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Deep Purple: Perfect Strangers-Live (DVD)

Recorded in Melbourne, Australia back in 1984, Perfect Strangers -Live is the only full-length concert film of Deep Purple on that reunion tour in support of the reunion album Perfect Strangers. Long sought after by fans, this concert is now being released on DVD as well as CD by the fine folks at Eagle Rock, who once again have done a great job presenting an important live event for the serious rock collector. Featuring the classic line-up of Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Gillan, Ian Paice, and Roger Glover, these five were back together for the first time since 1973, and with a best selling album took to the road and played to hundreds of thousands of people across the globe.

The set list featured five songs from the Perfect Strangers, plus a host of Purple classics, and the band were in fine form and really seemed to be enjoying being around each other for the first time in 11 years. History showed that this was short lived however, as by the end of the tour and the recording of the follow-up album House of Blue Light those animosities between Blackmore & Gillan once again started to resurface, but that's a story for another day. Throughout this set, the band were all smiles and really seemed to enjoy sharing the stage with each other, with the singer & guitarist especially doing some fun call and response during "Strange King of Woman". The band is rock solid as always, really getting into newer tracks like "Gypsy's Kiss", "Nobody's Home", "Knocking at Your Back Door" and of course the title track, with the latter two both remaining in the set list even up to the current day. "Highway Star" is quite forceful, and the band rampage through a rather heavy & noisy "Space Truckin' ", complete with a rampaging Blackmore guitar solo. Good to hear Gillan screaming up a storm in "Child in Time", though to be honest there are some spots in this show where his voice seems to be starting to show the ravages of time. No doubt all the wailing during his years fronting Gillan as well as the tour with Black Sabbath just prior to the Purple reunion did not do wonders for his voice. For the most part though, it's vintage Gillan, and his between song banter with the audience is, as always, priceless. Throw in a crazy good "Difficult to Cure", a terrific instrumental that Blackmore & Glover played in Rainbow, killer solo spots from Lord & Paice, as well as charging versions of "Black Night", "Speed King", and of course "Smoke on the Water", and you have a very fine Deep Purple set from an important period in their history.

The picture quality isn't all that great in spots and a tad grainy, though in others it's pretty decent, so it makes for an inconsistent viewing at times, but given the rare source material, I guess that's to be expected. Audio however is very good, so if you have a decent home theater system, crank this one right up. There is a tour documentary included with interviews with some of the band members, as they talk about their history, coming back together, and the state of the music industry at that time. Some funny comments from them about the then growing hard rock & metal scene, as well as other styles of music that were popular in 1984. All in a all this is a must have for every Deep Purple fan.

Track Listing
1) Highway Star
2) Nobody's Home
3) Strange Kind Of Woman
4) A Gypsy s Kiss
5) Perfect Strangers
6) Under The Gun
7) Knocking At Your Back Door
8) Lazy (inc Ian Paice Drum Solo)
9) Child In Time
10) Difficult To Cure
11) Jon Lord Keyboard Solo
12) Space Truckin (in Ritchie Blackmore Guitar Solo)
13) Black Night
14) Speed King
15) Smoke On The Water

Added: October 20th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Hits: 2019
Language: english

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