Around The World Live (DVD)

Deep Purple

Eagle Rock Entertainment, 2008

REVIEW BY: Bruce Rusk


Deep Purple are almost as famous for their personnel changes as for their music. They are also notorious for their relentless touring schedule. Deep Purple is at its best in a live setting, and they know it. Great studio albums aside, the diehard DP fan knows there's no comparison to seeing them live. Around The World Live encapsulates the latest, longest-running, and most harmonious (lineup-wise) stretch of a long and fruitful career in a four-DVD set. Collecting three full-length concerts and many hours of additional performances, behind-the-scenes and background footage, you get not only some great performances, but a wealth of interviews. Included also is an outstanding 30-page booklet loaded with interviews, photos, and biographical info.

Disc one features a live show from 1995, filmed in Bombay for Indian television. This was one of the first live shows after guitarist Steve Morse became a full-time member. It’s also some of the oddest concert footage I've ever seen. The venue is simply a huge, largely bare stage with a few red and blue lights. For someone who's used to the spectacle of live concerts with elaborate light shows and other visual elements, this seems strangely sterile. Fortunately, it doesn't affect the music. There's a slight sense of the band still feeling each other out on the stage, but the performance is tight and features a couple of seldom played gems, “Maybe I’m a Leo” and “Child In Time.” A fifty-minute show from my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Seoul filmed in the same year is also included.

The second disc features another live set, this time in Melbourne filmed in 1999. This disc also features some excellent candid footage of the band offstage. The centerpiece of this set is a blistering rendition of “Fireball,” followed by the rarely performed “Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming,” which then segues into a classic Morse guitar solo. It's interesting to see the dynamics of the band four years after the Bombay concert, with Morse fully assimilated into the group. The cohesiveness is tangible in the band’s flawless musical interchange.

The third disc features a live performance from 2002, closer to home this time at Britain's NEC. Overall, I felt this is the best of the complete performances, and it’s also notable for its inclusion of the only appearance of “Hush.” It's obvious the boys enjoy playing for the home crowd. This would be the band’s final “official” performance with original member Jon Lord, who joins in halfway through and leads the band through a set of well-known DP classics.

But the real treasure here for hardcore Purple fans is disc four, an extensive documentary loaded with interviews and snippets of archival footage going back to the Mark II lineup. Not to dismiss the live footage, which is largely excellent, but for a fan deeply immersed in their history, this is the Holy Grail.

Personally I found the concert footage, after four complete concerts, a bit repetitious; I don't need four live versions of “Woman From Tokyo.”  The interview and archival footage, on the other hand, is absolutely brilliant. Ian Gillan and Roger Glover especially seem to revel in nostalgic reminiscences, and the whole band seems to be totally at ease and loving this incarnation of their careers. It is, however, a lot to digest. For DP completists, this is a must-have. For the casual or curious, it will offer a lot of insight into one of rock's foundational bands.

Rating: B

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© 2008 Bruce Rusk and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Eagle Rock Entertainment, and is used for informational purposes only.