Two discs. Two hours. Seven songs. It's Deep Purple, captured live at the point where they were stretching infant hard rock to its breaking point with l-o-n-g guitar and keyboard solos (and on "Paint It Black," an Ian Paice drum solo as well). The sheer length of some of these workouts is astonishing: "Wring That Neck" and "Mandrake Root" both last about a half-hour each, while "Child in Time" makes it to nearly 20 minutes. Even the encore of their huge British single "Black Night" takes seven minutes. As radical as this early hard rock-into-metal might have been in the extremity of these live improvisations, it doesn't make for sustained interesting listening, not unless you treasure whatever notes Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord maul out of their instruments. If you've a jones for this era and sound, however, the sound quality is good, and the vibe very representative of the time Deep Purple plunged all-out into heavy hard rock. The 2005 issue of this on the Purple label has a 12-page booklet of detailed liner notes about both the record and what Deep Purple were generally up to as a band during this period.
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Review by Richie Unterberger