Deep Purple’s Ian Paice says today’s rock musicians would struggle to recreate the “edginess” of the band’s celebrated 1972 live album, Made In Japan.
“I don’t believe the expertise is there,” the drummer claims. “When I look at the people I grew up playing alongside, the next generation of musicians just didn’t have the same schooling or the broad picture of music that allowed them to let their ideas roam free.
“That’s not a criticism, it’s just the way music changed. When we recorded Made In Japan, everything was being formed. Nobody knew how to do it when we were starting out, nothing was actually written. Now it’s all like a book.”
Made In Japan is full of extended versions of Purple classics, climaxing with an epic 20-minute rendition of Space Truckin’. Paice himself plays an extended solo on his signature track, The Mule.
“Today, people find the edginess of it enthralling,” he says. “Our imagination was allowed to run free and we indulged in lengthy, creative solos. But that just isn’t part of a musician’s makeup today. It’s a bit formularised and everything fits into moulds.”
Paice says he isn’t necessarily saddened by this state of affairs, “because it’s just the way it changes historically”.
He adds: “When you listen to live recordings from the late 60s and early 70s – whether they’re by us, or Zeppelin, or Hendrix, or Cream, or whoever – it’s clear that they were magical times. We were lucky enough to have a tape machine to capture those moments… because that’s what Made In Japan is; it’s a series of great moments that add up to the whole. I think it’s rather magnificent. It just doesn’t happen nowadays.”