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Sun 21 Aug 2022 07:46:46 PM CDT : 1661129206

Burn is simply the awesomest song ever created by anyone anywhere at any time.  With that out of the way, since the fact that the awesomest muscian of all time is one of the instrumental focal points, perhaps the point.  Obviously Deep Purple wasn't Deep Purple without Jon Lord supplying the other half.  Without Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord Purple was just a band named Deep Purple.  Blackmore may have been unhappy with the personnel changes (Coverdale and Hughes replacing Ian Gillan and Roger Glover) but it still worked until he left.  When he returned it worked agin.  Until he left again, this time for good. While studio versions of almost all songs sound a little sterile compared to the live performances this one is pretty good in its original form.  I remember the first time I heard it, unwrapping the 8-track in the parking lot and plugging it into the player.  That opening hooked me almost fifty years ago and hasn't ever let go.  I actuall like if more than the muore famous Smoke on the Water.

For a studio recording it was very good, as all Purple albums were.  The performance was of course the standard.  They way to do it.  The magic is in the hooks and riffs, and the opening riff is every bit as memorable as "Smoke on the Water", while Jon Lord's hot-rodded Hammond organ evokes memories of "Highway Star".  Obviously no matter how good the sound, the live performances that followed are much better.  I still listen to the original recording a lot though.  As Smoke on the Water is best enjoyed on the "Made in Japan" album, and so is Highway Star, Burn (not yet recorded at the time of the Japanese recording) would played many more times over the years, with many high-quality recordings by Purple (but not with Ian Gillan, as he apparently didn't like doing songs originally recorded during his absence) avilable. They did perform it during Gillan's second vacation, with Joe Lynn Turner doing the vocal duties, but I haven't located a recording, official or otherwise.

Here are some of the official ones:

Made in Europe (1975/6) - Opening track.  I'll give these a listen again and comment.

Last Concert in Japan (1977) - Again, the opener.

Live in London (1974, released 1982) - The same.

King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents: Deep Purple in Concert (1976, released 1995) - The Coverdale era, so it is the opener.

California Jamming (from the 1974 California Jam, released 1996) - The infamous Cal Jam (due to Blackmore's uh, anyway, at the end) is one of the best.  Classic performance â la "Made in Japan" which had been released just a couple of years earlier.

Live in Paris (1975) Was not released until 2001.

This Time Around: Live in Tokyo (released 2001)

The Best of Deep Purple: Live in Europe contains both MKII and MKIII lineups, so Burn makes an appearance.

Perks and Tit (released 2004) was recorded in '74 and so....

Phoenix Rising from 2011 is a collection of 75/76 performances by the MKIV lineup.

There are a number of other live recordings I haven't heard.  Looks like someone figured if the material is there, might as well do something with it.  OK, one of the blurbs for "Perfect Strangers" (the reunion with Blackmore was "destiny brought them together" which prompted the response from (probably more than one critic) that it was more likely having a regular paycheck again.  Whatever, it worked.  For a while, but then before long Blackmore had had enough of Gillan and departed, and Purple was effectively over.  They just didn't know it.  Jon Lord stayed, but it wasn't the same.  Lord would stay until around 2002, but one only has to look at historical sales to see them go off a cliff with Blackmore's departure.

Luckily, Blackmore would accumulate a lot of concert recordings, most of them very good and (being the late '70s onward) most with video.  The Dio era stuff is quite good, and the religious wars (Dio vs Turner) notwithstanding, it's all worth checking out.

OK, now for my favorite covers.  Mostly live, but there are some studio versions I may stick in, one of these days.

Yngwie Malmsteen - Budokan, Japan, 1994 -- I've only been able to find this on Youtube.  Some sources say it was left off the live album recorded at that event, others say it was only on the Japanese release.  Anyway, it's one of the most enjoyable.  Reportedly an encore, the band does look a little frazzled.  Mike Vescera's outfit, I hope he wasn't wearing that for the whole show.  A couple of fun moments, one when something doesn't go quite according to plan, and you see Yngwie and the keyboard player exchanging puzzled looks.  Yngwie recovers well enough, though not as cleanly as Doogie White when he blew it during "Still I'm Sad" on the Rainbow show in Germany in 1995.  The cameraman was on the ball and caught Blackmore's reaction, just a sheephish grin in this case.

Whitesnake - Hammersmith, London, 2004 -- Not just because David Coverdale is the lyricist this is probably the best ever.  Recorded in 2004 for the "Live in the Still of the Night" DVD, it also is Whitesnake at their best. Guitarists Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach are every bit as good as you'd expect, and while I am not farmilar with keyboard player Timothy Drury, he does the job well.  The song structure is close to the original, hence the prominent keyboard piece after the second chorus evoking the sprit of Jon Lord if not his unique tone, but a piece of "Stormbringer" is inserted before the ending.  Unconventional but it's his song and his show and it works well.

Glenn Hughes with Robert Wells "Rhapsody In Rock", 2011 -- Glenn Hughes of course recorded the original Deep Purple version, playing bass at that time and sharing vocals on this track with Coverdale.  Here he performs with Robert Wells' project at the Royal Albert Hall. He's about sixty here, so not as old as some rockers doing their thing.  Great performance? Depends.  Hughes does all right for his age, and the performance overall is very enjoyable.  Accompaniment is a small orchestra and some singers, I guess that's Robert on the piano, a bass player (looks like maybe a 5-string) and a keyboardist, and an outstanding guitarist.  Yeah, I know there's about a zillion great guitarists out there, and few ever get any kind of a break.  Just aren't enough breaks.  Anyway, this guy looks like he's about as old as Glenn, and is really good.  Structurally it follows the original, with the guitarist carrying pretty much the entire thing, the keyboard and string section are there but without the prominence of Lord's Hammond.
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