Tag: Highway Star
Deep Purple + Orchestra Live At Montreux 2011
5 out of 10
For DEEP PURPLE fans there are a ton of great DVDs that have been released over the last couple years that give you a look into the different versions of the band and show you why DEEP PURPLE should rank at the top of everyone’s list for greatest band ever, and most influential band! The fact that the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame continues to snub them is ridiculous and just shows you why it is completely irrelevant and a joke.
The latest DEEP PURPLE offering is a recent live show shot in 2011 in Switzerland at the Montreux Jazz Festival. The hook is that DP was touring with an orchestra and on July 16th they filmed the show for a DVD release.
There have been many hard rock and metal bands that have been performing lately with an Orchestra with varying results. Most notably was the biggest hard rock/metal band in the world, METALLICA performing with the San Francisco Symphony under the direction of Michael Kamen (R.I.P.). The resulting CD/DVD of those two shows are phenomenal and set the standard for what a rock and symphony show should be.
KISS recorded a live show with the Sydney Symphony and it just doesn’t translate well at all. Dennis Deyoung performed STYX songs with a symphony. The point is most of them don’t translate well. METALLICA’s worked because Michael Kamen wrote the music for the symphony that COMPLIMENTED the music of the band, and didn’t just rework the band’s songs for strings, woodwinds, brass, etc. If you listen to the Just Symphony audio track of the DVD S&M you won’t be able to figure out what songs they are playing most of the time because they are not just playing the song the way the band wrote it with different instruments, they are playing all new original pieces that compliment the band’s songs.
DEEP PURPLE has always worked in and around symphonies from time to time with varying success. When John Lord (former keyboardist) wrote Deep Purple: Concerto for Group and Orchestra it worked because it was a symphonic piece and written as thus. It wasn’t a rock song or songs that they had the symphony play on. It was an experiment melding rock and symphony and written as such. That is why it worked.
Their new DVD doesn’t work. Because of the reasons stated above. The symphony is playing along with the band, not playing to compliment the band. They aren’t playing original pieces that work within the framework of classic DEEP PURPLE songs like Highway Star, Woman From Tokyo, Knockin’ At Your Back Door, Lazy, and Smoke On The Water. And it is this reason that the symphony here seems to take the teeth and the edge right out of the songs. Instead of building up the songs the symphony here seems to actually water down the DEEP PURPLE sound. It is unfortunate really because in any band’s music would work well with symphonic treatments it would be DEEP PURPLE’s. But on this show it is simply not the case.
I am always heralding ANY release by DEEP PURPLE because I feel they have never received the respect they deserve as being one of the first to perform Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Yes Black Sabbath is regarded as the Fathers of Heavy Metal but Deep Purple started a year before Sabbath did. They’ve released more albums, and pushed the envelope further than Black Sabbath ever could.
Sadly, I can’t recommend this DVD as it is just not a good representation of DEEP PURPLE and their legacy. But there are plenty more CDs and DVDs out there that are worthy of your time and I strongly suggest you go check them out. You’ll thank me later.
For more DEEP PURPLE click here.
8 out of 10
A good band can withstand a change in guitarist or drummer, a great band can withstand several membership changes, a select few bands can withstand a lead singer change (ok, I can think of two, Genesis and Van Halen), but only one band can have several different lineups and change the personnel of the entire band over and over and over again and still be amazing, relevant, put out quality albums over and over, and most importantly be accepted as that very band with no backlash for the changes.
I’m of course talking about Deep Purple. The band has had so many lineup changes over the year, had so many people in and out of the band that they are actually known by their versions, Mark I, II, III, etc. The band has had 14 different members over the years, they’ve changed every position but one. Ian Paice has been the drummer from day one, and in every incarnation of the band he has been there.
He has kept time for the likes of Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, David Coverdale, Glen Hughes, Jon Lord, Joe Satriani, Tommy Bolin, Joe Lynn Turner, Rod Evans, Steve Morse, Roger Glover, Don Airey, and Nick Simper. Some amazing talent has performed under the DEEP PURPLE moniker.
Fans to this day still debate the best and their best Marks (or versions) of the band. My personal will always be Mark I. The original. Not to take away anything from the Coverdale/Hughes days, but I was turned on to DP in 1984 when they reunited the DP Mark I and put out Perfect Strangers. It was from that point I went backwards and found one of my all time favorite bands.
The last maybe 10 years the band, or their labels have been putting out some great videos. They’ve taken all their old concert videos, unreleased concerts, and putting together some great packages for the fans.
The latest is Phoenix Rising. And it features Mark IV of DEEP PURPLE. With an unknown (at the time) David Coverdale sharing lead vocal duties with bassist Glenn Hughes, Tommy Bolin on guitar, Jon Lord on keys, and as always Ian Paice on drums, this short lived version never had the chance to record as Tommy Bolin died in 76 of a heroin overdose. But this never before seen concert Rises Over Japan recorded in 1975 at the Budokahn in Tokyo sees the band crank out the classics Burn, Love Child, Highway Star, Stormbringer, Smoke On The Water, Getting Tighter, and Lazy.
Two things jump out at you watching this (especially during Highway Star, and Burn), David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes played off each other insanely well vocally. It was a true stroke of great fortune that the band got both of them at the same time. Because it is also evident during Highway Star that what Ian Gillan did alone vocally required Hughes/Coverdale together to do. David Coverdale hitting the lower, gruffer, bluesier parts, and Hughes hitting the higher notes. What we don’t get to see, but I would love to have is to see Coverdale/Hughes do Child In Time. Again it would absolutely take the talents of both of them to pull off what Gillan did by himself, but it would still be amazing to see them do it together.
The concert is remastered in 5.1 on this Blu Ray disc. And it sounds, well, as great as you’d expect a DEEP PURPLE show to sound. Martin Birch did a great job catching the band tearing through a wild set. The band may not have been the tightest at the time, at least not that night from the looks of things, but the energy, playing, and vibe was there. And of course the great songs. Sadly it is only 30 minutes, but it is a great 30 minutes of a seldom seen version of DEEP PURPLE. And in that, this show is enough to purchase this disc. To see Bolin/Hughes/Coverdale rock out to these great DP songs is more than enough reason to pick up the blu ray. But Rises Over Japan is only 30 minutes of Phoenix Rising. The rest is a never before seen documentary Gettin’ Together. It is culled from years of research, with live shots, backstage footage, interviews, and never before told stories. It tells the best and the worst of the Purple. The highs and lows of a tumultuous time in DP history.
The blu ray will only set you back $20, but you can pick up a regular DVD version for only $15 and a great DVD/CD combo for $20 also. If you are a Deep Purple fan you simply cannot pass this up. If you are lover of 70s rock, this is right up your alley, and if you want to see where David Coverdale cut his teeth before Whitesnake then this is for you too.
DEEP PURPLE – Phoenix Rising is out today. You can pick your copy up here, you’ll thank me later.