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Deep Purple: Reviews From A Hater


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Showing 201-225 of 531 posts in this discussion
Posted on Dec 10, 2012 9:13:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 10, 2012 9:33:48 PM PST
REVIEW: WHO DO WE THINK WE ARE

So, after three acclaimed studio albums and a fanatically-received live album under their belts, the group is generally considered to have imploded with this album. It's almost universally given mediocre reviews, and sold considerably less than the others. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised to find...that WDWTWA is at about the same level of quality IMO as all the other MK II studio efforts: two or three good songs surrounded by poor excuses for surrounding ones. I don't see what all the negative fuss is about; it sounds like all the others to me, in terms of quality ratio (there is a sonic difference on some of the tracks, however, I'll admit).

The album opens with its one minor hit, "Woman From Tokyo", considered I believe to be one of the better tracks on the album. I think it's one of the weakest, however; it's exactly the kind of classic rock number I can't stand. Perhaps it doesn't help that this song reminds me in both chorus and feel of another classic rock disaster, Foreigner's "Hot Blooded". Just ordinary, mid-tempo beer commercial music, saved just slightly by a pretty bridge section. I really don't have much more to say except that this is exactly the reason why classic rock radio sucks, they play too much of this kind of bluesy-sludgy music when brilliant 60s/70s acts like The Move, Family, Small Faces, T.Rex, Roxy Music, etc. are totally ignored.

The next track, "Mary Long", proceeds from another chunky, chugging blues base, but grabbed me for its lyric, an interesting and atypical character study. At last, a DP lyric of substance! Well, not *that* deep, but for DP this is practically "Desolation Row". The song is capped off by an enjoyable Blackmore solo and a dreamy fadeout. So, although the general musical backing of this song is just OK, it is definitely helped by nice doses of personality (and a more restrained Gillan vocal).

"Super Trouper" is a rocker which would be completely generic and uninteresting were it not for the retro-60s touches (phasing, backing vocals) applied to it. The basic musical structure of this album, however, does seem to be going for mid-tempo blues based hard rock rather than the more bruising approach of the "classic" stuff, possibly why the fans like it less.

"Smooth Dancer" has a bit of a 50s feel and is one of the heavier songs on the album. I didn't mind it so much, it at least has some energy, although again the songwriting is a little generic. Also, this entire album seems to be a victim of a trend some mid-70s albums suffered from at this time, a combination of overproduction and a cluttered, muddy mix (other albums suffering from this malady included The Who's "Quadrophenia", T.Rex "Zinc Alloy" and David Bowie "Diamond Dogs"). Lord has a good but brief solo, here.

Side two opens with the album's clear standout, "Rat Bat Blue". The riff is reminiscent of Zep's "Moby Dick" but the group do more with it here than LZ did, turning it into a crunching rocker with a great rhythm and plenty of little turns of phrase. The organ solo's change of riff and pace is equally exciting, followed by a sped-up piano bit and lots of keyboard tricks. When DP go for it, they *really* go for it, although this seems to make all their other material seriously pale in comparison.

"Place In Line" is an obligatory slow blues which sounds like filler and goes on *way* too long, with almost nothing notable to recommend it. There are the usual solo sections (and I don't think Blackmore ever sounded really inspired doing the pure blues stuff), and Gillan trying his best to emote the blues and just sounding way too white to get away with it. It's not awful, it's just really ordinary bar-band stuff.

Fortunately, the album closes with "Our Lady", the next best thing here outside of "Rat Bat Blue". This is one of the most graceful ballads in their catalogue, marred only by the aforementioned overproduction and mix that characterizes this album (the '99 remix is better). Gillan actually sings on this one, the melody is grand and gorgeous, Lord's organ riff is quirky but works for that very reason, angelic backing harmonies...the song is taken a little too heavy in spots but it also works in conjuring an orchestral feel with just the band.

Track-by-track song ratings:

1. Woman From Tokyo 2.5
2. Mary Long 3.5
3. Super Trouper 3
4. Smooth Dancer 3
5. Rat Bat Blue 4.5
6. Place In Line 2.5
7. Our Lady 4

Overall rating: 3 out of 5, or "C+". "Rat Bat Blue" and "Our Lady" make this album worth hearing, however. That makes two undeniably great songs on WDWTWA, plus the interesting "Mary Long", the same number I found on the three previous studio albums so again I really don't see much difference here. Note: the outtake "Painted Horse" from these sessions is yet another mid-tempo, sludgy, bluesy rock number no better or worse than most of what is here. Not essential.

Posted on Dec 10, 2012 11:06:17 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 10, 2012 11:15:39 PM PST
REVIEW: BURN

Ok, this is the last DP one I'm doing, so now I can get on with my life...

"Burn" was the debut of MK III, with David Coverdale replacing Ian Gillan on vocals. And if there's any vocalist even more excruciating than Gillan, it's Coverdale--so there's already the usual strike against this record, now even worse than ever. I'm *really* missing Rod Evans by now, and he wasn't even that great. But this time the vocals are actually the least of this album's problems...large swathes of "Burn" are just rock-bottom atrociously bad. So bad I don't even know how I got through this album twice--what has to be one of the most trying endurance tests I've ever had to suffer.

The one thing which saves this album is Blackmore. After taking a bit of a backseat on WDWTWA, he comes back strong here with some of his most firey playing, saving nearly every track from the utter bowels of hell (and even then, not always). As usual his solos lack depth or soul, but this album just might be the height of his ability to dazzle, and he does have one triumphantly soulful moment. He is basically the reason I was able to get through this album at all.

The album opener, "Burn", attempts to re-create the glory of "Highway Star" and almost completely fails as a song. The verses and refrain are memorable only in the sense that they are obnoxious; the band *seems* to be rocking and yet curiously no heat is generated at all...I mean, I hear drums pounding, vocalists wailing, and guitars howling, but then why am I so bored? The saving grace is the instrumental, where Blackmore pulls out a masterful solo possibly even better than "Highway Star"--but which only contrasts with how poorly the rest of the song fails to re-create the magic of the earlier classic. The really sad part is, this title track is actually one of the better things on the album.

The single, "Might Just Take Your Life", continues in the mid-tempo bluesy hard rock vein of WDWTWA, except much worse. This song has no redeeming value whatsoever, and although it's relatively short it seems longer than whole albums. This scary bad piece of rubbish features Coverdale's sandpapery wail and some generic 70s "boogie" that seems to drag worse and worse with each passing second, actually *losing* momentum as it goes along...how any band could create something like this and think "great, this is our next single!" is beyond me. It's not just boring...it's not just completely unmemorable melodically, rhythmically, or production-wise...it's cheezy 70s badness beyond words.

Just when you think it couldn't get worse...it does. Again, "Lay Down Stay Down" *seems* to rock and yet is actually crushingly ordinary from start to finish. The song goes by in a muddled haze and terrible sound mix, all the instruments merging into one headache-y din, not helped AT ALL by those female-sounding backing vocals (which I assume are just by the band). Blackmore's solo is once again the only interesting thing here, as he solos with himself at the end, but this is one of those songs he just can't save...I never want to hear "Lay Down Stay Down" ever again in my life, ever!!

Side one limps to a finish with "Sail Away". Lord lays down what sounds like a slightly funky riff on clavinet and synth, which sounds cleaner and slightly more listenable than anything that came before, but the riff isn't interesting enough to last the song's nearly six-minute duration, where it is repeated long past its expiration date. Like "Living Wreck", the song's feel reminds me of a sleazy porn. And Coverdale...god help us.

But just when I'm about to label this the worst "classic rock" album of all time, even worse than anything by Styx, side two gives us "You Fool No One". What's this? A rhythm that actually cooks? A twisted, gnarly guitar riff to match? Some juicy classic DP hammond work? Backing harmonies that don't make me want to vomit? And Blackmore once again on fire? OK, so Coverdale still sux, but compared to side one this is a complete breath of fresh air. I don't know where this song came from but it's another one of those instance of DP clearly putting all their good ideas all into one track, leaving hardly any room for the rest.

The album wastes no time in getting back to beyond-mediocrity, however, with the good-time bluesy "What's Goin' On Here". Generic doesn't even begin to describe this, it's like I need some term for "ultra-generic" or "generic even by generic standards" to do things like this one justice. As the song plods happily along, saying absolutely nothing of value and singularly failing even to entertain, I actually ask myself: just who *do* they think they are? In one ear and out the other.

At this point I do have to admit, though--the group now have very little to do with heavy metal, as blues, hard rock, boogie and soul elements have taken over. And it's a shame, since this brand of "hard rock" is just grossing me out completely. The following "Mistreated" continues in much the same vein--it's this album's slow-burning blues, like "Place In Line" from the last album. And just as deathly boring, with the usual obnoxious over-dramatic vocals...until the solo. What makes it special is that Blackmore puts his heart into this one, finally emoting with his instrument in a way he rarely does (although there were one or two previous instances). The first solo is tortured yet forlorn, using repetition to dramatic effect, while the second solo arches up and down in graceful anguish until reaching orgasm. It reminds me of "Child In Time" in the way it builds, and does save the song from the dustbin (it would get one star, otherwise).

Where Blackmore took a backseat on WDWTWA, Lord seems to have mostly taken one here, until the closing "A200", a proggy exercise in building synth overdubs over a bolero beat. The problem is, Emerson Lake And Palmer had done something almost exactly similar on "Abaddon's Bolero" off the "Trilogy" album two years prior. Granted, Deep Purple had used bolero beats as early as their debut album. But the way the synths pile on here, overdub after overdub, is extremely similar to ELP's version, another one of those "too close to excuse" moments. Alex can protest about "1000 different keyboardists playing 1000 different solos, and two just happened to sound the same", but when a cop is obvious, it's obvious (it would help if Alex would actually hear "Abaddon's Bolero"). Blackmore again raises the stakes on the song with a fine trademark solo, but it ends too quickly and the song fades out quickly after, sounding like the uncomfortably pretentious proggy water next to the greasy-puke oil that was the entire rest of this album's bluesy boogie rock. Track-by-track ratings:

1. Burn 2.5
2. Might Just Take Your Life 1
3. Lay Down, Stay Down 1.5
4. Sail Away 2.5
5. You Fool No-One 4
6. What's Goin' On Here 1.5
7. Mistreated 3.5
8. A200 3

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5, or "D+". There's only a few saving graces: Blackmore's solos on "Burn" and "Mistreated", and the song "You Fool No One". And that's it. A disappointing way to end my reviews as at this point..."Machine Head" really *is* looking like the glory days.

I want to do another review thread, though, but I haven't decided on the band. I'm itching to do one of my all-time faves T.Rex but I think only one or two people here would even be interested. I did The Byrds (on The Beatles forum) and Porcupine Tree already. Let me think...

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 8:05:40 AM PST
"Burn" by Deep Purple is one great tune.

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 8:09:19 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2012 9:12:22 AM PST
Exile says:
Topper, your last 2 reviews pretty much sum it up for me and DP these days (and 70s styled hard rock in general). I can listen to Blackmore all day but the songs themselves just haven't aged well for me. I can still listen to their better moments but I don't find myself connecting with much of it beyond that for many of the reason's you've mentioned.

I deleted my post earlier as I didn't want to interrupt with something unrelated to DP but now that we are just about done, "Melon Collie" and "Siamese Dream" are 2 of the greatest records of the 90s. I give the edge to "Dream" simply because there is no filler. Although "Melon Collie" is more grander in scope with an epic sort of sweeping feel, at 28 songs I feel it could have been trimmed of some excess fat and would have been even stronger.

Lastly...Roxy Music...totally ignored and underrated!

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 8:16:27 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2012 8:17:52 AM PST
Exile says:
PS...I should mention that I don't agree with all of Topper's assessments of the individual songs, namely "Burn" and "WFT" but with the overall tone of the records I do. "Burn" kills and there is nothing wrong with a blatantly commercial tune once in awhile like "Tokyo" when the band interraction totally gels, especially on that intro when they establish the groove...but hey, what do I know? I like "Hot Blooded". ;)

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 8:17:27 AM PST
I don't listen to Deep Purple for the ballads.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 11:20:41 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2012 8:16:30 PM PST
AlexMontrose says:
Made in Japan, for some of us who were either too young or too new to this incredible thing almost taking over our lives...called music...to understand what an unforgettable experience a live show would be, were lucky to have Made in Japan. I remember so many saying how sorry they were that they never got to see this version of Purple. Some missed by a year or two, some by a few...before concert going became a regular thing. I never saw them during that 70-73 period and I obviously consider it a huge gap in my long history of loving this band.

Made in Japan is the way a live album should be. Warts and all. Ofcourse when you have musicians like Blackmore, Lord, Gillan, Glover and Paice, at the height of their powers, a 'wart' is almost non existent. But this album gave anyone who loved them and missed them during those years something to cherish...

Ironically, you could not get away from Purple during this period. Machine head was on the Billboard charts forever and was still there when Who do we think we are was released. And with the release of Made in Japan they had three albums vying for different spots high up on the Billboard charts. As a matter of fact, in 1973 they were the highest selling album band. Number one. That's a fact, look it up. With all the competition those days from legendary bands we still talk about NOW (don't have to name some of those albums/bands in 72/73 do I ? ;) One iconic one after another) So this was pretty impressive stuff, if only from the standpoint that they had come so far and now could stand shoulder to shoulder with *any* band during this legendary period of music.

When Made in Japan had been out for a little while, along with the newly released Who do we think we are, Gillan announced he was leaving Purple. That was a very sad day for Purple fanatics around the world. I remember going to a Cub game and when we were leaving I saw a copy of Circus magazine on the stand right before I got on the train (still too young to drive) and on the cover it said...."Shock shakeup"...Gillan (and Glover) leaving Purple. Ogre wrote me a post a few pages ago explaining his feelings about a couple of these reviews, and started off saying..."No, No, No" (an obvious jokey reference to the song from Fireball). He had no idea how "funny" that was to me because it was *exactly*what I said over and over again sitting on that train, looking out the window on the way home from that Cub game. NO, NO, NO. That was it, Purple was over. But...ofcourse after the shock subsided (it took a while) I started to hear about their new lineup, their forthcoming album with the new lead singer and bassist. Ahhhh that was something in those days, "waiting" and wondering what the "new" Purple would sound like.

In the meantime we had Made in Japan, an awesome amalgamation of firepower, eschewing the esoteric sounds of MK I and concentrating almost fully on their three most recent MK II releases.

Now I hate to disappoint all you people who think I listen to DP 24/7, but it's just not true. In fact it's probably a lot...A LOT less than anyone thinks. Don't want to brag but I have these songs recorded in my head. Literally. You could take any of them from my brain and you would have every note intact, every instrument, every tone, every scratch on the guitar/keyboards, any cough/cheer in the audience. Seriously, it's absolutely the same in my head as it is on the record.The solos, the rhythms, drums, bass, you name it. Not just DP, hundreds of songs. That's just the way music "absorbs" and stays in my head. Ofcourse it's great to actually listen to it but I can "listen" and "hear" the whole twenty minutes of Space Truckin' for example anytime I want and not really miss a thing other than the wonderful experience of hearing the music aurally, "outside" my head.

One of the reasons I point this out is because I probably haven't actually listened to Child in time from MIJ in at least 15 years. Pretty close to the same with Strange Kind of Woman. The Mule? Maybe longer....

Point being....Topper and I are not far off on some of the songs that I don't like and haven't heard for a while...I've heard them enough, know what they are. Others we couldn't be farther apart on.

I didn't like the liberties DP and Blackmore took with Child in time on MIJ. That song was too epic to turn into a free form jam. It's been a while and because I never liked it, I've actually only heard it a few times in my whole life. That was enough. RB's solo on In Rock was so monumental it bothered me the live version had so little in common with it. It was too important, integral to the studio version and the MIJ version didn't do the nuances of the song justice. Strange kind of Woman is Purple doing it's bluesy thing that they occasionally liked to do (and thank God it was only occasionally) and it would be a song I would get very little out of today. Sure if it was playing at a party or something people would probably sing along, it's got that kind of melody/vibe but it's got that bluesy style that doesn't do much for me. The Mule had the same problem as Child in Time, just taking an incredible riff and melody, speeding it up, not respecting it, or the great atmosphere of the studio version. They minimize all that to the point where if you blink, you miss it. And then Paice does a solo that (and I agree with Topper here) no matter how good it is, who cares really? After a minute or two of "putting up" with it, you just want the music. So while it's a five star song on Fireball it's a big disappointment here.

But then ;)..we have the rest of the album. Highway Star kicks things off with such fury it reminds me of a story of Purple fans in the first rows of some of these concerts that were so exhilarated and delirious, they would hit their heads over and over again on the stage. Jon Lord, at one show walked over to one of these people, who was bleeding from hitting his head and asked him if he was okay. The guy just said Yeah man...I'm fine. There was just something about the way Purple put together music that could drive you crazy, especially live. I believe it was the classical, timeless nature of some of their songs/melodies combined with an almost indescribable, innate excitement in the grooves, that gave it incredible power and affected you in a primal way. For some, that might have been an intangible thing but Purples music had almost an insidious way of getting inside you, in your blood. I think it made their rock songs so unique. Highway Star was as good as it could get to start things off and immediately you were exhilarated with what Purple could do live to an already great song.

Smoke on the Water from Made in Japan is/was almost too good to be true for people who loved the song. And that would be almost everyone except the obligatory anti everything crowd....over there sitting in the corner, wishing all this love/happiness for such a great tune would just go away. Even if you *really* didn't like the song, just weren't a fan of this type of music, there's no denying it's massive reach and power. It was almost a force of nature, bigger (and better IMO) than almost anything else at the time. The electricity and goosebumps emanating from every second of the live version of Smoke was something to behold. I remember when the DJ's would play the shortened live version (which I loved too, it was an octave higher, a spec faster) and you could always "hear" the smile on their face when they announced... that was Smoke on the water !! by Deep Purple, as if they just got off some exhilarating ride. The song become as famous as *any* rock song in history...and deservedly so.

Lazy was a wonderful showcase for Lord. One of the things that was so cool about this album was it's great live feel. You could imagine and hear Lords massive keyboards sounds filling up that whole venue in Japan...and with his great imagination he improvises and turns the beginning (first five minutes) of Lazy into a piece of music that was better than the song itself.

To end the album we get the 20 minute version of Space Truckin'. Deep Purple had played elongated versions of Mandrake Root and Wring that neck, songs from the MK I era, in concert for years up to that point. Those songs were on other DP live albums from this period and can be heard on almost any DP live footage. It was something you could count on if you went to see Purple, where they melded these songs together into one, long improvised jam-fest. After Machine Head came out they tweaked this concert staple and inserted Space Truckin' as the opening and then combined, as before, parts of Mandrake root, Wring that neck, Fools to make it into something that the current '73 crowd (with Space Truckin' still fresh in their minds) wanted to hear more than a combo of only MK I songs. So this was Purples 20 to 25 minutes jam (I've heard/have seen longer) something they had been doing for years.... but now splicing another song into this mix and getting rid of some older MK I material. The jam was designed for interchangeable parts, a credit to the way it was put together. You could still retain major portions of it while melding other songs/pieces in. And that's what they did in order to play Space Truckin' but still give that early 70's crowd parts of Mandrake root and other songs all in one big epic piece of music....

And that's certainly what MIJ's Space Truckin' was. Any fan of this song/or album or people that went to see them could point to this as classic Purple, what they were all about. It's all there, Blackmore and Lord reaching deep down to pull out solos/music that would make your draw drop to the floor, a throbbing massive bass beat keeping it all together and Paice drumming his arse off, almost a conductor in his own way keeping the beat with the myriad of changes, different pieces of music in the song.

Topper and I have argued before about any similarity between this and "Rondo" from ELP. And I will concede that if you love a band and think another band ripped them off in one way or another it will taint your feelings about that song. I just listened to Rondo again and there's no doubt they have some very similar qualities. So all this comes down to is whether you know enough about these two bands and/or want to believe a band with the talents, integrity and pride of a Deep Purple would purposely rip off a contemporary. Topper chooses to believe they did and that's more fanboy than reality. I and other more reasonable music lovers would say not only is this patently ridiculous but they were already playing this jam for years and tweaking it with their *own* songs. Topper also believes and mixes his opinions with facts as if they are one by constantly claiming some artist was "clearly inspired" by another artist when that opinion fits his agenda. The fact that Rondo had a bassist keeping a solid throbbing beat to the music, while Emerson did his solo thing and Deep Purple has a *live* song with a throbbing bass beat (OMG ! Can you imagine, a similar bass beat at a loud, live hard rock concert !!!) while Lord did his thing were in any way connected is just an agenda filled excuse to accuse..

The way that both these keyboardists played on stage....each one is going to have a band playing music, backing them, keeping a beat while they solo (unless of course the music calls for only the keyboardist to play alone, under the spotlight). But in this case (Rondo) and in Space Truckin' there happened to be a similar beat while both keyboardists played their solos. Emerson played his music, a combination of, I guess some ELP stuff and a few classical pieces thrown in and Lord played a completely improvised solo on Space Truckin'...totally analogous to Space Truckin'. And Glover was keeping a steady bass beat behind him. Because Topper thinks that only Emerson/ELP had the right to have someone soloing with a rhythmic backing bass beat, he accuses DP of ripping off Rondo.
Similar sound, a band going nuts as their feature players solo? Sure. Ripoff? LOL.....only someone who "wants" to believe that for his own purposes would say such a thing.

Space Truckin' stands as a wonderfully unique jam, with all parts interconnected by guess what ?....*Deep Purple* songs !.....and I invite anyone to Google any information, by any human being on the planet who believes this Deep Purple concert staple was in any way connected to an earlier ELP song. You'll find one person who believes that...and he's right here on this forum. But... as I said he has the right to believe it...the fact is both bands had a virtuoso keyboard player and each has done more solos than Carter has pills. I guess if Roger Glover, DP's bassist took a break during Space Truckin' and only Lord was up there soloing/playing the exact same music, Topper would have to come up with something else. But be that as it may Space Truckin' finishes off Made In Japan with such epic power, drama and excitement ( I sometimes think Blackmore must have sold his soul to create the mind melting, dizzying, absolutely incredible solo he came up with toward the end) that the crowd was famously transfixed/blown away and started clapping and "demanding" more ten seconds or so after the song was over.

Made In Japan:

Highway Star 5
Child in time 2.5/3.0
Smoke on the water 5
The Mule 2
Strange kind of Woman 2.0/2.5
Lazy 4
Space Truckin' 5

Overall B+/A- The gripes with a few of the songs don't really distract that much from an overall terrific live album and the ones that are good are so good, it's no wonder this is considered one of if not the greatest live album ever made.

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 11:24:45 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2012 11:25:02 AM PST
vivazappa says:
Burn is a 5...

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 12:35:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2012 12:55:35 PM PST
Made In Japan was the second live album I ever bought. Chicago at Carnegie Hall was the first. Both are shining examples of the craft.
I remember being gobsmacked by the sound of Deep Purple live on that recording. I'd heard of their reputation of being louder than Grand Funk even in concert and knew I had to see them. Unfortunately, I never did get to a DP show.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 9:06:20 PM PST
Montrose-Child In Time on MIJ is the highlight for me. The 1-2 punch of Highway Star and Child In Time is one of the 3 greatest starts of live albums ever(Churchill Speech-Aces High/Two Minutes To Midnight on Iron Maiden's Live After Death & Exciter/Running Wild on Judas Priest's Unleashed In The East are the others)!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 9:13:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2012 9:16:41 PM PST
@Exile: I slightly prefer "Mellon Collie", because I think the songwriting and arrangements are even sharper than "Siamese" (and for that matter I prefer "Adore" to "Mellon Collie" for the same reason-"Adore" is my second favorite album of the 90s, although I think the group peaked on that one). Although "Siamese" does have a picture-perfect track order and song flow; in the liner notes to the deluxe reissue Corgan described it as the band's "one bright shiny Cadillac of an album", as compared to all their other quirkier, 'messier' material.

One of the things I actually feel is amazing about "Mellon Collie" is that not only do I feel there is no filler on the record (OK, there's *one* song out of the 28 I skip), but the 30-odd b-sides from that album used to compile the "Aeroplane Flies High" box a year later were equally strong. Clearly, I'm a "fan".

Speaking of Corgan, he worships Ritchie Blackmore and said in an interview recently that if he had a choice of all the guitarists in history to jam with, it would be him.

"Burn" kills and there is nothing wrong with a blatantly commercial tune once in awhile like "Tokyo" when the band interraction totally gels..."

I can see why others might like or even love "Burn", but outside of Blackmore's bit, it's one of those where something about the melody itself turns me off. Kind of like Alex with "Fireball". The band does gel in a certain way on WFT (not a surprise, since they were a well-oiled machine at this point) but again, I just don't like the song itself.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 9:19:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2012 9:20:33 PM PST
@Joe: "I don't listen to Deep Purple for the ballads."

That's a shame, since the two or three ballads they have in their entire 1968-74 catalog are really quite good!

I'll have to get to Alex's MIJ review tomorrow. I'm also curious as to what he thinks of WDWTWA.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 9:21:16 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2012 9:22:05 PM PST
AlexMontrose says:
Mcnary,

I might have to put Child in Time on again for the first time in a looooong time. Usually he can't do anything wrong but when Blackmore just goes off on some improvised solo instead of doing anything that resembles the studio version it just pissed me off. But maybe so many years later I can find something to like about the MIJ version.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 9:27:42 PM PST
Montrose-Ian Gillan's screams/vocals are incredible and I love Blackmore's solo and Lord's keyboards. Give it a listen again and again. You may surprize yourself and love it.

Posted on Dec 12, 2012 10:25:07 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Sep 2, 2015 7:33:22 AM PDT
AlexMontrose says:
Who do we think we are review from allmusic.com:

Deep Purple had kicked off the '70s with a new lineup and a string of brilliant albums that quickly established them (along with fellow British giants Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath) as a major force in the popularization of hard rock and heavy metal. All the while, their reputation as one of the decade's fiercest live units complemented this body of work and earned them almost instant legendary status. But with 1973's disappointing Who Do We Think We Are -- the fourth and final studio outing by the original run of Purple's classic Mark II lineup -- all the fire and inspiration that had made the previous year's Machine Head their greatest triumph mysteriously vanished from sight. Vastly inferior to all three of its famous predecessors, the album revealed an exhausted band clearly splintering at the seams. Except for opener "Woman From Tokyo," which hinted at glories past with its signature Ritchie Blackmore riff, the album's remaining cuts are wildly inconsistent and find the band simply going through the motions. In fact, many of these don't so much resemble songs as loose jam sessions quickly thrown together in the studio with varying degrees of enthusiasm. "Mary Long" and "Super Trouper" are prime examples, featuring generic solos from Blackmore and organist Jon Lord, and uncharacteristically inane lyrics from soon-to-be former singer Ian Gillan. With its start-stop rhythm and Gillan's fine scat singing, the energetic "Rat Bat Blue" is a memorable exception to the rule, but the yawn-inducing blues of "Place in the Line" and the gospel mediocrity of "Our Lady" bring the album to a close with a whimper rather than a shout. [A painfully revealing display of a legendary band grinding to a halt, Who Do We Think We Are was reissued in 2000 with the added incentive of seven bonus tracks and new liner notes by bassist Roger Glover].

I think that pretty well sums up a lot things (although I somewhat disagree with the Mary Long and Our lady criticisms), not only about this album but the ignorant critiques a couple have leveled about DP's lyrics. If you think (without knowing any better) that their lyrics are about fast cars, loose women and drugs etc...you're right !...lol. But there's also plenty of Gillan's sometimes cynical, biting and humorous views on the world around us, i.e. politics, the state of mankind, unscrupulous business practices/injustices, metaphysical thoughts and opinions, dreams, relationships and on and on. I could take a paragraph from some unsuspecting DP song, post it here and some people would say owwww, that's some very profound stuff, who is that ?... Dylan, Neil Young ?.... blah blah blah. But you'd actually have to delve into their lyrics instead of making ignorant remarks like.. hey...this DP song had some thought provoking lyrics, imagine that !

Anyway, Who Do we think we are was a huge disappointment for all us real DP fans. The drop off from Machine head, songwriting and inspiration wise was so drastic it didn't come as much of a surprise that the band was falling apart. Gillan had told DP members and management that he was leaving and this album was written during and after the Made in Japan tour. At the end of that tour he announced he was leaving the band but of course they knew beforehand. So the acrimony during those days, not only with everyone knowing Gillan was a goner but having to write music for this album with Blackmore, who he was fighting with constantly, must have been suffocating. Add to that the virtual non stop tours for years with little or no breaks, their label, Warner Bros, forcing them to come up with a new album every 8-10 months or so and these guys were on their last nerve. Not to mention being one of the most popular bands on the planet in '73 and wondering if all that was about to crash down. So they had way too much on their plate to be in the right frame of mind to produce a great album, with all members on the same page. Wasn't gonna happen.

Starts off great though, with Woman from Tokyo. A majestic, yearning tune with a tremendous riff, this was a DP song that had so much going for it you thought this was gonna be another terrific album. The pretty bridge section, Lord's great piano outro, Gillan sounding incredibly good, great melody throughout, this was a slightly "different" sounding Purple, almost a little theatrical but with the great meaty roar still intact. A wonderfully written song. The next one, Mary Long, is good with an infectious melody, rhythm but you got a creeping feeling of a little unfinished business to it, a good idea but not totally worked into a great song. This feeling really started to surface with the next two songs, Super Trouper and Smooth Dancer. These songs were totally half baked rockers that never would have seen the light of day on previous Purple albums. They just felt incomplete and rushed through. It was a credit to them that there still was some trademark excitement in both songs, Ritchies solo in Super Trouper and Lords short but *tremendous* solo in Smooth Dancer (which lyrically was a somewhat of scathing criticism of Blackmore, the "man in black" by Gillan). Neither song though had the substance of the vast majority of their songs up to that point and again just felt half baked.

Rat bat blue starts off side two...and now were talking. A supercharged rocker, they sounded like they were into it again and this song just cooks from beginning to end. Throw in some cool production techniques (Ritchies "rubber band" sounding guitar, and some phase overdubs in the middle portion) and this was a DP back on their game, putting out a song that had the energy and excitement of earlier stuff but sounding all together "new". Then things grind to a halt with Place in line, a waste of time album filler that really pushes the hardcore blues but has very little to offer in any interesting way. They just shuffle through this one sounding half asleep. The last song, Our lady has been growing and growing on me for years. At first I thought it was just a slow, turgid rocker without much redeeming value but as time went on I appreciated it's pretty, dreamy melody combined with a great backing wall of sound. It almost sounds Phil Spectorish in it's production....

And that's one of the other sad things about WDWTWA. The production. This album sounded better than anything previously. It had a much thicker sound, more powerful and very alive. Rat bat blue for example has the bass on top off everything else and gave the song, with the phase effect a surreal feel. Woman from Tokyo had tremendous tone, (cymbals, Ritchies guitar sounding like a roaring lion, huge drum sound) and the whole affair, including the weaker songs just jumped out more than the lousy production on their earlier albums. So it was too bad they finally had a good sounding record but were about to completely implode as a band.

WDWTWA has many faults but at least a few things to recommend. It was just hard to take knowing this was the last of the 70's MK II albums. Most if not all of the members of DP consider this a throwaway record and while that's pretty harsh you can easily hear the ill will permeating some of the uninspired music. I've tried to love it but it's just not there...and it's pretty fascinating that even with some good production, a few exciting bits, good melodies etc. you can't disguise the fact that a lot of this was very rushed through sounding music, mainly because a couple members couldn't wait to walk out the front door.

Who Do we think we are:

Woman from Tokyo 5
Mary Long 3.5
Super Trouper 2.5
Smooth Dancer 2.5
Rat Bat Blue 4.0/4.5
Place in Line 1.5
Our Lady 3.5/4.0

Overall a C/C+

The numbers might justify a B/B- maybe but overall I can't get past the uninspired songwriting on half the album. The production helps a little bit but considering what was going on behind the scenes the overall quality of music and feel of this album just pales compared to what came before.

Posted on Dec 12, 2012 12:40:29 PM PST
vivazappa says:
I saw Gov't Mule play Rat Bat Blue live...I'm glad I saw somebody do it since it's one of my favorite Purple tunes.

Alex: Bruuuce is playing with The Stones Saturday night on pay per view...I'm having a party and we are watching it...if you want to...ahh forget it ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2012 12:55:35 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 12, 2012 7:59:51 PM PST
AlexMontrose says:
Viva,

Yeah...I'll take a raincheck on that. I'm just glad Bruuuuuce doesn't do Rat Bat Blue. The thought makes me wanna hurl.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2012 8:55:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 12, 2012 10:05:14 PM PST
@AlexMontrose: "Of course when you have musicians like Blackmore, Lord, Gillan, Glover and Paice, at the height of their powers, a 'wart' is almost non existent."

...and yet you name not one but three "warts" on MIJ--"The Mule", "Strange Kind Of Woman" and even "Child In Time". I'm glad at least that we agree on the first two. I was wondering how anyone could really like those, considering the album's high reputation--but I now see that they're just ignored almost completely when talking about how Awesomely Awesome it is. ;)

"Seriously, it's absolutely the same in my head as it is on the record.The solos, the rhythms, drums, bass, you name it. Not just DP, hundreds of songs."

I'm like that with The Beatles. I could play the albums entirely in my head and not miss a single note of any vocal or instrument.

"That song was too epic to turn into a free form jam."

I hate to dispute your perfect memory, but I'd hardly go that far. The solo deviates a little bit from the studio version, but "free form jam" it is not, and it still sticks to the basic structure of the original. I think the deviation is great, and doesn't stray too far. The instrumental still climaxes in exactly the same way, and everything else about the song is the same.

"The Mule had the same problem as Child in Time, just taking an incredible riff and melody, speeding it up, not respecting it, or the great atmosphere of the studio version."

I have no problem with the 'song' portion of the live "Mule". The problem comes when it ends after ninety seconds and the entire rest of the song is taken up by a ten-minute drum solo. They should have just called it "Really Long Drum Solo", since it has nothing to do with "The Mule".

"Purple fans in the first rows of some of these concerts that were so exhilarated and delirious, they would hit their heads over and over again on the stage."

You talk as if DP were the only band to elicit such a reaction from their fans at this time. Led Zeppelin were the first group to inspire headbanging, during their first US tour in the first few months of 1969. On the Jan 1970 Royal Albert Hall show on their DVD set, you can see the teenagers in the front row going at it pretty hard (including one boy with glasses who is a dead ringer for Harry Potter, LOL). I'm not sure if any of those fans actually banged to bleeding, as in your DP story, but the principle is the same. And I might add that it's yet another trait associated with heavy metal, pioneered by these bands at this time.

"Even if you *really* didn't like the song, just weren't a fan of this type of music, there's no denying it's massive reach and power."

Really? Because I can, in a heartbeat. What I *can* affirm is its massive plodding boredom. I was hoping you would give a better description of why this live "Smoke" was so much better than the studio version, other than describing how it gives you goosebumps. What's the *difference* on the live version that gives you the goosebumps? It sounds exactly the same to me, just with a cleaner sound and slightly longer solos. Although I'll admit that the better production gives the guitar sound more meat, it doesn't really change the actual riff or song any. For someone who loves it, like you, it might make a difference, but for someone who doesn't like it, like me, it's not a big enough change to change the way I feel.

"I and other more reasonable music lovers would say not only is this patently ridiculous but they were already playing this jam for years and tweaking it with their *own* songs."

I had already mentioned the ST jam's origin in "Mandrake Root" so I don't know why you felt the need to explain it again, like I didn't know. Here's the deal: The Nice started to play "Rondo" in mid-1967, and released it in Dec of that year. "Mandrake Root" wasn't recorded until May 1968 and didn't even have the "Rondo" bit in it yet. That jam starts to appear on versions of the song around early 1969, if I'm hearing my youtube clips correctly. So it didn't matter if the "Space Truckin" jam came from MR, MR itself came considerably after "Rondo", which had made a big enough splash at the time that NO-ONE in the UK rock scene was unaware of it, *especially* classically-influenced keyboardists. "Rondo" was absolutely pivotal to the development of progressive rock; just ask Tony Banks, Rick Wakeman and Dave Stewart.

That "Rondo" rhythm and bass line is very unique and not just "a bassist keeping a beat to the music", as you claim. It's a completely distinctive rhythm, new to rock at the time, that was copied by a few other bands after its release (ie. Love Sculpture's "Sabre Dance", and a Beggar's Opera song whose name escapes me at the moment), and in those cases those groups fully acknowledged the Nice influence (Beggar's Opera were pretty much a Nice clone). The only band who took that vamp and *didn't* acknowledge it were DP. And I think it's because their egos were too big to do so; they had to make it seem as if they had done it all themselves.

If I have an "agenda" here, it comes *after the fact*--remember I hadn't *even heard* the live ST when I originally got into it with you over Emerson/Lord. I just knew that what I'd seen/heard of Lord reminded me a lot of Emerson. Hearing the live ST was just absolute confirmation of my argument, which was only that Lord was influenced by Emerson, not that he was a bad keyboardist or anything. And while this rhythm is very distinctive, that's not all. Add in all the keyboard tricks and even some of the same classical music quotes, and you have an undeniable match. Lord even does the thing of doing a classical quote and then ending it with a pitch-bend on his hammond, just like Emerson did before him. And that's just ONE thing that comes to mind, the similarities are too large to count.

"But in this case (Rondo) and in Space Truckin' there happened to be a similar beat while both keyboardists played their solos."

You make it sound like there's nothing similar at all about them, even after admitting earlier in your post that they sound very similar. "A similar beat while keyboardists play solos" could describe any band. Again, I wouldn't be saying anything at all about the similarity, if that's all it was. I'm not saying "April" or "Bloodsucker" or "The Mule" or "Woman From Tokyo" or "When A Blind Man Cries" or "Living Wreck" sound like Keith Emerson--because they don't. "Concerto" is similar to The Nice's "Five Bridges" but I do not claim a cop there because "Concerto" was recorded two weeks prior to "Five Bridges"--that is a case where, yes, two similar minds came up with something similar around the same time. And--this is important--I am in no way implying (and never was) that DP couldn't have come up with a jam like "Rondo" on their own. It's actually not that complex (in fact, the distinctive rhythm is a 4/4 simplification of Dave Brubeck's (RIP) 9/8 composition "Blue Rondo A La Turk"). All I'm saying is, The Nice *did* do it first, it sounds very similar, and I can't get it out of my head when I hear it. Since you heard the live "Space Truckin'" first, all those decades ago, you will forever associate it with something that completely blew your mind, and that's fine. The group do an outstanding job with that jam (well, except for the "Fools" part which still sux), and I never said that they didn't. Plus Blackmore adds an ending solo different from the Nice bit.

But I'll bet I'd have been even more impressed if, like you back when you heard it, I'd never heard anything like that rhythm or that style of keyboard playing before. Wouldn't you agree?

Now, I have no problem with anyone admitting the live ST's similarity to "Rondo", but saying they thought DP improved on it. I think the two jams are about equal (and admit I'm biased since I was blown away by "Rondo" first), but can deal with someone who has a different opinion on the matter. Not a problem. My only problem has to do with fanboys being in denial of not generic or vague but *very clear* influences in their favorite artist's work ("The Sectarian" being the other example we've sparred over, of course).

"...that the crowd was famously transfixed/blown away and started clapping and "demanding" more ten seconds or so after the song was over."

Oh please, that happens at the end of every live album. Just listen to the crowd at the end of ELP's "Pictures At An Exhibition", they make the Japanese DP crowd sound like mice!

BTW I very much appreciate hearing your detailed thoughts on MIJ, the feelings it elicits in you, the background of what it was like at the time, etc. This is the kind of stuff that I love to hear, someone able to describe in detail how they feel when they hear the music they love. Whether I happen to agree with their taste (and, surprisingly, we end up for the most part agreeing on most of the tracks here, sans "Child In Time" and "Smoke On The Water"--we even agree on most of "Space Truckin" once you get past the Nice bit) is almost beside the point.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2012 11:49:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Sep 2, 2015 7:57:21 AM PDT
AlexMontrose says:
Topper,

Referring to Made in Japans live overall sound
Alex : "Of course when you have musicians like Blackmore, Lord, Gillan, Glover and Paice, at the height of their powers, a 'wart' is almost non existent."

Topper : ...and yet you name not one but three "warts" on MIJ--"The Mule", "Strange Kind Of Woman" and even "Child In Time"

Your clinical, black and white side is showing...again. It wasn't about song "warts". It was about not having some perfectly edited live album, without any sound glitches or background noises, etc. Or when the crowd gets three seconds to clap after every song and is then cut off, edited out to fit in more edited "live" music. This is the real deal and the deluxe MIJ has a few more songs, including Speed King. You must have missed that in your youtube travels.

I would bet that the Child In Time on MIJ varies greatly but it has been a decade or two since I've heard it. And as I mentioned I've only heard it a few times in my whole life. But I know it was different enough that I didn't like it then. But I'll listen to it again. I have to. How can I take the word of some clown who doesn't think the live version of Smoke is any different than the studio version.....lol. Wow....more on that later.

Alex : The Mule had the same problem as Child in Time, just taking an incredible riff and melody, speeding it up, not respecting it, or the great atmosphere of the studio version.

Topper : I have no problem with the 'song' portion of the live "Mule". The problem comes when it ends after ninety seconds and the entire rest of the song is taken up by a ten-minute drum solo

Translation time again. What did I say? They speed-ed things up (and I also said in my post, from the same paragraph your quoting from that if you blinked, you'd miss it (the song portion) So I'm saying basically the same as you...I didn't like that they gave so little respect to the song portion and only played that for a minute or two.

Alex : Highway Star kicks things off with such fury it reminds me of a story of Purple fans in the first rows of some of these concerts that were so exhilarated and delirious, they would hit their heads over and over again on the stage. Jon Lord, at one show walked over to one of these people, who was bleeding from hitting his head and asked him if he was okay. The guy just said Yeah man...I'm fine.

Topper : You talk as if DP were the only band to elicit such a reaction from their fans at this time. Led Zeppelin were the first group to inspire headbanging, during their first US tour in the first few months of 1969. On the Jan 1970 Royal Albert Hall show on their DVD set, you can see the teenagers in the front row going at it pretty hard (including one boy with glasses who is a dead ringer for Harry Potter, LOL). I'm not sure if any of those fans actually banged to bleeding, as in your DP story, but the principle is the same

Of course it's the same...lol. Bleeding or not bleeding, what's the difference?.....lol. And naturally those Purple fans ripped off those Zeppelin fans because the Zeppelin fans moved their heads "first" at a concert !!....lol. I'm sure the people who moved their heads at a Frank Sinatra show would have something to say about all this. OMG. Sorry pal, your example/story is totally lame and laughable. Anyone who can read can see how difficult it is for you to simply give Purple credit for this one specific story without trying to one up them with some weak....uhhhhh people were bobbing their heads at a Zeppelin show first !...so there !!!!! Unbelievable....but not really...considering.

Referring to Smoke on the Water, Live or otherwise.
Alex : Even if you *really* didn't like the song, just weren't a fan of this type of music, there's no denying it's massive reach and power.

Topper: Really? Because I can, in a heartbeat. What I *can* affirm is its massive plodding boredom. I was hoping you would give a better description of why this live "Smoke" was so much better than the studio version, other than describing how it gives you goosebumps. What's the *difference* on the live version that gives you the goosebumps? It sounds exactly the same to me.

Right. And a Koala Bear is the same thing as a Grizzly bear. This is getting more ridiculous by the minute. Why do you even go to a live show? Do you get what the concert experience is all about ? Or do you take your clinical/scientist mentality to a show and say to everyone next to you.....uhhhh, what's the difference? Same riff, same everything, just a little louder. Unfrickin' real. Smoke live was a marauding behemoth on steroids and the studio version was just a *little* tamer. If this isn't obvious to you, then I'm not sure if any of us can believe you actually "heard" Made in Japan but maybe are just taking notes off Wikipedia to write your review.
;)
Next.....

Alex : I and other more reasonable music lovers would say not only is this patently ridiculous but they were already playing this jam for years and tweaking it with their *own* songs.

Topper : I had already mentioned the ST jam's origin in "Mandrake Root" so I don't know why you felt the need to explain it again, like I didn't know

The point is that the live ST was comprised of different interchangeable Deep Purple songs/parts. Earlier in their career they played this with a combo of MK I songs and when Machine Head came out they inserted ST in the beginning and kept the other parts. It melded beautifully. Because you want to claim that a 20/25 minute song they had been playing for years, that consisted of their *own* songs, was a cop of a 6 minute jam by ELP...that's supposed to mean something? You're always stuck on who was "first" because your endless agenda is to push ELP as the band that "inspired", pioneered anything and everything that had to do with a keyboard. Jon Lord's ego wasn't too big to acknowledge any influence. Read his biography. Every member of DP acknowledges their influences. It's you who makes up things to suit your own agenda. For example : Gillan was "clearly inspired" by Plant. No he wasn't. He was clearly inspired by Elvis and Little Richard. But that doesn't suit your agenda, does it? And not having the ability to give a great musician credit for being one of a kind doesn't suit your agenda either. Therefore you need to babble on about something that is strictly your opinion and nothing more. That some DP song sounds like an ELP song so therefore I can't give that song the proper credit. Good ! Live in your one man dream world that Deep Purple gave too sheets what ELP was doing. It's your fanboy fantasy...end of story.

Both keyboardists were forging their own paths, experimenting night after night with their own pieces, compositions and improvising. They both had that in common. Blackmore was forging his own path, Gillan the same. DP was forging their own path. The problem with you is simple. You like ELP. They had a keyboard player. But your mind is unable to grasp that there were other keyboard players just as unique or more so than Emerson. But they were still contemporaries..and that's where the similarities ended. Sabbath was also a contemporary. And Zeppelin. And Tull. I'm sure we could find six minutes at one of their countless shows where a song has a similar beat to something in Space Truckin'...or Rondo. If you want to believe these guys were all taking bits and pieces from each others shows, then you go ahead and be as anal as you want. The way Deep Purple played live and how they were taking over the world in those days....and because Made in Japan was universally acknowledged as easily one of the best if not *the* best live album, and first and foremost the very healthy attitude of knowing your hard work has paid off with great music as well as massive popularity, they had every right to have big healthy egos. Your agenda is to say their egos were too big. Because they should say...yeah we heard Rondo and we ripped it off for Space Truckin'. LOL.....if only that were actually true you would have one morsel of fact to your claim, instead of your obvious fantasies. And in case you didn't know, anyone who is truly great at something has a big ego. It's one of the things that gives you an edge.

You choose to believe there was a ripoff in part of Space Truckin' and if that helps your need to get some attention for ELP in the middle of a discussion about Made in Japan, I'm sure anyone reading this has made a note of that. Ok? Feel better? Let's get back to reality....

Topper : All I'm saying is, The Nice *did* do it first, it sounds very similar, and I can't get it out of my head when I hear it. Since you heard the live "Space Truckin'" first, all those decades ago, you will forever associate it with something that completely blew your mind, and that's fine. The group do an outstanding job with that jam (well, except for the "Fools" part which still sux), and I never said that they didn't. Plus Blackmore adds an ending solo different from the Nice bit. But I'll bet I'd have been even more impressed if, like you back when you heard it, I'd never heard anything like it before. Wouldn't you agree?

Yes I would. And I did make mention of that by saying you had the right to your opinion that there is a similarity. I agreed there was. It's when you out and out say that DP purposely took that Rondo piece, intentionally ripped it off, Lord was hiding under a chair at an ELP show and said...owww I gotta use that...and then all of sudden it appeared in one of their songs...that's where I say you can believe that if you want but it is literally one man's claim/opinion and nothing more.

Alex : that the crowd was famously transfixed/blown away and started clapping and "demanding" more ten seconds or so after the song was over."

Topper : Oh please, that happens at the end of every live album. Just listen to the crowd at the end of ELP's "Pictures At An Exhibition", they make the Japanese DP crowd sound like mice!

Again, an insecure, unnecessary attempt at one-ups·man·ship. One more person clapped at the ELP show okay?...I'm sure that was the case. But since Made in Japan was before Pictures At An Exhibition that one person must have been influenced by someone clapping at the Made in Japan show...right? LOL...geeeezuz. At least his head wasn't bleeding. But ELP was getting pretty irrelevant by that time anyway, so I'm happy they had anyone at their show ;)

Topper : BTW I very much appreciate hearing your detailed thoughts on MIJ, the feelings it elicits in you, the background of what it was like at the time, etc. This is the kind of stuff that I love to hear, someone able to describe how in detail how they feel when they hear the music they love. Whether I happen to agree with their taste (and, suprisingly, we end up for the most part agreeing on most of the tracks here, sans "Child In Time" and "Smoke On The Water"--we even agree on most of "Space Truckin"

You left the best for last ;) And I love hearing your take too, no matter how wron...errr, I mean how "different" your taste or opinion is. Yes we agreed about some things here. But my dislikes come from a passion for this band. I'm disappointed when they don't take full advantage of their greatness. Yours are dispassionate, clinical.

I really believe you should go back and listen to some of the tunes I or others strongly disagreed with you about. Some you probably wouldn't change your mind at all, in part because there is already an ingrained dislike, which clouds your ability to expand beyond that dislike. But with others, you know how it is, once that song seeps into your system and you're smiling at certain parts you liked or sorta liked at first...all of a sudden you might start liking the whole song more. Never know unless you try again but either way...like I said in the beginning, it's great that you did this. There's only one more album now where I will have the pleasure of telling you how wrong you are ;)

Edit : And I just listened to the (remastered) MIJ Child in Time. The beginning, the singing, Gillans wails, etc/the build up was better than I remembered and retains much of the essence of the studio version. But I feel exactly the same as I did before once Blackmore jumps in. They jack it up *right* before he starts jamming, lose the natural flow, excitement of the studio where it started naturally without a bump up in speed. I realize most wouldn't notice something like this but I do. And then RB plays whatever he feels like playing, very little tension, excitement, drama and barely a recognizable note from the great, incredibly powerful, breathtaking solo on In Rock. After the solo they settle back into pretty much the same thing as the studio but I'm still not crazy about what they did with it. My original grade of 2.5/3.0 doesn't change after hearing it again.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2012 9:59:44 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 13, 2012 10:08:18 AM PST
@Alex Montrose: "It wasn't about song "warts". It was about not having some perfectly edited live album, without any sound glitches or background noises, etc."

Well, you didn't specify what you meant, so how was I to know? But once again, you act like DP were the only band to do this. Almost ALL live albums in those days were recorded straight, as-is, no overdubs or studio tomfoolery allowed.

"This is the real deal and the deluxe MIJ has a few more songs, including Speed King. You must have missed that in your youtube travels."

No, I saw the super-deluxe live in Japan set that included all the shows in their entirety--I just didn't care to hear ten different versions of "Smoke On The Water". ;)

"I would bet that the Child In Time on MIJ varies greatly but it has been a decade or two since I've heard it."

Yeah, well I heard both versions of the song within a few weeks of each other and they're not that different--even the running times are similar.

"Translation time again. What did I say? They speed-ed things up..."

Ah, I see, we've all once again been a victim of your horrifying grammar. Not only does "speeded" not need a dash, it's not even a word, you should say "sped things up". Second and most importantly, referring to speeding a song up literally means talking about a change in tempo, when what we are talking about is the group actually cutting the song short, which is entirely different. There is absolutely no context in which using the word "speed-ed" would refer to them cutting the song portion off early. But since we both actually agree on what the group did here, I'll move on.

"Anyone who can read can see how difficult it is for you to simply give Purple credit for this one specific story without trying to one up them with some weak....uhhhhh people were bobbing their heads at a Zeppelin show first !...so there !!!!!"

I wouldn't be mentioning any of these comparisons (OK, maybe the Emerson ones ;)) if you weren't saying all this stuff with the air of "look, Deep Purple were SOOO special that they were able to do *this*! Look, they sold more copies than anyone else in 1973! They made live albums with no overdubs! Look, they made their audiences bang their heads to the music! They made audiences say "more!" at the end of a song! Oooooh....Aaaaaahhh!!!" When, in actually, everything you mention was crushingly common for practically any major early 70s band you can think of (even selling the most records in 1973 was a feat shared by the bands who did so in 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, etc.). I just mention ELP and Led Zeppelin the most because I know it gets under your skin the most. ;)

"Or do you take your clinical/scientist mentality to a show and say to everyone next to you.....uhhhh, what's the difference? Same riff, same everything, just a little louder. Unfrickin' real. Smoke live was a marauding behemoth on steroids and the studio version was just a *little* tamer."

I mention the difference because *you* were making a big deal about the difference, especially on the PT thread a while back where you were dismissing the studio original and saying the live version was the only one that mattered (I can dig up the posts, if you like). I'm just asking you to tell me what that difference was. The fact that it's "live" isn't in and of itself always a deal-breaker. It *would* be if the group changed the tempo, arrangement, solos, etc., but that doesn't happen with the live "Smoke", at least to these ears.

"You're always stuck on who was "first" because your endless agenda is to push ELP as the band that "inspired", pioneered anything and everything that had to do with a keyboard."

Actually, I've been continually speaking of The Nice here, not ELP. Please get at least the band name right. And yes, *The Nice* were enormously influential on both rock keyboards and prog in general, there's no disputing it, just ask any musician who was there. ELP were an extension of that, but I'm talking about Emerson's work with an earlier band, which pre-dates DP.

"It's you who makes up things to suit your own agenda. For example : Gillan was "clearly inspired" by Plant. No he wasn't. He was clearly inspired by Elvis and Little Richard."

I don't make anything up, I hear it in the music. Elvis and Little Richard did not sing in high-pitched wails. Plant was the first, Gillan quickly copied him. Again, you can claim Gillan did it *better* than Plant all you want, and I won't argue. But don't pretend there was no influence there. Someone earlier on this thread even mentioned Blackmore saying he wanted DP to go in a new harder direction the minute he heard LZ's debut album. If that's not a direct admission of influence (which is NOT a bad thing, btw, and I never said it was), then I don't know what is. I'm sure Gillan was accepted in the band, in part, precisely because he could do the high-pitched thing Plant was popularizing in hard rock at that time. I don't need a band member to admit it, all you have to do is *hear the music*.

"But your mind is unable to grasp that there were other keyboard players just as unique or more so than Emerson."

I've mentioned plenty of other keyboardists in my posts here, including others who did things before Lord did them. You'd just like to think I have a single-minded focus on Emerson. I maybe mention Emerson more because we have the precedent of the earlier debate. I will give Lord credit where I think he's original (ie. the solo bit on "Rat Bat Blue"). I will quote from my last post: "I'm not saying "April" or "Bloodsucker" or "The Mule" or "Woman From Tokyo" or "When A Blind Man Cries" or "Living Wreck" sound like Keith Emerson--because they don't." Actually, I'm only claiming two songs are pretty direct cops--the live "Space Truckin'" (or live "Mandrake" or what-have-you), and "A200". If I hear it in there, I'll mention it.

"And in case you didn't know, anyone who is truly great at something has a big ego."

Yes, Emerson had one, too. And he did not give credit to Bartok originally for "The Barbarian", so he was also guilty once or twice of not owning up.

""But I'll bet I'd have been even more impressed if, like you back when you heard it, I'd never heard anything like it before. Wouldn't you agree?

Yes I would."

There. That's all I'm really asking you to accept--why I may not have been quite as wowed by that jam as you were. But it's still a great jam. Now drink your eggnog.

"Again, an insecure, unnecessary attempt at one-ups·man·ship."

NO, again I only brought it up because *you* were making a big deal about people clapping at the end of a live album, LOL. I didn't have to use ELP as an example, I could have used the end of "Live At Leeds" or "Yessongs" or any other live album of the period to illustrate the similar fanaticism these other bands engendered. I used ELP, though, in a kind of "while we're still at it..." sense. You know, to get under your skin. A tactic you've used on me many times!

"But since Made in Japan was before Pictures At An Exhibition..."

Oh dear, you just made another complete fool of yourself again. "Pictures" was recorded in March 1971 and released at the end of the year. Perhaps you should check wikipedia more often before spouting inaccurate gibberish. LOL.

"But ELP was getting pretty irrelevant by that time anyway, so I'm happy they had anyone at their show ;)"

Oh, you mean like when they headlined over DP at the California Jam? ;)

"There's only one more album now where I will have the pleasure of telling you how wrong you are ;)"

Clearly the album you're talking about is "Burn"...I can't *wait* to hear you defend that sorry piece of doggy doo-doo!!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2012 11:26:23 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 13, 2012 11:50:04 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2012 12:07:47 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 13, 2012 12:20:06 PM PST
AlexMontrose says:
Re : Tooper : ""But I'll bet I'd have been even more impressed if, like you back when you heard it, I'd never heard anything like it before. Wouldn't you agree?

Re: Re : Alex : Yes I would."

You left out the quotation mark before the Yes. Just another example of your horrifying grammar. Only a fired, former English teacher who couldn't cut it ??? (what?..3rd grade a little too complicated for you?) would take one overlooked mistake (speed-ed) and get a woody over it. But we know how anal and desperate you are in dealing with all past embarrassments so let's move on to some of your less desperate comments.

Alex : I would bet that the Child In Time on MIJ varies greatly but it has been a decade or two since I've heard it.

Topper: Yeah, well I heard both versions of the song within a few weeks of each other and they're not that different--even the running times are similar.

Yeah well I would beg to differ. And I edited that into my last post after hearing it again.

Topper : I just mention ELP and Led Zeppelin the most because I know it gets under your skin the most. ;)

And I just let you mention ELP because if you don't nobody will. And I know it gets under your skin that your lover boys elicit zero passion around here. Man if people just realized how good they were, huh? Maybe if they listened to The Nice first. Only problem with that is someone would have to care first...and of course they don't. Ahhhh, such is life and the yawn inducing impression The Nice and Emerson, post about 1975 or so have left behind ;)

The difference between the live Smoke and the studio Smoke has been pointed out to you in several different ways. Because you're too constipated to acknowledge the obvious, have an agenda to pooh pooh the song no matter what, it doesn't matter if is slightly different, completely different or anything in between. You choose to live in black and white, especially when it suits your agenda, the rest of us appreciate what a band can do with certain songs. And the live Smoke is a jacked up monster rendition in every possible way. No one would dispute that..except you. 'Nuff said.

Yeah , one person said that Blackmore heard Zeppelin and immediately wanted to go in a harder direction. So of course that's all there is to it...right? And you talk about liking when people write posts with lots of details, etc, etc. Except in this case where one line suits your agenda.
LOL....you're not to easy to see through are you ?

Alex : "But since Made in Japan was before Pictures At An Exhibition..."

Topper : Oh dear, you just made another complete fool of yourself again. "Pictures" was recorded in March 1971 and released at the end of the year. Perhaps you should check wikipedia more often before spouting inaccurate gibberish. LOL.

I could have sworn that Pictures was an ELP song that came out a couple years after Brain Salad? That long 15 minute version or whatever it was. If I'm wrong, oh well. And yeah you're right. This would be the one time I could rely on your knowledge of a band (ELP) instead of knowing you get half your information from Wikipedia.

Alex : "But ELP was getting pretty irrelevant by that time anyway, so I'm happy they had anyone at their show ;)"

Topper : Oh, you mean like when they headlined over DP at the California Jam? ;)

Oh you mean like when anyone here or anywhere mentions The California Jam but never mentions ELP? They were there, we know that...but again does anyone care ? ;) What did they do after that show anyway? Retire?

Yeah Burn is next and if anyone made a fool out of themselves, criticizing the great title cut and begging people to believe more nonsense about a DP song sounding too much like another ELP/Nice song it was our Amazon reviewer, Mr. Topper. But we'll get to that. I just like it when you say stuff such as...I can see why some of you would like or even love Burn. Sadly...I don't think you *can* see...but like I said you can always listen again and maybe it will "touch your soul"...;)

Posted on Dec 13, 2012 12:46:43 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 13, 2012 12:48:47 PM PST
vivazappa says:
Topper/Alex:
You guys should copy and paste your posts together and sell it as a book...it would be better than a lot of the Purple books out there today.

PS: A CD of ELP's Cal Jam show is coming out soon.
The setlist seems short I recalled a full Karn Evil #9 but I could be wrong.
The disc is about 55 minutes long.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2012 1:23:12 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 13, 2012 1:30:52 PM PST
@AlexMontrose: "Only a fired, former English teacher who couldn't cut it..."

Ah, I see. When you're embarrassed and backed into a wall over your atrocious grammar skills, you once again resort to lies and slanderous innuendo to cover your tracks and distract everyone. Fortunately, I reprinted all of our private conversation where you blatantly admitted to this tactic over on the other thread, so everyone can see what you're doing here.

For the record, I was a 1st/2nd grade Montessori teacher, and I quit because quite frankly, the pay was just too $#&! low for that stress level of work. I then homeschooled a girl through grades 7-9. Now, I'll admit I make the occasional typo from time to time that I overlook, even in revision. So do you--I actually let those things go. But when you entirely misuse a word to mean something it couldn't possibly mean, and then mindlessly slam me for 'misinterpreting' what you're saying....(sigh)

"Yeah well I would beg to differ. And I edited that into my last post after hearing it again."

OK, I read that part. And I see that while you still give the MIJ version a negative review, you've ingeniously altered your criticism of this version as having turned into some kind of wild "free-form jam", to various critiques instead of the *way* they subtly altered a bit here or a bit there. Now this review makes more sense to me.

"And I just let you mention ELP because if you don't nobody will."

Arguing over ELP's popularity/non-popularity these days relative to Deep Purple will not change the fact that the live jam on "Space Truckin'" sounds an awful lot like "Rondo". Period. But as long as you mention it, I'd rather have a "yawn-inducing impression post-1975" than a yawn-inducing impression post-1972 (ie. Purple).

"The difference between the live Smoke and the studio Smoke has been pointed out to you in several different ways."

Only in ways that describe the emotions you personally get out of it, like "it's a monster behemoth" and "it gives me goosebumps", rather than a description of what in the music *makes* it a behemoth or *gives* you those goosebumps. I know you're capable of doing it, you've done it before, but I'm definitely not satisfied with your defense of the live "Smoke" here.

"Yeah , one person said that Blackmore heard Zeppelin and immediately wanted to go in a harder direction. So of course that's all there is to it...right?"

Yup. Especially when the Zeppelin influences are as obvious in their music as the Emerson ones. Again, this is not even a knock on Purple; Zeppelin obviously had a zillion influences, and so did Emerson, which are obvious in their music. That's what puzzles me about this whole thing--what I said about Lord being influenced by Emerson wasn't even an attack on him, but you treat it like it's a vicious slander and part of some Grand Agenda on my part (my question: why, exactly, are you SO averse to admitting Lord may have been influenced by Emerson?? Why is it SO essential to for you to believe he pioneered everything himself?). I was only factually responding to what someone else was claiming about Lord being the first with something. If someone had said "Jimmy Page was the first to bow his guitar!" on one of these threads I would have chimed in with "no, he wasn't, the guitarist in The Creation was". Doesn't matter how much I do or don't like Jimmy Page, or want to spread the LZ word around, facts are facts, and it's not a knock on Page to correct someone about that fact just as it's not (necessarily) a knock on Lord just because he wasn't the first to do certain things with his keyboard playing.

"I could have sworn that Pictures was an ELP song that came out a couple years after Brain Salad? That long 15 minute version or whatever it was."

Ah I see, you're thinking of the "In Concert" version from 1978, which was actually drastically shortened from the original. The original "Pictures" took up the entire LP, and as mentioned was released in 1971. And as long as we're boasting of band achievements, it's the only time a classical piece ever reached the top 10 (US) and top 5 (UK) of the pop charts.

"Oh you mean like when anyone here or anywhere mentions The California Jam but never mentions ELP?"

In your deeply Deep Purple-centric universe, maybe. You know, the one where Ritchie Blackmore invented the bowed guitar technique, even though the guy in the Creation was doing it two years before DP even formed, and even though Blackmore never even played with a bow while he was in the band. This is supposed to be one of your all-time favorite bands, and you couldn't even get *that* right...ROTFL

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2012 2:26:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Sep 2, 2015 8:29:21 AM PDT
AlexMontrose says:
Re : ....you once again resort to lies and slanderous innuendo to cover your tracks and distract everyone. Fortunately, I reprinted all of our private conversation where you blatantly admitted to this tactic over on the other thread, so everyone can see what you're doing here.

What do they call a proven liar calling another person a liar, one who never lies? Answer? Micheal Topper, desperate, embarrassed fool where there's not enough room on the screen to print all the revisionist history and outright denials he's made over the things he has said. But as usual the pot calling the kettle is your last hope in any of these circumstances.

You're lucky I didn't go back and find one of your countless bonehead statements, for example...Lord owes his whole career to Emerson, which you did say and pathologically deny. The other lies and denials of things said were littered throughout the debates. You know..the ones where you either ran away, pleaded with me to leave you alone or took off from the forum after being embarrassed and barbequed. Those are all facts, not lies.

This latest plea for some respect is the usual twisting of one of your pathetic performances as you thought printing some of our emails was going to vindicate you in some way. LOL.....it did nothing of the sort and just showed what a wimpy, vindictive twit you can be, while all I said was sometimes when you tell a story it helps to magnify a point. It works I said, it's better for the story, makes it more interesting. So because I said you "always" go to Wikipedia (LOL.....uhhh, that was me magnifying the point) instead of once in a while you had a total nervous breakdown and started threatening to make up stories about me. Is that about it Topper ? Let's get it all out there so everyone, who didn't know already what a neurotic, insecure, scared little "man" you can be can see it again. Happy? Good, as long as I can help you and your endless phobias I've done something good. What was really hilarious is you thought it was some big deal. A few posts later this whole reprinting of things said on emails was a non story...in fact it never was a story. Only Topper crying like a 2 year old because he couldn't handle me saying that he goes to Wikipedia...and this was your way of "getting even". LOL...snore. Get over it pal. You lost another battle. Deal with it.

More Snore for the endlessly anal Topper and his inability to grasp the differences between the live Smoke and the studio Smoke. What do you want to hear buddy? The notes and chords, A Flat, C minor, E sharp in order to understand the differences? How 'bout just opening up those sterile, ignorant ears of yours and trying to deal with reality? Your little Camry is not the same as a Corvette. You can ask people to explain the difference but aren't you proving your ignorance by doing this?.....I mean more than usual? I'm sure Wiki has some Info on the Live smoke and the studio one. Try not to use all their bandwidth though, I hear people are complaining it's running real slow because you're on there 24/7.

Alex : "And I just let you mention ELP because if you don't nobody will."

Topper : Arguing over ELP's popularity/non-popularity these days relative to Deep Purple will not change the fact that the live jam on "Space Truckin'" sounds an awful lot like "Rondo". Period. But as long as you mention it, I'd rather have a "yawn-inducing impression post-1975" than a yawn-inducing impression post-1972 (ie. Purple).

I'd be more amazed and perplexed that in a forum full of "classic rock" enthusiasts that people are so uninspired and blase in their feelings toward ELP. For some reason they didn't touch that many souls around here. Maybe because they had so little soul compared to most other bands we talk about. Would that be fair....lol? I think so.

Oh and BTW I liked ELP's Pictures at an Exhibition. Yeah the one I used to hear was later in the 70's, long song but I believe less than 20 minutes. Not trying to down ELP, seriously...lol, I just remember that being sort of their last hurrah, after they had stop making albums..something like that. It might have been only Emerson, instead of ELP. No?
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