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Not Deep Purple's finest hour
on 14 March 2012
Admitted I've never been a huge fan of MKIII Purple compared to the MKII lineup, but in comparison to the band at their best, the set for Live in London 1974 overall feels unfocused and at times sloppy. There are some great moments - Burn is tight and exciting and bounds along with youthful energy, and You Fool No One sounds just fine until Ritchie Blackmore's blistering guitar solo runs out of steam and the song loses momentum which it never regains.
Elsewhere, David Coverdale's interminable "Baby Baby/Come Here Woman" nonsense quickly starts to grate, while the vocal on Space Truckin' is quite awful (perhaps understandably coming at the end of a long set). On the same track, Jon Lord's overindulgent noodling sounds more like he's playing with new keyboard sounds in his bedroom than structuring a solo, and has none of the thunderous, apocalyptic magic of his Hammond playing on the Made in Japan version, for example.
If you are looking to expand your collection of Purple live albums, this is certainly worth a look, but for a much better live experience, check out the seminal Made in Japan (and the accompanying 3 CD Live in Japan set taken from the same gigs) and the stunning BBC In Concert sessions.
I'm still looking for a really good MKIII live album - I also have Live in Europe, which is marred by rather poor sound quality, so the search continues!