Starting this monday, the History channel has been airing a series of supposedly old rock concerts under the banner of “History Rocks” at 10 pm. This series will be there next week also I think.

Two of these concerts have been a let-down for me, and for contrasting reasons. On Tuesday, the program featured The Who, with their 1970 concert at the Isle of Wight. Was a good concert, but the thing is a large number of their songs that I like were made after this. Stuff like Behind Blue Eyes, or Baba O’Riley and rather the whole of their Face Dances album – all came after this concert. And they didnt’ even play a few of my early favorites such as A Quick One…

Yesterday was a bigger disappointment. Deep Purple at Montreux during their world tour last year (which also featured a concert in Bangalore, which I had attended). For a start, it was the Mark 7 line up. Then, they played more or less the same songs they had played in Bangalore when they came here last december. Another major issue, however, was the choice of songs.

Deep Purple is one band that has gone through various avatars, which are numbered from “Mark 1” to “Mark 7”. During the course of these several avatars, they have had five vocalists – Rod Evans, Ian Gillan, Tommy Bolin, Joe Lynn Turner and David Coverdale. Now, Gillan (the current vocalist) has this policy that he won’t sing others’? songs. This means that a lot of the really good songs get left out. And for someone whose favorite Purple albums are the early ones (Book of Taliesyn etc.) with Evans as singer, and whose favorite Purple song (Soldier of Fortune) has been sung by Coverdale, it is a major let-down.

I used to keep a winamp playlist of 30 or so songs of Deep Purple. When i matched that with the songs they played at Bangalore, there were THREE in common – and all of them from Machinehead. The situation at the televised concert yesterday was no different. Also, old age means Gillan can’t sing Child in Time anymore.

Anyways, given these “conditions” and given that most of the popular Deep Purple songs are from their earlier years,? History Channel would have done well to present one of the earlier albums.

Next week should be better. Three of the four bands being featured next week – The Doors, The Beatles and Led Zep – have at least one member who died long ago, so hopefully it will be some nice decent old concert recorded when teh guys were still young.

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