A short column this week with a couple of DVDs and a two-CD set.
Deep Purple: Pheonix Rising
Here we have a DVD that means to tell the tale of the Mark IV lineup from the beginning to its tragic end. The two camps--the drug addled and the non-addict camps--are represented well by Glenn Hughes and Jon Lord. It would have been better if David Coverdale and Ian Paice were on hand to give their views of the entire saga. Coverdale does appear in a disclaimer at the end. Paice, it should be pointed out, is the only member of Deep Purple that was in both the Mark IV line-up and the current one. What is harrowing is the tale of their trip to Malaysia and the resulting death of one of their entourage.
Have to say that we are treated to a bit too much of Hughes going on about his own battle with drugs. It does get a bit tiring after a while, and more about the actual music would have been welcome. These are minor quibbles because overall it's quite an interesting view into that period of the band. Both Lord and Hughes are candid, which makes for a genuine feel to the whole thing.
In addition there are extras like two booklets about that version of the band, totaling over 50 pages of content. The rest of the visual extras are a bit weak, with a press kit for "Come Taste the Band" and a rehash of the Jakarta stuff. There is, of course, a remastered 30 minute concert recorded at Budokan right after their doomed trip to Indonesia.
If you are a Deep Purple fan and your knowledge of this period is a bit light you could do far worse than this DVD. The fact it includes some rare video with Tommy Bolin on guitar makes it all the more special. A good companion to the recent re-issue of Burn, Phoenix Rising is a fascinating release from a great band at one of its lowest points.