Live In Concert 72/73
There are many, many DVD's released of Deep Purple but hardly anything is really top of the bill. Most of them are snippets thrown together or documentaries. Ofcourse there is the "Come Hell Or High Water", that's a pretty good one and there are also a handfull of shows with Steve Morse on DVD. But most Blackmore fans won't go wild over those. What everybody interested in Deep Purple was waiting for is a full concert of the legendary Mark II line-up from the seventies. This DVD has been announced a long time ago and finally after several delays it has come out. It has two main features; a full (unfortunately in black & white picture) concert of a gig in Copenhagen Denmark on March 1, 1972 plus a 25 minutes footage of a gig in New York. And there's a bonus in the form of one track taken from the forthcoming release of the California Jam 1974.
The Copenhagen gig have been available already as a videotape release and there's a (pirate) DVD on the market which is released in Brazil (which is a copy of the Japanese laserdisc) and often offered cheaply on eBay. Apart from a very nice menu and some stills at the beginning the quality is about the same, this DVD has the same show. Maybe slightly touched up and with a better sound. It's a good show from the Mark II line-up with many of the wellknown Mark II classics: "Highway Star", "Strange Kind Of Woman", "Child In Time", "The Mule", "Lazy", "Space Truckin'", "Fireball", "Lucille" & "Black Night". The filming is pretty average at best. Ritchie Blackmore's not too often in the picture. The sound is excellent. The band is a bit tame at times. "Lucille" is one of the finest moments with Ritchie doing the duckwalk.
The New York 1973 show is another story. It was avaible in mainly incomplete poor to just watchable quality on videotape in the circuit. Here we finally get a very good quality colour copy on DVD. The show only exist of 3 (edited) tracks: "Strange Kind Of Woman", "Smoke On The Water" and "Space Truckin'". The band, just one month before they splitted up, looks on some points pretty tired. Especially Ian Gillan with shorter hair and beard, looks like he's already sick and tired of the band or least least "the banjoplayer" as he likes to call RB. Still the shows is great, this was Deep Purple at or just after their peak, a well oiled machine that's just smokin'. Ritchie Blackmore/Deep Purple-fans will love this footage and most likely these 25 minutes alone will be for most the reason the buy this DVD.
On both the shows is also a commentary track which is nice to put on for once or so. There's a lot of extra info on the shows and gives it the feel of a documentary. Well done!
And to end this DVD there's already a little taster of the forthcoming California Jam 1974 DVD, announced for a release later this year. The bonus on this DVD shows one track, "Burn" with the full intro. The intro footage was not on the videotape, Brazilian (again pirate) DVD or Japanese laserdisc that have been released in the past. It's also announced elsewhere that the missing track of those previous releases, "Lay Down, Stay Down", will be present on the new DVD plus extra bonus footage. All in all something to look forward to as well.
Rating: ****½ [4½ out of 5]