Made In Japan • 2014 reviews

I’ve opened a separate page for comments and I’m sure people will have a lot to say. It looks at if the remastered 2 CD blunders; the encores are reversed stereo from the rest of the show, but otherwise nothing major beyond a dull booklet and pictures from the wrong period altogether.  Mind you we are all wondering what this rare track Somoke On The Water is all about! In all it seems to be getting a mixed reaction from the hard core:

I finally received my Made in Japan 2014 box (the 4xCD + 1x DVD set). I was pleasantly surprised to see the box is actually LP size – in the press photos it looked a lot smaller (yes, it was! Ed). As mentioned by some other people before, it looks like the track list on the back had mistakes as a sticker has been put over it (and the one on my box is wonky as well). Apart from this, the box looks well made.
More important, what’s inside? A large size hardback book with the familiar looking cover photo set against a black background; a replica 45 single that’s so thick it could have been 2 copies; a replica 72 Japan tour programme and a family tree. And – of course – 4 CDs and 1 DV held in the front and back covers of the book. Right, let’s get the (many) moans out of the way first.
1- price. Regardless of the content, these box sets are getting more and more expensive all the time. Why? Remember, in 1972 this particular LP cost $3000 to produce, which was even cheap at that time. Most fans have already bought this recording a few times before so why milk so much more cash out of us again? Sure, some money has been spent on remixing and production but I doubt that most of the profits will go to the actual artists we hear playing on these recordings so whose pockets are being filled here??
2 – the book. In short, it’s dire. What should have been the ‘added value’ to this box set is a huge disappointment – 60 pages of wasted space! Apart from the general design, it’s the lack of relevant content that’s the big let-down. Loads of great photos exist. Where are they? Where are the contemporary reviews and adverts? The tickets? A decent historical essay? No idea how much money Malcolm Dome got for his ‘sleeve notes’ but it’s been a waste of money. The written text could have fitted on a couple of pages, instead it’s spread out over 60?
What about the actual photo content then? We get a random section, some from the Rainbow 1973 (used twice!), some from Mk 3 days , some very average quality indeed. Has any thought gone into this? Again, what a wasted opportunity. If you charge this sort of money for a box set at least license some decent – and relevant – photos!
This line-up has always been referred to as Blackmore/ Gillan/ Glover /Lord /Paice. It looks like history is being re-written by giving Gillan top position now! The discography in the back looks far from complete as well. So, how is this all possible? A quick look at the ‘credits’ reveals all; none of the familiar names of those who used to have input in previous reissues are mentioned, and who know and care about the past of this band.
3 – the ‘bonus’ content. The Family tree is irrelevant to this release and out of date. Where is a replica tour poster or  the tour tickets?
4 – the DVD. How often can you keep recycling the same old clips in yet another documentary? The documentary is called ‘the rise of..’ but it deals more with ‘the demise of..’ Of course what fans were eagerly looking forward to was the Tokyo 8mm film footage. There’s about 16 minutes of this in the documentary but with people talking over much of it, not exactly the format we would have liked. Couldn’t the footage have been included on the DVD separately?
5 – The music. Right, anything positive left to say you might ask? Well, yes! Guess what? The audio content spread out over 4 CDs is absolutely fantastic! We all know about the actual performances thanks to the 1993 3-CD set which gave us most of the shows for the very first time (I’m ignoring the audience bootleg tapes from all the 3 shows here). At the time I was one of those who didn’t think the actual mix was as convincing as the original 1972 mix done by Glover and Paice, but was pleased to at least have the full shows (and a decent informative booklet). The Martin Pullan mixes are very good indeed and will make the 1993 set audio-wise pretty much redundant. Mind you, when comparing Highway Star from various mixes I noticed the new mix gaining but also losing some pre song talk – I’ve not compared the rest yet.
Are Pullan’s mixes better than the 1972 ones? I dare to say ‘no’ but they come very close. I compared all 3 mixes and somehow the 1972 mix sounds a bit more compact and warmer to these ears – but maybe it’s just because I’ve heard that mix for 40+ years now. Apparently a Kevin Shirley remix of the original LP is on the ‘Deluxe’ 2 CD set. I’ve not heard it yet and given how he butchered ‘Come Taste The Band’ a few years ago I’m in no great rush to hear it either.
So, on balance, was this box set worth the money? There was a real opportunity here to produce the ultimate ’72 Japan Tour Box’ and that opportunity has been blown. Some people say ‘it’s all about the music’. Well, given today’s digital age, if that were the case I could have settled for a simple digi-download instead. On reflection, maybe that the way to go for those of you who are still thinking about parting with your hard earned money. Tonny Steenhagen (Tonny runs his own online DP ticket gallery, if you haven’t been before it’s worth a visit).

Got given the remastered six LP Deep Purple Made In Japan boxset – something you just have to have! My mother bought me the original when it came out, cut price in Woolworths. The only disappointing thing is the booklet – bad photos. Why didn’t they get a load of the Fin Costello photos from the day? And do you really want to know what Joey Tempest, David Fricke, Alex Skolnick, Phil Demmel and Adrian Vandenberg think ? Let me help you, “NO!” It also has boring sleeve notes by Malcolm Dome who never even saw them with the original Mark II line up, why Peter Makowski wasn’t asked to do them is beyond me. But otherwise it is still a fantastic set of vinyl…  Ross Halfin (via his website)

For starters, it looks great, with the front and back of the CD packaging closely copying the original LP artwork. It’s damn near “strokeable”. It would seem the mystery of Mr Kevin Shirley’s involvement is finally solved. On this 2CD version the original album tracks have been mixed and mastered by Kevin Shirley with the “encores” CD, all six tracks, having been handled by Martin Pullan. Or so it is stated in the credits. In the booklet however it says Martin Pullan “was given the task of mixing each of these three performances for this edition of the album”. If you can’t convince the fans, confuse them?
The booklet is a bit of a let-down, with at least one picture of Blackmore that I suspect is from the Mark III days. The penultimate 2 pages of the booklet show a great shot of the band on stage, sadly with what looks like photoshopped lightrays coming out of Gillan’s microphone. Pretty awful.
The sleeve notes by Malcolm Dome could be worse but are nowhere near as interesting of well-written as Simon Robinson’s for a whole string of Deep Purple reissues. There’s a bit about the (British) origins of the stageshots used on the original album which is okay. All the more mind-boggling that there’s no information about the sources of the photos now used in the booklet. Might that be because these have even less to do with Deep Purple in Japan in 1972?
Starting the first disc we are immediately on familiar ground with Lord’s opening chords and Paice setting things in motion. As with the 1998 remaster, the tracks are mixed so as to give the impression of a continuous gig which actually works as a hindrance, applause for Highway Star drowning out the delicate opening chords of Child in Time. In fact the first notes of CiT sound at the end of track 1. Very sloppy indeed. The wonderfully hesitant, spoken introduction to Smoke on the Water is put at the end of track 2 rather than at the beginning of track 3. Same goes for the “everything louder than everything else” dialogue at the start of The Mule; this is tacked onto the end of track 3. Worse is to come; as with the 1998 remaster that ecstatic shout “Ian Paice, on the drums, yes!!!” appears to have hit the mixing room floor once again. Luckily I’ve held on to the mid ‘80s CD transfer which does retain this. Of course Lazy is introduced at the end of track 5 rather than at the beginning of track 6. At least it’s done wrong consistently this time around. During Lord’s organ solo on Space Truckin’ I became aware of a slight, tapping noise that took me a few moments to indentify as Gillan playing the congas. Nice to be able to hear this at last.
Having the 6 encores lumped together on one CD is less of a nuisance than I expected. At least it makes it easy to compare. The Tokyo Black Night is still the best by far.
After purchasing the vinyl, the orginal CD transfer, the Live in Japan 3CD set and the double CD remaster this is the 5th time I’ve forked out for MIJ, which is all very well because the music presented on it is so terrific that nothing can really spoil it. However, the lack of quality control and attention to detail is astounding. I find it incomprehensibe that record companies do not make better use of the knowledge of and love for all things Purple that resides in websites like the DPAS’s.
All in all I cannot help feeling disappointed.  Bernard Maasdijk

Got the Wheelbarrow Edition last Friday, May 16 and yes, it is rather disappointing. It’s nice to have a replica of the tour book and press release but, well that’s it. The book is not what one would expect. Lay-out and design are not in line with the album to say the least and it is not informative at all. Personally I am not interested in reading quotes from other musicians giving their thoughts on the album. What I am looking for is Wait for the Ricochet-like info. There is some info on the remastering process but it lacks detail. Pictures are few and in some places not from the Made in Japan days.

Having said that what really counts is the music of course. And I must say it sounds great! Drums jump from the speakers and there’s overall very much detail and clarity. Listening is from the audience position by the way. All the in between song chatter is there which adds to the atmosphere. It’s a great listen, 40 years after hearing it for the first time I now hear things I never heard before. One important thing to add is that the HD download consists of 4 files. The first file is approx. 680Mb with all nights in MP3 format. The other files are ZIP files of approx. 1.5Gb. Each file contains the full concert of that night including the encores in WAV format. This of course is what we all have been hoping for and at least they got it right with this download option.

So is this box worth ones money? No, I don’t think so. Did I buy it? Yes, I couldn’t resist. If you can get your hands on the download version and DVD in any other way the box has almost no added value. The DVD (great to see the 8mm footage) should be relatively easy to get as it was broadcast on public television, at least here in The Netherlands. Guess this may be the case in other countries as well. That’s it for first impressions, now it’s back to the shop for the Pure Audio version and later on for the Led Zeppelin remasters which look stunning….  Rob Wolleswinkel

The vinyl box set arrived yesterday and, based on a limited spin, sounds fantastic. The article in the book about the remxing was very interesting. However, I do wonder if the double spread picture of Jon Lord near the end of the book is from a later incarnation of DP (or even Whitesnake) given the stacks of keyboards visible. Should I be as grumpy as I am about this? Bill Hicks.

Thanks also to John Tucker.

85 Responses to “Made In Japan • 2014 reviews”

  1. Hans Rosth Says:

    Listening to Osaka August 16 right now, 47 years later!
    Just came to think about it while browsing through the fuzz about Woodstock’s 50th anniversary. Did any one make anything about the fact that MiJ was recorded on exactly the same dates as the Woodstock thing took place, only three years later? I did not realise it until today.
    Were DP ever considered for Woodstock? I think I read somewhere that Led Zep were considered, but that Grant turned it down for some reason …

    • simon robinson Says:

      I’d not made the Woodstock anniversary date thing either. I’ve never heard of DP being offered a slot at Woodstock, and not sure who actually came up with the bookings list. Also it would have been bad timing as DP were in turmoil a bit around the time bookings were being made. But at least we’d have had some good footage of them if they had!

  2. James Spackman Says:

    I have the vinyl boxset and it does sound like a slightly softer mix/presentation, but compared to the 1993 3 cd release it does bring out some bits out which I have not heard before.
    If you could combine the crispness of the 93 set with the bass on the new set then it would work for me. So am not 100% satisfied with the new edition, its good but could have been a bit better.
    The 3rd night is probably the better performance though.
    Am just used to the sound of the original LP.
    But in summing up I think Martin Pullan has done a reasonable job on the set , just could do with a bit more bite and attack to the sound, but am listening to The Mule drum solo from the 3rd night and it does sound good!

  3. Daz Bramley Says:

    Re: the vinyl box set. I’ve just spotted another error, aside from the sticker accross the tracklist on back of the box, and of course “Somoke On The Water” on the back of all three gatefold sleeves….
    My copy of “15th August” (set 1), side 4 label states 16th August!
    Also, on absorbing all this set over last couple of months… Why didn’t they just originally put out the whole of the Tokyo gig instead? It’s far superior, and the energy is on a different level to both Osaka gig. Just my opinion.
    What’s under the sticker? I’m tempted to peel, but dare not!

    • simon robinson Says:

      I don’t recommend trying as it will probably damage the surface. I assume it was to cover up the misspelling of Smoke, but someone else tells me they also turned Osaka into Oaska. I’m hearing the drum edit is still there on the new Concerto vinyl (can you credit this?), and they credited the Copenhagen 72 set to Coverdale and Hughes on the vinyl press. Maybe DP are trying to hit the Guinness Book of records again, this time for most cock-ups!

  4. Cameron Says:

    I tried to download the HD audio. It’s a massive file, about 2GB which is nonsense. I thought they were going to be just basic mp3s. They had been downloading for hours, then when it was about to finish I was given a ‘zip file could not be read’ error message and the download had failed. Don’t try that at home, kids! This is why I like CDs better than downloading files online.

    • simon robinson Says:

      I assumed there would be some sort of notice about how big the files would be, and what sort of gear you would need to play them and get the best out of them.

  5. Les Hedger Says:

    I wonder if the reason the original album had guitar and organ mixed up was that it was mixed by Paice (I believe). If so then he would hear the organ to his right and guitar to his left onstage as he faced the audience, so he mixed it that way.

    • simon robinson Says:

      Its a good theory Les and it might answer the question, as Paice certainly did get involved with the mixing. Maybe they could ask him when they get the booklet together…

  6. JBreis Says:

    Cripes! I can’t believe no one has figured out this “right channel, left channel” thing.
    OK, when you hear Ritchie on the right and Jon on the left, you are listening as though you are in the audience.
    When you hear Ritchie on the left and Jon on the right, you are listening as though you are a 50 or 60 year old guy playing air guitar or air keyboards on stage looking down on the other geezers watching you.
    See how simple it can be when you stop and think?

    • simon robinson Says:

      I think we get this, but just can’t work out why it should alter from discs to disc or format to format on a release!

  7. Daz Bramley Says:

    I’ve bought both CD/DVD and VINYL boxes. I am very impressed with Martin Pullen’s mixes throughout, very nice job. Downloads… Haven’t checked them out yet. As I listen a lot on iPhone, I’ve ripped the CDs into Apple’s m4a format, and they sound great. What I’m most impressed with is the Vinyl presentation. Nice heavyweight triple sets. Nice touch with the etched blank sixth side, I’ve never seen anything like that before. Gatefold sleeves nice and thick. There’s people not happy with the book… yeah, it’s not great. However, I’m sure everyone buying this has the 90s remaster with Simon’s notes in it. If not, it’s cheap now.
    The music is of course the main thing here, and it’s as powerful now as it’s always been. What immense musicianship on display. If I’ve read correctly, the straight remaster has the crowd noise blending across into the next track, as per the ’97 remaster. I’ll give the standard CD edition a miss then, as this always bugged be about the ’97 remaster. The way it was on the original vinyl, with crowd fading out and gaps between the songs, is the way it was intended, they should have restored that in my opinion. However, if I get round to it, I can recreate these fades with the help of editing software and will burn myself a disc, mimicking the original, but with with these fantastic new mixes. What bugged me more about that ’97 remaster, was some of the Gillan banter was missing (Ian Paice on the drums… Yeeeesss!) was gone. Please don’t tell me it’s still gone! They had the chance to put it right.
    Anyway, I’m not one to moan. It’s the music we should enjoy in this new light.

    Oh, and the documentary on the DVD is “alright”… Not as good as the MK4 one on ‘Phoenix Rising’


  8. Ugo Coppola Says:

    I have a question for anyone who can answer. I bought the box, downloaded the HD files. On the box, I have the organ on the left and the guitar on the right, as it would be correct for the remix (according to the book). On the HD download, I have the guitar on the left and the organ on the right BOTH for the Shirley mix AND for the Pullan mix. Is this supposed to be correct, or are the HD files wrong in some way?

  9. Danny Fox Says:

    Hi Simon, has anybody purchased the Blue Ray Pure Audio version and how good is it?

  10. barry mitchell Says:

    Okay everybody, what is the best track taken over the three nights
    – not your favourite track but the most consistently performed.
    SKOW just edges it over Lazy for me,
    anyone else?

    • simon robinson Says:

      yes, but Ritchie fluffs the intro two times out of three!

      • barry mitchell Says:

        see Janos below!

      • cee_Bee Says:

        Barry said… “SKOW just edges it over Lazy for me,”
        You replied..” yes, but Ritchie fluffs the intro two times out of three!”

        Were you thinking of ” Smoke “ i haven’t heard Ritchie fluff the intro to SKOW?

      • simon robinson Says:

        Yes, saw SKOW as SOTW in my haste!

  11. barry mitchell Says:

    Geek that I am, I’ve been listening to ALL versions of all the MIJ formats from the 1972 vinyl to these 2014 downloaded remixes, and you’ll be pleased to know Simon that the 1997 CD’s are standing up pretty well for the most part!

    • Scott W. Says:

      I find it hard to believe that people think Ritchie would actually make a mistake on the intro to ‘Smoke’. Of course he is just having fun with the intro, getting a laugh out of Gillan in the process. We all know what a virtuoso Ritchie is/was and the famous riff is quite simple to play. We all know he has an odd sense of humor, and here he is ‘taking the piss’ out of the riff, the band AND the audience! It’s 42 years later and we’re still talking about it…

      • simon robinson Says:

        True! And still learning. Makes you wonder if this was something he did more often on the tour.

  12. János Says:

    I bought the 4CD-DVD box from the US and there’s no download card.
    Is the HD download and the 2 CD Deluxe Edition the same ?

    • simon robinson Says:

      I think you get all three shows on the download, but not in all territories.

      • Gary Says:

        Stupid question – I purchased mine over here in Montreal – where does one find the downloadable digital concert music?

      • simon robinson Says:

        Not available in North America or Canada Gary.

      • barry mitchell Says:

        What some people think of as fluffs others count as genius! Also – is there somewhere on this site for general purple chat?

      • simon robinson Says:

        Well all of it really Barry! But no, I can’t get on with forums. There is the Facebook site linked to this blog.

      • simon robinson Says:

        PS some people tell me it looks as if Ritchie fluffs it on purpose…

      • barry mitchell Says:

        To get here I clicked on link on site front page – couldn’t there be a link to discuss in general anything Purple?!

      • simon robinson Says:

        I think what you are looking for is a web Forum. I must confess I find these quickly get very rambling and unstructured and hard to locate useful information. And I don’t have time to moderate such a venture. However we do have the Facebook pages based on this blog, and people find that a good way to chat. I’d post the link here but Facebook actually seems to be down right now, but there is a link on our homepage.

  13. JT Says:

    The Box set content is a bit of a disappointment but have to say Mr. Pullan did a fantastic job on the remix. Well balanced, crystal clear great instrument separation and in your face. Ritchie fans will love this new version as he is high in the mix in the right channel. I think the complaints of too much compression is exaggerated as it sounds fantastic!
    The DVD is a nice bonus and my only complaint is I wish they offered the option to view the 72 Japan 8mm fragments but they were still fascinating to watch. They were worth the having just to see the close up of Ritchie playing. We finally get to see the snippet of Ritchie fluffing the intro to SOTW during the Budakon show where you can hear Ian laugh in the background. Based on the video it appears Ritchie does this on purpose as he has a big smile on his face and appears to be looking in Ian’s direction. Just amazing footage and far too short!.
    The reprint of the programme form this tour is a nice bonus as an original is rare and fairly expensive but I thought they could have done a better job on the bonus material for such an expensive box.
    That being said this box set is highly recommended for Martin Pullan’s brilliant remix.

  14. Scott W. Says:

    Well, I had a chance to put the DVD on, push play on my IPod (which had Tokyo 8/17 on) and see what the experience was like after finding the matching points in the featured songs. Of course it sounds nice for about 10 seconds, after that the 2 sources ‘drift apart’ and I had to push pause/play quickly to play catch up. When the 2 sources start to separate at first you achieve a nice almost Quad effect which is interesting. It appears the DVD is running a millisecond faster so even though with some manipulation of the 2 devices, I realised that technically it is beyond a simple ‘overlaying of the sound. Why did I do this?…just curiosity really! There is always the issue of: Do different CD/DVD players play at slightly different speeds? I have never known this to happen. I remember I used to get frustrated with Turntables that were too slow or fast back when vinyl was the popular format. (unless you had a speed adjustment, I never did). So maybe if someone with a software program was bothered enough they could synch it up, I won’t be doing it. One very nice benefit came from this experiment: I played ‘Lazy’ from Tokyo on my IPod and put the same track on from the 1993 3CD Live In Japan set in a cd player to test the ‘faster or slower’ players theory (they were perfect BTW) and: After Ian announces the song on the 1993 CD, Ritchie is checking tuning 2 or 3 times, then Jon starts the Hammond volume swells leading into the song. On the 2014 box version, it skips Ritchies tuning bit and goes straight into Jon’s intro! So, don’t sell your “Live In Japan 1993” sets yet! Mind you, this is one track out of 27 total tracks counting all the nights with encores, so there may be more bits not heard previously, or ONLY bits heard previously on the 1993 3cd set.

    • simon robinson Says:

      I had heard from others that they’d taken a few liberties with the between song stuff, so people will need to pinch those off the 1993 shows and drop them into the new one using Garageband or similar.

  15. Richard Says:

    Here is my commentary on the Super Deluxe Box (4CD/1DVD/Vinyl 7”).
    I want to evaluate only the recordings here. The box is very good quality and the sound is totally amazingly good. But I think there is on my copy a special effect. First the two Osaka concerts. While listening, I noticed that the stereo channels are reversed. The guitar is clearly left to hear and the keyboards right. On the Tokyo CD and encores CD I hear the guitar right, the keyboards are left.
    I also have the HD downloads from Universal. On all three concerts, the stereo channels are the same (right channel: guitar / left channel: keyboards). What’s going on? I think my box set is a mispressed copy.
    What is the real version? Is there this scenario on other deluxe boxes?

    • simon robinson Says:

      It is not a mispress, that’s the way the project co-ordinators decided it should be.

    • Scott W. Says:

      My box set has the correct channel placement; RB right, JL left. Is there some mispressings!?

  16. timothy Says:

    Funny, I could always hear Gillans congas during space truckin – but then I was 12 years old when I first listened to it! Maybe we all need 96 bit sampling to hear what was always there! I get the feeling that people are hearing new stuff because they have been told that it’s in high definition so they are paying more attention!

  17. Randy Says:

    I have the Super Deluxe Box (CD / DVD). I would like to comment only on the music here. The sound is in my opinion very good. But on my copy there is a special feature. The Tokyo concert and all the bonus tracks from CD 4 have the right stereo channel allocation (guitar dominates on right channel / keyboards dominate on the left channel). But in the two Osaka concerts, the stereo channels have been swapped. (Guitar dominate on the left channel / keyboards dominate on the right channel). However, on the 3CD Box Live In Japan on all 3 concerts: guitar dominates on the right channel / keyboards dominate on the left channel.)
    What is right or wrong?

    • simon robinson Says:

      On the 3CD 1997 set we tried to make sure guitar was right, keyboards left, as that is how you hear it at a concert, and to me it seems a live show should replicate that experience. Other clearly think differently!

  18. Kurt Kozyra Says:

    Got the super deluxe version in the US and no downloads? It was advertised on the front sticker as included, I even returned my first box set, but even the second one had no downloads and the back cover was changed. Any thoughts to why no downloads?

    • simon robinson Says:

      Not really sure why North America has not been able to offer this, it must be something to do with licensing.

  19. Jim Collins Says:

    I haven’t listened to the discs or watched the DVD yet, but my box came in the mail today and I love the package. The reproduction of the 1972 Japanese tour programme is fantastic, the family tree and other goodies cool, the single made up of the thickest vinyl this side of a 78 rpm Bing Crosby album and the hard cover book, sublime.
    Those complaining about the photos may be correct about when they were shot, but at the end of the day it’s the individual musicians that are the subject. Those five wonderfully unique and superbly talented young men who comprised Deep Purple. While the other Mk’s had their own day in the sun, it was MkII in all it’s blazing glory that represented Deep Purple for what they were. This book does a nice job of being what it is. Could it have been better? Sure. Could it have been worse? Hell yes! Critics should look at the glass half full before getting their respective panties in a bunch. We could have gotten full MkIII or MkIV photos in the book, or worse. This is a nicely done job, considering who did it. Is it a Simon Robinson job? Obviously not and it shows. Short of that, it’s as good as we could expect and maybe, just maybe, a bit more.

  20. jan hedelin Says:

    No no no…..dear FJ …the single take a look Again…

  21. Ritchie's wig Says:

    music great, packaging and value – shit.

  22. Helmut Says:

    After going through the 4 CD + DVD edition thoroughly on balance I think this is a good set, because it is simply more complete and sonically an improvement compared with the 1993 set.

    There are quite a few things to bemoan, but those are all reasons why the set is not PERFECT. Yes, a huge profit is being made from us fans charging us ridiculous amounts of money for this. Yes, the booklet is not as informative as we’re used to from past releases. In fact, it is nothing much at all! And who are some of the characters quoted there?!? Yes, the DVD should have presented the b/w footage in full (but there is a great opportunity for us to spend money on another DVD somewhere down the line and, indeed, we bought the incomplete audio content in 1993, were similarly happy and moaning then and have just bought the complete thing). I would have wished for the entire shows to be represented in the downloads – no interruptions as with LP or CD – and that is also not the case. Maybe, as with other releases, there are some edits here and there – don’t get me started!

    Deep Purple fans have been much better served with archive releases than fans of many other artists, maybe also because they have been more critical or vocal in their criticism than fans of other artists. I could give you so many examples of releases with alleged sound improvement where there is none, shoddy booklets, disappointing track lists. And in this day and age it would be simple to get the audio files somewhere. Still I can’t wait to buy the next archival release. The music is what counts for me and it has been presented in a better way here.

    Still, for perfection I would always go back to the old and trusted Made in Japan from 1972 – that was and still is content-wise and sonically the best representation of that tour. Which doesn’t keep me from enjoying to see Gillan laugh and Blackmore smile when the man in black fluffs the Smoke riff in Tokyo. Priceless, isn’t it?

  23. DrumHead88 Says:

    I was so much looking forward to getting this new box set of the Japanese 72 shows. But now that I’ve read the reviews I think I’m going to pass and hope someday a proper box set of the complete MIJ shows in running order is released, with a proper documentary about the making of this legendary album including all of the 8mm footage of the Tokyo show.

    If this does happen I hope the members of Purple or Martin Birch will be involved in the production. It should not be left in the hands of people who had nothing to do with the original album.

  24. purpledaniel Says:

    Please can anyone confirm if the documentary includes the 20 minutes (sliced of corse) of Tokyo 72 footage?

  25. Scott W. Says:

    First off thank you Tonny S for getting me ‘prepared’ for what was to come given the fact that here in the US we had to wait an additional week for delivery! US version has no HD Download card of any kind (others have reported this). Back cover peeling off and appears to have been put on to cover “Somoke on the Water” mispelling perhaps? I am going to try and sych the DVD Tokyo footage with CD sound at some point if I get bored enough! The interviews, although telling the story well enough, distract from watching the 1972 footage. So far I listened to half of Osaka 2nd night and all I can say is, where in the hell has Roger’s sound been all these years! I had it up at a pretty good volume and my Tinnitus started to flare up again! Oh, and Box itself looks great but the book is wasted space! Decent Dicography and the Remix/Mastering article piece was nice.

    • Mark Zutkoff Says:

      I sent an email asking about the lack of download information, and received a reply stating that “the downloads are not available with the US versions.” Sigh. As for the back cover peel, I believe it’s because the original back cover MENTIONS the downloads! So they covered THAT up, but the sticker on the wrapper, and the page in the book, still mentioned the downloads. These are not the people we want doing covert ops…

      At least the sound of the remastered concerts is really good. I put the whole shebang on my iPod and sequenced the encores in the proper order, so at last, it is possible to hear the concerts as close as possible to what they were.

  26. Cameron Says:

    I am very happy to own a copy of the Deep Purple Made in Japan 5 disc box set. Overall I am hugely impressed with the presentation, the book, and the remixed/remastered albums on cd and it was such a thrill to finally hear and enjoy the complete version of all concerts. The DVD although interesting and had the great Rise of MK 2 documentary that I enjoyed, I must truly ask what’s wrong with the sound quality on the rest of the clips? They are not at the correct speed, but the documentary was. Is this just because of the age of the footage? I have Smoke 1973 on the original Denmark 72 and the speed wasn’t 20x faster. Smoke on the Water just had fuzz and slow motion audio, but I guess it’s because of the age of the material. I’d recommend this boxset to only the true diehard collector fans like myself. I am proud to have it in my collection.

    • simon robinson Says:

      Was not aware of any speed issues on the DVD, and it’s not a question of age as this can be easily sorted.

  27. John Butler Says:

    Got the 4 cd, dvd box set and downloaded the the five files with code given in box. The last HD file did not work.
    got in contact with web site and they replied today saying sorry but it’s working now. It is the Kevin Shirley Mix and Martin Pullen Mix HD.

  28. johan Says:

    I’ve downloaded the studiomaster version from Linn ( I wonder if it’s the same remaster as mentioned above.

    Whatever. The first edition I bought in early 73 when i was 16 years old, will always be the best version. It was the time when a new album would stay on my turntable for at least 14 days in a row. I was listening to the music instead to the sound. In the meantime trying to imagine how Blackmore mistreated his Fender during the end of Space Truckin’. Those were the days!!!!!

  29. Mac Says:

    Interesting to hear the positive responses to the downloads, when they aren’t the advertised resolution or versions. Documentation says it should be both the original mix and the new remix in 24/96 resolution, when what is available are the new remixes only and in 24/48 resolution. dragging their feet in resolving this – although the correct files are available for sale on both Linn and Qobuz – and Universal Music Group simply not responding.

    • simon robinson Says:

      I’m afraid this is starting to go above my head Donald! Sounds like someone has sent the wrong masters out to some suppliers. But if the offer is for 24/96 then legally that is what they should supply.

    • Mac Says:

      After a week of chasing for the correct files I was finally able to get them last night. Now for some listening!

  30. A. Baez Says:

    I’m so disappointed. The sound is very loud, not clear, muddled; there is no breathing space, little dynamic range. Where is the sonic improvement? Why do people say it sounds fantastic? I have returned my copy; I’d rather listen to the previous release.

  31. Clive Robey Says:

    Nothing more to add to what’s been said before. However, why do the CDs have ‘Produced by Deep Purple’ on the label. Has Martin Birch been airbrushed from history?

    • simon robinson Says:

      Um, as far as I know the band have had no input into the audio on these so it’s a bit misleading. I guess it’s just what was on the original labels so they left it.

  32. David Black Says:

    I absolutely love it. No offence to the Live In Japan mix but the whole set now sounds like Made in Japan. Ok, so the book is a little hit and miss but we’ve all got the original CDs with their brilliant notes so we haven’t lost anything and it’s great to have the full sized album cover again (having dispensed with my original vinyl version when the first CD came out)

    Particularly enjoying Speed King from Tokyo.

    And i’m not worried about the storage arrangement either. Now that the Live In Japan set is redundant i’ve slotted the 3 nights into that casing and the encores and the DVD into the 2 CD remastered casing and everythings snug in the rack with the decent booklets. Simples.

  33. Lee Says:

    Could someone confirm who remastered the Single CD Edition and who remixed the Double CD Edition please? Cheers.

    • Bruce Says:

      As far as I read it went as follows:
      Kevin Shirley remixed CD1 of the DCD and Martin Pullan CD2 of the DCD.
      The Single CD Edition was not remixed, but remastered by Martin Pullan.
      The 9LP remixed and remasterd by Martin Pullan.
      The 5CD + Box remixed and remastered by Martin Pullan.

      Maybe I may pose a question:
      What is wrong with the 1997 (black EMI) Remaster DCD ?
      Many reviewers describe it as awful bad?

      • simon robinson Says:

        The black cover disc had some strange editing at the ends of tracks, wrong channels and other issues which I can’t really recall (plus you couldn’t even hardly read the title on the cover!).

      • Lee Says:

        Thanks mate. Single CD for me then, not buying anything that Kevin Shirley has put his hand to!

  34. JF Says:

    When are you doing the book Simon? Wait For The Ricochet is awesome!

  35. barry mitchell Says:

    Splashed out for the vinyl edition and was surprised to find a little black insert directing me to download the whole three nights and the 1972 LP remaster – that’s value for money!
    Remaster is a big step back from the black cover CD remastered edition and won’t be getting another listen – not a big surprise KS is involved
    The new mixes of 17th sound really good – the clarity is phenomenal – can’t wait to compare the encores!
    PS – I agree with all comments on booklet but the sound quality is what really counts – you only read the book once right?!

    • Helmut Says:

      Barry, are the downloads MP3 files or 24/96 high quality files? And do they feature the uninterrupted three shows? By the way, I agree with your comments about sound quality being most important.

      • Twinkling_Ray Says:

        Helmut, I have the vinyl box-set and these are the downloads available to me at the moment:

        – One zip of mp3 files, that includes all songs from all three nights (@ 320kbs).

        – One zip of wav files, that are the Kevin Shirley mix of MIJ original; i.e. only 7 songs (@96KHz).

        – One zip of wav files, that are Martin Pullman’s 2014 remaster of the “original” MIJ; i.e. also only 7 songs (again @96KHz). The last of these is not a straight remaster, as once again songs are blended (as per black version).

        Both of the HD files are very large; in excess of 2.5GB.

        I have contacted the download provider to clarify whether 96KHz (or at minimum lossless) should be available, as this was insinuated. I don’t yet have a clear response, although they have responded and don’t just ignore…

        Rob Wolleswinkel’s review above suggests that there should be HD downloads of all shows, so I’m hoping for the best. Will be disappointed if not; don’t always want to listen to vinyl at home.

  36. formbypc Says:

    The LPs are in three gatefold sleeves, with two LPs together in the left hand folds (which are constructed slightly deeper than normal to accommodate them) and the third in the right hand fold. Plain paper sleeves, no poly-lining.
    They’re all five-sided sets, with the sixth side etched with messages and signatures from the band.
    The sleeves are good substantial affairs. The booklet appears to have the same content as that in the CD/DVD set, but is soft-cover. No memorabilia in the vinyl set.
    I sampled the CDs, definitely more definition and ‘bite’ to the instruments, so that’s a benefit from the remix, but from what I’ve heard thus far, Blackmore is on the right and Lord on the left, where as all the previous remasters have RB left and JL right. Haven’t got as far as the encores yet. Strange positioning on the drum kit with the hi-hat seemingly placed quite far left, making it sound detached from the rest of the kit…
    Yes, we can now hear Gillan’s congas in Space Truckin’, but I’m not sure that’s a benefit….

  37. Twanky Says:

    I got the 4 CD & DVD version, and to be honest i’m disappointed. The book is dire. I’m not really interested in what Lita Ford think of MIJ. I wanted a book detailing the 3 nights in Japan. The Family Tree ? Well at least get it up to date FFS.

    • simon robinson Says:

      Not really surprised they didn’t bother with updating the tree, Pete Frame might have wanted a fee! Not against musicians commenting on albums myself, they do have more insight than non-players, but not at the expense of everything else.

  38. Scott W. Says:

    Ronnie’s comment above says that the Ritchie and Jon positions speaker wise are like the old MIJ mix (JL right, RB left), while Rob Z says that the channels are correct, from the audience’s position. Ronnie has the 2cd version while Rob Z says he has the 5 disc box. So I guess if their info is correct, depending on which set you buy RB/JL could be on either side???
    Looks like the DPAS should have been involved for sure. How about we all voice our discontent and send these sets back for a refund!
    I will be able to see for myself next week as in the US it is not released until May 27th. Where can I view the DVD until then…? The footage is the main reason I even bought it but I’m afraid that it will be incomplete…

    • simon robinson Says:

      The much vaunted footage only ever was clips as we and others have pointed out for some time, and they have synched and looped some up to make a complete song or two. Which is a worthwhile and valid exercise when it is all that survives, except they haven’t used the original 8mm film print which is still in mint condition at the home of the guy who shot it.
      We were involved at the start of this project, I still have the sleeve visuals somewhere. It was the cheeky email from Universal saying they had ‘managed to get hold of most of my archive material by accessing the 3CD EMI box set art but some bits they wanted at a better resolution’ or words to that effect which cheesed me off. No fee was offered; so I was expected to do this all for nothing while they spent a fortune on remixes, etc. I pointed out I had much of the new box set artwork already mapped out for the abandoned EMI special edition (yeah I know I shouldn’t have wasted my time…!) but was told they’d rather do it ‘in-house’. Which apparently at that stage included recreating the gig tickets in Photoshop… They did say they were going to use my sleeve-notes again as well, but wouldn’t let me update them. No idea if they did (we’re not being sent review copies obviously!).

  39. Ronnie Says:

    This would have been so much better if they’d got Roger to oversee the whole project. I know he’s busy on tour but he could’ve fitted things in around his busy schedule. However, I doubt he was even approached. Universal don’t care about the fans or even the band, they just want to maximise profit. Yes, they are a business but they also need to be sensitive to the people buying their products and with a band like Purple they should be aware of their legacy, or perhaps they don’t really care that much. I have the 2CD edition and the booklet is shoddy, I’m shocked how poor it is.
    I’m not a fan of Shirley’s production, his remixes of ‘Come Taste The Band’ were awful and although not as bad as that here I’m still not too impressed. Yes, there is a little more detail and Paicey’s drums sound improved but to my ears Ritchie’s guitar is a little bit brittle sounding at times and Gillan’s voice is brought to the fore too much. The band set the bar so high with ‘Made In Japan’ and I don’t believe Shirley raised his game enough for this project. Seeing as he’s remixed it why hasn’t he put Ritchie and Jon in their proper positions? Having this done by Pullan on the encores makes Shirley’s work all the more irritating. It could be argued that he was being true to the original, but if that is the case then don’t remix it, just remaster. I would rather have had one remaster and one remix of the album as Roger did with ‘Machine Head’. Apart from Martin Birch’s error with the position of the guitar and and organ his mix is so good – if it’s not broken don’t try and fix it, just remix the bugger and leave it. Afraid I won’t be listening to this again, and what with the disappointing California Breed album I’m pretty gutted.

    • Ronnie Says:

      I meant just remaster the bugger and leave it. It’s not that it sounds bad, I just feel that it should be better than this.

  40. Max Says:

    Just a minor point; I had trouble getting the discs out of the book. And I don`t like discs to be stuck in a book anyway. What if I would like to play them in the car stereo or something? They could have put the cds in proper sleeves, I say. And pretty expensive it is too – given the fact that the book is nothing much to write home about anyway.

    • simon robinson Says:

      I know what you mean about book mounted CDs. I’m always worried it’s going to snap the moulding. I usually put them into a separate CD wallet after opening to prevent this happening.

    • ledman1 Says:

      I use clear plastic CD inner sleeves to protect the discs and the cut outs are usually the correct size so that I can carefully slide the disc in and out of the sleeves w/o scratching or scuffling them.

  41. JF Says:

    Yes – given that they’ve obviously gone to the trouble to sync up audio with the black & white footage. It’s a shame that the footage isn’t watchable in one chunk, rather than being scattered around the documentary.
    What’s with the wonky sticker on the back of the box? Did the original box print have the wrong track list or something? I daren’t try to peel it off. Bit shoddy though.
    I listened to the Osaka 15th CD yesterday evening. Straight through. Didn’t even skip The Mule drum solo! Sounds absolutely fantastic to me. You can clearly hear Gillan’s bongos during Space Truckin’.

  42. Danielz Says:

    Well, I got my 4 x CD and DVD box set yesterday and although I am not an expert on DP like most on this site, they have always been in my top 5 of fave bands since the early ’70s having also bought the original vinyl double when it was first released. I, for one, like the presentation although I think the book was a disappointment. I saw no point in filling it with comments from other bands when there was an ideal opportunity to write in detail about the actual tour of Japan and more importantly, details about the tracks on the album. Also, much better photo-images could’ve been sought – not much thought appeared to have gone into the book which is a great shame.

    The CDs however sound bloody fantastic to me, so much better than the 21st Anniversary issue. At the end of the day, it was always the music that mattered to me the most, so I’m glad that the quality of the discs are 1st class. The DVD was interesting to me, but there are so many repeated bits and pieces which can be annoying if watching the whole disc in one go. It is a real shame that the B&W footage wasn’t produced as a separate piece as that would’ve been a nice addition.

    The repro-brochure and press release are ‘ok’, but I’m glad that the ‘Smoke on the Water’ single was included as it saved me purchasing it on RSD! It’s more like an acetate than a 45! I must say though that it it is expensive for what it is, considering the T.Rex box set cost about £20 less for more or less the same contents (ie CDs, book, etc). If it wasn’t DP, I don’t think I would’ve paid the money – it’s only because I love this band so much and this particular album brings so many great memories of when I first bought the original.

    All in all – I’m happy to have it in collection, even though it could’ve had better items included with the actual CDs. I will leave it to the fans with more expertise than me to comment further…

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