Tuesday, February 10, 2015
DEEP PURPLE: "Long Beach 1971"
Label: earMUSIC/Edel 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
Blimey. You've got to hand it to the folks of earmusic, not only are they releasing Deep Purple records, but they are truly dedicated as well as determined to re-release all the obscure seventies live recordings of the band? "Long Beach 1971", up next in their official DP (overseas) live series and it's well over 70 minutes of music, but only four tracks? Bloody 'ell. Blackmore, Gillan, Glover, Lord and Paice - doing their stuff on stage which included extended jam versions of 'Speed King', 'Strange Kind Of Woman', 'Child In Time' and 'Mandrake Root'. The album has a ballsy live feel, not too many smothering effects or overdubs, leaving the overall 70's sound, raw, and nice with the remastering touch of course. Recorded at Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, California, on July 30, 1971, it was broadcast on radio (KUSC 91.5 FM), a showcase for a support performance to Rod Stewart and The Faces.
I'm not entirely sure it's because of the magical use of that darn plant (Mandrake Root). However, the song goes through several different stages of the mellow-yellow and it's just too much in the long run. It takes approx: 30 minutes to do and it's actually a quite similar output and version to the old Scandinavian Nights boot and show (re-released as Live in Stockholm 1970 by earmusic).
Gillan, way upfront in the mix as they start to jam on opener "Speed King" as soon as possible really. Lord do the ebony and ivory dance and Blackmore add a note or two while Paice is slamming in the background. I can't say that I enjoy the endless shuffling, soloing, and improves. Not to mention that Gillan scream and shout like a drunken sailor most of the time. "Strange Kind Of Woman", a lot better and more cohesive. Blackmore's extended solo part make sense and it's fun to hear Gillan mimic the notes. "Child In Time", classic rock and 20 minutes of Purple at their very best and the colourful display of Jon Lord's handy work. That's pretty much it people. Four tracks in 70 minutes. Let's just say that I'm not a huge fan of this massive overdose of improvisation. But you're in for a treat if you enjoy jam on your toast.