By Ricky Flake
"Around the World Live," Deep Purple (Eagle Vision,HHHH½)
This 6/17 4-DVD box set chronologically covers live shows 1995-2002 from this legendary hard rock band on three discs. The fourth, Access All Areas, is a full-fledged documentary of the band from its inception.
Disc one features a 1995 Bombay, India concert filmed in Morse's tenure. The band is playing well, and it's obvious how much keyboardist Jon Lord is rejuvenated by Steve's presence. They pull out vintage songs not played with the Ritchie Blackmore lineup in years, like "Maybe I'm a Leo."
The second disc takes us to Australia 1999 for a concert and an interview. Morse is really comfortable by this time; and, his band mates (Lord, bassist Roger Glover, vocalist Ian Gillan and powerhouse drummer Ian Paice) are rocking in the patented Purple way. They also appear on local TV with hundreds of guitarists in separate Sydney and Melbourne studios who play "Smoke on the Water" with their idols.
Disc three contains the exciting, poignant concert in which Jon Lord retired from the road to be replaced by Don Airey, leaving Paice as the only original Purple member. The jamming is hot, the camaraderie is tight, and especially cool moments ensue as the two keyboardists shift/share space. Though they might resent the categorization, Purple has always been a supremely gifted "jam band:" musicians who play with high levels of skill and improvise with same.
Deep Purple fans, especially those who haven't heard them lately, will dig this package, available at local video/music outlets or online at www.eaglerockent.com.
Get your copy of "Around the World Live" HERE.