Deep Purple – Danish Yodel Master (Darker Than Blue 053/054)

 Danish Yodel Master (Darker Than Blue 053/054)

Vejlby-Risskov Hallen, Arhus, Denmark – April 24th, 1971

Disc 1: Intro., Yodel, drum solo, Speed King, Strange Kind Of Woman, Into The Fire, Child In Time
Disc 2: Wring That Neck, Mandrake Root, Black Night, Lucille

Danish Yodel Master uses the same tape source for the April 24 show in Arhus that has been released several times before. Danish Yodel Beware (R-Duck 9803) is a 2CDR title with the full show, uncut and unedited with exception of “Into The Fire” which is missing the first verse because of a tape flip. “Beware” is a poem recited by Gillan while the band tune up and fix and amplifiers. Danish Yodel Beware (R-Miyake) is a copy of the earlier release, and Danish Yodel (8-Ball) lists this as 1970 and has more cuts than the other versions and is said to be inferior to the others. The sound quality of the tape is good to very good and clear.

The taper was positioned a fair distance from the stage and Gillan’s song introductions and quieter passages in the music are softer in volume. But when the band play up to full volume it becomes more enjoyable to listen to, and the stereo sounds very deep. As mentioned above, there is a cut before “Into The Fire” eliminating the first verse, an annoying cut at 8:01 in “Wring That Neck,” and a cut before the encores. The tape begins with band warming up and Gillan announcing they will play a new song before “Yodel,” a tune which the used as an introduction to “Speed King” that spring. Just as they crash into the opening power chord of the opening song the electricity goes out. Ian Paice entertains the audience for a couple of minutes while things are sorted out.

Gillan apologizes before the band play “Speed King” as an opener. The ferocity of the song and the aggression with which it is played is an indication this will be Deep Purple in rare form. Their latest single “Strange Kind Of Woman” follows. This version pushes seven minutes long and has hints of the Gillan-Blackmore call-and-response what would be the center of interest in future versions, but the emphasis is upon the instrumental jamming. After the “Into The Fire” fragment, Gillan introduces “Child In Time” as having “a story which is quiet sad…”

This seventeen and a half minute opus features a delicate baroque style organ melody which Blackmore answers on the guitar. This is one of the last versions of the piece to feature this arrangement. When it was played on the Machine Head tour the following year, it followed the studio version much closer. “We’re gonna organize things a little bit. We’ve decided to do something else. A number from a long time ago from the second album…an instrumental…we’ll probably do the drum solo too. We need some patience as we get the amplifier set up.” After some more talking about chairs, Gillan announces that he’s getting off stage before announcing the song with two titles, “Hard Road” and “Wring That Neck.” This song from The Book of Taliesyn is another long jamming piece lasting eighteen minutes long and features a short Roger Glover bass solo.

Jon Lord follows by playing a medley of songs including Toccatta And Fuge In D Minor by J.S. Bach, and The Beatles’ “Hey Jude,” before Blackmore comes in and plays a solo including snippets of “White Christmas” and “Jingle Bells.” The selections are rather incongruous since it was close to Easter and not Christmas, but it is all in good fun. “Mandrake Root” is introduced as something “rude” and this is yet another number of epic proportions, lasting more than twenty minutes. The middle section is dominated by Blackmore playing his flights of fancy beginning with expressive figures of yearning from the soul played over the notable pulsating rhythm which morph into a baroque counterpoint played over a jazzy rhythm.

The balance of the piece returns to the guitar hero histrionics and the results are nothing short of extraordinary. The final two songs, “Black Night” and Little Richard’s “Lucille,” sound banal after this performance. Danish Yodel Master is a great sounding tape of a mind bogglingly good performance by Deep Purple and one of the concerts that cemented their legend. Only fragments of this tape surfaced before but the now the entire show is available nd this is the very first silver pressed edition of this spectacular tape. It is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with glossy paper inserts and is limited to three hundred copies.

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