37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2013
Purple fans have been waiting for so long for a good release from the Perfect Strangers tour-the tour that brought the famous MKII back together. The only official recordings from that tour available so far, were the "KNEBWORTH 85" and "Paris 85" both of which were a let-down both in terms of sound quality and performance.
This new release captures dP at one of their first reunion concert in sydney in 1984, and if some (then) new tracks are still very fresh for both the band and the audience, they nevertheless fit perfectly well between the 70's classics.
The performance is excellent, Gillan is on fire even if a bit raspy sometimes; Blackmore & Lord are soloing like mad (especially Blackmore in a brilliant creative "chaotique" mood).
But the absolute bonus for me is the sound of the rhythm section that has been brought to the front, reminding me of the heights of Made In japan in terms of dynamics and groove. Paice's drumming is absolutely stunning and his bass drum playing is a delight to hear. The energy of the band is brilliantly captured on tape ; it's raw, it's dangerous,it's exciting and it's all LIVE!
This might not have been the best concert from that tour, but the energy and the mix definitly make up for it!
I can't really review the dvd as I'm not a fan of concerts on dvd, but I did watch the documentary and it features some great footage and interviews from all members (except Blackmore), and also some previously unreleased jamming in the studio (short but sweet!).
This is a real treat for all Purple fans!Enjoy!
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 18 October 2013
(This is following a viewing of the DVD, haven't listened to the CDs yet)
Here it is after nearly 30 years- the proper live album from the 80s. This is technically the sixth official live release form the 80s, but that includes three official audience bootlegs. Even if we ignore sound quality of those three, this is the best show by a mile. For me, the Highway Stars bootleg comes second, but they are much tighter here. Not only that, it's a proper recording and it's even got visuals. Knebworth is not a great performance overall, and Nobody's Perfect (not really a 'show', of course) is pretty slack by comparison to this. Sound is good (apart from Jon in the mix, more on that below) and picture quality is good given it's age although there's little wide shots or audience shots just the one camera that's far back which might be a bit lower res (maybe).
Right at the beginning of Highway Star it feels so great to hear it played and sung with such energy - a great version. It's all very familiar in style as I've heard so many shows from this period but this is that familiarity injected with rocket fuel. They really are a band on in places.
Strange Kind of Woman, whilst mostly average, has a fantastic Gillan scream near the end (not THAT scream, before that) which could well have come from 1972.
Gypsy's Kiss is chaotic as with other performances, but Blackmore's Blues is great and he seems to briefly go back to playing more like it's 1976.
Knocking At Your Back Door is a great version. Played a whole step down as always live (only played in B with Turner). I think it pays off because the live versions really bring out the best in Gillan's voice. Also, this is the only time (apart from Highway Stars) where Blackmore plays the riff as it is on the album, which is nice. He simplified it later on.
Blackmore screws up the intro to Lazy as heard in other shows which is funny and then goes COMPLETELY MENTAL as a result. Great!
Child is Time is a great version of the song by the standard of the 80s. Gillan is great. Just to clarify, he sings it all just fine but there's a backing tape for the high bit which he sings over. There's no pretense, importantly - it's clear that's what is happening and it's fine. They would have done better just letting him sing it how he does but this is the 80s after all, and they were a band out of time not really suited to all that nonsense. More significant than the vocals is a surprising extended absolute killer of a guitar solo. If you like Blackmore's wild 80s playing, this is probably the best I've heard. Better than Tearing Out My Heart from Live Between the Eyes two years earlier, I think.
What is directly comparable is the Rainbow Live in Japan show filmed the same year and this (predictably) is far and away a better performance. Partially I think this is because they really seem to be having fun whereas on the Rainbow show you get the impression that they felt under pressure to get it right. There's a looseness to the performance only possible between musicians who know each other's styles very well. I've always preferred Difficult To Cure with Purple than Rainbow (probably mostly down to Mr Paice) and it's interesting just how similar this version sounds (and looks). In the end, Blackmore plays better on this show than the Rainbow one.
Space Truckin is another highlight - one of the best Paicey intros from any decade and a *great* performance with Jon stealing the show as usual, although I've never taken to Blackmore's erm, 'solo' during this period, personally. The keyboard sections of this song at this time were really special and this is a particularly good one. In his solo elsewhere in the show, there's one moment where he's playing something really poignant (with a great camera shot/lighting) and I really felt it seeing as he's only recently left us. A moment later (I won't spoil it) he does something that made me laugh and it was just great. This probably end up being one of my favourite DP moments ever.
I made a point of not looking at the tracklist and for a moment wasn't expecting Speed King and it is a real killer of a version. Gillan is on fire for this. They probably should have used SK for the preview video instead of the average version of PS. Just when I thought it was all over (Smoke - meh!) they put in a great version of Smoke On The Water which again must be one of the best versions seeing as I'm completely fed up with it. Make sure you watch to the end (Just a little cool thing, NOT the guest from the night before in case anyone wonders!).
I think it's important to make it clear that as this is a recording of Purple in 84, it sounds like Purple in 84. It's a historic document warts and all. Someone less familiar with the band may be expecting some mythical time when they were 'perfect'. They were never perfect, certainly not in the 80s and if they were they wouldn't be Deep Purple. All the familiar stuff with Blackmore missing cues is here. We all know Gillan was told to rest his voice in the early 80s (82?) but decided to join Black Sabbath instead and record and tour some of the most demanding songs of his career. For this reason, he'd lost control of his famous falsetto and his voice got a harsher tone.
Equally (for me) Blackmore had developed a unique 'psycho-staccato-chicken' playing style and tone which oddly mirrors how Gillan's voice had changed. Importantly, he sounds like Blackmore in the 80s, not Blackmore in 1976 (obviously!) albeit some of the very best playing in that style. It is an acquired taste and lacks the melody & tone of other decades for me. None of this affects the status (or star rating) of this release because if I didn't want to hear them in the 80s, I wouldn't buy it.
What's significant here is that whilst Gillan doesn't sound as good as he did in 83, unlike later performances he's full of energy and just belts out the songs anyway and gives it his all, with mostly fantastic results. Speed King is just awesome. This is great in the context of this album because it suits the songs but it's frankly amazing he could sing the next day let alone do a massive world tour singing like that.
My only real gripe with this release (hence 4.5 stars) is the lack of Jon. Sadly, the camera work brings back memories of Scandinavian Nights (but not *that* bad!) as we hardly ever see him, and when we do his fingers are out of view. Worse still is the fact hat he's so low in the mix despite (as always) putting in an awesome performance.
*Definitely* worth a buy if you like Deep Purple in the 80s. Far and away the best release of the period.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 29 October 2013
I am reviewing the CD/DVD/L.P. edition. This set features a 1984 live in Australia show on DVD, 2-CD set and 2-L.P. set. The song contents are the same in each format. The reunited "Mark 2" line-up(Ian Gillan/Ritchie Blackmore/Jon Lord/Roger Glover/Ian Paice) was touring behind their reunion album "Perfect Strangers"(5 of the songs from the album were performed in this show) plus a selection of 1970-1972 hits. The group was not exactly picking up where they left off(where the group was when they split acrimoniously in mid-1973). Because of the need to fit more songs into this 2 hour show, songs would no longer be played at 15 to 20 minute length(mid-1980's audiences might not have had the attention span for such prolonged jamming, anyhow). There would also be no more exchanging solos(duels) between guitarist Ritchie Blackmore & keyboardist Jon Lord. The sound mix seems to underscore this change, because whenever Jon Lord isn't soloing, his keyboards are mixed down near inaudibility, then they become audible for solos. Ian Gillan's voice is already not quite what it was between 1969-1973. Certainly his normal vocal range is unaffected, but his high scream range is somewhat hoarse, less well controlled and with a reduced note range. Gillan takes some time to warm up(the vocal on "Nobody Home" is somewhat ragged) then he sings generally O.K., giving his all on Deep Purple classics such as "Child in Time", "Lazy" and the group's signature song "Smoke on The Water". The performance is a good one, if not quite up to the brilliance of a show that I saw in Florida in that same tour.
The sound quality of the recording is generally quite good(excepting the questionable decision to mix Jon Lord down when he's not soloing). Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Paice & Roger Glover give fiery performances with abilities and passion undiminished by the years. I assume that the only audio source in existence is direct to stereo audio captured by the video crew, and that the recording does not exist in a remixable format. The surround sound on the DVD seems to be a simulated "upmix" from stereo. The picture quality of the DVD (which is NTSC) is generally excellent, however, the supplemental 22 minute documentary, in which all of the group members (excepting the notoriously un-talkative Ritchie Blackmore) are interviewed, is of fuzzy, less than VHS quality. The 2-CD set sounds fine(it contains the same stereo mix as the DVD). As for the 2-L.P. set, the records are flat, and the pressing is admirably quiet. The "Side Two" grooves were very, very slightly off-centre, but not enough to be audible.
As for the 12" x 12" 3-panel gatefold L.P sleeve(which contains both vinyl records, the DVD & the 2-CD set), of all the vinyl L.P.'s I've ever received via mail, this L.P. sleeve was the most severely creased and damaged. I dreaded taking the vinyl records out of the sleeve, expecting that, surely, they would be shattered. Luckily the records arrived intact. Amazon.co.uk did a superb job packing the product(with no visible external damage to Amazon's carton), which means that the product was already damaged before Amazon.co.uk ever sent it. It had been damaged either at the factory, at the record company's warehouse or at Amazon.co.uk's warehouse. But the point I'm making is this: If Amazon warehouse/packaging facility workers see that a product is already quite visibly damaged, THEN DON'T DESPATCH IT to the customer. The cost of mailing the damaged set back from the U.S.A. to the UK would be prohibitive, and a replacement might be no better. Yes, the L.P.'s, DVD & CD's play fine, but the the badly damaged sleeve annoys the collector in me. The version with the vinyl records is exclusive to the UK, whereas the CD/DVD version is offered worldwide. I've been collecting Deep Purple group and solo recordings since 1970(when I was 14), and I have a large CD, DVD & L.P. collection of Deep Purple and Purple-related recordings, so the condition of the product DOES matter to me.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 26 October 2013
An awesome DVD that captures Deep Purple Mk2 on their return after almost eleven years apart. Here you have the musical prowess of Blackmore, Lord and Paice in abundance. Blackmore in particular seems intent on showcasing his technical abilities and he you can clearly see the speed solos and random shredding copied by so many other modern guitar greats. This is Blackmore fully in rock/metal mode...so this is one for the 'heavy heads' who have forgotten this part of Blackmore's history. Actually I think he has improved, and his work in Blackmore's night is more musically accomplished and technically tight.
A great concert and picture of Purple's unique abilities.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
...when reunions actually meant something,this was a major deal,Deep Purple Mark 2 back together,its amazing to think its taken nearly 30 years to get a decent reunion tour album.I've been chewing my fingers off waiting for this to arrive.
2 cd's of live Purple,Glover and Paice as ever, the imperious rythmn section holding it all together,Lord deftly adding layers here and there,no surprises there,however,it is always the 'other two' who can shape a Purple gig,are they on form,are they up for it,well thankfully its a resounding yes to both,sure Gillan's voice is sometimes strained,that said he's pretty damn good for the most part and Blackmore,well what can you say,he's on a mission,not content to play by the book,another reviewer, referred to his playing as 'loose',he certainly is,he's on that path that borders spontaniety and chaos,he straddles it well,just as you think its all going to collapse round about him,he pulls it back from the brink,as a Blackmore nut,i absolutely love that,casual listeners may be less impressed.It is great to hear 5 new tracks along side the classics .they all work well with only 'Gypsy's Kiss' sounding slightly rough.Nobody's Home is an absolute belter,should have remained a live favourite ,the rest well worn favourites 'Highway Star' superb as always and 'Smoke...' just mesmeric as ever,special mention for 'Strange Kind of Woman' also.
The DVD is of its time,if your looking for a 22 camera shoot,camera's positioned here there and everywhere,with an editing sequence of new picture every other second(a la Steve Harris of Maiden fame),then your in the wrong place. Its dated approach/quality adds to the charm of this release,i'm not going to watch it over and over,prefer listening to the audio but its a genuine thrill to see the look of joy(yep thats right) between Blackmore and Gillan during the couple of occasions thay have their little interplays,its a pity they couldnt have seen it thru.Gillan of all of them,seems the most up for it,strutting around like the people's champion, fists pumping the air,clenched fist salutes to the crowds,just like the 'Gillan' days.
Sound quality,have to say i'm very happy with it,a few have mentioned Lord low in the mix,cant say i felt that,listening on my set up(and it aint expensive by any means),Lord is there up front from the moment Highway Star requires keyboards,for me he's in the mix exactly where he should be,supporting the rthymn section and coming to the fore when the track demands a keyboard flourish or a solo,so i'm perfectly happy with the production.
Its an easy 5 stars for another Purple Archive release.
on 11 December 2013
Took the plunge on this after reading the other reviews.
The video looks as any other concert from the Eighties. Don't expect exceptional quality.
Saying that it's good enough to enjoy - even on a 46" TV. The audio sounds like it's been
newly remixed and it's this - when cranked up loud - that really draws you into the concert.
About halfway through I realised I was enjoying this way more than I expected.
The funny thing is it's because of the old picture quality you are drawn into the gritty, sweaty
nature of the concert where if it was in perfect HD sometimes the look can be really sterile
and have no atmosphere IMHO.
They could just as well have released this with really bad audio quality so at least someone's spent
a bit of cash in sprucing it up.
If you are a Purple fan whether Morse or Blackmore (I like them both) then this is well worth
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2013
Brilliant live concert, surprisingly so.
The band are on great form, and on stage rapport is superb.
Richie B is a little "loose" at times , certainly the playing in places isnt as tight as it was at the height of their powers on MIJ, but given the 12 year gap, how could it be?
Frankly a must for any fan of MK2 deep purple
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2013
A brilliant tour from a marvellous band, captured on tjhis double CD. The mixing is a little lop sided (too heavy on the guitar to the detriment of the keyboards) but otherwise a great way to remember Purple on the comeback trail. .... and they're still pretty marvellous now!
on 30 August 2015
This full show is from one of the very first of the Reunion shows from November/December 1984 for the Australian leg of the Deep Purple tour. A great clear recording and you can hear the enthusiasm from the band in their performances - Ian Gillan really belting out the vocals on the 'new' numbers and Mr Blackmore's playful rendition of 'Waltzing Matilda', especially for the locals, in one of his extended guitar breaks.
Beautifully shot too.
The CD's? They sound great! A really great combo of media for both audio and visual for ANY Purple fan.
Buy it.....enjoy it.....wish you were there....
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2013
if you want to here mk2 at their very best with lots of inpro this is a must reformed and reignited one of the best live albums they have ever released shame we had to wait so long