(7/10) It's seems like someone sitting on an unlimited treasure box of Deep Purple live recordings. At least you could get this impression by looking back on the various albums that have been published over the last years.
Here is another one. "Live in Long Beach 1976" is one of the rare recording in the MK IV line-up. Bolin, Coverdale, Hughes, Lord and Paice, these guys have played together under the banner of Deep Purple, doing a show in Long Beach that contains a lot of classics with he addition of some songs from the "Come Taste the Band" album - the only studio album recorded in this line-up.
This might be already one of the main benefits of "Live in Long Beach 1976". Another one is the fact that the songs have been played quite heavy which leads to rougher versions of Deep Purple classics.
But there are also clear signs that this phase wasn't the strongest one in the bands history. Tommy Bolin couldn't close the gap Ritchie Blackmore left with his departure and also David Coverdale's vocals, supported by Glenn Hughes, aren't the best on this release. Coverdale can do far better, something he showed the world with all the Whitesnake records.
You can hear on this live album that the band 'schemistry wasn't the way it should be. There was a lot of friction in the band, something that can be heard on this live album - for the good and the bad. Like mentioned, it led rough an heavy sound, but it also shows a band that doesn't stand like a rock.
The only real highlights are Jon Lord with his unforgettable keyboard/hammond sound and Ian Paice's beat that reflects Deep Purple so much.
All in all I must say that this album might not be the best live release of Deep Purple, but it reflects one era of this iconic band. However, the sound is good which is a crucial factor of a live album, esp. if the recording dates back to 1976.
In case you are collector you need to have this album and if you're a hardrock fan with a bit too much pocket money you might want to go for this release too. All the others might want to spend some money for the earlier live recording like the one from Stockholm (1970) or Graz (1975).
- Lady Luck
- Gattin' Tighter
- Love Child
- Smoke on the Water
- Homeward Strut
- This Time Ariund
- Owed to G
- Guitar Solo
- Highway Star
- Smoke on the Water (from the Springfield show January 1976)
- Going Down (from the Springfield show January 1976)
- Highway Star (from the Springfield show January 1976)
Release Date EU: April 29th, 2016