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AN EDITOR REMEMBERS...    Issue 53  November 2000

Another 'biggest issue ever' milestone, 52 pages this time, and the first of a couple of scrapbook type covers made up of lots of headlines and images which i still think work well. You wouldn't believe how long they took to do, and I wonder how many people spotted the little witch flying across the bottom right?! The main cover shot of the band obscured by a snow blizzard at an open air gig was one of the most astonishing I've ever had sent in. There was quite a lot of excitement about PAL in the mag, as they'd reformed for one special show at Abbey Road, designed to raise funds for a poorly Tony Ashton, who nevertheless managed to do both the PAL set and his own, at what would sadly be one of his final live performances.

Deep Purple themselves were on their hybrid Abandon / Concerto tour, and the CD and DVDS releases of the 1999 London show were reviewed in detail. There was also a fascinating three page article on the guy responsible for restoring the score of the Concerto, writing exclusively for DTB.

Further back in time, the magazine had a three page special on the remastered Who Do We Think We Are CD with plenty of cuttings and memorabilia. The biggest feature however was a massive nine pages looking at the Days May Come rehearsals, with another exclusive interview we did with the sound engineer responsible for recording the event. Time flies, I've just been working on a 2xCD reissue of the title for Purple Records (out now).

Blackmore was also represented by an overview of the first UK tour since 1995, and the first in partnership with his wife to be. I couldn't bring myself to go, but the reviews were interesting. The reissue by Purple Records of the two early Coverdale solo albums was an excuse to look in some detail at the events of that era, with shots of a few rare picture sleeve singles too.

Lots of CD reviews, including a couple of pages on the latest from the Boln camp, and a page or two of strange cuttings including a bizarre pottery fish figurine on offer under the heading Rainbow Rising! Work wise we'd spent our money already on some new Mac gear. Nearly a decade on the new G4 has just moved over into Ann's office while I've upgraded, but it shows how well the machines last. It also enabled us to access the web and email more reliably. Building work over for a while, it was down to decorating and I allowed myself to be swayed by some vivid blue paint at B&Q, which turned out to be both prone to marked at the slightest touch and also faded in double quick time. I've never been back. I'm threatening the room with a revamp if we can get into our new office over Christmas.

The short lived Dream Sets column produced some great ideas too, but a decade on very view of them have been taken up by the band, as if we ever thought they would. Mind you, the interview with one of Mk 4's roadies we promised for the next issue is still waiting for me to try and transcribe it eight years on; let's hope the cassettes are still OK!

DEEP PURPLE NEWS : 2000 Tour News
DEEP PURPLE LIVE REVIEW : Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland


NEWS : 2000 Orchestral Tour News




ALBUM / VIDEO REVIEW : In Concert With The LSO


LIVE REVIEW : Endangered Species, London


LIVE REVIEW : York Opera House


ALBUM REVIEW : Into The Light


NEWS : 1999-2000 Tour News
ALBUM REVIEW : Return Of The Crystal Karma


Touring In 2000 - News

The first couple of months of the year were spent organising the dozen or so band gigs - the remnants of the "Abandon" tour - as well as Orchestral shows, with Jon, Paul Mann and Marco de Goeij working overtime to revise the score. The success of the live "Concerto" album and the Royal Albert Hall gig seems to have inspired the idea of touring the show but while this inevitably meant that the original plan to record a new album this year was soon shelved, the group did go into the studio to cut four new numbers. The purpose behind this was apparently to give record companies a foretaste of the new material. To date one new song has been aired live.

There appears to be a bit of dissent within the band as to their future. The management feel they need to concentrate on getting a hit single in order to raise their profile. There has even been talk of getting in a writer from outside to help achieve this. The band have reached a kind of plateau but seem unable to push much beyond it in sales and touring terms. One can see the logic, although some might feel it's a little late in the day to be worrying about that now. Other rock bands do break through from time to time of course, you've only got to look at that last Iron Maiden surprise hit.

Because of the negative press Purple have been getting in Japan since the sainted Blackmore left, there have been problems getting a decent tour booked there, but they finally opened their gigging for the year with a series of shows which appear to have gone down well. The band then slipped in another show in Korea, and then back up to Russia (via Finland). May and June saw the final organisational work for the Orchestral tour but also gave some of the band time off. Jon Lord and Ian Paice managed to team up with numerous members of the ex-Purple family for a special Tony Ashton night at Abbey Road.

'snOwPEN AIR', Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland. 15th April 2000 - Live Review

Despite the dreadful punning festival title (which was actually quite prophetic) this was an amazing experience according to all who were there, Ian Gillan came on stage for the open air show in a short sleeved visually challenging neon Hawaiian style shirt - and it proceeded to start snowing.

Deep Purple, Switzerland 2000"The show started at 2:30 pm in the afternoon. There were about 6,000 fans, frozen but smiling and singing along (I personally moved from laughter to tears of sheer happiness) through a rather short set one could describe as "professional" but honest and hard rocking too. I adored every minute of it: their cautious arrival in a red caterpillar snowtrack; a shorthaired well-fed Ian Gillan short of breath but happy and delivering as well as ever; Roger and Steve warming their fingers around some stoves by the stage between songs; brigadier Jon Lord, the true maestro; Gillan video filming the audience, jumping into the crowd and so nearly missing the start of Smoke on the Water: Paicey holding it all together with precision and inspiration (he truly is unique!).

They played old stuff mainly : Woman from Tokyo, the very appropriate Pictures of Home, Feel like Screaming, Bloodsucker, Fools, When a Blind Man Cries, Smoke on the Water (with bits'n'pieces of You Really Got Me and Purple Haze), Black Night, Speed King, solos by everyone, with Lazy and Highway Star as encores." review: Joel Michiels

Lionel Bouvet was equally amazed. "There is no road to this ski station at 2,200 meters up, only a small train. The concert ticket also gave you permission to travel on the train! It took an hour and a half from the nearest town to reach the venue. The reason for the early start and finish to the show was to tie in with the last train back at 6.00pm. "Fools was the big surprise. Ian told us that they'd only played it fifteen times before. The song was perfect, the middle section was played by Jon on his synthesizer. After it Steve did a long solo with a melodic section where Gillan sang along. An incredible moment. Strange to see Ian Paice playing a show in a windcheater though."

2000 Orchestral Tour - News

I must admit we had mixed feelings about the band actually going out on the road with the "Concerto". I couldn't see how they could recreate the ambience of the Albert Hall shows on the road, or avoid the kind of heckling which had intruded even into that otherwise excellent performance. On the other hand, it was hardly fair to want to deny other Purple fans the chance to witness the show a little nearer to home.

To do away with the need for several different orchestras, the Romanian Philharmonic were booked for most of the shows. They got the gig mainly because they were prepared to "rough it" a bit on the road (doubling up in rooms etc.) to help keep the hotel bills down, and also because their wage bill would be lower than a comparative Western European outfit. In the end there were problems keeping the crowd quiet during the first part of the show, so after a couple of nights they had a rethink and moved the "Concerto" itself to almost the end of the set. The idea was that the more boisterous fans could wear themselves out early on and then either keep quiet during the "Concerto" (or piss off home!). They also changed the set around in other ways, adding "Fools" (which they'd been doing earlier in the year), "Black Night" and "Highway Star" to some of the shows.

The first two gigs of the tour took place at the Luna Park Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on September 1/2nd 2000. For these two shows the Sinfonica De Buenos Aires depped for the LSO and took the stage in front of something like 8,000 people. Of this huge audience only a few seemed intent on spoiling it, shouting during "Pictured Within" and the "Concerto". During the "Third Movement" they became so bad that Paul Mann was forced to ask for silence.

The tour moved on to Sao Paulo for three sold out shows on September 7, 8 and 9th. The Orquestra Jazz Sinfonica opened up with Dvorak's "Philharmonic Dance op. 46 no. 8" then they went into the Concerto. This seemed to go on for too long for some of the crowd, who were impressed at the start but got restless towards the end. After the intermission Jon Lord came back with Miller Anderson to perform "Pictured Within" which again didn't go down too well with everyone, but the appearance of Dio saved the day. He sang "Sitting In A Dream" and "Love Is All" and then had Deep Purple back him on two Dio songs. First up was "Fever Dreams" from his recent "Magica" album, which apparently had the entire auditorium on their feet. They followed it with "Rainbow In The Dark" from the "Holy Diver" album. Gillan's section stayed the same for the first and last show, with Mickey Lee Soule and Jon Lord doubling up on the piano. On the 8th however he ditched his solo numbers in favour of doing "Fools" with the band. Purple also did "Ted The Mechanic", an excellent version of "Watching The Sky" and closed their part with "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" before returning for the encore of "Smoke On The Water".

After the South American shows the band had a short break before it was time to embark on the European leg of the tour, featuring the Romanian "George Enescu" Philharmonic Orchestra of some eighty five musicians. The tour began in Antwerp, Belgium. on September 30th. Of the tour dates, these were being juggled up to the last minute, they added an extra show in Luxembourg on the 13th October, as well as Spodek Hall, Katowice, Poland, on November 3rd. They attempted to record the show in Rotterdam but were stopped by a power failure. The last I heard they were running round trying to find a mobile to tape the Polish show. They are still trying to get some shows together for America. They did hope to do these at the end of this year but early 2001 now looks possible. As very little news of the orchestral shows has filtered through there, they could make quite a splash in America given the right publicity. The next confirmed bacth of dates is in Australia in April 2001.

Hamburg. 15th April 2000 - Live Review

"There were 3,500 people in the audience and the stage was pretty small for this event. The orchestra's space was very limited and Ian, Ronnie, Steve and Roger were almost unable to move, while the sound balance wasn't that great, with the group being much louder than the orchestra most of the time. The set (lasting nearly two and a half hours) ran as follows:

• Pictured Within;
• Sitting In A Dream - Steve (rhythm-guitar), Jon, Paicey, Roger, Ronnie, Miller (lead-guitar), orchestra, female singers. A very different version to RAH '99 especially the vocal-melody by Ronnie. Miller played some lead-guitar, but no solo;
• Love Is All - Steve (lead-guitar), Jon, Paicey, Roger, Ronnie, Miller (rhythm-guitar), full orchestra, female singer (joined by Miller). The usual violin-solo was replaced by an amusing Steve Morse-solo;
• Fever Dreams - Ronnie, Steve, Paicey, Roger, Jon. No orchestra. This was a great idea and well played, but Jon was hard to hear.
• Rainbow In The Dark - Ronnie, Steve (also solo), Paicey, Roger, Jon. No orchestra. Roger and Paicey were incredible.
• Wring That Neck (jazz-version) Paicey, Jon, Roger and brass section. No guitar, no orchestra, no violin (different to RAH '99). Paice was unbelievable.
• Fools - Just Deep Purple, no orchestra.
• When A Blind Man Cries - Deep Purple with Orchestra (including a short orchestral intro).
• Vavoom: Ted the Mechanic - Deep Purple, horns and singers (including Miller Anderson). Very similar to the RAH '99 version.
• Guitar String - Written and arranged by Steve Morse, this is a new number specially written for the shows, featuring Steve, Paicey, Roger plus the complete or-chestra (and Gillan on tambourine). No Jon Lord, no vocals.
• Pictures Of Home - Deep Purple plus full orchestra, plus singers.
• Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming - as above plus horns.
• Concerto First Movement - Steve Morse's solo was longer and more improvised, while the oboe solo near the end was more like the original 1969 score.
• Second Movement - Gillan came on just before his part and sang the new verse.
• Third Movement
• Perfect Strangers - Deep Purple plus full orchestra
• Encore: Smoke On The Water"

Karl-Heinz Baier

In Concert WIth The LSO - Album / Video Review

DEEP PURPLE: In Concert with the LSO : Eagle EDGCD 124 - 5 034504 112421: EU : Feb 2000 2CD, and Limited Tour Edition : October 2000

We managed to get this in to our last issue via a demo copy but were puzzled at the time as to why Eagle had left off one of the Steve Morse tracks when there was twenty minutes of time left on the disc. Simple, rather than retain the integrity of the full live show, they opted for the cheap marketing gimmick of adding a quicktime video clip of "Smoke" from the show to watch on your computer (if you bought the release on Spitfire in America, Eagle's label Stateside, you will have seen "Ted The Mechanic" instead for some reason). This and the cheap packaging, which simply rejigged artwork files from the show programme (which itself had been put together in an afternoon), took the edge off an otherwise important release. Then, once the orchestral tour was firmed up, Eagle hit on the wheeze of reinstating Steve's missing track (after dismissing the idea of issuing it as a single!!), replacing the video clip with a downloadable computer screen-saver, wrapping it all in a slip-case with a free tour poster (replica) and selling it in all over again. Anyway, the music !

"The "Concerto" portion is captured best, I've been playing it a lot, 49 minutes of pure heaven. Mk 7 manage to capture the energy and power that's essential to any Purple recording. The revisions improved the work and it's pretty much flawless. I will still spend time with the '69 version. Comparisons are inevitable and there are moments that cannot be matched, with some great individual efforts from Paice and Blackmore in the first movement. Yet I find the missed cues and awkwardness in the second and third movements disappointing, and they sound uneven compared to the new one. As far as the other tracks go, "Pictures of Home " is one of my favourite versions, great solo from Steve and improvisation to boot. I'm beginning to warm to "Via Miaimi", it sounds great with the back-up singers and horns, quite a romp. Likewise "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" which is a great rendition compared to the studio LP. It must have been a tough job trying to get the best possible sound from so many different sources, the mixing desk must have been a nightmare job. Any ideas about the slight drop in sound quality on some tracks? "Pictures..." for example doesn't sound as sharp as others. They could've used a different cover to the pro-gramme too and the missing track annoys me". review: Vince Chong, Canada

Meanwhile plans to publish the score and so allow other musicians to perform the work are proceeding and we've a feature on this later in the magazine. Conductor Paul Mann tells me he needed a few more copies of the "Concerto" CD for friends (yes, you'd think he'd get them free wouldn't you?!) and dropped into his local MVC shop. The assistant started filling in the credit card sales slip and asked Paul to spell his name. "It's like that" he replied, pointing to the CD cover. "That's a coincidence" replied the sales person. Protestations that it wasn't a coincidence cut no ice, merely earning Paul a withering "yeah right" sort of look, so he hastened out of the shop before anything more was said.

DEEP PURPLE : In Concert with the LSO : Eagle EREDV114: EU : April 2000 DVD

The video release manages to be both fascinating and frustrating at the same time. The footage is good, as is the overall picture quality and sound. Yet good chunks of the first half of the show are simply not there. Why not? Because the cameras were turned off! We know this because at least one DPAS member was sat by the video monitors and saw the screens go blank. So if you want to see any of Gillan or Morse's sets forget it.

Back in my college days it was always drummed in to me - film is cheaper than opportunity. Somebody obviously took a decision even before the show that some numbers would be omitted. It does seem very short-sighted indeed and ranks alongside the decision not to film Purple's set at the RAH back in 1969 as one of the dafter economies. Likewise the opportunity to film some of the rehearsals, do interviews, a bit of audience voxpop, all it needed was a bit of imagination to make this so much better. Packaging is minimal. If you're wanting to spend hours freeze framing the crowd scenes in order to embarrass yourself, friends or loved ones, then the DVD option is the one to go for, even if like me you feel that given the enormous potential of the new format, starting off with a release which leaves out chunks of the show isn't the most auspicious start to Purple on DVD in Europe!

TONY ASHTON (with Jon Lord & Ian Paice)

Endangered Species, Abbey Road Studios, London, 16th June 2000 - Live Review

The card was intreguing: You are cordially invited to the Endangered Species Awards 2000. The guest list for the show began to increase our wonderment; Pete York, Eddie Hardin, Bernie Marsden, Micky Moody, Jon Lord and Ian Paice others - well, put that lot together on a stage and something reasonable ought to come out of it all. Delving a little further it became clear that the whole evening was designed to raise funds for Tony Ashton. The idea for the whole evening was sparked off by Jon and Pete and the latter did most of the organising of star guests.

Tony AshtonThey booked the large and prestigious Abbey Road Studio One for the evening and tickets, by invite, were £30 a throw. It's been over twenty years since I last saw Tony Ashton live and one forgets what a master of the keyboard he can be. Backed, amongst others, by Pete York on drums and Laurie Wisefield from Wishbone Ash on guitar, he got a rousing reception. From there it began to get even more interesting and next up were the old Whitesnake wrecking crew apart from David, this was the class of 1979. Bernie and Micky opened with an acoustic "Ain't Gonna Cry No More" before being joined by the others. As they powered into the classic 'Snake riffs the last twenty years disappeared. Bernie brought along his touring band singer Rob Hart who, while lacking the vocal charisma of Coverdale, very good job overall. They clobbered us with several of the faves, "Ready An' Willing", "Walking In The Shadow..", "Fool For Your Loving" and of course "Ain't No Love" which (as it always did) had eve: singing along. Bernie also did a stripped down acoustic version of "Here I Go Again" accompanied just by just Jon, which sounded tremendous, really highlighting the song's strength.

We hadn't a clue what Jon and Ian had up their sleeves to finish the show with but it turned out nothing more than a total Paice Ashton Lord reunion, down to the brass and female backing singers! Tony had been circulating in the hall and when they called him up on stage he had no more clue than any of us what was going on. So they plonked him down behind a keyboard, gave him the song titles and let him latch on as they stormed into each song, with Bernie taking the lead vocals. Neil Murray stood in for Martinez and as they opened with "Ghost Story" the place lit up. After a couple of the album tracks a thoroughly rousing version of "Resurrection Shuffle" (with Jon and Tony swapping keyboard riffs across the stage) brought the house down. All in all the last hour and a half had simply flown by.


York Grand Opera House, 21st May 2000 - Live Review

" The last time I went to York Opera House I attended an 0 Level educational seminar on Renaissance musical instruments where each odd contraption was played individually to demonstrate its charm and unique tonal qualities. It is with some irony that some 20 something years later on my second ever visit to the Opera House I witness exactly the same demonstration care of a large German chap who Blackmore had brought in specially. This time, however I had paid my £15.00 to see rock legend Ritchie Blackmore. I don't remember anyone feeling they had to turn out in Renaissance drag 20 years ago either! I very rarely see support bands these days but my friend David Pickles insisted we sat through the whole lot as it may be a bit more interesting than the usual rock band. Indeed he was right. The first act was a trio of musicians playing light folksy tunes. If I heard this playing in my local town square on a Saturday afternoon I would think it was OK and would stop for a while, but... it was a bit twee. The longhaired chap sat next to me who was adorned with Saxon regalia (that's the Rock Band, he hadn't arrived clothed in the wrong era) didn't appear too impressed and simply mumbled a lot under his breath.

Ritchie BlackmoreNext up was the aforementioned German chappie who emerged from the back of the hall playing some squawking bagpipes. A comment emerged from my Saxon neighbour "Oh for f***'s sake". He performed his demonstrations with great gusto and went through a charming repertoire of interesting instruments. However following a wonderful tune on a penny whistle type instrument the Saxon gentleman to my right prompted each instrument with a growling "Will you just F*** off!". It was hilarious, really. I had to pinch myself to believe I was actually sitting there.

Anyway at 9:15 after an overlong musical introduction tape (including an amusing quote from "Smoke") Blackmore hit the stage. So how can you sum up Blackmore's Night? I was told never to use the work "nice" as a descriptive tool as it was considered too bland and unadventurous. It is therefore a good word to use for Blackmore's Night, they were indeed, NICE. It was similar to listening to one of their CD's. The musicianship was good and played with as much enthusiasm as possible. However I find that having to put up with two hours of rather "middle of the road" music rather dull. In many respects Miss Night is the star of the show. Her voice comes over much better live than on CD, which isn't all down to the PA system sustain. I think when people comment about her voice being monotone or boring they are probably commenting on the musical material as much as anything. Although we have been rather spoilt with Gillan/Coverdale/Hughes over the years she is also a good performer and makes some witty comments about her fiancé which was re-freshing to say the least.

So what about our man Ritchie, Ritchie Blackmore on guitar then? It was great to see him close up again and to hear him play. Some of the acoustic work was great, however when he had the strat, one's heart missed a beat. I am sure the majority of the audience let out a group sigh at these moments. Moments that were all too short, where he let himself go. My Saxon neighbour went totally insane for around 40 seconds when Ritchie used the slide for his strat solo. Just a typical Blackmore concert then. He always leaves you wanting more."  review: John Blackburn


Into The Light - Album review

David Coverdale : Into The Light / EMI / Sept 2000
"Interestingly, the promotion for this release heavily emphasises the fact that this is our Dolly's first official solo effort since I 978's 'Northwinds'. It's an obvious sign of the times that both record company and artist feel the need to distance themselves from any association with the eighties' Whitesnake, culminating with the contemporary 'embarrassment' that was the 'big hair' era (a strange tack to take as most fans recognise that such was Coverdale's dominance of Whitesnake that the albums were essentially solo stuff in all but name.) Maybe it's a convenient excuse to explain the lack of both strident in-your-face guitar-rock and the blatant lyrical sexuality of old. I enjoyed the more adult, laid-back vibe of 'Restless Heart', and 'Into The Light' follows a similar path, a further progression along what is obviously a promising and fertile creative direction. Rest assured, the old familiar Whitesnake bluster is still reprised on occasion ('The Rain Song', and 'Don't Lie To Me) but the bias is more towards heart-on-the-sleeve ballads ('Wherever You May Go') and traditional heavy-blues efforts like 'Don't You Cry' (which reminds me more of Ian Hunter or Mott the Hoople.). The soulful 'Living On Love' is another highlight, harking back to the Coverdale-Page era.

Long-time song-writing partner Adrian Vandenberg I personally never had much time for (writing or performance wise) and he is thankfully replaced here by the more traditional leanings of Earl Slick and young gun Doug Bossi, who while he impresses with some hi-tech guitar shapes, thankfully also knows when to hold back. Old 'Cov' seems more at home than ever with the relaxed low-key delivery, the throaty strangled-cat bellow of yore replaced by a husky Marlboro-generated timbre that sends shivers down your spine at times. David could now capture a significant part of the lucrative Paul Rodgers/Robert Cray/Eric Clapton middle-class blues fan-base with a few more efforts along these lines. Overall, if you liked 'Restless Heart' you'll love this. Nice one, Dave - not bad at all." Roy Davies


Touring & Recording in 1999-2000 - News

Glenn's UK shows late last 1999, but Hubert Leonhard sent us details of a German show at Munich on December 9th 1999. "This was part of a package consisting of MSG and Thin Lizzy. Not many people there, I can't understand why. Glenn was the opener and did a great job. He still relies much on his Deep Purple stuff, and played "Stormbringer", "Might Just Take Your Life", "Burn", "You Fool No One", "Getting Tighter" and "You Keep On Moving"! He also did "No Stranger To Love" from his Sabbath days and two newer tracks, "You Kill Me" and "Neverafter" from his fantastic new album, but no Trapeze songs. There seemed to be a lot of Mk 4 fans in the audience, singing the verses of "You Keep On Moving" and bringing him back for an encore."

Interesting that Glenn seems to be tailoring his set to the audiences that turn up but one hopes he can get round to doing more of his newer tracks on h new tour, booked Germany for November 2000. He's supporting UFO, and Glenn will be promoting his new CD (issued on June 21st ) "Return Of Crystal Karma" on SPV in Europe. Initial copies came with a free live CD taped in Sao Paolo. Although Glenn's UK distributors were hoping for a few more shows, Glenn's only UK gig is in London at the Astoria2 on Nov. 22nd. There will be no support. Glenn flies out to Japan on Friday 13th of October (obviously not superstitious!) to play several shows with Joe Lynn Turner's band. Glenn says they plan to do tunes from the new JLT album, a couple of Rainbow songs, some of Glenn's own stuff and then some Mk3/4 Purple songs together.

Incense And Peaches - Album Review

"The first release from Glenn's new label represents the beginning of what promises to be a fascinating trawl through the archives of the man's unreleased work. Somewhat surprisingly the material on offer here is all relatively new, dating from 1995-1999. Glenn's declared intention has been to pull together songs of a similar feel - 'Feel' being the operative word here as many of the tracks on this collection would fit in well on the 'Feel' album (indeed some are from the sessions for it). Not a straight ahead rock release by any standards then, and one which probably suffers slightly by the nature of what it is. : it's a collection of outtakes and demos, and whilst there's nothing particularly wrong with any of the tracks, as an album it seems a touch short on highlights. Still, Glenn appears to like it - judging by his sleevenotes at least.

Down The Wire kicks off proceedings in tight funky style - a sort of speeded up 'Play Me Out' type vibe. It washed over me a bit on first listening this one, but it's beginning to grow now. Against The Grain has a spirited performance from Glenn. This one is from the 'Feel' sessions - and it shows - so your perception of the track will depend on your view of that album. Jolayne again harks back to 'Play Me Out' with a warm, intimate super smooth performance from Glenn. Let's Get Together starts off very promisingly -despite being a touch light weight production-wise - 1 had high hopes on first listening that this could develop into a sort of `Gettin' Tighter' Part 2. All such hopes were immediately dashed when the chorus arrived however - images of Earth Wind and Fire and 70s disco loom large! To be fair, the track probably succeeds in what it sets out to do - it's just not my cup of tea I suppose. Inside and Outside is the last song proper on the album and in my not particularly humble opinion, Glenn has saved the best for last - by quite some margin. A great performance and an enduring image conjured up by the-lines ' The sun is shining in the photograph, I guess it always will'. Classic Glenn this one.

So all in all somewhat mixed feelings on the album - whilst the majority of songs on offer would probably hold their own as an extra track on any of Glenn's previous releases, as a collection the impetus is lost somewhat by a `samey' feel that pervades much of the material. If you are a fan of Glenn's previous less rock orientated output then there will no doubt be enough to interest you here, but if your interest in the man goes little beyond Purple-style stuff then maybe this album is not for you." Tim Summers

Return Of The Crystal Karma - Album Review
GLENN HUGHES : Return of the Crystal Karma (R.O.C.K) : SPV 085-21812: EU : 2000 2CD

Glenn Hughes, R.O.C.K album cover"Glenn's solo career post 1990 thus far has seen "The Voice" caught between two creative stools. While his more rock-orientated efforts have proved the most popular (and importantly commercial), personally he seems to yearn for the creative freedom to produce material leaning more towards his preferred soulful funk direction. The result has been a series of unsure, schizophrenic albums veering between the two polarised directions, and confusing many potential fans (of both genres) in the process. So here is another solo release to which the most immediate question I ask myself is "is it rock or is it funk"" Last album "The Way It is" proved a major disappointment, and the lessons have only been partly heeded on ROCK. This collection reveals itself as more bass-driven hard funk tempered with a little hard rock guitar. Opener "The State I'm In" perversely hints at what can be achieved, Glenn going for it in full rock mode. Alas, this proves a false dawn as the album then progresses through a series of MOR tracks that are lovingly crafted and performed efficiently enough yet (for me) fail to hold the attention often enough. The album cries out for the ardent surge of "Addiction" (by far his best rock effort) but seems to drift along in a softer direction. The excellent "Owed to J" stands out as a particularly seventies sounding instrumental that wouldn't have been out of place on a Tommy Bolin album. Performance wise, vocals are as usual excellent, and the musicianship is consummate if not truly inspiring.

The bonus CD (included with the first 15,000 copies) is, by contrast, much more direct. The recording of a South American gig (San Paulo) boasts a raw punchy sound, with the band sounding in fine form. This is definitive AOR as it should be performed - sleek, tightly played melodic rock with just enough live rawness. Opener "You Kill Me" is appropriately up beat, while "Neverafter" sounds a lot like "Muscle & Blood" in a live context at least (nice bubbly bass work too.) A lighter, surprisingly melodic and dirge-free "No Stranger to Love" is keyboard-led and betrays little of its heavier Sabbath heritage. Guitarist Joachim Marsh shows a "shred-free" melodic sensibility throughout. but particularly here with a clear, understated and articulate solo. Trapeze's "Your Love is Alright" also proves a stormer, as does the rarely performed Hughes/Thrall track "First Step of Love." Over-all the CD repeats little featured on the "Burning Japan Live" release of a few years ago, thereby complimenting it rather neatly. The extra CD proves a nice touch by SPV that should kill all those bootlegs!" ROY DAVIES

also in the magazine... Deep Purple 2000 Tour Reviews .... Who Do We Think We Are Remaster Feature .... Cozy Powell Tribute Show .... Book reviews .... Questions & Answers .... Purple Records Round-Up .... Paice Ashton Lord Second Album News .... Blackmore's Night UK Tour News ... Ian Gillan news .... Steve Morse news .... Ian Paice news.... David Coverdale solo albums 1977-78 feature ..... Video news .... Marco de Goeij / Restoring the Concerto feature .... Letters .... How I Go Into Purple .... Captain California feature .... Days May Come / 1420 Beachwood Drive CD reviews & feature .... Slaves & Masters Reappraised ..... CD and Record reviews .... Tommy Bolin Archive reviews .... DP Fan Clubs Page

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