Deep Purple

New Live & Rare: The Bootleg Series 1984-2000

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Spanning 12 discs and 113 songs, New Live & Rare follows Deep Purple's live performances from 1984 to 2000. Taken from six different bootlegs, the album features virtually all the band's biggest hits numerous times. The different lineups still all sound like the original band, although some of the '80s lineups did cheese up the songs a little. Still, these feature original singer Ian Gillan and keyboardist Jon Lord, two of the three most important parts of the band's sound. Guitarist Richie Blackmore only appears towards the beginning of the discs, but after a certain point he had left the group to pursue other projects. Sadly enough, there really is not too much of a difference between his replacements and his own sound. But with or without him, the band sounds surprisingly alive and energetic, really putting a lot of effort and care into these performances. The sound quality is pretty awful in some spots (these songs really are taken from bootlegs), but the performances actually draw the listener's attention away from the shoddy sound in many different spots. Fans of the band are probably the only ones interested in this massive collection, and they should know that this is an excellent collection of live performances that only really suffers from length and sound quality. But any adventurous (and financially secure) rock listeners may want to give this a listen. It really captures a band who does not need the spotlight to give their all live.

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