Released: 2011, Eagle Vision
PHOENIX RISING is a bit of an odd name for this DVD as it describes the crash and burn period of the first era of Deep Purple, roughly 1974-1976. Perhaps the title refers to the band coming back from the loss of Gillan and Blackmore but either way I can say with confidence this is one of the best DVD’s I have experienced. I say experienced because this is more than just watching a DVD. Eagle Vision has put together a fantastic package. It really looks great. This DVD/CD combo comes with not one but two booklets. Many DVD’s don’t even have a booklet at all! The first is titled, ‘Getting’ Tighter The History of MKIV Deep Purple’ and it is a full colour, 34 page booklet detailing the contents of the DVD as well as tons of photos and articles from that era. The second booklet is a 26 page miniature replication of a 1976 DP collectors magazine. Very cool. It is a real treat for the enthusiast with lots of bits of pieces of memorabilia, photos articles and much more.
I never ceased to be amazed how much Deep Purple stuff bubbles up from the deep. The CD is a 70-minute, 8 track disc of live rarities from the Mark IV era, namely Hughes/Coverdale/Bolin stuff. I’m not an expert on the band by any means so some of these cuts may be already released in one form or another but they are still rare. The sound quality is very acceptable and naturally in true Deep Purple form the songs get extended in the live setting. For example the track ‘Gettin’ Tighter’ originally clocked in at 3.5 minutes on the record breaks the 16 minute mark live in Japan, naturally!
The highlight for me was the 80 minute documentary also called ‘Gettin’ Tighter’. They probably should have called the film something else because that is the same name as Martin Popoff’s, 2008 book about Deep Purple. The film covers in significant detail the Coverdale/Hughes (and eventually Bolin) era of the band spanning 1974 to 1976 and the albums of that period, BURN, STORMBRINGER and COME TASTE THE BAND. The documentary is anchored by extensive and recent interviews with Glenn Hughes and Jon Lord. There is some scattered stuff about Bolin and rare footage of him being interviewed and performing. The segment on the bands now legendary trip to Jakarta, Indonesia is fascinating. There is tons of footage and a detailed explanation of the circumstances and scenario that lead to the tragic, unexplained and suspicious death of a member of the Deep Purple entourage. A very depressed band was forced to play the next night and struggled against a corrupt regime, to be able to be allowed to leave the country. There is an interesting disclaimer saying that (roughly paraphrased) that David Coverdale (who was not interviewed for the documentary) does not share the opinion of Jon Lord and Glenn Hughes regarding the death of Patsy Collins. It was a controversial tragedy and it is likely the world will never know the truth other than the fact that it cost the band dearly, financially but more importantly, emotionally.
The live concert segment of the DVD is a thrill a half an hour series of five songs in Japan which was filmed at the time with the management perhaps realizing at the time that the band was falling apart at the seams and maybe something needed to be filmed. The boys in the band look so young…and hairy! It just seems weird to be to see Coverdale with a big bushy beard! The sound isn’t the best but it was a bit rushed, but it is a multi camera show up to par for the era.
Eagle Vision and Eagle Rock are doing a great job at keeping the Deep Purple legacy alive and this CD/DVD is a fitting tribute and documentation of a long gone but not forgotten era of rock history.