Deep Purple – Total Abandon Australia ‘99 – Eagle Records ER202582; 73:56 ***:
This disc was recorded in 1999 live in Melbourne, Australia. Deep Purple is Ian Gillan (vocals), Steve Morse (guitar), Roger Glover (bass), Jon Lord (keyboards) and Ian Paice (drummer). The band has changed members over the years from their initial start in 1968 and although Paice and Lord are original members the others came later. This year Deep Purple, an English band, is nominated for induction to the hall of fame which may explain the release of this record of a concert from 13 years ago.
It follows the release of Abandon in the spring of 1998 which had no singles in the States. From what I can tell only two of the songs on this disc came from that record the rest of which are either classics like “Smoke on the Water” and “Woman from Tokyo” or from other previous incarnations of the band. These guys aren’t young anymore, but they still rock. At least their blend of rock ’n’ roll will appeal to the older crowd who can’t stand to listen to the music that is being played by pop radio anymore.
According to the insert Deep Purple has quite a history in Australia with some very memorable tours in 1971 and ’75. I should mention that the disc is overdub free, so the listener hears the music “as it went down.” Sound quality is decent and you don’t have to strain to hear the vocals or any of the instruments for that matter. My only complaint is perhaps a bit of dynamic range although my guess is that those who will be listening to this disc will have just one setting on their stereos—loud! The recorded versions of live performances can never capture the feeling of being there, but this disc is better than most.
Some of the tracks have hints of a day gone by, i.e. “Pictures of Home,” which has an extended guitar solo and synthesizer measures that are reminiscent of good progressive rock from the ‘70s. Some of the tracks have a harder edge to them and “Fireball” is almost outside of the hard rock genre and enters into metal. There is also a worthwhile extended version of “Sometimes I Feel like Screaming” from the 1996 release Purpendicular. The included version of “Smoke on the Water” starts off with a cool medley (~three minutes) of guitar licks from Led Zeppelin, Cream, Guns N’ Roses, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and others until finally morphing into the familiar opening of the song. If I had to come up with a singular reason for getting this disc it would be this track. [There is also a DVD of this concert available…Ed.]
TrackList: Ted The Mechanic; Strange Kind of Woman; Bloodsucker; Pictures of Home; Almost Human; Woman From Tokyo; Watching the Sky; Fireball; Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming; Smoke on the Water; Black Night; Highway Star.
The Rolling Stones – Beggars Banquet – ABKCO
ABKCO Music & Records releases an eye-popping swirling color vinyl of a Rolling Stones classic album.