Now listen here, mister...hand me that there bottle. I can think a whole lot clearer with a slug o' Jack Daniels in me. Did you know the seal is cracked on this particular bottle of Old No. 7??? I sincerely hope you have not added water, or anything else for that matter, to this sour mash whiskey. If I come to learn that you did, well then, mister, you and I are going to have to settle our differences in a less civilized manner than what you're used to... *Swig* *Gulp* *Belch* Ahhhh, that's better. Now what I was wanting you to know is this: Richie Blackmore may well be the most criminally over-looked guitarist in all of rock history. He can hold his own with the best of 'em, from Clapton to Page, Trower to Beck, you name it, Richie can hang... I once read (in some hoo-doo voodoo new age magazine, probably) that Blackmore was really into astral projection and would "spirit travel" out into the audience while somehow his body was able to churn out those wicked leads on the stage. Now I don't claim to know much about that, but if he can come up with such inventive solos while his spirit is up in the 22nd row sharing a joint with a buxom redhead in a PornStar tank-top, just imagine what kind of classic riffs he could manage with spirit still encased in it's lanky shell! Now I hope this don't scare you none, but ever since I heard Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan sing the lead role in Jesus Christ Superstar I always think I'm hearing the voice of God whenever I hear him. And peoples, let me assure you that this is NOT a good thing when he's busting out "Strange Kind of Woman" or some other similarly raunchy number. Something about this Japanese audience put a shot of inspiration in pert near every member of Deep Purple on the evening when Made in Japan was recorded. Gillan is brimming over with cockiness. Glover's feeling it deep down. Blackmore's projected himself into the concession stand where he is enjoying a coney with relish and some sushi. Lord, his Hammond B-3 recently fine-tuned, is mentally imagining himself as the Vatican's organist, awaiting a rare audience with the Pope himself. The pope wants to congratulate Lord on all the "really bitchin' keyboard work on the last few Deep Purple records"...at least that's the LSD fueled vision that spurs him on to create such hardcore chunks of "organic bliss". Ian Paice is wired to the gills with rhythms and can hardly wait for his 10+ minute solo in "The Mule" (ahhh, how easy it is to become nostalgic for all those monumental extended drum solos of the late 60's-early 70's...from Iron Butterfly's "In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida" to Bonzo's "Moby Dick" and all the others as well). Whatever it was, we have reason to thank the polite Japanese crowd who assembled together on that night for the Deep Purple concert...they have greatly inspired the band. Thank you, O denizens of Japan. Why, my friend, do you gaze upon my countenance with such an unabashed look of incredulity in your eyes? Dare you question my authority to relate these things to you? Are you really trying to tell me that the only Purple you've ever heard is "Smoke On The Water"? Well, mister, you ain't heard nothing yet. That version of "Smoke" you hear on the radio? That's from the Machine Head album. The Made In Japan version completely blows it out of the water. You haven't been rocked out to the fullest extent of your capability to be rocked until you've jammed to "Child In Time", "Lazy", "Space Truckin'" and "Highway Star"...I mean, you play "Highway Star" in your car stereo while cruising 120 MPH down the interstate, bobbing your head up 'n' down like a frisky teenager, and you won't even notice when your vehicle slides underneath an 18-wheel tractor trailer. You could very well find yourself in much the same situation as the narrator of Bloodrock's "D.O.A.". But hey, nobody gonna take your car! Nobody gonna steal your girl! Right? SCREECH***SMASH***BOOM***"I love it I need it..."***SCRUNCH***(the cracking of bones)***AAAARGH!!!***"Yeah she turns me on, all night, all right, I'm a highway st----"***BRAIN DEATH***. But seriously, they don't make 'em like this anymore...Made In Japan was recorded in a country known for it's stellar taste in rock 'n' roll (witness Cheap Trick's enormous success in Budakkon). Made In Japan is a relic from a time when premium ass-kicking rock and roll flowed like sweet honey from the rock. Premium stuff, I tell you, just like this hooch o' yours I'm swillin'. There's hardly a moment during the entire show that didn't make every one of those Japanese headbangers want to raise their fists into the air and scream, "Deep Purple, you bastards RULE!!!". Made In Japan was made, not only for Japan, but especially for you, the discriminate rocker. For you, my friend, with your inborn ability to kick ass. So get over your Xenophobia, go crack open a bottle of Sapporo and throw on a bowl of Ramen noodles, sit back and imagine yourself smack dab in the middle of that ornate Oriental concert hall in 1972, cloud-thick with pot smoke on this long past evening, and prepare to be scanned by the floating spirit of Richie Blackmore as he astral projects himself through the crowd, searching for a line of cocaine and a sip o' brew. An album like this could never have been Made In Poland or Made In Greece or even Made In China. So stop feeling guilty about Hiroshima and LISTEN to the thang... I hope you got that deep down in your soul, because I need to be mozeying on down the dusty trail. What's that you say? Take the bottle with me when I go? Don't mind if I do. Mighty considerate of you.