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Image Entertainment presents
Deep Purple In Concert With The London Symphony Orchestra (1999)

"We all came out to Montreaux, on the Lake Geneva shoreline."
- Ian Gillan (from Smoke On The Water)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: September 07, 2000

Stars: Jon Lord, Ian Paice, Roger Glover, Steve Morse, Ian Gillan, Paul Mann
Other Stars: Miller Anderson, Sam Brown, Ronnie James Dio, Steve Morse Band, Graham Presket, Eddie Hardin, The Kick Horns
Director: Anthony Powell

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: G
Run Time: 01h:59m:28s
Release Date: August 15, 2000
UPC: 014381961027
Genre: rock


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A A+A-A C

DVD Review

Little did they know when they chronicled the events surrounding the recording of their latest album Machine Head in December of 1971 that they were creating one of the most recognizable hard rock anthems of all time. The song told the story of a fire at the Casino in Montreaux, the place the band had booked to record their LP using the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio. During a Frank Zappa concert the day before they were to commence recording, an audience member fired a flare gun at the ceiling, which started a fire that would burn the Casino to the ground. From this experience came the song most associated with Deep Purple—Smoke On The Water.

Deep Purple Mk II - Jon Lord (Organ, keyboards), Ian Paice (Drums), Roger Glover (Bass), Ian Gillan (Vocals) and Ritchie Blackmore (Guitar), established a sound that would push hard rock into the 1970's. With Machine Head, their 6th studio album, Deep Purple were propelled to the forefront of the "heavy metal" movement alongside fellow Englanders Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. 16 albums, 7 different lineups and over 30 years later, Deep Purple (Mk VII) returns to the stage with Dixie Dregs alumnist Steve Morse on guitar, in concert with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Paul Mann.

The performance is in three parts, the first being a set of Jon Lord compositions performed by Lord and the orchestra. The opener, Pictured Within, features guest vocalist Miller Anderson. Wait A While follows with vocals by Sam Brown. Ronnie James Dio fronts the next two numbers, Sitting In A Dream and Love Is All, which the remainder of Deep Purple (sans Ian Gillan) also perform on. We also get a unique version of the Purple classic, Wring That Neck with Ian Paice accompanied by The Kick Horns.

The center piece of this concert is the restored Concerto for Group and Orchestra, performed in three movements. In September 1969, the newly formed Deep Purple Mk II performed Jon Lord's Concerto for Group and Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Malcolm Arnold. The show was recorded for release on LP and also aired as a BBC television special. In the years following that performance, the original manuscript disappeared and was feared lost for good. Danish composer Marco de Goeji painstakingly rescored the work using the video and recordings as reference, and the result was a completed score that Lord revamped for this performance, some 30 years later, to the day. The first movement consists of the group and orchestra playing separately, in alternating sections. The middle section adds Ian Gillan's vocals with the entire ensemble, and the third movement continues with members of both the group and orchestra having time for solo features.

The final part of the concert features the full band performing pieces from the two Mk VII albums, Perpendicular (Ted the Mechanic, Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming) and Abandon (Watching The Sky), followed by Pictures Of Home (Machine Head). No Deep Purple concert would be complete without their trademark Smoke On The Water as you've never heard it before, complete with the Steve Morse Band and Ronnie James Dio doubling on vocals.

All in all this is an incredible performance, though I would caution those looking for a concert of typical Deep Purple style that this is not a big rock 'n' roll show for the most part. What we have is a merging of mediums, closer to classical than hard rock, with the Deep Purple sound augmenting a full orchestra, not the other way around. The final set is closer to tradition, but the accompanyment of the orchestra adds a new dimension to one of rock's most legendary bands.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The full frame video looks extremely good, with rich color, solid blacks and no other anomalies other than a few aliasing incidents, which is all that is pulling the marks down. The image is clear and detailed, overall this disc looks fantastic. The layer change however was quite noticable on the review copy.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: The 5.1 track is clear, full range, and thoroughly enveloping. Because this was recorded live, there are sections where the ambient noise level is fairly audible, but that is to be expected with the number of open mics used during the show. The Prologic track by comparison feels very small and front oriented, with far less ambience.

Audio Transfer Grade: A

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Music/Song Access with 13 cues and remote access
Packaging: Snapper
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL
Layers Switch: 01h:07m:09s

Extra Extras:
  1. Overview and history of the Concerto for Group and Orchestra by Jon Lord
Extras Review: The only extra is a series of text screens giving the history and thoughts behind the Concerto by its author, organist/keyboardist Jon Lord. Calling on quotes from its original performance, and detailing the efforts made to salvage the work from oblivion, this gives a nice insight into the center piece of this recording.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

For those looking to relive Deep Purple's hard rock shows of the 1970's, this is not the disc for you. It is however a great and unique performance, delivered on a great quality disc. It is not often you'll see one of rock's most legendary bands performing with a full orchestra. This one is recommended.

 


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