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MK III- The Final Concerts

  out of 4 Music Review: MK III- The Final Concerts

Artist: Deep Purple
Genre: Rock
Release Date: July 1996

Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
No rating supplied

Just when you think you have heard all of the live Deep Purple albums and another surfaces. Don't you love it? Well I suppose you would if you were a big fan like I was. "MKIII The Final Concerts" was originally titled "Live In Europe." Its actually different recordings from that same timeframe, but its also the last three days of concerts with Ritchie Blackmore before he left the group. This group has been around for so long and have had so many incarnations, it isn't real hard to imagine that they would have a huge archive of studio and live tapes hanging around just waiting to grabbed from the shelves to be remastered and remarketed to their adoring faithful. It works for me. I am not the only one that gobbles up this stuff, there are many more out there just like me. I happen to really enjoy this version of Deep Purple with David Coverdale (vocals) and Glen Hughes (bass, vocals). They gave the band a good shot of soul and funk. This however was not to Mr. Blackmore's (the original guitar player and founding member) liking, he thought that most of the music they made during that time was garbage. It seems Blackmore thought the albums 'Burn' and 'Stormbringer' were too funky for his taste. He would rather be playing pretty music, or hard rock. Well that was taken care of shortly after this concert was recorded. Blackmore took off on a nine year venture with his new group Rainbow, which by the way is a group I really liked, especially the first two albums.

The version of 'Smoke On The Water' on this two-disc set was hard to swallow. The music was terrific as usual, but it just didn't sound right with Coverdale singing it, Ian Gillan was sorely missed on that tune. However, that is the only song on this entire set were I feel the pre MKIII lineup could have been more appreciated. Everything from 'Burn' and 'Stormbringer' offered excellent live funky and soulful versions thanks to Coverdale and Hughes playing off of each other so well. Hughes seemed to really get in a good groove when Coverdale was on lead vocals, although you can hear how his bass becomes less innovative when he is singing lead. That seems like it would be a perfectly natural transition, there are very few bass players that can do both at the same time exceptionally well. 'Space Truckin' is an immensely long song (19:56), and a very interesting one at that. Even though this was a pre MKIII tune, the new members don't bat an eyelash and they make it their own. A lot of improvising is done by each member on their instruments, proving that it didn't matter what state of mind that band was in or who was in the lineup, they still were one of the greatest live rock shows on the earth. 'Going Down/Highway Star' turns into a medley of sorts, and it rocks with plenty of great guitar licks from Blackmore and some outstanding bass playing by Hughes. The shining moment for Blackmore is the red-hot closer 'You Fool No One.' Ritchie's guitar playing is breathtaking, and the band sounded like they had reached their peak as a live unit. This seems like a fitting end, and the song is placed perfectly in order ironically. Maybe Ritchie was fooling no one and everyone did know that he was on the way out. None of that really matters anymore. This is a great live Deep Purple album and should waste no time in getting it.

Disc: 1

1. Burn (Blackmore/Coverdale/Lord) - 7:33
2. Stormbringer (Blackmore) - 4:37
3. Gypsy (Blackmore/Coverdale/Hughes/Lord) - 5:39
4. Lady Double Dealer (Blackmore) - 3:53
5. Mistreated (Blackmore) - 12:38
6. Smoke on the Water (Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord) - 10:17
7. You Fool No One (Blackmore/Coverdale/Lord) - 13:21

Disc: 2

1. Space Truckin' (Blackmore/Glover/Lord) - 19:56
2. Going Down/Highway Star (Blackmore/Glover/Lord/Nix) - 15:13
3. Mistreated (Blackmore) - 14:14
4. You Fool No One (Blackmore/Coverdale/Lord) - 12:41



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