Deep Purple DVD-EP (Classic Pictures Special Edition)
Deep Purple set the standard for heavy, melodic rock. The classic MKII line up of Lord, Paice, Blackmore, Glover and Gillan ruled the roost in the early seventies with the albums Machine Head and Fireball both reaching the number one spot in the UK with ease.
Classic Pictures Entertainment have unearthed some early archive footage of the band shot in Germany and though insufficient to produce a normal length DVD, cleverly came up with the idea of releasing the material as part of their budget DVD-EP series. The DVD-EPs in the series consist of four sections; Track Select (the main featured performances); Pop-Up DVD (the same tracks but with added on-screen facts along the lines of TOTP2); Previews (a selection of partial tracks by other artists in the series); DVD Jukebox (a selection of tracks from feature length Classic Pictures DVDs).
Three classic Purple songs are covered; Highway Star (from the superb Machine Head album, 1972), No, No, No (from Fireball, 1971 and Hallelujah (1969 – has never appeared on an album). Hallelujah, incidentally, was the first recording made by the MKII line-up so in itself is something of a collector’s piece. This first section of the DVD-EP runs for 17 mins (as does the Pop-Up DVD section). The performances are spot on, the Hammond is a delight and the dress sense is, well, conservative for a rock band (suits of sorts bar Roger Glover’s T-shirt and of course Blackmore’s trademark Witchfinder General’s hat).
The preview section covers Alice Cooper, Motorhead, The Who, Joe Cocker, Meatloaf, The Beach Boys and Rod Stewart offering a taster of the other DVD-EP’s in the series (running time 3:30 mins).
The DVD Jukebox section provides a selection of tracks from feature length DVDs available from Classic Pictures by ELP, Rick Wakeman, Procol Harum, Wishbone Ash, Leon Russell, Jack Bruce, Barclay James Harvest, Big Country, Black Sabbath (with Ronnie James Dio) and Blue Oyster Cult (a cracking version of Born To Be Wild). Track details of the DVDs from which these tracks are taken are displayed onscreen.
Picture and sound quality are good. The concert was originally filmed for German TV and as befitted the era is laden with special effects (colour saturation of band members producing a pseudo 3D effect) giving the film a psychedelic quality. Hallelujah was recorded in monochrome (black, white and everything in between) – well, it was 1969.
The DVD has a fully animated menu from which can be accessed the sections and tracks within the sections at will.
The DVD sleeve provides full listings of all sections.
The DVD is multi-region PAL format, 4:3 screen ratio, with selectable Dolby© Digital 5.1/DTS.
For Deep Purple fans, the rare footage on the DVD surely makes this a ‘must have’. The DVD Jukebox section’s on-screen details are, admittedly, a little on the intrusive side and hopefully Classic Pictures can modify the text to make it more transparent on future editions to this worthwhile series. For all you bargain hunters, in the immortal words of David Dickinson, at around £6.99 it’s as cheap as chips! (Release date 23rd September 2002 Cat No. DVD7013X)
Footnote: If you have extraordinarily good eyesight (or a magnifying glass) you may spot in the small print on the inner sleeve that Black Sabbath has erroneously been credited in place of Deep Purple (see Classic Pictures announcement and apology in the News section, 20th September 2002). Future pressings will show the correct detail. However, we reckon the error makes this initial pressing of the DVD doubly collectable.
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