Remastered in 2014, Deep Purple’s four song, 70-minute Long Beach 1971 showcases a band in top form, on fire. This rare concert, featuring the band’s MK II lineup, was recorded at Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, California, on July 30, 1971. It was [also] broadcast on radio (KUSC 91.5 FM). Each now-classic song has been extended, featuring great dynamics, full-band flight of fancy jams, and delectable solos. The delivery evokes genuine nostalgia. Vocalist Ian Gillian’s inter-song banter remains timelessly enjoyable, and reminds listeners that this was performed for an audience.
The mix is vocal-forward, with Gillian’s screams and singalong with Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar lines quite loud at times. There are overall volume fade and swell artifacts left in place, but the sound, especially on ambient listening systems, is far superior to a radio dub from 1971. Shows like this are what cemented Deep Purple into hard rock’s elite.