Between 1974 and ’76, Deep Purple were in the final throes of their career as a superband. The trajectory which the group had enjoyed since their emergence in 1968 was almost unparalleled: only Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath were their equals at this point, a position which this excellent package explores in detail.
The Mk III line-up had come to an end when guitarist Ritchie Blackmore quit, disappointed with the soul-influenced direction that the band were taking; his replacement was a young gunslinger called Tommy Bolin, who made his mark on the album Come Taste The Band. Sadly, the band were on their last legs following that LP, enduring the death of security chief Patsy Collins in mysterious circumstances in Indonesia, and then splitting after the drug addiction of bassist Glenn Hughes became impossible to manage.
These events are detailed in a 90-minute documentary, Getting Tighter, in which Hughes revisits those nightmare days and organist Jon Lord adds his viewpoint on the chaos. Bolin’s death from a heroin overdose, the death of Collins and many other historic rock’n’roll events – tragic and otherwise – are revisited. A half-hour of live Mk IV footage from Japan in 1976 is the real gold dust for fans, though, revealing the excesses of the band in unexpectedly high quality. Remarkable stuff.