A live album by the great Progressive Rock band Deep Purple? You bet, this is that. Deep Purple was on a roll by 1972 and was the cutting edge for the then-new subgenre of Rock music, Progressive Rock in their own individual way. Although many in the Punk movement of the late 1970s dismissed the often overblown and lengthy nature of Progressive Rock, there were some very bright moments and classic albums created in retrospect for Prog’s sake. This is one of them, being a successful high point for Deep Purple. It is also Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich’s favourite album of all time. Let’s kick back and hear if this still sounds as great today as it did in 1972. All tracks were recorded in Osaka, Japan way back in 1972 except for The Mule, which was recorded in Tokyo at another point in 1972.
Highway Star launches the album with some loose instrumentation, namely in the way of drum hits and keyboards, followed by cheering from the crowd. Instantly, one can hear the excitement and history-making moment from here. Soon enough, the band launches into this classic song and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore plays some amazing fills. The song gets going and singer Ian Gillan sounds fantastic here. This is a really amazing piece of music from the beginning, and it also proves how able and ready Deep Purple were as a live unit, quite aside from making great albums. After the verses and choruses conclude, Ritchie Blackmore plays some amazing guitar solos, followed by some awesome keyboard solos to match. Once again, truly amazing and competent musically. A really interesting piece of instrumental music that beats the competition thoroughly. Shortly, the song section resumes and we have a very pretty and amazing section of music here again. In the second half are more amazing and impressive guitar solos from guitar maestro Ritchie Blackmore, playing like a Hard Rock Jimi Hendrix in some respects. The shredding continues and this piece will make your jaw drop. Instantly, you can hear how wonderful and impressive this piece of music is. Ian Gillan then resumes singing nicely and the tune reaches its logical conclusion shortly afterwards. Very excellent music and the crowd approves as well. Nice work by Deep Purple here.
Child In Time is the next track up from the previous tune. Once the cheering has stopped, the tranquil sounds emerge from the keyboard, illuminated by hi-hats. Soon enough, this subtle sounding introduction to this song gets going. Ian Gillan delivers a gorgeous vocal and delivers the emotion and passion very well in this song. A really cool and interesting piece of music, this does sound gorgeous and unique. In some ways, this live performance sounds much better than the original does, that is the truth. If you agree, Deep Purple have truly made a magical listening experience on this recording. Soon enough, the wailing vocals and supporting instrumentation become very loud, just sounding top and amazing. A great and fantastic listen, it quickly goes into a synchronised section, before launching into a great set of solos by the band. The guitars verge on feedback, and the crazy 1970s sounding organ sound excellent. Soon enough, there is a tempo change present that is dramatic and killer. Ritchie Blackmore rips loose with his guitar work, and he sounds very much like someone who certainly had chops. A very impressive, interesting and artistic guitar solo, the rest of the band are also killer musicians as well. No doubt a truly excellent listen, this is utterly amazing. A really cool piece of music, Deep Purple deserve real credit on this album especially. The guitar phrasing sounds a little weird in places but is in no way off course or poor. For those who love a great example of live performances, this is Exhibit A for you. Soon enough, a brief halt occurs and the agenda returns back to the song section, being much slower in tempo. Some neat volume swells occur from the keyboards, and Ian Gillan gets softly singing. This is an amazing listen and has some very interesting sounds, singing and textures from the band. Soon enough, the wailing louder singing resumes and this builds up in volume and intensity. A really excellent and furious sounding piece of music, this is top-notch music for any listener to enjoy. The track quickly then launches into a Black Sabbath style heavy bass guitar style groove, with Ian Gillan muttering over the top of it as this piece gets faster and faster. It ends with some extreme playing, chaotic drum rolls and yelping. Eventually, it concludes and the audience claps and cheers. Brilliant.
Smoke On The Water is, of course, the most popular Deep Purple song. It has a great introduction before the band launch into it, with Ritchie Blackmore launching into the guitar riff that is iconic and famous. The crowd clap along very well with this, and this is extraordinary and impressive. Drumming enters, and eventually, the whole band gets going. A really awesome listening experience, this is nothing but very impressive, imaginative and top-notch music. The song itself is really cool and cleverly done, and it just sounds super amazing. This is more a typical listen from Deep Purple rather than something instrumental based. Still, this is just as good as the other songs present on this live album. Ritchie Blackmore plays some super excellent and impressive guitar parts that sound really cool and legendary. Quickly launching back into the song section, this is a great live version of the original song on this album. Lively, different, interesting and consistent, Deep Purple prove their worth on this live performance. Towards the end of this song are some wailing keyboards, intense guitar riffing and some really cool playing by all. It eventually wraps up with some neat soloing by Ritchie Blackmore, followed by squealing keyboard sounds and the parts go to and fro between each other, before this song finishes, to much approval by the crowd. Some random chatter and a few drumbeats finish this song before launching straight into the next section of the album.
The Mule is another long-ish piece. It begins with some nice guitar playing and some rolling drum beats. Soon enough, some chaotic keyboard sounds enter and this piece gets underway. It sounds a lot like Eddie Van Halen was inspired by Ritchie Blackmore from what is here. Soon enough, Ian Gillan sings nicely on top of it all. This is glorious and wonderful sounding, it just sounds really majestic and interesting. Soon enough, the instrumentation fades out and we have a really manic drum solo. It is nothing but amazing and unbelievably excellent, with a sense of groove to the drum solo, even during the chaos here. A really very awesome and genuinely cool listen, this puts many postmodern artists to shame today, especially those who are reliant on automation and autotune. The dynamic skills of Ian Paice are not to be underestimated as a drummer. The intensity and fury of the drumming are extremely good. A very amazing and fresh approach to the 1970s and beyond, Ian Paice puts in a fantastic effort on this record. The drumming goes through various stages and cycles, which make it very interesting to listen to. Eventually, the crowd clap along to the drumming, before more chaotic playing continues. A nice drum groove follows, this dude can really play. A fantastic solo piece on this record, and well worth your time. Pounding furiously along, this changes shape, form and intensity constantly. A really impressive listen, this is a great drum solo. Towards the end, the musical section from the start resumes and we have drums, keyboards and guitars playing along well. A genuinely amazing effort, this is a great listen. Good to hear. It ends well, and the crowd cheering says it all. Way to go.
Strange Kind Of Woman begins with a scream, nice guitar licks and some good groove for a tune. Ian Gillan sings wonderfully here, as we enter a piece of music that is about a woman who one desires. A really cool tune, this is an interesting listening experience. Soon enough, this song goes into some interesting harmonies, before Ritchie Blackmore gets a guitar solo going. Needless to say, Ritchie Blackmore can play. In fact, he shreds away like his life depends on it. A really impressive and great effort from Deep Purple, this sure sounds like nothing else out there. The music on this recording is amazing. Ian Gillan returns with some glorious and interesting singing and he sounds fantastic on this live record. Soon enough, the solo section returns for Ritchie Blackmore and he also plays really very well. The guitar work is sensational and impressive, and it really sounds top notch and great. Many wailing lead lines are here, before the group go into a subdued and interesting groove, with the crowd clapping along. A truly excellent interaction then follows between vocals and guitar, with the cool drum groove ongoing in the background. A really expert and professionally delivered piece, this sounds really different and sweet. The interaction continues between the vocals and guitar, with the groove continuing throughout. Soon enough, the piece goes a little subdued, before reaching an excellent section to conclude with. Ian Gillan then does an impressive vocal, before this concludes. A really cool piece of music, this is extremely good. It concludes well and the crowd approve of it nicely. There is some vocal interaction between Ian Gillan and the crowd before an introduction to the next song occurs. Brilliant.
Lazy begins with some pitch-shifted keyboard and it sounds exciting from the start. Somewhat akin to science fiction music, it quickly launches into a cyber groove that is far out. A really different and impressive listen, this is a great introduction to this piece of music. The keyboard sounds are interesting and memorable, being a great outer space style sort of listening experience. Eventually, the main song launches off into existence, beginning with hi-hats and some clapping from the crowd. Some subtle hammer-ons from the lead guitar then occur, and Ritchie Blackmore gets playing along very nicely. A really world-class and amazing listening experience. This is a great listen that will bring a smile to your face, it is really top and excellent. Ritchie Blackmore plays some searing lead guitar fills and sounds like he was inspired by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, in a big way. Jon Lord’s keyboard then pop up again, and this driven piece sounds really incredibly good. This piece is very, very good. Soon enough, Ian Gillan begins singing away very well and delivers a great job on this song. He also plays some wild harmonica here, which is different and impressive for Deep Purple. A really interesting listening experience, this does sound really cool. A really fine and interesting listen, this piece sounds very cleverly done and each instrument shines in its own way. A keyboard begins in the second half, followed by some interesting guitar playing with whammy guitar work. The guitars and keyboards interact with each other before the guitar launches out in its own way. Soon enough, a subtle set of guitar riffs emerge with the crowd clapping along and the drums lead-in. A really fresh and excellent listen, this is worth your time. The band conclude with a decent jam and this piece ends with a fabulous musical section. Well done.
Space Truckin’ is the last song here and is around 20 minutes long. It begins with some racing hi-hats and a subdued organ that gradually becomes more prominent. The crowd clap along nicely. Soon enough, this song gets going with some further loud clapping and the whole thing sounds awesome and marvellous. Ian Gillan gets singing and this extraordinary piece of Deep Purple is begun. The whole thing does really sound interesting and well thought out, it is a clear rival for the original song in terms of quality. Ritchie Blackmore plays a mean guitar and just sounds really awesome and fantastic. An extremely lively and interesting tune, it launches into a solo section with Ritchie Blackmore playing very, very well. Following is a call and response between the bass guitar and drums, making it very different and unique. Soon enough, the chorus section is repeated and Ian Gillan sounds really on top of it all with his wailing vocals. The song section ends and the piece goes into solo territory. The keyboards solo away and make a gorgeous and fresh approach to the extended jam of this song. The rest of the band supports the keyboards perfectly, this sounds really amazing and surreal. The whole thing sounds like Deep Purple meeting chaos, in musical form. A really interesting, dynamic and expert listening experience, Deep Purple changed Rock music forever as we know it. Cool and awesome, this piece then has some major pitch-shifting keyboards, flowing in and out of the jam. The drumming supporting the keyboards is spot on and intense, and it goes to show how wonderful this all is. Lively, fun and energetic, the keyboards seep in and out of audibility, whilst the drumming powers on. It sounds somewhat like music from a science fiction movie, but is better than that, really. The extreme and spacey keyboards continue throughout this song, and they sound very 1970s. A really cool and great listen. In the second half, the band all return to play their part after the lengthy keyboard solo. A very interesting and emotionally passionate listen, this instrumental section continues very nicely. Some feedback-laden guitar work follows, and Ritchie Blackmore sounds really different and amazing on this extended jam. He plays using a lot of tremolo work (whammy bar use) and soon enough, he stops, leaving the drumming by itself in a very quiet section. Some guitar violining then emerges, which is subtle yet strange. The intricate playing continues, and this sounds rather eerie. This is very suspenseful. The keyboards surge in particular moments in this instrumental section, playing tag with the guitars. A really good and interesting suspenseful listen, overdriven guitars eventually kick in and this piece stops momentarily before the whole thing resumes back into the mad instrumental that it is. Cool and awesome, this is a really great showcase for the music that Deep Purple and Progressive Rock could make. This piece gets furious and energetic as it approaches the end of it all. A really top and amazing listening experience, this journey concludes with a load of intricate playing and drum rolls that are fantastic. Nice job. The audience claps and cheers as this live album draws to a close, and the audience claps for more. A great finish to a great album.
A truly masterful, excellent and wonderful listen, Deep Purple made a fantastic and enjoyable album here. This is a keeper, particularly for those of you who dig Progressive Rock and especially Deep Purple. The music present on this album is nothing but amazing. Give this a listen if you can, you will not regret it.