Deep Purple’s First Ever Covers Collection Shows In Its Case, ‘Crime’ Does Pay

Courtesy: earMusic

Deep Purple has, over the course of its life, released 21 albums, 45 (yes, 45) live recordings, and earned countless awards while seeing its albums go gold and platinum (some multiple times platinum for that matter).  For all that the band has done over its life, there is one thing that it has not done.  That one thing that the band has not done is release a covers collection.  That is until this week.  The band released its first ever covers collection, Turning to Crime Friday through earMusic.  The 12-song (technically about 16 because of the medley that makes up the record’s finale track) record is an interesting new presentation from the band.  Its interest is due in large part to its featured covers, which will be discussed shortly.  The band’s performances thereof are of their own interest and will be discussed a little later.  The songs’ sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the collection’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the compilation another interesting addition to this year’s field of new covers sets and an equally interesting first ever covers set from Deep Purple.

Deep Purple’s first ever covers collection, Turning to Crime, is a unique new offering from the band, especially considering that it is the first time in the band’s more than 50-year life that it has released a covers set.  The record stands out in part because of its featured songs.  The songs are of note because of their diversity.  The band takes audiences all the way back to 1946 in this collection with a cover of Louis Jordan and His Tympani Five’s hit single, ‘Let The Good Times Roll’ and all the way up to 1973 with a take on Little Feat’s fan favorite song, ‘Dixie Chicken.’  Along the way, there are also covers of songs from the likes of Fleetwood Mac (‘Oh Well’), Jimmy Driftwood (‘The Battle of New Orleans’), and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels (‘Jenny Take A Ride’).  Also featured in this collection are covers of Bob Seger’s ‘Lucifer,’ Cream’s ‘White Room,’ and Bob Dylan’s ‘Watching The River Flow.’  The song styles are so different from one to the next.  Case in point is ‘The Battle of New Orleans.’  This song was originally considered a country music song.  ‘Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu’ by Huey ‘Piano’ Smith is…well…a boogie woogie type composition.  Little Feat’s ‘Dixie Chicken’ meanwhile is more of a roots rock type work while yet another song, ‘Lucifer’ is more rock oriented.  Simply put, the songs that are featured throughout this record show a wide range of styles and sounds from one to the next.  It makes for its own appeal. 

What’s more some of the songs are more well-known than others and vice versa.  They are not all major hits/standards that so many other acts might cover and have covered.  Case in point is Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Oh Well.’  According to research, the song was not a major hit for the band here in the U.S. but fared much better in the U.K. and around the world.  It peaked at #55 in the U.S. and #2 in the U.K.   ‘Dixie Chicken’ is another example of the record’s lesser-known songs.  It was never actually used as a single for the band’s album by the same name, but has been considered a fan favorite among the band’s most devoted audiences.  ‘Jenny Take A Ride,’ on another note, peaked at #10 in the U.S. following its debut in 1965, and #44 in the U.K.  So again what audiences get here in terms of the songs is a collection of compositions that is diverse not only in its sounds and styles, but also in its overall familiarity and popularity among audiences.  That the band clearly put some thought into this aspect of the record is to be highly commended.  The band’s performances thereof are of just as much applause as the songs themselves.

One of the most notable of the performances featured in this record is of ‘Shapes of Things.’  Originally crafted by The Yardbirds in 1966, the song peaked in the U.S. at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.  Meanwhile in the U.K, it peaked even higher at #3 on the country’s Singles Chart.  Deep Purple’s take on the song stays pretty much true to its source material.  The only real notable difference is that instead of the production that was so familiar of bands of that era, Deep Purple instead put its own more familiar stamp on the sound here.  Now, Deep Purple’s cover is longer than the original by more than a minute, clocking in at three minutes, 40 seconds versus the original’s run time of two minutes, 26 seconds.  That is because Deep Purple adds in a guitar solo after the song’s initial break.  By comparison the original song’s break is only momentary and does not feature the solo used here.  Regardless, the solo – which is almost prog in its approach – is a nice touch to the whole.  The keyboard solo added to the mix here also plays into the extended run time, but is also enjoyable in its own right.  Overall, the whole of the cover is just as enjoyable as the original, just with a slightly new identity.

On another note, the band’s performance of Bob Dylan’s ‘Watching The River Flow’ is another example of the importance of the band’s performances here.  Dylan’s original composition is a very distinct 12-bar blues style composition that is driven by its guitar and piano line.  It conjures thoughts of so many vintage Mississippi blues songs through its three minute, 35 second run time.  Deep Purple’s take on the song is slightly shorter, coming in at three minutes, five seconds.  It is much different in its overall presentation, too.  Instead of the 12 bar blues approach that Dylan took on his original work, the band took more of a blues based rock approach, if that makes any sense.  The blues influence is there, in other words, but is more of a supporting role than the main star here.  Instead, the band opted for more of a rock approach here.  The band’s take is different from its source material, needless to say, but is still interesting considering that the band decided not to just copy and paste so to speak.  It is yet another important example of the importance of the band’s performances throughout the collection.

‘Caught in The Act,’ which closes out the record, is yet another example of the noted importance of the band’s performances.  This song is a medley of covers of ‘Going Down,’ ‘Green Onions,’ ‘Hot ‘Lanta,’ ‘Dazed and Confused,’ and ‘Gimme Some Lovin’.’  Again, the band puts its own unique touch to each song here.  Case in point is the cover of ‘Green Onions.’  Rather than taking the subdued, cool approach used in the original, the band’s take on this song is more akin to something that one might expect from ZZ Top, what with the rich bass and guitar lines.  The covers of ‘Dazed and Confused’ and ‘Gimme Some Lovin’’ are just as unique in their approach as they clearly show Deep Purple’s trademark hard rock stamp. Yes, the original compositions are obvious in the mix, but Deep Purple’s trademark keyboards, guitars, etc. really amp up the songs and make them interesting in their own right.  When these covers are all considered along with the other covers examined here and with the rest of the record’s featured performances, the importance of the band’s takes on the featured songs shows its importance just as much as the diversity in the songs themselves.  This is still not the last of the record’s most important elements.  The collection’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

As noted already, the songs that are featured in this collection are diverse throughout the record.  While they re diverse, their sequencing keeps the record’s energy stable from beginning to end.  This is the case even as the songs’ sounds and stylistic approaches change from one to the next.  The up-tempo works move so fluidly and solidly, ensuring listeners’ maintained engagement, again, because of that smart sequencing.  It basically doubly keeps things interesting for audiences and brings everything full circle to complete the record’s presentation.  When the appeal that is ensured through the record’s sequencing is considered along with the featured songs and the band’s performances thereof, the whole makes Turning to Crime rare proof that in this case, crime does pay.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.

Deep Purple’s first ever covers collection, Turning to Crime, is an interesting offering from the band.  It proves itself worth hearing at least once in part because of its featured songs.  The songs are important to the presentation because they are diverse in their styles, sounds and notoriety.  The band’s performances of the songs are just as important to the record because they give the songs unique new presentations while staying mostly true to the original compositions.  That gives audiences even more reason to remain engaged and entertained.  The songs’ sequencing rounds out the record’s most important elements.  That is because it ensures the songs’ diversity is fully audible while also keeping the record moving fluidly from one song to the next, thus keeping the energy stable throughout.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the record.  All things considered, they make the collection an enjoyable new offering from Deep Purple even being its first ever covers set.

Turning To Crime is available now.

More information on Turning To Crime is available online along with all of Deep Purple’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.deep-purple.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/officialdeeppurple

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/_DeepPurple

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The Yardbirds Announce Makeup Dates, Welcome New Member

Courtesy:  Kayos Productions

Courtesy: Kayos Productions

The Yardbirds will fly again this fall!

Yardbirds founding member and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jim McCarty announced today that the band will hit the road this fall and make up a string of North American dates that had to be postponed earlier this year. Along with those make-up dates, the band—with McCarty , bassist Kenny Aaronson (Bob Dylan, Billy Idol, Brian Setzer, Mick Taylor), guitarist/singer John Idan, and Myke Scavone (Ram & The Doughboys) on blues harp, vocals, and percussion—will also play additional dates later this fall. Those dates have not yet been confirmed. Though, they will confirmed at a later date. It has also been announced that fellow founding member Chris Dreja will be unable to make the upcoming dates but will be with the band in mind and spirit. Longtime David Bowie guitarist Earl Slick will join the band on its upcoming tour as well.

The band’s currently confirmed tour dates are listed below.

Tour Dates:

October

30                                           Infinity Hall                      Norfolk CT

31                                           Musicfest Café                  Bethlehem PA

 

November

01                                           Newton Theatre                  Newton NJ

02                                           BB King’s                             NYC

06                                           Harrah’s Casino                 Phoenix AZ

07                                           Harrah’s Casino                 Lake Tahoe NV

10                                           Harrah’s Casino                 Loughlin NV

 

The Yardbirds’ fans can keep up with all of the latest updates to the band’s tour schedule and get all of the latest news from the band online at:

 

Website: http://www.theyardbirds.com

 

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Live In Tokyo Presents A Master Musician At His Finest

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

The term master is a word that is generally used for someone who has spent many years honing one’s talents. And not only that, but someone whose time honing his or her talents have paid off in the most positive ways possible both for himself/herself and for others. There are masters in every profession. There are master carpenters. There are master chefs. There are even master electricians and martial artists. So what makes a musician a master at his or her own craft? The answer is much the same as those people who spend their own lives honing their crafts. It leads to yet another question: Who are the masters in the music industry today? Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and Queen are just a few acts that come to mind. Another master that comes to mind is the hugely talented and so humble guitarist Jeff Beck. His latest live recording Live in Tokyo is proof positive of why Beck is deserving and has been deserving of the title of master for many years. That s evident throughout the hour and a half-long set. Beck shows so much talent and humility throughout the show, handling his own tunes and covering songs from other masters, too. Along the way, Beck lets his band mates keep the center stage while he does his own thing. Staying on that line of thought, Beck’s own on-stage presence in this concert shows even more why he is considered one of the masters. He shows that he doesn’t need big antics or even big riffs to make an impact on his audiences. And last but not least worth noting as proof of his position is the fact that Beck didn’t need to spend any time between songs killing time. He let his music (and that of his band mates) speaks so loudly in its beauty and impact that it speaks perfectly for itself. It left no need to waste any time between songs, thus making the performance presented here so enjoyable. And in the end, it leaves not even a shadow of a doubt as to why Jeff Beck is one of the true masters in his field.

Jeff Beck is a master of his field. He has far more than proven this throughout the course of his decades-long career. From his earliest days as a member of the famed Yardbirds up to his current solo career. His latest live recording Live in Tokyo shows without a shadow of a doubt why some five-plus decades since he first started making a name for himself he is considered one of the industry’s true masters. Beck proves why he is one of the industry’s masters on Live in Tokyo first and foremost through the concert’s set list. He breezes through his own compositions and those of other masters from across the music industry. Those masters include: Jimi Hendrix, Charles Mingus, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, and even John Lennon and Paul McCartney among others. The fact that Beck handles such variety of music with equal ease shows great talent. It also shows a great knowledge and respect for the history built by said masters as audiences will hear for themselves throughout the concert. He performs with such ease. Yet it’s obvious he never takes for granted his craft nor the talents of those to whom he pays tribute. Such great talent and respect for his fellow musicians in this form proves without a shadow of a doubt why Jeff Beck is considered a master. It’s definitely not the only way he proves it here (as if he really needed to do so). He also proves himself a master through his humility, which could be included in his on-stage presence.

While Jeff Beck’s name graces the cover of his new live recording, his on-stage presence proves to be a total counter to that billing. He shows so much humility throughout the course of the concert, letting his band mates–Jonathan Joseph (drums), Nicholas Meier (guitar), and Rhonda Smith (bass)–take the center stage most of the time. He doesn’t just fade into the background by any means. But he also doesn’t show himself to be like other well-known musicians who try to covertly hog the limelight while their band mates try to shine. He shows quite the level of humility, allowing Joseph, Meier, and Smith to display their talents just as much as himself if not more. It’s really something rare to behold especially in the current era of the music industry. It’s also quite refreshing. That humility coupled with Beck’s own talents show here even more why Beck is justifiably considered a master.

Staying on the matter of Beck’s talents, He shows with his talents that he doesn’t need huge riffs, pyro, crazy antics (  without his guitar) or other extras to entertain audiences. He doesn’t show the need to speed through any of the songs, either. He more than lives up to the adage that it takes a real musician to play slow and with control. What’s more he lives up to that adage more than once throughout the course of the concert. That casual approach oddly enough actually makes the performance even more enjoyable. In turn it proves yet more why Jeff Beck is one of the greatest of the music industry’s masters.

Jeff Beck proves in so many ways throughout Live in Tokyo why decades after he first broke out he is considered one of the best in the game. He shows why through his humility, his knowledge and respect for the history of music, and through his own ability to entertain audiences without really having to try. One more way that he proves his place in the music industry’s upper echelons is through the fact that he didn’t even need to spend any time killing time between songs to entertain audiences. His talents (and  his band mates) prove so substantial throughout the concert that audiences won’t feel like they are losing anything in that lack of interaction. Audiences will be so entertained that all they will feel and hear is the music. By the time the show ends, audiences won’t even realize that it all passed without even the slightest break for conversation. That is how loudly and how solidly the talents of both Beck and his band mates spoke throughout this concert. It truly says something about an entertainer when he or she doesn’t need to rely on such extra in order to entertain audiences and fill time at the same time. Considering this, it is one more way in which Jeff Beck proves that now in his 70s, he is only coming into his prime and yet is justifiably considered one of the greatest of the masters in the music industry. Together with all of the aforementioned aspects of this concert, audiences will see with crystal clear vision just why Jeff Beck is one of the greatest in his business. It also shows why Eagle Rock is the greatest in its business.

Jeff Beck has made quite the name for himself over the course of his decades-long career. That career includes time with other greats and with those that are perhaps not so well-known. Through it all, Beck has persevered and risen throughout those decades to become today one of the true masters of the music industry. Whether it be through his stage presence, his very display of talent, or his knowledge of and respect for the history of music, Jeff Beck shows throughout Live in Tokyo without a doubt why he is a master musician. Audiences will agree with this sentiment when they purchase this concert for themselves on DVD and Blu-ray. It is available in stores and online now. More information on this and other recordings from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EalgeRockEnt

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Yardbirds Leave A Lasting Impression With Making Tracks

Courtesy:  MVD Visual

Courtesy: MVD Visual

When one thinks of the famed band, The Yardbirds, the names that instantly come to mind are:  Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page.  While this latest lineup of the iconic band may not boast those names, its new live release, Making Tracks shows that the band is still one of rock’s elite.  Original members Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty are still on board.  For its latest tour, the pair has brought on Ben King, Andy Mitchell, and Dave Smale.  And if the current lineup’s new release shows anything, it shows that this band’s torch is burning as bright as ever as it has been passed to a new generation of musicians.

Making Tracks is one of the absolute must see releases of the year for anyone who has any interest in classic rock or simply great music in general.  The band’s blues rock based sound throughout the double disc presentation encompasses where music has been and where it is still going.  It’s really a sound that transcends generations.  Audiences are offered so many great songs in this new release.  Among some of the band’s finest songs are the likes of the classic ‘Heartfelt Soul’, ‘For Your Love’ and the equally well known, ‘Train Kept Rolling.’  Most audiences might recognize this song for fellow classic rockers Aerosmith’s take on the song.  Who did this song better will be left up to audiences.  But there’s no denying that this incarnation of the Yardbirds smoked this song.  It’s one of those songs that translate quite well even on the small screen.  Even home audiences will find themselves singing along and tapping their feet to this piece.

The main concert alone makes this new release from one of rock’s most respected bands worth the watch.  The set’s second disc adds to the overall enjoyment with its in depth tour documentary.  It documents the work that goes into prepping for each of the tour’s shows and the rigors of life on the road in general.  There are also personal interviews with each of the new members of the band.  Audiences will raise their eyebrows as they learn from original member Chris Dreja that the rumor of him almost becoming the bassist for fellow legendary rockers Led Zeppelin was just that.  It was a rumor and nothing more.  He notes in his interview that he never had interest in any band other than the Yardbirds.  There is also the revelation that Dreja and McCarty never lost touch in all the time since the original Yardbirds band members went their separate ways.  That in itself is such a huge statement.

The band’s documentary adds so much extra enjoyment to this new release.  The band doesn’t leave things with the documentary, though.  What live release would be complete without an encore?  Also included to finish things off are bonus songs from the Jim McCarty band and even a pair of others.  One of the most interesting of the songs from the Jim McCarty band is the Edgar Allen Poe poem turned song, ‘Dream Within a Dream.’  This was first recorded by the Yardbirds’ original lineup.  It’s just one more wonderful part of the whole that is the new Yardbirds live release, Making TracksMaking Tracks is available in stores and online now.

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