Deep Purple

Live in Paris 1975

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By early 1975, the flame was quickly fading out for the Ritchie Blackmore era of Deep Purple. Discontent with the overtly funk-based direction the group had recently embraced on such releases as Burn and Stormbringer, Blackmore's focus had shifted to launching a solo career. But the "Mark III" lineup of Purple certainly went out with a bang, as evidenced by the release of their last ever show together, Live in Paris 1975. Issued via the fan-operated label Purple Records (which specializes in, you guessed it, strictly Purple-related recordings), the album is an honest reflection of pre-punk/early-to-mid-'70s arena rock concerts. In other words, Live in Paris 1975 is a double-disc set, but only consists of nine songs total, as it is loaded with extended soloing that will test the patience of the average fan but will delight the hardcore Purple buff. Included are the expected Purple favorites: "Smoke on the Water" and "Space Truckin'," which stretch past 19 minutes and 21 minutes respectively in duration. Also featured are such latter-day standouts as "Stormbringer" and "Lady Double Dealer," which are included as much more streamlined renditions when compared to the aforementioned tracks. For those wanting to sample classic Purple on-stage, Made in Japan is still your best bet. But if you're looking for a live follow-up, Live in Paris 1975 is a worthy snapshot of David Coverdale-fronted Purple -- warts and all.

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