bram van Steenbergen says:

    Is there anybody in the world who understands Ritchie? But to me, he remains the greatest player of all times passing Hendrix Clapton, and you name them, with ease!

  8. 8
    Lynn Everett says:

    very good recordings by the best deep purple lineup

  9. 9
    Dis Guido says:

    Uncomplete…! F******FF

  10. 10
    matti says:

    Couldn’t agree more about those vocal mistreatments. Glenn’s vocal ‘improvisations’ during the end of SOTW in various MKIII and MKIV concerts are among the most disgusting and embarrassing moments of classic rock.

  11. 11
    Andreas Thul says:

    @NotACat: it was.

  12. 12
    Chip says:

    matti…all I can say is Amen. Hughes has some great recordings but I can only take live MK3 stuff for long because his screeching is embarrassing.

  13. 13
    purpledaniel says:

    If Highway Star sounds so bad, they maybe opted to left it and not to include Going Down, since it doesn´t add nothing splendid to the set list and thus reduce this release to a single disc edition.
    DP (O) hinted that Saarbrucken was on the way as well…

  14. 14
    purpledaniel says:

    Heard snippets on Amazon Germany. Sounds fairly decent to me.

  15. 15
    Deeperpurps says:

    Mark III doing their own material live was absolutely superb. I have the MK III: The Final Concerts 2 CD set and I do find the Graz show’s versions of Mistreated, You Fool No One, Burn and Stormbringer to be simply excellent. In fact they are just as good, if not better than those found on the Made in Europe album. The vocals treatments on all those songs were very appropriate too, as both singers had a hand in creating them. Their interpretations of their own songs live were fine ones indeed. I must say I don’t care so much for DC & GH’s vocals on the Mark II songs, but on the other hand the instruments on them are stellar.

    I am looking forward to hearing the Graz version of Gypsy, one of the best songs on the Mark III catalogue.

  16. 16
    Clive Robey says:

    Quite agree with all the GH knockers. What exactly was the point of Georgia on my Mind on the end of Smoke? There is no natural link. And just to stir things up, he ruined Catch the Rainbow on the Ronnie album, the oohs and aahs add nothing. “Look at me, I can make a high note’. And as for his warblings at the Jam, that’ll be on fast forward on the DVD. And this is not a recent problem, he was wrong for DP from the start. Although I will concede he is a good bass player. He just needs to keep his gob shut.

  17. 17
    MichaelKlaube says:

    According to:


    there was no encore!!!

    Just have a look over there:)

  18. 18
    Adrian says:

    Stormbringer is a mighty fine hard rock rhythm’n’ Blues soul infused album. It’s one of their most diverse , most ‘American’ sounding album. Ritchie went on to release his first Rainbow album,which has maybe 3 good songs on it. Come taste the band, especially in hindsight is a major hard rock album, that withstood the test of time (Kevin shirley remix is awesome) and is a monumentl legacy to the MK IV version of the band.

  19. 19
    Andreas Thul says:

    @MichaelKlaube: please have a look at the July 10 entry on the URL you’re referring to – the setlist was edited using the Amazon tracklisting of the CD as source.

  20. 20
    MichaelKlaube says:

    @Andreas Thul:

    Yeah, you’re right!!!
    What a bogus:)

  21. 21
    MacGregor says:

    Deeperpurps @ 15 – I agree totally, I don’t watch ‘Smoke’ on the Cal Jam because of the vocal mess. But Space Trucking I can sort of handle at times, although I have fast forwarded past those first few minutes many times also, to get to the masterful instrumental playing & Blackmore’s devastating playing & antics! Brilliant Purple!
    As I only ever owned the Live In Europe lp, I guess I only enjoyed those MK3 songs & the fact there isn’t any Mark 2 on it! It isn’t Coverdale I cringe at, it is the usual suspect, Hughes as always it seems! Gypsy is one of that lineups greatest songs, it has a very Rainbow feel to it! I will have a listen to this ‘new’ release to hear something like Gypsy, hopefully played not as fast as that Paris version.
    I know it may seem strange that I have never listened to any other MK3 live recordings until a few weeks ago. That Paris recording for some reason I have never felt inclined to listen to. I always felt that the 2 live recordings of MK3 that I always had, was sufficient in many ways! Cheers.
    Clive @ 16 – I don’t know if we are Hughes knockers, it’s just that we cannot handle him ruining Purple or Rainbow songs with his ‘no vocal’ antics. He is a fine bass player & I really like his vocals on Iommi’s Seventh Star album, But I was disappointed with his performance on the Fused album! I cringed when H & H had Hughes as one of the lead vocalist after Dio passed away, at that one off gig in England I think it was! Why? Hughes trying to sing Dio is a No No! Iommi & Butler should have known better!
    I agree with your comments & I have never listened to him trying to sing any Rainbow, I already know what he will do to those classic songs, ruin them! I made the ‘mistake’ of watching the 3 songs at the Jon Lord memorial gig, hoping against hope that Hughes would just sing the songs as they are originally! I loathed it & he has ruined those songs also IMO. It has sadly come to the conclusion that if you want a Purple or Rainbow song ruined, let Hughes at it! Cheers.

  22. 22
    nupsi59 says:

    The Mk III incarnation did two studio-albums: the fresh and mighty “Burn” and “Stormbringer” with the all-time-fav “Soldier of Fortune”.

    The live-performances of Mk III never impressed me, with one exception: Ritchie’s soloing in “Highway Star” in Paris!
    The Lord/Hughes soundcarpet on this song is surprisingly good!

    Have a nice day!

  23. 23
    Les Hedger says:

    I didn’t mind Hughes on the studio albums. His vocals on “Holy Man” and “This Time Around” are excellent, but live, Space Truckin, and later, Getting Tighter build up steam and hit a groove, only to be derailed by his solo section. His work with Trapeze is him at his best. He should have stayed with them as they were just catching on when he left to join DP.

  24. 24
    Deeperpurps says:

    MacGregor @ 21. A couple of other Mark III live albums worth checking out are Live in London 1974 (at Gaumont Kilburn), and Live in San Diego 1974.

    As always, its the differences in each song that come from Purple’s knack for improvisation that make each concert special and unique. I think in the case of the San Diego concert, one of the truly definitive versions of Mistreated was done there. The guitar work is very tasty.

  25. 25
    MacGregor says:

    Deeperpurps @ 24- I remember seeing the Live In London album in the record stores many years ago, but I am not familiar at all with the San Diego record! I might have a scan online now & see if I can locate that Mistreated version. What a Purple classic that song is! Cheers.

  26. 26
    MacGregor says:

    Deeperpurps @ 24 – Thanks for the return of a long lost memory. My older brother used to own the ‘Perks & Tits’ bootleg lp back in 75, we used to play it incessantly. I had forgotten all about it, it looks like the San Diego gig, possibly? Listening to it now, first time in nearly 40 years, sheeesh! Cheers.

  27. 27
    Deeperpurps says:

    Hi MacGregor @26,,,yes you are correct- its Perks & Tit. It was re-released in 2007 by Sonic Zoom Records as Deep Purple Live in San Diego 1974 Official Archive Collection. The sound is not as clean as on the other more official releases, but it does contain some very nice versions of the Mark III catalogue.

  28. 28
    purpledaniel says:

    The Live in Sweden 75 boot shows the band in much better form than the last 3 MK III concerts do. It is a pity that no recordings were made from the late 74 US tour, when they started promoting Stormbringer. In the meantime, let´s hope that those UK 74 soundboards are released some day…

  29. 29
    Gregory J Cummings says:

    Glad I’m not the only one who thinks Glenn’s wailing makes one cringe. I hope I don’t sound like that when I die.

  30. 30
    Mitch says:

    Thought the album was ok….more of the same, paicey sounds great, as does Ritchie and Jon, only got it as it’s purple…..once a fan always a fan…xx

  31. 31
    Angus Van Frehley says:

    This kills. Love the way Blackmore finds a way to turn the riffs around and add tasty fills into each song, keeping it fresh. The only thing about Hughes that annoys is his tendency to over-emote with that high scream of his. That, (like Zakk Wylde’s pinch harmonics) should be used much more sparingly. Hughes is a fine soulful singer in his own range without having to go over the top so often.

    Coverdale shines. That rhythm section, one of the finest in hard rock history, cooks as always.

    R.I.P. the masterful Jon Lord. Any fan of any era of live Purple must hear and own this excellent set.


  32. 32
    SMD says:

    After listening to this Album, I can fully understand why Ritchie Blackmore wanted to leave the band.
    I don’t know exactly which contribution Mr. Hughes made to the production of the two last MK III albums in the Studio, but his Live-cooperation is rather disgusting.
    It’s a shame that someone with a complete other music approach did ruin the future of a great band.
    I read his bio, only concluding he’s somewhat proud of his drug-related history.

    It must have been a great disappointment for Jon Lord to experience his band leaving the right track.
    On top of that, the third strophe of Space Truckin’ proves painfully that David Coverdale can’t replace Ian Gillan, with the execption of Cal Jam apr-74 (thx to Ritchie, Jon and the magic of the event),
    the only DEEP PURPLE setup which really made the name, was indeed… MK II

  33. 33
    Michiel says:

    Finally bought the album & I like it. Nice bass solo in Space Truckin’. But… where is the drum solo in You Fool No One??

  34. 34
    erika says:

    for completists only,…..I bought the MK III final concerts and all those things are already there

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