Review: Deep Purple - Made in Japan (1972)

There are many live albums that have made the history of music and Deep Purple's Made in Japan is not only one of them, but it is one of the most important of all in terms of quality and historical importance. Let's say that if you like the rankings (like myself) it would be in a hypothetical top 3 of all time, so to speak.

Recorded in Japan (and where else?) In the summer of 1972 and released in LP format at the end of the same year, Made in Japan is a crazy live album that takes (in my opinion) Deep Purple to another level. Blackmore / Gillan / Glover / Lord / Paice are stage animals and you can feel the difference with the studio. Yes, because honestly the studio versions of these songs don't communicate much to me while in this live album, in my opinion, the songs change their skin, from all points of view.

In addition to the different dynamics of the songs (due to the studio / live difference) in Made in Japan we find a lot of improvisation and a lot of live attitude: there are the extemporaneous high notes of Gillan, the drum solo of Ian Paice in The mule (perhaps the best solo drums of all time), the hugely popular Ian Gillan / Richie Blackmore dialogue in Strange kind of woman, Blackmore and Lord's improvisations in Space Truckin' and lots of other tasty stuff.

Perhaps even more important is the fact that the authenticity of the live is perceived, which does not happen with many other albums of the same type. Report from Wikipedia:
"Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover called Made in Japan" the most honest record in rock history", because it testified without tricks, overdubs, studio tampering, what Deep Purple music really was in concert, with their charge, the energy they expressed, the skill of the musicians, but also the flaws and imperfections "

The songs are not many, there are only 7 (there will be 3 more in the remastered version, with black cover), but when the first 3 are Highway star, Child in time and Smoke on the water, you can also finish listening there and be happy. Gillan's vocal performance during the chorus of Child in time, for example, is something epochal and difficult to reproduce. Well, if you didn't understand when at the beginning I was talking about the difference between live and studio, listen to the choruses in both versions and you will understand everything (I will post the one on this live album at the end of the page, you go and find the other one, if you want).

Even the very famous Smoke on the water sounds much more "alive" in the live version, with the initial riff initially "crippled" by Blackmore. About Blackmore: he is the protagonist of one of the most beautiful solos ever in Highway star. But talking about details and noteworthy episodes of this Made in Japan, we could do talk and write until late night.

Deep Purple's Made in Japan is an essential live album that should not be missing in any collection.

1. Highway Star, Osaka – 16th August 1972
2. Child in Time, Osaka – 16th August 1972
3. Smoke on the Water, Osaka – 15th August 1972
4. The Mule, Tokyo – 17th August 1972
5. Strange Kind of Woman, Osaka – 16th August 1972
6. Lazy, Tokyo – 17th August 1972
7. Space Truckin’, Osaka – 16th August 1972

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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