on 6 August 2007
"Made in Japan" is one of the best live classic rock albums. This boxed set includes the 3 concerts played on the 1972 Japan tour from which the tracks on "Made in Japan" were selected. The set lists for each concert are very similar so there is a lot of triplication here. "Made in Japan" took the best versions of the songs so this collection is only for hard core fans or sad people like me who want to hear different versions of their favourite songs. I particularly enjoyed hearing Ritchie fluffing the intro to "Smoke on the water" on one of the versions. Was it deliberate? The package comes with a very nice booklet so collectors will not be disappointed.
on 8 November 2002
When this was originally released I was only ten, and when a copy appeared in my house, shortly after I was hooked.
And has it stood the test of time? You bet.
This is the definitive live album. No overdubs, just blistering performances all round. Ian Gillan later complained that his own performance was poor but to these ears this is as good as it gets.
Highway Star is a killer set opener featuring brilliant soloing from both Lord and Blackmore. Child In Time follows on, mesmerising, from the subtle keyboard introduction through Gillan's screams and a frantic Madame Butterfly influenced Blackmore guitar fest, right back full circle to the start. Gillan screams even louder second time around leaving the listener exhausted as the track explodes and dies at the end.
Just when you thought the music couldn't get any more involving up pops, probably, the best version of Smoke On The Water captured on album. The band is so tight everything seems perfect. Into the Mule with a typically superb drum solo from Ian Paice. Listening to the Mule lulls the listener in to a relaxed state before the band hit the stratosphere with superb interplay and sonics. Strange Kinda Woman just bounces along and the interplay between vocal and guitar just make you grin, mainly for the sheer tongue-in-cheek attitude. A few screams from Gillan and onwards we go into Lazy, a stunning piece of R'n'B (the real stuff). Lord kicks off with some organ torturing, a bit of jazz and off with the lick. The band is in full flow by now with superb soloing and tightness unsurpassed. Space Truckin' is the set closer complete with more ethereal soling from Lord and Blackmore, incorporating sections from Fools and Mandrake Root. The encores added to this anniversary remaster don't disappoint either. Frenetic versions of Black Night and Speed King just confirm that this was a band at the peak of their powers. A reworking of Lucille finishes it all off and the band are clearly knackered from delivering such a fast paced show. This is still the best live album some 29 years on and I still play it now. There is a triple CD collection with most of the performances from the associated Japanese tour, in some ways to a fanatic that's even better. But this is the original release revamped and timeless. A must.
on 16 July 2008
It's official the Devil does have the best music. Because Deep Purple must have sold their souls to sound this good, you don't believe me? Then just listen to Made in Japan. No five human beings ever sounded like this and remember this is live, no overdubs, no dropping in of solos, no sampling, backing tapes or additional musicians. Just five guys playing the best Hard Rock you will ever hear, live, no retakes it's as it happened.
Plenty of bands have come and gone and plenty have tried to take the title but no one ever will. Not because they are less talented nor because they are not trying, but simply because you cannot surpass perfection.
There are some negative comments about the encores, but they are exactly that, encores, after giving everything they could give the band give just a little more. What is even more remarkable is that Deep Purple often
performed for going on two hours. None of this 45mins and then 'thank you and goodnight', like an awful lot of bands get away with now. They had also just arrived in Japan, so were jet lagged and Ian Gillan was still
recovering from a sore throat! But all of that just makes the performance on this album all the more incredible.
Oh and lest we forget it contains the best adlib ever: 'Can we have everything louder than everything else!' How fitting for a band that once held the record for being the loudest in the world.
But it is not just shear volume without shade, colour or subtlety, like an awful lot of the bands that followed. Here you have technically proficient, highly talented individuals who learned their craft the hard way and came together to create something far greater than its already significant parts.
This really is as good as it gets, so sit back, enjoy and marvel at what members of the human race are capable of in occasional, brief and yet exceptionally sublime moments in time.
on 21 December 2005
Live albums were not in rerum natura, as they say. DP took their first tour in Japan seriously, and brought the Rolling Stones mobile with them to record it. No stranger to live recordings (or being bootlegged!) the Mk II line-up was taped on all 3 dates at Osaka and Tokyo. The result was a staggering success, and captured the band's stage show at it's electrifying best. Blistering harmony & unison interplay between Blackmore and Lord, a rhythm section containing the world's best rock drummer in Ian Paice and the hugely underrated Roger Glover on bass was capped off by a storming performance of Ian Gillan's silver throated vocal. Having just recorded "Machine Head" the bulk of the set comes from that LP - but "Child in Time" (from In Rock) is an astonishing testament to how good DP were at the time. The best live rock band on the planet, by some considerable margin. I'm sure there will be a few who will argue that Led Zeppelin had that accolade, but some of their live performances were long-winded and unrehearsed. DP's instrumentals were well crafted, and had some huge cues. If you listen to any of their live stuff in any depth you'll see what I mean. The opener, Highway Star, introduces you to the band and is followed by Child in Time. Nuff said. Smoke on the Water is considered to be the band's most memorable riff by the public (check out any music shop on a Saturday afternoon!) and The Mule is a Paice solo spot. Strange kind of Woman is the standout track for me - Blackmore and Gillan (so often at odds with each other)united on stage with the question and answer phrasing and posturing. Lazy is Jon Lord's tour de force. The LP is finished off with a rousing 20 minutes of "Space Truckin' - a bit of everything in this, really, and a very powerful set closer. I listened to this as a 13 year-old when it was released, and my opinion has not diminished over 30 years. Best Live Album - Ever. Bar none. The later releases contain some of the encores "Lucille" "Back Night" and "Speed King" but the core 7 tracks tell you who this band are.
on 2 October 2005
A friend showed me this album a while ago and I was very impressed then, though we were playing it so loud I didn't get to hear it properly. So I bought and every time I listen to it I am simply stunned. There is not one bad track on this album, it's as simple as that. The rendition of "Lazy" is nothing short of incredible, though you may want to turn the cacophonous intro down a little to save your eardrums.
One of the great things about this album is the sound quality. Often when you listen to a live track, it can sound gritty or distant. Every song on this sounds brilliant, with an incredible energy to match. The musicianship is nothing short of outstanding - every member sounds on top form (though according to the inside cover, which contains the story of made in Japan and some good photos of the band, Ian Gillan wasn't happy with some of his performances after having just got over bronchitis). Deep Purple show how well they can rock while mucking about like noone else can (see "Lazy" for prime examples of this).
There's two problems with this album, however. Firstly, when you next listen to one of Deep Purple's studio albums, it will sound dull. That's just how good this album is. Secondly, you shouldn't play either disc in your car because you WILL speed.
Made In Japan is one of the most famous and celebrated live albums in music history, it showcases Deep Purple in their MKII line up, riding high on the success of Machine Head and at the peak of their abilities.
The album features a selection of tracks from the first three MKII Deep Purple albums in addition to one cover song, and manages to stretch out around an hour and a half despite only containing ten songs; as you can imagine this means that the songs are considerably longer than their original studio versions, full to the brim with jamming and creativity, in addition to a six minute drum solo.
The band perform the music with a rare and powerful feeling that makes the songs sound so much bigger, heavier and more energetic... all the musicians are on their best form, nailing their leads and delivering the music with intensity. Subsequently, it is not uncommon for people to say that this is the best live album ever and listening to the absolutely incendiary version of 'Highway Star,' or 'Smoke On The Water,' you will understand why.
The sound is very good considering this was recorded on apparently worse equipment than the producer would have liked and there are no overdubs... you just get the live power and energy from Deep Purple at their zenith. How much you enjoy it will depend entirely on whether you think the jamming and additional solos add to or detract from the experience (Space Truckin' extends to almost twenty minutes) but even if you don't care for those aspects, the rest of the album, when the band are playing the songs as written, is spectacular.
This is definitely something you'll want to buy if you are a fan or prospective fan of Deep Purple, I wholeheartedly recommend it.
This is one of the best, if not THE best live album by any 70's rock band.
The atmosphere on this album is electric throughout. Listen to the start of Highway Star, the band changes gear a couple of times and delivers a stunning performance - the whole place is rocking.
The sign of a great live album is that some of the versions on Live In Japan are better than the studio originals. One such track being the overplayed Smoke on the Water.
The mk II line-up of Deep Purple was fantastic. Blackmore and Lord repeatedly deliver brilliant solos, Gillan's voice is amazing and Ian Paice still remains one of the best rock drummers (playing with McCartney in the late 1990's).
The set has subsequently become a greatest hits album by default.
The 2nd CD contains 3 encore tracks which are a bit of a mixed bag. I had a far better version of Lucille on an LP many years ago, but this is a minor quibble as overall this album represents a great band at its peak.
on 11 March 2006
My knowledge of Rock, especially seventies rock is limited, but I was blown away by this album. The quality of music played in a live concert was astounding. The high point of the Album for me was the encore performance on Black Night, the hypnotic bass line and incredible keyboard and guitar play have to be experienced.
Buy this Album and play it full blast while stuck in those traffic jams, you wont care about being late !!!
on 17 January 2003
This was the album that really inspired me to play drums/guitar in fact music in general. I was never really into music at all until my Dad put this album on when I was about 7, from that moment on it grabbed my soul, I can remember the stereo-typical scenario, the young boy in front of the mirror with a hairbrush, yes that was me, at that time my voice could go high enough to match Ian Gillain's.
What I find really great about this album is the fact that it is basically a whole live tour, and the best live tour as far as I am concerned.
If you are a fan of rock music I am sure you have probably already heard this CD if not what are you waiting for, order it, wait for it, play it as loud as possible, (and yes sing in front of the mirror with a hairbrush like I did that many years ago.)
on 20 June 2007
Well if I was ever put in the position of only having one album with me on that desert island, this would have to the one. All self-respecting rock fans will be familiar with the legendary Deep Purple Made In Japan but this 3 CD set raises the bar even higher. Not only do you get the tracks which constituted Made In Japan but you get alternative (and equally brilliant) takes of those tracks from the other sets they performed on that Japanese tour. And at this price, this really is the bargain of the century. What are you waiting for? Snap this set up now and you get the brilliance of Made In Japan times three. Trust me on this one!