Machine Head 40th Anniversary Edition
Dec 3rd 2012 update • The 5CD box set was deleted at the end of November without warning.
Eyes down for a full house! The sales sheet crashed my Mac (something which almost never ever happens) three times as it tried to load. EMI have certainly come out with all guns blazing on this, combining the album and the 1972 BBC In Concert to mark the 40th anniversary of the album release. But while the official pack shot (below) looks pretty impressive, the only really new elements are a remix of the 1972 BBC show, and another remastering. As we suggested last year, finding a way to better the 1997 edition hasn’t been easy and overall there isn’t a vast amount you won’t already have in one form or another.
If we tackle the big Machine Head 5 disc box first, that will hopefully cover most things. When A Blind Man Cries is included with the album on all versions and there are a couple of single edits tucked away on the 5.1 disc.
MACHINE HEAD BOX SET
CD1: ‘MACHINE HEAD’ ORIGINAL ALBUM NEW 2012 REMASTER
Self explanatory; how it improves on the 1997 edition we’ll have to see.
CD2: 1997 ROGER GLOVER REMIX
The one you already have.
CD3: QUAD SQ STEREO (2012 REMASTER)
The alternate quad mixes reduced to stereo (as on the 2003 SACD) albeit remastered.
CD4: IN CONCERT ’72 (2012 MIX)
A new mix done from the original 8 track tapes in its correct order, remixed at Abbey Road Studios.
Disc 5 Audio DVD: ‘MACHINE HEAD’ 4.1
This has the quad mix in true 4.1, plus three bonus remixes in 5.1, as well as the stereo version in 96/24 LPCM. In other words much the same as the original 2003 SACD edition (the eagle eyed will spot that discs 3 and 5 were combined on the original SACD).
The box set is just over CD size and has a 64 page book. If you want to know what Sebastian Vettel and Eddie Jordan think about the album, then this is the place to come. All the CDs have a purple tint to them and come in mini gatefold sleeves, each with a variation on the original cover, within the box itself. It all looks very swish and the price isn’t too bonkers for once either.
There is also a bog standard single CD with just the Machine Head 2012 remaster on as disc one of the box set. Which brings us onto the vinyl editions.
2LP ‘MACHINE HEAD’ ORIGINAL ALBUM 2012 REMASTER
Remastered this year by Jon Astley at Abbey Road, pressed on audiophile 180gram heavyweight vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with lyric sheet. It includes a special bonus 7″ Never Before / When A Blind Man Cries single.
2LP DEEP PURPLE In Concert ‘72 REMIX
This looks like the one which lets the side down big time. A really awful cover for starter (though this may change before it hits the shops, let’s hope so), the new mix is not being made available as a stand-alone CD for those who’d might want it but don’t need the full box set. Then, despite being a double LP, the sales sheets say they couldn’t fit it all on and retain the original running order (the show ran for 70 minutes). So Lucille is left off and stuck out on a bonus 7″ disc. To this they have added the previously unissued soundcheck version of Maybe I’m A Leo on the flip. This is the ONLY place to get this rarity, the only really new music on any of the editions. Before we all get too stirred up, please remember it is very rough indeed – with Gillan singing just a few bits (to save his voice) – and mostly of interest only to the hard-core. The album itself is pressed on purple vinyl.
So in all a bit of a mixed bag but without the involvement of the band there was only so much which could be done.
All the formats can be pre-ordered at DTBonline store.