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Who Do They Think They Are? Two Deep Purple Box Sets, ’80s Live Show To Be Released

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Deep Purple Mk IIDeep Purple fans – particularly fans of the almighty Mk. II lineup of the ever-changing British rock pioneers – brace yourselves (and your wallets): no less than three catalogue/collectible projects are due for 2013.

Though Deep Purple enjoyed early stateside success with a trio of psych-prog LPs in the late 1960s, it was the crystallization of the Mk. II lineup – guitarist Richie Blackmore, keyboardist Jon Lord and drummer Ian Paice alongside new members Ian Gillan (lead vocals) and Roger Glover (bass) – that broke them worldwide. Tracks like “Speed King,” “Black Night,” “Strange Kind of Woman” and signature tune “Smoke on the Water” became instant rock classics, and anticipated the eventual rise of heavy metal in the decades to follow.

After four Mk. II albums, Gillan and Glover would depart in 1973, making room for new bassist Glenn Hughes and vocalist David Coverdale as Deep Purple Mk. III. In 1975, Blackmore departed the Deep Purple fold to head the neo-classical rock outfit Rainbow with rising vocalist Ronnie James Dio; Mk. IV replacement Tommy Bolin stayed with the band for just under a year before the group disbanded.

But it was Mk. II that wouldn’t be forgotten: in 1984, the classic lineup reunited through 1989, and got together again from 1992 to 1993 for one last album, The Battle Rages On. Deep Purple still performs today, releasing 19th album Now What?! earlier this year; Paice, Gillan and Glover continue to play in the band. (Lord, who left Deep Purple in 2002, died in 2012; two songs on Now What?! are dedicated to him.)

So, having been refreshed on the band’s history, what will you find to satiate your Deep Purple catalogue needs this year? The answers are after the jump!

On October 8, Deep Purple becomes the latest act in the Warner Music catalogue to get one of those “complete albums” box sets. The Complete Albums 1970-1976 features all of the Mk. II studio albums (Deep Purple In RockFireballMachine Head and Who Do We Think We Are), both Mk. III studio albums (Burn and Stormbringer) and the sole Mk. IV album (Come Taste the Band), as well as three live albums from the  Mk. II (Concerto for Group and Orchestra and Made in Japan) and Mk. IV (Made in Europe) lineups. (The conceptual Concerto, recorded with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, was actually released on the band’s original Telegrammaton label at the tail end of 1969; both Warner Bros. and Harvest, the band’s U.K. label, reissued it in 1970.) In keeping with most prior traditions, there will likely be no bonus material, but the discs should appear in mini replicas of the original album jackets.

Another Deep Purple box set is coming in December 2013, albeit for a much more specialized audience: the four Mk. II albums will be included in a box set by Audio Fidelity. All four of these albums were mastered for 24K gold discs by Steve Hoffman between 2005 and 2010 and subsequently fell out of print; this numbered collectible box, limited to 5,000 copies, features those pressings anew in a silver slipcase, with each disc housed in new gold-colored cases and each packed with booklets featuring sleeve and label art work and photos.

But if you’re looking for something never before released, look to Eagle Rock Records, who are releasing Perfect Strangers Live on October 14. The year 1984 saw the Mk. II lineup reunite – bringing back the Deep Purple name after a nine-year hiatus – and record a new album and tour. (That tour was one of America’s top concert draws, second in 1985 only to Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. tour.) Despite fan delight over the tour and record, which featured hits in the title track, “Nobody’s Home” and “Knocking At Your Back Door,” only one show at Australia’s Sports & Entertainment Centre was recorded in full, and lay in the vaults for nearly 30 years. Next month it’s finally loosed to the world, as a 2CD/1DVD set and a deluxe package which also includes the concert on double vinyl.

The lineups and links for each title are right underneath this sentence!

Deep Purple Rhino box

The Complete Albums 1970-1976 (Warner Bros./Rhino, 2013)

Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Disc 1: Concerto for Group and Orchestra (Telegrammaton T-131 (U.S.), 1969/Harvest SHVL 767 (U.K.)/Warner Bros. WS 1860 (U.S.), 1970)

Disc 2: Deep Purple In Rock (Harvest SHVL 777 (U.K.)/Warner Bros. WS 1877 (U.S.), 1970)

Disc 3: Fireball (Harvest SHVL 793 (U.K.)/Warner Bros. BS 2564 (U.S.) , 1971)

Disc 4: Machine Head (Purple TPSA-7504 (U.K.)/Warner Bros. BS 2607 (U.S.), 1972)

Disc 5: Made in Japan (Purple TPSP-351 (U.K.), 1972/Warner Bros. 2WS 2710 (U.S.), 1973)

Disc 6: Who Do We Think We Are (Purple TPSA-7508 (U.K.)/Warner Bros. BS 2678 (U.S.), 1973)

Disc 7: Burn (Purple TPS-305 (U.K.)/Warner Bros. W 2766 (U.S.), 1974)

Disc 8: Stormbringer (Purple TPS-3508 (U.K.)/Warner Bros. PR 2832 (U.S.), 1974)

Disc 9: Come Taste the Band (Purple TPSA-7515 (U.K.)/Warner Bros. PR 2895 (U.S.), 1975)

Disc 10: Made in Europe (Purple TPSA-7517 (U.K.)/Warner Bros. PR 2995 (U.S.), 1976)

Deep Purple AF

The Audio Fidelity Collection 1970-1973 (Audio Fidelity AFZB-019, 2013)

Disc 1: Deep Purple in Rock (released as Audio Fidelity AFZ-051, 2009)

Disc 2: Fireball (released as Audio Fidelity AFZ-098, 2010)

Disc 3: Machine Head (released as Audio Fidelity AFZ-065, 2010)

Disc 4: Who Do We Think We Are (released as Audio Fidelity AFZ-027, 2005)

Deep Purple Perfect Strangers Live

Perfect Strangers Live (Eagle Rock, 2013)

DVD: Amazon U.S.
2CD/1DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2CD/2LP/1DVD: Amazon U.K.


  1. Highway Star
  2. Nobody’s Home
  3. Strange Kind of Woman
  4. A Gypsy’s Kiss
  5. Perfect Strangers
  6. Under the Gun
  7. Knocking At Your Back Door
  8. Lazy/Ian Paice drum solo


  1. Child in Time
  2. Difficult to Cure
  3. Jon Lord keyboard solo
  4. Space Truckin’/Ritchie Blackmore guitar solo
  5. Black Night
  6. Speed King
  7. Smoke on the Water

All tracks recorded live at The Sports & Entertainment Centre, Melbourne, AUS – 12/16/1984. Previously unreleased.

Written by Mike Duquette

September 9, 2013 at 13:29

2 Responses

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  1. Re: Complete Albums 1970-1976 – now this is what I’ve been waiting for. No info at all at Amazon UK, but with a $52.00 price tag at Amazon US that should work out at around £40-45.00 so I guess that the packaging is not going to be all that special. Just a slipcase with all the albums crammed inside?
    We shall see…


    September 9, 2013 at 18:19

    • Are they remasters?


      September 10, 2013 at 17:29

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