DEEP PURPLE LONG BEACH 1971 ALBUM REVIEW


Overseas series live series

This Long Beach 1971 concert when Purple supported The Faces was first broadcast on KUSC 91.5 FM, and has been a bootleg favourite ever since; Now it's been given an official release by earMusic. This is Deep Purple at their best - Their classic MK II line up of Gillan, Blackmore, Lord, Glover and Paice has never been bettered. The 4 track set comprised of Child In time and Speed King from Deep Purple In Rock, Strange Kind Of Woman from Fireball and Mandrake Root from their 1968 debut Shades Of Deep Purple.

An 11 minute version of Speed King holds nothing back as it aims to push through the audience like a hard rock Godzilla; and the band haven't even warmed up yet!. Lord and Blackmore have one of their famous musical head to heads while Paice keeps impecable time. Gillan too gets his chance to face off Blackmore with his high-pitched scat singing and vocal impersonation of a guitar during Strange Kind Of Woman. The song takes on new life in Gillan's introduction by informing us that the song was inspired by the 'extraordiary' relationship between a prostitute and a friend of theirs.

Child In Time has always been a Purple classic, but this is an exhausting 20 minute version with some fine improvisation from the late, great Jon Lord and Richie Blackmore letting rip on guitar and of course those heart wrenching screams by Gillan which have made this track so enduring.

If that wasn't enough a behemoth 27 minute version of Mandrake Root with some frenzied improvisation and syncopation from the band will blow your mind.

A year later the band would release Made In Japan, one of the best live albums of all time, and it's surprising how their technical precision has shifted between both live recordings. Of course the band give great performances on both, but the Long Beach recording has much more of a raw edge, whereas the Japan concert sees more of a finely tuned Purple and a cleaner sound. To say one is better than the other would be unfair – they are just different, and none the less important in the Deep Purple legacy.


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