||Deep Purple live albums||
Welcome to Jim Collins' checklist of Deep Purple live albums. Based on his own collection of official as well as unofficial material, Jim gives detailed information on what is actually a rather comprehensive collection of live Deep Purple. Therefore it also offers a good glimpse of the live albums out there worth looking for.
Navigation: Use the links on the left to jump to the individual tours or scroll down. Some of the album sleeves can be found in our image archive
1968 Shades Of Deep Purple / Book Of Taliesyn tour
Inglewood 10/18/68 (October 18, 1968)
Review: A very interesting performance, and an essential item in any serious Deep Purple fan's collection. While the sound is not soundboard quality, it is very, very good considering the situation. This has finally been cleaned up and released officially, as an official bootleg on the Sonic Zoom label. While all the songs lack the polish of the studio versions, they make up for it in sheer energy, something which would become a Purple trademark. Overall it's a better show than one would expect, considering the many negative comments made about Rod Evans' voice live. Actually it's Ritchie who tends to wander, with a surprising lack of direction in his solos. The whole band is very good, but the interplay between the musicians isn't nearly as good as the MkII line-up would become. One to have though, as it's the only (so far) MkI live release.
1969-70 Mark 2 first tours
Crash Landing (August 24, 1969) CDR (49:33)
Review: This is considered to be one of the essential DP boots, as it's the earliest known MkII performance in existence. Kneel And Pray is Speed King with different lyrics, the arrangement is still being sorted out, and Ritchie's guitar doesn't appear until halfway through the track. Despite this it's an energetic performance and the band sounds great. Child In Time sounds much like the studio version that would appear almost a year later on In Rock, but still has the keyboard solo in the middle which didn't appear on the studio version. Wring That Neck is short compared to later marathon versions, but is a blistering performance nonetheless. Paint It Black is Paice's chance to show off and is essentially a vehicle for his drum solo. Sound wise, Crash Landing is supposed to be the worst of several Paradiso bootlegs. It's true the sound isn't very good, but a very nice listen to hear Mk II in it's embryonic stage. For a MUCH better sound, see below.
Ritchie's Blues (August 24, 1969) CDR (54:44)
Review: Considered to be the best sounding Paradiso boot, Ritchie's Blues is infinitely better than Crash Landing. It's a superb look at early MKII, and surprisingly clear considering the age of the recording. Mandrake Root is cut shortly into Lord's solo and fades out, but other than that it's a fantastic show. Kneel And Pray shows the band had a fairly clear vision of what they wanted Speed King to sound like from the beginning. A little fine tuning on the lyrics and a tightening of the arrangement and a year later it appeared on In Rock in all it's manic glory. It's kind of odd hearing the band play a blistering set and not hear any audience response though. Gillan makes reference to the nice smell coming from the audience, so apparently the crowd was pleasantly sedated.
In Perfect Harmony (August 24, 1969 + BBC Sessions*)
Review: A grab bag of stuff, nice for the long Mandrake Root (Which isn't all from Paradiso, the second half is from Aachen 1970) and a bunch of Mk I and Mk II BBC sessions. As far as I know, the entire Paradiso Mandrake Root isn't available on any boot, so this is a nice listen despite the edit. The BBC stuff is nice as well, and of decent quality, so it's a nice boot to have.
Concerto For Group And Orchestra (September 1969) CD
Review: This one took a little getting used to when I was a kid, but over the years I've tended to grow very fond of it. Gillan sings like an dream here, the band is awesome and Jon's score leads to some very interesting interplay between the band and orchestra. An acquired taste nonetheless. The earliest official release of MkII live, with great versions of Hush, Wring That Neck and Child in Time (which wouldn't make it's recorded debut until almost a year later). The original LP only featured the Concerto, the band's three song set first became available on the Powerhouse LP in 1977.
In Concert CD#1 (February 19,1970) CD (55:05) Includes DJ talk
Review: An excellent show, recorded for the BBC, so the sound is very good. The band shows great restraint due to the time limit set by the BBC, but that doesn't stop them from just smoking here! My all time favorite version of Wring That Neck features some Blackmore guitar pyrotechnics that have to be heard to be believed. Ritchie and Jon push each other to higher and higher plateaus and the sheer energy will literally melt your speakers, not to mention what affect it will have on your mind. Another essential live release for a collection, but then there are few DP live releases not worth owning. By this time the band were already a legend on the concert circuit, and while the studio LP's didn't capture the magic yet, the live shows certainly did. This one is part of a two CD set, with the other show a killer 1972 set. The original 2LP set did not feature the DJ chat and had a different running order.
Berlin 1970 (March 30, 1970)
Review: A very muddy, noisy, but essential boot. This is a somewhat legendary performance, recorded in that magical time when the new line-up was finding their musical footing. Mixing an amazing variety of influences into a heady sonic brew that sounds as unbelievable today as it did then. Keith Emerson (still with The Nice) joins the band on piano for the oldies encore of Walking On Down The Line and Lucille!
1970-71 In Rock tour
Space Vol. 1 & 2 (July 11, 1970) (also known as Sonic Zoom)
Review: This is a legendary show, for good reason. It's simply stunning! After floating around trading circles for years, under a variety of titles and varying quality, it's been cleaned up and released as an "official bootleg". It's the first of a proposed series of classic Purple live bootlegs scheduled to be cleaned up and officially issued with the permission of the band and management. Not only one of the earliest examples of a MkII show, it also clearly demonstrates the birth of the legendary Purple live shows. The entire band is cooking here, with Jon Lord in particular displaying his dazzling virtuosity on the keys. One of the earliest bootleg rock albums, so it has historical significance as well.
Gemini Suite Live (September 1970) CD...44:35
Review: Your preference for this type of thing will determine whether or not you like this one. I like it, although I'm not a big fan of orchestral music per se. The bands spots are very well done, and Ritchie's solo is stunning in it's aggression and speed.
Scandinavian Nights (November 12,1970) 2CD Setlist running order
incorrect, proper order [ ].
Review: MKII was well into their second year when this was recorded, and it shows here. The band is extremely tight, and move through long instrumental passages with the precision of a surgeon. Whether this is your cup of tea or not depends on how well you like long jams. If you're a fan of jamming, you might think you've gone to heaven on this one. If you're a song oriented person, you may doze off during Blackmore and Lord's sonic excursions into Deep space. Check out the song lengths above to get an idea exactly what these guys were all about onstage in the early days. This is the only officially released example of those heady days, when the instrumental jams went on through the night, and Gillan found ways of entertaining himself with female fans under pianos (onstage!) to pass the time. This is the beginning of what is probably the most creative and groundbreaking period in the band's history.
Heidelberg 1970 (November 28, 1970)
Review: Another really muddy, noisey bootleg from the early days. Most of these are only of interest to hard core fans, because frequently the sound is so bad you won't listen to it more than once or twice. Here we find the band just smoking onstage again, as they rip through the standard In Rock era setlist. Lots of improvisation, with both Child In Time and Mandrake Root demonstrating why the band was quickly becoming legendary as a live act.
Liverpool 1971 (January 30, 1971)
Review: A ripping show from the pre- Fireball era, featuring early takes of The Mule (no drum solo!) and Strange Kind Of Woman. This is one of the earliest live versions of SKOW, but the legendary guitar/vocal duel is just beginning to be worked out. Great improvisations all the way around, this was a particularly experimental time in the bands development. Soundwise it's nothing to write home about, but the sonic feast contained here is worth the listen.
Oldenburg '71 (April 7,1971) CD (67:37)
Review: One of the transitional shows from the period as the older MkI numbers were being phased out and replaced by newer material. Speed King is very energetic, but the sound doesn't really clear up until SKOW. Paicey's drums never really come up in the mix, but for a bootleg the sound is pretty good. Mandrake seems to have a couple of small breaks in it, but overall a very good show. Ritchie is having a good night, and is just amazing in places. Even though the setlist was unchanging, the band managed to make the songs sound completely different night to night. Back to back listens to the April/May European tour boots show the band making the songs fresh, exciting and new each time they play them.
Live In Offenbach (April 10, 1971) 2CDR
CD2: ( 44:43)
Review: A classic bootleg, however the CD has been pressed running a little fast. A lot of hiss, but that's normal for the 70's era boots. Performance wise, the band is just great as usual. The 18+ minute Child In Time is a joy, with Ritchie and Jon once again trading licks and generally pushing the envelope as far as they can here. The intro with Gillan yodeling is a classic, and something I'd heard about but never experienced until now. These were the days before the band pared the set back to 90 minutes, and there seemed to be no limit to their creative energies. I re-recorded this at the correct speed by playing it on my DVD player, which has a speed adjustment. I then recorded it on my burner. The hiss was reduced somewhat and the show sounds great. One of my favorite older boots.
Danish Yodel-Beware! (April 24, 1971) 2CDR
Review: While this has been available for awhile, it's only recently that the complete show has become available. A very nice and clean sounding bootleg, it catches the band on a good night. The show gets off to a rough start when the power goes off at the beginning of Speed King. Paicey saves the day with an impromptu drum solo to occupy the crowd while the power is restored. The band works hard to overcome the delay once the power is back on, and they succeed in spades. Great jams and other than the tapers running out of tape a couple of times, an excellent show. Probably among the best sounding of the 70's era boots. Little or no tape hiss and a bright and clear sound. One minor complaint would be Blackmore is a little too far back in the mix at times, but that's just the nature of the beast when it comes to boots.
Berlin '71 (May 21, 1971) CDR (74:21) Not a complete show. First song
Review: An incomplete show, but noteworthy for the way it begins. "That was Speed King" Gillan says. You can hear the people around the bootleggers talking, then Gillan says very loudly "Excuse me, but can you tell me what that microphone's for?" Then click, and the next thing you know, the band is beginning Child In Time! Again, a very hissy tape, but the band apparently got very energized playing in Germany, because all of the boots from the German leg of the tour are great. A long version of Child In Time is the highlight here, with everyone's performance just immaculate. The setlist appears to be all wrong, so the bootleggers probably mixed things up to get it onto vinyl.They also edited out Paice's drum solo, making this the shortest version of Paint It Black to appear on a DP boot. One of the more frantic versions of Mandrake Root appears on this one as well. One of the longest early versions of Black Night closes out the show, running over 9 minutes, with Blackmore, Lord and Gillan trading off screams, guitar licks and keyboard pyrotechnics in a frenzied conclusion. Amazing stuff!
Turn Around (August 30, 1971) CDR (68:37)
Review: A great, storming show from California that shows the band on top of their game. While all 4 tracks are excellent, once again Child In Time stands out as nothing short of phenomenal. A few breaks in Mandrake Root, but another great show to have. I believe it's the earliest US bootlegged MkII show to appear as well. Soundwise it's very good, and the Glover/Paice rhythm section just thunders along. It's this period of Purple history that shows began reaching a legendary, almost mythical status. MkII made some waves on this side of the Atlantic almost a year after Europe got wise, but it took until 1972 before the band starting making real progress over here. It was shows like this that resulted in Fireball charting at #32, compared to In Rock's pitiful peak at #143.
1972 Fireball / Machine Head tour
Cold Spring Essen (Essen, Germany February 12, 1972)
Review: Now, the sound on this boot is very muddy, BUT, it's an excellent example of the transitional period between Fireball and Machine Head. The Mk I songs are all gone now, and the band has solidified into a monster live machine. One of the few examples of No No No live, it's also one of the last versions of Child In Time to feature the keyboard solo and the dazzling guitar/keyboard trade-offs that had become a trademark DP sound. When it was reintroduced into the sets for the Machine Head tour, it followed the studio version much closer and thus was much shorter than the mammoth 20+ minute versions of past tours. This is also one of the earliest representations of Space Truckin' as it was developed into the set closing jam, replacing Mandrake Root. It is not complete however, starting just after the first chorus.
Wolverhampton 2/20/72 (February 20, 1972) 2CDR
Review: A great sounding show from the 1972 tour, featuring an early version of Lazy, which effectively replaced No No No in the setlist. Another great transitional show of the Fireball/Machine era, this one has much better sound than the Essen show. As with all the early 1972 shows, the performances are uniformly excellent. Did they ever play as loosely and cohesively as this again? They sound like they're still having a lot of fun onstage, so the storm clouds were still off in the distance at this time.
Black Night In Denmark (March 1, 1972) 2CD
CD 2: (50:16)
Review: This bootleg is from the 1972 Scandinavian Nights video, NOT to be confused with the Scandinavian Nights audio set from 1970. An excellent set, which is a much more appreciated listen, then it was to watch, due to poor camera work. Since it's copied from an official source, the sound is much better than most older bootlegs. While it is in mono, at least it's clear and clean, although the bass is low throughout the first half of the set. The bootleggers rearranged the running order for some reason, and did a bad job of it as well. Still, a great listen and a good show. Lazy is particularly good here, and one of the true pleasures to watch on the video. Ritchie smiling across the drum kit at Gillan, Glover and Lord, while he toys with the opening riff is a sight that makes the heart ache, for everything that was and was about to be. Musically, a flawless show and a rare (only?) appearance of Fireball live on an official recording. Child In Time, Lazy, and a long Space Truckin' are the highlights, but the whole show is good. Very important example of the transitional Fireball/Machine Head period. Three tracks from Fireball (well, SKOW was on the US LP), three from the upcoming Machine Head release, Child In Time and Black Night from the In Rock era and Lucille thrown for fun. A great set, with lots of energy and the band appearing to be having a blast.
In Concert CD#2 (March 9, 1972)
CD (75:18) Includes DJ chat between songs
In Concert (March 9, 1972) CD (56:15) Same as vinyl release, no DJ chat
Review: CD#2 of the BBC In Concert set. The above two shows are from the same night, but the top one is supposed to be the complete show in the correct running order. The second show is a bootleg of the BBC vinyl release, which had two songs edited off, no DJ chat and a different running order. My vinyl of the radio show features all the songs, some of the DJ chat, and yet another running order! As a musical statement, this is as good as it gets. The band is awesome here, and despite some flubs in Never Before and Maybe I'm A Leo, this is one of the finest hours in the bands entire history. The worldwide debut of THE riff, this is believed to be the first live performance of Smoke On The Water. Also rare outings of Maybe I'm A Leo and Never Before. Both are a little rough, but powerful nonetheless. While the show lacks the brutal intensity of Made In Japan, it is an awesome display of power wielded with grace. Just go buy it!
1972 Machine Head tour
Live In Japan (3
CD set of Japanese leg of Machine Head tour)
CD #1 (August 15, 1972) CD (76:20)
CD #2(August 16, 1972) CD (78:33)
CD #3 (August 17, 1972) CD (75:49)
Review: The source of material for the legendary Made In Japan release, this 3 CD set made available to Purple fans the bulk of the material recorded over the three nights Purple played in Japan for the first time. An amazing journey from the first night in Osaka to the last night in Tokyo, this is some of the band's finest and most intense playing ever caught on tape. Crystal clear production and some creative engineering make this a very enjoyable listen, BUT, it doesn't have the raw, primal punch of the original MIJ. Roger's bass is all but inaudible in places. Great sound other than that, but a big deal when you're talking about a band like this. Like the April/May '71 boots, this is an excellent chance to hear the band on back to back nights and compare shows.
Made In Japan (August 15-17, 1972) CD (77:00)
Review: Devastating. Simply devastating. A mind melting assault that just pummels one's senses into jelly. Seriously kids, this is bludgeoning stuff. A powerful and menacing release that rattled windows, shook the floors and generally turned people that lived in my house or rode in my car into fans or crazy. Sometimes both. From the opening warp speed assault of Highway Star, through the sledgehammer riff fest of Strange Kind Of Woman, to the closing sonic mayhem of Space Truckin', this is a testament of power that has stood the test of time. The most essential of all DP releases. Period.
Made In Japan - The Remastered Edition 2CD
CD2 - The Encores (21:44)
Review: The greatest live album in history just got better. Crisper, cleaner, brighter, and without losing a bit of the majesty and power that made it a classic then and remain a classic now. Beefed up with a second CD of previously unreleased encores, it provides a more complete picture of the 1972 Japanese tour than previously available in the US. (An edited version of the live Black Night was available as a B-side, but this is the first complete release of that version) One change made was the splicing together of the tracks, so instead of fading out between songs, they run continuously like one show. This is more annoying than complimenting to the listener, as the applause from the previous tracks drowns out the intro of the next track.
1973 Who Do We Think We Are! tour
Purple Blitz (January 16, 1973) 2CDR
Review: The first night of the 1973 tour finds the band firing on all cylinders. The setlist remains almost identical to the 1972 tour, with the exceptions being Child In Time being dropped and Mary Long (from the soon to be released Who Do We Think We Are! album) the only new song added. With the nearly identical setlist from the previous year and the new album still unreleased, this could almost be categorized as a Made In Japan promotional tour! The overall performances are very good, with little of the behind stage tension making any obvious impact on the music itself. As with most of the European and North American dates, the band sounds just fine. The drama unfolding off stage however was another story. Ritchie continues to astound listeners with a seemingly endless supply of flashy licks and sound effects, while Glover's bass playing is amazingly aggressive throughout. Lord shines constantly as well, with highlights being his solo before Lazy, and his extended organ/synthesizer workout during Space Truckin'. Sound-wise this boot starts off a little distorted, but is very listenable. Defintely a worthwhile addition to any avid fans collection.
Mary Lose Gear In Fire (January 17, 1973) 2CDR
CD 2: (44:00)
Review: A surprisingly good sounding show from the last MkII tour. The band had continued to develop as a killing machine in concert, and despite the tensions backstage, played some of their best shows ever on the 1973 tour. Ritchie's playing was growing by leaps and bounds, and by early '73 he was light years ahead of his former peers. SKOW had become a showcase for his lightning runs, devastating dive bombs and overall sonic assault. This version is no exception. I don't think there was a guitarist on the planet capable of touching Ritchie on his good nights, particularly on this tour. The rest of the band also played at an unparalleled musical level, so this show, as well as most of the available shows from the tour display the band at a level that rose above even the intense level of the 1972 Japanese shows. Early on in the tour, only one new song from the as yet unreleased Who Do We Think We Are! album was featured. Mary Long fits well into the set, and if one has several shows to compare, you can hear it getting better as the tour progresses.This tour also displays Ritchie's penchant for jamming a little before each song, usually with Paicey joining in. These jams progressed throughout the first part of the tour and are a joy to listen to. The bonus track on the CD is No No No, from a '72 show and may be the best sounding bootleg version available.
Rainbow Theatre London (London, UK February 18, 1973) 2CDR
Review: Another great show, but the sound is much muddier and more distorted than on the German shows above. There may be cleaner copies floating around out there, but on this one the sound is very overloaded, with a lot of clipping of the signal. Still, if one didn't know about the tensions behind the scenes, you'd never know it from the show. The band is extremely energetic, and Mary Long is sounding better and sits comfortably in the setlist. I don't know if the running order on this is correct or not. It seems odd to place SKOW after Space Truckin', but maybe there was a problem on this night. More likely the bootleggers moved it to fit it onto vinyl. Ritchie again just displaying an awesome catalog of guitar licks, tricks and riffs. Glover and Paice are monsters and Lord just gets better each night. Gillan's voice is very good, as it was most of the tour.
Long Beach '73 (April 15, 1973) cassette
Review: This is the one! My favorite show of the tour, and one of my favorite shows ever. The band is spot on target here, and just energized to the max. I don't mean to over state Ritchie's place in the band, but it's just that when Ritchie was happy, everyone was generally happy. And here? Ritchie is every ounce the guitar god! Some of his most breathtaking work ever recorded, he just smokes the frets off his Strat here! Mary Long is perfect, SKOW and Lazy feature Blackmore as a player of unmatched intensity, and the rest of the band just jell into a hurricane of sound and fury. Ritchie's pre-song jams are better here than anyplace else, and are great buildups for Smoke and SKOW. Jon's solo in Space Truckin' is good, Paicey's solo in Lazy is great and Ian's voice is magical. Roger keeps the whole thing together with his flawless basswork, as usual. The bad news? The sound is very muddy, but listenable. The good news? The show below is available.
Fire In The Sky (April 15, 1973) CDR (74:22) Not a complete show.
Missing Highway Star.
Review: For performance review, see above. Taken from another, much cleaner source than the Long Beach '73 boot. The only down side is they didn't get Highway Star on here. You also get to hear more of the crowd response at the end of Space Truckin', where they won't quit trying to get the band to come out for an encore. Finally an announcer come
Destroyed The Arena (June 25, 1973) 2CDR
Review: Well, whatever energy and inspiration the band displayed in Europe and North America was fading fast when they reached Japan. Unlike the show in Osaka on the 27th, where the band is just going through the motions, they seem to tap into that magical resevoir for the last time here. This is a very professional sounding show, with everyone doing exactly what they need to do, when they need to do it. There's just not as much passion or emotion in the songs as the earlier legs of the tour. It's almost a "paint-by-number" performance. Apparently the audience felt the same way, because when the band didn't re-appear after Space Truckin', the crowd went berserk. The title is an apt description of what transpired. For whatever reasons, the band played a very short show, then refused to return for an encore. Chaos ensued and the rest is history. Probably the best sounding of the 1973 tour boots.
A Night Of The Machine (June 27, 1973)
Review: One of the few examples of an uninspired Deep Purple show. Well, not by everyone, just our favorite man in black. Ritchie phones his work in long distance, occasionally working up some intensity, but the tension offstage appears to have affected this night. Maybe not the reason for his lack of fire, but it would appear to be likely. They all sound tired though, and as this is the second from the last night of not only the tour, but the MkII line-up, it shows. Gillan's vocals don't appear until halfway through Hwy Star, but after that the sound is really pretty good. Mary Long is gone, and Child In Time is back in the set now. The long, pre-Machine Head versions are a thing of the past, with no keyboard solo and much closer to the In Rock version. This effectively returns the band to the Made In Japan set list of the previous year. Still, not sounding too bad. The ever present hiss is there throughout.
MKII Final Truckin' (June 29, 1973) CD (78:55)
Review: A historical event that should be in every collection. The last MkII show for over a decade. Good sound, and the band work up considerable energy here, considering the circumstances. Gillan sounds a little out of it, and his between song comments are......bizarre. Musically they are running on all cylinders, at least at first. Ritchie appears to lose interest by Space Truckin', and the song is carried by Jon and a magnificent bass solo by Roger. Interesting as this was also Ian Paice's birthday, so Jon plays Happy Birthday as the intro to the keyboard solo in Space Truckin'. Gillan closes the set with his now famous farewell speech. A sad end to a great band.
Doebidoe "TV & Radio #1"
(1969-1971) CDR (71:30)
Review: Sound quality varies on this compilation, but still an outstanding collection of rare bits. The Bilzen set is very hot, but then all of the shows here are great. In a perfect world, all these recordings original tapes would surface and be remastered, but that will never happen. What a shame.
Pop Deaux "TV & Radio #2" (1970-1973) CDR (69:15)
Review: The second volume in the TV & Radio Anthology, and what a collection! The edited, but great Hofstra show, as seen on ABC, brings back memories of watching the original broadcast. The Pop Deux show is another great find, edited but awesome. The finest version of Demon's Eye I've ever heard is only marred by the German DJ's talking over the music in the middle of the song. Luckily they shut up and let the band finish up in a guitar/vocal bit ala SKOW! Great stuff!
1974 Burn tour
Pre Snake (April 6, 1974) CDR (72:41)
Review: See below, as shows are identical. This one has a cover featuring a reunion era shot of Blackmore, but other than that it's a decent enough boot.
California Jam (April 6, 1974) CD (73:36)
Review: First official release of the legendary California Jam show, and the sound is atrocious! Musically, the band is fine and the show appears to be an average show by MkIII standards. This was the first opportunity for most of the world to see the new line-up, and their butchering of the MkkII material was a foreshadow of things to come. Coverdale and Hughes haven't started their fight for the spotlight yet, so as the new boys they work well together Nice version of Space Truckin' instrumentally, but vocally it's just not the same. It of course features Ritchie's infamous guitar destruction bit at the end, which doesn't translate all that well on audio, it's something you HAVE to see.
Burnin' Passion (April 9, 1974)
Kilburn Gaumont (May 22, 1974)
Review: An aggressive, but raggedy set from the show that followed California Jam. Broadcast on TV and radio, only this partial setlist has been bootlegged. A very nice show though, with great performances by all concerned. Blackmore goes a little astray as his guitar goes in and out of tune through the first couple of songs. I don't know if it was Ritchie, his guitar or both causing the problems, but it gets rather annoying, most notably on Lay Down, Stay Down. The two tracks from Kilburn are ok, YFNO is incomplete, starting mid-song at the blues part of Ritchies solo With Space Truckin', all 30 glorious minutes are here though. A fine version, much stronger than the Cal Jam version, with wild Blackmore guitar work, as was usual on this tour.
Live In London (May 22, 1974) CD (57:20)
Review: This one is a classic. The only post MkII release that is truly 100% essential in every aspect. This concert displays the band playing at an unparalleled level that is truly magical. If they had maintained this level of energy and direction, they probably would have stayed on top. By this time Blackmore's playing was reaching it's peak, and his domination of the band and their direction appeared to be total. The honeymoon was a short one however, and internal struggles began quickly. Unfortunately, it's all downhill from here. But still, a great, great show. Due to be re-released with the 30+ Space Truckin' at some point in time, but it's been promised for years. Holding your breath for this release could be hazardous to your health.
1975 Stormbringer tour
Made In Europe (April 5, 1975) CD (45:48)
Review: The downward spiral of the band is documented well here. Musically, there are some fine moments, with each member contributing fine work. Vocally, the clashing egos of the two singers was beginning to be an embarrassment. Their constant fight for the spotlight and the funky influences of bassist Hughes were driving a wedge between bandmates and their fans alike. Still a welcome addition to a collection for the driving force of You Fool No One alone. Originally planned as a double LP, it was shelved when Bolin came onboard. 21+ years later the tapes were resurrected to compile the following set.
MKIII Final Concerts (April 4 & 7, 1975) 2CD
Review: Two CD's of hit and miss musical moments, with Blackmore, Lord, and Paice being the only real reasons to be a fan at this point. Hughes continues his funk direction unabated, and Blackmore walked after the Paris show. The end of an era. Musically, there are some fine moments here, notably the opening quartet of numbers. Listen to those, then do yourself a favor and hit eject. Put Live In London on instead. It has to be said the sound is very good on this CD. Very crisp and very loud. There's just a lack of passion that runs throughout, probably due to the rest of the band knowing about Blackmore's imminent departure. Despite that, they are fairly good performances and worth a listen or two. These are the same tapes that Made In Europe was culled from.*For some reason, both versions of You Fool No One are edited. Version #1 has Blackmore's guitar solo cut out, while Version #2 has Paice's drum solo removed.
1975-76 Come Taste The Band tour
Taste It Down Under (November 25, 1975) 2CDR
6.Tommy Bolin radio interview
Review: Generally considered to be one of the better MkIV live boots, this one captures the band early on in the tour. Since it's prior to the nightmare in Jakarta and Bolin's paralyzing drug injection, the overall performance is pretty good. Coverdale and Hughes continue to battle for the microphone, and Bolin's playing is erratic at times, but the band sound good. Like all the MkIV shows, they sound best on the Come Taste The Band material though. It's already apparent that Deep Purple have become two bands at this point. The first is the hard rock band with a legacy to contend with, which they do justice to with songs like Drifter, Lady Luck and You Keep On Moving. The other Deep Purple, the new DP is experiencing growing pains, with songs like Getting Tighter, I Need Love and This Time Around not really getting the audience support or response they're looking for. The problems with Bolin live are obvious, but have not developed into the nightmare they would soon become.
Last Concert In Japan (Dec 15, 1975) CD
Review: Generally considered to be the low point in the band's recorded history. Probably not far from the truth, but Lord and Paice are in excellent form here. Paice shines throughout, and Jon is very good, most notably on You Keep On Moving. His solo is just gorgeous on this one. Bolin is having a really bad night, and the Hughes/Coverdale vocal wars are embarrassingly bad. Coverdale is annoying through the whole show, and is only topped by Hughes constant whooping. Egos. Just say no, kids. Still an essential moment in the bands history if you want the complete picture. This version of Highway Star may be the worst moment in Purple's history, although MkIV gave us plenty of runner's up. At least Coverdale sounds better than he did later in the tour.
In Deep Grief (February 8, 1976) 2CDR
King Biscuit Presents (January 26 & February 27, 1976) 2CD
CD#2 (58:00) Tracks 1-4 Long Beach Feb. 27
Bonus tracks Springfield, Mass. Jan. 26
Review: This release gave MkIV fans an excuse to argue the merits of the Bolin era, but it's still a long way from the 70 -73 highlights. Coverdale sounds horrible here, and Hughes appears to be the driving force in the band. Paice sounds like he's having a ball though, so the funky direction didn't appear to be bothering him. Bolin sounds much better than on LCIJ, but still plays like a guest rather than a band member. Lord does his part to make it work, but even if the often excellent playing seems to indicate all is well, the band completely unraveled within a month and it was all over.
1985 Perfect Strangers tour
In The Absence Of Pink/Knebworth '85 (June 22, 1985) 2CD
Review: This was the reunited Purple's debut gig on home turf, and as such has a historical significance, particularly to those who were there. As a DP gig, it's an average show, which means it's better than most bands, but doesn't achieve that often incendiary level the best DP shows attain. I think considering the circumstances it was recorded under, it's a fine show overall. Gillan had a lot of trouble with his voice on this tour, but that aside they do have some pretty devastating moments of musical magic here. Maybe not a true representation of the tour as a whole, but since it's the only official release so far it will have to do.
Parlez-Vous Purple (Paris, France July 8, 1985) 2CD I'm not sure which date is correct, as I think this and the below show are the same. Inaccuracy of dates & venues is typical among bootlegs.
Review: This show is typical of the reunion tour. Gillan struggled with his voice throughout the tour, but the energy level is so high that it's not that much of a distraction usually. Instrumentally the show is amazing, Blackmore again in top form. Lord's playing is very inspired, the freedom after being suppressed all those years in Whitesnake is evident. Glover and Paice keep it all together so well, one forgets they hadn't played together for almost 11 years! For an FM show the sound is good, but noisier than expected. All in all a great, long, energetic show.
Paris '85 (Paris, France July 9, 1985) cassette
Review: Recorded for French TV, this comes just a few weeks after the Knebsworth gig. Gillan still having problems with his voice, but the band is firing on all cylinders again. Hot stuff, with Ritchie blazing away like he hadn't in years. Not the best recording in the world, but that may be my copy.
1987 House Of Blue Light tour
Locked In A Paper Cage (2CD)
Review: Another boot considered
to be essential by many, it features excellent sound that is on par with most
of Purple's official live releases. (In many cases it's even better.) The performances
are excellent, one exception is The Unwritten Law, which sounds a little rough.
However, since this is the only commonly available live version of this song,
it's nice to have it. Overall a better buy than Nobody's Perfect, although the
new remastered 2CD NP is a great deal too. The 1987 tour was a good one, and
although everything fell apart by the end, the overall performances are very
good. I think Gillan's voice is much better here than it was in '85, and prefer
the sound of the band here to much of the 1985 tour shows. This is a great document
of where the reunion started to go wrong in the setlist department as well.
Abandoning most of the excellent Perfect Strangers material, the band made the
decision to rely on the old 70's classics, mixing in a few newer numbers to
promote the new album. The '87 setlist generally featured 6 reunion era songs,
and 7 or 8 oldies. Basically Made In Japan plus a few current numbers.
Nobody's Perfect (Various 1987) CD, Cassette, Vinyl
Review: Despite the gimmicks of different track lists and the splicing of different performances, this is not the evil creature many people say it is. Overall it's a fair representation of the '87 tour, with all the good and the bad points. They are tight, the recording sounds better than Knebworth '85, and the versions of Knocking At Your Back Door, Bad Attitude, Perfect Strangers, Dead Or Alive and Hard Lovin' Woman generally slay the studio versions. The strength of the performances show the splicing was unnecessary, and the decision to make a fan buy all three formats to get all the songs was a bad one. Those two negative points have haunted the release for years and generally keep people from making any comments on the often excellent performances here. Due to be re-released with all the songs on a double CD soon. It's here! See below.
Nobody's Perfect (Remastered version) (2CD)
Review: While nothing has changed from the comments above, it is still a joy to hear the complete album in one format. Bad Attitude is a marvel, completely smoking the studio version, while Dead Or Alive hurtles along at breakneck speed, Lord and Blackmore shredding on their respective instruments. A must have. One can almost forgive the cut and paste job on a couple of songs because the rest of the stuff is so good.
1993 The Battle Rages On tour
Come Hell Or High Water (Oct/Nov 1993) CD
1.Highway Star 6:40
Review: Well, first off this should have been a double CD. Re-hashing the Made In Japan setlist for the umpteenth time didn't exactly make people run out in droves and buy it. Neither did releasing it in the US three years after the UK release. Too bad, because it's a monster live disc. The production is spectacular, the band is smokin', and there's a feeling of excitement and energy throughout. True, most of the energy is due to Gillan and Blackmore's war going public, and the energy is the result of the rest of the band trying to keep things going in a forward direction. Nonetheless a very good album, unfortunately completely blown away by several boots available which show the band operating at that level that makes a good Purple gig a religious experience. See below.
Brixton Academy ( November 8, 1993) cassette
Review: One of those stunning shows towards the end of the 2nd MkII reunion tour. Blackmore is on fire here, and unlike the '85 shows, Gillan is sounding good as well. Possibly the finest series of performances by the band since the 70's. Everyone is playing well, and the new material from the Battle Rages On album comes off very good live. The title track is a thundering wall of sound, which in true Purple fashion just shreds the studio version. Anya becomes a tour de force as well, with Blackmore shining once again. Probably another essential addition to a Purple fan's collection. If this one isn't, the next one definitely is.
In Your Trousers (November 13, 1993) 2CD
CD 2 (67:14)
Well, there are reasons that certain bootlegs attain a legendary, almost mystical status among fans. This is one of THOSE! A stunning performance, where Blackmore and Co. just blaze from start to finish, and recorded better than 99% of their official live LP's. After hearing only Come Hell Or High Water, I wondered what all the hoopla about Blackmore's last trip with the band was all about. It wasn't until after I heard Brixton, Ritchie Last Gig and this one that I found out! Unbelievable levels of energy on this one, they sound like they're having a blast onstage. Blackmore weaves his hypnotic guitar lines around the solid core of Paice/Glover, with Lord simmering under it all. Gillan sounds magnificent here, proving once and for all he is THE voice of Deep Purple. Anya is so intense it's scary, BRO thunders along magnificently, there isn't a weak moment here. (Maybe the bloated 10:00+ version of Smoke, but that was normal by then)
Ritchie Last Gig (November 15, 1993) 2CD
*Recorded November 17, 1993
Review: Possibly the best sounding bootleg I'd ever heard (until 1998) and one of the best Purple gigs in the history of the band. Forget Come Hell Or High Water, THIS is Deep Purple! The whole band is smoldering here, and as they rip through song after song from their extensive catalog, their significance in the scheme of things becomes apparent. Anyone doubting that Purple wasn't the greatest live hard rock band in history didn't hear one of these shows. If only the band could get their hands on these tapes and release them officially! It just seems unbelievable that Ritchie was leaving and the whole band knew it. They play with a sense of total abandon and there is no indication there are any problems off stage from the quality of the performance.In particular the intro to Difficult To Cure is a monster effort by the whole band, with some of the best improvisations of the tour. Truly a magical moment, from a wondrous, but ultimately sad finale.
The Battle ( December 3, 1993) 2CD
Review: Blackmore's gone, and Satch is filling in for the Japanese dates. Amazing, simply amazing! The quality of the bootleg is astounding, the band is even better than before. Gillan's voice sounds great here, better than in Europe. Joe does an outstanding job with the band, and the performances by everyone are nothing short of spectacular. It's a little odd hearing someone else play Child In Time however. Anya remains the highlight of the set, with Joe turning in another emotionally charged performance. This is too good to be buried forever due to record companies squabbling over royalties. This should be made an official release because it's nothing short of magnificent. I believe Satriani fit more into the classic mold or the "traditional" Purple sound than Steve Morse, so these shows are more in line with the rest of the 93 tour than the later Morse era performances.
Flying In A Purple Dream (December 5, 1993) 2CD
Review: Another Satriani era show, two days after the stunning "The Battle" was recorded. The sound isn't quite as good as the previous show, but the performance is equally as magnificent. Satriani plays like he's been with the band for years and the rest of the band seems energized, comfortable and very happy. It still is odd hearing someone besides Blackmore playing Child In Time, but Joe is just on target throughout. He captures the energy and the seat of the pants feel Blackmore brought to the band. His playing is right on the edge of meltdown, yet retaining control at all times. He fits the rest of the band like a glove, filling Blackmore's slot, yet retaining his own identity. Another great show captured for posterity. The version of Anya is just breathtaking, again.
1995 Pre-Purpendicular tour
Purple Sunrise (March 4, 1995) 2CD
Review: One of the earlier Morse shows available, it shows Steve trying to adjust his style into the context of the Purple sound. He's not completely successful, but does a commendable job anyway. On the new, soon to be released Purpendicular tracks he's right on the money. Of the three new tracks, Soon Forgotten is miles above the studio version, with a couple of blistering Morse solos. On several of the older tracks, he seems a little lost, particularly Child In Time, where he doesn't seem to know quite where to go with the solo. A great example of the band going through the twilight of Blackmore's departure and finding their way again.
1996-97 Purpendicular tour
Live At The Olympia (June 17, 1996) 2CD
Review: The legendary
Olympia gig in France is officially released everywhere but North America, and
I was seriously pissed. Not to mention it was priced outrageously, so I waited
to buy it. While I waited, I caught the band in Chicago in December 1997. A
FANTASTIC show! Unfortunately, I heard LATO the day AFTER I saw Mk Morse live.
Disappointing. Very disappointing. Gillan's voice sounds hoarse here, and the
rest of the band plays good, but this album was permanently ruined due to the
circumstances under which I first heard it. Nice song selection, but I'm not
a fan of the horn section they used here. I also think other nights on this
tour just blew this show away. BUT, since it is the only official release of
the tour, it will have to do. It does have a VERY nice version of When A Blindman
Cries, with Morse's guitar work just wrenching emotions out of your soul. A
true Purple highlight, and a song sadly missed on the Abandon tour.
Detroit '96 (December 5, 1996) cassette Not a complete show. Missing
Highway Star encore.
Review: Now this is
Deep Purple! I generally prefer this gig to LATO, and play it much more often.
The band is thundering here, and Gillan's voice is top notch. Morse continues
to evolve into his role in the band and the live shows indicate just how far
he's come. A great show, but sadly incomplete.
House Of Blues-Chicago Vol.1 (December 15, 1997) cassette
Review: This one's
hard to stay impartial to. I was seeing the band for the first time since the
'87 HOBL tour, and didn't know what to expect. No Blackmore, eh? How good would
they be? I wasn't disappointed. Alongside several great people I met online,
I witnessed a band reborn. They rocked and rolled through a setlist of old,
new and REAL new songs. Gillan's voice never sounded better, the band were tight
and smokin', and they just slayed the crowd. This recording doesn't do the show
justice by any stretch, because the energy of being there is missing to a casual
listener. I still dig this one out a lot to relive the moment though. Kind of
cool having Seventh Heaven prior to it's release on the Abandon album. Steve's
solo is much more aggressive on the tape than it wound up on the finished album.
Overall a great sign the band were a long way from being a spent force.
House Of Blues-Chicago Vol.2 (December 16/17, 1997) cassette
A compilation of two shows.
Review: Probably one of the few bootlegged weddings in history, so a rarity? Wedding aside, it's a compilation of the last two nights in Chicago, which I sadly missed. Great shows, as all the House Of Blues shows apparently were. The band is tight, the music is hot and they rock like no one's business. Seeing them in a club was an awesome experience, and a much more intimate setting than the Summer tour the following year. This is the only way to see this band, up close and personal. They thrive in a setting like this and it shows here.
1998 Abandon tour
You Need One! (June 22, 1998) 2CD
Review: Review? How does one go about reviewing something like this? This is the live album that should have come out from the tour. Amazing sound, outstanding performances by the band and the setlist is perfect. No less than seven songs off the Abandon album, if you count Bloodsucker. By the time the tour reached the US, Evil Louie, Fingers To The Bone and Seventh Heaven were out of the setlist, so this will probably be the only time these numbers are available live. Due to song choices, this is a very Purple-ish live set. All great songs, all performed perfectly. My favorite live album since Ritchie's Last Gig, hands down. Heavy, bluesy, thundering rock n roll at it's finest. A great sign of the things to come. Well, not great things to come. The official live CD that came out dropped 5 songs from this setlist and returned to the MIJ era setlist, much to the dismay of hardcore fans.
Total Abandon (April 20, 1999) 2CD
CD 1 (72:55)
CD 2 (43:12)
Review: Well, this is one of those double edged kind of releases. On one side, you have a dynamic, thundering testimonial to the band's live show. It's recorded extremely well, and has an almost visible aura of energy that runs throughout the recording. A very good performance by the entire band. This is the official live release of the Abandon tour, but not representative of the tour as a whole, because the setlist leaves a LOT to be desired. The same core of songs has been at the heart of the live show for a long time now, and I for one am ready for some fresh material. Look at the Berlin show to see what could have been. Of the 15 tracks here, 10 were on the last official live album, LATO, and 5 of them were on the one before that, CHOHW. While the album is much, much stronger than LATO, the repetition dulls some of the impact of what could have been a killer release. All that said and done, there are no bad DP live albums, just ones that shine above the others. This one does indeed shine brightly, but with a more imaginative setlist it could have been blinding. The failure to include more Abandon material verges on criminal. There is a wealth of material, new and old that the Morse era has performed live, that remains unreleased. To continue to release the same old stuff plays into the hands of bootleggers everywhere.
Stay tuned for further updates as and when Jim gets a Round Tuit.
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