Posts Tagged ‘smoke on the water’

Contracturally Obliged

September 4, 2019

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You need a spreadsheet to keep up with some new releases these days and Ian Gillan’s Contractual Obligation album/s which came out at the end of July is another example, with a Blu Ray, triple vinyl and double CD being on offer.  Even the label, Ear, got confused. Because each of the three formats is from a different show on the tour, you would need all three if you’re a completist!  Whether the title is a nod to Monty Python’s final studio recording or not I don’t know; I assume IG signed a contract for the tour and knew this was part of it?!  It is quite easy to get a bit cynical over something like this, and the performances are of necessity a little ‘rehearsed’ to keep on track with the backings, but it’s quite impressive to see the full orchestra kicking off, realising how big a deal it is for the crowd, and also how we have come to accept scenes like this compared to (gulp) fifty years ago.  Hang Me Out To Dry even reminded me a bit of PAL chugging along with all the brass.  As Tim points out in his comments below the guitar player has been rumoured as a possible deputy should Steve Morse need to rest up, so it’s interesting to take a listen on those grounds as well, and IG does pretty well on what I’ve listened to for my money.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL3mGMKhDPc

The tracks are all from the live shows IG did in Europe and cover Warsaw, Moscow and St. Petersburg in late 2016 (Ear calls this ‘recent’ and does not bother to give the recording dates on their site).  Set wise, and backed by Don Airey’s group and a local orchestra each night, IG romps through cover versions from solo albums, a few Purple cuts, and etc.  So decent marks for not churning out the same old same old, though most of the Deep Purple songs are fairly familiar from recent tours. You might have thought with three different release they could have used a different photo on the front of each one but that must have sounded like too much hard work.  The set-list seems to stay the same for each show which is understandable, as follows:

1. Hang Me Out To Dry 2. Pictures Of Home 3. No Lotion For That 4. Strange Kind Of Woman 5. Razzle Dazzle 6. A Day Late ‘N’ A Dollar Short 7. Lazy 8. Rapture Of The Deep 9. When A Blind Man Cries 10. You’re Gonna Ruin Me Baby (z Grace Gillan) 11. Ain’t No More Cane On The Brazos 12. Difficult To Cure (Beethoven’s Ninth) 13. Anya 14. Perfect Strangers 15. Hell To Pay 16. Demon’s Eye 17. Smoke On The Water 18. Hush 19. Black Night

Tim Summers went the full monty and gives us a few thoughts:

I’m enjoying the ‘Contractual Obligation’ releases by Ian Gillan – three different gigs on three different formats is a gimmick which seems to have even confused its instigators (earMUSIC), as they put up a live video for one track on YouTube, labelling it as ‘Live in Warsaw’, when it’s actually from Moscow (like the rest of the Blu-ray release). Nice to hear/see ‘Brazos’ in particular again – Ian seems better suited to singing it these days, not straining so much to get the ultra-low notes in the middle (“There’s some in the graveyard…”etc).  Weird to hear IG introducing ‘Difficult to Cure’ by name (“A song by Airey, Beethoven and Blackmore”…).  Some tracks (SKOW/Lazy/SOTW), I’d rather had been substituted for something a little more obscure but the pro-active orchestra (and conductor) lend them a different slant. My one criticism of the Blu-ray is that they seem to have felt that because it was filmed with 28 cameras (or whatever), they had to use all the angles as often as possible – the average length of each shot is less than 4 seconds, which, whilst it holds your attention, can be a bit wearing after a while.  They do calm down a bit for the slower tracks (maybe the editing machine was somehow linked to beats-per-minute…).  Possible-rumoured-Steve-Morse-live-understudy- (if needed) guitarist Simon McBride sounds good anyway – and actually reminds me of Steve (and his take on ‘Lazy’) a bit, the way his guitar cuts across the orchestra at the start of ‘Hang Me Out To Dry’. In keeping with a bit of a history of sleeve cock-ups, the CD says ‘LIVE IN IN WARSAW’ on the front… Oh and the best song Ian Gillan ever wrote* is included of course – ‘Razzle Dazzle’.

* Tim is I trust being sarcastic at this point. Ed!

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Hellboy, meet Ritchie Blackmore…

March 6, 2019

A big fan of the first two Hellboy films, once the creative team were dropped for the third film (shot in London and due here in April) and Ron Perlman turned it down, it’s hard to know if it can recapture the spirit. Still, the second trailer rocks with a clever update of Smoke On The Water featured throughout which is pretty nifty!  It’s been a while since Purple got to figure in a soundtrack, Children Of Men was the last I recall seeing (Hush), but whether Smoke is just for the trailer or will feature in the film we don’t know.  As its also starring Ian McShane and Milla Jovovich we’ll probably jog down to see it on a big screen…

Thanks to Kenny Brown for the heads up.

CD of fame

February 14, 2019

We covered the shemozzle surrounding Deep Purple’s elevation to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2016 (“I’m not going if he’s going” etc.), but missed this nice little collectable, a compilation CD featuring the five nominated artists.  The cover is great, would have made a nice LP. I don’t know what the tracks were apart from I assume Smoke On The Water. My thanks to Pericle for the scan. Can’t he tell me the tracks? No, he’s kept it mint ‘n sealed!  Does it not list them on the back? No!

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Scum on the water!

October 12, 2018

Warning. This post contains a link to the Daily Mail. Look away now if this upsets you.

Yes the scourge of, well, everything came up trumps with a detailed investigation/ rehash of a syndicated news item / cure for cancer (delete which is applicable) about the sad saga of Ian Gillan’s one time hotel which I raised here a couple of days ago, and Peter Cross sent me the full details.  It seems the place has been empty for some time and has been left unloved and unheated for four years now.  Nothing a good renovation cannot sort but if this was anywhere round here it would have been trashed by vandals by now. Sic transit gloria mundi as people once said while popping a silly hat on someone.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6227487/Old-home-Deep-Purple-lead-singer-Ian-Gillan-Wallingford-Oxfordshire-left-rot.html

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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.

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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.

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Drawing skills

June 8, 2018

Never Before sing a long lyrics from German magazine Bravo, 1972

The researchers for the upcoming Machine Head book have put a call out for a couple of items in case anyone in DTBland can help…

[1] Has anyone got a good clean scan of the album review from America’s Creem magazine in 1972? It most likely appeared in the May or June issue but might have slipped to Oct or Nov (they have checked other issues).

[2] In a similar search they are trying to source a good clean scan of the single review from the Australian music magazine Go-Set, printed in the Oct 6th 1973 issue. A contact there has kindly sent all the issues from microfilm but this page is too faded to use.

[3] Lastly (for now!) but perhaps most crucial has anyone got sufficient CAD skills to convert Simon’s rough sketch plan (and measurements – imperial!) of the Grand Hotel corridor studio circa 1971 into a presentable diagram? This can be a plan view or perhaps a 3D view like you sometimes see on those TV house alteration programmes. This is a for the love of it task but you would get a nice fat credit in the book.  Simon: “I am afraid I gave away my drawing board many years ago, my Rotring pens are all seized up, and attempts to do this in the Adobe software I use have been awful!”

Москва́

June 4, 2018

The setlist from Moscow last week gives an idea of the current set of dates: Highway star, Bloodsucker, Pictures of Home, Strange Kind of Woman, Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming, Uncommon Man, Lazy, Time for Bedlam, Birds of Prey, Knocking At Your Backdoor, Perfect Strangers, Space Truckin’, Smoke on The Water – Hush, Black Night
Time For Bedlam was dropped at the festival they did in Mexico, probably for time reasons, but otherwise this seems to be the show for the time being. So the new album content has dropped quite a lot, it looks like we caught them at the right time on the UK tour last year! Thanks to Mike Richards and Bo Olsson for the updates. All the upcoming dates are on our diary page.

In Concert 2017

November 17, 2017

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Well that was a fairly good, grownup, “elder statesmen of rock” type performance. [Update – a couple of lucky folk who were there have posted stories in the comments section below]. I do wonder if people tuning in who didn’t know the band thought they’d found a new prog rock outfit at times, and the BBC audio (as least on the red button) was pretty flat and unbalanced which dulled the edge, but the filming was more complex than I expected; the last In Concert I watched (Blondie) was a few years back and most of the cameras were static. This was much more professional. Very strange to actually be watching live as it happens Deep Purple on a UK TV too, I struggle to recall the last time, possibly 1968 when they did the David Frost Show? Lovely looking venue too, all art deco, really worked well with the lighting.
That parpy ELP sound in Uncommon Man still drives me to distraction and All I Got Is You off the new album  is no substitute for Hip Boots, but other than that it was good to have an hour set with so much reunion material (and kicking off with Time For Bedlam from Infinite), and a small but dedicated audience which understood and appreciated it all. The two strongest tracks off Infinite sounded good and it’ll be great to hear these in a concert venue (I guess this show acts as a sort of amuse bouche for the UK tour.) A few bum notes here and there, but mostly they came across pretty well. I liked the way Steve got grungier as the set wore on too. Indeed it was all zipping along and I was quite surprised when they suddenly kicked in to Smoke and realised it was coming to an end! [Update, I checked and it was scheduled for two hours, even the band were confused.] The encore of Hush probably over-ran the radio slot, but otherwise the timing was spot on.  Ian Gillan looked a bit nervy at times – hardly surprising if so –  but his new lyric stand was a smart addition and kept him up to speed. Other rock singers have been doing this lately and wonder if it might become a permanent option?
As far as we can work these things out the show will be viewable now via the BBC iPlayer app for 30 days. Quite why the BBC don’t show these on BBC4 TV in HD is beyond me, seeing as how most nights it’s all repeats!

Warning, contains Georgia!

September 22, 2017

Here’s the Glenn Hughes Purple tribute set from one of the Australian shows on the current your there (Sydney). We’ve nicked it from one of those set list sites but it does tally with other reports. A taster for the shows was aired on local TV and can be seen online here:

Not a bad set either; he’s done a few of these during various tours over the years but a couple I don’t recall. Digital audio of some shows also doing the rounds if you know where to go. Thanks to Mike Richards and Tim Summers.
Can’t help wishing Ritchie could take a pay cut and join in but Jeff Kollman has worked with Glenn on these songs before and does a good job. And with the fuzzy picture quality and long hair, it could almost be the 70s again at times!

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office cock up 45 years ago?

February 13, 2017

I know it’s Monday morning, but can we try and solve a conundrum?  Put simply, has anyone out there got a genuine U.S. Warner Brothers white label promotional copy of Machine Head?  Working on the discography for the upcoming book on the album and talking to collectors like Pericle in Italy, nobody seems to have seen one.  We know W.Bros did white labels for all the other Deep Purple albums in the Seventies up to Burn (for the last two they used regular Burbank Tree labels and overprinted the promo text.). These have a white label with the regular text details in black and the wording “Promotional use Only”.

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Often the front sleeve also has a large rectangular sticker across with the track information and times (to make life easier for DJs). So unless someone has a copy like this for Machine Head, then it does raise the possibility that somebody just forgot to order up a run in time, which is what Pericle, who has been on the lookout for a copy for ages, thinks might explain the mystery. As he says, the only U.S. promo copies of Machine Head which turn up are the regular U.S. green label pressing but with a largish pink and black circular promo sticker on the back sleeve.  We do run a risk that by mentioning it here, if a few copies do exist they will suddenly climb in value, but Pericle reckons it’s a risk worth taking to get to the bottom of the mystery!

Below is a white label Warners did for Concerto when they took the release over. The Machine Head one would be similar. And possibly ever rarer!

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