Over the next year, Deep Purple will dig into the vaults for their “The Official Deep Purple (Overseas) Live Series”. The collection is made up of ten concerts recorded outside of England between 1969-1976. In January, they unveiled concert number one, Paris 1975, which captures Ritchie Blackmore’s final performance with the band before the 1980s reunion. Deep Purple is on fire and the audio is top notch.
Earlier this month, the second installment, Copenhagen 1972 came out. It captures the Mark II Deep Purple at a time when their iconic album Machine Head was already recorded, but was not yet released. From that album, they preview “Highway Star”, “Lazy” and “Space Truckin’”. Interestingly, “Smoke On The Water” was not played at the Copenhagen concert, showing that the band did not realize what a huge hit it was soon going to be. To round out the two-disc collection, Deep Purple have include three bonus tracks (“Smoke On The Water” is one of them) from a 1973 live show in New York as well as a 1971 Australian radio interview.
As far as the performance, the band plays with a lot of energy and Ian Gillan really shows that he can squeal with best classic rock singers. The audio isn’t bad, but lacks the crispness of the Paris 1975 concert. It is a little muddier and sounds more like it was recorded for a radio broadcast or TV instead the quality of a traditional live album. The New York bonus tracks are of higher audio fidelity than the Copenhagen tracks. However, listening to this live recording, one thing is clear: Deep Purple is one hell of a live band and can deliver the goods. Fans of the band’s live work should check this out.
Essential tracks: “Black Night”, “Lucille” & “Strange Kind of Woman (Copenhagen version)”