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Deep Purple

Deep Purple survived a seemingly endless series of lineup changes and a dramatic mid-career shift from grandiose progressive rock to ear-shattering heavy metal to emerge as a true institution of the British hard rock community; once credited in The Guinness Book of World Records as the globe's loudest band, their revolving-door roster launched the careers of performers including Ritchie Blackmore, David Coverdale, and Ian Gillan.

Deep Purple were formed in Hertford, England, in 1968, with an inaugural lineup that featured guitarist Blackmore, vocalist Rod Evans, bassist Nick Simper, keyboardist Jon Lord, and drummer Ian Paice. Initially dubbed Roundabout, the group was first assembled as a session band for ex-Searchers drummer Chris Curtis but quickly went their own way, touring Scandinavia before beginning work on their debut LP, Shades of Deep Purple. The most pop-oriented release of their career, the album generated a Top Five American hit with its reading of Joe South's "Hush" but otherwise went unnoticed at home. The Book of Taliesyn followed (in the U.S. only) in 1969, again cracking the U.S. Top 40 with a cover of Neil Diamond's "Kentucky Woman."

With their self-titled third LP, Deep Purple's ambitions grew, however; the songs reflecting a new complexity and density as Lord's classically influenced keyboards assumed a much greater focus. Soon after the album's release, their American label Tetragrammaton folded, and with the dismissals of Evans and Simper, the band started fresh, recruiting singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover from the ranks of the pop group Episode Six.

The revamped Deep Purple's first album, 1970's Concerto for Group and Orchestra, further sought to fuse rock and classical music. When the project, which was recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, was poorly received, Blackmore took creative control of the band, steering it toward a heavier, guitar-dominated approach that took full advantage of Gillan's powerful vocals. The gambit worked; 1970's Deep Purple in Rock heralded the beginning of the group's most creatively and commercially successful period. At home, the album sold over a million copies, with the subsequent non-LP single "Black Night" falling just shy of topping the U.K. pop charts. Released in 1971, Fireball was also a smash, scoring a hit with "Strange Kind of Woman."

Plans to record the follow-up at the Casino in Montreux, Switzerland, were derailed after the venue burned down during a live appearance by Frank Zappa, but the experience inspired Deep Purple's most enduring hit, the AOR staple "Smoke on the Water." The song, featured on the multi-platinum classic Machine Head, reached the U.S. Top Five in mid-1972 and positioned Deep Purple among rock's elite; the band consolidated its status with the 1973 studio follow-up Who Do We Think We Are and the hit "Woman from Tokyo." However, long-simmering creative differences between Blackmore and Gillan pushed the latter out of the group that same year, with Glover soon exiting as well. Singer David Coverdale and bassist/singer Glenn Hughes were recruited for 1974's Burn, and Gillan meanwhile formed a band bearing his own name.

After completing 1974's Stormbringer, Blackmore left Deep Purple as well, to form Rainbow with vocalist Ronnie James Dio; his replacement was ex-James Gang guitarist Tommy Bolin, who made his debut on Come Taste the Band. All the changes clearly took their toll, however, and following a farewell tour, the group dissolved in 1976. Coverdale, meanwhile, went on to form Whitesnake, and Bolin died of a drug overdose later in the year.

The classic lineup of Blackmore, Gillan, Lord, Glover, and Paice reunited Deep Purple in 1984 for a new album, the platinum smash Perfect Strangers. The House of Blue Light followed three years later, but as past tensions resurfaced, Gillan again exited in mid-1989. Onetime Rainbow vocalist Joe Lynn Turner was recruited for 1990's Slaves and Masters before Gillan again rejoined to record The Battle Rages On..., an apt title as Blackmore quit the group midway through the supporting tour, to be temporarily replaced by Joe Satriani.

In 1994, Steve Morse took over the guitar slot (fresh from a stint in Kansas), and the revitalized group returned to the studio for 1996's Purpendicular, which proved a success among the Purple faithful. Abandon followed in 1998, as well as a 1999 orchestral performance released the following year as Live at the Royal Albert Hall. Deep Purple were given the box set treatment the same year with the four-disc set Shades: 1968-1998, which collected hits, demos, live takes, and unreleased tracks from throughout the years (touching upon all of Purple's different lineups). Meanwhile, Blackmore kept himself busy after leaving the band by issuing a single album with his briefly resuscitated outfit Rainbow (1998's Stranger in Us All), before forming the Renaissance-inspired Blackmore's Night with fiancée/vocalist Candice Night.

Despite continuing lineup upheavals, Deep Purple remained active well into the 21st century. Keyboardist Lord departed the band in 2002 and issued several classical albums during the remainder of the decade; sadly, he died in 2012 after battling pancreatic cancer for nearly a year. Lord's replacement in Deep Purple during the new millennium was Don Airey, and the band issued two surprisingly strong albums with a lineup of Gillan, Glover, Paice, Morse, and Airey: 2003's Bananas and 2005's Rapture of the Deep. The late '90s and early 2000s also saw the release of many archival releases and collections preserving the band's enduring legacy (Machine Head's 25th anniversary, Friends & Relatives, Rhino's The Very Best Of, and Days May Come and Days May Go: The 1975 California Rehearsals), as well as a slew of DVDs (Total Abandon: Live Australia 1999, In Concert with the London Symphony Orchestra, Bombay Calling, and New Live & Rare). The impressive and timeless-sounding Now What?!, produced by Bob Ezrin, appeared early in 2013. Surviving members of Deep Purple came together for a tribute concert held April 4, 2014 at Royal Albert Hall that marked the 45th anniversary of when Jon Lord's "Concerto for Group and Orchestra" first debuted there. The event was chronicled on film and in two albums, Celebrating Jon Lord: The Rock Legend and Celebrating Jon Lord: The Composer, which appeared in the fall of 2014. ~ Jason Ankeny & Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Great band. So genuine and original. Great harmony. I sing the song knocking at your back door as loud as I can on my car. Love it!!!
dchurchill.h a r p 4
Excellent Harmonica!!! and this band will stay on the Road to Tokyo!!!
Caught Deep Purple in Scottsdale last August. They were unbelievably tight and powerful. They haven't missed a step. Don Airey and Steve Morse have filled Jon Lord's and Ritchie Blackmore's shoes admirably. Rock on!
Great classic tune. One of the best bands ever.
Is someone having a bad day or life.@ the bottom .uv this post.thumbs up D.P.
Had the opt 2 c 4 times in the 70s.Best Made In Japan Smoke on the water.Child in time.oh ya.Richie Blackmore.In c r e d i b l e . j u s t right 4 the times......
Great song. Luv Deep Purple.. This song is a true Classic!
Nope, you mean Yngwie.
I think Deep Purple had an influence on Metallica.
vintage old school rock and roll
why are they not in the RR HOF oh yeah the RR HOF sucks that's why
the bass runeth deep get down , hippies !
hiker_58
Machine head line was the best ever!
Highway Star, Sweet Child in Time, My Woman TokeKaeOhhh ! MONSTER stuff, and my faves.
Great Music- All time favs - from the past
Gillian was dubbed "The Prince of Wails" in England and was also in Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway at one point. He should be bred with Ann Wilson of Heart to make a supersinger. The song Lazy, along with Todd Rundgren's Bang the Drums is the best play hookey from work song. When I listen to Deep Purple, I cannot make up mind which instrument to listen to, they are all that phenomenal.
Made in Japan -best live rock album of 70s period. Stairway you say? Ha, did you listen to Sweet Child in Time, Woman from Tokyo? This band was so tight for that album, if I were alive during that tour, I would not have been able to maintain a job...except band-aid, haha
steve morse is good,but not purple type.
great band great music,we will miss you jon lord,lord of the keyboards.
Cool solo
Great lineup Richie B. Gilan have had the opt 2 c 5 times mi favorite.Mad e in Japan.Total Rock.get summ america....7 0 s . . . v e r y inspiring... d . d .
my woman from tokyo one of my fav heavy metal tunes ever
I think Jackyl did a cover of space trunkin with a chainsaw
stosstheboss
Davidtheman ikr
Don't read this because it's bullshit. Tomorrow you will wake up with a huge dick and Kate upton next to you and then you will say f**k yes but hen it will actually be a guy and you will have ultra herpies. LISTEN ALL YOU CHAIN MAIL RETARDS. I DIDNT POST YOUR BULLSHIT SPAM ANY OF YOU BULLSHIT FROM DAY 1 AND I AM STILL ALIVE. F**K ALL OF YOU A**HOLES POLLUTE THE COMMENTS SECTION. SHUT.THE.F** K . U P . TO ALL PEOPLE WHO ARE SCARED OF WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF U DONT REPOST NOTHING WILL HAPPEN.
I like six songs off of their greatest hits.
Smoke on the water... Smoke from the water bong... Oh smoke from yesteryear.. . How much I miss you<><
I believe Ritchie and his wife (?) are still making music closer to the Celtic genre....Bla c k m o r e ' s Night...I like it. But maybe your comment is merely lamenting his departure from rock music.
Where have you gome Ritchie
lds.rreaves
Glenn Hughs and David Coverdale rock this album!!
Talks
This song talk about Frank Zappa
hydrovdragon
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However If you don't post this you will die in two days. Now you've started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes when done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it works
Deep Purple, Made in Japan, Your lazy, just stay in bed
Check out Now What?!
shempdog2002
Live Child in Time!! All five shine on this one. Especially Gillan and Blackmore.
74' I can still smell the cork wall, cannabis, deciding which peyote button was the freshest.... w h a t blur. Rock on
milosdad
To John. What a show. I'm jealous. DP, Rory Gallagher and Fleetwood Mac when they were bluesy. WOW!
Gillian-Plan t n Coverdale taught the world to sing with voice as an instrument """":-p
Richie Blackmore is one of the greatest. I scalloped my fingerboard based on his, the vibrato control is amazing
sort of weak for Deep Purple
First song I learned on guitar
A jam band, truly ahead of their time
This is a music station--- take your crap elsewhere
jeffreymqs64 1
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claricentp91 7
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Great song !
shawnnavuz71 1
If you wish to add some extra money to you wallet go to BLUDOS.COM They offer really easy free online jobs where you can make a few extra hundred dollas a week !
First concert I ever saw was Deep Purple, Fleetwood Mac, and Rory Gallagher. 1972 or 1973. Amazing and LOUD. These guys could really put on a show back in the day.
What about Highway star as being the best driving song?
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