In the burgeoning legion of Deep Purple Mark II live albums, this one stands out as a rarity and an oddity. Each of these two distinct sets was recorded as a Radio One session. The first, from 1970, comes complete with John Peel’s dated and mildly pompous compering. Its age also means that it has two tracks that this Deep Purple incarnation rapidly dropped from its concerts, the hard-blues bruisers Wring That Neck and Mandrake Root. The second show is fascinating in that it gave a preview of material from the classic Machine Head album.
Live (1972) versions of Highway Star, Space Truckin’, Lazy and, of course, Smoke On The Water had little of the strut and preen they gained later, but the sense of raw rock history they engender is palpable.
Another strength of this album is its inclusion of unfamiliar live material: Maybe I’m A Leo, Never Before and an ebullient cover of Little Richard’s Lucille.