The Palace 1972 (Tarantura TCDP-4)
Saturday, November 11, 1972, at The Palace Theater, Waterbury, CT, USA
Disc 1: Introduction; Highway Star; Smoke On The Water; Child In Time; Strange Kind Of Woman; Lazy; Drum Solo; The Mule; Space Truckin’
Deep Purple’s Made in Japan is one of the all-time greatest live rock recordings to ever be released. From its barnstorming opener of “Highway Star”, the double-album blew fans away from the start. There can really be no debate that the Mark II line-up of Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Roger Glover and Ian Paice performed at a level in those Japanese shows that showed why they were one of the biggest music groups of that era, and in history.
Tarantura’s Deep Purple The Palace 1972 was recorded from the audience about three months after the shows used for Made in Japan. The recording quality can comfortably be described as very good, with all instruments and Gillan easily heard. There is very good bottom end, with middle and high ranges as well. Given its vintage, the level of detail captured on the ampex 60 master cassettes – pictured inside the gorgeous gatefold jacket – is wonderful. For concertgoers, the tapes also picked-up the all too familiar shouts of fans imploring (sometimes angrily) others to “sit down!” Elements like this can make a concert recording from the audience a more complete document of the concert experience. Thankfully, those fan exchanges are largely heard only between songs.
After the band was introduced to wild cheering, Jon Lord was the first to be heard, offering some enticing notes on the organ as Paice started rumbling around the toms of his kit. Gillan then said “Hey! Good morning, nice to be here, we’ll be just a couple of seconds while we get tuned up, we’ll be right with you – see you in a second.” He wasn’t kidding, because the next thing you hear is Paice’s steady snare drum pattern that set the stage for another explosive “Highway Star.” Gillan was charged-up, even before the song kicked-in, shouting and cheering, and then the song blasted off. After the first verse, a thunderous Paice fill on the floor toms drove them deeper into the song. Lord’s organ solo, followed later by Blackmore’s frantic guitar solo, were simply riveting. Gillan’s vocal performance throughout the song was also fantastic, not only because of his powerful range, but also because of how he accented the song at different points with cheers and jousts toward the crowd. An undeniably awesome start to the show, which continued in the next song, “Smoke on the Water.”
They played a little something different to start the song, with Blackmore and Paice matching each other with quirky timing to make listening to this classic song somewhat refreshing. Gillan’s vocals were superb, again, as was Paice’s drumming. Before the conclusion of this song, it is clear that Purple were on fire at this concert. We are very fortunate to be able to hear it in this quality.
“Child in Time” was next, which was recorded in stunning detail on the high notes Gillan navigated throughout the tune’s opening phrases. Gillan described the song as being one of the first songs they did, and about a “complete and utter loser” who had a hard time getting through everyday activities. Their version in this concert firmly stands up to the staggering version found on Made in Japan, with only a small cut in the recording at the very end of the song. “Strange Kind of Woman,” another song they killed on Made in Japan, started with Lord playing a bit of “Star Spangled Banner” as he manhandled the organ. Blackmore’s solos were enormous, as always, and the ending portion of the song with Gillan and Blackmore’s interplay was followed by Gillan’s ear piercing wails to close the song out. Without trying to be redundant, this was an exceptional concert, and we can hear that in the audience’s approval after the song ended.
“Lazy” followed in similar exciting form to the August recordings in Japan, with Ian Paice’s incredible solo next. His hi-hats, mounted and floor toms, bass drum, snare, and cymbals can all be heard in amazing detail. A brief reference to “The Mule” closed out this portion of the concert, which itself was ended by a spacey, hypnotic rendition of the always heavy “Space Truckin’.” Gillan ends it all with more enthusiastic shreeks, and thanks to the crowd, as the recording fades out.
Tarantura present this fabulous concert recording in a beautiful glossy gatefold jacket decorated with pictures from the era, and a particularly stunning shot of the group on the front cover. The remaining pictures are familiar to the Made in Japan double album, along with a picture of the ticket stub on the rear of the jacket. This release sold out instantly, but should be snatched-up immediately if located not only because of its scarcity, but because it is sure to please any fan of this precious music.