Over the last couple of years, earMUSIC have released several live albums from Deep Purple – “Paris 1975”, “Copenhagen 1972”, “Stockholm 1970” and “Graz 1975”. Now the band’s show at Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, California, on July 30, 1971 is being released. The concert features the Mk II lineup of the band – Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice. The concert was broadcast on radio at the time but this is the first time it’s been officially available as an album, and the music has been re-mastered for this release.
The first thing that will strike most people is the track listing – just 4 songs. Generally four songs would be an EP, and certainly wouldn’t be enough for a live album, but this was recorded at a time when Deep Purple liked to jam and extend the songs rather than just playing the album versions. As a result the shortest song here is 11 minutes long, and the longest is 27 minutes, so those four songs add up to 71 minutes.
At the time of this concert the band had released “In rock” – a pivotal moment in their history as it moved them away from the 60s feel psychadelic rock and turned them into a hard rock band, so it’s no surprise that of the four songs performed, two of them are from that album (“Speed king” and “Child in time”). Alongside them, the band performed “Strange kind of woman”, which had only been released as a single at that time although it was included on the US version of “Fireball” which was released not long after this concert, and “Mandrake root” from their first album.
The first song comes as a bit of a shock at first – it doesn’t sound like a band kicking off a concert – it’s more like a band well into the set, but what a great start to a show. “Strange kind of woman” is one of my favourite Deep Purple songs and it includes a Gillan-Blackmore guitar vs vocals duel with Gillan’s high vocals matching the guitar parts from Blackmore before a long scream signified an end to the song. As the band move into
“Child in Time”, it’s Jon Lord the Hammond organ that is the centre of the sound along with Ian Gillan on vocals, but as the song progresses then Ritchie Blackmore’s superb guitar work competes for attention. The album ends with a massive 27 minute version of Mandrake root which gives all the band members time to shine.
It’s a great live album – Deep Purple at their best
“Long beach 1971” will be released on 26th May 2015
1. Speed King
2. Strange Kind Of Woman
3. Child In Time
4. Mandrake Root
All songs remastered in 2014