Two years ago, Deep Purple celebrated their 50th anniversary. Now they’re soon to release a brand new studio album, “Whoosh!” There’s no stopping DEEP PURPLE, one of the oldest hard rock bands around and an influence to many heavy metal bands nowadays. One of the most quintessential DEEP PURPLE tracks is perhaps the legendary “Child in Time” with a vocal performance by young Ian Gillian that is meant to pierce through your soul with its fragile emotion and searing high notes. The album the track is embellished in, “Deep Purple In Rock,” is now celebrating its 50th anniversary. In other words, it’s time to investigate why “Deep Purple In Rock” is a true child in time.
Formed in 1968, DEEP PURPLE originally was formed as a psychedelic and progressive rock band in Hertfordshire. After listening to LED ZEPPELIN‘s self-titled debut album, founding member Richie Blackmore wanted to have a go at a heavier sound and thus the rest of the band decided to replace their original lead singer, Rod Evans, with someone who could tackle a hard rock style: Ian Gillian. This was the start of “Deep Purple Mk. II,” one of the band’s most legendary lineups with the addition of songwriter and bass player Roger Glover. “Deep Purple In Rock” marks the lineup’s first studio album and possibly one of DEEP PURPLE‘s stepping stones in Europe. With its first sessions as early as October 1969, “Deep Purple In Rock” was recorded at IBC Studios in London and continued whenever the band had time during the shows, which provided the band with a steady income.
By employing a Hammond organ, hard and heavy guitar riffs, and Ian Gillan‘s distinctive vocals, DEEP PURPLE were the forefathers of hard rock and heavy metal, fully evident in “Deep Purple In Rock.” With the heavy and aggressive “Speed King,” DEEP PURPLE proved they were louder, faster, and more aggressive than any other band in the 70s. “Bloodsucker” contains the iconic trademark Gillian screams, which made the singer so prominent in the genre. “Child in Time” was proof of their excelling skills as songwriters, with lyrics melting into the music perfectly, the song perhaps is one of the most iconic rock songs in history. In “Child in Time” Ian Gillan truly earns his spot adorning the top of Mt. Rushmore of rock vocalists. “Flight of the Rat” is a prime example of the genre DEEP PURPLE created with the monumental “Deep Purple In Rock,” with its chugging heavy riffs, groovy basslines, and almost thrashy organ lines, the band displays some of their finest down-to-earth songwriting. The hard and pumping “Into the Fire” remains to-date one of DEEP PURPLE‘s best classics and maintains a fairly regular place on their setlists. “Living Wreck” hits hard with its groovy nature and the incredible rhythmic section. Ian Paice carries “Hard Lovin’ Man” at 100 mph throughout the entire track and the riff might just be one of the first galloping guitar riffs in history. Ritchie Blackmore‘s guitar work is constantly outstanding.
“Deep Purple In Rock” is the album that really changed rock music from a sound that was largely derived from blues to a higher level and at times was even influenced by classical music, especially shining through in the guitar and keyboard sections – an approach that is nowadays still used in heavy metal music. Evidently, thanks to the water-tight rhythm section of bass player Roger Glover and drummer Ian Paice, the tight and hard riffing and solos fueled by precision delivered by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord‘s neo-classical noodling, and incredible vocal work varying from soaring high screams to powerful singing by Ian Gillian, “Deep Purple In Rock” is the ultimate proof of the band’s relevance in rock and metal history.
Nowadays, part of the Mk. II lineup is still intact as Ian Gillian shares the stage with Ian Paice and Roger Glover. Don Airey took up Jon Lord‘s place behind the keyboard after he passed away in 2012 and due to irrefutable differences, Steve Morse replaced Ritchie Blackmore on guitar. With over fifty years of rich rock history, we’re looking forward to the next chapter of the legendary hard rock act.
- Speed King
- Child in Time
- Flight of the Rat
- Into the Fire
- Living Wreck
- Hard Lovin’ Man
Ritchie Blackmore – guitar
Ian Gillan – vocals
Roger Glover – bass
Jon Lord – organ
Ian Paice – drums
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