In 1984, the Deep Purple Mark II line-up reunited for the first time since 1973. The group, consisting of members Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice, recorded the studio album Perfect Strangers and headed out on tour. The tour was so successful that the band added additional dates due to the shows selling out so quickly, and in 1985 the Perfect Strangers tour purportedly out-grossed every artist that year, except for Bruce Springsteen. The show occurring in Melbourne, Australia was professionally filmed, and the footage is claimed as the only full-length concert recording of the band from that time.
On October 14, 2013, Eagle Rock Entertainment released Perfect Strangers Live in three formats: 2 CDS/DVD, a DVD and a DVD/2CD/2LP. The DVD contains the only live footage from the Perfect Strangers tour plus a bonus tour documentary. The 2CD/DVD format has a DVD of the live show packaged with the CDs. The third format is 2 LPs, 2 CDS and the DVD of the live show. The setlist on all formats mixes the new tracks from the Perfect Strangers album with additional songs from Deep Purple’s work in the early 70s, ending with a finale of probably the most recognized Deep Purple song, Smoke on the Water.
There are few surprises on the CDs; it’s exactly what you would expect from a live album. The best part of any of these packages is the DVD. The tour documentary is fun, vintage behind the scenes footage. The previously unseen recorded performance is spectacular. The rhythm section shines. The best part of the DVD may be watching Jon Lord, who sadly passed away last year. His beast of an organ was the key to Deep Purple’s style. Lord was known for his searing organ solos, which are seen on this DVD. At times he seems to beat the crap out of his massive instrument. It’s awesome. Deep Purple has a deep-rooted history in rock and this compilation will thrill rock memorabilia collectors.
Watch a clip from Perfect Strangers Live
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