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Still louder than everything else

Made in Japan side 1 original label

Darker than Blue reminds us that Made in Japan is turning 50 these days. Albeit the album was released later in the year, but the three historic performances that were recorded were held on August 15th, 16th. and 17th, 1972.

We’ll drink to that.

Thanks to Gary Poronovich for the heads up.



41 Comments to “Still louder than everything else”:

  1. 1
    Rajaseudun Rampe says:

    Every thing louder that everything else for 50 years! Is this for real?! I remember when the album was released and, after the unbelievable MH, it was a major blow to my mind: how good are these young men alive! Astonishing musicianship and virtuosity! And I still love it. At least I’m young at heart 🙂

  2. 2
    DeeperPurps says:

    Made in Japan is THE essential Deep Purple album. Stellar musicianship by a band at its peak. Of my over 2,000 CDs, vinyl, cassettes, etc; I can say without any reservation whatsoever, that Made in Japan is my number one, my best, my favourite album of all time; and the one I would take to a desert island.

  3. 3
    dpmuc72 says:

    50 years !!! Incredible ! The best live album in rock history !

  4. 4
    Uwe Hornung says:

    For the anally-retentive, obsessive trainspotters among you (everyone else: don’t continue to read, it’ll give you headaches!), a guide through the maze of the various (re)mixes and (re)masters:

    https://www.audiotechnology.com/features/in-deep-with-a-classic

    https://www.soundandvision.com/content/hes-hi-res-star-engineer-steve-hoffman-remastering-four-deep-purple-classics

    Now, how do you prefer your Ritchie panned?

    Left-hand side (i.e. not like you see him looking at the stage from the audience view), but “historically correct”? The original Live in/Made in Japan vinyl release had him mixed/panned to the left, all remasters and remixes of MiJ (irrespective whether the original 1989 EMI original CD master, the remaster by Peter Mew in 1998, Steve Hoffman’s likewise 1998 audiophile gold disc remaster or Kevin Shirley’s 2014 remix and -master) have followed that ‘faulty’ tradition except on the non-original vinyl bonus track encores added in the CD age (both 1998 and 2014, see below).

    Or do you prefer ole Hugh righty, i.e. visually correct, but not where he was on vinyl? That is how the guitar was panned when the three 72′ Japan gigs in full were mixed and mastered first time in 1993 (mix: Darron Goodwin, assisted by Simon Robinson, mastering: Peter Mew) and again in 2013/14 (mix and master: Martin Pullan who also mixed and mastered the bonus tracks on the 2014 CD version of the original album which was – now it gets difficult – otherwise mixed and mastered by Kevin Shirley, see above)?

    I think I kinda like, counterintuitively, the original ‘wrong’ panning with Ritchie to the left, it just sounds more Made in Japan’y to me, but it might be all in my head (which with all those decades of listening to DP’s music too loudly is not what it used to be). But I’m not entirely sure, as I write I listen to the 1993 Goodwin/Robinson mix (and Mew master) and it’s reassuring to hear Ritchie in the RIGHT place, namely stage right (audience view).

    Now go scurry through your umpteen versions of MiJ and report to me faithfully, you possums! ; – )

    Can we have everything more confusing than everything else? ; – )

  5. 5
    Ivica says:

    It could have been a triple live album “Wring That Neck” (full side) and side six: “Black Night”, Speed King” and Lucille”.
    “Exciting War “on the stage of the musicians for the listener’s attention.Even after 50 years, still leaves a virtuoso impression

  6. 6
    Bernhard Huebl says:

    Does anybody remember that August 15th, 16th and 17th had also been three historical days in the history of music three years before – those were the days of Woodstock in 1969 !

  7. 7
    Uwe Hornung says:

    And lest we forget: It’s a true live album, not endlessly doctored like Frampton Comes Alive, Lizzy’s Live & Dangerous, UFO’s Strangers in the Night or Priest’s Unleashed in the Stud … uhum … East! (All fine pieces of music, just not honest depictions of a particular live gig.)

    Or some of those live tracks on Finyl Vinyl that had Ritchie overdub his solos in the studio. That was disappointing coming from him – of all people!

  8. 8
    Andrew Melnyk says:

    While we’re nerding out here, Jon gets an extended solo–and more is better–on the MIJ version of Highway Star compared to the MH version and other live versions that I can easily recall. He also does something different from and more interesting than the MH version during the verses–it’s the rhythm keyboard thing he used to do. I also love Jon’s pre-song lightning-fast run.

    The whole album is great stuff, of course.

  9. 9
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I never thought MiJ better than Machine Head or the other way around – to me MiJ (after all the Machine Head tour) was the live validation of the studio brilliance of MH where Purple had gotten everything exactly right. MiJ’s frantic, yet tight energy is infectious and exciting; with MH I always liked the neatness and conciseness of it, like a glistening piece of immaculate steel.

    Ian Gillan once said that both MiJ and WDWTWA are flawed for him via his own performance, because he had just gotten over bronchitis and he could still hear it in his more strained performance on those records. I tend to agree with him a bit on that, he does sound a little raw on the three MiJ gigs. But otoh exactly that gravelly tone in his voice might have appealed to a lot of people on a live record where everything was slightly OTT.

    I spent the last hours listening to the 2014 remix and remaster of all three gigs (as opposed to the MiJ album as a collection from all three gigs) and I have to say that they did pick the best performances for MiJ (which came mostly from the second Osaka gig). Listening to the full enchilada, some of the cock ups and bum notes (mostly by Ritchie!) are really charming/endearing.

    As live albums as a document of a band’s prowess on stage go, MiJ wipes the floor with The Song Remains The Same by you know who!

  10. 10
    George in Ohio says:

    I’m on record on this site saying that this is my favorite Purple album overall. I’ll firmly stand on that without reservation. My God, the musicianship is absolutely astonishing – Jon in particular, to my ears, never sounded better. And in addition to the guys incredible individual chops, they are as tight as I’ve ever heard them. Recorded live with no doctoring – stunning. In the 50 years since it’s been released, I’m pretty sure I have not had a month that I did not listen to it. And I have no intention of breaking that streak.

  11. 11
    MacGregor says:

    @ 9 – bait thrown out into the Deep, taken & now thrashing about a little with no intention of being caught, he he he! The performance of a live concert situation as you have pointed out in your comments, is interesting. Well interesting in the attempt at dangling the bait over the side to see if you can get a bite. Hook, line & sinker by the feel of it. Seriously though a recorded live performance from any artist is exactly that, on the day & MIJ as you have eloquently stated is picked carefully from 3 different days for a reason. Blackmore playing a dud note, NEVER. Those poor old Zeps, fancy going out on a limb & testing the water like they did on many occasions. The Song Remains The Same indeed, also recorded & edited over 3 days. There must be something about that number 3 me thinks. Numerology, the Occult, funny hats, Aleister Crowley even. How did it all go so wrong for Led Zeppelin. Not their best recorded live performances as they have always stated, but maybe the DEVIL is in the detail. Cheers.

  12. 12
    Janbl says:

    50 years? That can’t be right, I was 15 then when I got it and now i’m just….wait, oh…
    My favorite “desert island” album.

  13. 13
    Peter in Frankfurt says:

    A MILESTONE IN MUSIC HISTORY

  14. 14
    DeeperPurps says:

    George @10……totally agreed on every point. Same for me.

  15. 15
    getahed says:

    But why did they overlap Highway Star and Child In Time on all remastered versions by 2 seconds so Child In Time starts whilst the applause for Highway Star fades out!
    I think they did it on all songs but so noticeable on HS/CIT.
    Shelled out for the 2014 version and still the overlap!!!!!!!
    If it ever gets remastered again then PLEASE FIX IT!

    Listing to my original vinyl coz its the best!

  16. 16
    Adel Faragalla says:

    For me, it’s the best DP live album ever made.
    Just keep any recorded studio album out of it as you can’t compare the two.
    50 years has gone and still sounds better with time.
    Just play it from start to finish and enjoy the journey back in time.
    Peace ✌️

  17. 17
    AndreA says:

    The loudest, the inimitable: the best.
    Immortal.

  18. 18
    Andy says:

    This wasn’t my first Purple album, but it was the one that got me firmly hooked. I remember blasting the SOTW riff and being amazed at how fat that guitar sounded.

  19. 19
    Coverdian says:

    Still STUNNING, still GRANDIOSE, still MAJESTIC after all these long years !!! Brilliant recording by one and only BAND!

  20. 20
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Just compared the 1998 Steve Hoffman (a diehard Purplite) audiophile remaster (those fancy and expensive things with a gold disc) to the most recent 2014 Kevin Shirley remix and remaster of MiJ. What Hoffman has done still stands the test of time, it sounds like a glorious version of the original vinyl (it’ll cost you an arm and a leg to get that DCC remaster these days). Spacious, like you’re watching the band from a distance but with a great sound. Compared to what Kevin Shirley did, Jon Lord is perhaps more ‘there’, the whole remaster sounds sharp, but not too sharp.

    But time moves on and the technology of 2014 was something else altogether to what Hoffman had available plus he could only do a remaster, not a remix. The Kevin Shirley mix and master is a behemoth in condensed sound, everything jumps at you, it sounds less ‘traditional MiJ’ and more like you are standing on stage with them while they are playing.

    I won’t get into the “loudness war” thing. Steve Hoffman hates compression on CD remasters and increased volume, he’s among the vanguard of people who deride it as dynamics-killing. Kevin Shirley otoh is unafraid to state that some compression (too much for Steve already) is necessary for a heavy music remaster to make it kick some butt. (I personally sit comfortably on the fence on the subject.) He has said about the album:

    “I recall hearing this as a kid, and I loved it. It was the first Deep Purple record I owned, and I think it’s one of the best live albums ever. I spun it to death. I would say this is the definitive lineup of the band – Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Ian Paice, Jon Lord and Roger Glover. It doesn’t get any better than that.

    Quite bizarrely, much later on, I was asked to remix it. I absolutely didn’t think it was necessary, but I didn’t want anyone else to do it, so I did it. People have a tendency to clean things up too much and remove the color from the music, so I wasn’t having any of that. I think I managed to beef it up a little, but I didn’t really change anything. It didn’t need it – it was so special and unique.”

    And the people who frequent Steve Hoffman’s forum say about that:

    “The 1993 Robinson/Goodwin mix isn’t entirely catastrophic if you want to hear percussion and Hammond to the fore, which is interesting once in a while. But for the iconic 16/8/72 opener “Highway Star”, Blackmore seems to have been left behind in England, so far back in the mix is the guitar. And, as you rightly imply, Glover appears to have left the band already. (Uwe’s edit: Damn right and unforgivable – speaking as a bassist myself!).

    The 2013 Kevin Shirley mix reduces Martin Birch’s “BBC broadcast” width of soundstage to a narrow core between the speakers. I understand that the modern taste in rock music production is dense but this shrinks the band’s power significantly.

    Never mind 50th anniversary. As we say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it …”

    – END OF QUOTE –

    I’m happy to have both though.

    Random notes on all mixes and masters available to me (I compared SOTW, Osaka 15 August version):

    – original late 80ies CD masters European & Japanese – those masters are both fine and sound like MiJ should, just not any better from the vinyl;

    – 1993 Godwin/Robinson mix of all three gigs mastered by Peter Mew, I had to take the Osaka 16 August version here, the 15 August version wasn’t remixed at the time) : Simon, what did you do?! Roger’s glorious overdriven Rickenbacker bass entry is gone, he just subwoofs along, relegated to the back of the mix – a sonic crime! Ritchie mixed back as well, but if you like Paicey’s bass drum work, this CD is for you, it’s like an Ian Paice drum clinic mix and I must now assume that Little Ian paid Simon Robinson handsomely extra to acchieve this result. File under “Ian Paice’s Bass Drum & Friends Live in Japan”. It sure is instructive to listen to if – like me – you simply love Paicey’s agile and nimble bass drum work.

    – 1998 Peter Mew remaster of MiJ: Roger’s bass sound’s overdriven Rickenbacker frequencies are back, yet he has also gained low end. A very heavy remaster made to sound LOUD.

    – 1998 Steve Hoffmann audiophile DCC remaster: Bright and detailed as you would expect from this particular series, but never harsh. Not as massive as the Peter Mew one. Pleasant.

    – 2013/14 Martin Pullan remix and remaster of all three gigs: The most middish mix of them all, not bad, just different. Roger’s sizzling top frequencies are subdued though, I prefer him more abrasive.

    – 2013/14 Kevin Shirley MiJ remix and remaster: Roger’s top end somewhat reinstated (but not in full old glory) plus added low end, not as middish as the Pullan mix and master. Sounds more vibrant and lively than the 1998 Peter Mew remaster above. Ian’s hi-hat captured extremely well.

  21. 21
    Svante Axbacke says:

    @15: To make it fit on one CD? I listened to some version on Tidal yesterday and noticed it was 76 minutes and something long. We want it all of course but the average listener probably doesn’t care about those edits.

  22. 22
    MacGregor says:

    Why don’t these so called audiophiles just leave MIJ alone? There is nothing wrong with the original, surely. However that is human nature as they say, curiosity kills the cat. The comment that one of those guys said that Uwe mentioned @ 20, ‘I didn’t think it needed it, but I didn’t want anyone else to do it’ says it all to me. Rock music in stereo & captured in time. The original MIJ is wonderful. Do I need to search for that proverbial needle that may be in that haystack, no I do not. Cheers.

  23. 23
    MacGregor says:

    Thanks Uwe for all the information on different releases etc, much appreciated. I was reading yesterday on the Steve Hoffman site about his remasters etc & also fans comments which vary as they usually do in regards to remasters, remixes & the like. For what it is worth my MIJ cd is the Warner Bros release, all on one disc. Apart from the same photos & sleeve notes from the original album there isn’t any other information printed on this release at all except ‘printed in the USA’. Sounds exactly the same to my ears & memory as the original vinyl release I owned from the 1970’s. I purchased the cd in the late 1980’s. Cheers.

  24. 24
    MacGregor says:

    Just listened to Highway Star, Lazy & Space Truckin’, wonderful to hear again as always. Talking of ST that rhythm section thing that Glover & Paice lay down later on during the jamming section is very reminiscent of The Nice & their version of Dave Brubeck’s ‘Blue Rondo a la Turk”. Later adapted by ELP & with Keith Emerson being a influence on many keyboard players I am not surprised Purple borrowed that for alive setting. I have noticed that for many years now however back n the day I wasn’t familiar with The Nice let alone Brubeck. Cheers.

  25. 25
    Robert Brodman says:

    I remember playing MiJ in the car on the way to a DP concert. My friend said why don’t we’ll listen to a live album. I said this is live. He didn’t believe me until there was applause at the end of the song. He couldn’t believe that a band could sound that good live.

  26. 26
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Purple’s uncanny ability to replicate their studio sound live was always their forte. Most bands concentrate on repeating live what they did in the studio, hoping they’ll come close. Purple was the other way around: Their quest in the studio was always to replicate how they sounded live. Martin Birch understood that and that is why he became their go-to-eingineer and -producer.

    Purple’s music also follows a certain recipe, it’s what I mean when I say it’s good engineering like a German car:

    – The riffs are always carried by guitar and Hammond (mixed louder than in most other bands), so you have that “gorgon” (guitar + organ) effect as Jon jokingly described it. Sometimes even the bass joins, tripling those riffs (In Rock especially is full of that trick).

    – When they are not playing in unison (and a lot of Blackmore’s mightiness in playing riffs was actually Lord doubling him, strangely Rainbow could never quite emulate that), they don’t get much in the way of each other because Ritchie is a sparse rhythm guitarist while Jon is no shrinking violet and playful/improvisational on the organ.

    – And then there is a singer with a high, clear voice singing very audibly above it …

    – … and finally a dense, thobbing, but always swinging rhythm section underneath that is energetic, yet not heavy-handed (not alluding to any other bands here whose rhythm sections tended to sound like a whale, I swear!).

    Purple’s music has simple ingredients/components (and they largely stick to them, at least with the songs they present in concert), is not overarranged and does not rely much on ambience, it’s a very direct sound. Wham-bam-thank-you-m’am. It transfers well to stage.

    Plus they’re all better musicians than their music would warrant. Each one of the Mk II guys had the chops to play prog rock, yet they played music that went for the gut (with some brain). (A lot of critical derision about Purple came from that , they were accused of underselling their talent.) They weren’t Status Quo or AC/DC in the limitations of their trademark sound, but you can’t really call Purple experimental (Mk I’s output and Fireball as an oddball excursion excepted). Given their vast talent, proper live execution of their music was never an issue.

  27. 27
    Fernando Azevedo says:

    It was 1974 and I was 10 years old. I was at a friend’s house who had older brothers than us. That’s when I first heard Deep Purple and the song was “Strange Kind of Woman” on the Made in Japan version. That dialogue between guitar and voice was enough to hook a 10 year old boy. I was never the same. I take the opportunity to say that Brazil loves Deep Purple

  28. 28
    Noe Nunez says:

    I was born one month after they recorded those shows in Japan, I heard that album as a teenager in the mid 80’s and sounded so fresh and exciting nothing compared to it , I still listen to it to this day

  29. 29
    Jim Sheridan says:

    A vaguely related comment: I noticed yesterday that there is a book about the singer Meatloaf that is called “Everything Louder Than Everything Else.” Is there a connection I don’t know about?

    (I do know that both Ritchie and Meatloaf lived in the same part of CT)

  30. 30
    Rob says:

    Macgregor 24 yes, and also have a listen to the rhythm guitar on Get Back and compare!

  31. 31
    rock voorne says:

    @ 29

    I recall Marvin Lee Aday being very critical of the Purps labelling them as Rock and Roll Mercenaries(pun intended of course) . I think they shared a bill during the Perfect Strangers tour. And didnt Pat Thrall once play guitar in his band? EX Rainbow drummer John Micelli btw. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2DuSO8QoBw&ab_channel=TheNeverlandExpressFanPage

  32. 32
    sidroman says:

    I love Purple, but the Everything Louder Than Anything Else title goes to a band called Motorhead. I remember them opening for Black Sabbath in 94 and 95 and they made Sabbath, Purple, Priest, Maiden, Ted Nugent,The Who etc, sound like elevator music.

  33. 33
    MacGregor says:

    @ 32 – Deep Purple circa 1972 according to the Guinness Book of Records were the loudest band in the world, allegedly. As we know the saying ‘can we have everything louder than everything else’ is from the same era. Coincidence no doubt. Ian Gillan is the second voice repeating that saying on MIJ, does anyone know who the first voice belongs to. In regards to Motorhead they held the title for a while during the early to mid 1980’s from my memory. However no doubt there have been a few different bands since then who may have been louder again. What did Lemmy say in regards to people at his concerts going deaf, ‘at least they will remember the last thing they heard’. Classic Lemmy. Volume isn’t everything as we know. I much prefer better quality songs & music that is a little lower on the overall volume level. Standing in front (2nd row) of Tony Iommi’s set up in 2007 at the Heaven & Hell gig was incredibly loud & rock music doesn’t need to be any louder than that for my ears. Cheers.

  34. 34
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Tsk, tsk, tsk, Inmate MacGregor, for this question,

    “Ian Gillan is the second voice repeating that saying on MIJ, does anyone know who the first voice belongs to?”

    you really should be sentenced to 20 years of hard labor on some arid Pacific island (subsequent settler status optional).

    Of ourse dry Ritchie chirped it and Big Ian, obviously amused, repeated it into the microphone.

    Listen now to at least three BN albums in penance!

  35. 35
    MacGregor says:

    @ 34 -Oh no, not 3 BN albums, NOOOOOOOOO! anything but that! I thought it may have been Blackmore, it is the sort of thing a lead guitarist would say. I definitely did not think it would be Jon Lord or Ian Paice saying it. As for that Glover boy who can tell. Regarding my 20 years of hard labour, try 62 years & that has already passed me by, he he he. Cheers.

  36. 36
    Rock Voorne says:

    “MacGregor says:

    @ 32 – Deep Purple circa 1972 according to the Guinness Book of Records were the loudest band in the world, allegedly.”

    Roger said that it was nonsense because the band was playing in a too small venue and thus the record.

  37. 37
    MacGregor says:

    Yes the loudest band in the world rubbish is just that. Hyped up attention seeking from a few to make out something is special for what ever reason. There could have been a band playing down the road who were louder but nobody would know about it. Except maybe the audience who still have hearing issues as a result of being there. Media hype me thinks. It is a bit like ‘the greatest band in the world’ or ‘the sexiest male or female in the world’ on & on & on they go. Cheers.

  38. 38
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Rock Voorne at 31: I think the animosity goes back to a couple of rock festivals in 1985, inter alia in Knebworth and Germany, where Meatloaf was one of the opening acts.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My6-upvHr_Y

    The Purple crowd didn’t exactly lap his music up, they were starved to see their heroes at the beginning of the reunion craze. There was backstage cloak & dagger intrigue and Marvin threw a tantrum which didn’t go down well with Purple. And a Gillan throwaway remark on Meatloaf’s singing, “if that is what he was doing”, sealed it all off. Marvin was hamperd on stage too, he had a plaster around his leg.

    I’m ok with Meatloaf. I’ll never forget a car ride listening to Bat out of Hell II and my son, then barely a teenager (and deep into his Korn and Guns & Roses phase), quipped: “Dad, this is kind of the Disney cartoon movie version of rock music, right?” He really summed it up, the little smart Alec!

    I saw Marvin on his last European tour – the only person I ever heard singing worse at a professional concert was an already near-death-with-multiple-mini-strokes Brian Connolly at a late eighties gig of a band that labelled itself “Brian Connolly’s SWEET”. They were booed, it was heart-wrenching, but deserved. Meatloaf didn’t hit a single note that night either, you would only recognize the melodies when the – talented – female backing singer joined him and mercifully reminded you of the key of the song. He was totally tone-deaf and his vocal cords shot, Lemmy would have been Pavarotti in comparison.

    That said, the man and his classic albums are part of rock history and this is actually my favorite performance of a Jim Steinman song by him:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jPMv9zJ1LE

    It’s evocative, no two ways about it.

  39. 39
    MacGregor says:

    “Meatloaf didn’t hit a single note that night either, you would only recognize the melodies when the – talented – female backing singer joined him and mercifully reminded you of the key of the song. He was totally tone-deaf and his vocal cords shot, Lemmy would have been Pavarotti in comparison”. HA Ha Ha, I like that indeed. He was over rated by some & without Jim Steinman, well we know that nobody would have ever heard of him, surely. Cheers.

  40. 40
    Rock Voorne says:

    Never saw MEATLOAF life so, although I tend to listen to a lot of boots, I can not say much about it.

    I really appreciate some of his work and was always amazed this fat man could sing so well.
    I think he got “thinner” later on.

    “Thinner” is a movie that horrified friends of mine.
    I now can relate having lost 40 pounds in 4 years time and this time it wasnt diet or sports that did it.

  41. 41
    GAVIN MOFFAT says:

    Made in Japan … the original vinyl release and the original gold cover CD release … are unbeatable. Why? … Because that is what the engineer Martín Birch and the members of Purple who mixed it … Roger Glover and Ian Paice, recognised and shaped as the best representation of their band … live. They would know .

    I have most of the other versions but don’t play them, except to hear Ian Paice more clearly (a little too loud but great to hear) on the 3 CD, “Live in Japan” set.

    Leave it alone … the cover is gold for a reason, it’s elemental warm, prized, heavy and it SHINES.

    The best rock album ever made on a stage … or in a studio.

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