On December 9, 1973, "Deep Purple" made its first appearance in the MKIII line-up.
The concert was held at the "KB Hallen" in Copenhagen, Denmark, during which the three founding members, drummer Ian Paice, keyboardist Jon Lord and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, were accompanied for the first time by bass player Glenn Hughes and singer David Coverdale.
As you may recall, the band's MKII line-up was never stable. The tensions between the members of the band were always there and they even increased after the band released their perfect album "Machine Head", in March 1972. These tensions reached their peak during the recording of the album "Who Do We Think We Are" from 1973, mainly between Ian Gillan and Ritchie Blackmore. Gillan already announced his retirement from "Deep Purple" in June 1973 and his last performance with the band was held on July 29, 1973. Bassist Roger Glover who was close to Gillan hurried to leave the band right after him.
Immediately after that, the band started looking for replacements. The one chosen to fill the position of lead singer was Glenn Hughes, of the band "Trapeze", whom the members of "Deep Purple" met during a joint concert tour. The band officially announced his entry into the lineup in July 1973. However, in a short time, the members of "Deep Purple" realized that they needed a dominant and charismatic frontman like Ian Gillan, who would focus solely on singing, so continued the task of finding a lead singer, when names like Paul Rodgers who decided not to join and even Danny Shushan were thrown in the air. In the end, David Coverdale got the role, after an audition held in August 1973. Coverdale was then a relatively unknown singer who worked as a clerk in a clothing store. Concerns about whether the fans would accept the new line-up or not were put aside and the band immediately began working on a new album.
The album "Burn" was released in February 1974, and maintained the status of "Deep Purple" as one of the greatest rock bands of the time. "Deep Purple" simply reinvented itself and proved to be a formidable band with a "burning" soul that is far beyond the artists who make it, with an album that took their music in a new direction.
However, not many people realize that the real power of great tracks like "Mistreated" and "Burn" came from the band's performances, on stage. Even before the release of "Burn", the band was on the road and played a large part of the tracks from the new album, with the setlist including only three tracks from the band's MKII era, which also received different and renewed arrangements to suit the new lineup.
On December 9, 1973, about three months before the release of the album, the band, in its new composition, went on stage for the first time and played a 10-track set that included all the songs from the album "Burn" except for two tracks ("Sail Away" and "A 200"), three more songs from the band's MKII era and one cover version of the "Alabama State Troupers" song.
It is unbelievable, but there is a recording (even though of poor quality) of this historical moment. At minute 13:42 of the recording, David Coverdale can be heard saying that the album "Burn" should be released in January, but as we know it was released on February 15, 1974.
The setlist played that evening:
2. Might Just Take Your Life
3. Lay Down, Stay Down
5. Smoke on the Water
6. You Fool No One
7. Space Truckin'
8. What's Goin' on Here
9. Going Down (The Alabama State Troupers cover)
10. Highway Star