'Deep Purple - Live in California 74'
(Deep Purple / DVD / NR / (1974) 2006 / Eagle Rock Ent.)
Overview: Deep Purple were the biggest selling album act in America when they embarked on a 28 date tour promoting their new album "Burn". The undoubted climax of this tour was headlining the California Jam Festival at Ontario Speedway in California, in front of 200,000 people. Their explosive set is presented here on DVD for the first time. The set list includes tracks from "Burn", as well as classics like "Space Truckin’" and "Smoke On The Water".
VHS Verdict: I just recently got handed this to review and now after a series of numerous viewings, I feel that I can comment on it now. First off, I am a huge DEEP PURPLE fan. As line-ups go, I liked the Mark III line up. Except for Glenn Hughes' high pitched shrieks. I am surprised that someone like Ritchie did not tell him to knock that part of his act off. He has a great singing voice and is very good on the Bass guitar. But those screams of his are just horrible. California Jam was a huge event and a mile stone for Deep Purple. Seeing them on ABC television when I was a young kid, is what got me into Purple and Rock music. So this is a very nostalgic concert for Me. They were at the top of there game for this show. The sound quality is great for most of the DVD. There are a few spots, during Mistreated that Blackmore's guitar is low in the mix, during his soft Cello style part of the song. The picture quality is pretty good, but it is not as clear and crisp as I was hoping for it to be. I've played the disk on three different DVD players, and its the same on all three. The opener is just a blistering rendition of "Burn", one of my all time favorite Rock tunes by anyone. "Might just take your life", is a great song, mostly because of Jon Lord's contribution to the track. Some really great funky hammond organ work. "Lay down stay down". Is another good song, and I liked finally seeing this done live. Its a good live track. "Mistreated", is a very good song, featuring Ritchie Blackmore, and I agree with the Narraters views on Rithchies playing at this point of his time in Purple. By the way the commentary part of this DVD, is great. Just as it is in the live 72/73 DVD, featuring the Mark II line up. If you have not bought that DVD, trust Me, you should go out and get it immediately. Now to my favorite Mark III song, and one of the best Purple songs ever, in my opinion. "You fool no One", is just a tour de force, for the three main soloist. JON, Ian Paice, and Ritchie. This is just a fantastic live song, that is classic purple. Very powerful, with musical virtuousity. And the vocal harmonies by David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes are just great. Finally the show closer, that almost got Ritchie Blackmore arrested, and Purple banned from playing in the Usa ever again, "Space Truckin" This is another great live jam song, with tons of musicianship. The sounds that Jon Lord and Ritchie Blackmore come up with, are just so cool. I have always loved Blackmore's arabian style influences, and they are very noticeable on his solo here. Finally at the end he goes crazy, smashes his guitar, into the camera, repeatedly, has his roady, the late Ron Quinton, set his amplifiers on fire, they explode twice, singeing Ritchies hair. He then drags off and throws over the stage numerous bits of sound geer. All the while the others keep playing, with Jon coming up with some really cool stuff on the synthesizers. I highly recommend this DVD. If you are a Mark III fan, its a must have. And if you just like great classic hard rock from those heady days of the early to mid 70's its also a must have as well. Thanks for listening. And by the way, if you don't know it. The band is still around, and still making great music. They are also a great live act, still. Check out 96's 'Purpendicular,' and last years 'Rapture of the Deep.' Two great CD's.