Deep Purple - Live in Europe (Talking Elephant). The reunion of the classic Purple line-up in 1993 would prove to be demon guitarist Ritchie Blackmore’s final stint with the band, and this impressive four-CD set brings together recordings of two shows from their highly successful European tour. The set list for the British rock legends’ gigs in Stuttgart and Birmingham was virtually identical, giving the adoring punters an opprtunity to immerse themselves in the delights
of perennial crowdpleasers such as Black Night, Child In Time and epic versions of their most famous creation, Smoke On The Water, with Blackmore and keyboard ace Jon Lord in particularly fine fettle throughout.
David Brent & Foregone Conclusion -Life On The Road (Caroline International). Ricky Gervais’s cringe-inducing alter ego is still as totally lacking in self-awareness as ever as he unveils this lovingly crafted debut album, released to tie in with the film of the same name. Brent’s approach to the art of songwriting is gloriously bereft of empathy or insight as he serves up a string of naggingly memorable musical spoofs for your delectation, including Lady Gypsy, Free Love
Freeway and the truly execrable Paris Nights.
Vangelis - Rosetta (Decca Records). This reclusive character is best remembered these days as the creator of stunning musical backdrops for films such as Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner, but much of the great man’s best work has been fuelled by his genuine fascination with the wonders of the cosmos, and that’s certainly the case with this compelling new Decca CD. The contents were inspired by the European Space Agency’s recent mission to land a probe on a comet as it hurtled through space, and the finished product is reassuringly just as elevating and epic as you might expect from a composer of Vangelis’s stature.
The Snakes - “Once Bitten...” (Talking Elephant). This robust 1998 offering was the product of a fairly shortlived collaboration between former Whitesnake guitarists Micky Moody and Bernie Marsden and their three young Scandinavian cohorts. Echoes of their former outfit’s highly lucrative approach to musicmaking peremeate much of this richly rewarding exercise in bluesy hard rock as Norwegian frontman Johnny Lande emotes soulfully in standard David Coverdale mode amidst a flurry of bone-crunching guitar riffs.