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From matings of giant pandas to mafia funeral

British paper The Guardian has published a retrospective of their coverage of heavy metal “from its inception almost 50 years ago”. The interesting part are the reproductions of two contemporary reviews of seminal Purple performances: the premiere of the Concerto for Group and Orchestra and the California Jam.

Attempts to unite European “classical” music with jazz or pop evoke as much excitement as to trial matings of giant pandas, and the results are just as often discouraging. Wednesday’s concert at the Royal Albert Hall […] featured the premiere of a Concerto for Group and Orchestra by Jon Lord, organist of the Deep Purple, and, in spite of several failings, makes quite an impressive effect.

Read more of the review in Guardian archives.

Suddenly British groups are the hottest thing in America, and the hottest of the hot is Deep Purple, who last year sold more albums in the States than any other recording artist, including Rolling Stones or anyone else. “California Jam” is one of their final dates on a 28-city, five-week tour of America, which has been sold-out at every show.

The lights blaze, the vast speakers tremble and boom: Deep Purple is a heavy metal group: hard driving rock. Excitement. You can feel the beat thumping inside your rib cage, taking over your body, battering your ear drums, possessing you.

Read the rest of the most eloquent review in Guardian archives as well.

Thanks to Yvonne for the info.



9 Comments to “From matings of giant pandas to mafia funeral”:

  1. 1
    Rob Hodgkinson says:

    Fine and entertaining writing 🙂

  2. 2
    Paolo says:

    “You can feel the beat thumping inside your rib cage, taking over your body, battering your ear drums, possessing you.”
    I was too young to see the 70’s performances. I saw Glenn Hughes a few years ago and after a superb performance the encore of Burn, went to a stratospheric level – the power and grandeur was stunning. I listen to Highway Star and Child in Time from MiJ and think what this performance must have been to behold. Shock and awe. To have experienced 1972 performances…….I wish, I wish, I wish. The last thirty years’ shows I have seen were never quite at that level.

  3. 3
    Wiktor says:

    Yes… Deep Purple sold more albums in 1974 than any other artist or band around, why? Because of MkII… Nothing else…. Not because of Glenn Hughes.

  4. 4
    LRT says:

    @3, it was 1973. But otherwise you could not be more right. Regardless of the ridiculous debate on this.

  5. 5
    Tommy H. says:

    Oh man, these were the days – not only because our heros were still young, hungry and on top of their game, but also because people were totally into that kind of music and enjoying it to a much greater extent. 1970-74 and 1985 must have been the most successful years of Purple.

  6. 6
    Wiktor says:

    Yes, LRT, 1973… the year of shame…according to the late, great Jon Lord…. The year the music died…in June….Osaka….Japan…..LOL

  7. 7
    uwe says:

    “Yes… Deep Purple sold more albums in 1974 than any other artist or band around, why? Because of MkII… Nothing else…. Not because of Glenn Hughes.”

    I don’t think that anyone who saw him at the California Jam came away disappointed. And Burn still had excellent sales. By Stormbringer, the musical landscape had altered for all bands from Purple’s early 70ies era, changes were afoot.

  8. 8
    DeeperPurps says:

    I would venture to say that when most common folk think of Deep Purple, they are thinking of Smoke on the Water, Highway Star, and Woman from Tokyo, (ie): they are thinking of Mark II. Nothing wrong with that, but to those uninitiated casual listeners, they are missing out on much fine music also produced by Mark III and Mark IV, and of subsequent line-ups right up to present day.

    The debate could go on and on and on and on ad nauseum about which Mark version is classic, which is best, which is the most worthy to carry the Purple mantle, etc… But to those with open minds, all Purple music from all eras has merit, as do the performers.

    The band has carried on in different incarnations for almost 50 years now. Still performing, still writing. Consider it a blessing. Consider it a positive that so many musicians in Purple have contributed to its longevity and legacy. It is not a competition. We are not looking for winners or losers.

    Glenn Hughes holds his rightful place in the Purple pantheon as do all others. His work on the Burn album and tour was stellar. Just listen to him on Made in Europe (especially You Fool No One) – he simply does not get the credit he deserves for his bass work, very under-rated. And of course his voice speaks for itself (in spite of the occasional over the top yelping and screams, but that is another debate).

    Whether or not Deep Purple’s 1973 / 1974 sales success was attributable to Mark II or Mark III, or a combination of both, is not important. The fact is that the band itself continued putting out high-powered, high quality music after the “classic” Mark II version, into Burn and onward, and all of its various musicians have carried on the Purple legacy.

  9. 9
    jadul says:

    the beatles sold more albums than any other bands did

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