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Plus our new Deep Purple picture disc arriving in this week!





The inaugural California Jam was a legendary rock music festival co-headlined by Eagles, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. It was held at the Ontario Motor Speedway in Ontario, California, on April 6, 1974.

California Jam attracted over 300,000 paying fans and set world records for the loudest amplification system ever installed, the highest paid attendance, and highest gross receipts. The performances were broadcast live on FM radio and broadcast nationwide on U.S. television.

Deep Purple made the eager crowd wait nearly an hour until near dusk before they went on stage. At the climax of the show, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore trashed his guitar and equipment then attacked one of the ABC network's video cameras. The infamous mishap with a pyrotechnic effect then caused one of Blackmore's amplifiers to explode, which briefly set the stage on fire. The group had to hastily leave the concert by helicopter to avoid a confrontation with furious fire marshals and a potential arrest for the pyrotechnics.

Also includes:

Full-length e-book: The People Said Burn!

Documentary Film: Burn!

Track Listing:

Side 1

1. Burn

2. Might Just Take Your Life

3. Mistreated

Side 2

1. Smoke On The Water

2. Lazy

3. You Fool No One

4. Space Truckin'

And here`s bit of background on another great Deep Purple album we stock.....

Deep Purple – In Rock

“The loudest band in history and the posh man’s Led Zeppelin”, Deep Purple are a legendary band in our, not always so humble opinion, given our knowledge and love of rock. If you like Deep Purple, then you know its history and credentials but there’s stuff in this article that you won’t know. In Rock was described by the ever-critical Rolling Stone as “a dynamic, brilliant and frenzied work,”. And the stars of this story are Gillan (vocals), Roger Glover (Bass), Founders Jon Lord (keyboards), Ian Paice (Drums) and Ritchie Blackmore (guitar).

Deep Purple are a legendary band, they have history but more than anything they honed their craft and that craft helped define true heavy rock, not just once but through time. Planet Rock named them the 5th most influential band, ever. Take that thought and “amplify it” (pardon the pun) because In Rock is one of their top albums and Ultimateclassicrock put In Rock at the top, followed by Machine Head (1972), Burn (1974), Fireball (1971), Come Taste the Band (1974).

It’s important to see In Rock in context to understand why it was so welcome. More than a third of a century ago the death of the 60s had landed the world and its groupie with a colossal cultural hangover. The decade of free love, peaceful protest and sticking flowers in soldiers’ guns was over, and the grim 70’s – oil shortages, over-generous sideburns, Margaret Thatcher, punk – was just getting into its stride. Musically, the world had hit a bit of a pause and people were wondering “who’s next?” In 1970, popular (as opposed to pop) music was finding its feet – and its balls. “A whole lot of people were thinking the same way at the same time,” says Ian Gillan with a nostalgic cackle. “You look back at seminal moments and influences, and you’ll notice that things were getting heavier and harder, because of Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan. “You look at the power of those songs that Dylan sang, just with a guitar and a harmonica, and then how powerfully other artists interpreted them. And there were other messages from people such as The Doors, The Beach Boys and the John Lennon part of the Beatles. All this was leaning toward a more rebellious stance.”

But as Purple ascended, The Beatles had just waved farewell to the world after arguing themselves into dissolution. Jimi Hendrix, the man thought most likely to bring guitar music to the masses, had recently checked out; The Doors’ Jim Morrison, the lizard king, had mere months to live. Cream and Blind Faith had been and gone in a multimillion-selling flash. Loud music from blokes with generous facial hair and a fondness for lots of drugs and/or girls (usually both) was an endangered species. It was in this context that Curtis had a brilliant idea.

Deep Purple’s foundation was totally different to the 60’s rock stars mentioned above. Curtis had the idea of founding a band as a “supergroup”, the whole idea being that the band was the brand, and the members would roll with time. In 1969 this was a very unusual idea that dealt with a fundamental issue – bands came together and broke up. From a “business” stand- point, this was a huge waste of energy and meant a loss of “long term” revenue. To make the point, imagine if The Beatles had been a band, not a set of individuals, then the band would have carried on wowing audiences long after the fab four grew fed up with each other and went their separate ways. Curtis approached Tony Edwards, a London businessman, with this idea of being a “supergroup” with a rolling door but with a certain style and aesthetic to be retained overtime. Calling the band “Roundabout” at first was deeply ironic. It was only when they were on tour in Denmark and Sweden that Blackmore suggested the name “Deep Purple” after a song his grandmother loved.

The band’s “Purple Period” was between 1968-76 with the line up being Gillan (vocals), Roger Glover (Bass), Founders Jon Lord (keyboards), Ian Paice (Drums) and Ritchie Blackmore (guitar). There was a magic “improv” energy between Blackmore and Lord that made watching the band feel more like jazz, than rock and it was this amazing dynamic that earned them a reputation as a unique live band. This line-up came back together between 1984-89 and 1992-94.

How did they get so good? They “grafted”:

“We spent a long time learning the craft of song writing, Roger Glover and I, for a few years before we joined Deep Purple. You learn the percussive value of words, and you learn about rhyme and metre. You learn you can’t transform a poem into a song lyric, mostly because the spoken words are different than the sung shape of words. You wouldn’t use a vowel “u” or the vowel “ooo” for a high note for example, it’s very difficult”. Ian Gillan.

“We’d all been recording artists before In Rock, but none of us had done something like this before,” Gillan offers. “Purple were more known in the States for cover songs like Hush [by Joe South], Kentucky Woman [by Neil Diamond], River Deep Mountain High [previously made famous by Ike & Tina Turner] and so on, where they were hit records.” He adds that Purple’s three previous studio albums – Shades Of Deep Purple (68), The Book Of Taliesyn (69) and Deep Purple (69) – “had been much admired by aficionados such as myself, but the self-penned material largely went unnoticed by the media – not that the media was called that in those days. So, there was a desire in Ritchie and Jon and Ian to explore that area of their music a bit more. This was the reason for the band changing and Roger and I being invited in.”

A key thing that precipitated In Rock was the chemistry of the band, and the place everyone was on their journey. In Gillan’s own words: “It was a kind of joy,” Gillan smiles. “I have absolutely fond memories of that time. All the rehearsals I’d been to before were about learning songs; these [for In Rock] were all about writing songs, from the perspective of being totally inside them and jamming them.” Attempting to define this intangible factor, he says that there’s “a joy in writing something as five people, rather than just one. That’s the great thing about a band. When you find yourself in that place, when you’re all singing off the same hymn sheet, then it’s very natural to play that music, because it comes from a rhythm and you just join in and build it up as it goes along.”

In an early interview, Jon Lord looked back with great affection on Gillan and Glover coming into the band: “When Ian and Roger joined, something very nice happened within the group. We were trying to develop unnaturally before; we would grasp all sorts of different ideas at once, like a child in a garden full of flowers – he wants them all at once. Songs for possible inclusion on In Rock came thick and fast, and often without any obvious effort on the band’s behalf. It has become a cliché for songwriters to claim that they don’t actually create music, it’s simply channelled through them from some unidentified, perhaps unearthly, source. But in the case of Deep Purple and In Rock, the cliché appears to be the truth.

Just like Mount Rushmore, only with five, instead of four, legendary faces, 'In Rock', we’d argue, is Deep Purple’s most important album. Their wholesale reinvention as hard rock doyens and heavy metal godfathers, it saved the group’s career from its late ‘60s doldrums with an amazing set of songs, including blistering standards like “Speed King,” “Bloodsucker,” “Into the Fire," the driving “Flight of the Rat,” and the epic peaks and valleys of “Child in Time.” You could easily argue that “Flight of the Rat” is a progressive track. Paice’s Indian sounding drums and Lord Hammond’s vortices complementing Blackmore’s plum riffing. But it’s the powerhouse tracks that are so revered. “Speed King” is Glover’s Hendrix-esque juggernaut, with Gillan’s wicked laughter and screaming, the wailathon “Hard Lovin’ Man,” and “Into the Fire” whose fiery riff is almost Sabbath-esque. In “Child in Time” – “The story of a loser, it could be you.” It’s poignant grandiloquence and climatic shrieking (unrelated to Gillan’s receipt of in-corridor groupie “relief”) epitomize Purple and its times like nothing else.

Each member of the Deep Purple line-up that recorded In Rock had an indefinable but crucial contribution to make to the songs. As bassist Roger Glover remembered: “Ritchie wasn’t just the guitar player, he was a brilliant innovator. Things he wrote defy description. Ritchie was phenomenal in what he was doing in the late 60s and early 70s. He did things that you wouldn’t even think of. He was a magnetic, dynamic writer. I don’t think he could have done it in a vacuum by himself, it did require the rest of us. But I’ll certainly give him his due. He was the motivating character in the band.”

Asked how the band conceived the album’s classic opening track, Gillan shrugs: “I don’t know how we came up with Speed King, any more than I know how Ian Paice started playing it, or how Ritchie Blackmore started playing it. I see a lot of young stars on chat shows these days denying any knowledge of having any formative years or any influences in their early life, but I think we all did in Purple. What you got was a mish-mash of everything we ever listened to.”

So, what were the main influences on In Rock? After all, Gillan and Glover’s lightweight pop past was something of a contrast to the other musicians’ adventurous, less orthodox but more unfocused experience. “It’s an accumulation,” Gillan says. “Jon Lord had his classical and Jimmy Smith background. Ian was Buddy Rich personified. In my case it was Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Ella Fitzgerald and Jerry Lee Lewis. In later times Roger’s Bob Dylan influence came in. When you bring all that together, you’re gonna’ come up with something unique. If you took one of us away it wouldn’t be the same. Rock music, to me, was an attitude.”

“All this analysis is very difficult,” he continues, reflectively. “You’re never aware of these things at the time. It’s always an objective look back at the past, by which time you’ve forgotten half of what happened anyway.” In any case, he says, In Rock wasn’t actually developed in the studio, it was created and honed by endless days and nights on the road, when the songs were put through their paces; their finished form took shape after months of being pulled and bent in all directions.

In Rock, seems to have born from an alignment of rocks in the heavens, it’s post 60’s timing, the fact that the band had done their apprenticeship, they had a range of influences and, at the time, a desire to jam which allowed experimentation to be genuinely experimental. So, when you listen to the songs, we’d recommend listening to them with a fresh ear, because at the time, the only real reference point for Deep Purple, was, Deep Purple. Today we might put them in this box, or that box or in an in-between box. The truth is they were creating a new box and big box that would see many bands fit in after their pioneering work.

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