Total Abandon: Australia '99
Thompson Music / Eagle Rock Entertainment
These guys really know how to milk a catalog. With arguably a dozen or so real hits, Deep Purple has popped out two dozen live albums, and while I've only heard a small sampling of that aspect of that oeuvre ("oeuvre" sounds sexier than "product") I always gravitate back to those critical dozen hits. (See below). And that's what sets this disc squarely in the middle of the Deep Purple live sets. While everything here's cleanly played and recorded with a quality that makes me think the audience was dubbed in later, it's rather workman-like and never takes your breath away as perhaps Live In London or In Concert 1970-1972 do. B side and C-side stuff like "Ted The Mechanic" and "Almost Human" and "Watching the Sky" sound interesting but are a warm up for the soaring "Pictures of Home," "Fireball," and the biggest chestnut of all, "Smoke on the Water." What I'm saying is, you probably need a Deep Purple Live Album, but you don't need all of them. Chose wisely, young record collector.
So if you're shopping for DP live material, you could do worse. The lineup is Ian Paice, Roger Glover, John Lord, Ian Gillian, and not quite classic Steve Morse on guitar. The band is tight, stage patter is minimal, there's not much audience sing along, and you have the very slight cool factor of "previously unreleased in North America." This won't impress many hardcore fans who own all the bootlegs, but it's an angle that might impress anyone old enough to know what a tone arm is. I say rock on, Ians! And go look up "tone arm."
The canonical hits are "Speed King," "Child in Time," "Fireball," "Highway Star," "Maybe I'm a Leo," "Pictures of Home," "Smoke on the Water," "Lazy," "Space Truckin'," "My Woman from Tokyo," "Burn," and "Stormbringer.">