Hard rock pioneers Deep Purple bring their power face to face with the London Symphony Orchestra in a concert recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in September 1999. Joined by such rock luminaries as Ronnie James Dio, Sam Bro... more »wn and The Steve Morse Band, Deep Purple plays many of their best-loved heavy metal songs, including the rock anthem "Smoke on the Water." Also highlighted is Deep Purple composer and keyboardist Jon Lord's "Concerto for Group and Orchestra," from the band's very first record, recomposed just for this monumental concert performance. Songs: Pictured Within, Wait a While, Sitting in a Dream, Love is All, Wring That Neck, Concerto for Group and Orchestra Movement I, Concerto for Group and Orchestra Movement II, Concerto for Group and Orchestra Movement III, Ted the Mechanic, Watching the Sky, Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming, Pictures of Home, Smoke on the Water. 120 minutes.« less
A little slow to start, but great once it gets going
Christopher A. Richards | Somewhere Over The Rainbow | 11/09/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is from a 1999 performance by Deep Purple, along with various guests, including the London Symphony Orchestra. They probably should have called it "Deep Purple And Friends", for reasons that will soon become obvious. The show gets off to a slow start, with two ballads featuring Purple keyboardist Jon Lord on grand piano and the orchestra. The first, Pictured Within, has a singer named Miller Anderson on vocals. The second song, Wait Awhile, features Sam Brown, a female vocalist who has recorded several solo albums, and has also toured with Pink Floyd as a backup singer. Neither of these songs is very good, and are the primary reason why I'm not giving this release a five star review.After the dull opening, Lord and orchestra are joined by most of his Deep Purple bandmates, bassist Roger Glover, drummer Ian Paice, and guitarist Steve Morse, along with Ronnie James Dio. With this configuration (plus a few backup singers and violinist Graham Preskett) the group performs two Glover penned songs, Sitting In A Dream and Love Is All. These songs are drawn from Butterfly Ball And The Grasshopper's Feast, a conceptual work that Glover released in the mid 70's. It's interesting that the band would choose to spotlight such obscure songs, but I think in the end, these two songs are played rather well. Following this, Dio and Morse both leave the stage, and the remaining three members of Purple and Preskett, plus the infamous Kick Horns (who ruined many a classic song when they toured with The Who in 89) tear into the classic Purple instrumental Wring That Neck. I suppose if this was someone else paying tribute to Purple, I'd regard this as a great arrangement, but I was expecting to hear Steve Morse play on this track. Like I said, it's a good arrangement, and I suppose the band gets points for trying something different. After this, show the REALLY picks up steam, as they present Lord's Concerto For Group And Orchestra, a piece that Purple originally recorded in 69, and which hadn't played much since then, until circumstances brought upon the inspiration to resurrect the piece 3 decades later. So, what does the Concerto sound like? Well, it sounds like exactly what I had imagined it to be, ie a mix of an orchestra playing classical sounding music with the classic Purple sound. Some of the orchestral interludes seem to go on a bit, but I think in general, it's very successful in mixing classical and hard rock music. There's a couple bits during the second movement, where Ian Gillan sings, but it's mostly an instrumental piece. After the Concerto, the band performs a handful of 90's era songs, before ending the set with Pictures Of Home. The encore is, of course, Smoke On The Water, performed with the full cast of musicians, along with members of The Steve Morse Band and a second guitarist who isn't really identified (he's not mentioned on the back cover, though presumably his name is amongst those listed under the word "Guests" in the closing credits). Dio and Gillan trade off on vocals, and suprisingly, the orchestra, Kick Horns and even the back up singers (I HATE back up singers, what does a rock group like Deep Purple need back up singers for?) sound great.To those who demur at the idea of Deep Purple without Ritchie Blackmore, I might point out Steve Morse is a genius. He's had a long career playing with The Dregs during the 70's as well as The Steve Mores Band and Kansas during the 80's. He twice got so sick of the business of the music industry that he quit and took a normal job, but found the pull of playing music too strong to stay away from his first love. He does a perfect job at filling Blackmore's shoes. As I said before, the only reason I'm giving this DVD a four star review instead of five is because of the two boring Jon Lord songs that open the disc. I think it would have been better if they had started out with a few Purple songs, then the Concerto, then more Purple material to wrap up with. Maybe they could have stuck the songs the songs featuring Miller Anderson (WHO IS Miller Anderson, anyway?!), Sam Brown and Ronnie James Dio in the middle someplace, but I think it was a bad idea to start with them. Anyway, I think this is a nice release, and once they get into the actual portion of the show that features Deep Purple, it's fantastic."
Who says you can't go back?
Joseph P. Skinnell III | Hanover Park, IL United States | 09/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've viewed the video tape of the original 1969 performance many times and was impressed beyond belief. However, this new dvd presentation surpasses the original. Filmed with multiple cameras and mixed in Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, this DVD is even more impressive than TOTAL ABANDON. The clarity of the video rivals film and the sound just dosen't get any better than what you'll find here. Excellant interview with keyboardist Jon Lord is included. The band/orchestra combos on old PURPLE classics as PICTURES OF HOME, SMOKE ON THE WATER, and especially WRING THAT NECK are wonders to the ears. With over 100 musicians playing on these classics you'll be hearing them again for the first time . Newer PURPLE tunes such as TED THE MECHANIC, SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE SCREAMING, and WATCHING THE SKY are given the same treatment with equal abandon. The concerto itself has been re-written slightly from the original '69 version and is presented here with crystal clear sound. If you don't find your foot tapping or fingers twitching to this disc, then your dead. Personnaly I feel this work has improved with age. Kudos to Jon Lord for bringing it back! Can't wait for the tour to hit Chicago!"
Why only 5 stars--- I give this a big SIX!
Andy Browne | North Carolina | 03/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1969 Deep Purple broke new ground by writing and performing The Concerto for Group and Orchestra. Thirty years later, they did it again, only better. I have owned the LP, CD, bootlegged VHS tape, and the laser disk of the original recording. Now with the CD and DVD, my collection of one of the most amazing classical rock concerts ever made is complete. Now if I can just see them live...Deep Purple was the first band to truly demonstrate the concept of Symphonic Rock. YES, Tull, and even Metallica are all Johnnie Come Latelys. How does one improve upon perfection... get this DVD and see for yourself. And to the guy who commented on Steve Morse (the new kid), Morse makes Ritchie Blackmore seem like an old arthritic blues picker... Steve Morse reinvented Deep Purple and it shows."
"I have always loved the Concert for Group and Orchestra. The new version is excellent (sound, image and direction); however, the old one excels. Why? First, in the new one there is a feeling of something already accomplished. Lord and company do not have to show anything: everybody in the public and even in the orchestra know the concert works and is good. The uncertainty, the encounter with the unknown, is missing here, while it was the great sensation on the first version. Second, the great selfindulgence of the past is also missing. The solos, particularly the guitar ones, are reduced, in order to adapt to an economy prone musical industry (do not bore the audience with long experiments, seems to be the order). Third, times are not the same. Sixties audience was the perfect frame for this kind of music: adventurous, innovative, iconoclast. Those are the reasons for not giving five stars to this DVD. Everything is OK, but, unfortunately for rating, there is an exceptional precedent. Get it for image, sound and extra songs; however, do not forget that there is a better one. By the way, I do not belong to the sixties generation, so my appreciation has nothing to do with nostalgia."
Very good indeed
Chris | South Africa | 08/16/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I found the idea of a heavy metal rock group and a Symphony Orchestra playing together more than a little interesting, so I bought the region two DVD available here. My - what a surprise - it really does work! The two hour performance starts off with several mainly classical pieces involving very little instrumental work from the group and then leads into a three movement Concerto (on tracks 6 to 8) for group and orchestra lasting for over 50 minutes. The remaining five tracks are mostly heavy metal. My favourite track is Ted The Mechanic on #9. That one will get your subwoofer working overtime!!IMO the outstanding musicians in the group were Jon Lord on keyboard and Hammond organ, and Steve Morse on Guitar. Those two are totally brilliant. The London Symphony Orchestra was conducted by Paul Mann and the performance was recorded in the Royal Albert Hall in London England.This is a very worthwhile addition to my music collection and I would recommend it highly to anyone considering buying it. The audio is in Dolby 5.1, the picture quality is excellent and what was generally good camera work was marred in several places where the handheld shots were unacceptably shaky."