Note: this product includes a bonus DVD (region-free) of Deep Purple's performance at Granada TV, Manchester from 1970.
It’s like rock’n’roll with its trousers down. Rock’n’roll back-to-front, inside-out, whatever you like. Hold on. Those aren’t my words, they’re Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan’s, uttered as introduction to the song Into The Fire. Gillan’s off-the-wall description turns out to be pretty damn accurate.
In June ’70, just five months prior to the recording of this incendiary Scandi-performance, Purple had unleashed ""In Rock"", the album that both created and defined heavy rock. For Purple, “In Rock” was the ultimate statement of intent. “In Rock” was the turning point in the band’s career.
So to the Swedish capital of Stockholm on November 12, ’70. Here, at the Konserthuset venue, riding high on “In Rock’s” success, Purple had one simple, single-minded aim: to stretch the infant heavy rock genre to breaking point. With no borders, no boundaries, unburdened by gimmickry or “heritage”, on this live recording Purple simply erupt. There’s an endearing naïveté to Purple’s performance, too. A sense that, in unleashing the beast, the band didn’t quite know how savage and dangerous this feral being would become. Take Gillan’s endearingly shambolic introduction to this epic show as an example: “We’d like to start with, er, sort of, a bunch of rock’n’roll numbers we’ve got together.”
It turns out to be the greatest understatement of all time as Speed King escapes from its cage, lumbering like a bellowing elephant, as quickfire as a 70mph cheetah, as vicious as a mauling lion... all at the same time. Remarkable for a song simply “designed to raise a sweat and all sorts of things”.
The spine-tingling mayhem continues through Into The Fire (mean, lurching and rumbling, with some extraordinarily unhinged vocals from Gillan); Child In Time (an astonishing combination of sensitivity and explosiveness; like a Teddy Bear with a hand grenade inside); and the Blackmore instrumental showcase ‘Wring That Neck’. ‘Paint It, Black’, meanwhile, makes a brief nod in recognition of the Rolling Stones classic before morphing into an extended Ian Paice drum solo. Mandrake Root, introduced by Gillan as “one you can jump along to”, lasts over half-an-hour. Finally, set closer – and hit single – Black Night is completed in a relatively brief seven minutes, then collapses in a wail of agony and exhaustion, courtesy of Lord’s wheezing Hammond organ. It’s a fitting end to a consummate display.
Completed by two bonus tracks from Paris in November 1970 and rounded off by a bonus DVD - the famous performance of the band at Granada TV, Manchester in 1970 and for the first time on DVD, this is the sound – and vision – of the classic Deep Purple Mk II doing their thing, as only Purple can.....Trouserless but triumphant.
“Stockholm 1970” is the third of a 10 releases spanning re-issue series of Deep Purple."