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Come Hell or High Water
The Highway Star

Tour Dates
Remembering the tour

Doug McBeath
Vince Palamara
Mark Franzman


Live and Rehearsals

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US Import CD


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Having been a die-hard Deep Purple fan for years, I have listened to albums, attended shows and screened videos of all of the line-ups, including the current DP with Steve Morse, and Rainbow with Ritchie Blackmore. Having seen so much of the band in all its various incarnations, I have to say that it is painfully obvious: Deep Purple is just NOT Deep Purple if Ritchie Blackmore is not part of the band. Period. It is hard not to get brainwashed when guitarists and fans start talking about how great Steve Morse is, and how much he fits the band, and how much more 'technical' a player he may be than Ritchie, but I ask you this: Would the Mona Lisa be a 'better' painting if someone used a computer to add melty clocks dripping off her? I don't think so! As is apparent from beginning to end, the chemistry of Ritchie in the band just sounds as right as rain. [Speaking of H2O... Rasmus] And if this can be said even during a concert with this much tension between the members, imagine this band at its best like on the landmark 'Made In Japan' - in fact, it is a shame some company doesn't restore and release the footage from 'Doing Their Thing' or 'Scandinavian Nights' on dvd, from about that time (1970-72). I own Deep Purple's 'Total Abandon' dvd featuring Steve Morse, and even though it has better, punchier sound and better lighting and many more features, it just doesn't SOUND like Deep Purple to me. The two tracks that show this disparity the most are 'Perfect Strangers' and 'Smoke On The Water'. Ritchie knows just what to play in these songs - I mean he wrote them, he felt them, he lived them - the Steve Morse versions of these songs are rushed, like it is a riff-race to the finish, and he even does fast scale-runs and artificial harmonics in between the supposedly 'simple' riff of 'Smoke'. And 'Perfect Strangers', a hauntingly beautiful, odd-time gothic riff is stripped of its cool, and sped thru technically by Morse, it is paint-by-numbers, and lacks the unstoppable, incessant strength of Ritchie's performance of the same song. Maybe this is unfair to Steve Morse, these aren't his tunes anyway, his strength as a guitarist is vastly different than Ritchie's darker, more renaissance quality - hard to qualify even by the best musicians. But seeing DP again with Ritchie, I felt again like I did in 1990 when they reunited and toured - and I forgot how it felt because I have been going to see the 'new' band for the last few years. [The band reunited in 1984, not 1990. Rasmus] But this dvd is the one to see - Deep Purple Mark II they call it, and it is the one true Purple. Get this dvd and enjoy!

Mike Franzman

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