50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time

Rolling Stone ranks the 50 best live albums ever, from Jimi Hendrix at Monterey to Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison

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Deep Purple, 'Made in Japan' (1972)
50
32/50

32. Deep Purple, 'Made in Japan' (1972)

In just seven cuts, Deep Purple deliver four sides of excitement and indulgence. From Ian Paice's dizzying drum solo during "The Mule" to Jon Lord's winking organ vamp at the start of "Lazy," from the trick ending of the 20-minute "Space Truckin'" to Ian Gillan and Ritchie Blackmore's voice-and-guitar duel during "Strange Kind of Women," the metal progenitors plunder (and arguably establish) a near-complete arsenal of onstage tricks and tropes. Cheaply made, wildly popular and frequently reissued, Made in Japan was captured during three nights in Osaka and Tokyo. The set feels ever casual, as if the band is performing less for the crowd or the tape machine and more for the sheer enjoyment of stretching these tunes out like playdates. "We were all so unconcerned about the whole thing that nobody was actually aware of being recorded," Lord later confirmed in Dave Thompson's Smoke on the Water. "There was no diminution of the interplay, spontaneity and feeling that we usually got onstage." Grayson Haver Currin

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