13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Crank up the volume, break out the platform shoes, and put on a black t-shirt reading either "The Ultimate" or "Wild West Clothing Company" for this fabulous 2-CD set recorded early in 1976 on Deep Purple Mark IV's tour of America! It just rips Last Concert In Japan to shreds. After a rough start in the East, the Bolin/Coverdale/Hughes/Lord/Paice lineup hit the States in early 1976 and played some decent shows; the Purple magic was back even if Blackmore was gone. Sadly, when the hit the UK in March, the problems began again and then it was all over...but on February 27, 1976 it was time for DP to rock the mutha------' house! CD 1: 1. Burn--everyone in the band is clearly glad to be off the bus tonight. Bolin's rhythm work is turned up in the mix, far different from the Japan album. His solo exhibits his fusion-y side. Coverdale and Hughes sound just okay here. 2. Lady Luck--a song about a lady who sells herself for money (own up, gentlemen, we love 'em, intones Coverdale). Very tight and punchy, great slide guitar solo. Oww! 3. Gettin' Tighter--here Glenn Hughes comes to fore in a version much longer than the album. Hughes and Bolin do some great guitar-and-bass duelling which gets funky at times, before they launch into that "You got to dance, to the rock-n-roll" riff/jam which we'll soon get to here in abundance on the June 1975 California rehearsals CDs. Perhaps funk was not what DP was about, but here it's just too fun to criticize. 4. Love Child-here Bolin gets to interact with Lord in a slower funk groove. Much better than the LCIJ version. 5. Smoke on the Water--not the highlight of the album, but a decent rocker nonetheless. Towards the end Coverdale improvises on Bad Company's Wild Fire Woman (I start to shiver an' shake, I just can't wait), and then everything quiets down so Glenn can sing an ear-piercing version of Georgia On My Mind (take that, Michael Bolton!) Again, not very Purple-like, this gospel ballad, but oh well... 6. Lazy/The Grind--perhaps Lord's solo which begins it is overly long, but he gets to do some neat sci-fi effects I've never really heard on any other '70s Purple live set. Then the rest of the band comes in, and Coverdale and Hughes trade the vocals off quickly, leading up to one of Paice's best drum solos (although I haven't mentioned little Ian til now, rest assured he plays as good if not better on this whole album than anywhere else). When the band comes in, they do some of Tommy's solo tune Homeward Strut (NOT The Grind, as the notes claim). It sounds pretty cool, especially since Lord gets to jam on it. CD 2: 1. This Time Around--I don't like it as much as the album version, but the soloing at the end is pretty intense. 2. Tommy Bolin guitar solo--Here Tommy gets to stomp on his echoplex and do a little delay/overdub work to the delight (or is it chagrin?) of the audience. The audience seems to be heckling him a bit. By the way, does anyone else here think some of his licks here sound kind of like Ace Frehley's? 3. Stormbringer--the most powerful version ever. YES, even better than live versions with Blackmore. Everyone is just slamming into this one. Then comes a breakdown where Coverdale starts improvising to the tune of Sly's "Thank You For Lettin' Me Be Mice Elf Agin." When the power chords come back in, it's as doomy as anything by Sabbath or Pantera, and Coverdale's final scream towards the end rivals the one he does in Whitesnake's "Still of the Night." 4. Highway Star/Not Fade Away--decent version, similar to the one on LCIJ. Bonus Tracks (recorded at a different show on the same tour): 1. I'm Going Down--Coverdale and Hughes display some rather racy language from here on out, so send the kids to bed. This version is just okay, not quite as good as the one on the Final Mk. III Concerts. 2. Highway Star--see above. 3. Smoke On The Water--not as good as the version on disc one, but still better than LCIJ. 4. Georgia On My Mind--Glenn once again tries to shatter glass with his Stevie Wonder meets Rob Halford vocal tones. Whew...what a live disc. Yes, Mk. IV could play some great shows when they laid off the sex and drugs and concentrated on rock and roll!