On one episode of VH1's That Metal Show, host Eddie Trunk made one of his many complaints that Deep Purple hadn't yet been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Bassist/singer Glenn Hughes, serving as musical guest for the show, chimed in, "Yea, what did I do?"
I had to smile for a minute. When I think of the Deep Purple line-up wrongfully excluded from the Hall of Fame, I think of the Mark II band of Ian Gillan (vocals), Ritchie Blackmore (guitar), Jon Lord (keyboards), Ian Paice (drums), and Roger Glover (bass). But, to be fair, any honors due to the band would have to include the original singer and bassist, Rod Evans and Nick Semper, as well as the (Mark III era) replacements for Gillan and Glover, namely David Coverdale singing lead and Hughes on bass and backing vocals.
If any evidence is needed of how worthy the Mark III era is for Hall of Fame inclusion, Live in Paris 1975 says it all. Recorded in Paris on April 17, 1975 at Palais des Sports, the concert was a milestone in Purple history. For one matter, having already turned his attention to his new Rainbow project, this was Blackmore's last gig with the band until the Deep Purple reformation in 1984.
While the concert was previously released on Purple Records in 2001, the new two-disc version is a bit historic itself. The tracks have been digitally remixed and remastered from the original multi-track recordings, and the results are simply spectacular. Five talents are perfectly placed and spread around individually in the soundscape, and the blend of these five instrumentalists and singers is vibrant, dramatic, and as powerful as Purple at its best could be.
Not surprisingly, the bulk of the material draws from Mk III's albums Burn and Stormbringer, including the title tracks for each. Reportedly, the show featured the last performances of "The Gypsy," "Lady Double Dealer," "Mistreated" and "You Fool No One." Versions of songs from Machinehead, the ubiquitous "Smoke on the Water," "Space Truckin'" and "Highway Star" show up as jams, with Lord in particular stretching them out with quotes from other Purple classics like "Lazy." In fact, Lord's keyboard playing is rather different from his previous work as he pumps out many riffs on a very untypical synthesizer. This is most evident on disc two, which includes both "Truckin'" and "Star" as well as another jam, an extended workout on Don Nix's "Going Down."