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  • Featurette - 76 minute

Deep Purple - Total Abandon - Australia 1999

Shock Records/Shock Records . R4 . COLOR . 122 mins . PG . PAL


MADE IN MELBOURNE. That's all I need to say about this dvd that you really need to know.

Deep Purple made their triumphant return to the stages of Australia in 1999 after a 15 year absence. Playing live at melbourne Park on April 20, this concert was to be the definitive presentation on their behalf as they had extra crew involved to record the show live for both video and audio. Almsot a year later, the dvd is complete and is by far the best presentation of the concert for those of us that didn't get a chance to attend.


This entire transfer was mastered by the folks at DVM. You may have seen their work before on some Village Roadshow titles and they don't disappoint in this instance.

This concert was selected to be recorded live for the VHS release and the live mix CD that are both currently available. This dvd release uses the same video sources and comes up extremely well indeed - almost better than alot of big budget Hollywood flicks.

Deep Purple by name, Deep Purple by presentation. The transfer is overwhelmed by a sea of deep blues and purples that re-produce the stage lighting excellently. As you probably already guessed, color saturation is exemplary if a little too rich at times with deep blacks and a high contrast ratio throughout the live show and the documentary.

The most promiment feature of the transfer is how clean the image is, with nary a hint of noise or color banding to be seen anywhere. Sharpness and detail are very good with some of the crowd shots producing some startling imagery of wild fans. I think I even saw someone I knew in the crowd.

The layer change occurs just before their Encore where there is a fade to black. Nicely placed and non-obtrusive as you almsot think it's the end of the show. The only small glitches I saw were some severe aliasing in two select shots from the opening view of Melbourne. Only about 2-3 seconds worth that is in no way a detriment to the other three hours. It's nice to see Melbourne been shown off on a dvd.


This is the first attempt at a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack from the folk at Metropolis Audio of South Melbourne. In a nutshell, they've done a superb job of capturing the concert in a way that I've always wanted to hear a 5.1 concert presented.

There's two sound stages in a concert, the front sound stage housing the instruments and the vocals and the rear sound stage housing the crowd, their remarks, their whistles and their enthusiasm. Channel separation is easily distinguishable as you can literally follow Steve Morse and Roger Glover as they walk across the front soundstage. Nice stuff.

Fidelity is excellent given the amount of compression the Dolby Digital codec uses with some deep bass during the opening numbers and excellent demonstration of how to play an electric guitar when Steve opens up during his solo. There's also a solo playing whilst we tour the sights of Melbourne during the opening credits which sounds great.

As mentioned above, surround ambience is above and beyond what I've heard before with alot more crowd participation in the rear speakers with some limited effects in the fronts.

Also present on this disc are an MPEG and Dolby Digital 2 channel soundtracks. Fitting these soundtracks and over 3 hours of footage onto one disc is a mean feat that is accomplished with perfection.


There is one MAJOR feature on this disc that covers a fair bit of ground. It is a 76 minute documentary of the bands tour down under.

The doco is an excellent suppliment to the concert which shows all the band members in rehearsel with interviews from key members aswell as various clips off Australian TV including recorded interviews with John Laws, Triple MMM studios in Melbourne, Footballer Andrew Jarmans Today Tonight interview and more.

One segment that was omitted due to legal reasons was the live link up between Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide on Hey Hey it's Saturday where the banned played live teaching the young kids in the respective studios how to play "Smoke on the Water". A pity it wasn't included.

Here's a breakdown of the segments:

  1. The Evolution of the Band
  2. DP Live - Bulgaria 1998, Sth America 1997
  3. Seventh Heaven (Live)
  4. DP Commercial Australian TV
  5. MTV Australian Special + tour dates
  6. Ian Gillan's Walkabout/Interview at Fraser Island including rehearsal for Hey Hey it's Saturday, Live tour of Brisbane and Adelaide 1998
  7. John Laws Interview
  8. Ted the Mechanic (Live Adelaide April 1999)
  9. Roger Glover Interview (Andrew Jarman Channel 7)
  10. Hey Hey it's Saturday rehearsals
  11. Triple MMM radio interview

Wow, a great doco indeed. Also included are animated menus and a voice over narration during the documentary.


This is the first deep purple dvd to be released worldwide with a simultaneous PAL and NTSC release. By far the PAL release is the superior version given that the show was recorded in PAL with the NTSC needing some downconversion.

The concert is an excellent showcase of the bands hits, past and present, and the complimenting documentary is a sublime addition to a great dvd. This is how all music dvd's should be made.

Note: For a limited time only this dvd will only be available from the folks at Start Digital who have the rights to sell the disc from their store. If you want a copy now, and if you're a fan you'll want it bad, then I suggest you contact them on the following details, tell them you read the DVD net review and you want a copy NOW. Recommended Retail Price is $39.95 - well worth it in my opinion.

PH: (03) 9696-9299

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=275
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