Review

DEEP PURPLE Made In Japan

Live album · 1972 · Hard Rock
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5/5 ·
Nightfly
The 70's were great years for live albums. Mainly because bands could feel less inhibited about stretching out without getting accused of self indulgence. For me there's little point in a live album if it's just a straight interpretation of the studio version unless of course it can be improved on. On Made in Japan, Deep Purple managed to do both making it one of the greatest live albums ever. On these Japanese dates the band was on fire playing the definitive version of every track here.

What we get here is most of the classics, most of which still feature in the live set to this day. There's very few set opener's the equal of Highway Star, the way it builds up before exploding into the first verse of this fast ‘n furious rock song. The solos from Lord and Blackmore are fantastic too, in fact Blackmore in particular excels on just about every song here justifying his reputation he had gained at the time of being one of the best Rock guitarists ever.

Highway Star is pretty hard to beat but the band try hard with superb versions in particular of Child in Time (Gillan hitting those high notes perfectly), Strange Kind of Woman and of course not forgetting Smoke on the Water. Familiarity has somewhat dimmed the power of this song but there's no getting away from what a classic it is. Lots of people find drum solo's boring but being a drummer myself it's always a pleasure to hear a virtuoso at work. Ian Paice never disappoints and is on great form on The Mule.

I can't end this review without mentioning Space Truckin. What was a four and a half minute studio album track has turned into a twenty minute jam. I love the dynamics of this track, the way it fades away to an almost total silence before bursting back to life with an explosion. Awesome Stuff!

So there you have it, a 5 star rating for a strong contender for greatest live album ever. Even Purple couldn't beat it on their numerous live releases since.
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