Deep Purple: Perfect Strangers Live

deep purpleDeep Purple
Perfect Strangers Live
(Thames Records)

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Nineteen Eighty-Four saw the reunion of Deep Purple “Mark 11” with members Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice releasing and touring the world with their album, Perfect Strangers. This two-disc set of a Melbourne, Australia concert from that time begins with an extended “Highway Star.” Ian Gillan’s scream is evident from the outset as is Ritchie Blackmore’s vibrato bar and organist Jon Lord’s amazing, dearly departed prowess as the album continues with two players strutting on “Strange Kind Of Woman.”

Jon Lord provides that easily recognizable opening to bassist Roger Glover, leading a full-chunk recreation of “Perfect Strangers.” It’s Lord and Glover who make the tune here and the first set ends with “Lazy,” seeing Blackmore wailing and Gillan playing harmonica all before a hard, tight Paice drum solo.

Disc 2 features great moments in its seven tunes. Gillan screams his way through “Child In Time,” Blackmore varies from pretty trilling to distortion during the instrumental, “Difficult To Cure,” and Lord provides a great piano, organ and synth solo before he joins Paice to begin “Space Truckin’.” Blackmore has better moments then his delineated solo spot here though and show ender “Smoke On the Water” is more interesting for its slow beginning than for its rather lackluster full-on read when the tune gets started.

Perfect Strangers Live is a two-disc document too long in coming of a classic tour from a classic band.

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