Posts Tagged ‘vinyl’

Jon Lord-tastic

September 13, 2019

Lord_Gemini-Suite_Cover.jpg

It’s something of a bumper month for Jon Lord fans with four recent or forthcoming vinyl reissues hitting the shops (well if you can find one – as I write HMV are playing tag with their landlords over rent at some of their stores, and threatening to close some).

First up there’s a Concerto vinyl box. Matthew Kean, who says going to his local indie store now feels like more like a record buying trip in the 80s there is so much vinyl in there, spotted this. It packages up the 2010 special edition audio as a triple LP set.  The split is Arnold’s opening piece on side 1, Deep Purple’s set on two sides, then the Concerto itself over remaining three sides. Which as Matt points out is shorter running times than the Rainbow On Stage set we all moaned about at the time. Well those of us old enough to remember those heady days. Still, it ought to mean good audio quality. The cover seems to be as the original EMI sleeve, but many sellers are getting it muddled up and showing the more recent sleeve art. It’s on Parlophone.

jon lord gemini suite.jpg

Meanwhile Ear Music are promoting their reissues of the three Jon Lord “solo” albums Gemini Suite, Continuo and Sarabande by commissioning new (or in millenial speak, ‘reimagined’) versions of the sleeve art. Windows is tweaked so you can see Jon’s eyes behind the shades, Sarabande gets a strange new drawing which sort of copies the old one but is more 3D looking (and ends up looking like a Whitesnake cover), while for Gemini they’ve gone all out with a brand new illustration which is very well executed but seems a strange thing to do fifty years after the original. Still it now becomes a great pub quiz question, which Jon Lord solo album has had the most cover revamps? By my reckoning it’s the fifth vinyl edition with a different sleeve (new and old show above).

There is no new music, but they have gone back to the quarter inch vinyl master tapes for two of them. Although so did the CD editions from Purple Records way back, so it’s a case of how they mastered them I guess as to whether we will spot much change.  The packaging is revamped too, and Simon has revisited his sleeve notes for two of them, but I’m not sure how many people will feel the need unless they lack earlier reissues.  Still nice to see Jon’s catalogue being treated with some respect and care again as we reach the fiftieth anniversary of his original Concerto this month.  My thanks to Ear Music, Matthew Kean and Tom Dixon for his help.

You can check out our archived Concerto original discography at the old website:

http://www.deep-purple.net/discography/concerto/disconcerto.htm

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Contracturally Obliged

September 4, 2019

contractual_obligation_ian gillan.jpg

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!

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

Sleeve scam

June 3, 2016

It’s weird, I was only discussing some rare sleeves with another fan last week. He had turned up a rare Colombian pressed single and was wondering if it was real. “Who on earth would want to pirate old Deep Purple records?” I replied confidently.
Well Mark Maddock just emailed me examples of someone doing a very similar trick, so be very careful if you’re a keen sleeve collector. These four examples, all up for sale right now on the web, are fake. They purport to be radio station album promos, in unique covers. If they were then they would indeed be  remarkable; mint sleeves over 40 years old, never documented before. In fact the covers are complete fakes, and they are just sticking regular  Mexican pressings of the albums inside!

Fake Mexican Deep Puple sleeves

I checked up and the radio station named on the cover actually exists, but is so tiny they would never have done such promos, and don’t seem even to have existed then. Plus the typography employs digital tricks which were simply not possible back in the Seventies.
Further digging showed the people responsible are cranking these out for lots of groups beside Deep Purple.  So, worth a few bucks if you collect pirate pressings, but at this price hopefully people can get the word out before too many fans get scammed. And as always, well done ebay for allowing this sort of thing to flourish.
Mind you, it might just be some crafty Mexicans trying to destabilise the American economy in revenge for Trump!

Rainbow window

September 1, 2015

Ritchie Blackmores Rainbow window display 1975

Further to my posting and the comments on the first Rainbow album (see below), here is a fabulous photograph.  It shows the in-store window display which the EMI reps put up to promote the release.  Such displays were very much reaching their zenith around this time as labels vied with each other for the most elaborate displays, many of which must have cost large sums of money to produce. Generally for major new releases, the label would agree a five figure promotion budget ahead of the game (it’s no exaggeration to say bands could record an album today on the budget), and then allocate chunks of this to advertising, radio promotion, DJs and point of sale material (which is what this would be under).
The displays were usually put up by the reps, who often had to take a snap to prove they’d done it, or by shop staff.  They would be in place for a few weeks, and when taken down were technically supposed to go back to the label.  As they were classed as promotional material, shops were not allowed to sell them so in practise many shops just binned these.  But if you knew someone in the shop they might save stuff.  You would write their name somewhere on the display while it was still on the wall and so ‘reserve’ it.  I do recall scuffles breaking out when a couple of people were after the same display!
I still have the poster which you can see on the floor of the window.  The large version of the cover art was curved card, with an acetate overlay across printed with the name of the band.  I’ve never seen the big Oyster cut-outs.
How many of these were ever made?  Hard to say.  There were around 700 record stores in the UK at this time, but not all would be deemed worth hosting a display – so maybe around 500?  I’d be surprised if more than a few dozen survive.
I must thank Christian Jones for letting me use the image.  He says he took it in the window of The Record Bar in Wakefield.  You can see a display for The Pretty Things on the right. I remember the shop, it was always well stocked and we went there on the bus sometimes in the late 70s as they had a good stock of the punk and new wave releases.  I’m pretty sure I bought my first Police single there.  The shop’s place in history is perhaps that they financed the pressing of local lad Bill Nelson’s first solo album. Here’s a grainy pic of Bill outside the very same shop in 1975 from the local Wakefield paper.
Today of course such displays are, like most record shops, a thing of the past.

Bill-Nelson-Wakefield-Record-Bar

Thanks also to Tonny Steenhagen.

Records store day redux

July 7, 2014

Deep Purple Black Night Live record store day 2014 release.We have a small stock of the two UK 2014 Deep Purple Record Store day vinyl releases mentioned on an earlier posting for anyone who wasn’t able to queue. This is the Mono colour vinyl Shades LP and the monstrously table-mat thick pressing of the Made In Japan single.  As there are only a few, we’ve put them up on our new Deep Purple Collectors Store.

The Open Ear

May 12, 2014

Child In Time 12"Award yourself a house star if you know where that motto comes from….  Purple Records kicked off back in 1971 and like a lot of other slightly esoteric seventies labels has gained quite a following amongst collectors in recent years.  Purple never quite managed to focus itself as much as labels like Vertigo, Charisma or Threshold, and lacked the determined resources of labels like Harvest, mostly because the people involved were always being kept busy looking after Deep Purple themselves. Nevertheless as well as being home to many Deep Purple albums and singles over the years (and the label design continues to appear on various reissues to this day, including this years record Day single), the label did handle a lot of interesting solo projects as well as offerings from musicians outside the immediate ‘family’. Buddy Bohn, Silverhead and Bullet rubbed shoulders with The Colditz Story, Yvonne Elliman and Curtiss Maldoon.Bullet German 45 Purple Records
Rare record collector Neil Priddey has been working on a book detailing the story of the label and this is now nearing completion. He has spoken to a number of people behind the scenes as well as musicians on the label. The book will be illustrated with the covers of all the albums and a discography as well as the singles and rarities, press material and other memorabilia.
Label designs, inner sleeves and more are a feature of Neil’s work. His recent book on the Charisma ‘pink label’ albums has been nicely received (not least on Simon’s album sleeve blog) so we’re expecting good things from this follow up.  More details will follow as and when along with publishing information and ordering details. Meanwhile if anyone out there has any rare items from the label’s history do please get in touch and I’ll pass your email along.
Purple Records label Rainbow first albumHere are a few rarities from the label’s history to be going on with: a German art sleeve for Bullet; a very strange 12″ featuring “long” disco versions of two tracks (both normal album cuts in fact); and an obscure edition of Rainbow’s first album on the Purple label.

Now What was that again?!

September 20, 2013

Deep Purple singleHistory repeats itself (for those still trying to work out exactly how many editions of the Rapture Of The Deep album came out*) with a 2CD GOLD TOUR EDITION of Now What.  This comprises the existing album (+ It’ll Be Me & First Sign of Madness) with a second disc of tracks recorded on the summer tour in Italy, Germany and Sweden.  Track listing is:
Fireball / Into The Fire / Hard Lovin’ Man / Vincent Price / Strange Kind Of Woman / Body Line / Above And Beyond / Perfect Strangers / All The Time In The World / Hush / Black Night / Smoke On The Water
It has been stressed that these are ‘monitor mixes’.  A bit of a strange concept really; a lot of people will be cheesed off at having to buy the album again, and surely the time for a live album proper was later in the year when there will be more off the new studio album to include (although a third of this is new which is something)?  Likely to be on vinyl as well.
They will also issue a single (the third off the CD, or fourth a-side) to promote,  Above and Beyond  – 7” purple vinyl – b-side Space Truckin’ recorded live in Majano, Italy, July 24, 2013; – CD single (with Things I’ve Never Said studio, Space Truckin’ and Hush both live in Rome, Italy, July 22, 2013).  We can’t say if Hush is the same as the live CD (and clearly as Space Truckin is not on the live album, both the vinyl and CD are needed to complete the material).  Strewth. The CD and vinyl album can be pre-ordered at DTB Online shop. We will not carry the single up front due to being stiffed on supplies over the others. The single sleeve is shown here.
Now all we need to know is did DP lift their album title from Elvis Presley’s daughter? See the link here!
(* Five so far. They’re nowhere near the record mind; Ian Dury & The Blockheads album Do It Yourself was issued in over 30 different sleeves, and there is still no exact figure as nobody seems to know any more!)

Concerto makes vinyl

July 4, 2013

JL Concerto 12 vinylBetter late than never vinyl fans!  It’s a double set with the BBC interview tacked on.  Due end of July and DTB Online can take pre-orders. Cover and more info on our  Concerto 2012 page.

the hunt for red vinyl

June 28, 2013

In Rock Japan red

Has any lucky collector out there got the rare 1970 red vinyl Japanese Toshiba Warners 7 Arts edition of In Rock they could do us a snap or scan of? We’d like to show it in the upcoming book, but I’ve never had the funds available when it has come up for sale so our collection lacks this. We contacted an online collectors site who have one for sale, but it turns out to have gone months ago and they only have a poor quality scan left (and a long waiting list for the next available copy apparently!)…

UPDATE – Thanks to AH who has photographed his promo copy for us, and to MT who confirms both the promo and regular edition in red wax, and says the latter was only in the shops for a few weeks…