Archive for the ‘Albums’ Category

A200 anyone?

February 6, 2023

Good to see Glenn Hughes is on the ball, preparing to tour in celebration of Burn’s 50th anniversary, albeit only in sunny Spain so far.  As sharper minds than us have pointed out (hi Tim), GH has in fact already played the bulk of the album on previous Remembering DP jaunts.  Still he rarely disappoints live so should be a good night out.  And maybe he will have a go at A200 to complete the set?!  Thanks to Steve Clare for the flyer. 

In Concert

November 27, 2022

As someone who has hung on to far more printed ephemera than is probably sensible, I was tickled when this scan arrived from Gary Critcher to see he also keeps interesting bits and pieces. It’s a compliments slip from Safari Records, and the handwritten note is from Tony Edwards, who co-owned the label and of course managed Deep Purple in the classic era, and co-ordinated their back catalogue. The slip accompanied a review copy of the album In Concert, which Gary in his position as a one time BBC Transcription department manager helped me co-ordinate the release for EMI Harvest in late 1980. Tony also sent me a copy with a similar note (which I likewise kept), having (he said) spent the morning listening to the record! It kind of sums up Tony’s attention to detail and also his courteous nature to think of people – I can’t imagine many label managers doing this (indeed, having helped Edel put together their Jon Lord vinyl reissues a couple of years ago, I am still awaiting my sample copies, never mind a thank you, so they know what they can do next time they come a calling!). This slip was dated Nov 27th 1980. I’d do the maths, but it would be too depressing! Those two BBC recordings are still excellent examples of the band live, and the Lucille encore in particular remains a favourite of Ann’s.

Vacaciones

September 12, 2022
The Prague Symphony Orchestra practising Hard Lovin’ Man, yesterday

Ian Gillan is filling in time between sections of the DP tour by doing another of those orchestral rock tours, this time across Spain with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra in November. He has been doing these gigs for over a decade now. The orchestra will be doing tracks by at least five bands fronted (I assume!) by different singers, and IG gets to close the show with eight or so Purple classics including Hush and two from the reunion, including a track off Whoosh, Nothing At All, which is chosen as Ian reckons it is his favourite Purple song of the lot at the moment.

Talking of Hush, John McEvoy thinks he heard Coral Bookmakers using it as the backing track in TV adverts last year…

MIJ50

August 15, 2022

Christmas 1972 came just a little bit early for most Deep Purple fans, even if they did have to buy their own present, providing they could find £3.25p. What would that money buy you back then? Your parents could stick ten gallons of petrol in the family car; if you were old enough to sneak into a pub, a pint would cost 16p (one six pence), and if you weren’t you could put it towards a Raleigh Chopper, but still have to save up another £32.
Like a lot of Deep Purple fans at the time I was still at school, supposedly trying to get on top of my A Level subjects. What income I managed to get together came from a bit of pocket money, a couple of evening shifts at the local fish and chip shop, a weekly delivery round stuffing 15 copies a time of the ‘advertiser’ through any letter box big enough to take them (we did try just putting the lot in the paper recycling bin one week but there were complaints from people who hadn’t had their copy!) and a regular gig at the city cathedral (weddings and funerals paid extra).
So as the news about Deep Purple ‘first ever “live” recording’ broke in the music papers via unprecedented double page two colour adverts, it wasn’t too difficult to get myself into town on the day of release and bag one of the first copies.

Made In Japan box 2014 reissue

Needless to say for dedicated fans (and I think I already counted as one of those) this was far from our ‘first ever’ live recording, as we had been introduced to the mysterious world of bootlegs by Sir Richard Branson the year before and H-Bomb, Space and others had already enthralled us. So Made In Japan was partly a response to Deep Purple managements battles with Virgin to get bootlegs banned. Though whether they and the band would ever have got around to doing a live set without the prompting of Warner Pioneer in Japan is open to question.
I guess all we can say is thank goodness for the executives at Warners. There was plenty of precedent for the Japanese live album going back to the sixties, with in concert albums by The Walker Brothers, The Ventures, Miles Davis, Cliff Richard (and even The Osmonds) getting there before Deep Purple did. Benny Goodman even called his 1965 live album Made In Japan. These releases were seen as a great way of introducing western acts to the home market, and giving them something exclusive. Most were strictly for the Japanese market and didn’t surface back home until specialist import shops opened up (hands up if you remember Flyover Records in Hammersmith where I went into debt to afford my Roy Buchanan Live In Japan import a couple of years later).
Many of the big US and European labels were at best indifferent to official live albums, which is clear from the decision by Warner Brothers in America to hold Made In Japan back for around six months so it wouldn’t clash with the band’s new studio album there, only really relenting when import copies began to flood across.
£3.25p then, actually a good deal as most single albums were above the £2 mark at the time (Flyover would charge around £9 for single LP Japanese imports), and everyone agreed to take a bit of a hit on Made In Japan to encourage sales. It was Christmas after all!
So despite a budget price there in terms of presentation the album was very slick, though clearly the product of a marketing mind rather than aimed at fans. I recall admiring the small pics on the front and back (mostly the Rainbow Theatre in London), and the gold special ink, but being distinctly underwhelmed by the inner gatefold (and lack of record sleeves). What, nothing to read?
Once you put the damn thing on the record player though all that was forgotten as we were just sucked into a blistering Deep Purple performance. And that’s what remains, fifty years on. Of course fans already knew how Deep Purple were the best live group we’d ever seen but here was proof positive.
It’s quite difficult to put your finger on it but here were five gifted rock musicians with very little to prove, who could amble on stage (with little in the way of presentation) and rely on each other to keep things powering along come what may. That left them free to push one another and together with the spirit of competition this produced often remarkable performances, as well as giving them freedom to indulge one another when the situation arose. Of course they knew they were being taped but that never seems to restrain the performances. And by taping all three shows on the trip, there was plenty of material to work with. Never especially a band to keep going over things again and again, they couldn’t be bothered with any overdubbing and while Ian Gillan in particular was a little critical there was a consensus arrived at to produce what they felt was the best cut of each track and throw them together in such as way as a full live set was achieved.

Deep Purple on stage in Japan during the August tour.

In the fifty years since, the background to the band’s internal wranglings off stage at this time has been well documented, which just add another level of astonishment to the cohesion exhibited on these recordings.

Fans soon became aware of the fantastic packaging of the Japanese edition which certainly didn’t cause me a moments hesitation to fork out for once I’d seen it. Over the five decades since then the archive market has tinkered with Made In Japan reissues three or four times both to wring more mileage out of the tapes and explore the unreleased versions. I could write as much again about the politics surrounding the 3CD EMI set which first explored the original multi-tracks (until then nobody seemed sure they’d even survived). Or, with a heavy heart, having to tell EMI they could stick their abysmally packaged multi format box set where the rising sun don’t shine as it did not come close to what it needed to be (if your design team cannot even spell Smoke On The Water correctly then you know you are doing something wrong!).
Even the bootleggers still hammer away at this, presenting note for note end to end CD sets of all three concerts using audience recordings (and stealing the Darker Than Blue name for their packaging!). That there even is a market for such releases shows just how powerfully Made In Japan cuts through the band’s history and psyche.

Rolling Stone still have it at the sixth best live album of all time as voted for by their readers: “They’ve done countless shows since in countless permutations, but they’ve never sounded quite this perfect.”
The Skeptical Audiophile, an American hi-fi shop which searches for the best pressings of any given vinyl disc, then cleans, ranks and sells them on, had this to say: “Made In Japan – sounds more like a top quality studio production than any live album I’ve ever heard. It’s shocking how clean and undistorted the sound is. I’d put it right up there with the best of the best. In terms of Tubey Magic, richness and naturalness — qualities that are usually in very short supply on live albums — I would have to say that the shootout winning copies of Made In Japan would be very likely to take Top Honors for Best Sounding Live Album of All Time. Yes, the sound is that good.”

So we’re somewhat spoilt for choice when it comes to how to celebrate this momentous album and everyone will have their own ideas. I love the EMI triple set (well, I would say that wouldn’t I?) as it kind of hits home like a proper official bootleg; imperfect but very exciting. So I might dip into that, and perhaps a side off the original vinyl just to remember Christmas 1972. It was after all the last we could safely enjoy without that Slade song…

Just as the heatwave comes to an end, here’s a DTB exclusive shirt to help you be the envy of your pub quiz team! From the DTB shop.

I’ve been framed

June 17, 2022

I had a sudden burst of repairing bits and bobs a few weeks ago. After adding vintage style flex to two old 50s table lamps, and replacing a loo seat (then replacing it again as it was rubbish), I tackled these backstage passes. They’ve sat in a wallet for years now and I figured while they often look a bit dull on their own, put together in a frame they might look good. I’d no sooner done that when I found a few more, so had to get another frame! I use those ready made album sleeve frames, they’re not the cheapest but make up for that by being easy to use (and reuse). Once the layout looked OK, I hoped the pressure of the acrylic would hold them in position but it didn’t, so I resorted to a sliver of double sided tape to keep them in place. They now cheer up a bit of wall space and remind us of 35 years of reunion gigs, from the reunion in 1985 up to their Infinite album tour. I should point out that they are not all my own passes, I rarely used to get such things on the night, but many were donated by other fans. The rarest is probably the flashy one bottom right for the reunion announcement press conference in America, which Lori sent me at the time. A number came from Bernadette’s collection which ended up at the DPAS and are a nice reminder of a dedicated fan we remember with fondness.

I’ll be waiting for the call from The Repair Shop.

Like a numpty, I realise I have not included our Knebworth passes, so will have to rejig everything when I find those. I’m not sure I have ever related our Knebworth pass story and hopefully enough time has now passed. So…

While the management were sniffy, well downright hostile to the DPAS at the reunion, my contacts at Polydor were much more friendly. We had bought tickets for Knebworth but they kindly sent me two passes for the stage side viewing area a few days before the concert. The problem was that we were going with my sister and brother, and had arranged to meet up with a couple more fans.

I was working then a few days a week at a printers and had a mad idea. I took the passes in and showed the boss the crack-back paper and put the question. He managed to get some off the paper rep the next day and I copied the design using the professional flat bed repro camera. I made a metal plate from the negative and my mate on the small press mixed up the correct ink colour, and we ran a dozen or so sheet off. When they’d dried and I’d cut them down I couldn’t tell the difference, so everyone we knew was handed one and we spent the afternoon in relative discomfort amongst a bundle of hay bales sheltering under a massive oak tree. I’m sure many in the immediate crowd got better views but we didn’t have to worry about being sucked into the swamp all day which was a huge blessing!

Christmas sales

December 7, 2021

The TURNING TO CRIME promotion machine has ramped up accordingly following release last week (that’s the 5X12 inch singles box, with plus DVD and bonus 7″ if you’ve got £50 burning a hole in your pocket. Plus shipping). The online Listening Party eventually happened a day late (due the Wednesday evening before its Friday release) after techie issues, but RG was on hand to answer questions from fans.
IG popped up on Sky News on the morning of its release (did the invite from Holly Willoughby not get through?) and the whole band also appeared on German TV the same morning playing a live rendition of ‘7 and 7 Is’ – though eagle-eyed viewers will have noticed that SM appears to have been filmed separately to the other guys (Video: Hausmusik: Deep Purple – Morgenmagazin – ARD | The First (daserste.de)). Then on the Sunday evening there was an hour long special on Planet Rock Radio, with IP and DA talking about the making of the album between airing tracks.

As with the previous album David Browne has been keeping an eye on the official charts for us (we’re mostly doing online shopping still but our nearest supermarket Sainsburys have given up on vinyl, CDs and DVDs now anyway) and it went in at least top 30 in many places: Switzerland : 4, Germany : 5, Scotland : 12, UK (physical) : 13, Sweden : 14, Belgium (Francophone) : 22, Holland : 25, UK (digital) : 28, Belgium (Walloon) : 29, Austria 5, Finland 6, Czech Republic 8, Poland 9, Norway 21.

The album went in to the official UK combined charts for Dec 5th at Number 15, above Johanne Strauss (?!) but below Taylor Swift as she and DP turn out for a chart battle rematch! It’s actually quite a vintage band chart at the moment, what with Deep Purple, Abba, Rod Stewart, Elton John, David Bowie, Queen and Fleetwood Mac all in there at the same time. Who would have bet on that in 1977.

Thanks also to Tim Summers for info.

In winkelwagen

November 17, 2021

SORRY – THEY PULLED THE AUDIO CLIPS NOW! If you like those 30 second teasers for new tracks then some mail order sites have just put them online for the new Deep Purple album Turning To Crime. Tim Summers has sent us a link to one shop in Europe (yes some of them continue to survive despite Mr. Bezos’s worst efforts!).

https://www.platomania.nl/article/9905271/turning_to_crime_digi/deep_purple

Released on bail

October 12, 2021

DP’s cover of Love’s 7 And 7 Is was pushed as the “single” on October 6, not that such things have much meaning these days – sadly. Is it any good? Well with players of this stature it was never going to be awful was it, but opinion does seem to be splitting amongst the “worldwide community of Deep Purple loyal fans” (© edel press dept) – or at least that small fraction I’m in touch with regularly – as to whether they will bother buying it or not. More exciting perhaps is that just as the world finally catches on to the harm the Instagram platform does, Deep Purple have launched their own account! So all those teenagers out there who couldn’t be tempted by the Deep Purple twitter and facebook feeds (and never knew what a web page was anyway) can now follow the band. Can a Bebo page be far behind?
The editions of the album have also been revealed to get collectors salivating / scratching round the back of the sofa for change. There will be (deep breath) a clear vinyl 2LP, the regular black vinyl 2LP, a cream 2LP vinyl edition, both digipack and standard CDs, a 5×12” single box set, which I assume divides the LP up into twin-deck disco chunks plus a bonus track, a cover of ‘(I’m A) Roadrunner’, and a bonus DVD. And of course there are the download versions. There is also a “Locked Up: The Making Of Turning To Crime” out on YouTube. Nice to see someone bucking the trend for shelf shortages here anyway. Some folk are still putting money on this album being volume one of two, as the first leaked press track list was headed Volume One, but I’m no Sherlock Holmes.
Thanks to David Browne, John Tucker, and many more for the in-tray meltdown!

Racing like a…

September 30, 2021

I feel I ought to mark the passing of fifty years since the release of Deep Purple’s FIREBALL album in September 1971 but unsure exactly how. Life these days just seems to be a repeated “jeez it’s XX years since” sort of experience and it all becomes a bit dull just to keep pointing the many anniversaries out. Not to mention the fact that I’ve splothered on about Fireball so often before, both in the old fanzine, then on the anniversary CD release (itself now some twenty five years old – though still the version I usually turn to) and that 6CD box EMI box set – while cruel people wishing to taunt me just have to say “textured vinyl”… But will people in the far distant future be splothering at such length about Whoosh? I’m not sure I’d put money on that. And I won’t be around to collect even if I did!
One thing which really annoys us at the DTB oldies office at the moment is this unquestioning story that the media have begun to run with that people have only just discovered climate change and planetary pollution. Apart from the fact that we’ve been recycling newspaper since I was a kid (I cannot be the only one who remembers those saturday morning newspaper collection drives), here was Ian Gillan railing against just such stupidity on No No No and to a lesser extent Fools five decades ago. Maybe the wonks in charge at Cop26 will make all the delegates sit and listen the former – loudly – before things kick off.
And if there is a better lyric pulling apart the vagueries of celebrity fame and fortune than No One Came then I’ve yet to find it. So a whole side’s worth of genius before we even start thinking about it. Sure, as Gillan is wont to say, Anyone’s Daughter does stick out a bit and would almost certainly have gelled better had they replaced it with the planned extended version of Strange Kind Of Woman, but it does somehow make a nice coda to an otherwise hard hitting record and it would be difficult for those of us who bought it on release to imagine the album without it.
Incidentally although in private ownership, you can rent one of the outbuildings at The Hermitage where the band began writing and rehearsing for the album as a holiday cottage now if you want to relive the experience. The evenings in the local pub however are out as it’s currently closed following a sale.
There is a minute of super 8 footage shot while the band were there, seemingly incomplete as it cuts out, but gives a glimpse of how it was – all set to snippets from The Concerto! If you shot this and know where the rest is get in touch…

Crime Watch

August 31, 2021

Thanks to Mathieu Pinard / Rock Hard magazine