Review Summary: Europe just got owned by Japan.Deep Purple: A Retrospective
Episode XII: Made in Europe
Post-breakup, Deep Purple still released another live album, this time Made in Europe
instead of Made in Japan
. Though the band broke up in 1976 after the one album-lasting Mark IV, this second live album was recorded earlier with Mark III, in 1975, on the very last dates Ritchie Blackmore was still playing with them. Needless to say, this was obviously a nice cash-in for EMI.
Deep Purple Mk. III was:
- David Coverdale ~ Lead Vocals
- Richard Hugh Blackmore ~ Lead Guitar
- Glenn Hughes ~ Bass Guitar, Vocals
- Jon Douglas Lord ~ Keyboards
- Ian Anderson Pace ~ Drums
Solely due to its title, it is impossible not to compare the album to the great Made in Japan
. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this never equalled it, but Europe is an even less than good representation of live Deep Purple. Cash-ins are almost never great or excellent albums, and this is no exception. A mere 5 tracks from the Burn
albums (although spread over a length of 45 minutes), make for a not particularly satisfying collection of tracks. Mark III had, especially on Burn
, produced far more strong material, and although it cannot be said that the best have been left out, (as we get You Fool No One
, Lady Double Dealer
and the both the title tracks of their two studio outputs) the likes of Sail Away
and What’s Going on Here
counted among the line-up’s very best material. The absence of Mark II material is another dissapointment. It is always interesting to see a new interpretation, especially when there’s a new singer on the fold (or, in this case, singers). In short, extensive is not what EMI went for. Picking the 5 more or less most successful tracks was not the way to do it.
Perhaps a strong critic would once again refer to Made in Japan
, which also happened to have a rather small amount of tracks. But then again, there are a few rather large differences. First of all, Japan
had the humongous Child in Time
, and also featured interesting extensions of the original studio versions of its tracks. That doesn’t mean Europe
does not have extended songs. In fact, You Fool No One
runs at a stunning length of more than 16 minutes, instead of it original near 5. But then a problem arises. The improvisations on the previous live cuts were interesting, impressive, wondrous, pick your choice. Words that would be wisely chosen for the ones heard on this record are rather dull, generic or boring. Deep Purple, and especially Blackmore don’t sound like they’re going for it. No surprise there, because there must have been a reason why the guitarist chose to quit. His very last shows with the band are not likely to have been his best.
And next to the few amount of songs and boring improvisations, the worst of issues has not even been addressed. Deep Purple used to take such pride in the pure-hearted live performances on Japan
, which were left completely unedited. But then again, it was not really Deep Purple who released this, was it? EMI has been messing with these tracks, and that is beyond obvious. The crowd applause is partly added, the vocals do not sound anywhere near natural, and it’s pretty sure there were some overdubs in the instruments on top of it. Seeing all that, Made in Europe
is a very, very lacklustre live release.
The warning will probably not be of need, but leave this record on the shelf. Go for Made in Japan
, go for the Mark II and III studio records, but do not consider this. This is far under the level that is Deep Purple. Ye Be Warned.