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Don't read this for a review of the music
on 2 July 2003
After months of deliberation, I eventually decided that, "Yes, I am anally retentive", and "Yes, I am going to buy this box set".
The problem, unfortunatley, was not the music - and others have adequately commented on this in other reviews on this site. The problem is that this box set lacks (and seriously lacks) the focus that it should have.
It seems to me that this is neither an essential collection of hard to find tracks, or a comprehensive retrospective. It's a mix of both. And that, from this collectors point of view, is not acceptable,
In my sad little "I must own 20 versions of the same track" little world, about a quarter of the songs in this box set were essential. (See disks 2 & 3). The rest are all fillers, and are all songs that are easily available on other commercial releases (or that are relatively irrelevant to this release; see tracks 1 - 10 of disk 1).
I would have been so much happier with one double CD set that comprehensively covered the BBC sessions (perhaps with an accompanying booklet that gave some specific insight into these sessions) and perhaps another single CD that covered the 'scraps' (Hallelujah, Bird has flown Mk II etc.).
I read some time ago that one of the major contributors to this set considered the original 'Deep Purple Anthology' album to be a cynical release, as it included a number of collectable songs onto a 'best of'. I consider this set to be a similar release. It's just bigger.
So I give this 2 stars for the concept. The music I have to give 5 stars. It is, after all Deep Purple.