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Made In Japan
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£7.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 2 August 2010
This album seems to have acquired mythical status and many people seem compelled to judge it as the best LP of all time or whatever because of this. I'm sure a lot of these people haven't even heard it. The album starts off well and the first three songs are all pretty good renditions of great songs. However, things get a lot worse. For example, The Mule is nine minutes of comlete mediocrity padded out with a mind-numbingly boring six minute drum solo. Lazy is really just lazy, Strange Kind of Woman is a desultory version of a good song, and Space Truckin is just filler, a disgraceful waste of what was a complete side of the original album. Unfortunately, it set a trend for similar self-indulgence over the next few years.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 20 May 2014
This review is purely for warning purposes. The album is, of course, one of the greatest live rock records ever.

This edition has been advertised in a number of places -inlcuding amazon - as being a 5.1 surround mix. Like the majority of the the Pure Audio Blu RayAudio series, it is NOT in 5.1, just stereo.

This is highly disappointing. Pure Audio have stated that they will issue albums in 5.1 mix where possible, yet they seem to consistently fail to do so. As two other Purple albums have been released on DVD in 4.0 (original quad) mixes, one of them with 3 bonus 5.1 tracks ('Machine Head'), there is no reason why this couldn't have been mixed for 5.1.

Interestingly, the Pure Audio edition of 'Never Mind the Bollocks, here's the Sex Pistols' recorded in 1976/77 is also not in 5.1.

This is simply not good enough. From the inception of hi def audio formats (some 12 years ago at least) - DVDA, DVD, Dualdisc and SACD, 5.1 mixes have been pretty much standard. Given that BRA is supposedly the highest definition audio format yet, it seems incumbent upon this label that they issue albums in 5.1. A stereo layer could be included, since disc space is not an issue here.

But what I really object to is these discs being advertised before release as 5.1. When I've played the stereo mixes in full, I'll review them here - I'm sure they'll sound great and will satisfy stero purists - but when you're buying an album for the third, fourth, fifth time, it would be nice to get a totally new hi-def take on the music.

It's little wonder hi-def formats 'fail' according to the music press - when you're buying an album for the third, fourth, fifth time, a fresh take on the music (best provided by a surround mix) is a big draw for fans. Remember Warner DVD-Audio discs from 12-14 years ago? Even if your player could only access the dolby digital layer, you often got alternative takes with different lyrics -such as on the Alice Cooper discs - or even different takes on the music, as on The Doors album issued in that format.

Going forward, I'm not going to buy any BRA of albums recorded after the late sixties that don't render the music in surround.
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on 23 May 2014
Just to be clear, this is a review of the 9 LP deluxe box set. One aspect of it at least...

I’ve been posting this around various places but no-one seems interested (least of all the Universal Music Group…). I ordered the 9LP deluxe box set of this - All three gigs plus encores for each gig, each pressed on vinyl as three LP/ five-sided (the sixth side contains no music) sets, each packaged in a gatefold sleeve and contained within an outer box plus book.

It arrived on Monday (thank you Amazon!) and to my astonishment the track listing on the back of each of the three gatefold sleeves, in big, bold type states track two, side one as ‘Somoke On The Water’…

Now, if that were me responsible for the packaging/printing of this expensive item I would have checked and double checked and then checked again that the spelling of this, possibly the most famous rock song on the planet, was correct before sending this for production and again before releasing it to the public…

‘Somoke’ isn’t even a word (at least not one in the English language) so they can’t even blame it on a spell-check error.

Needess to say Universal have declined to comment... This really does taint what is an expensive, 'luxury' item. I would have expected better than this.

What a blunder…!
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on 7 August 2010
I hoped this would be all 3 concerts, (from which Made In Japan was made), in their entirety, but this is not the case. Smoke on the Water on MIJ was taken from the first Osaka concert, and is missing on this recording, so presumably other tracks are missing as well? I bought this to get the complete set but someone decided to bugger about with the track listings. Makes me wonder what the point of releasing this collection was. I wanted all the tracks from all the concerts. Having said all that, it still has some great alternative versions of the classic recordings we know and love.
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on 28 February 2012
This review is for the original single-disc CD edition of Made In Japan from 1989, EMI CDP 7480502. It has a nice sound, seemingly transferred from the tapes without any additional messing about. The booklet is a basic two-page fold-over featuring the same inner and outer graphics as the original vinyl gatefold sleeve.

Now.....for what I'm about to say I will probably be branded a heretic; Made In Japan is not the greatest live album ever recorded, nor is it the greatest live album Deep Purple recorded.

It can't be considered the greatest because it is marred by too much self-indulgent bloat. Bloat which should not be considered acceptable under the excuse of being extended jamming, not when one is talking of "the greatest".

The Who, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream all regularly stretched songs during live performances into the the realm of double-figures in length. Yet they always managed to sustain some kind of internal groove when doing so. Even during their worst onstage excesses, Led Zeppelin, a band renowned during the mid-1970s for extending their live material to the threshold of human tolerance, never slipped into the trap of singularly amusing themselves in the manner found on this CD (Moby Dick aside!).

I've raised that same point in some detail in my review for what I consider to be a far superior live document of Deep Purple, In Concert 1970 - 1972. The second disc of that set and Made In Japan were recorded just 5 months apart, but there is a world of difference between the pair.

In Concert finds the band incredibly tight and completely focused with their performance. When they fly off into extended instrumental sections they do so almost entirely together throughout. They hold the groove, power and music exploration as a unit, with very few completely solo examples of musicianship. Even during the one example where Jon Lord is given a massively extended solo, he's backed throughout by the drums. This is where the first difference lies.

Made In Japan also includes hugely extended pieces, but that previous controlled attitude of shared tightness and purpose is gone. The extended sections here all too often serve as a playground of self-indulgence. For example, the band will disappear completely to allow Jon Lord to spend a number of minutes making Sci-Fi movie sound effects, interspersed with dead air or discordant bursts of Avant Garde styled chordwork or ponderous classical fingerings echoing into the surrounding silence. There's no engagment with band or listener. Similarly, Richie Blackmore will be left completely alone with his guitar for minutes at a time, noodling on semi-classical themes or throwing out musically comedic asides, again with lots of dead air - and again showing no engagement with the band or listener. They're both very much playing for their own amusement.

And then of course, there is The Mule. Slap-bang in the middle of the album, a drum solo almost 10 minutes long. Enough said.

Now. I'm sure in that Japanese hall in 1972 all of the above made for a uniquely enthralling and exciting live concert experience, almost theatrical at times with the enforced extended periods of suspense and release, the expectation building of what could happen next etc etc. But quite simply, it does not transfer well to the home listening environment

This could have been "the greatest" had a little more consideration been given to the latter. The recently expanded double-disc remaster reveals there were other tracks in the can which if included on the original album would have made for a more cohesive and engaging home listening experience. If they'd left The Mule off the tracklist, added Speed King and Lucille, and edited the more self-indulgent aspects of Space Truckin' the album would have unquestionably and deservedly been pushed far closer towards true "greatest" status.

As regards editing, with Made In Japan kudos have to be handed to Deep Purple for providing us with an authentic and honest recording of the band completely unedited. But when that comes at the expense of seriously challenging the listener's attention span or tolerance it's sometimes better in the long run to go to work with the scissors here or there.

So how would I rate Made In Japan? Well, after all that, probably not as badly as you're expecting.

I'll give it a three. The moments of fantastically unified musicianship do outweigh those of monotonous self-indulgence, but those slabs of self-indulgence are just too large to avoid or ignore.

If you sit through Made In Japan without skipping a track, it's a good live album with some tedious sections. If you sit through it and skip the tedious sections, it becomes a very good live album. Very good, but not "the greatest".

I would say if you wish to hear Deep Purple firing on all cylinders at a live peak, using the extended sections to impress the audience rather than amuse themselves, give the In Concert CD a try. If you enjoy that, then move on to this.
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on 21 May 2014
Made in Japan is one of THE all time classic albums and sits in my top ten fave albums. Sadly i was dissapointed with this box set and i'm annoyed with myself for being the type who just has to have everything. I was hoping with so many discs we would be getting something new but all we get for our hard earnt cash is " Made in Japan x 3 ". Three concerts, recorded on three seperate nights with the exact same set list. All the other extra's don't bother me but i bought this because i thought i would be getting some more music.
Going to ask for my money back!
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on 26 May 2014
I had a feeling that this box set/Blue Ray would have it's detractors and sure enough. At the same time, I thought a lot more people by now would have been putting glowing reviews on here as to what an incredible box set this is - which it is! Now this album I know inside out and back to front because this is what turned me on to rock music at the tender age of 10 years old so when I saw that this was getting the super deluxe box set, Blue Ray, vinyl, 2CD, single CD re-issue treatment, I had mixed feelings in that this is the ultimate live album to celebrate this way but could also turn out to be a complete let down when messing with the mix of an album we know and love so dearly.

The good news is I firmly believe the greatest live album ever sounds even better than it did before. The detail, and more importantly, the balance of all the instruments and Ian Gillan's voice is absolutely spot on. You can now hear the incredible set that Purple were playing then exactly as you would have heard it if you were fortunate to have been at either Osaka or Tokyo way back then. And ok, you may argue why does anyone need three sets with exactly the same set list in one box set but I honestly believe that the variations on each night do make it worth having all three sets. You can decide if the original album had the best takes of each song for yourself - I, incedentally, think that Space Truckin' from the first show at Osaka is better than the second night's performance they actually put on the album (after that rendition on the first night, it was a wonder that the venue was still standing for the second night!).

As for the way this has all been presented - well, it is an absolute dream. A beautiful quality box with the iconic artwork and colours of the original album cover, a seven inch single in picture sleeve (vinyl was never this thick back then!), a replica of the Japanese tour programme of the time, a family tree and a fantastic 12" x 12" hardback book to house the four CDs and the DVD. What's not to like!

If you are 'umming and aghhing' as to whether you need another copy of Made In Japan and whether you can justify sixty five quid on such extravagent box sets, well my advice would be go for it. You will not be disappointed and let's be clear here - this is an essential document of a band at the peak of their powers and the standard of musicianship is jaw-dropping. It now sounds even more spectacular.
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on 4 June 2014
And so, after what seems like years of waiting…

Correction! After LITERALLY years of waiting, the previously labelled “40th anniversary” release of Made In Japan has finally arrived. And not without contention, given the apparent confusion about the numerous - and potentially superfluous - formats that have been released. Something that, to be honest, has not been helped by Amazon grouping reviews of all the formats together, which makes it even more difficult to find the review of the format you’re interested in.

So just to be clear, I own the 9 disk vinyl box-set ("Made In Japan [VINYL]") which forms the basis for this review.

Deep Purple’s “Made In Japan” is rightly considered to be one of THE all-time classic live albums and, being more than 40 years old, this re-release will no doubt generate interest from an eclectic range of people. So I thought it might be useful to begin this review with my recommendations for the version that you might like to consider.

1. You aren’t overly familiar with the material and would like to add this “classic album” to your collection. You have a tendency to think that the production value of music has deteriorated over time, and nod knowingly when you read a review that includes the phrases “Loudness War”, “Compressed Waveform” and/or “Kevin Shirley is rubbish”. You should consider the Single CD version (or the standard vinyl version). This includes the 7 track album in remastered form, without any remix tinkering (see * below for disclaimer).

2. Similar to 1, but you’re potentially in a younger demographic and think that Beats Headphones are the pinnacle of audiophile technology. You hate it when an older song starts on Spotify and you can’t hear it properly because it’s so much quieter than the song which played before. You should consider the Double CD version. The 7 original tracks have been remixed by Kevin Shirley, and if there’s a Loudness War to be won, The Caveman’s the man to win it. Nobody, including staff at Universal, actually know why the second disk of all encores from the three shows was included in this set. You may well find it fairly superfluous to your needs; particularly as it includes different versions of the same 3 songs, which have been remixed differently to the main disk; they are at different volume and reverse stereo orientation. Do check out Black Night @ Tokyo, though, which is well worth a listen and deserves to be in any Deep Purple “Best Of”.

3. You've owned this album for ever, and love it so much you want to buy it again. While you might want to consider options 1 or 2 you might also think about digging the original out of the attic and giving it a spin. Was there anything wrong with it before? * Be aware that both the remaster and remix of the “original album” have songs faded into each other (as per 1998 remaster), which was not the case on the original. This has led to some minor(ish) editing and the intro to Child In Time suffers a little due to the faded applause from the previous song.

4. You spend a lot of your life worrying that your reclining theatre chair is possibly a few inches from the stereo sweet-spot in your purpose built hi-fi studio. You know without a shadow of doubt that “Linear pulse-code modulation” is essential to listening pleasure, despite your friends reminding you of the tinnitus you’ve suffered in your left ear since that Rainbow concert in 1980 (before they went all pop-rock). It’s possible that you would consider the HD Blu-ray audio. This includes both remaster of the original and the Kevin Shirley remix, but does not include the encores. Just be aware that this is a stereo, not 5.1, mix and that – depending on location – you may be able to download this via alternative purchase options.

5. You’re a Deep Purple fan or collector who needs to own the full “three concert” set. You’ve spent the last 30 or so years explaining to everyone who will listen that sound waves are analogue, and cannot be adequately represented in a series of 1’s and 0’s on a silver (or blue) disk. You are really, really, prepared for your 9 disk listening extravaganza to be interrupted every 20 minutes or so while you turn over that precious black wax (15 times across the full set). You’re likely to want the set I'm reviewing here, but please do read on…

6. Like 4, you want it all but you are quite happy listening to music in digital form. CD is good enough for home, mp3 is good enough for on the road. You need the 5 disk CD/DVD set. And that’s probably what I should have bought!!!

Well! Now you have my thoughts on the version that might suit you, perhaps I should actually review the product I purchased.

I should start by simply saying that I consider the audio content exceptional. I have loved, loved... “did I say loved?” listening to it. While the 3 disk “Live In Japan” 90’s release had its place at the time, this is so superior and it’s just wonderful to be able to listen to each show seamlessly, with the only break being between main set and encore. I am genuinely so impressed with the work that Martin Pullan has done here. Has anyone else noticed that very faint conversation taking place (in Japanese) during one of quieter moments in Space Truckin’ (Tokyo)? Like a review of any top-tier bottle of red, there will minor quibbles and individual preferences, but overall this is spot on.

As for the music itself, I’m sure that if you’re considering the full three concert set you’ll already be familiar enough with the material; even if just the original. The three shows basically had the same set-list so each is only really differentiated by the improvisations that Purple always worked with and you will no doubt have your own favourites.

So why, then, do I only feel that this set deserves three stars? Well, truth be told, it’s because the overall package left me feeling a little disappointed and flat for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, having read other reviews, there appears to be a reasonable degree of dissatisfaction with the download options. US purchases appear to have no access to downloadable digital formats. For me, I have been able to use the included code to download the full three shows in mp3 format; which is perfect for portable listening. But the HD downloads publicised on the box and on-line advertisements are limited to the equivalent of the Blu-ray (remaster and remix of 7 track original album, without encores). While I wanted the option of listening to the vinyl, I frequently listen to music in digital lossless form at home and believed that this option was available for all of the musical content included on the disks.

Secondly, the box-set inclusions are not that impressive or well designed. The vinyl is packaged in three, oddly coloured (not quite as bad as they appear on the promo pictures) gate-fold sleeves; two disks on one side and one on the other. The “etched” disks are all the same, being the greetings/signatures you may have seen in the original Japanese version. And the only other inclusion is the book, which in this set is soft cover (it’s hard cover in the CD/DVD set). While I’m not totally against the content of this, it could have been better with a bit more research and expert input on the tour/release history. Finally, to my mind, being the most expensive option, it is hard to understand why the inclusions are not as comprehensive or well presented as the CD/DVD set. In particular, why exclude the 7” when this surely compliments a vinyl set more than a CD/DVD?

In hindsight, I shouldn’t have rushed into the pre-ordering quite so quickly, and should have bought the CD/DVD set. You might wish to consider the same.

PS For those interested in the history of the “Loudness War”, conflict began in August 1972 with these words…. “Can we have everything louder than everything else”.
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on 3 June 2014
This is not about the music, which is faultless! This review is solely in reference to this newly released vinyl box.
First off...it's actually 7.5 LP's, due to the fact 3 sides are rather uninspiring etched.
Secondly the atrocious Somoke On the Water misprint is unforgivable. Someone either decided, after realizing their mistake; that no-one would be bothered. It's pretty safe to say anyone buying this is not going to be just a casual Purple fan and like me are going to be p##sed off. Especially after laying out the hefty sum required to acquire this in the first place!
The second option is they noticed their mistake and just couldn't care less.
The final option is no-one noticed at all, which says a lot about the quality of the whole pressing....
Incidentally a number of pressings have Osaka misspelt "Oaska" on the labels (but not the one I received)

I also noticed that the "outer box/" states this was made in the Czech Republic, but the individual album covers state "Made in the EU". But these were actually pressed by GZ Media in the Czech Republic as well.

The third thing I discovered was the appalling quality of the vinyl. Full of blemishes, streaks. You've heard the phrase "Virgin Vinyl"? Well that doesn't apply here. This is poor, low quality wax! Considering the main selling angle here is "Audiophile", this is also unforgivable. Not even poly-lined inners.
Quite a few noticeable clicks and other unwanted audible defects, but strangely no actual visible scratches, so beware.
Even the booklet is as dull as dishwater, nothing informative or interesting, one flick through it's bland pages was enough.
I sent it back without hesitation, and will avoid "Back To Black" releases in the future. Just another greedy company on the 180gram Super-Duper Audiophile Vinyl band wagon.

The remastering is also disappointing and no better than earlier pressings, perhaps even inferior.

The only point of merit is the sturdy good quality outer box...but given the contents, it's small consolation.

So in conclusion....Don't waste your money, this is just a lazy, poorly produced box set, which I so wanted, and now feel is just another missed opportunity.
Sorry, but this is an insult to Jon Lords' memory...Don't buy it...you'll try and be happy with it, and see past the errors/issues, but you'll never cherish it as you should!
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on 7 August 2014
I don't know why I always preferred Deep Purple to Led Zeppelin, I guess part of me resented being told how great and legendary Zepp were. Anyway, I think Deep Purple are one of the best and now neglected bands of the seventies (I know they're still going -just about).

This album was their essential live album back in their heyday. Other reviewers point to In Concert 72 as a better album and they may be right, but this is the one that was available at the time.

What makes this album a great listen is that the band are obviously enjoying themselves, playing off each other and getting the best out of each other. The tracks are long, and occasionally indulgent, but if you get into it with them it flows beautifully. Even the drum solo is (The Mule) bearable from time to time.

If your considering trying Deep Purple, this is not a bad place to start, but I like the studio recordings for general listening and this live album for when I'm in the mood for a air guitar/keyboard work out (when the wife and kids are out!) The new vinyl is lovely flat and silent. It comes in nice poly-lined anti static sleeves but getting the inner sleeves back in the main cover can be a struggle. There is a single available Black Night/Woman From Tokyo [VINYL] with one of the encores - shop around for the best price. The other two encores from the tour don't seem to be available on vinyl outside the nine disc deluxe set. I'm not that much of a completist and may settle for a download!

[EDIT: You get a download card with the vinyl album so can download two different mixes of the album one of which includes the full set of encores]

Anyway, a well made reissue of one of the best live albums of the seventies. Sounds great and feels great in the hands.
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