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Paris 1975

(Eagle Rock)

Reviewed by : Mark Gromen
Rating : 9.0

One of nearly a dozen re-issues of formerly overseas-only, historic releases. In this case, a dual-disc package from the French capital, that ended up being Ritchie Blackmore’s swansong, before going on to form RAINBOW. Actually this April 7th concert was also utilized in piecing together the classic Made In Europe, which ultimately hit the streets after the classic line-up had disbanded. While that disc was hampered by the limitation of vinyl, restricting it to a mere five songs, present technology allows for the entire evening’s worth of music to be aired, the running order now doubled to ten tracks: four at or exceeding ten minutes each and two others (‘Space Truckin’ and ‘You Fool No One’) twenty minutes apiece! While that might seem like enough, the second disc includes a nearly half-hour Aussie interview with David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes and Ian Paice, conducted that same year.

Apart from the gems available for decades on that classic slab of vinyl (and the aforementioned gargantuan length takes), this show adds the ubiquitous ‘Smoke On The Water’, a rousing ‘Highway Star’ finale as well as rarely heard numbers like ‘The Gypsy’ and ‘Going Down’. It offers a glimpse into the music industry in a bygone era, the band strolling onstage, unannounced and without fanfare. After a few bars of warm-up, all around, punctuated by Coverdale’s quick raps to the audience, they launch directly into ‘Burn’. Throughout the concert, the frontman offers little barbs, although Hughes does most of the song introductions. Perhaps it’s the remix, but ‘Stormbringer’ has much more prominent contributions from keyboardist Jon Lord, who also sees a heretofore absent flourish within the hit single, ‘Smoke’. ‘The Gypsy’ is really just an excuse for the guitarist to go off. The live sound is amazingly full, especially for a single guitar outfit. The cowbell stylings of ‘You Fool No One’ sees Lord (snippets of French anthem La Marseillaise), drummer Ian “Foreskin” Paice (as Coverdale introduces him) and Blackmore afforded solo spots.

The second piece of Mylar kicks off with ‘Space Truckin’ (live, it would have been 40 minutes for the back-to-back pair), although there's a bit of tomfoolery. First Hughes ad-libs the chorus to "I've Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts," the song sung by TV personality/game show inventor Merv Griffin (kid you not! Single sold three million copies!?!) and popularized by Monty Python, who undoubtedly were the Purples' inspiration. Then it's a rendition of the iconic 2001 theme, before the Brits' original finally takes off, although Lord breaks into 'Child In Time' during the widely meandering playback. 'Going Down' is an odd choice, upon reappearing onstage for an encore and it segues seamlessly into 'Highway Star', which features an alternate set of lyrics: "Big fat tires and everything" being replaced by a certain pair of female body parts that also begins with the letter T (and later, as "nipples'). Having seen numerous videos, can "hear" Blackmore" destroying his axe during the song (temporarily disappearing from the sound). Coverdale signs off prophetically, "Hope to see you again soon, in some form or another."