Deep Purple Overview

Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. Along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, they are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal Heavy metal music and modern hard rock, although some band members have tried not to categorise themselves as any one genre. The band also incorporated classical music, blues-rock, pop and progressive rock elements. They were once listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's loudest band Loudest band in the world , and have sold over 100 million albums worldwide List of best-selling music artists#100 million records or more . Deep Purple were ranked #22 on VH1's Greatest Artists of Hard Rock programme.

The band have gone through many line-up changes and an eight-year hiatus (1976–84). The 1968–76 line-ups are commonly labeled Mark I, II, III and IV. Their second and most commercially successful line-up featured Ian Gillan (vocals), Ritchie Blackmore (guitar), Jon Lord (keyboards), Roger Glover (bass) and Ian Paice (drums). This line-up was active from 1969 to 1973 and was revived from 1984 to 1989 and again in 1993, before the rift between Blackmore and other members became unbridgeable. The current line-up including guitarist Steve Morse has been much more stable, though Lord's retirement in 2002 has left Paice as the only original member to have never left the band.


Pre-Deep Purple years (1967 / 68)

In 1967, former Searchers The Searchers (band) drummer Chris Curtis contacted London businessman Tony Edwards in the hope that he would manage a new group he was putting together, to be called 'Roundabout': so-called because the members would get on and off the band, like a musical roundabout. Impressed with the plan, Edwards agreed to finance the venture with two business partners: John Coletta and Ron Hire (Hire-Edwards-Coletta / HEC Enterprises).

The first recruit was the classically-trained Hammond organ player Jon Lord, who had most notably played with The Artwoods (led by Art Wood, brother of future Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, and featuring Keef Hartley). He was followed by session guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, who was persuaded to return from Hamburg to audition for the new group. Curtis soon dropped out, but HEC Enterprises, as well as Lord and Blackmore, were keen to carry on.

For the bass guitar, Lord suggested his old friend Nick Simper, with whom he had played in a band called The Flower Pot Men and their Garden The Flower Pot Men (band) (formerly known as The Ivy League The Ivy League (band) ) back in 1967. Simper's claims to fame (apart from Deep Purple) were that he had been in Johnny Kidd and The Pirates Johnny Kidd and the Pirates and had been in the car crash that killed Kidd. He was also in Screaming Lord Sutch's 'The Savages', where he played with Blackmore.

The line-up was completed by vocalist Rod Evans and drummer Ian Paice from 'The Maze'. After a brief tour of Denmark in the spring of 1968, Blackmore suggested a new name: Deep Purple Deep Purple (song) , which was his grandmother's favourite song.

Breakthrough (1968 / 70)

In October 1968, the group had success with a cover of Joe South's "Hush Hush (Billy Joe Royal song) ", which reached #4 on the US Billboard chart and #2 on the Canadian RPM RPM (magazine) charts. The song was taken from their debut album Shades of Deep Purple, and they were booked to support Cream Cream (band) on their Goodbye Goodbye (Cream album) tour.

The band's second album, The Book of Taliesyn (including a cover of Neil Diamond's "Kentucky Woman"), was released in the United States to coincide with this tour, reaching #38 on the billboard chart and #21 on the RPM RPM (magazine) charts, although it would not be released in their home country until the following year. 1969 saw the release of their third album, Deep Purple Deep Purple (album) , which contained strings and woodwind on one track ("April"). Several influences were in evidence, notably Vanilla Fudge (Blackmore has even claimed the group wanted to be a "Vanilla Fudge clone")
After these three albums and extensive touring in the United States, their American record company, Tetragrammaton, went out of business, leaving the band with no money and an uncertain future. (Tetragrammaton's assets were assumed by Warner Bros. Records, who would release Deep Purple's records in the US throughout the 1970s.) Returning to England in early 1969, they recorded a single called "Emmaretta", named for Emmaretta Marks, then a cast member of the musical Hair Hair (musical) , whom Evans was trying to seduce, before Evans and Simper were fired.

In search of a replacement vocalist, Blackmore set his sights on 19 year old singer Terry Reid, who only a year earlier declined a similar opportunity to front the newly forming Led Zeppelin. Though he found the offer "flattering" Reid was still bound by the exclusive recording contract with his producer Mickie Most and more interested in his solo career. Blackmore had no other choice but to look elsewhere.

The band hunted down singer Ian Gillan from Episode Six, a band that had released several singles in the UK without achieving their big break for commercial success. Six's drummer Mick Underwood—an old comrade of Blackmore's from his Savages days—made the introductions, and bassist Roger Glover tagged along for the initial sessions. Deep Purple persuaded Glover to join full-time, an act that effectively killed Episode Six and gave Underwood a guilt complex that lasted nearly a decade—until Gillan recruited him for his new post-Purple band in the late 1970s.

This created the quintessential Deep Purple Mark II line-up, whose first, inauspicious release was a Greenaway Roger Greenaway -Cook Roger Cook (songwriter) tune titled "Hallelujah", which flopped.

The band gained some much-needed publicity with the Concerto for Group and Orchestra, a three-movement epic composed by Lord as a solo project and performed by the band at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal 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 Deep Purple (Blackmore and Gillan especially) 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. Despite this, Lord wrote and the band recorded the Gemini Suite Gemini Suite Live , another orchestra/group collaboration in the same vein, in late 1970.

Po***rity and breakup (1970 / 76)

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 studio album of this period, released in mid-1970, was In Rock Deep Purple in Rock (a name deliberately chosen to distance the rock album from the concerto ) and contained the then-concert staples "Speed King", "Into The Fire" and "Child in Time". The band also issued the UK Top Ten single "Black Night". The interplay between Blackmore's guitar and Lord's distorted organ, coupled with Gillan's howling vocals and the rhythm section of Glover and Paice, now started to take on a unique identity and become instantly recognisable to rock fans throughout Europe .

A second album, the more mellow and creatively progressive Fireball Fireball (album) (a favourite of Gillan but not of the rest of the band ), was issued in the summer of 1971. The title track "Fireball Fireball (song) " was released as a single, as was "Strange Kind of Woman" - not from the album but recorded during the same sessions (although it was included on the US version of the album instead of the UK version's song "Demon's Eye".)

Within weeks of Fireball's release, the band were already performing songs planned for the next album. One song (which later became "Highway Star Highway Star (song) ") was performed at the first gig of the Fireball tour, having been written on the bus to a show in Portsmouth, in answer to a journalist's question: "How do you go about writing songs?" Three months later, in December 1971, the band travelled to Switzerland to record Machine Head Machine Head (album) . The album was due to be recorded at a casino in Montreux, using the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, but a fire during a Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention gig burned down the casino. The album was actually recorded at the nearby empty Grand Hotel. This incident famously inspired the song "Smoke on the Water". Gillan believes that he witnessed a man fire a flare gun into the ceiling during the concert, prompting Mark Volman of the Mothers Mothers of Invention to comment: "Arthur Brown Arthur Brown (musician) in person!"

Continuing from where both previous albums left off, Machine Head Machine Head (album) has since become one of the band's most famous albums, including tracks that became live classics such as "Highway Star Highway Star (song) ", "Space Truckin'", "Lazy Lazy (Deep Purple song) " and "Smoke on the Water", the song Deep Purple is most famous for. Deep Purple continued to tour and record at a rate that would be rare thirty years on: when Machine Head was recorded, the group had only been together three and a half years, yet it was their seventh LP. Meanwhile the band undertook four North America tours in 1972 and the August tour of Japan that led to a double-vinyl live release, Made in Japan Made in Japan (album) . Originally intended as a Japan-only record, its worldwide release saw the double LP become an instant hit. It remains one of rock music's most po***r and highest selling live-concert recordings (although at the time it was perhaps seen as less important, as only Glover and Paice turned up to mix it).

The classic Deep Purple Mark II line-up continued to work and released the album Who Do We Think We Are (1973), featuring the hit single "Woman from Tokyo", but internal tensions and exhaustion were more noticeable than ever. The bad feelings culminated in Gillan quitting the band after their second tour of Japan in the summer of 1973 over tensions between Gillan and Blackmore, and Glover being pushed out with him. Auditions were held. Two primary candidates surfaced: a Scotsman Angus Cameron McKinlay and David Coverdale. Angus, not having a high enough voice, was eliminated. . They settled on Coverdale, an unknown singer from Saltburn in Northeast England, and Midlands bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes, formerly of Trapeze Trapeze (band) . After first acquiring Hughes, they debated continuing as a four piece with Hughes as both bassist and vocalist. This new line-up continued into 1974 with the heavier blues-rock album Burn Burn (Deep Purple album) ,, in Tel Aviv, Israel at Hangar 11, September 2008
Deep Purple are considered to be one of the hardest touring bands in the world. From 1968 until today (with the exception of their 1976-1983 split) they continue to tour around the world. In 2007 they received special award for selling more than 150,000 tickets in France with 40 dates in the country in 2007 alone.
In 2007, Deep Purple's Rapture of the Deep Tour was voted #6 concert tour of the year (in all music genres) by Planet Rock Planet Rock (radio station) listeners. Rolling Stones's A Bigger Bang Tour was voted #5 and beat Purple's tour with only 1%. Deep Purple released a new live compilation DVD box, Around the World Live, in May 2008. In February 2008, the band made their first ever appearance in Moscow Kremlin at the personal request of Dmitry Medvedev who at the time was considered a shoo-in for the seat of the Presidency of Russia. The band is part of the entertainment for the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2009 in Liberec, Czech Republic.

*Deep Purple Debut Tour, 1968
*Shades of Deep Purple Tour, 1968
*The Book of Taliesyn Tour, 1968
*Deep Purple European Tour, (pre-tour for In Rock Deep Purple in Rock ) 1969-1970
*In Rock World Tour - 1970-1971
*Fireball World Tour, 1971-1972
*Machine Head World Tour, 1972-1973
*Deep Purple European Tour 1974
*Burn World Tour, 1974
*Stormbringer World Tour, 1974-1975
*Come Taste The Band World Tour, 1975-1976
*Perfect Strangers World Tour, aka Reunion Tour 1984-1985
*The House of Blue Light World Tour, 1987-1988
*Slaves and Masters World Tour, 1991
*Deep Purple 25 Years Anniversary World Tour, aka The Battle Rages on Tour, 1993
*Deep Purple and Joe Satriani Tour, 1993-1994
*Deep Purple Secret Mexican Tour (short warm-up tour with Steve Morse)
*Deep Purple Secret USA Tour 1994-1995
*Deep Purple Asian & African Tour 1995
*Purpendicular World Tour, 1996-1997
*A Band on World Tour, 1998-1999
*Concerto World Tour, 2000-2001
*Deep Purple World Tour, 2001-2003
*Bananas World Tour, 2003-2005
*Rapture of the Deep World Tour, 2006-2009
*Upcoming World Tour, 2010*Shades of Deep Purple (1968)
*The Book of Taliesyn (1968)
*Deep Purple Deep Purple (album) (1969)
*Deep Purple in Rock (1970)
*Fireball Fireball (album) (1971)
*Machine Head Machine Head (album) (1972)
*Who Do We Think We Are (1973)
*Burn Burn (Deep Purple album) (1974)
*Stormbringer Stormbringer (album) (1974)
*Come Taste the Band (1975)
*Perfect Strangers Perfect Strangers (album) (1984)
*The House of Blue Light (1987)
*Slaves & Masters (1990)
*The Battle Rages On (1993)
*Purpendicular (1996)
*Abandon Abandon (album) (1998)
*Bananas Bananas (album) (2003)
*Rapture of the Deep (2005)
*Upcoming album (2010)There have been eight different line-ups of Deep Purple. The original Mark I line-up of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, keyboardist Jon Lord, drummer Ian Paice, singer Rod Evans and bassist Nick Simper released three albums, before Evans and Simper were replaced by Ian Gillan and Roger Glover respectively to create Mark II. The second line-up is regarded as the "classic" Deep Purple, recording In Rock Deep Purple in Rock , Fireball Fireball (album) , Machine Head Machine Head (album) and Who Do We Think We Are; this line-up lasted until 1973, when Gillan (followed by Glover) left the band. David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes joined to create Deep Purple Mark III, though co-founding member and guitarist Blackmore left in 1975 to be replaced by Tommy Bolin. Mark IV lasted only a year and disbanded for what would become eight years after a concert at the Empire Liverpool Empire Theatre , Liverpool, on 15 March 1976.

While on hiatus, members concentrated on other projects, including Rainbow Rainbow (band) (Blackmore and Glover), Whitesnake (Coverdale, Lord and Paice), Black Sabbath (Gillan and Hughes, at different times) and Gillan (Gillan).

Deep Purple reunited in 1984 with the Mark II line-up of Gillan, Blackmore, Glover, Paice and Lord. Gillan and Blackmore had a disagreement and the vocalist was fired from the band and replaced by Blackmore's former bandmate in Rainbow, Joe Lynn Turner. Turner remained until 1992, when the Mark II line-up came together for the third time. Due to continuing conflicting interests between Gillan and Blackmore, the guitarist left the band for good in the middle of 1993's The Battle Rages On tour. He was replaced with Joe Satriani for the remainder of the shows. Satriani could not join the band permanently due to contractual issues.

Steve Morse was chosen to be Blackmore's full-time replacement in 1994, and he remains the guitarist to this day. In 2002 the most recent line-up change took place when Lord, who had been in every incarnation of the band to this point, left to pursue personal interests. He was replaced by Don Airey, formerly of Rainbow and Ozzy Osbourne's band, to create the current Mark VIII line-up. Drummer Paice is now the only member left who has been present in every line-up of Deep Purple since the band's formation in 1968.

Current members

* Ian Gillan / vocals, harmonica, congas (1969 / 1973, 1984 / 1989, 1992 / present)
* Steve Morse / guitar (1994 / present)
* Roger Glover / bass (1969 / 1973, 1984 / present)
* Ian Paice / drums, percussion (1968 / 1976, 1984 / present)
* Don Airey / organ, keyboards (2001 / present)

Former members

* Ritchie Blackmore / guitar (1968 / 1975, 1984 / 1993)
* Jon Lord / organ, keyboards, backing vocals (1968 / 1976, 1984 / 2001)
* Rod Evans / lead vocals (1968 / 1969)
* Nick Simper / bass, backing vocals (1968 / 1969)
* David Coverdale / lead vocals (1973 / 1976)
* Glenn Hughes / bass, vocals (1973 / 1976)
* Tommy Bolin / guitar, vocals, piano (1975 / 1976)
* Joe Lynn Turner / vocals (1989 / 1992)
* Joe Satriani / guitar (1993 / 1994)


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