Music Review: Deep Purple Total Abandon – Australia ‘99

Back in the day it was the artists such as Lou Reed and his Velvet Underground, Jimi Hendrid, the Beatles and Rolling Stones who had fans going bonkers over every note they played, every song on albums both legit and bootleg.

That Deep Purple, certainly an essential and important group, is getting their due from Eagle Rock Entertainment is key, and something that fans wish had happened long ago.

For the better part of 45 years we who have appreciated Purple certainly wanted the availability of more video and live audio from the early days. Now that we don’t have the time to listen to all our favorite artists we are overwhelmed with videos on YouTube, Wolfsgang’s Vault unleashing all sorts of delicious tracks, and a glut of superb material in the nooks and crannies of the web. There are even secret organizations where primo nuggets are shared on BitTorrent. It is all so mind boggling.

Which makes Eagle Rock Entertainment’s beautiful Deep Purple packages all the more precious. “Strange Kind Of Woman” is exquisitely captured in all its blue-flashing-strobe light glory. Steve Morse’s so very fluid guitar work is a perfect complement to Jon Lord’s keyboards, an alternative version to the harder cutting Ritchie Blackmore, the ever-changing line-up of Purple members making for different chapters, different perspectives and lots of fun.

On paper the Dixie Dregs seem a long way from Deep Purple and that Morse can bridge such a large gap from quasi-country jam band to the hardest of the heavy metal thunderers like DP says a lot about his skills. Dregs certainly were more experimental than others in their genre (did they even have a genre, really? Charlie Daniels meets a streamlined Rick Wakeman’s Yes with Phish aspirations???)

Of course Morse’s extraordinary gifts make it clear he can perform with any group of his choosing and Deep Purple get a journeyman that finds a wider audience thanks to this win/win. Actually, Dixie Dregs could have played with “Bloodsucker” as it appears on Total Abandon and could have probably had an underground hit with it.

Australia appreciates great rock and Ian Gillan’s pounding of the congas makes him the heavy metal answer to Rebop Kwaku Bah (Anthony “Reebop” Kwaku Baah, of Traffic fame)

Gillan’s in great voice, the photography / filming and audio all superb, just another tasty chestnut from the Deep Purple / Eagle Rock Entertainment archives.


New York, NY (March 8, 2012)—Eagle Rock Entertainment is set to release—for the first time in the U.S.—Deep Purple’s Total Abandon: Australia ‘99 on CD April 24.

Recorded April 20, 1999 at Melbourne Park, the 12-song 76-minute blockbuster, until now, was only available domestically as a DVD in the 2008 Around The World Live boxed set (also released by Eagle Rock Entertainment). Total Abandon is a major boon for Deep Purple fans as it musically traverses decades with material mostly from the ‘70s and the ‘90s. Lead guitarist Steve Morse, at this point in the band’s glorious career, had fully integrated himself into the mix, positively shining on songs from both eras.

The lineup of vocalist Ian Gillan, bassist Roger Glover, keyboardist Jon Lord, drummer Ian Paice and guitarist Morse are in rare form: the almost nine-minute-each jam-happy versions of “Pictures of Home” and “Smoke On The Water” are just two highlights of many. Besides favorites like “Black Night” “Smoke On The Water” and “Highway Star” the band reached into its enormous catalog for an incredibly satisfying evening that included opener “Ted The Mechanic” and “Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming” both off guitarist Morse’s album debut with the band, Purpendicular, in 1996.

Touring in support of 1998’s Abandon album, the “A Band On World Tour” had Deep Purple criss-crossing the globe like the true road warriors they remain today.

Track Listing: 1) Ted The Mechanic 2) Strange Kind Of Woman 3) Bloodsucker 4) Pictures of Home 5) Almost Human 6) Woman From Tokyo 7) Watching The Sky8) Fireball 9) Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming 10) Smoke On The Water 11) Black Night12) Highway Star

Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for, and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John