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Category:    Home > Reviews > Rock Music > Concert > Documentary > Compilation > Deep Purple History, Hits & Highlights: 68 76 (Eagle DVD-Video set)

Deep Purple History, Hits & Highlights: 68 76 (Eagle DVD-Video set)


Picture: C+ Sound: C+ Extras: D Main Programs: B



When it comes to Deep Purple material on DVD, one thing that has been noticeable is that most of it has been more recent of either the band or their non-band projects, for which there are many, but the newness has been especially annoying to fans. Well, we recently had to wait for an import (from Australia!) to get any vintage material and a four-DVD set called Sounds Of Purple turned out to be one of the best releases involving the band to date, as you can read about at this link:





Now, Eagle is issuing a double-DVD compilation that is the equal of that set and long overdue, dubbed History, Hits & Highlights: 68 76 that finally delivers the material that put the band (and its four versions in that period) on the map. After a crash course montage on the bad, filmed and taped performances are unwound in chronological order on both discs. DVD 1 has full-length music performances and it is great to see the band at their high in action. DVD 2 does have some more music, but it is also clips of highlights of other performances, appearances, outtakes and documentary moments as valuable as anything on the first disc. I think I even like the second disc better because it shows the band and its members at their best.


I especially enjoyed the Playboy TV and Rockpalast rehearsals, but (in part because of all the newer material) it is easy to forget just how huge the band was, up there with Led Zeppelin, KISS, The Rolling Stones, Alice Cooper and Elton John when it came to touring. That is the best thing I can say about this set is that it captures the excitement of its time, the counterculture, Rock music at its peak and a record industry that used to care and knew what it was doing. Therefore, while this is a must for fans, anyone who loves music should see this at least once.


The mostly 1.33 X 1 images rarely have any letterboxing and are in pretty decent shape, though when I see any 16mm or even 35mm film, I want to find it and send it to a lab for restoration, clean up and preservation. In that, the filmed footage is still the best of what we see throughout, no matter its age and though some of the tapings are great, there is just something even more accurate in capturing the band on film the taping can miss. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound can go monophonic in parts as expected, but this is easily the best U.S. Purple DVD release since the Classic Albums installment on Machine Head.



- Nicholas Sheffo


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