The longest lasting line-up of Deep Purple initially looked to have
the potential to make the band almost as big again as they had been
in the 70s and early 80s. Instead they metamorphosed into a serial touring
outfit, albeit a highly popular one, broadening if not increasing their
worldwide appeal. Their run only ended when Jon Lord retired from the
Roger Glover, Jon Lord, Ian Gillan, Ian Paice
many outsiders in 1994 things looked bleak as the band sought their
second new guitarist inside a year. They offered the job to Steve Morse,
an American musician who came from a similar musical background to Tommy
Bolin, and whose career had largely remained rooted in muso circles.
His credentials were high, having been voted the world's best guitarist
by a major guitar publication for five consecutive years.
joined Deep Purple on a short tour of Mexico in November 1994, and when
all went well was happy to join full-time. Ever since he has successfully
managed to combine Purple duties with working on outside projects such
as the Steve Morse Band and the Dixie Dregs.
23rd: Mexico City. Steve Morse's first show with Deep Purple
Release of first Mk 7 studio album, 'Purpendicular'
May: Release of second Mk 7 studio album, 'Abandon'
September 25-26th: First performances of the Concerto since 1970.
August 9th: Skanderborg, Denmark. Don Airey's first show with
Deep Purple, deputising for Jon Lord.
February 22nd: Hammersmith Apollo. Jon Lord's last full show with
19th: Ipswich. Jon Lord's farewell show, handling the keyboards
alongside Don Airey.
line-up's first studio album 'Purpendicular' appeared in February 1996,
overflowing with ideas and energy, and opening up all kinds of new musical
avenues for the band. The supporting tour was a resounding success,
kicking off with their longest UK tour in years.
really cemented Mk 7's status were the shows following their second
(and last) studio album 'Abandon' (aptly named given the lack of media
promotion it got). Released in May 1998, it was musically more abrasive,
and a lot less commercial than 'Purpendicular'. They hit the road in
June 1998 and continued touring virtually unabated for four years, dropping
the 'Abandon' content inside two, and turning the show into something
of a greatest hits package. The period is best reflected by the live
album 'Total Abandon', which was recorded on a hugely successful Australian
tour in 1999 and which subsequently went platinum in that territory.
1999 Jon Lord's Concerto was surprisingly reactivated, received two
tumultuous performances at the Royal Albert Hall in September. A CD
and DVD souvenir sold very well, and, while still undertaking their
regular concert appearances, the band also proceeded to tour the Concerto
show around the world in 2000-2001, with a Romanian orchestra in tow.
to break the cycle of touring, Jon Lord had for some time been considering
leaving the band. When a knee injury prevented him from playing an August
2001 European tour, ex-Rainbow man Don Airey successfully deputised.
Seeing that the group was able to continue without him, Jon decided
to bow out.
farewell tour of the UK was lined up for February-March 2002 (although
it was not announced as such except on this web site!), but it did not
work out as planned. The band were forced to call a halt to the tour
halfway through after being struck by severe flu. Jon then officially
left the group, to be replaced on a permanent basis by Don Airey. However,
the overall feeling was that a suitable farewell was needed. With Don's
agreement, Jon played the second half of each of the rescheduled UK
dates in September 2002, finally bowing out after a very emotional show
Deep Purple Mk7 Discography ....
the collection.... Purpendicular
came with bonus track 'Don't Hold Your Breath' in USA and Japan.
The only other Mk 7 studio track outstanding is a blues jam specially
recorded for the 1995 Deep Purple Appreciation Society convention,
and afterwards given a very limited release as 'Dick Pimple' through
the DPAS. Deep Purple's May 2001 performance at Luciano Pavarotti's
annual all-star charity concert was given limited release via mail-order
and Italian news-stands as "Pavarotti & Friends: For Afghanistan".
Purple's two tracks were 'Smoke On The Water' and a Gillan / Pavarotti
duet of 'Nessun Dorma'. The 'New Live & Rare - The Bootleg Collection
1984-2000' 12xCD set of live audience recordings included two Mk
7 shows: Fort Lauderdale, March 4th 1995 is disappointing in that
superior (and longer) recordings of the show were available but
not used. The Osaka, April 1st 2000 audience recording is peculiar
in that it was lifted from a DAT audience recording and not from
an existing bootleg vinyl or cd.
The Montreux shows are a source of confusion, in that parts of the 1996, 2000 and 2006 performances have been released as differently configured CD and DVD packages in Europe and Japan, The Japanese CD of 'Live In Montreux 1996' is a double; disc one mirrors the European release with the addition of Cascasdes, while disc two just contains two tracks from the 2005 Hard Rock Cafe show (!), also available on the Rapture Of The Deep tour edition.
Notable Post 2002 Deep Purple Mk7 Releases ....
Deep Purple Mk7 On Video / DVD....
the collection.... Jon Lord's 2003 DVD release 'With Pictures' (available from the dpas online store) includes
brief backstage & onstage clips from Deep Purple's 2000-2001
Concerto tour, and also clips from the 2002 UK tours. Ian Paice's
'On The Drums' DVD was first released (with exactly the same content)
as the mail order only 'Not For The Pro's'. The 2001 Deep Purple
live footage on it is different to that on Perihelion.
Steve Morse's mail order 'Sects Dregs And Rock'n Roll' DVD includes
interviews with Steve (60 minutes), and Roger Glover and Ian Gillan
(5 minutes). The retail version, retitled 'Cruise Control Live' (available
from the dpas online store)
the Gillan / Glover segment, and cuts the
Morse interview back
to 35 minutes. A repackaged 2004 re-issue of 'Total Abandon' gains
5.1 sound, but loses two thirds of the 'A Band Down Under' documentary.
Three extra Australian tour tracks are mentioned on the sleeve,
all are clips from 'A Band Down Under'.
'Live In Montreux 1996' includes the full show, plus five bonus tracks from 2000: '69 / Perfect Strangers / Lazy / Highway Star / When A Blind Man Cries. The CD version has two different bonus tracks from the 2000 show (one of those - 'Fools' appears on New Live & Rare 1984-2000). Neither includes the unreleased song 'Long Time Gone' peformed at the show.
Purple Mk7, Further Reading....