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Deep Purple: In Concert ’72

Early outings for some Purple classics-in-waiting.

Fist released in 1980 as part of a two-disc set also featuring recordings of an earlier vintage, In Concert ’72 continues the current obsession with a particular period of Purple’s past.

However, whereas the equally live Made In Japan and last year’s Machine Head reissues were both multi-disc deluxe affairs, the paring down of the original product gives this the feel of being the runt of the litter. Having said that, the gig, recorded in London for BBC radio in March of that year, is of notable historical significance for including the first public performances of several tracks a fortnight before the Machine Head studio versions went on sale.

There’s a curious quaintness to the presentation here, not least folkie Mike Harding’s low-key introductions to various songs. The stuttering beginning to Smoke On The Water suggests a nervous uncertainty to what had yet to become a signature number, while both Maybe I’m A Leo and Never Before would rarely get a live workout again. There’s more fire to Highway Star, Jon Lord’s keyboards spearheading the attack, and the extended jam of Little Richard’s Lucille.