Only two words can describe this 4 disc Deep Purple DVD set...absolutely stunning. Around the World Live covers the Steve Morse era of the band, now in its 13th year, featuring 3 full concerts plus a thoroughly enjoyable documentary. If you've been a fan of these legends since the 1960's, obviously you know the history of Ritchie Blackmore leaving in the early 1990's and being replaced by Dixie Dreg guitar legend Steve Morse in what seemed like an odd pairing at first, but ultimately worked wonders for the band. Morse invigorated Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ian Paice, and Jon Lord, and countless tours and studio albums have ensued, the band more comfortable and at ease with themselves since the early days.
DVD 1 features the Bombay Calling show filmed in India in 1995, and shows this version of the band in their early stages, but still you can see the fire and the hunger of a Deep Purple who are in a much better place. Dusting out classics not heard live in many years like "When a Blind Man Cries", "Pictures of Home", "Maybe I'm a Leo", and "The Battle Rages On" (from Blackmore's last CD with the band) to go alongside some new tunes and fan favorites, it's a spirited set that shows Morse fitting in quite well alongside his new mates. Some bonus footage from a show in South Korea that same year rounds out this DVD.
Over to Australia in 1999 we go on DVD 2, the Total Abandon tour, and the band is now a few years into their new line-up and you can really tell the difference. The set list is slightly different, tunes like "Bloodsucker", "Mary Long", "Ted the Mechanic", "Almost Human", and "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" making their way into the set, alongside "Smoke on the Water", Speed King", "Black Knight", "Perfect Strangers", "Highway Star", and the other classics. By this time, Morse starting doing his 'hard rock jukebox' during his guitar solo spot, spitting out riffs from many classic rock, hard rock, and metal favorites (see which tunes you can recognize), which is a lot of fun to watch, and leads right into "Smoke on the Water".
On to 2002, for what is arguably the best set here, the final show featuring Jon Lord, Live at the Nec in England. Lord and new guy Don Airey share the keyboard spotlight, and it's a great 'passing of the torch' so to speak, the band on fire, obviously sad to see their founding member and close mate go, but on the same hand excited about what Airey brings to the band. The set list is pretty similar to the previous one, though there are less new tracks and more classics this time around, the band in top notch form, and the final sequence of "Highway Star" leading up to the curtain call and standing ovation for Lord is quite emotional.
The final DVD contains a lengthy and enjoyable documentary that really digs in deep to the Morse & Airey era, starting from when Ritchie left the band all the way up to the Bananas album and the talk of its follow-up Rapture of the Deep. Featuring plenty of interviews with all the band members, TV show appearances, and rare concert clips, it's a must see for Deep Purple fans.
There you have it, hours and hours of fun featuring one of the legendary bands in hard rock music. The package comes in a nice digibook that houses all 4 DVD's and includes a full color book filled with photos and a lengthy essay. Top notch all around and absolutely essential-a real winner brought to you from the folks at Eagle Vision.
DISC 1 - BOMBAY CALLING - INDIA 1995 1) Fireball 2) Maybe I'm A Leo 3) Black Night 4) The Battle Rages On 5) Woman From Tokyo 6) Perpendicular Waltz 7) When A Blind Man Cries 8) Perfect Strangers 9) Pictures Of Home 10) Child In Time 11) Anya 12) Space Truckin' 13) Guitar Solo 14) Lazy 15) Speed King 16) Highway Star 17) Smoke On The Water
Bonus Feature: Live In Seoul - South Korea - 1995 1) Black Night 2) Woman From Tokyo 3) When A Blind Man Cries 4) Perfect Strangers 5) Child In Time 6) Speed King 7) Highway Star 8) Smoke On The Water
DISC 2 - TOTAL ABANDON - AUSTRALIA 1999 1) Ted The Mechanic 2) Strange Kind Of Woman 3) Bloodsucker 4) Pictures Of Home 5) Almost Human 6) Woman From Tokyo 7) Watching The Sky 8) Fireball 9) Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming 10) Guitar Solo 11) Smoke On The Water 12) Lazy 13) Perfect Strangers 14) Speed King 15) Black Night 16) Highway Star
Bonus Feature: A Band Down Under - Documentary 1999
DISC 3 - LIVE AT THE NEC - ENGLAND 2002 1) Fireball 2) Woman From Tokyo 3) Mary Long 4) Ted The Mechanic 5) Lazy 6) The Well Dressed Guitar 7) When A Blind Man Cries 8) Space Truckin' 9) Keyboard Solo 10) Perfect Strangers 11) Speed King 12) Guitar Solo 13) Smoke On The Water 14) Hush 15) Black Night 16) Highway Star
Bonus Feature: Ian Gillan & Roger Glover interview 2002
DISC 4 - ACCESS ALL AREAS The definitive documentary of Deep Purple in the Steve Morse era.