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Country Years active
Hertford, England 1968–1976; 1984–present Hard rock Heavy metal Speed Metal Edel Records Ian Gillan Steve Morse Roger Glover Don Airey Ian Paice
This article is about the rock group. For the song with the same name, see Deep Purple (song) Deep Purple is the name of a British rock group, and is also the name of a song composed by Peter De Rose, from which the band borrowed its name. They are one of the first and most famous hard rock bands. They are considered pioneers of heavy metal, though have never considered themselves a heavy metal band.
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1 Pre-History 2 The Dawn of Purple 3 Top of the World 4 The Reunions 5 Revival 6 Deep Purple and Heavy Metal 7 Personnel and discography o 7.1 Studio albums o 7.2 Live albums o 7.3 Compilation Albums 8 Hit singles 9 See also 10 External links
The band Episode Six released several singles in the UK during the mid-sixties. It featured Ian Gillan on vocals, Graham Dimmock on guitar, Roger Glover on bass, Tony Lander on guitar, Sheila Carter on keyboards, and Harvey Shields on the drums. Despite extensive touring, they never had their big break. In 1967, a band called The Flowerpot Men and their Garden was formed, formerly known as The Ivy League. It was concentrated on a trio of singers. The new name was clearly derived from the children's show The Flowerpot Men, with the obvious psychedelic-era puns on flower power and "pot". The band's most popular song was "Let's Go To San Francisco." Some listeners assumed that the song was a parody of Scott McKenzie's "If You're Going to San Francisco," but the band has denied this. It featured Tony Burrows, Neil Landon, Robin Shaw, and Pete Nelson on vocals, Ged Peck on guitar, Nick Simper on bass, Jon Lord on organ, and Carlo Little on drums. Jon Lord had formerly played in The Artwoods, Nick Simper had been with Screaming Lord Sutch's The Savages, where he also played with guitarist Ritchie Blackmore.
The Dawn of Purple
In 1967, former Searchers drummer Chris Curtis contacted London businessman Tony Edwards in the hope that he would manage a new group he was putting together. Curtis’ idea was that the members of the group would get on and off a musical roundabout, and suitably impressed, Edwards agreed to finance the venture with a couple of business partners, John Coletta and Ron Hire (Hire-Edwards-Coletta – HEC Enterprises).
Curtis then set about building up the group, to be known as Roundabout. His first encounter was with Hammond organ player Jon Lord, then he persuaded session guitarist Ritchie Blackmore to return from Hamburg, Germany, to audition for the new group. Curtis himself, however, soon dropped out, but HEC Enterprises, as well as Lord and Blackmore, were keen that the project should continue, so firstly bassist Nick Simper, then finally vocalist Rod Evans and drummer Ian Paice (both of whom were from the group The Maze), were recruited. After their first few gigs on a brief tour of Denmark in the spring of 1968, the band agreed on a new name suggested by Ritchie – Deep Purple. In October 1968, the group had tremendous success in the US (but not the UK) with a cover of Joe South's "Hush," taken from their debut album Shades of Deep Purple, and they were duly booked to support Cream on their Goodbye tour. However they were soon kicked off the tour, allegedly because they were upstaging the headlining act! In 1969, two more albums followed: The Book of Taliesyn and Deep Purple, the latter of which contained a symphony orchestra on some tracks. After these three albums and extensive touring in the States, Rod Evans and Nick Simper were unsummarily sacked, and replaced by vocalist Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover both ex-Episode Six. This would create the quintessential Deep Purple "Mark 2" lineup. Initially, this version of the band released a single probably influenced by the then-popular stage musical "Hair", a cover of a Greenaway-Cook tune titled "Hallelujah", which flopped, and then the Concerto for Group and Orchestra, a three-part movement written by Lord and performed at the Royal Albert Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Malcolm Arnold. Together with Five Bridges by The Nice, it was one of the first collaborations between a rock band and an orchestra, although at the time, certain members of Purple were less than happy at the group being tagged as "a group who played with orchestras" when actually what they had in mind was to develop the band into a much tighter, hard-rocking style.
Top of the World
Shortly after the orchestral release, the band began a hectic touring and recording schedule that was to see little respite for the next three years. Their first LP release, in mid-1970, went straight for the jugular in with "Deep Purple in Rock" and a UK Top Ten single followed with "Black Night". A second album, "Fireball", was issued in 1971, and the band also scored another chart hit with "Strange Kind Of Woman". Together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, Purple were laying the groundwork for what is now called heavy metal music, although at the time, the phrase was still to be coined. During 1972, Deep Purple continued to tour and record at a rate that would be rare thirty years on, releasing Machine Head, an album that was due to be recorded at a casino in Montreux, using the Rolling Stones mobile recording truck, but after an arson attack during a Frank Zappa gig at the very same casino was actually recorded at a nearby hotel - this incident famously inspiring the writing of "Smoke on the Water". This album was followed a few months later by a live release, Made in Japan mostly recorded at two gigs
in Osaka, which is today still one of rock music's most popular live concert recordings, although at the time, it was perhaps seen as less important when only two band members turned up to mix it! The classic Purple Mk 2 line-up continued to work and record into 1973, releasing the album Who Do We Think We Are (1973), featuring the hit single Woman from Tokyo, but tensions within the band were more noticeable than ever. The bad feeling culminated in Ian Gillan quitting the band after another European tour, and Roger Glover being pushed out with him. Their replacements were an unknown singer from the North of England, David Coverdale, and bassist Glenn Hughes, formerly of Trapeze. This new line-up continued into 1974 with the heavy blues/rock album Burn, another highly successful release. Hughes and Coverdale added a funky R&B/soul element to the band's music, a sound that was even more apparent on the 1974 release Stormbringer. Blackmore was not happy with the results, and as a result left the band in 1975 to form his own band Rainbow. With Blackmore's departure, Deep Purple was left to fill one of the biggest vacancies in rock music. The gap was filled by American Tommy Bolin who had established himself with acts such as Zephyr, James Gang and Billy Cobham, with whom Bolin made his mark on the jazz fusion Spectrum album. On the face of it Bolin was just what the doctor ordered. However the subsequent album, 1975's Come Taste the Band, for all its quality, proved unpopular with die-hard fans and didn't attract any new ones, especially since it departed radically from the expected Deep Purple sound. Bolin himself turned out not to be ready for the daunting job of filling Blackmore's shoes, suffering hostility from some crowds while turning in erratic performances varying from the scintillating to the mundane. Bolin also had a drug habit, heroin, which made matters all the worse. After a particularly traumatic tour to promote Come Taste the Band, the band broke up. Later Tommy Bolin died of a heroin overdose in Miami whilst on tour supporting Jeff Beck. Subsequently, most of the past members of Deep Purple would go on to have considerable success in a number of other bands including Rainbow, Whitesnake and Gillan, while there were a number of promoter-led attempts to get the band to reform, especially with the revival of the hard rock market in the late 70s/early 80s.....
In 1980, Rod Evans, along with a group of unknown musicians, toured under the banner of Deep Purple. As the only original member, and one little known to most fans, this band was instantly derided by press and fans as a fraud. The lineup performed concerts in Mexico and the USA before legal action was taken to deny them the use of the name. In retrospect, however tenuous the connection this band had to the name "Deep Purple", at least it kept the name alive and in the media, albeit briefly. More information on this "fake" Deep Purple is available here and here.
However, in April 1984, eight years after the demise of Deep Purple, a full-scale (and legal) reunion happened. It was announced on BBC radio's The Friday Rock Show that the "classic" early 70s line-up of Blackmore, Gillan, Glover, Lord, and Paice was reforming and recording new material. The band signed a deal with Polydor in Europe and Mercury in North America. The album Perfect Strangers was released in October 1984 and the tour followed, starting in New Zealand and winding its way across the world into Europe by the following summer. It was a tremendous success. The UK homecoming proved mixed as they elected to play just a single festival show at Knebworth (with main support from The Scorpions). The weather was famously bad but 80,000 turned up anyway. The line-up recorded and toured The House of Blue Light in 1987 though to lower sales, a live album Nobody's Perfect (1988) was culled from several shows on this tour. While in the UK a new version of "Hush" was released to mark 20 years of the band. In 1989, Ian Gillan was fired from the band, as his relations with Blackmore soured. His replacement was former Rainbow vocalist Joe Lynn Turner. This line up recorded just one album, Slaves & Masters (1990), and toured in support of it. Despite the renewed excellence of the band during this period, many fans were not pleased with Turner, preferring Gillan. With the tour done, Turner was forced to go as Lord, Paice, Glover, and the record company wanted Gillan back in the fold. Blackmore relented and the classic line-up recorded The Battle Rages On in 1993. During an artistically successful European tour during the fall of 1993, tensions between Gillan and Blackmore came to a head yet again. Blackmore walked out in November 1993, never to return and leaving the band in a fix. Joe Satriani was drafted in, so the live dates (in Japan) in December could be completed. Satriani stayed on for a European Summer tour in 1994, Satriani was never asked to stay permanently although he had wished it. The band unanimously chose Dixie Dregs guitarist Steve Morse to become Blackmore's permanent successor.
Steve Morse’s arrival thoroughly revitalised the band as he is cited one the best and most accomplished modern guitarists. In 1996 the band released the critically acclaimed Purpendicular, which brimmed with confidence and ideas. Deep Purple enjoyed success throughout the rest of the 1990s, releasing Abandon in 1998, and touring with renewed relish, playing a setlist which was probably more adventurous and eclectic than ever before. In 1999, Jon Lord, with the help of a fan who was also a musicologist and composer, painstakingly recreated the Concerto for Group and Orchestra, and it was once again performed at the Royal Albert Hall in September 1999, this time with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paul Mann. The concert also featured songs from each member’s solo careers, as well as a short Deep Purple set, and the occasion was commemorated on the 2000 album In Concert with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Much of the next few years was spent on the road via constant touring. The group continued forward until 2002, when venerable founding member Jon Lord (who, along with Ian Paice, was the only member to be in all incarnations of the band) announced his amicable retirement from the band to pursue personal projects (especially orchestral work). Rock keyboard veteran Don Airey (Rainbow/Whitesnake, etc.), who had helped Purple out when Lord was injured in 2001, joined the band. In 2003, Deep Purple released their first studio album in five years, the highly praised (but controversially titled) Bananas, and began touring in support of the album immediately. In October of 2005, the band's 37th year, Purple released Rapture of the Deep, which, although recorded in just a few weeks, proved to be the most progressive and adventurous album for many years, and it is being followed by yet another extensive world tour.
Deep Purple and Heavy Metal
Despite their association with the sub-genre, Deep Purple have never been a heavy metal band, though many later heavy metal bands cite their influence. The group has frequently changed styles and line-ups over the years, but has always included virtuoso players in its ranks and placed a high priority on musicianship. Some incarnations of Deep Purple have brought aspects of jazz and classical influences to a rock context due to their frequent use of their songs as vehicles for extended and sophisticated solos. Today, Deep Purple steadfastly carries on in the studio and around the globe as one of history's most prolific, longest-lived, and hardest touring rock 'n roll bands.
Personnel and discography
Deep Purple personnel
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Mk I (1968-1969)
Rod Evans - vocals Ritchie Blackmore - guitar Jon Lord - keyboards Nick Simper - bass guitar Ian Paice - drums Ian Gillan - vocals Ritchie Blackmore - guitar Jon Lord - keyboards Roger Glover - bass guitar
Mk II (1969-1973)
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Ian Paice - drums David Coverdale - vocals Ritchie Blackmore - guitar Jon Lord - keyboards Glenn Hughes - bass guitar,vocals Ian Paice - drums David Coverdale - vocals Tommy Bolin - guitar Jon Lord - keyboards Glenn Hughes - bass guitar,vocals Ian Paice - drums
Mk III (1973-1975)
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Mk IV (1975-1976)
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Mk IIa, reunited (1984-1989)
Ian Gillan - vocals Ritchie Blackmore - guitar Jon Lord - keyboards Roger Glover - bass guitar Ian Paice - drums Joe Lynn Turner - vocals Ritchie Blackmore - guitar Jon Lord - keyboards Roger Glover - bass guitar Ian Paice - drums Ian Gillan - vocals Ritchie Blackmore - guitar Jon Lord - keyboards Roger Glover - bass guitar Ian Paice - drums Ian Gillan - vocals Joe Satriani - guitar Jon Lord - keyboards Roger Glover - bass guitar Ian Paice - drums
Mk V (1989-1991)
Mk IIb, again reunited (1992-1994)
Mk VI (1994)
Mk VII (1994-2002)
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Ian Gillan - vocals Steve Morse - guitar Jon Lord - keyboards Roger Glover - bass guitar Ian Paice - drums Ian Gillan - vocals Steve Morse - guitar Don Airey - keyboards Roger Glover - bass guitar Ian Paice - drums
Mk VIII (2002-present)
The various line-ups in the history of Deep Purple are referred to by fans and the band themselves by "Mark" numbers (abbreviated as Mk I, Mk II, etc.) The "gap" in the numbering, Mk VI, refers to the series of concerts performed with Joe Satriani on guitar, when Ritchie Blackmore quit the band halfway through the tour in 1994. This is the only lineup for which no official recordings have yet been released.
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Shades of Deep Purple, September 1968 #24 US The Book of Taliesyn, December 1968 #54 US Deep Purple, November 1969 #162 US Deep Purple in Rock, June 1970 #4 UK, #143 US Fireball, September 1971 #1 UK, #32 US Machine Head, March 1972 #1 UK, #7 US Who Do We Think We Are, February 1973 #4 UK, #15 US Burn, February 1974 #3 UK, #9 US Stormbringer, December 1974 #6 UK, #20 US
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Mk IV Come Taste the Band, October 1975 #19 UK, #43 US Mk II, reunited o Perfect Strangers, November 1984 #5 UK, #17 US o The House of Blue Light, January 1987 #10 UK, #34 US Mk V o Slaves & Masters, October 1990 # 45 UK, #87 US Mk II, again reunited o The Battle Rages On..., July 1993 #21 UK, #192 US
Mk VII o Purpendicular, February 1996 o Abandon, May 1998 Mk VIII o Bananas, August 2003 o Rapture of the Deep, October 2005
Live in Inglewood, 1968 (released 2004) Concerto for Group and Orchestra, 1969 Kneel & Pray, 1969 (released 2004) Gemini Suite Live, 1970 (released 1998) Scandinavian Nights, 1970 (released 1988) Space Vol 1 & 2 , 1970 (released 2004) Made in Japan 1972, #16 UK, #6 US Deep Purple In Concert, 1970-1972 (released 1980) #30 UK Denmark 1972, 1972 (released 2004) Made in Europe, 1975, #12 UK, #148 US Live in London, 1974 (released 1982), #23 UK Just Might Take Your Life , 1974 (released 1996 | 2004) Perks And Tit, 1974 (released 2004) Mk III: The Final Concerts, 1975 (released 1996)
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Mk IV Last Concert in Japan, 1976 On the Wings of a Russian Foxbat = King Biscuit Flower Hour, 1975 (released 1995) o This Time Around: Live in Tokyo, 1975 (released 2001) Mk II, reunited o Nobody's Perfect, 1987 (released 1988) #38 UK, #105 US o In The Absence of Pink: Knebworth 85, 1985 (released 1991) o Come Hell or High Water, 1993, (released 1994) o Live In Europe 1993, 1993 (4-CD box set - due for release March 2006) Mk VII o Live at the Olympia '96, 1996 (released 1997) o Total Abandon: Live in Australia, 1999 o In Concert with the London Symphony Orchestra, 1999 o Live At The Rotterdam Ahoy, 2000 o The Soundboard Series, 2001
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Purple Passages, September 1972; # 57 US 24 Carat Purple, July 1975; #14 UK The Mark II Purple Singles, April 1979; #24 UK When We Rock, We Rock, and When We Roll, We Roll, 1978 Deepest Purple: The Very Best of Deep Purple, July 1980; #1 UK, #148 US The Anthology, June 1985; # 50 UK 30: Very Best of Deep Purple, October 1998; #39 UK Listen, Learn, Read On, October 29, 2002 (6 disc box set) Winning Combinations: Deep Purple and Rainbow, 2003 Deep Purple: The Platinum Collection, 2005
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1968 "Hush" #4 US 1968 "Kentucky Woman" #38 US 1969 "River Deep - Mountain High" # 53 US 1970 "Black Night" #2 UK, # 66 US 1971 "Strange Kind of Woman" #8 UK 1971 "Fireball" #15 UK 1972 "Never Before" #35 UK 1973 "Smoke on the Water" #21 UK (1977 release), # 4 US 1973 "Woman From Tokyo" # 60 US 1974 "Might Just Take Your Life" # 91 US 1977 "New Live and Rare EP" #31 UK (including an unheard live version of Black Night) 1978 "New Live and Rare EP II" # 45 UK 1980 "Black Night" (reissue) # 43 UK 1980 "New Live and Rare EP III" # 48 UK (including Smoke on the Water) 1985 "Knocking at Your Back Door" # 61 US 1985 "Perfect Strangers" # 48 UK 1985 "Knocking at Your Back Door / Perfect Strangers" # 68 UK 1988 "Hush" (re-recording) # 62 UK 1990 "King Of Dreams" # 70 UK 1991 "Love Conquers All" # 57 UK 1995 "Black Night" (reissue) # 66 UK (remastered CD single)
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