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As far as the package goes it's a big disappointment, but remember
who manages them... The best photographer among managers, the best manager among
photographers. Bruce Payne.
Not one single picture from the 1996-97 era, instead all of them feature the
late Lord period and even Don Airey is pictured. Less dedicated fans may wonder
why Gillan sports long hair on the video, while on cover he has only short hair...
During the development stage of the whole project, the
Polish Fan Club offered their help to Bruce Payne in the shape of excellent
pictures of the very show (royalty free of course), but no! Who needs photos
from the concert to illustrate the packaging of the footage of this concert?
They should employ a good PR and image manager - or perhaps they already have
one (imagine who?).
All in all, my rating of this release goes like this:
- package and picture selection: 2/10
- setlist (i.e. elimination of No One Came): 0/10
- mastering and mix: 5/10 (very slight, if any, improvement to the TV broadcast)
- title: 1/10 (well, maybe I shouldn't complain, after all they could title
it "Live in Katowice")
- interviews 9/10 - probably due to making them by fans, who know what to ask
- extras 1/10 - the same, well known and already worn pictures made by Bruce
(and only Bruce - "don't ask me, I'm only the photographer")
Perhaps I am too cruel... But just take a look at Queen's
DVD release from their Wembley concert and you'll know what I mean...
I placed an order for the vinyl edition of Live Encounters (via
the Amazon UK link), because I expected it to be an EMI release and therefore
a Copy Controlled CD. I also expected this live album to be a recording off
the most recent tour. I was mistaken; it has a concert from 1996 and is released
on a Polish label.
The vinyl edition, which arrived today, is strictly limited
to 2000 copies, so it's even collectible. That's just as well because the recording
itself isn't very good.
1996 was a great year for Deep Purple, one in which they released their best
studio album in two decades and sounded like a hungry young band again, but
you can't tell that from this poorly-recorded concert in which singer Ian Gillan
There are better live albums from the same year available - in fact it's one
of the better-covered periods in the band's existance. The record has some exciting
instrumental work, but is otherwise missable.