Recorded by the BBC at the Gaumont State Theatre in Kilburn, London on May 22, 1974, Live on London is an early performance by the then brand new Mk III line-up of Deep Purple, featuring founding members Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice, and newcomers Glenn Hughes & David Coverdale. Though there have been numerous releases featuring this version of Deep Purple (Made in Europe being the major release, documenting this line-up just as Blackmore was set to leave), Live in London is surely one of the best, showing a band that was firing on all cylinders and totally invigorated by the new blood added to the band. Hot on the heels of their Burn release, the band tears into a few from that album and two very familiar Purple classics.
Coverdale & Hughes are both in fine form vocally (Hughes goes less into full scream mode here as he did way too often on subsequent tours when he was full bore into his drug addiction), and the band musically is on fire. "Burn" rips from start to finish (one of hard rocks greatest anthems), and Blackmore & Coverdale showcase their skills to perfection on their lengthy blues classic "Mistreated". Great to hear the two heavy & funky rockers "Might Just Take Your Life" and "Lay Down Stay Down", a pair of gems also from Burn. The band does a good job on the legendary "Smoke on the Water", and this is perhaps the best Coverdale & Hughes have ever sounded on a MkII song on any live recordings from this era. Blackmore unleashes a sizzling solo to go along with the classic riff. Over on disc 2, you get two extremely lengthy pieces, "You Fool No One" from Burn and the 30+ minute version of the classic "Space Truckin' ", which back then was a great vehicle for the band to launch into lengthy jams. "You Fool No One" is groove laden and funky here, with a scorching Blackmore solo as well as a fine solo spot for Paice and loads of Lord Hammond organ. While parts of "Space Truckin' " are highly enjoyable, for the most part it's way too long, and Hughes rambles on endlessly with some funk bass slapping and scat singing.
This Eagle Rock reissue comes with a great booklet chock full of info & photos, making for a spectacular addition to this already fine vintage live concert. If you thought Made in Japan and Made in Europe were the be all end all of live Deep Purple from the 70's, you are really missing out on something quite special here.
1. Burn 7:46
2. Might Just Take Your Life 5:17
3. Lay Down, Stay Down 5:29
4. Mistreated 15:28
5. Smoke On The Water 9:14
1. You Fool No One 20:23
2. Space Truckin' 31:03