Hot on the heels of the news that they have been nominated for 2014 induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, classic rockers DEEP PURPLE will be feted with a deluxe, limited-edition boxed set featuring 24-Karat Gold CDs of four of their best-selling albums, according to Audio Fidelity president Marshall Blonstein. November 19 is the release date for "Deep Purple: The Audio Fidelity Collection", which will include "In Rock" (1970), "Fireball" (1971), "Machine Head" (1972) and "Who Do We Think We Are!" (1973). The four CDs, containing such breakthrough DEEP PURPLE hits as "Smoke On The Water" and "Woman From Tokyo", will be housed, appropriately, in an embossed metallic container, each engraved with a unique edition number, and will be sold through both online and traditional retail outlets.
"The Audio Fidelity Collection" features the legendary second lineup of DEEP PURPLE, which originally formed in 1967 in Hertfordshire, north of London. By 1970, the pioneering hard-rock/metal quintet consisted of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, vocalist Ian Gillan, keyboardist Jon Lord, bassist Roger Glover and drummer Ian Paice. Originally issued in the U.S. by Warner Bros. Records, the four albums represent the band at the peak of its popularity and creative powers. The double-platinum "Machine Head" reached No. 7 on Billboard's Top Albums chart; "Fireball", "In Rock" and "Who Do We Think We Are!" all were certified gold. "Woman From Tokyo" (from "Who Do We Think We Are!") and "Smoke On The Water" ("Machine Head") were Top 10 singles and remain staples of classic-rock radio. (Reflecting in 2012 on DEEP PURPLE's long overdue nomination for Hall Of Fame induction, TOTO guitarist Steve Lukather commented, "What's the first song every kid learns to play? 'Smoke On The Water'. And they're not [yet] in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?")
All four discs in "The Audio Fidelity Collection" will contain original album artwork and will feature the remastering done by engineer Steve Hoffman when the individual CDs were previously issued by Audio Fidelity. "They have been unavailable for five years," says label president Blonstein, "and since then we've had numerous requests from customers to 'reissue the reissue.' So we decided to offer them again, but in this special boxed-set edition." Indeed, copies of the earlier "Machine Head" and "Who Do We Think We Are!" currently fetch handsome prices on sites like Amazon and eBay. To distinguish the forthcoming CDs from the earlier editions-and to enhance the unique collectability aspects of the boxed set-the new discs' outer sleeves come with gold, instead of black slip cases.
DEEP PURPLE, which has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, was announced (on October 16) as a nominee for the 29th annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremonies, which will be held in New York City in April of 2014. Inductee selections will be announced in December.
Founded in 2002 by Marshall Blonstein, Audio Fidelity specializes in deluxe reissues of classic popular-music recordings for the audiophile and collector markets. The Camarillo, California-based label is best known for its 24-karat Gold CDs and its virgin-vinyl album editions, though it also releases DVD titles. Audio Fidelity emerged out of the pioneering DCC Compact Classics label that Blonstein started in 1986, following stints as president of Island Records and co-founder of Ode Records (where he helped make Carole King's "Tapestry" one of the best-selling albums of all time and built the cult-film franchises "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and Cheech & Chong's "Up In Smoke").