Well for those of you out there who are into rock music but have yet to discover Deep Purple, this really ought to be your first port of call, quite simply one of the most insanely intense and breathtaking musical achievements ever recorded, this album showcases all of the combined talents of the most famous and sucessful version of what is essentially one of the most important and hugely influential rock bands ever during a set of three japanese gigs that they played back in 1972 and this album which was only originally intended to be a japan only release was quickly released over here in the uk to try and beat the bootleggers out there at their own game and in the process quickly became one of the most popular live albums of all time, but then after just one listen it should become rather apparent to you why that is, in this day and age it is genuinely accepted as rather normal for a rock band to release a live album but at the time when this was made back in 1972 very few acts had released a live album so this was a major gamble, so if you think about it for an album that came out about 35 years ago to still be regarded as an all time great should give you some idea as to how good an album this is and always was.
This is an album that hits you right from the start and continues to pummel your senses right til the end but with the inclusion of the three original encores that were not present on the original album you get an even better show for your money, though on the version I have the extra songs used for encores are on another disc and for some reason do not really seem particularly necessary to make this album better, in fact if i'm honest the original album on the first disc is so good that I rarely listen to the encores
As for the album itself it mostly consists of material from the truly brilliant machine head album, in fact 4 of the 7 tracks on the original version of made in japan were from this monster of an album which had just been released, but going back to the material on this album itself it consists mostly of what are considered purple classics, the opening number highway star is one of those instantly recognizable driving anthems that features heavily on rock radio stations and rock compilations, the next song child in time is a completely jaw dropping excersise in excess, ritchie blackmore plays what can only be described as a phenomenal guitar workout and ian gillan manages to scream his way through that song in a way that most rock singers would happily exchange their larynxes for, the next song smoke on the water is without doubt the most recognized guitar riff of them all and the song isn't bad either with a suitably decent solo as well, the next song the mule is a showcase for the drummer ian paice and shows how good a drummer he could be, the next song strange kind of woman is another regular radio played song and goes some way to showing how well gillan and blackmore could work together, the next song lazy is my personal favourite on the album and goes to show how well the band could jam together featuring some of the best individual performances of all and the last song space truckin is like one long 20 minute jam.
A special mention should go to jon lord and roger glover because they both play extremely brilliantly here as well, jon lord is one of the best keyboardists in the world and glover proves that he is a solid dependable bass player
Overall this is without doubt one of the all-time greatest live albums where musicianship is second to none and though not everyone likes live albums I think they would be fools to miss this one because it is still one of the albums most likely to change their minds