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It took a long time for Purple to put out a live record, but when they finally did, it proved they were the greatest heavy metal band on stage. The time was right, after the crushing success of “Machine Head”, their most ambitious record by that time. The place was right as well, a far foreign land that back then wasn’t that popular to go on tour as nowadays. Purple were the first to conquer the enthusiastic Japanese audience with their spectacular live shows. Kiss, Scorpions, Judas Priest, Queen and the rest came afterwards. These guys stage performances were already incredible before this live recording was released, but it captured the magic and brilliance of the band at its best for the enjoyment of fans worldwide.
This double live LP features the highlights from 3 immense shows: 17th August in Tokyo, 15th and 16th of that same month in Osaka, 1972. 3 Amazing shows with Deep Purple unleashed, incredibly inspired on each number. The stunning energy and passion of these live versions is far superior to the studio originals, much faster, intense and heavy. The epic opening track “Highway Star” or the classic “Smoke On The Water”, for instance, are totally raw, devastating, featuring those abrasive raging riffs of Blackmore completely insatiable, shredding like mad. The aggression and violence of these tunes increased on stage, the band sounds completely motivated and furious, much more than in the studio. This albums demonstrates Deep Purple have always been a live band, they don’t need studio tricks and stupidities in their music, no overdubs, just honesty and brilliance, proving their true potential in front of their fans. Tracks like “Child In Time” or “Lazy” are an exhibition of that outstanding talent, superior virtuosism and creativity, with those extended instrumental passages you won’t find in their studio LPs, those endless improvised jams plenty of technique and exquisite musicianship. An absolutely unpredictable set-list of renewed classics that give the chance to every band member to demonstrate their abilities. Gillan’s finest vocal work ever and most astonishing screaming display can be found on “Strange Kind Of Woman”, which still nowadays sounds so wild. “The Mule” as well, with that lengthy skilled impressive drum solo of Paice going crazy is pure art and delight. And “Space Truckin’” offers the best finale possible, the epitome of 70’s heavy metal instrumental supremacy in 20 minutes of total catharsis, complexity and improvisation.
Deep Purple definitely refused completely to follow their studio material patterns, each cut here with no exception features alternative arrangements and a bunch of modified structures that haven’t much to do with what we heard before. The improvised extensive instrumental sequences are numerous, properly executed and constructed, consistent and based on totally elaborated musical bases. The technique and magnificent skills of each member make this perfection possible, we got here a completely professional line-up. I must highlight the excellent work of Blackmore and Lord, leading the pack in total synchronization. Both demonstrate their huge potential during these vibrant shows, and an exquisite classical/baroque music influence that makes this stuff reach another level. The way they execute their respective lines is plenty of grace, discipline and sophistication. However, these live tunes are far from inoffensive, cheesy or excessively melodic and clean. Pure aggression and strength, frantic speed (like on the opening track, particularly) and massive riffing is what you will find here mostly, the definition of heavy metal. Back then, nobody did it that fast, harsh and loose! I must insist on the total control of these guys on their technique, their speed, making their music sound lethal and rough but, at the same time, focused, far from chaotic. Virtuosism and grace are splendorous in one of the most influential live albums ever. This stuff inspired notably young musicians of the late 70’s NWOBHM (Blitzkrieg, Aragorn, Venom, etc.), also later groups like Overkill, Metal Church or Wargasm. Generation after generation, “Made In Japan” still sounds so fresh, challenging and brutal in its own way. You won’t find anything like this nowadays, that unique magic and sound of the 70’s was one of those things that could only happen once in life.
Essential, legendary and extraordinary. A masterpiece from the true 70’s heavy metal pioneers, an honest performance without traps or cheats. Still Purple don’t get the credits they deserve for their contribution to the metal genre. They were playing speed metal already back in 1971 on the “Fireball” album title-track, and with this live record they set the rules of what heavy metal was all about. Technique, aggression, dynamic tempos, huge riffs and screaming vocals, their distinctive music elements moved away from the generic bluesy trends of the decade to make a big difference. This would be the first of an extensive live discography catalog. And this first one is still the deepest.