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‘Deep Purple is the best band ever’

The Highway Star reader Craig Neely caught Dream Theater in Philadelphia recently – and came away with some interesting thoughts about Deep Purple. Read on …

My friend, Dave, and I saw Dream Theater for the first time on July 31, in Philadelphia, PA, USA. I was first turned on to them a few years ago when The Highway Star posted a link to a clip of them playing Highway Star at a gig.

I thought that they were great musicians and got into them more after hearing that they toured, playing the entire Made in Japan set. There is no doubt that they are incredible musicians – in fact, prolific, as technical musicians. The show was very good.

It could not compare to a Deep Purple show, and it was interesting because, though the crowd enjoyed the show, it was not worked into a frenzy by mid-show, which has happened at nearly every DP show that I’ve attended.

That I could see such great musicians play, but find them paling in comparison to Deep Purple reinforced my appreciative feelings for Deep Purple. Though I am sure some of the criticisms that I read on this site have some merit, we are always measuring Deep Purple against Deep Purple. They have been far and away the best musicians and performers for decades.

After seeing Dream Theater’s excellent performance, but feeling in a way shortchanged, I need to remember that everything is subjective, and when I am comparing a show to a Deep Purple show, it may simply be an unfair comparison.

Deep Purple is the best band ever.

39 Comments to “‘Deep Purple is the best band ever’”:

  1. 1
    MoreBlack says:

    Indeed Craig,to measure Purple against Purple is one thing.We’ll be allways fighting.But to measure DP with other bands is cowardry.Oh poor bands.
    Just to begin,we have the best rithm section in activity.It’s like good wine.The older,the better.

  2. 2
    John Bartone says:

    Nice job Craig.. I have a little story myself..Not a big Dream Theater guy..But I do respect them as musicians..Steve Morse was doing a show in CT with his solo band opening for DT (small club).. I was backstage chatting with Steve before his set (nicest guy in the world)when all of a sudden the DT band and crew come barreling through pushing people out of the way, yelling how they’re “the best band” etc.. I was standing there with Steve shaking my head..And I yelled back at those blokes chanting “Morse Rules”.. I wouldn’t spend a dime on those guys and I’ve lost all respect for them as people..Hey everybodys entitled to there opinion..That’s mine… Long Live the Morse Era!!!

  3. 3
    Patrick says:

    i could not have said it better myself

  4. 4
    MoreBlack says:

    ok.Let’s get back to the Purple x Purple battle.I do prefer mkII isntead mkVIII…

  5. 5
    Bo says:

    Long live the Mrk II Era. Without them no DP today.

  6. 6
    xiscu says:

    for my is the best band Ever with Mark 7 and 8
    forever Purple!!!
    see you in september at Courneveu,Barcelona and Madrid

  7. 7
    DAWG says:


  8. 8
    HZ says:

    Well, thank you Craig, that’s it in short way…

  9. 9
    Mister Slate says:

    John, don’t be down on Dream Theatre based on a one-off bad experience backstage at a small club. They are amazing musicians. I met John Petrucci a few years back and he was a class act. The fact that these guys have consistently paid homage to DP by covering the material in the studio and live tells me they are classy, respectful people.

  10. 10
    Rom says:

    I agree. DP is the best band ever!

    Long live Deep Purple!!!

  11. 11
    Knut says:

    YES, Purple is the best band ever.

  12. 12
    Tracy Heyder aka Zero the Hero says:

    I just watched a DVD of Dream Theatre doing concert whereby they did the complete Pink Floyd “Dark Side of the Moon” album. I have to say, that they did a remarkable job. There is also some footage of them doing other Floyd tunes, one with Queensrych joining in on ‘Comfortably Numb’. Well worth tracking this one down and watching.

    As far as Purple being the Greatest Band EVER??? I would have to state here that Every Incarnation of Purple when compared to any other band out there has been hand over foot better. All the way around.

    As far as Purple against Purple…..what’s the point. There is only one Purple at a time, and I haven’t met a Purple I didn’t like…


  13. 13
    Sami says:

    What the f***? We agree on something…I’ll raise my glass

    to you guys, rock on & be well.

  14. 14
    Sami says:

    Will check that DT-dvd out Tracy, should be a treat.


  15. 15

    yo, jorge,como fan comento por primera ves rn mi life que aparte de ser udt mi banda desde siempre, los querria por algo que yo comento con mi brother, yo manager….. los juntaria DEEP PURPLE Y LED ZEPPELIN. aqui en mi pais quedaria la cagaaaaaaa

  16. 16
    Robert says:

    Well, I realize that I’m about to call all the fire to myself, but…

    If we compare both DT and DP as bands taking into account their heritage and contribution to rock music DP is a clear winner and one should be really biased to say otherwise. But as the current DP line-up is concerned…

    I visited every DP show they played in Ukraine since 1996 and I try to be on every show in every city they play. I also visited two DT gigs they had in Germany couple of years ago. I hate to say it, but DT as a live band is far superior. Purple’s set list is incredibly static. I don’t want to start old complains again (playing too much of old material, predictable and repetitive playlist, etc.) – you’ve heard them before from oh so many people. Even encores are the same.

    At the same time, in two gigs I visited nearly 70% of the playlist was different. And as I understood, they shuffle their playlist nearly every night.

    The band played with raw energy, for which early DP was famous. At the same time, current DP line-up seem a bit tired and I have a feeling that although they still enjoy doing a show it became somewhat a routine for them. In another words, they’re doing their job, rather then exciting themselves with the music.

    This being said, I still consider DP as one of (if not THE) greatest rock bands ever. I just try to be objective and look through my passion to reality.

    Just my 2c.

  17. 17
    xiscu says:

    HELLO,Carlota and me will see The best BAND EVER mark 8 in the front line stage at paris,barcelona,madrid!!!!cheers

  18. 18
    nazaret says:

    Excuse me, but I don´t speak english. Me gustaría decir que Deep Purple son una super banda, que disfrutan en el escenario a lo bestia y nos hacen disfrutar a los fans en cada concierto. Ya los vi seis veces en estos dos últimos años, pues desde 2007 empecé a profundizar en su música. Son geniales, y aunque llevo poco tiempo conociéndolos a fondo, puedo decir que para mi son LA MEJOR BANDA DE LA HISTORIA. No he conocido en directo otros componentes de la banda que los actuales, pero ni falta que me hace (sin desmerecer a los miembros del pasado). He visto DVDs de sus inicios, y para mi la composición actual es la perfecta y mejor de todas. Espero que el chaleco que lanzamos a Gillan, y la pulsera para Morse (en el concierto de Estepona del año pasado)les hayan hecho ilusión. Al menos Gillan no se lo quitó en todo el concierto. A ver si este año podemos (hablo en plural, pues siempre voy acompañada de mi novio, al que le agradezco que me los diera a conocer, y de paso le mando un besín) obsequiarles con algo, pues se lo merecen. Muchas gracias, y sé que estarán al pie del cañón hasta el final.

  19. 19
    robert greenlaw says:

    You are right they are the best band ever….

  20. 20
    purplepriest1965 says:

    This is all a bit childish to me.

    There is no such thing.
    It s all taste….

    there is more than rockmusic to take in judgment


    Best band in rockmusic?
    Maybe they were …..I dunno…..TASTE


    I am lost
    Wat are we talking about?

  21. 21
    Radek says:

    Viva Deep Purple !!!!!

  22. 22
    MoreBlack says:

    We are all lost LOL.

  23. 23
    Tracy Heyder aka Zero the Hero says:


    In answer to your last statement……Just read the title of the subject at hand….‘Deep Purple is the best band ever’.

    That’s what we are supposed to be talking about. Seems pretty simple to me….


  24. 24
    Crazy Horst says:

    I am as of yet unitiated to the realm of Dream Theater.

    I’m quite ambivalent about a band playing some other bands repertoire.
    Not the odd song that is, but a full show.

    What is the purpose of such an enterprise?

    Paying respect and honour to your teenage heros?
    Or rather proving that you can do it better – whatever “better” can mean with regard to music?

    As far as MIJ is concerned I’m puzzled twice, MIJ being a document of DP at its most daring, most adventurous, most energetic, departing further away from the originals than on any other surviving document.
    So how do you go about playing a “Made in Japan” set?
    Faithfully reproducing all the sounds that were made then? Then it would be wise to just play the vinyl instead. (BTW there are a lot of Japanes clones who make a living of this)
    Or trying to find a new interpretation and meaning within the context of Dream Theaters modes of expression? That could indeed be a thrilling experience, but one which would require a certain amount of openness amongst the audience and still would not necesarily work for all songs alike.

  25. 25
    Robert says:

    To Crazy Horst:

    Dream Theater played MIJ AFTER their regular 2-2,5 hour show. So this was not a cover-band act (Over the Rainbow, anyone?) but indeed, their way of paying respect to the band which influenced their music. In fact, they do such things pretty often (Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden, Metallica are amongst featured bands).

    Regarding the “how do you go about playing a MIJ set”. As far as I understood from your post, you haven’t heard the album yet (I mean, DT’s interpretation). If that’s the case I highly encourage you to do so. Dream Theater has made pretty remarkable job of blending the authentic sounds and spirit of original MIJ and DT’s own trademark sound.

    And one last thing – the album was also mixed by Roger Glover, just as original MIJ. In the short booklet notes he expressed concerns very similar to those mentioned by you. The fact that he agreed to attach his name to that album speaks for itself.

  26. 26
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ 25

    Well, I certainly did not know that old Rog was involved here.

    Does it verify such a project?

    IMHO it can be concluded that Rog and others are not impeccable.

    Over the last 3 or 4 decades OUR GODS made several mistakes, took wrong turns, messed up otherwise great albums like HOBL which was produced by him as well……,made wrong choices, etc….

    Although I was curious to listen to the DT results I was very aware of

    1 Their singers sound I do not like and he does not do a great job of filling Ians shoes, IMO
    2 The one on one reproduction did not seem very interesting. I d preferred a complete DT make over, just for fun and adventure LIKE Deep Purple should be and was…….
    3 That the instrumentalist may be very skilled, THEY MISS OUT ON HOW DP AND OTHERS REALLY PLAY…..DT shows a very METAL touch which most of the times fails when applied to OLD CLASSIC ROCK anthems…..
    4 Live In Jaoan is so perfect that its destined to fail to reproduce or produce something better- DP themselves never eclipsed this one, so how on earth someone else?!

    Btw, although being puzzled often by the thin line between a tribute act and a cover band…….
    I d say DT did a TRIBUTE, I think
    OTR is not a tribute nor a coverband to me.

    Did love the Straight Between The Eyes Momentum with Bobby and Joe BOTH on board
    Thats why I d loved a live setting of OTR mainly consisting of the Turner era with maybe a few oldies like Long Live Rock and Roll and All Night Long, the ones most suitable to Joes voice…..

    I guess its not possible to lure in David Rosenthal, former keyboardplayer in those days?
    Please ADD Eyes Of Fire, Miss Mistreated, Tearing Out My Heart, Stranded and Firedance.

    Then touring a bit and getting ready for the reintroduction of the Man In Black?

  27. 27
    Daniel Ornelas says:

    A mi juicio son el mejor grupo, por qué; por que es ese tipo de grupo al que no se le puede catalogar en una sola corriente musical debido a que són musicos en toda su expreción, son verdaderos artistas o artesanos de la musica.
    Cuando escuche por primera vez a DEEP PURPLE tenia seis años y siempre he sido un seguidor de Ritchie Blackmore, sin embargo creo qué Steve Morse a llevado al grupo a componer e interpretar a un nivel tan alto que el cambio fue excelente y se nota en los discos que han realizado desde qué se unio al grupo.
    Que les puedo decir si el grupo tiene en sus filas al mejor cantante en la historia del rock (y a tenido otros dos muy buenos bueno tres con Mr. Huges),a un bajista y productor que no tiene parangon, dos tecladistas excelentes (Mr. Lord),un baterista que (junto con Cozy Powell)deja escuela y bocas abiertas cuando toca, es decir de poca madre -así decimos en México- y dos guitarristas (uno un virtuoso; el otro un musico hecho en la carretera y los estudios)es decir lo mejor de lo mejor-sin olvidar al gran Ingeniero Martin Birch indispensable en la epoca Mk.ll- y si eso no es suficiente busquen su discografia y sus colaboraciones con otros musicos.

  28. 28
    Tracy Heyder aka Zero the Hero says:

    #26 I again am intrigued by your constant negative view toward anything ‘outside the box’. One minute you complain about the fact that DT doesn’t sound enough like Purple, then you contradict yourself by saying they should make it “There own”. I don’t see where there would any complaint. These are very fine accomplished musicians whom make their own music and records. Out of their own acknowledgment of a Band that they wish to pay tribute to, due to the fact that they state was very influential to who they are, is a very cool ‘Thank You’ I feel. They didn’t try to do a One Up. They only entertained the thought of playing songs from one of their favorite influential Bands…Deep Purple. Just as you stated, Purple themselves never eclipsed this one…..(I’m not so sure). Does that mean that Purple should have never toured that show again because they may or may not have done it justice? Hell, I’ve heard many recordings from shows on that tour other than the MIJ shows and many of them stack up pretty well. Funny how impressionable people are when the Market sells something. I believe that pretty much any of the shows could have been recorded for official release and would have gotten the same notoriety. Again, just as with ‘Smoke on the Water’….Right place Right time.

    As for your Tribute Band dilemma…..

    Dream Theater is a REAL BAND with Their Own Original Albums under the name DREAM THEATER.

    OTR is a Tribute Band with NO Original Albums under the name OTR. They tour playing songs from a REAL BAND with Original Albums called RAINBOW.

    See how simple that was?????


  29. 29
    purplepriest1965 says:

    1 Negative view towards ANYTHING outside of the box.
    Dont see how you could have missed what I expressed over the times here which did put that idea in perspective

    2 I m not against bands paying tribute but I think my expectations of their version didssappointed me.
    DT is very much a METAL band but I thought they could so much more, so an approach of their own should be much more different yes.

    By stating I dont like the too much metal approach I just give my feeling on where classic rock end s and metal begins. Like the difference between the very faceted influences of DP and a shredders orgasm.
    Havind said that, I see what you mean with the confusion

    3 OTR have members, like DP, in their outfit who contributed to some of the originals
    Maybe we agree that BOTH bands are on the fine line between an original band and a act complemented with hired hands?

    4 We are talking about Made In Japan, not the other often better shows of MK 2
    Recently on YouTube I enjoyed immensely the Boston 73 tapes.
    They were stupid to let go and did not realise what they had.
    One of the main examples that they often, unlike you once stated, know what they are doing……, really go with the flow. Espescially Lord and Paice.
    Again, some vacation might have changed history.

    Although we might have missed out on some of the great moments outside the band later on I feel they were a their peak and could have done some more blistering stuff.

    I suppose you are in great mood with all these shredder gigs coming your way?
    First the Whitesnake one with 2 terrible guitarplayers, not able to walk in the shadows of their superior predecessors Sykes, Gally, Marsden and Moody.
    Now the Steve Morse shredders circus on tour and then some DP now.
    I wont go, I need the money for other things anyway.

  30. 30
    Tracy Heyder aka Zero the Hero says:

    No Priest we are not in agreement about DP being like OTR as you state ‘a fine line between being an original band. Purple Are an Original Band, with Original Records from the Present Line-up. OTR doesn’t have ANY RECORDS with Original Music from their present line-up. Just when I though you finally got it, you go and make a statement like that showing you still don’t see the difference. And the Difference is as plain as day.

    As for the Shredders….well again, you see things only ‘inside your little box’. Shredders or not, the one’s you mentioned are accomplished players and maybe not quite your cup of tea, but to state ‘terrible guitar players’ again, says allot about your tiny little box you live in. Yeah, I guess if all guitarists sounded just like Ritchie and Moody and Galley and Marsden and Sykes, your world would be a lot less complicated and you wouldn’t have to listen to too many options. All would be nice and simple and Repeated, Over and Over again. Just the way you like it……BORINGGGGGGGGGGG.


  31. 31
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Boringggggggggggggg is something you once said about old fashioned REAL Deep Purple, meaning the long improvisationparts.
    You spoke out that those are together with listening to Soan Of Alerik moments to visit the bar.
    Then you must be bored to tears with ace recordings like Stockholm 1970……

    2 I have more guitarplayers in my TASTE spectrum than the above mentioned.
    You have forgotten again what I wrote in the past.
    Alvin Lee, Iommi, and Carlos Santana and Schenker and Uli Roth…….
    Dare I proceed……?

    Rondinelli and Turner were part of the recording outfit once called RAINBOW and played both or alone on gems like DTC and SBTE and BOOS

    The same accounts for Glover, Paice and Gillan who were part of a recording unit once called Deep Purple and releasing albums like ……well you name it

    Morse never was part of most of the songs they keep on playing.
    Neither was Don——-


    BOTH groups consist of original or so called original members with added parts…..

    Steve might be the main man and legitimate to you but to anyone with the right mind he is still the hired working man who could not get arrested elsewhere…….

    If he is or was so special he should have or have had more DOMINANCE or a BIG leading part in the band and after all those years appearantly thats not the case.

    If the songs of HIS era in DP were really equally great they would and should play lots of them .
    Honest is honest, even as a RB fan I d prefer if they had done that and capaitalised on the succes of the PURPENDICULAR format and tour. From then they could and should have progressed in doing something adventurous.

    Dont give me the reasoning again that its buisness and that they give the audience NON Morse songs instead of delivering the kick in the teeth approach of holding to their guns and persist on playing the Morse songs.

    In any case its evident that MOST PEOPLE appearantly prefer the writers hand of the Man In Black.
    Otherwise they fall in the group that are happy as long its called Deep Purple or that the band plays Smoke …..for the zillionth time…

    Dont start again with bashing JLT and or BN.
    IT S BORING!!!!!!!
    Like I said many times before, I m not happy at all with BN……

    That does not mean YOU are right.

    2 wrongs dont make a right-
    They just make one sad.

    This discussion has gone on and on——
    Its ridicilous—–

  32. 32
    C&K Crew says:

    # 31
    Very true and well said!
    Bravo !!!

  33. 33
    Tracy Heyder aka Zero the Hero says:

    Again Priest, you ignore the fact of the discussion. My OTR description based on the Tribute Act is as clear as day. You are just holding on to your simplistic, narrow, view. PERIOD.

    Again also, Morse has done a magnificent job with Purple and making Purple HIS OWN. That is why you don’t even like Purple anymore. It doesn’t sound like Blackmore. To claim on one hand that Morse is just a hired hand, and then to not see that Purple’s present influential sound actually comes from the Morse injection of creativity shows your inability to admit the power and influence of STEVE MORSE since he joined and became DEEP PURPLE’S GUITARIST.

    JLT????? He doesn’t even fit into this controversy….so RELAX.

    Your never ending worshipping of the guy who quit Deep Purple is a true sign that you are obsessed and totally incoherent to the present.

    Let it go man……it’s your only hope for true happiness. Relinquish to the fact that your little hero in Green Tights is no longer your hero in Deep Purple.


  34. 34
    purplepriest1965 says:

    We re talking from differnt planets.
    Thanx to Baal maybe,,,,

  35. 35
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Btw, werent you the guy who begged JLT to give you a place on the drumstool?

  36. 36
    Tracy Heyder aka Zero the Hero says:

    Earth to Priest….Earth to Priest.

    Yeah different planets. Planet Logic to Planet Narrowmind…..

    Dude, it’s really very simple when you put your guard down and look at it from a less personal perspective….


  37. 37
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I m not in armour in whatever form but might change my mind around the 2nd of December when I ll attend Ronnie James DIO in concert.

    Mork calling Ork?

    Cheers, Mark

  38. 38
    Tracy Heyder aka Zero the Hero says:

    Ground control to Major Priest….

    Dio in December……his band or ‘Heaven and Hell’?


  39. 39
    purplepriest1965 says:

    His band ofcourse.
    Dont ya read the news?

    Tony Iommi s getting surgery so DIO decided for a WHAT I DID ON MY VACATION kinda thing, I guess……
    I read something about handsurgery.
    Maybe hes finally getting those fingers back?
    Or now he will be having 12 fingers…..?

    I wish DIO did an evening FULL of Rainbow tracks, excluding the now so called H and H tracks…….Seems logical to me…..
    Then again……
    Ian Gillan found it logical to implement DP tracks on his solotour as well in 2006.
    And although I was glad to finally hear one of my alltime favs WASTED SUNSETS I thought……why did he not do it with DP after RB?
    Maybe even Gillan thought was way out of reach for Steve?
    I mean, the way he tends to massacre subtle passages in songs like When A Blind Man Cries ……..

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