Danish Yodel Reel To Reel (Darker Than Blue DTB315/316)
Vejlby-Risskov Hallen, Arhus, Denmark – April 24, 1971
Disc 1 (50:26) Intro, Yodel, Drum Solo, Speed King, Strange Kind Of Woman, Into The Fire, Child In Time
Disc 2 (62:27) MC, Wring That Neck, Mandrake Root, Black Night, Lucille
The recording of Deep Purple’s gig at the 1,152 capacity Vejlby-Risskov Hallen in the city of Arhus in Denmark on April 24, 1971 must be considered essential based upon sound quality and performance. The persons who recorded this concert were certainly seasoned field recorders who used good quality equipment making for an incredible sounding document, certainly among the very best of the pre Machine Head years. Like most excellent quality recordings it has been bootlegged many times, the main titles being Danish Yodel Beware (R-Duck Records-9803), Danish Yodel (8-Ball 0087/009), Ultimate Danish Yodel (Bondage Music BON 167/168), Danish Yodel Master (Darker Than Blue 053/054), and Danish Hard Road (Tarantura TCDDP-18-1,2). Of these titles I have Danish Yodel Master on the Darker Than Blue label, like many I purchased this title based upon the review on this site by the great Gerard Sparaco. It is reviews like this that gave this site the respect among collectors, accurate description of sound and performance written with passion and enjoyment of the music.
Perhaps I’m partial to this period of Deep Purple, I love all the Mark II to Mark IV records with my favorite record being hands down Fireball. I love its psychedelic progressive feel and sound and there is not a clunker on it. My taste for live Purple spans much of their career, I very much prefer the 1969-1972 recordings. The recording featured here is certainly high on my list, therefore I was very intrigued by Darker Than Blue releasing this title. Like many recent releases of previously booted material this new release features mastering by the “Graf Zeppelin” team. When I pull out my copy of Danish Yodel Master I find that I very much prefer the sound on this new version. First off it sounds like they used the same source, the Master Reel to DAT clone. It has a near perfect balance of instruments and vocals, the recording is clear and detailed with each instrument being easily heard. Perhaps the most noticeable improvements are in two areas, Graf Zeppelin have added a bit to the bass frequencies giving a much improved bottom end. They have also done volume adjustment which brings the lower volume closer to the higher volume, I am guessing based upon the recording that the taper was holding the microphone as there are comments sporadically throughout the recording. Hand fatigue, people moving, etc all cause slight changes in volume, most of which have been compensated for here.
Looking for a play by play? Follow the link to GS’s review of this excellent concert. Needless to say there’s plenty here for all, the blistering proto Metal of Speed King and Into The Fire. Hard Rock with swagger on Strange Kind Of Woman and Black Night, improvisation tinged with Jazz on Wring That Neck, and Progressive fueled improvisational renderings of Child In time and Mandrake Root with an encore of Little Richard’s Lucille, what more could one want? The packaging is standard DTB fare, live and posed shots from the era adorn the inserts, there’s a cool pic of the gig poster and ticket stub on the rear. The posed shot on the interior is great, the band look quite serious and after repeated listenings of this concert, it reflects the playing. For those not sold on trend of “classic” bootlegs being remastered by Graf Zeppelin, there’s nothing wrong with the O.G. Danish Yodel Master title, for those who want a nice upgrade or who do not have this in their collection, this is an excellent title.