Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Friday, July 6, 2007

Deep Purple - Made In Japan (1972)

This is the greatest live rock 'n' roll album ever by pound-for-pound one of the greatest musical lineups ever. Period. Funny thing is, Purple could have just aped these songs on stage and no one would have thought any less of them -- simply because these songs stand up for themselves as classic rock gems. Thankfully, every member was a virtuoso in their own right and brought so much intensity and bravado to these performances that, indeed, you truly wish you could have been there for such remarkable improvisation. Frampton Comes Alive! can kiss it.

The album opens with a frenetic high-octane version of "Highway Star" that otherwise invalidates the studio original. Here, organist Jon Lord butchers his keyboard with furious speed and power, and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore lays down a staggering set of notes while strangling his whammy bar.

The next track, the classical vignette "Child In Time," features Ian Gillan in his uppermost vocal register, an explosive four-minute fret-fest from Mr. Blackmore and then booms to conclusion with some tasty Roger Glover bass. Oh yeah, and Ian Paice rules too. (Drummers simply don't get the credit they deserve.) Next is "Smoke On The Water" -- yeah, the one with one of the great meat-and-bone guitar riffs of all time. Gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh, as Alex would say. "The Mule" has a nice long drum solo from Paice and then afterwards we are treated to an intense jam version of "Strange Kind Of Woman" that features Gillan imitating Blackmore's guitar sequences note for note. Pure awesomeness. "Lazy" is such a swaggering romp it makes no pretense of being otherwise and "Space Truckin'" is a near-twenty minute opus consisting of dueling organ and guitar solos; this is more or less one of the most satisfying finishes to an album ever, and your ears are sure to feel exhausted and battered afterwards. Of course, for some, this album does not end there because in the expanded 2-disc set, we are fortunate to be given three more glorious versions of "Speed King," "Lucille" and "Black Night" not included on the original release. I daresay anyone should have a problem with that. A+


BigVoltaBalls said...

Man I love this album. i've been breaking my eardrums with it for the last month. I feel this is the album that will one day make me deaf. cannot wait for the day. I will not have lost my hearing in vein.

The Mad Hatter said...

This is also one of the best albums to listen to while you're driving. Fuck Manhattan traffic; I can deal if this is kickin'.