Besides being a must-have for Deep Purple fans, Scandinavian Nights and In Concert will remind the casual rock music fan how pure and spontaneous hard rock bands used to be in concert. It feels like a communal jam and the band is digging the audience in return. Even covers of “Paint it Black” and “Lucille” aren’t ugly attempts as they usually are. The outcome is at least interesting takes on the originals. Of course, a lot of this is due to Ritchie Blackmore’s unique guitar style, Roger Glover’s ranging bass, Ian Paice’s free-spirit drums and Jon Lord’s wandering keyboards. Hard Rock Heaven, for sure. But let’s not forget Ian Gillian’s presence at these concerts. His live screams and growls are just as wonderful as his golden voice.

Also, in the ’70s Prog bands might have issued in an aloofness to their long compositions, but Deep Purple make a 25-minute long “Mandrake Root” on Scandinavian Nights and a 20-minute “Space Truckin’” on In Concert far from boring and uppity. Even those who like their music in fast frames might enjoy the fluidity of this.

One can see a new brand of fans, especially those who have enjoyed the likes of Pearl Jam and the Dave Matthews Band, for instance, discovering and cherishing these discs — and then pass it on to future generations.

(Eagle Records)

Read Martin Popoff’s review of Deep Purple’s With Orchestra of by clicking here.