Deep Purple – Made In Japan (1973)

AllMusic Review: Recorded over three nights in August 1972, Deep Purple’s Made in Japan was the record that brought the band to headliner status in the U.S. and elsewhere, and it remains a landmark in the history of heavy metal music. Since reorganizing with singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover in 1969, Deep Purple had recorded three important albums — Deep Purple in Rock, Fireball, and Machine Head — and used the material to build a fierce live show. Made in Japan, its selections drawn from those albums, documented that show, in which songs were drawn out to ten and even nearly 20 minutes with no less intensity, as guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and organist Jon Lord soloed extensively and Gillan sang in a screech that became the envy of all metal bands to follow. The signature song, of course, was “Smoke on the Water,” with its memorable riff, which went on to become an American hit single. But those extended workouts, particularly the moody “Child in Time,” with Gillan’s haunting falsetto wail and Blackmore’s amazingly fast playing, and “Space Truckin’,” with Lord’s organ effects, maintained the onslaught, making this a definitive treatment of the band’s catalog and its most impressive album. By stretching out and going to extremes, Deep Purple pushed its music into the kind of deliberate excess that made heavy metal what it became, and their audience recognized the breakthrough, propelling the original double LP into the U.S. Top Ten and sales over a million copies. — William Ruhlmann

Track Listing

Side one
No. Title Recording date and location Length
1. “Highway Star” Osaka on 16 August 6:52
2. “Child in Time” Osaka on 16 August 12:25
Side two
No. Title Length
3. “Smoke on the Water” Osaka on 15 August 7:32
4. “The Mule” Tokyo on 17 August 9:50
Side three
No. Title Length
5. “Strange Kind of Woman” Osaka on 16 August 9:36
6. “Lazy” Tokyo on 17 August 10:51
Side four
No. Title Length
7. “Space Truckin'” Osaka on 16 August 19:42

 

Schill Score:  9/10

 

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Deep Purple – Machine Head (1972)

AllMusic Review: Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, and Deep Purple’s Machine Head have stood the test of time as the Holy Trinity of English hard rock and heavy metal, serving as the fundamental blueprints followed by virtually every heavy rock & roll band since the early ’70s. And, though it is probably the least celebrated of the three, Machine Head contains the “mother of all guitar riffs” — and one of the first learned by every beginning guitarist — in “Smoke on the Water.” Inspired by real-life events in Montreux, Switzerland, where Deep Purple were recording the album when the Montreux Casino was burned to the ground during a Frank Zappa concert, neither the song, nor its timeless riff, should need any further description. However, Machine Head was anything but a one-trick pony, introducing the bona fide classic opener “Highway Star,” which epitomized all of Deep Purple’s intensity and versatility while featuring perhaps the greatest soloing duel ever between guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and organist Jon Lord. Also in top form was singer Ian Gillan, who crooned and exploded with amazing power and range throughout to establish himself once and for all as one of the finest voices of his generation, bar none. Yes, the plodding shuffle of “Maybe I’m a Leo” shows some signs of age, but punchy singles “Pictures of Home” and “Never Before” remain as vital as ever, displaying Purple at their melodic best. And finally, the spectacular “Space Truckin'” drove Machine Head home with yet another tremendous Blackmore riff, providing a fitting conclusion to one of the essential hard rock albums of all time. — Eduardo Rivadavia

Track Listing

Side one
No. Title Length
1. “Highway Star” 6:05
2. “Maybe I’m a Leo” 4:51
3. “Pictures of Home” 5:03
4. “Never Before” 3:56
Side two
No. Title Length
1. “Smoke on the Water” 5:40
2. “Lazy” 7:19
3. “Space Truckin'” 4:31

 

Schill Score:  10/10

 

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Deep Purple – In Rock (1970)

AllMusic Review: After satisfying all of their classical music kinks with keyboard player Jon Lord’s overblown Concerto for Group and Orchestra, Deep Purple’s soon to be classic Mark II version made its proper debut and established the sonic blueprint that would immortalize this lineup of the band on 1970’s awesome In Rock. The cacophony of sound (spearheaded by Ritchie Blackmore’s blistering guitar solo) introducing opener “Speed King” made it immediately obvious that the band was no longer fooling around, but the slightly less intense “Bloodsucker” did afford stunned listeners a chance to catch their breaths before the band launched into the album’s epic, ten-minute tour de force, “Child in Time.” In what still stands as arguably his single greatest performance, singer Ian Gillan led his bandmates on a series of hypnotizing crescendos, from the song’s gentle beginning through to its ear-shattering climax and then back again for an even more intense encore that brought the original vinyl album’s seismic first side to a close. Side two opened with the searing power chords of “Flight of the Rat” — another example of the band’s new take-no-prisoners hard rock stance, though at nearly eight minutes, it too found room for some extended soloing from Blackmore and Lord. Next, “Into the Fire” and “Living Wreck” proved more concise but equally appealing, and though closer “Hard Lovin’ Man” finally saw the new-look Deep Purple waffling on a bit too long before descending into feedback, the die was cast for one of heavy metal’s defining albums. — Eduardo Rivadavia

Track Listing:

Side one
No. Title Length
1. “Speed King” 5:49
2. “Bloodsucker” 4:10
3. “Child in Time” 10:14
Side two
No. Title Length
1. “Flight of the Rat” 7:51
2. “Into the Fire” 3:28
3. “Living Wreck” 4:27
4. “Hard Lovin’ Man” 7:11

 

Schill Score: 9/10

 

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