The first made-for-compact disc Deep Purple collection, Anthology still offers a satisfying, extended glimpse at the seminal English hard rockers without the extra fat (meaning the rare outtakes) of the comprehensive Shades quadruple box set. And despite Anthology's mid-70's cutoff date (all material from the '80s and '90s albums by the re-formed Mark II lineup, and various incarnations thereof are ignored) surprisingly little essential material is omitted from this set. Five tracks from the mostly forgotten Mark I lineup make the cut, including the group's first charting single "Hush," but are quickly and summarily eclipsed by the arrival of Gillan & Glover on such timeless classics as "Black Night," "Child in Time," "Strange Kind of Woman," "Highway Star," etc. Curiously, the ubiquitous "Smoke on the Water" is featured here in its Made in Japan live version, rather than the studio original -- a decision which may upset some consumers. Finally, ten mostly well-picked examples of the David Coverdale-fronted Mark III formation bring the set to a close; with special kudos going to a monstrous 12-minute live rendition of the classic "Mistreated."
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AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2