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Deep Purple - Burn (remastered, vinyl)

My vinyl copy of the remastered version of Burn (Amazon UK link) has finally arrived. The point of the remaster program was to put out CD editions that sound better compared to the original CD editions released between 1984 and 1990 (many of which sounded appaling), and getting a vinyl edition to replace a pretty decent and not yet worn vinyl pressing sort of defeats the purpose. But what the hell, I like vinyl, it's a Deep Purple album, and I wasn't going to get the CD ShinyDisk for reasons I wrote about earlier.
The 2LP edition isn't as lavishly packaged as the CD ShinyDisk, but it has all the historical information and photos on the inner sleeves. No lyrics, alas. The disks are solid to the touch but not as heavy as I like them. It's a good, clean pressing free of noises in the lead-in groove.
Musically, of course, it's all familiar stuff. This music has been with me for the better part of two decades. It's not sophisticated songwriting, but the band had a powerful, driving hard rock sound with elements of big band swing in Ian Paice's drumming and classical touches from guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and organist Jon Lord. A new departure at the time of release were the double vocals from new bassist Glenn Hughes and new lead vocalist David Coverdale (later to make a big pillock of himself in Whitesnake). Hughes' voice was high and soulful (at least on studio recordings - live, he'd often over-scream himself); Coverdale's dark and smoky. This took the music in a more bluesy direction although the title track and "You Fool No One" still qualify as out and out rockers that wouldn't have been out of place on earlier records. It's great stuff.
The remastered edition doesn't sound too different (on vinyl at least) from the original — a little more mellow perhaps.
The second disk contains four remixes of tracks on the album, plus a remixed non-album track. Splitting the remixes off from the body of the record is a great idea. They now make for a short album in their own right instead of a bunch of bonus tracks tacked on to the end, coming up after you've just heard the original versions. Ant they're very listenable. The changes aren't great - the remixers have shot for mostly matching remixes using new technology to improve clarity rather than for revisions like with the Machine Head remix disk (Amazon UK link). No alternate solos here — just slightly improved sound and some changes to beginnings and endings. Nice work; I'll be playing it regularly.


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