Deep Purple • Made In Japan 2014 editions
REVIEWS : as this is now shipping, I’ve opened a separate page for reviews and comments.
I recommend people with any questions to flick through the above reviews page and some of the follow up comments, which explain about issues with the changing of channels between some discs. There are some slight edits between the songs compared to the 1997 3CD set though it’s a huge task to check for all these. The downloads are NOT available in North America, even though they are advertised on the box. In Europe the download situation is complex but a couple of people have contributed very detailed explanations in the review comments.
ANOTHER UPDATE – Universal are offering some buyers of the two high end editions a chance to win tickets for the Jon Lord memorial concert. I’ve no idea how this works as the show comes before the release, but there you go! There are also options for buyers of the big box versions to download the full shows in HD or MP3 formats.
UPDATE (updated) – A Blu Ray release has been announced (thanks to Alan Nimmo). According to Universal this will be one show (Osaka 16th) remixed, plus the original album in hi res audio (the industry’s new mantra). There is NO mention of 5.1 on the sales info so it looks like this is mainly for people who use Blu Ray as part of their audio system (and who can benefit from the higher bit rate). There is some confusion about the remixes as Kevin Shirley has confirmed that he did do some remix work on the project, we do not know what yet.
Universal have finally “announced” (if sending a photo to Classic Rock and a couple of online retailers counts as an announcement) most of the details of their upcoming Made In Japan special edition, a project which was first mooted back in 2011 (when the idea was to have it released for the 40th anniversary in 2012), then scheduled for late last year. It now hits the shelves in May 2014 (the big 42nd anniversary), and let’s hope the shelves are very strong!
It’s a little hard to be too dispassionate about this as I did a fair bit of work on cover visuals and contents back in 2011, and was looking forward to being fully involved. Instead of which the package has largely been handled in house, and from first impressions looks like it, put together by people with no real understanding of the material or what people (and most importantly fans) wanted from it.
The very obvious issue is that with the sky as the limit, they have managed not to do what everybody has been asking for, which are straightforward 2CD editions of each gig – in the correct order – with all the between song chatter. So yet again the encores are chucked onto a bonus disc. ” Well yeah, but it would have resulted in short CDs” comes the cry. Which might have held some water were this edition not already twenty (21) discs (updated) in total.
Let’s try and make some sense of the five different editions first. I assume many of these will be limited but which and to how many hasn’t been announced. The smaller stripped down editions will become the new regular catalogue items (the old EMI CD pressings have gone, as has the later 3CD live set). The original 2013 plans showed a 5.1 mix but this is not listed as part of any edition now. Also dropped is a planned three disc 7″ vinyl box set of the Japanese singles, and a promo 7″ to promote the whole shebang. So what was a 25 piece release (spread across the five editions) now becomes a 20 piece release.
4CD+DVD box set (full 1972 tour – 2013 remix) MIJUNI5
This comes in an LP size box. Inside is a book shaped pack which holds the discs, plus a reproduction copy of the Japanese single Smoke live / Smoke studio, the tour programme, reduced in size (at least they got the right one, originally they were looking at the 1973 offering), Pete Frame’s family tree (how many times have Universal stuck this out now?), etc. Discs 1, 2 and 3 have the regular sets on, Disc 4 has all the encores lumped together and out of context. Disc 5 is the DVD with the 8mm clips and other stuff. I think I originally referred to this as the Wheelbarrow Edition, as that’s what you’d need to get it home in! The box also entitles buyers to download the shows in HD audio format or MP3 audio files.
9LP Vinyl box set (full 1972 tour – 2013 remix) MIJUNIVLP9
For the vinyl they HAVE put the shows back in proper order, so each show is spread over three discs with the correct encores. LP size box with a book. Is this overkill? I don’t know. I love vinyl much more than the next man but done they way they have it seems a bit perfunctory. Three nice gatefolds with new sleeve pictures and you might have been talking.
2CD Edition (2013 remix of album + all encores) MIJUNI2CD
This is the original 1972 album, but in remixed form, and with the encores, plus multi page booklet (the spread which they show looks awful, with heavy metal decoration and a picture which certainly isn’t from Japan, or indeed 1972).
All the remix work has been done by Martin Pullan who works at Edensound in Australia. His credits include Leo Sayer and The Nolans which has worried a few people (!), but he did do a good job on Live In Stockholm for the Sonic Zoom series some years ago. I’m not sure what happened to the mooted Kevin Shirley remixes, if they were ever done (or just floated out there to raise my blood pressure!), but we can all breath a sigh of relief. All the new mixes were done in 2013.
Blue Ray Pure Audio (1972 album remix / 1972 album hi res audio)
This is an audio only disc for the hi-fi buffs who have the kit to access the higher sampling rate.
For people who want something more basic, there are two more editions which most closely replicate the original album release:
2LP Edition (1972 mix – remastered in 2013) MIJUNI2LP
Single CD Edition (1972 mix – remastered in 2013) MIJUNI1CD
The remasters will be different to those done for the EMI anniversary edition back in 1998 (which were pretty awful) but we do not yet know where they have been done.
Overall from a fans perspective it’s a bit of a mixed bag (or should that be remixed bag?). Certainly from the visuals supplied there is a distinct lack of detailed fan input, and the printed extras lack sparkle. The last critical element of course are the selling prices which have not been announced.
Quite why someone like Roger Glover has not been involved in this project isn’t clear. Back when the 3CD live set was put together he was asked but the only mixing slots available clashed with tours, so he couldn’t be there (and it always was intended as a quick release for the fans, which they expected to be deleted after a year). Given this one has been in the planning for a few years now and has a much bigger budget you’d think a few days could have been clawed back somewhere from Roger’s schedule.
It is without doubt the largest single release edition for ANY Deep Purple project ever, but whether it’s a case of quantity over quality we’ll have to wait and see. You can see visuals of all the editions on the DTB site here.
The editions have been added to the DTB Online store for pre-ordering. Shipping is not going to be cheap but as always we will pack these very securely and include recorded delivery on the higher price items.
Original posting about the new editions from 2011, with links to other MIJ resources.