Album Review: Deep Purple 'Long Beach 1971'
Tue, 26 May 2015 11:29:36
Witness the raw power of one of England's most enduring and important bands.
Deep Purple really could put on quite a show, and that's what their latest live album, Long Beach 1971 [earMUSIC], continually illuminates over the course of 71 minutes and four songs. That's right, this sucker is just four. It was quite a show for the group—Ritchie Blackmore [guitar], Ian Gillan [vocals], Roger Glover [bass], Jon Lord [organs/keyboards], and Ian Paice [drums]. The gig got a live broadcast on the radio [KUSC 91.5FM], and it saw them open up for none other than Rod Stewart who you millennials will know from his new track with A$AP Rocky, (my how times have changed) and The Faces. When you think of the quartet, what comes to mind? Well, any rock fan's instantly going to say "Smoke on the Water" and the Machine Head album. However, the band's most fiery era happened before that 1972 record even hit shelves as evinced by this fateful evening July 30, 1971 at the Long Beach Arena. It's a milestone for rock music.
The recording of Long Beach 1971 captures the ere of the seventies with a ruddy low end and fuzzed out cackle. It adds to the charm of this live collection, ultimately making you feel as if you were in the crowd. It's almost as if the incense, cigarette, beer, and weed smell filters through the speakers too with the din of guitars and keys. Whether it's Jon Lord's epic organ passage entwining with Blackmore's deft fretwork on "Speed King" or the 27-minute head trip that is "Mandrake Root," the foundation of progressive rock and modern heavy metal is built within the framework of Deep Purple's psychedelically potent and intensely powerful jamming. Blackmore can roll from a slamming blues-inflected riff into a mind-blowing solo with ease while Gillan's voice reaches utterly heavenly heights during "Strange Kind of Woman."