Archive for June, 2018

Deep Purple released “Abandon” 20 years ago this week, the second album to feature new guitarist Steve Morse and the last for keyboard maestro Jon Lord. It was a period of hard work but this lineup did what they had to do and they managed to remain at a decent level in most markets. They certainly reconquered a lot of hearts and minds and apart from Lord (RIP) they are still at it. Purple could have failed after the exit of Ritchie Blackmore in 1993 but they did not. Too much talent around for that to happen.

Respect.

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Checked out a small house near water today. I enjoy these little trips. Some day I will be the happy owner of a nice place in the countryside. Note the small tree that is managing to kling on to a rock.

(Thank you Kalle)

It was not the main stage of the Rock Im Park Festival, but when Babymetal took to their stage yesterday they drew a bigger crowd than to what was going on elsewhere on the festival. Clearly, at this point every major promoter in Europe must understand that this a band that everybody wants to see. Takes Babymetal about four songs to conquer any crowd and that means something. There is a buzz out there now and a buildup to 2019. I predict big things next year.

The Zeppelinfield in Nuremberg is historic ground. This is the general area where the Nazis staged their massive rallies in the 1930s. Later it has been in use for sports and music events. Deep Purple played here in 1985 on their massive reunion tour. It is good to see that the old Zeppelinfield transforms on a regular basis to a much happier place. The Rock Im Park events certainly help.

Babymetal just added their brand of happiness here in 2018.

It was the live album that lost them the American market. Deep Purple released “Nobody´s Perfect” 30 years ago this month and it failed to stand tall in a big way (sold well in some territories, but still). You even have to wonder about the very title, almost apologetic in nature. Still, it got them out of the record deal they had at the time and so they could move on. This version of “Child In Time” begins in Phoenix, Arizona and ends in Oslo (Norway), not exactly the kind of authenticity Purple fans have come to expect. They re-recorded “Hush” for this release and made a video for it which was OK, but all in all most people thought it was a weak copy of “Made In Japan” and so the big buzz of the 1984 reunion fizzled out. From now on they would compete on more even ground and the rock scene had moved on to more exciting things. It was not too long after the release of this album that they fired singer Ian Gillan, which did not help. The late 1980s was a low for Deep Purple and it could have been a high.

The sad thing here is that they actually did some really good shows during this period but these were not captured on film nor was one of the great gigs put out as an official release. “Nobody´s Perfect” stands as a failure in this regard. So much effort spent for so little. Years later this lineup would release “Come Hell Or High Water” (recorded on the 1993 tour), and it was all there. All the magic that was just missing on this 1988 release. Still, it is all part of the history of a very wonderful band and nobody can be on top of their game at all times because, well… nobody´s perfect…

Well Babymetal just played a phenomenal concert a few hours ago at the Rock Am Ring Festival in Germany and the crowd loved every second of it. This is by far the best reaction that Babymetal has ever had in Germany, something is clearly happening here and you can bet your ass that the days of playing in 3,000 seaters in this country are over. Babymetal has conquered Germany. Today they will perform at the sister festival, Rock Im Park. There was a change in the line-up from the US Tour in that guitarist Leda has been replaced by Takayoshi, this sort of thing happens now and then in Babymetal in order for it to work. These guys have things to do elsewhere every now and then, but Kobametal has it all running like clockwork.

Right now, Babymetal is the best band in the world.

(Official image)

News just broke that Babymetal will release a 16 track version of the now legendary Hiroshima gigs last December on DVD/Blu-ray on August 1 in Japan. This edition will come as a nice addition to all those that are not members of the Fan Club (they could order a bigger version some time ago) and although there is no word yet on this seeing international release, it will still be easy enough to buy on import. My take on this is that we could expect official release in Europe and elsewhere before Christmas. The demand should be there, no doubt.

Also, incredibly this release just had Babymetal present the second video inside a month (hot on the heels of “Distortion”) as they have picked “No Rain, No Rainbow” as the official promotional clip to go with this product (finally, some action on YouTube!). This version features a string ensemble and a grand piano and Su-metal is absolutely stunning. You can see her really feel the importance of the moment. Little did we know then that this would be the last Babymetal concerts for guitarist Mikio Fujioka and here he is in this very beautiful video. Highly emotional.

Also, I think they did well to pick this song. It was Su-metals homecoming and the celebration of her 20th birthday. And Yuimetal could not perform, so it was a difficult weekend for them all. Then we lost Mikio. In short, this release is Babymetal history in more ways than one.