Archive for the ‘Made In Japan’ Category


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.

Make room…

August 3, 2018

It is the silly season after all. Since 2000, Machine Head (which is on my mind as I am working hard to wrap up the new book!) has been reissued on vinyl by Rhino, EMI, Back to Black, Universal and Warners, in a choice of clear, black or purple vinyl. And those are just the ones I know about.  So please forgive me if I can’t get too excited by this and the accompanying set of similarly coloured vinyl reissues of that part of the Deep Purple catalogue which Universal now control. And I own 25 copies of Machine Head, so must be their target market! What saner heads must think I can only guess.

Universal vinyl reissues 2018.jpg

Anyhow, if you missed them before, here’s your chance again.  Of course they’re remastered, although one suspects this just means a new master has been cut rather than anything more substantial (and I’m not certain remastering technology has developed that much in the three years since the last one!). And sure this work will have been done at Abbey Road, but only because that’s where the tapes are stored and copied. And yes they’re in a nice shade of purple, but then again so was the Machine Head reissue six years ago.  It is also limited, not really a big surprise as most reissue vinyl is these days. The sales people calculate the likely market and profit, an appropriate number are pressed, and then the run is closed.  It does seem to me major labels are quickly killing off this market; does the world need a reissue on vinyl of the first Now That’s What I Call Music LP?  Because there is one. I spotted it in Sainsbury’s last week.

Of course the set looks nice in the pack shot (let’s hope the sleeve scanner has remembered to remove the Record & Tape Exchange price stickers this time too!), but sadly they would just get squeezed onto our shelf, spine out. Maybe my £126 would be better spent on some more shelving.  

Any variations here? Well they’ve added the Mk 4 label to Last Concert, which also seems to have been pressed in black and purple vinyl (check the inner bag below where someone has forgotten the Photoshop mask)!  But you can pick up a nice original import press for only a few dollars more.  Or there is a very spiffing original first press minty looking copy of In Rock down at my local second hand shop. At least there is some history behind that.

Last Concert reissue.jpg

More from your local newsagent

February 2, 2018

Anyone still short of that Planet Rock magazine Deep Purple special we mentioned a couple of weeks back, the Waitrose supermarket chain in the UK have just put it in the shelves as a promotion this week so we could pick a copy up at last. Quite a good read all in all, and a few nice pics.

Hopefully easier to find than Planet Rock, the new issue of Record Collector out this week has a big article entitled The Untold Story of Made In Japan, although those who have read it suggest The Retold Story might be more appropriate. However quite a few nice photos, some in colour, so worth checking out even if the regulation Mk 2 group photo is looking a bit over-used.  I can’t resist a decent Debbie Harry photo, so that will probably swing it for me! Thanks to Stephen Clare and others for the heads up.  

Best heading though which turned up this week while I was trying to find out when Roger Glover first brought his Rickenbaker back on stage during the reunion (he can’t remember, if you can confirm do tell! We think it was 1993):

Roger Glover Explained –
What is Roger Glover?


September 17, 2014

If you resisted the temptation of MIJ earlier this year, then BBC4 TV has the documentary part of the box set available on BBC iPlayer, having screened it last Friday – which must mark a record of shop to screen.  Ann made me watch the last bit of it (it still hurts to see these jobs being done poorly – photocopied record sleeves badly lit, where’s Ken Morse when you need him?) then we stuck with the repeat of the first part of the Metal Britannia which has a good chunk of Deep Purple history in as well, and a typically great Jon Lord interview. Gave up when the spandex started appearing!

Marshall in Japan

May 28, 2014

Made-In-Japan-stickerThere are now over thirty reviews of the new box sets on the site, and Tonny Steenhagen has done a really great in depth analysis of the pros and cons of the big CD box for us.  While we’re all Japan 72 fixated, we have a special DTB article devoted to Marshall engineer Ken Flegg, who actually built the desk they were using for the first time on those Japanese shows. He was flown out to look after the gear in case of any teething troubles, and has put together his recollections about the visit.

clear space on your shelf

May 20, 2014

Strange how everything goes quiet for a time then suddenly we’re swamped with new (and old) releases and forthcoming projects. Here’s a quick catch up with what’s happening:

Made In Japan is now shipping in all the various editions. We have already gone on about this on the site so will be interested to hear what people say once they actually get to study the content in detail. I’ve opened a reviews page.  DTB online stock is going out but taking ages to pack; as seems the norm these days we were left til last for stock orders.  However we will hold the advertised prices on the big editions for the next couple of weeks.

Jon Lord The Artwoods RPMThe Artwoods collection has been revamped since we last posted about it.  The set has been given a new title, Steady Gettin’ It, a new sleeve with a great colour photo, and an extra disc!  So it has morphed into a triple album.  The main reason for this is the inclusion of no fewer than FIVE BBC sessions by the band, some sixteen tracks in total from 1965, 1966 and 1967.  The booklet has also been expanded to 38 pages. It’s due in at the very end of July now, so will probably ship early August. Full track list is on our online store.

Also from the sixties is a nice looking reissue of the original Zephyr debut album, Tommy Bolin‘s first major studio output. Out of print here for years (BGO first issued it in the UK on CD), this has been overseen and annotated by band member David Givens and includes a remaster of the original 1969 album, a CD of miscellaneous live tracks and a third disc which is a one-off full reunion show from 1973 in Boulder (Tommy had moved on the year before). It’s a US import due at the end of this month but DTB Online will be stocking it. All the CDs are in separate mini-gatefold covers packaged in a nice slipcase with a detailed booklet.  Just think, MIJ could have looked like this!

Bernie Marsden ShineBernie Marsden has also finally set a date for his much trailed new solo album Shine, which is now due in August. As we’ve mentioned before, this features David Coverdale, Ian Paice and Don Airey in guest roles.  The previews we’ve heard sound great, a really gusty blues production. There will be a limited double vinyl run as well.

Glenn Hughes‘s new outfit California Breed is also due in a few days. They have added a limited edition which includes a DVD of the promo videos and other goodies.

Still no sign of the triple vinyl for Black Masquerade by Rainbow, we’ll keep hammering away at the label reps for a date.

The triple vinyl of Deep Purple’s 1969 Concerto has also gone back and is now promised for late June.  The Mk 1 box set is still in the pipeline but getting nearer.  I’m hoping there will be some exciting news concerning this, but have to keep quiet for now.

All the above are on the DTB Online store and can be ordered – or pre-ordered.

Lastly we do have some stock of the limited edition Record Store Day Deep Purple releases here but will only put these on the store once we have fulfilled the pre-orders.
And talking of online stores, we are in the final testing stages of a NEW DTB COLLECTABLES online shop.  Response to our earlier lists of collectors items, rarities, second hand vinyl, etc. was so good we have decided to open a new online shop for this sort of material.  More details will follow very shortly.  We are also going to open a new email news and new release news service.  Lots of you already get emails from Ann but her software is now starting to creak at the sheer number of addresses. So we’ve invested in a special software to organise this better and again details will be posted here soonest.

Made In Japan 2?

April 14, 2014

Deep Purple’s recent show at the Budokan was filmed and recorded officially for what we assume is an upcoming release. Full set list (which still includes the five new songs as well as most of the original MIJ) is on the tour date page. Shall we start a Yougov petition to get Steve to change his solo track? X number of signees and they have to debate it in Parliament!

Special live double album

March 11, 2014

Made In Japan price sticker.

Big thanks to James for this great photograph of his first day Made In Japan, with the original price sticker on (and the poster he got from the shop display!).  I don’t remember the sticker at all, so nice to have it confirmed. The arguments rumble on about the 2014 reissues, lots of grumbles but most people going to go for one format or another. I think what it does highlight is the total lack of clarity on what is actually appearing. Even Universal’s own site contradicts other press releases and it does seem silly to have not worked out a full detailed package of sales information before letting it loose on the web.  Anyhow, we’re trying to update the formats etc. as we get more details on the MIJ page. I heard this week that the big CD box set will also entitle the buyer to download the audio as both MP3 format and the new high definition audio too.  This is a format agreed on by the big labels to exploit the back-catalogue again by admitting that CD audio is NOT the holy grail of audio after all. The problem with the HD audio is the files are massive, so can only be handled on a Blu Ray disc.  Still if they’re giving this format away gratis on downloads, that’s something. Provided your hi-fi and broadband can handle it! Anyhow, editions are on the DTB online store and we should have shipping prices sorted before long (post goes up again in a couple of weeks by the way, as a privatised Royal Mail seeks to pay off their new owners).

from £3.25 to £130.25!

March 3, 2014

Made In Japan box 2014 reissue

Yep, that’s inflation for you.  The final plans for the Made In Japan reissue have been released and add up to twenty discs spread across five different editions, the star of which is the nine vinyl disc box set. Actually the prices haven’t been announced yet (which will give us time to get used to the idea I guess) but based on the label’s recent very high dealer prices it ain’t going to be cheap. In essence it’s three shows remixed, but if you were hoping to have all the shows in sequence on CD then forget it, it’s vinyl only for that option. Anyway, we’ve done our best to make sense of all the formats and you can see more pictures and read the details on the site here.  How did we know it was £3.25 back in 1972?  Here’s the in-store poster…  I can’t even get the bus into town for that now.

Made In Japan box 2014 reissue


September 23, 2013


Deep Purple – Made In Japan

The NME is running a poll on their website to determine the best live album of all time; with Made In Japan currently at number one slot. Not sure when the poll ends (maybe it’ll roll on for ever, they update it every half hour), but it’s easy to enter and you do not need to register on the site to vote.

Thanks to Stephen Clare for spotting this. A ticket for the original show has been added to our growing Concert List section as well.