Deep Purple – “Long Beach 1971” (earMUSIC)
Good God. If you miss the days of protracted on stage jams, monster guitar solos and rock stars who acted as such both onstage and off, then look no further than this epic 70 minute live footage, originally recorded in 1971 and now re-mastered but unedited so you can enjoy a full on classic Purple show in all its glory! Made up of the definitive Mk II line up of Gillan and Glover joining Paicey, Blackmore and Lord, the material was originally intended as a showcase for a support performance to Rod Stewart and The Faces, given Purple were now hot on the heels of both Zepp and Sabbath as Britain’s 3rd hard rock band. The last two years have seen a slew of rare live material from the band, but this one might take the biscuit given there are only 4 tracks on the album, but oh how extended – nay gargantuan – they are! From an 11 minute ‘Speed King’ to a 12 minute ‘Strange Kind Of Woman’ you will hear the full measure of Purple and hard rock as it was in the early 70s. From ferocious drum breaks to Jon Lord’s keyboards going off on extended tangents you are treated to unparalleled vocal / guitar duels between Blackmore and Gillan – man, that guy could really scream! From then on you’ll need some stamina as a 20 minute ‘Child In Time’ comes in with some heavy action from the man in black but not without Gillan and Lord having their say and of course, the mighty Paicey keeping up a marathon beat throughout. Closing off is the colossal 30 minute ‘Mandrake Root’ taken from the band’s 1968 debut – with Rod Evans on vocals – with its strong psychedelic Hendrix-y groove and not without another frenzied guitar solo of biblical proportions from Blackmore. Thanks to the quality of the original recording and superb re-mastering its all captured vividly on this spell bounding recording and even to this day, Purple live in their heyday continue to be mind blowing. Basking in the warm, California night, you haveta wonder what the crowd must’ve been thinking after experiencing something like this as they left the Long Beach Arena. Well, Deep Purple live had just happened!