BBC Sessions • Update

UPDATES • There is a separate page about this title, which includes all the updates, track information and a downloadable PDF showing all the various covers. Visit BBC Sessions Update.

The CD and Box Set can both be pre-ordered at the DTBOnline Store.

STORY • This project has cleared the last hurdles and we’re starting to put thinking caps on. Two more recordings have turned up recently, both with previously lost numbers from early Deep Purple sessions on, none of which have ever been bootlegged. It brings us down to just two sessions still lost, plus a couple of tracks which only exist in poor quality. So we can’t call it ‘the complete’ yet, but it’s not far off. Thoughts of perhaps making a nice presentation set with the sessions and the two In Concerts were mooted, but batting this idea around with people here has come down in favour of two CDs. CD1 will be the BBC Sessions. CD2 will be a revised version of the BBC In Concerts, packaged to match. So fans can just get the sessions and not be forced to buy extra discs for material they already have (although the 1970 and 1972 sets may get a light-touch sonic upgrade; I’ve heard two sample tracks done at Abbey Road and they do sound good).

Needless to say I’ve had a bit of fun doing a cover idea (a project is not a project for me until there is something visual to refer to) and this is shown here.

EMI have managed to sort out a deal with the owner of two of the unissued sessions. It is likely that there will be a Various Artists BBC Sessions set which will include one or two of the Deep Purple tracks, and this may reach the shops before the full DP set. So unless you really cannot wait, our advice is to hang on for the full CD (though the V/A set may be interesting for other bands).

I have now finished the full session listing which I will add on a separate page, and your input would be welcome.

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43 Responses to “BBC Sessions • Update”

  1. Robert Lundgren Says:

    About the suggested cover – if the sessions (1968>1970) from both MKI and MKII are to be presented on a 2-disc CD release, I don’t think it should have a “In Concert” 1972 live shot where just four of the five MKII-members are seen. Instead it should somehow represent all members from both MKI and MKII for the actual period.

    • simon robinson Says:

      You’re quite right Robert, and the CD cover idea was changed. I figured we’d save the Mk 2 In Concert image for the upgrade of that title. There were vague plans to put the sessions and In Concerts all together at one point early on, which is how come that idea first appeared.

  2. Mike Galway Says:

    RELEASE EVERYTHING! Best live version of Space Truckin on ’72 BBC! any takers?

    • simon robinson Says:

      I do have a great fondness for this recording. There is just such a sense of expectation in the performance, setting out with what they must have realised was such a strong album. So when I fancy a bit of live DP, it’s often one I stick on. And the version of Lucille is probably Ann’s fave bit of live DP ever. So yep, we’ll go with that Mike.

  3. Helmut Says:

    How about “Beeb Purple” as the title?

  4. purpledaniel Says:

    Actualy I liked the cover photo; Simon can you confirm the new sessions are Mk I?

  5. Ricardo Says:

    Great ! Really great news !
    But in my unimportant opinion I believe the In Concert shall be worked as a stand alone title just because its so magnificent that this release, for itself , deserves an exclusive update of package, sound and info.
    If there is a title I would not be bothered to buy again, that’s In Concert.

    • simon robinson Says:

      Strange isn’t it; the In Concerts are some of my favourite live Deep purple recordings, perhaps because they are such early versions of what became very familiar show stoppers (and now perennials!).

  6. Alan Nimmo Says:

    Hi Simon – any possibility that the 1970 “In Concert” could be re-released in the original mono, rather than the awful “re-processed for stereo” version we were landed with for the original vinyl/CD?

    • simon robinson Says:

      An interesting point; I have a feeling the source tape for 1970 was a two track quarter inch, but I’ll ask Abbey Road to check if it was ‘true’ stereo. It may just be that it was genuine stereo, but very crudely done (the quad mixes of Live In London were similarly dreadful).

      • Andy Says:

        Simon – getting a version of the 1970 In Concert without the fake stereo gets my vote too. I couldn’t stand listening to it and so made my own mono cd version – and even edited out the DJ to make it sound like the original LP release which I used to listen to in mono!?!!?

      • simon robinson Says:

        I’ll see what we can do then. I’d like the DJ left in myself, but could arrange it so that is a separate track which can be programmed out. Or maybe bundle them at the end so people like me could programme them back in perhaps!

  7. Helmut Says:

    If I remember correctly, in the past mono sources were used for the official releases. It seems from listening to bootlegs that stereo sources do exist – at least for some of the tracks. Will these be included?

    Generally the sonic quality of the BBC session material wasn’t really good and I had the impression that that didn’t necessarily have to do with the source material. If the “In concert” material gets a sonic revision, what about doing the same with the session tracks?

    If Blackmore has to OK the release of 1991 live material, does he also have to give his OK for this project? Is that the reason why there’s unfinished business with the Sonic Zoom series? In other words, will the live material that is still around never be released?

    The BBC sessions catalogue lists “Jam stew” as “John’s stew”. This title seems to imply that this is something like a melting pot of song ideas by Jon. Am I totally off the mark?

    Let me close by saying that this project is very close to my heart. I hope for maximum success with this project. This one is for us anoraks! Thanks for the effort so far.

    • simon robinson Says:

      I shall do my best to make sure we compare as many versions as we can, and then we can have a think about which to use (or as suggested below) in some cases have a couple of versions. The quality depends to some degree on the sources, off-air versions are all that survives in some cases. But all seem to be better than those used on EMI’s Groundhogs BBC Sessions a couple of years ago, which was a huge disappointment…

      • Gary Critcher Says:

        Just to clear up, all the Purple BBC sessions were mono recordings. In fact, I think I’m correct in thinking that the only stereo recording by the band at the BBC was the 1972 ‘In Concert’.

  8. Barry Williamson Says:

    I agree with Scott, the “IN CONCERT” shows are seperate and if it works out I would love to see this collection done in chronological order (I know you wont let us down Simon)…including if space permits the session and transmission info.

  9. scott wood Says:

    Great news! Nice of you to answer all the various (questions) to this exciting upcoming set! But… I cannot wait to hear what the unheard tracks will be! Like the others, I feel the ‘IN CONCERT’ shows are just that, serparate from the BBC sessions done in a studio.

  10. jim grogan Says:

    sounds good will be looking forwards to that when it comes about
    thanks

  11. Roy Davies Says:

    Great news….reminds me of coming home from drumming lessons in my late teens all fired up with optimism and then listening to Paicey’s intro to Grabsplatter; and realising I was never going to be any good!!!

  12. Gary Critcher Says:

    …it’s a pity the actual bluddy ORIGINAL session tapes don’t exist, like they do for Zeppelin…..

  13. Gary Critcher Says:

    I’m all for a ‘BBC sessions’ disc and nothing else, not even the ‘In Concerts’. I’d vote for just the studio session recordings (as complete as they can be) in chronological order, please!

    • simon robinson Says:

      I’ve noticed that the Strawbs BBC recordings have just come out as two separate releases, Sessions on one and In Concerts on the other (or something like that – I’m not a massive Strawbs listener but one of our friends was staying over and he bought both while he was here). This might make a nice alt. plan for the DP stuff, so people like us who have the 70/72 material don’t need to buy it again. Maybe do matching packaging for the two titles and update the old In Concert release a bit, lose the old fashioned double size jewel case for example.
      Though I’m hurt you’d think I wouldn’t do the Sessions in chronological order. I’m even wondering if, where some versions exist in different edits, should there be room, we add those at the end as bonus tracks.

  14. jimmy Says:

    I know i’ll get shot at for this, but didn’t the BBC record a show from the Slave & Masters tour that was never broadcast, any chance that will ever see the light of day?

    • simon robinson Says:

      Like the Kilburn show, this was a live gig rather than cut in a BBC studio. I think it was one of the Scottish gigs on the tour (Edinburgh?). I’m not sure why it never got broadcast but again you would need to get Ritchie to OK it.

  15. Anthony Says:

    Simon – You can get Funky Junction on CD now! If you lot could get involved in another reissue, maybe the Babyface tracks would make good bonus numbers… Anyway, the Mk.1 news is exciting enough as it is. As much as I can safely take at my age…

    • simon robinson Says:

      I saw that it was around on CD (we’ve just been offered that Hell’s Preachers album on CD by one of our suppliers too), but decided not to bother. The Baby Face material is fraught with problems (and if it could come out it would probably be worth doing as an EP). They got as far as an agreement with Lynott’s mother (the idea was for his share to go to their foundation), Ian Paice, who didn’t rule it out, and then decided Ritchie would nix it.

  16. Anthony Says:

    Great news. Does this mean the “Bandstand” version of Hush has now turned up in good quality? It’s the best version of the track (although Thin Lizzy as Funky Junction deserve a mention here). Wonder if a Mk 1 And the Address will show up too…

  17. purpledaniel Says:

    Hi Simon, “It brings us down to just one session still lost, plus a couple of tracks still missing from another. So we can’t call it ‘the complete’ yet, but it’s not far off.” Does it mean you know who owns or have a clue about where these lost sessions are?
    I would go with a stand alone BBC Sessions without the in concert series.

    • simon robinson Says:

      No, there is still one session which we have not been able to find in any collection yet. When we get the list up we’ll indicate which this is. Just in case someone is sat on it without realising! I remember my excitement when another student at art school came in with an old 3 inch reel of tape which he said had a Deep Purple radio session on. We hunted around for a reel to reel player and it had a great version of Wring That Neck on (and some other artists off Top Gear). Still have the reel somewhere, though this is one which now exists in much better quality.

  18. Helmut Says:

    What a coincidence! I just got started on putting together my own sort of BBC compilation being fed up with finding two tracks here, another three there and another track still on a compilation. I can’t help saying that I haven’t always been happy with what was released officially, as far as the BBC tracks are concerned. You can find longer versions of some of the tracks on some of the bootlegs and sometimes the sound quality is even better!
    Rather than putting the “In Concert” material on there, how about adding those live bits and pieces from the Fireball era that are out there? Why? What makes the BBC sessions so interesting for me is the fact that they often cover material which isn’t available on full concert recordings elsewhere. It’s the only good source for live Mk I recordings, it has rare “Deep Purple in rock” tracks and shows Purple working on ideas never released on album – well, those rare Fireball moments would just fit in nicely. Oh! And of course the “Playboy after dark” material should also be on there.
    I hear you say “but the licensing problems!” Well, then I should get back to my own compilation after all, shouldn’t I?
    By the way, weren’t there three “In Concert” programmes (1970/72/74)?

    • simon robinson Says:

      Hi Helmut – I think this will have to remain a Strictly BBC set, rather than a rarities round-up. Yes there were three In Concerts, but only two were recorded in the BBC studios, so that was my sort of logic. Still not sure if they will want to go down this route anyway.

  19. Stephen Clare Says:

    Hello Simon, Can you list all the proposed tracks (other than the In Concert sets) that you have that will be included or is it to earlier for that yet. This is certainly a great collection to finally come out as it will show the development of some of the songs.

  20. Craig Storey Says:

    My feeling is that the BBC session tracks should stand alone from any gigs etc. Some of the tracks of the re-issued first three albums by the band were fantastic, a great insight into the embryonic Purple.

  21. Karl-Heinz Says:

    A complete BBC-Session CD-Series would be fine. I love especially the Mark I tracks as there is not much Mark I stuff around (except Inglewood and the previous released BBC-Songs on the Mark I remasters etc.).
    A BCC version of “Hey Joe” is already released, but it misses the “Bolero” intro which is to be found on some bootlegs. I hope this awesome intro will be appear on the next compilation.
    If you love the Mark I stuff I can really recommend “The Deep Purple MK I Songbook” by “Nick Simper & Nasty Habits”, released by Wymer records recently. A raw and fresh live recording with all the great Mark I songs….

    • simon robinson Says:

      Hi Karl, we plan to try and do a full BBC track list with timings, post this here and then hopefully collectors can see if there are other versions out there which might be longer or have less talking, etc. It’s still something of a mystery as to why there are different versions about of some session tracks, but it is thought that some tapes were done by people off air in the UK, others were done from airings outside the UK when tracks were played from the famous transcription record albums, which were put together differently. Simon
      PS I think Jerry Bloom owes you a fiver! But yes, it’s an interesting CD.

  22. Ricardo Moreblack Says:

    At last!!!

  23. Andy DiGelsomina Says:

    Well, this I’m definitely going to be happy to see. It would be extra cool to see everything with In Concert included. Fingers (and toes) crossed!

  24. Steve West Says:

    This is by far one of the most exciting archive releases in a long time. I know a lot of it is available elsewhere but to have it collected together in what I imagine will be chronological order will be great. And the announcement of new material is just too good to be true – although I do believe you.

    The In Concert sessions question is touchy for me. We have it already in complete form – I’m supposing there’s nothing missing. Is there likely to be any enhancements that would make a repurchase worthwhile? I’ll buy it anyway either way and won’t grumble but it would ease the pain.

    Is there any possibility of adding the instrumental intro onto “Hey Joe” from 14 Jan 1969?

  25. Gary Critcher Says:

    do I get a namecheck on this one, too, Simon??

    • simon robinson Says:

      A gold foil embossed limited edition pressing signed by all the band Gary! By the way one of the newly discovered sessions came from a guy who also worked at the BBC, and his job was to DESTROY transcription records as they came back into the office. Mercifully he couldn’t always bring himself to do it. Sound familiar?! You’re also name checked on the upcoming vinyl of Gemini Suite too, and a promo will be yours for the asking.

  26. Jeff Breis Says:

    Very exciting, Simon.
    Thanks for your decades of diligence!

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