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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, bassi ...read more

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, and "Strange Kind of Woman" was a hit single.

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. 1998's Abandon followed, 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: The 25th Anniversary Edition, 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. « hide

Similar Bands: Rainbow, Blue Oyster Cult, Whitesnake, Uriah Heep, Blackmore's Night

LPs
Now What?!
04/26/2013

3.5
170 Votes
Rapture of the Deep
2005

3.1
159 Votes
Bananas
2003

3
171 Votes
Abandon
1998

2.6
145 Votes
Purpendicular
1996

3.5
181 Votes
The Battle Rages On...
1993

3
175 Votes
Slaves and Masters
1990

2.4
184 Votes
The House of Blue Light
1987

2.9
186 Votes
Perfect Strangers
1984

3.8
359 Votes
Come Taste the Band
1975

3.3
238 Votes
Stormbringer
1974

3.5
323 Votes
Burn
1974

4.1
530 Votes
Who Do We Think We Are
1973

3.2
288 Votes
Machine Head
1972

4.4
1,241 Votes
Fireball
1971

4
576 Votes
Deep Purple in Rock
1970

4.4
861 Votes
Deep Purple
1969

3.6
270 Votes
The Book of Taliesyn
1968

3.2
235 Votes
Shades of Deep Purple
1968

3.3
271 Votes
Live Albums
Live in Graz 1975
2014

4.3
7 Votes
Perfect Strangers Live
10/14/2013

3.8
8 Votes
The BBC Sessions 1968-1970
2011

3.8
2 Votes
Live at Montreux 2011
2011

3.4
5 Votes
Phoenix Rising
2011

4.1
10 Votes
Live at Montreux 2006
2007

3.7
9 Votes
Live at the NEC 1993
2007

2
4 Votes
Live in Stuttgart 1993
2007

3
2 Votes
Live at Montreux 1996
2006

3.6
10 Votes
Live in Europe 1993
2006

3
1 Votes
Live in Concert '72/'73 (DVD)
2005

4.6
10 Votes
Live in Stockholm 1970
2005

4
13 Votes
New Live & Rare (1969-71)
2004

3.8
2 Votes
Live in Montreux 1969
2003

3.4
10 Votes
Live in San Diego 1974
2003

3.1
5 Votes
Live at Inglewood 1968
2002

3.5
5 Votes
Live in Denmark 1972
2002

3.9
12 Votes
This Time Around: Live in Tokyo
2001

3.1
15 Votes
Live in Paris 1975
2001

4.2
12 Votes
Live in Aachen 1970
2001

3.9
4 Votes
Live at the Rotterdam Ahoy
2001

4
7 Votes
Live at the Royal Albert Hall
2000

3.6
16 Votes
Extended Versions
2000

3.2
6 Votes
Total Abandon: Australia '99
1999

3.6
11 Votes
Live at the Olypmpia '96
1997

3.9
14 Votes
Mk. III: The Final Concerts
1996

3.5
11 Votes
California Jamming
1996

3.9
19 Votes
Live in California 1976
1995

3.5
11 Votes
Come Hell or High Water
1994

2.5
22 Votes
Live in Japan
1993

4.2
12 Votes
Gemini Suite Live
1993

3.9
6 Votes
In the Absence of Pink
1991

3.5
5 Votes
Scandinavian Nights
1988

3.6
10 Votes
Nobody's Perfect
1988

3.1
28 Votes
Live in London
1982

4.1
17 Votes
In Concert 1970-1972
1980

3.7
19 Votes
Last Concert in Japan
1977

2.1
16 Votes
Made In Europe
1976

3.4
43 Votes
Made in Japan
1972

4.6
396 Votes
Concerto for Group and Orchestra
1969

3.8
43 Votes
Compilations
Universal Masters Collection
2005

1.6
8 Votes
The Platinum Collection
2005

4.2
27 Votes
The Essential: Deep Purple
2003

2.5
4 Votes
Winning Combinations: Deep Purple and Rainbow
2003

3.6
4 Votes
Days May Come and Days May Go
2000

3.1
7 Votes
The Very Best Of Deep Purple
2000

3.9
43 Votes
Shades: 1968-1998
1999

4.5
6 Votes
30: Very Best of Deep Purple
1998

3.4
15 Votes
Smoke on the Water
1998

3.8
4 Votes
The Deep Purple Singels A's and B's
1993

4.5
6 Votes
Knocking at Your Back Door
1992

2.8
9 Votes
The Anthology
1985

3.7
7 Votes
Deepest Purple
1980

4.2
62 Votes
When We Rock, We Rock & When We Roll, We Roll
1978

2.2
14 Votes
Powerhouse
1977

2.5
11 Votes
24 Carat Purple
1975

4
12 Votes
Purple Passages
1972

2.5
5 Votes

Contributors: Divaman, discovolante, ladyevil, Oswaldo88, dariosoares, manosg, LokitheTrickster, Mad., AleksiS, demon of surveillance, itsdark, Loanshark, ThrashingWhiplash, rockandmetaljunkie, Nagrarok, Mikesn, The Door Mouse, Holy Diver, Alex101, Ninoor, Voivod, rockandmetaljunkie, KILL, JamieTwort, Metalstyles, Nagrarok,

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