This first January column features reviews of a Deep Purple package, followed by documentaries about guitarist Peter Green and folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary.
‘Live At The NEC,’ Deep Purple (Eagle Vision, ☆☆☆☆☆)
This DVD (probably available in other formats) came out in late August 2016. This is the 2002 retirement concert for original Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord, whose Hammond organ was bequeathed to his successor, Don Airey.
Highlight songs are numerous, and a blistering “Fireball” opens the show. Other favorites include the bluesy “When A Blind Man Cries,” Ian Paice’s expert drumming throughout (especially the break on “Space Truckin’”), Jon Lord’s emergence leading into “Perfect Strangers,” “Speed King,” with Morse and Lord trading licks and solos from Glover and Paice, and the expansive encore (“Hush,” “Black Night” and “Highway Star”).
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Purple fans need to get this one unless they already obtained the “Around The World” set a few years back.
‘Story: Man Of The World,’ Peter Green (MVDvisual☆☆☆☆☆)
This Nov. 18 DVD tells the story of Eric Clapton’s replacement in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Peter Green. He went on to form the original version of Fleetwood Mac; but after early success (“Black Magic Woman,” “Albatross” and “Oh Well”), drug abuse led into schizophrenia.
Peter’s hesitance to be full-time front man/singer of Fleetwood Mac (a band named for drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie), and his departure from strictly blues-based songwriting, led to mass popularity. However, he was pulled in by a cult and given LSD in Germany; and after that, left Fleetwood Mac. His mental state deteriorated further during the 1970s, but the climb back began when a biographer suggested he drop his medication.
This is a somewhat-tragic, but ultimately hopeful program, revealing things that your reviewer hadn’t heard previously.
‘50 Years With Peter, Paul and Mary,’ Directed by Jim Brown (MVDvisual☆☆☆☆☆)
This Dec. 9 DVD is a documentary directed by four-time Emmy winner Jim Brown — not the renowned football player/actor.
It includes many of the acclaimed trio’s most popular songs, from their Greenwich Village beginning through Mary Travers’ memorial and on into their lasting influence. It also concentrates on their activism, with Martin Luther King in D.C. and many other major events. Their family lives and other events. They took a seven-year hiatus to build those; and then returned to have a second career, even after Mary was diagnosed with AML. Fans of folk music, harmony singing and the extensive bonus features will enjoy this program.
Ricky Flake, a former punk rocker and current music fan, lives in Biloxi. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.