Sound — 10
I've been a hard rock fan all my 40 odd years and this album without doubt has been a major influence. Its pretty much agreed that this album is a fairly straight recording with little cleaning and editing of the sound/bum notes etc before issue. If ever an album catches a band in their outmost prime it is this one. The sound, particularly Highway Star, is overwhelming. The sheer sense of power and energy roars out of this album. Ian Gillan probably never got back to the peak he reached singing at this point whilst the trio of Paice (drums)/Lord (keyboards)/Blackmore (axe) are simply tuned in to each other to a level other bands can only dream of. There are times during solos when the music has an almost frenzied feel to it and it just doesnt let up. I reckon I will be listening to this as they lower me down to the grave! Awesome. By the way, the band loses it a bit during 'Speed King' (not on the original Made In Japan). Apparently a fight had broken out in the crowd with security guys and the band is clearly confused at one point. Blackmore and co simply go in to what can only be described as a sonic attack to bring the song to an end. Gillan was struggling at this point too as he apparently succumbed to bronchitis on the tour.
Lyrics — 10
This is rock music! lyrics dont come into it really - range from the 'serious' (Child In Time) to poptastic 'Space Truckin'. At least the album next to never degenerates in to any kind of "how ya'doin' tonight, lets get the hands clapping" crap. What carries the whole thing is a man singing at what was probably his peak. On this basis its a 10.
Overall Impression — 10
One of the greatest live rock albums ever - I'm serious about this. Crank up the volume to 11 and listen to the intro to Highway Star - the sheer energy as the band builds into the intro. Difficult to put in to words. 'Lucille' is probably the only weak track. Dont agree that 'The Mule' drum solo is too long. Paice does in 5 minutes what the likes of Bonham took up to half an hour to do! Buy it again? - I have done!