A Fire In The Sky
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The three-disc version of A FIRE IN THE SKY dives even deeper into Purple's past with 40 songs and includes at least one track from every studio album through Now What?!. It also provides the ultimate showcase for the group's various incarnations through the years. To date, more than a dozen musicians have appeared on a Deep Purple album.
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This collection provides an overview of the bands entire career trying to highlight material from every decade of activity. The problem comes with the newer material which is on disc one. Its either hit or miss in comparison to the material on disc two and three. There are some great tracks from the recent incarnation of the band but they pale in comparison to the Mark II era. They also could have cut some of the tracks at the end of disc three. If they did this and included perhaps a few more (one to two) songs each from Deep Purple in Rock, Fireball, and Machine head this collection would be perfect.
In terms of sound everything is good here. You will get the most recent remastered versions and they are not brickwalled which is a plus.
Overall it is a good set but could have been better with some omissions from later and early day purple and some additions from the classic Mark II era. Inclusions of classic tracks like Flight of the Rat, Hard Lovin' Man, The Mule, Fools, Picture of Home and Lazy would have made this more of an epic collection and given first timers a more full representation of the group at their peak in the early 70s.
It is recommended that if you really like this collection to go out and pick up remastered editions of Deep Purple in Rock, Fireball, Machine Head and Made in Japan.
One star subtracted, though, for using chintzy cardboard packaging, instead of a plastic jewel case, which will hold up MUCH better. Removing/replacing CDs with a cardboard pocket only leads to scratches and tearing of pockets!
Anything to save a few pennies, I suppose.