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Deep Purple - Live in California '74 DVD

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:35 pm
by Tim_DJ
Artist: Deep Purple
DVD: Live in California ‘74
Label: Eagle Vision EV30159-9

Track List
1. Burn
2. Might Just Take Your Life
3. Lay Down, Stay Down
4. Mistreated
5. Smoke On The Water
6. You Fool No One
7. Space Truckin’

I’ll admit I’ve never been a fan of classic rock/metal acts like Deep Purple. I have this bias against the classic sound that comes from recordings made in the ‘60s and ‘70s. When played along side music that is recorded and tracked with state of the art digital equipment, the old classic sound is a bit of a turn off. I don’t enjoy the sound of a guitar recorded in the ‘70s, and most drummers from that era sound like they are hitting pillows instead of drum heads.

Having watched Deep Purple, Live in California ’74 has shown me the light. This is one of the best concert DVDs I’ve seen in a many years. The video quality is fair at best, and at times less than fair. Reading the liner notes, though, prepares you for this. According to the notes, this footage was sitting on old film on a shelf somewhere when it was discovered. Actually, the quality is quite good considering it is 30 years old and wasn’t exactly cared for while in storage. Strangely, the quality of the video gives the DVD a classic feel that is endearing. At no point did I feel that the “less than digital” footage did anything but enhance the DVD.

The audio quality is where this DVD truly excels. There are several audio options, including 5.1 DTS Digital Surround. Be warned: when you choose this option you’ll need to turn your overall system volume down. It comes in very loud…and very clear. The audio gives the listener a real “being there” experience. The guitar is clear and full, the drums are booming and deep, and the vocals are clean. The video may not be crystal clear, but the audio certainly makes up for this.

This DVD is certainly loaded with great stuff. First, and most importantly, is the track list. The DVD opens with Burn, which is an amazing track in and of itself. Mistreated has a blues feel and is loaded with emotion. Smoke On The Water is probably Deep Purple’s most recognized song; the band plays it flawlessly. Several of the songs have extended jam sections. The musicianship is strong and the band is tight as nails.

The real clincher of this DVD, though, is the end of the concert. Caught in its entirety is the guitar smashing, amp blowing meltdown that Ritchie Blackmore embarks on. All of his amps are on fire, his guitars have parts flying all over the stage, and a camera man has his camera smashed by Blackmore’s guitar swinging. All of this takes place while the band continues to play.

The DVD is also loaded with bonus materials, commentaries and interactive menus. To say that this is a treasure would be a serious understatement. This is one of the greatest concert DVDs to be released in a very long time. I can’t recommend this release highly enough. If it comes down to a choice of paying for your lunch or buying this DVD…skip a meal and get this DVD. You won’t regret it! 5 Stars!