Sunday, February 22, 2009

DEEP PURPLE - This Time Around Live in Tokyo '75

Anyone who has ever heard the infamous album LAST CONCERT IN JAPAN must listen to this brand-new 2 CD set. It is a true eye-opener to hear this complete Deep Purple show, recorded with the Mark IV lineup including Tommy Bolin in Tokyo on December 15, 1975. Received wisdom has long held that Bolin's playing was severely hampered this evening due to a drug overdose or sleeping on his arm funny--take your pick. As a result (the story goes), he could only play basic chords while Jon Lord held down the sonic fort on a painfully abbreviated set list. Listening to LAST CONCERT IN JAPAN would seem to bear this out, but this new album shows that LCIJ was a heavily edited, at times misleading affair.
No, this is not a superior Purple performance, or even a great one. Still, the band played a full set that night, with a fairly frantic energy level and seemingly good spirits. Bolin played well enough that evening, although arguably his performance on the King Biscuit CD (recorded 2 months later) is better from a technical standpoint. His guitar is louder in the mix here than on LCIJ (and yes, he did actually play the main riff to "Burn"), and his solos are often quite exciting (especially on "Gettin' Tighter" and "I Need Love.") In fact, it can be argued that Bolin always sounded good on his own material from COME TASTE THE BAND, while the earlier Blackmore stuff was treated with a much more tentative hand. It doesn't help that Bolin had ostensibly no background in classical music, unlike Ritchie "I had classical training for a year when I was 11" Blackmore.
The others turn in decent performances for the most part. Paice is incapable of a bad night, it would seem; Lord never fails to impress; Hughes--although occasionally in need of a muzzle--is a vastly underrated bassist with a robust sound. Coverdale does not deliver one of his penultimate performances, but he carries a lot of conviction throughout, and his stage introductions are often a hoot. And no one will ever hear as many "Domo Arigato, Tokyo's" in one place ever again!
Other pluses include the packaging and the liner notes, although the latter seem to be missing a chunk of the story for the earlier parts of the 1975-76 tour.
-- by C. Clark

Cd 1
2.Lady Luck
3.Love Child
4.Gettin' Tighter
5.Smoke on The Water & Georgia On My Mind
6.Wild Dogs

Cd 2
1.I Need Love
2.Soldier Of Fortune
3.Jon Lord Solo
4.Lazy & Drum Solo
5.This Time Around
6.Owed To G
7.Tommy Bolin Guitar Solo
9.You Keep On Moving
11.Highway Star

..year - 2001
..label - Sanctuary Records - Amazon
..home page -

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