Though it packs slightly less of an impact than the actual video of this event, Deep Purple's appearance at the 1974 California Jam was a milestone concert for the band in any shape or form. The first MAJOR unveiling in the US of the new line-up featuring vocalist David Coverdale and bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes at the massive festival in front of over 200,000 people (co-headlining with ELP) was a really big event, and showed this new Mark III version of the band in thunderous form playing new tracks off the then new album Burn as well as a few old favorites.
Coverdale & Hughes proved to be a potent vocal combination, and this show sees them at the height of their powers together. Though this festival was at the tail end of their short North American tour in support of Burn, it was billed as a major appearance for the band and no doubt exposed them to many fans on the West Coast who had yet to see this new line-up. New songs like "Burn", "Might Just Take Your Life", and "Lay Down, Stay Down", mix heavy rock with a little funk, the dual vocal attack adding a new dimension to the bands sound. The core of Deep Purple however, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, and Ian Paice, continue to drive the group. Blackmore's guitar pyrotechnics on "You Fool No One" just kill, and his searing blues licks alongside Coverdale's soulful pipes on "Mistreated" are a thing of beauty. "Smoke on the Water" is solid, though perhaps missing Ian Gillan's touch, and the monolithic "Space Truckin' " is high energy hard rock, complete with solos and destruction. Unfortunately, just having the audio we miss out on Blackmore's devastating video camera attack and subsequent guitar & amplifier smash-up, but hey, if you have the DVD, you've already seen it.
This is high energy, hard rocking Deep Purple, and one of the better live documents available of the Mark III line-up. Thank you Eagle Rock for getting this one out there in CD format!
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
2) Might Just Take Your Life
3) Lay Down, Stay Down
5) Smoke on the Water
6) You Fool No One/The Mule
7) Space Truckin'