Deep Purple

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Deep Purple

L-R: Roger Glover, Ian Paice, Ian Gillan, Don Airey and Steve Morse in 2004.
Background information
Also known as Roundabout
Origin Hertford, England
Genres Hard rock, progressive rock, heavy metal
Years active 1968–1976, 1984–present
Labels Tetragrammaton, Warner Bros., Polydor, BMG, EMI, Edel
Associated acts The Maze, Episode Six, Rainbow, Paice, Ashton & Lord, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Gillan & Glover, Hughes Turner Project, Living Loud
Website www.deeppurple.com
Members
Ian Paice
Roger Glover
Ian Gillan
Steve Morse
Don Airey
Past members
Former members

Deep Purple is a hard rock band started in Hertford, England, in 1968. Their best known song is "Smoke on the Water". Their album "Deep Purple in Rock" was a great hit and was rated #1 in Germany.

History[change | change source]

Forming, and Mark I (1967 - 1969)[change | change source]

In 1967, a drummer called Chris Curtis was putting a new band together, where members would only be part of it when it suited them (or would "get on and off"). Because of this format, the band was called Roundabout. The first musicians to be hired were guitar player Ritchie Blackmore and keyboard player Jon Lord. Curtis behaved in a disorderly way, and so was fired from his own project. Blackmore and Lord wanted to continue, and so finished putting the band together themselves, with singer Rod Evans, bass player Nick Simper, and drummer Ian Paice. They renamed the band "Deep Purple" after a song Blackmore's mother liked, disliking the name "Roundabout".

This band lineup, known as "Mark I", released three albums, called "Shades of Deep Purple" (1968), "The Book of Taliesyn" (1968) and a self titled (1969). They released a fairy popular single called "Hush", thought to be radio friendly in America, but, apart from that, did not have any success. Eventually, Blackmore and Lord decided to change the style of music the band would play from soft progressive rock to hard rock. While Ian Paice agreed to the change, they decided Evans and Simper would not fit this new style, and were let go from the band.

Mark II and success (1969 - 1973)[change | change source]

The band found a new singer called Ian Gillan and a new bass player called Roger Glover, forming Mark II. Jon Lord used to play in orchestras, and at this time, wanted to go back to them and base the Deep Purple sound around that. Whilst the band did perform as an orchestra (with new singer Ian Gillan writing lyrics) gaining the band some publicity, Gillan and Blackmore were not happy about the band being associated with orchestras, and were firm about Deep Purple being a hard rock band, though Jon Lord would write another orchestral piece for the band.

The band eventually got back to their plans of playing hard rock, and released "Deep Purple in Rock" in 1970, which became a big success. The famous album cover shows the band members' faces engraved into Mount Rushmore. The album itself had popular songs such as "Speed King" "Child in Time" and "Bloodsucker" (which was later re-recorded by the band in 1998). Critics and fans were pleased with new singer Ian Gillan's high pitched singing and screaming, and the album has since been considered a classic of the time, along with Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" and Led Zeppelin's "Led Zeppelin II".

The band followed "In Rock" up with "Fireball" in 1971, which did show hints of creative progressive rock but was still as heavy as the last album. Just weeks later, the band started working on the next album, which would become "Machine Head". An incident at a Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention concert would inspire the band to write their most popular song, "Smoke on the Water" which ended up on the album. "Machine Head", released in 1972, was another success and featured several other popular songs like "Highway Star" and "Space Truckin'".

Mark II's last album was "Who Do We Think We Are" in 1973, and it featured another hit song for the band, "Woman from Tokyo". Ian Gillan left the band that year as he did not like the band's touring and recording schedule, because at the time he wanted a break. He was also arguing with Ritchie Blackmore. Roger Glover left shortly after, also because of arguing with Blackmore.

Marks III and IV (1973 - 1976)[change | change source]

David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes were hired to replace Ian Gillan and Roger Glover. Glenn Hughes also had singing talent so it was decided he would act as lead singer on some of the band's songs too. In fact, since Hughes was hired first, the band considered performing as a 4-piece from then on, with Hughes singing full time as well as playing bass.

Mark III's first album, "Burn", released in 1974, was successful and seemed to point a positive picture for the band's future without Gillan or Glover. The singing harmonies from Coverdale and Hughes had something of a blues and funk style to them. These styles were explored more on the band's next album, "Stormbringer", released later the same year. Ritchie Blackmore left after he became more unhappy with this style of music, feeling it was just "shoeshine music".

Although many fans were wondering if Deep Purple could carry on without Blackmore, who had been their highly regarded guitar player from their formation up until this point, they chose to continue, and hired American guitar player Tommy Bolin (forming mark IV). The next album, "Come Taste The Band", showed Bolin bringing a further funk influence into the band's music, having a more creative output than Blackmore did when he left the band.

Breakup, and other projects (1976 - 1984)[change | change source]

Ian Paice and Jon Lord, the last remaining founding members, agreed to end Deep Purple in 1976 after touring was over, but did not inform any other members. Shortly after, Coverdale informed them he was leaving the band, and only then did Jon Lord tell him: "David, there's no band to leave!" Glenn Hughes and Tommy Bolin were excited about the next Deep Purple album before they too were told that Paice and Lord had ended the band.

David Coverdale started a band of his own called Whitesnake, and Ian Paice and Jon Lord were members for a period of time. Ian Gillan had been performing in a solo band since he left in 1973. Ritchie Blackmore had started a band called Rainbow after leaving in 1975, releasing some successful albums with Ronnie James Dio as lead singer, who would carry on his fame in Black Sabbath and Dio (his own solo band). However, Tommy Bolin would only release one more solo album before he died in 1976, due to drug use.

Rod Evans put together a band and tried to perform as "Deep Purple", advertising it as a reunion although he was the only member who had ever been part of the band during its initial time together. Legal action was taken against him by the real repesentatives of Deep Purple, who sued him for using the band name without permission.

Mark II reformations and Marks V and VI (1984 - 1994)[change | change source]

A real Deep Purple reunion happened in 1984 when the Mark II lineup got back together, and released the album "Perfect Strangers" that same year. It sold very well and was well recieved from fans who were excited about the return of the band's iconic lineup. The songs "Knockin' At Your Back Door" and "Perfect Strangers" were popular. The band also enjoyed success on tour.

"The House of Blue Light" was the next album to come from the band, in 1987. Some fans noticed that the band sounded more "modern" on this album than before, which led to mixed opinions. A new version of the band's 1968 minor hit "Hush" was re-recorded in 1988 by the Mark II lineup to mark the 20th anniversary of Deep Purple. However, Ian and Ritchie started arguing again over the future of the band, and their differences had torn their working relationship too far apart, meaning Gillan was fired in 1989. Blackmore seemed to want to make the band sound more commercial (something he had tried to do with his band Rainbow back in the early 1980s). He hired Joe Lynn Turner (also a former Rainbow singer) to replace Gillan, and the Mark V band released "Slaves and Masters" in 1990.

However, the band's popularity was declining, and Turner was forced out in 1992 by the record company, who wanted the iconic lineup with Gillan back for the band's 25th anniversary. And so, the Mark II lineup released one more album together in 1993 called "The Battle Rages On...". However, during the tour, audience attendances were getting lower, and problems between band members arose, with Ritchie Blackmore walking out on the band for good. Joe Satriani filled in for the rest of the tour, but did not become a full time member afterwards, due to his label commitments. The band decided to hire American Steve Morse in 1994.

Revival with Steve Morse and Jon Lord's retirement (Marks VII and VIII) (1994 - present)[change | change source]

With Steve Morse in the band, Deep Purple enjoyed renewed success on tour. Ian Gillan was especially pleased that Ritchie Blackmore was no longer in the band, as he felt his departure saved them from a breakup. Since 1994, Deep Purple have enjoued more success touring than with their studio albums, although their material written with Morse has recieved good reviews, with fans and critics feeling the band has more creativity again. Mark VII released two albums, "Purpendicular" (1996) and "Abandon" (1998), before Jon Lord retired in 2002, feeling the need to step down from the band's hard touring schedule. He was replaced by Don Airey.

Over the next few years, Deep Purple released two more albums, "Bananas" (2003) and "Rapture of the Deep" (2005). Their next tour, the "Rapture of the Deep tour" started in 2006, and finished in 2011, making it their longest tour to date. In 2012, Jon Lord died after battling cancer at the age of 71. The band continue to record as well as tour, and released their ninteenth and latest album, "Now What?!", in 2013.

Band members[change | change source]

Current[change | change source]

Former[change | change source]

Lineups[change | change source]

Ian Paice is the only member to be in all of the band's lineups.

Mark I (1) (1968 - 1969):

The first complete lineup of the band. They released a single that was fairly successful in America called "Hush". Rod Evans and Nick Simper were fired as the other members wanted to play heavier rock music and did not think they woul play this style of music well.

  • Lead singer - Rod Evans
  • Guitar player - Ritchie Blackmore
  • Bass player - Nick Simper
  • Drummer - Ian Paice
  • Keyboard player - Jon Lord

Mark II (2) (1969 - 1973, 1984 - 1989, 1992 - 1993):

This is the band's most famous lineup, releasing albums such as "Deep Purple in Rock" and songs such as "Smoke on the Water". In 1973, Ian Gillan left the band as he did not like the band's touring and recording schedule, because at the time he wanted a break. He was also arguing with Ritchie Blackmore. Roger Glover left shortly after, also because of arguing with Blackmore.

In 1984, this lineup of the band got back together. However, Ian and Ritchie started arguing again over the future of the band, meaning Gillan was fired in 1989. He rejoined in 1992, bringing this band lineup together for the third time, although Blackmore left a year later, this time, for good.

  • Lead singer - Ian Gillan
  • Guitar player - Ritchie Blackmore
  • Bass player - Roger Glover
  • Drummer - Ian Paice
  • Keyboard player - Jon Lord

Mark III (3) (1973 - 1975):

David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes were hired to replace Ian Gillan and Roger Glover. Glenn Hughes also had singing talent so it was decided he would act as lead singer on some of the band's songs too. Ritchie Blackmore left after he became more unhappy with the style of music of the band, which was more funk rock at this time.

  • Lead singer - David Coverdale
  • Guitar player - Ritchie Blackmore
  • Bass player - Glenn Hughes (also occassional lead singer)
  • Drummer - Ian Paice
  • Keyboard player - Jon Lord

Mark IV (4) (1975 - 1976):

After making the hard decision to carry the band on without Blackmore, the band hired American guitar player Tommy Bolin and carried on the funk-rock music style Blackmore was unhappy about.

  • Lead singer - David Coverdale
  • Guitar player - Tommy Bolin
  • Bass player - Glenn Hughes
  • Drummer - Ian Paice
  • Keyboard player - Jon Lord

Mark V (5) (1989 - 1992)

Ritchie Blackmore had before played with Joe Lynn Turner in Blackmore's solo band called Rainbow, and suggested he join the band to replace Ian Gillan, who was brought back 3 years later because of record label pressures, as the band's 25th anniversary was coming up and they wanted the iconic Mark II lineup together again.

  • Lead singer - Joe-Lynn Turner
  • Guitar player - Ritchie Blackmore
  • Bass player - Roger Glover
  • Drummer - Ian Paice
  • Keyboard player - Jon Lord

Mark VI (6) (1993 - 1994):

The band still needed to play concerts after Ritchie Blackmore, so they hired American guitar player Joe Satriani, although he did not stay with the band after the tour.

  • Lead singer - Ian Gillan
  • Guitar player - Joe Satriani
  • Bass player - Roger Glover
  • Drummer - Ian Paice
  • Keyboard player - Jon Lord

Mark VII (7) (1994 - 2002):

Joe Satriani turned down the chance to be a member of Deep Purple, so the band found another American guitar player called Steve Morse. In 2002, Jon Lord retired from the band after 26 years with them (not counting the 8 years the band was split up) leaving Ian Paice as the only founding member left. He was replaced with Don Airey.

  • Lead singer - Ian Gillan
  • Guitar player - Steve Morse
  • Bass player - Roger Glover
  • Drummer - Ian Paice
  • Keyboard player - Jon Lord

Mark VIII (8) (2002 - present)

This has remained the lineup since Jon Lord's departure from Deep Purple and the hiring of Don Airey to replace him.

  • Lead singer - Ian Gillan
  • Guitar player - Steve Morse
  • Bass player - Roger Glover
  • Drummer - Ian Paice
  • Keyboard player - Don Airey

Other websites[change | change source]