Time to resurrect old vinyl...
This is probably the best of the Inside series - Classic Rock ‘critical reviews’ in audio/visual format - that I’ve seen so far. Truth be told, I fell asleep watching this the first time. But I’d had 5 beers and it was in the early hours, so that isn’t any comment on the quality of the product on offer here.
The DVD features material from the output of Deep Purple Mark II (the classic Lord, Paice, Blackmore, Glover, Gillan line up) from Concerto For Group & Orchestra (1970) through to Who Do We Think We Are (1973) and the ‘classic’ albums in between, notably In Rock (1970), Fireball (1971), Machine Head (1972) and Made In Japan (1972).
And what a fruitful few years they were, when Purple firmly established themselves in the premier league along side Zeppelin and Sabbath as the finest purveyors of British heavy rock.
The DVD opens with a taster - excerpts from Orchestra which while an interesting concept never really married the two disciplines. Gillan’s vocals sound in particularly fine form and heavily reminiscent of his Jesus Christ Superstar role.
Then we quickly move onto the real ‘meat’ - In Rock, Machine Head and Made In Japan. The live footage is extensive and of high quality. Definitely the best in the series so far.
And we’re treated to classic, after classic - Speed King - a manic performance from Blackmore while the band bludgeon everything in their path. Child In Time sends a shiver down your spine. Smoke On The Water - Mostly Autumn demonstrate how good it can sound, even by imitators some 30 years on. Highway Star, Strange Kind Of Woman, Woman From Tokyo. The list goes on.
As on the rest of this Intimate series, the standard of reviewer is mixed. Some are clearly knowledgeable, but don’t come across well on camera. Others - in particular the musicians used to the spotlight, shine - Geoff Whitehorn, Doogie White and Bryan Josh all demand you attention with their relaxed but informative style.
I always think the test of something like this is whether it makes you want to dust down the old vinyl and crank up the volume. Made In Japan is assaulting my eardrums as I type. Enough said.
Review by Pete Whalley
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