Music Video Distributors // 1995 // 114 Minutes // Rated PG
Reviewed by Judge Norman Short (Retired) // September 6th, 2001
Deep Purple concert, this time in India.
I've had the opportunity to review several concert discs by Deep Purple in recent times. For a band that many would have written off as dead back in the '70s, they're still going strong and playing worldwide. They also appear to be among the most prolific bands when it comes to DVD releases; this is the fifth I've seen so far, and I have another in my review stack. Does this concert add anything to the great selection we already have? Yes and no. The concert itself is great, but the soundtrack makes the disc of more historic interest than of an auditory nature.
This concert disc might never have been, except by pure luck. The concert film, done in 1995, was thought lost until it was found in late 1999 hiding in a cardboard box. Labeled as an "Official Bootleg," they've remastered and done what they could with the source elements.
It's a very good concert. This was soon after the ascension of guitar guru Steve Morse to the band, taking over from Joe Satriani and having Ritchie Blackmoor's shoes to fill. The energy level is always high, the Indian crowd ecstatic, and singer Ian Gillian still sported his long locks. I found it a great combination of the new and old; the big hits came between songs that were destined to become tracks on the 1996 release "Perpendicular." It may be a bit by the numbers, in that you know there will be both a guitar and a drum solo, and ends with "Smoke on the Water," but that's all right. You know what to expect from a Deep Purple concert.
Unfortunately, the source elements do not adequately convey the energy of the concert itself. The picture quality is all right, though the image looks soft. This is by intent; as it is apparent soft focus colored filters were used throughout. The colors and the imagery still come through. Unfortunately, the sound quality is underwhelming at best. I'd swear this is a mono mix, since in Pro-Logic mode all sound comes from the center channel, with some faint bleeding into the front main channels. There is no kick to the bass and drums. The midrange and highs sound fine, but without that backbone it isn't the same. When I finally gave in and incorporated my receiver's Rock Concert mode things sounded a lot better; though it still lacked in the bass department. This is in contrast to other Deep Purple discs, such as Total Abandon, with a new Dolby Digital 5.1 track and much better immersion.
Also in contrast with the other Deep Purple discs I've reviewed is the lack of extra content. Only biographies of the band members is included.
Deep Purple completists will be happy to get the concert disc from this era of the band's evolution, but most rock fans would be happier with Deep Purple: Total Abandon or Image's Deep Purple: In Concert With The London Symphony Orchestra.
Deep Purple is innocent of any charges; I'm sure the source elements were the main culprits for the soundtrack.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Music Video Distributors
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 114 Minutes
Release Year: 1995
MPAA Rating: Rated PG
* Band Biographies