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Deep Purple

MK III The Final Concert

Review by Greg Olma

Eagle Records is certainly making Christmas come early this year.  I reviewed another live show released just recently by the Mk 3 lineup and here is another one.  While Live In London was from the Burn tour, this concert is from the Stormbringer tour.  The recording quality of this release is quite good and it makes for a great concert experience.  What makes this special to me is that even when the band was about to break from Ritchie Blackmore, they still put on powerful shows.  Whether you like the material or not, you have to give the band credit for giving it their all even when one of their members was basically “gone.” I happen to like the Mk 3 material so this CD is a great representation of where Deep Purple was in 1975.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Burn

There is a strange almost subtle intro to this track but once it kicks in, watch out.  This is a Deep Purple tour de force and this is yet another great live version of the song.

Stormbringer

David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes put in a great performance on this tune.  This version is a little rawer than what you might have heard on the Stormbringer album but that is the beauty of Deep Purple live.  All of the studio polish is wiped clean and what you get is the raw excitement of the music.

Gypsy

The actual title is “The Gypsy” and it is off Stormbringer.  This version is similar to the studio track but like most Deep Purple tunes, it is much better live.  There is a raw edge to the material here and this song is a great example of that.

Lady Double Dealer

We get another great tune from Stormbringer.  This one seems a little more frantic than the studio version but that is what you get in a live setting.  Considering Blackmore didn’t really like this song or the album from whence it came, he still puts on a great performance.

Mistreated

I thought the version on Live in London was better but even on a bad day, Deep Purple were better than most.  This is one of those tracks that is like snowflakes; no two versions are ever the same.

Smoke On The Water

Blackmore does a weird little intro to this old classic.  I stand by my statement that Ian Gillan is really the only person allowed to sing this song.  While Coverdale and Hughes do a good job, it’s just not the same. 

You Fool No One

Everyone talks about Machine Head but I think Burn is right up there with that classic album.  The band do a great job on this one and the recording makes you wish you were there to see the magic live.  Blackmore knew he was going by the time of this recording but he still managed to pull off some great solos.

Disc 2
Space Truckin’
Here we get another long version of this Purple classic.  I like this tune but live they drag it out. While that might be great seeing it in person, it doesn’t translate very well to just audio. 
Going Down / Highway Star (Bonus Track)

I’m not one of these people who thinks Gillan is the only singer for Deep Purple but certain songs just don’t sound right without his vocals.  Coverdale and Hughes are great vocalists but those tracks were made for that high pitched wail from Gillan and they just sound off when you put more soulful vocals on them.  Blackmore and Jon Lord try to keep things going but it’s just not the same.  The sound quality of the recoding is good but there are better versions out there, especially with Gillan on vocals.

Mistreated (Alternate Version)

I think that they are trying to give value for money but there was no real reason to put another version of “Mistreated” on this set.  That being said, it is still a great version and like I mentioned earlier, it does have it slight variations so it is not exactly the same as the rendition on disc one.

You Fool No One (Alternate Version)

Again, like the track before, it’s nice that we are getting something extra but it’s just another version of a song on disc one.  It’s a good recording and the band plays well but the difference between the two is minimal.

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