For Deep Purple Mark II, 1970 was truly an annus mirabilis. Not only because of In Rock — wait a minute, I’ve got a 25th anniversary edition CD which is 20 years old already; shall we expect a 50th anniversary edition in five years’ time? — but also because of Jon Lord’s Gemini Suite Live and Jesus Christ Superstar superstarring Ian Gillan. I was practically growing up on this latter album.
What about Scandinavian Nights? It was recorded in Stockholm exactly 45 years ago, on 12 November 1970, so it’s not clear why “nights” in plural. But trust me, behind its rather uninspired cover art you’ll find simply the best live recording of this, or any, Purple line-ups. Sure enough, there are Child in Time, Into the Fire and Speed King (in my view, vastly superior to their respective studio versions) as well as half-an-hour monsters of Wring That Neck and Mandrake Root. But also, please, don’t forget the cover of Paint It Black.