To the casual fan, it's understandable to assume that the Purple lineup comprised of Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Roger Glover, Jon Lord, and Ian Paice was the original, but it was Purple's best-known one, thanks to penning quite a few all-time rock anthems. However, it was not the original. When Purple started out in the late 1960s, it featured singer Rod Evans and bassist Nick Simper (in place of the spots Gillan and Glover would eventually occupy), and was much more of a psychedelic pop act, as evidenced by the lineup's hit, "Hush." And it's this version of Purple that is spotlighted throughout the concert set Live at Inglewood 1968. Riding high from the chart success of "Hush," what better tune to kick things off with than with a rendition of this very track. The vast majority of the tunes here are covers of other groups (including "Kentucky Woman," "Help," "Hey Joe," and "River Deep Mountain High"), and Purple borrows a page from the Vanilla Fudge handbook by completely reworking these covers to the point of not sounding like the original versions. Also featured are a pair of originals, "Mandrake Root" and "Wring That Neck," which would serve as early Purple concert standouts (before the likes of "Highway Star" and "Smoke on the Water" came along). The sound quality may not be as clean and clear as other Purple live albums from over the years, but as a live document of an era that is often skipped over or forgotten in Deep Purple's timeline, Live at Inglewood 1968 will be of interest to die-hard Purple fanatics.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato