The British band Deep Purple belongs next to Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin to the big three in hard rock music. The musicians around bandleader Jon Lord shaped the genre like hardly any other group of their time. In addition to numerous classic albums, the live record Made in Japan stands out from their catalogue. During the tour through Japan, the classic Mark II line-up of the band reached their best work on stage.
Numerous line-up changes mark the band history of Deep Purple. However, fans appreciate the so-called Mark II cast. In this composition, the band celebrated their big breakthrough and delivered multiple records for eternity. Ian Gillen, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Roger Glover and Ian Paice made up this line-up, which also recorded Made In Japan. They made the record during the group’s first tour of Japan in 1972.
A Budget of $ 3,000
It was recorded during three concerts in Osaka and Tokyo in August. A year later, Deep Purple was supposed to play their last show with the classic line-up in the same hall in Osaka. While the band performed live Smoke On The Water as the second song, the tracklist was changed when released, and the second great classic song, Child In Time, was pushed forward. That is remarkable in that the band recorded the album without any overdubs. The budget for Made In Japan at the time was a ridiculous $ 3,000. What’s even more impressive is that neither singer Ian Gillan nor guitarist Ritchie Blackmore had heard the record even once before it was released. Only bassist Roger Glover and drummer Ian Paice were in the studio when the album was mixed.
A Famous Fan
For the back cover of Made In Japan, the band did not use a photo from Japan but a show at the Brixton O2 Academy. Incidentally, you can see Def Leppard’s guitarist Phil Collen in the audience. Although everyone considered the Tokyo show to be the better one, they could only use two songs on the record. The recording quality from this show just wasn’t good enough. The cover also had a different design. Ironically, this live album achieved the highest position in the US charts and climbed to sixth place.
Musically, the quality of the recordings is still beyond question. Deep Purple put on three great shows in Japan. You can even see that for yourself. So it’s no wonder that Made In Japan is still considered one of the best live albums in history. The tracks essentially consist of songs from the three best Deep Purple albums, In Rock, Fireball and Machine Head. The live version of Child In Time, in particular, surpasses the rock classic by far. That is not only due to Ian Gillan’s singing, but above all to the musical duels that Jon Lord and Ritchie Blackmoore fought on stage. At the time, everyone involved was in the shape of their lives and impressed with their art of improvisation.