Yet another in a long list of '90s Deep Purple compilations, Child in Time offers music that is neither rare nor particularly important. Sure, four awesome songs from Perfect Strangers are included -- which isn't entirely insignificant, as the 1984 smash LP ranks with Machine Head as one the group's finest achievements. The rest of the Child in Time track list includes five numbers from House of Blue Light and four live versions of classics like "Highway Star" and "Woman From Tokyo" culled from Nobody's Perfect. Why not include some live cuts that haven't already appeared on a major release? Why not compile the best songs from Deep Purple's entire post-1984 catalog? Perhaps the answers to questions like these have more to do with contractual agreements between the constantly feuding bandmembers. Ultimately, no amount of hand-wringing can make sense out a questionable disc like Child in Time. The material is good, but even casual fans of the group should already own Perfect Strangers, thereby making a full third of this CD redundant. Any newcomers are advised to pick up Machine Head and Perfect Strangers before purchasing anything else from Deep Purple, including this very questionable 1998 offering.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Anderson