Listener/viewer comments

Date: Mon, 20 Nov 1995 17:14:46 -0500
From: (Christopher Oberst)

Got the tape!!!

There is definitely some variety on this one, huh?  That version of
SOTW nearly made me die laughing!!  I shoulda thought of that!!  This
is a fun tape.

I'd just like to say thanks for putting all of this effort into
getting the tape into existence.  It's cool to hear other DP fans give
their interpretations.

Date: Mon, 20 Nov 1995 23:41:02 -0500 From: (Christopher Oberst) Well, I've had a chance to listen to the whole tape, and I'm still quite impressed. Thanks for putting me first, even if it is in chronological order. I must say, though, that my track is not the most memorable one on the tape. That honor would go to two tracks: the version of SOTW and the Woman From Gaza. Those are two cool tracks. I found myself listening to the country version of SOTW again and again. Those guys did a fantastic job. Have you heard the Hellecasters? This track reminds me of them. Sort of the ultimate in country guitar. The inside joke on this song is that, of course, this version is similar to the song "Ghost Riders In The Sky". Grammatically, of course, that is strikeingly similar to "Smoke On The Water". I wish I had that kind of imagination, since my cover version is relatively straight. The other song I mentioned, Woman From Gaza, is simply, outstanding. I'm not modest about my guitar skills, but I will admit, this guy is smokin'!! Again, there was a lot of imagination involved in combining arab music and Woman From Tokyo. My song mainly involves melding two songs that have nothing in common with each other, but not blending them together. One other song deserves special mention: the version of Stormbringer is probably the most progressive track on the album. I had never thought of an industrial version of a DP song before, but this song convinced me. If Trent Reznor had more class, then he might do something like this. Anyway, regarding sound: overall, pretty good. It sounded really good in my car stereo, which is more representative than my home deck. I have a Nakamichi at home, and Nakamichis have a reputation (deserved) of having an 'idiosyncratic' sound. This tape sounded relatively ok on this deck. One suggestion: you might want to make sure that various tracks fade out fully before clicking them off. A couple of tracks had 'abrupt' endings. I know, however, how easy this is to do, so don't take this the wrong way. To be honest, I can't really give you an honest assessment based on a cassette tape. The medium was invented in a dark time a long time ago, and does not reproduce extreme frequencies very well. Anyway, I thought that you did a good job of normalizing volumes, which is a tough thing to do, based on personal experience.
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 95 09:13 CDT From: (Janell Duxbury) I just got my copy of the a.m.d-p Deep Purple tribute cassette INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY STARS yesterday from Ram (who was so kind to send mine out ASAP). My favorite track of course is Kevin Ferguson's "Woman from Gaza" (because: 1. it's good, 2. it has a classical quote, and 3. I recruited him to do it and he graciously agreed). I thought he did a great blending of DP's "Woman from Tokyo" and a theme from Saint-Saens' "Samson and Delilah". I also quite liked Christopher Oberst's "Wring That Neck/Owed to G". I even enjoyed the country version of "Smoke on the Water" by the Lassos. I think our Finnish and Netherlands friends have quite an affinity for doing DP. However, what was that MIDDLE part in The Hooded Crow's "Fools"? It sounded like something mixed by Malcolm McLaren or some Euro-synth band! Dennis Bozeman's "Child in Time" started out OK, but I thought I'd need an eardrum transplant by the end (sorry!). Everyone involved gave it their best try at least, and the results are mixed, but always interesting in one way or another. Ram really did squeeze alot of printing onto the case insert. The pictures came out a little fuzzy, but he gave it a good try! The stamps on the cassette shell made it look like it has tattoos on the front and back. Great fun for just $3 (or more overseas).
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 1995 14:55:52 GMT From: Dave Hodgkinson ( OK, I've just compiled up maplay to play the Superhighway Stars tributes, and I must say, I'm beaming from ear to ear! You _have_ to get this. I'd just like to make special mention of the following (not detracting from the others, of course, but these are, well, _special_): * Fools by The Hooded Crow - good, faithful and powerful. * Smoke on the Water by The Lassos - utterly, utterly brilliant! * When a Blind Man Cries by Rod Cathey - music to cut your wrists by. * Woman from Gaza by Kevin Ferguson - superb and seamless. * Living Wreck by Purple Turtle - spacey. Do it! Do it now!
Date: 22 Nov 1995 04:58:36 GMT From: (Ram Samudrala) Here is track by track review of the tape. Please keep in mind that anything I say is said with the best intentions. I don't want it to be taken the wrong way. I think all the selections have a great degree of passion, and a great degree of variety, which simply wasn't present in the real tribute. (Is anyone from Shrapnel listening?) I can write a lot more about each of these songs, but I'm going to try to keep it short. Anyway, here goes: Living Wreck - I was debating which order to put the whole thing, and it came to me after I heard this song. Here, Chris combines tunes from two Purple eras in a straight-forward way. His interpretation of Wring that Neck is rather straight-forward, but his version of Owed to G I thought was really creative and original. It was very jazzy, and it is powerful the way the keyboards and the guitar interact with each other. The recording quality is excellent, as is the drum machine programming. Child in Time - This was the most difficult track to normalise, without making the volumes too low and without going into digital distortion. I think a better recording could've been achieved through the use of a compressor (did you try this, Den?), but I liked the idea of a guitar and vocals CiT. It's a great "unplugged" sort of track. One suggestion (if you ever plan to do this again) is to go along with the guitar as you're screaming. I thought the main vocals had their moments, but I didn't like the screaming a whole lot. To your credit, your voice didn't break, nor did you really sound bad, but perhaps the screams fit better with a lush musical background. Living Wreck - Great keyboard work by our Kari here. The vocals are decent, and some of the guitar parts also stand out. The recording is pretty tight and overall, I think it's a cool cover. Fools - What I liked most about this song is the use of a sample that sounded like a crow in the middle. I thought it was quite clever (if that was the intention). For some reason, this version reminded me of King Crimson. But it probably had to do with the dynamics of soft parts interspersed among loud parts. I think this is the best song The Hooded Crow has done (of course I'm biased :). Great recording quality, and nice production. Smoke on the Water - This is definitely one of the highlights of the tribute for me. Smoke done country style and it cracks me up everytime I sing it. Great recording quality, great production, no complaints at all. Highway Star - Rod Cathey's scream is awesome, and one can imagine the energy Titan must've had in their live shows. For a live recording, this isn't bad at all---the feedback actually adds to the song! I think this is a great cover in the spirit of a live Highway Star. When a Blind Man Cries - Rod Cathey again shows his vocals powers, and I think he does a great Gillan impersonation. It's a great song, and a cool cover. Woman from Gaza - This is yet another highlight. In fact, this and Smoke alone make this tribute a worthwhile thing to have put together. Kevin's an amazing guitarist and mixing Samson and Delilah with Woman from Tokyo (literally blending them) I think is a great creative idea and the results are amazing. You have to hear this to believe how original this is. Again, as with the Owed to G, what interested me most was the interplay between different keyboard and guitar melodies. Great, great cover. Burn - This again has excellent keyboard work by Kari, and also some cool guitar work. Like the drumming on this also. The recording is okay, and it's a bit more different than the original than the Living Wreck cover. Stormbringer - What can I say? This is my contribution. I think the vocals could've been better (in terms of timing), but I didn't have time to work on them too much because of my candidacy exam (excuses, excuses... :).
From: (Samu Kaajas) Date: Fri, 1 Dec 1995 10:52:12 +0200 (EET) Here is something song by song: WTN: Good guitar work, background was a bit strange in Owed to G, best of "computer songs" CiT: Vocals are good, recording awful. LW: I would like to do more different version than original but time ran out. Fools: Great in every respect. Best song on the tape IMO. SoTW: This is also great, very professional work here. HS: Performancewise good but recording is awful WABMC: Otherwise nice but drum sounds spoil the feeling a lot. WfG: This is IMO more techincal show than cover version. I don't mind doing songs differently but... too much guitar perhaps, vocals would have balanced it a bit. Burn: This is good also. In my version Kari's keyboards are almost missing. What happened to them? Stormbringer: The basic idea is good but I think you pushed it a bit too far. Technically good work Overall it is nice tape. Different quality of recording is of course a bit disturbing but hell... performances are mostly enjoyable. Big thanks to you for the huge work you have done. Cover art is great also. When do we do part II? :-) Samu
From: (Mark Cantin) Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 12:27:36 GMT Hello to all-- If you haven't already gotten a copy of Ram's DP tribute tape, I would strongly urge you to. It really is interesting. The covers of Wring that Neck (Christopher Oberst) and Burn (Donald) are particularly good, though my favorite is Highway Star (Titan)--it really smokes! And the C & W version of SotW is a hoot! And the price is a bargain that you just can't beat! Mega-thanks to Ram for pouring in the effort to please our little group--a job well done! Mark Cantin Land of Corn, USA
From: DJ ( Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 11:25:34 +0100 And while I'm at it... some short (critical) comments on the tape Only listened to tape once yet, so I could still change my mind. -Wring That Neck/Owed To G Nice playing. The drumcomputer does get sortof annoying after a while and the break into Owed To G is a bit TOO weird for me. ;-) -Child In Time This dude can sing. Too bad the guitars are way too low in the mix. I think this should be rerecorded with a band. -Living Wreck Very nicely done. Don't like the singing (whining) much tho. -Fools Uhm, yes well... I think the sound of the drums worked out pretty well. We all gave it our best I guess. Patrick's singing could still do with some improvement at some points -Smoke On The Water Everything that needed to be said about this one has already been said. Love it. -Highway Star Very nice. Sound isn't all that great, but this one really smokes! One of the best on this tape. -When A Blind Man Cries Err.... no. -Woman From Gaza How did you get to get the hi-hats from the drumcomputer to sound so real? Very nice. -Burn Nice instrumental. Just a pity that it IS instrumental. It goes on for too long. Good playing tho. -Stormbringer Sorry, Ram. I didn't like this one very much. I'm not into industrial music and yeh, you're right - your timing was off! ;-) Yes, I know. I listened to it with musician's ears and therefore am complaining too much. All in all, it was quite interesting to hear this stuff. And there was some good stuff on the tape!
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 1995 08:06:20 -0500 From: Ram: My husband, Ed (another DP fan) and I both enjoyed the Superhighway Stars compilation greatly. :-) Then I lent it to a friend of mine who's another major DP fan, and he's *totally* fascinated with it and has listened to it numerous times. Among hard-core DP fans there seems to be a market for reinterpretations of DP songs, at least that's my perception. I particularly enjoyed the Lassos' original and well-executed arrangement of Smoke of the Water--that was the surprise hit for me! Barb Fox

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