Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music
cover art

Deep Purple

Live at Montreux 2011

(Eagle Rock; US: 8 Nov 2011; UK: 7 Nov 2011)

Another year, another Deep Purple live album. It’s not nearly as essential as Made in Japan, of course, even if there are some redeeming qualities. Ian Gillan’s voice hasn’t lost a trick in the 40 years since he took over as Purple’s singer. If anything, his vocals are even more powerful than they were during Purple’s early-‘70s peak. Similarly, the rhythm section of drummer Ian Paice and bassist Roger Glover remains one of the most potent in hard rock.


There are, however, two key failings here. For one, guitarist Steve Morse (ex-Dixie Dregs) remains a poor fit with the band. His attempts to replicate Ritchie Blackmore’s sawtooth attack fall flat-—he’s simply too much of a muso (he gets not one but two noodley jazz-guitar solos). The real weak spot here, however, is the orchestra. Deep Purple have gone the orchestral route before, with the 1970 album and film Concerto for Group and Orchestra, but then the music was written to accommodate the orchestra. Here, the orchestra is simply tacked on to the band’s hard-rock songs, usually replicating guitar and keyboard lines, which makes it either redundant or, during some songs—such as “Hush” and “Woman from Tokyo”—unlistenable clutter. Deep Purple’s best songs remain worthy of respect but this is hardly the place to hear them. Unless you’re looking for a (very poor) sequel to Concerto, save your money.

Rating:

Media
Related Articles
13 Jun 2012
One-disc reissue of two-disc live set showcases DP's Steve Morse phase
20 Oct 2011
Evidence of Deep Purple's pop roots found on trio of early albums.
24 Jul 2011
Jon Lord and Glenn Hughes recall Deep Purple's slow decline and sudden fall.
26 Jul 2009
A 20-minute live version of “Mandrake Root” would be enough to convince me to sniff glue, put a safety pin through my cheek, and forget how to play guitar, too.
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.