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Deep Purple - On Tour MCMXCIII: Live In Europe album review

Blackmore and Gillan’s battle rages on.

Deep Purple On Tour MCMXCIII: Live In Europe album cover

Another repackaging for a couple of Purple’s gigs recorded as the Mark II version supported The Battle Rages On for their 25th anniversary. Spread across four discs, we have Live at the Schleyer Halle (Stuttgart, October 16, 1993) and Live at the NEC (Brum, November 9, 1993), and it really is a case of swinging from the sublime to the faintly ridiculous.

Despite the legendary levels of tension between Ian Gillan and Ritchie Blackmore, the Stuttgart gig is one of the best in Purple’s catalogue, the 12-minutes-plus version of Anya and full-blown In The Hall Of The Mountain King indicative of the band’s willingness to extend and innovate on stage. Even Blackmore sounds like he’s having fun; unlike the Birmingham show, which kicks off with the infamous soaking of a cameraman episode, when Blackmore took exception to the live filming set up. As a result, Highway Star starts as a largely guitar-less mess, and the playing and set-list are somewhat concise and perfunctory.

Sloppy packaging aside – this box set claims the shows to be from MCMXCII on the front rather than MCMXCIII, which appears on the back – this is an easy opportunity to sample Purple at their best – and worst.

Whether it’s magazines, books or online, Essi has been writing about rock ’n’ metal for around thirty years. He has been reviews editor for Classic Rock and Metal Hammer, rock reviews editor for lads mag Front and worked for Kerrang!. He has also written the Rough Guide to Heavy Metal and contributed to the Rough Guide to Rock and Rough Guide Book of Playlists, and the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (13th edition). Most fun interview? Tenacious D – Jack Black and Kyle Gass – for The Pick of Destiny movie book. An avid record/CD/tape collector, he’s amassed more music than he could ever possibly listen to, which annoys his wife no end.