RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Deep Purple – Graz 1975
Eagle Records

Rating: A

Deep Purple MK III is not as famous as MK II.  It’s always been that way, and always will be.  This MK III didn’t write anything like “Smoke on the Water.”  They did, however, pump out a few tunes that are classic-worthy, namely tunes like “Burn,” “Stormbringer,” “The Gypsy” and “Lady Double Dealer.” 

Sure, there are others, but MK III is most famous for introducing the world to vocalist David Coverdale, who would go on to become a rock icon in his own right with the band Whitesnake.  MK III also saw former Trapeze member Glenn Hughes on bass and co-lead vocals.  Truth be told, MK III was a damn fine band.  Now, Eagle Rock Entertainment has released a historic performance from the Liebenauer ice rink located at the side of a mountain in Graz, Austria that will show just how damn fine this group was, even on the eve of disaster. 

Deep Purple MK III would perform only two more shows before Ritchie Blackmore would explode and leave the band to form Rainbow.  DP would recruit guitarist Tommy Bolin and carry on until they could carry on no more. 

It’s no mistake the Graz show was recorded; the band’s management brought in the Rolling Stone mobile recording studio to record this performance as an example of this era of the band.  It’s a damn good thing they did, as this was one passion-fueled and exciting show that saw every member of the band stepping up and playing their English arses off. 

The tracklist is a wet dream for MK III fans, as only two previous tunes are trotted out, “Smoke on the Water” and “Space Truckin’.”  The rest is the Blackmore/Coverdale/Hughes version of Purple.  The version of “Burn” recorded on this night is the best live version of this song that this writer has ever heard.  The same rings true for the hard rocking and passionate “Lady Double Dealer.”  For a band on the verge of losing their guitar player, they were simply on fire on this night. 

This is a true gem, and any fan of Deep Purple or classic hard rock of any kind needs to check it out.  Rock bands like Deep Purple used to feel dangerous live, feeding off the buzz of the crowd.  Always known as a terrific live band, Purple even out-does themselves with this one. 

Our take?  Simple.  BUY IT. 

"Graz 1975" track listing:

01. Burn
02. Stormbringer
03. The Gypsy
04. Lady Double Dealer
05. Mistreated
06. Smoke On The Water
07. You Fool No One
08. Space Truckin'

By Jeb Wright