Deep Purple’s Journey To Rock Titans.

Little did record buyers realise it,that the seventies was the  golden era for rock music. That was when rock music came of age. So did true titans of rocks, like Led Zed Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. As the seventies dawned, they become three of biggest bands in the world.

For the four members of Led Zeppelin, their lives were transformed when their debut album became one of the biggest selling albums of 1969. This was the start of the rise and rise of Led Zeppelin. They had released three albums that had sold over twenty-five million by the time Deep Purple made a commercial breakthrough.

It had taken four albums before 1970s Deep Purple In Rock transformed the fortunes of Deep Purple. For the next five years, commercial success and critical acclaim would be constant companions of  Deep Purple. Between 1970 and 1975 Deep Purple enjoyed worldwide success.  Deep Purple would also become one of hardest rocking groups of the seventies.

Vying with Deep Purple for the title of Kings of seventies rock were Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Just like Deep Purple, they were hugely successful and hard rocking bands. They were also the hardest living living rock groups. This lead to them being known as the “unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal.” The three groups seemed proud of their infamy, and wore it like a badge.

The “unholy trinity’s” penchant for the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle was legendary. Excess and extravagance was an everyday occurrence. Similarly,  chaos and carnage was omnipresent as the “unholy trinity” toured the world. Each group seemed to determined to outdo the other. Hotel rooms were wrecked, televisions thrown out of windows  and copious amounts of drink and drugs consumed. This would ultimately come at a human cost later in the seventies with the death of Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham. Until then, the party continued; and the “unholy trinity” continued to make what would be remembered as some of the best, and most memorable music of the seventies. They were living the dream. Especially Deep Purple, who had only been formed in 1968.

Deep Purple were formed in 1968 in Hertford. However, the story begins in 1967. That was when ex-Searchers drummer, Chris Curtis, contacted London based businessman, Tony Edwards, with a business proposition. Chris wanted to create a supergroup which he would name Roundabout. The idea behind the name was that the lineup was fluid. Members would come and go, on what was akin to a musical roundabout. Tony Edwards liked the idea and brought onboard Jon Coletta and Ron Hire. They named their new venture Hire-Edwards-Coletta (HEC) Enterprises. Now with financial backing, Chris Curtis started putting together Roundabout.

The first member of Roundabout was Jon Lord, a classically trained organist. He’d previously played with The Artwoods. Guitarist Richie Blackmore, who recently, had been working as a session musician is Hamburg auditioned. He too joined Roundabout. So did bassist Nick Simper, whose most recent band was The Flower Pot Men. Nick was a friend of Richie Blackmore. The two other members of Roundabout were also friends. Rod Evans was recruited as the lead vocalists. Previously, he was a member The Maze. Their drummer was Ian Paice. Nick became the final piece in the jigsaw. However, he was not the first choice drummer.

Originally, Bobby Woodman was meant to be Roundabout’s drummer. He was drummer when Rod Evans auditioned as vocalist. Richie Blackmore had seen Nick Paice playing before. Although just eighteen, Richie knew Ian Paice was a good drummer. So when Bobby headed out to buy cigarettes, Ian Paice was auctioned. Instantly, everyone realised Nick Paice was a better drummer. When Bobby returned with his cigarettes, he was no longer Roundabout’s drummer. However, at least Roundabout’s lineup was settled. Or so people thought.

Roundabout were kitted out with the finest equipment and lived at Deeves House in South Mimms, Hertfordshire. This was their home during March 1968. That was, until they headed out on a short tour of Denmark and Sweden. It was during this tour that Roundabout became Deep Purple.

It was Richie Blackmore that came up with the name Deep Purple. This was the name of his grandmother’s favourite song. That was the name he wrote on the blackboard, when everyone was asked to choose a new name for the nascent band. Deep Purple wasn’t the favourite though. That was Concrete God. However, the members of Roundabout decided against it. They felt the name was too harsh. So Roundabout became Deep Purple and began recording their debut album in May 1968.

Shades Of Deep Purple.

When Deep Purple entered Pye Studios, in Marble Arch, London Deep Purple in May 1968, they’d chosen ten songs for their debut album Shades Of Deep Purple. Seven songs were written by members of Deep Purple. The other three songs were cover versions. This included Joe South’s Hush, Lennon and McCartney’s Help! and Joe Roberts’ Hey Joe which is synonymous with Jimi Hendrix. These ten songs were recorded by the original version of Deep Purple. This included vocalist Rod Evans, drummer Ian Paice, bassists Nick Simper, organist Jon Lord and guitarist Richie Blackmore. Producing Shades Of Deep Purple was a friend of Richie’s, Derek Lawrence. Once Shades Of Deep Purple was recorded, it was released later in 1969

When critics heard Shades Of Deep Purple they weren’t impressed. Reviews were mostly negative. Since then, critics have rewritten history and most reviews of Shades Of Deep Purple are positive. Back in 1968, things were very different. Shades Of Deep Purple was perceived as unfocused. It was a  mix of psychedelia, progressive rock, pop rock and thanks to Richie’s guitar riffs, hard rock. That was why many critics disliked Shades Of Deep Purple. Record buyers had different ideas about Shades Of Deep Purple,

Shades Of Deep Purple was released in July 1968 in America. It reached number twenty-four in the US Billboard 200 charts. This was no doubt helped by Hush reaching number four in the US Billboard 100 charts. Two months later, Shades Of Deep Purple reached number fourteen in Britain. For Deep Purple their debut album had been a commercial success and their lives transformed.

After the commercial success of the single Hush and Shades Of Deep Purple, Deep Purple were booked into a gruelling tour of America. Their American record company, Tetragrammaton, decided that Deep Purple should record another album. So Deep Purple headed into the recording studio in September 1968 to record The Book of Taliesyn.


The Book of Taliesyn.

Time was against Deep Purple. There wasn’t long before their American tour began. Deep Purple only had five new songs written. They had to rely upon cover versions to complete The Book of Taliesyn. Neil Diamond’s Kentucky Woman, Lennon and McCartney’s We Can Work It Out and River Deep, Mountain High completed The Book of Taliesyn. It was released in America in December 1968,

Just like Shades Of Deep Purple, The Book of Taliesyn was a mixture of psychedelia and progressive rock. The only difference was it had a harder edge. Deep Purple’s trademark sound was evolving. Critics seemed to prefer The Book of Taliesyn. It received a much more favourable reception from critics. This was also the case upon  the release of The Book of Taliesyn.

Released in December 1968, The Book of Taliesyn reached number fifty-four in the US Billboard 200. Two singles were released in America. Kentucky Woman reached number thirty eight in the US Billboard 100 charts. Then River Deep, Mountain High stalled at number fifty-three in the US Billboard 100 charts. The Book of Taliesyn charted in Canada and Japan. It seemed word was spreading about Deep Purple. However, in Britain, The Book of Taliesyn failed to chart. That wasn’t the only problem Deep Purple would have.


Deep Purple.

By 1969, Deep Purple were becoming a tight, talented band. Onstage and in the studio, they were growing and evolving. This included as songwriters. Although they’d only been together just over a year, they were a much better band. They’d released two albums and toured constantly. There was a problem though. Which direction should their music take?

Some members of Deep Purple wanted their music to take on a rawer, harder sound. This didn’t please everyone. Lead vocalist Rod Evans and bassist Nick Simper were in the minority. Organist Jon Lord, guitarist Richie Blackmore and drummer Nick Paice wanted the band to change direction. With the band split, this wasn’t the best way to prepare for the recording of their third album Deep Purple.

For Deep Purple, the band were keen to turn their back on cover versions. Deep Purple only featured one cover version, Donavon’s Lalena. The eight tracks were all written by members of Deep Purple. Just like their first two albums, Deep Purple would be produced by Derek Lawrence.

Recording of Deep Purple took place during a two-month tour. Deep Purple had ensured they had some free days where they could record their third album during January and March 1969. Recording took place at the De Lane Lea Studio, London. They were familiar with the De Lane Lea Studio. Previously, Deep Purple had rerecorded The Bird Has Flown there. So, they were familiar with the room. This allowed Deep Purple to work quickly. With their reputation in America growing, Deep Purple wanted their eponymous album released as soon as possible.

As soon as Deep Purple was recorded, Deep Purple jumped on a plane and headed back to America. They rejoined the tour of the country that had claimed them as their own. There was a problem though. Tetragrammaton, Deep Purple’s American label hadn’t pressed the album. Worse than that, the label had financial problems. Within a year, they would be insolvent and filing for bankruptcy. Already, this was affecting Deep Purple. Their manager John Colleta headed home. He decided that this would save on a hotel room. Things it seemed, couldn’t get any worse for Deep Purple.

On the release of Deep Purple in June 1969, the album had a harder sound. Elements of blues, progressive rock and heavy metal combined on seven tracks. The exception was The Bird Has Flown. It veered off in the direction of classical music. Mostly, though, Deep Purple’s trademark sound was evolving. How would critics and fans respond to Deep Purple?

Given the problems with Tetragrammaton, it’s no surprise that Deep Purple wasn’t a commercial success. Tetragrammaton couldn’t afford to promote Deep Purple properly. Despite generally positive reviews from critics, Deep Purple stalled at 162 in the US Billboard 200 charts. It failed to chart in the UK on its release in November 1969. At least Deep Purple charted in Japan. Things looked up when Deep Purple was certified gold in Germany. That was the only good news Deep Purple enjoyed.

The tension that was within Deep Purple bubbled over after the release of their third album. This lead to vocalist Rod Evans and bassist Nick Simper being replaced. In came vocalist Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover. Little did anyone realise that this would later, be perceived as the classic lineup of Deep Purple. It was also the lineup that recorded the album that saw Deep Purple make a commercial breakthrough in Britain, Deep Purple In Rock.


Deep Purple In Rock.

With their new lineup, Deep Purple Mk II entered the studio for the second time. They made their recording debut on Concerto for Group and Orchestra which was a collaboration between Deep Purple and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. However, Deep Purple In Rock was the start of a new era in Deep Purple’s history.

Recording of Deep Purple In Rock took place at IBC, De Lane Lea and Abbey Road Studios. A total of seven songs were recorded. They were written by Deep Purple. These seven songs showcased the new Deep Purple. The music was heavier and more like what would be seen as their classic sound. This was essentially hard rock or heavy metal. It was after the success of Deep Purple In Rock that lead to Deep Purple being referred to as the third member of the “unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal.

Deep Purple released Deep Purple In Rock on 3rd June 1970. This was Deep Purple’s first album to be released to widespread critical acclaim and commercial success. It was the first Deep Purple album to reach the top ten in Britain. Deep Purple In Rock reached number four in Britain. In America, Deep Purple In Rock only reached number 143 in the US Billboard 200 charts. Elsewhere, Deep Purple In Rock was a huge commercial success worldwide. 

From Europe to Argentina, America and Japan, Deep Purple In Rock was a huge success. This resulted in gold discs for Deep Purple in America, Argentina, Britain, France and Holland. For Deep Purple, Deep Purple In Rock was a game-changer. Their decision to change direction musically was vindicated. Now, Deep Purple were one of the biggest bands in rock music.  Little did Deep Purple realise that they were entering the most successful period of their career.



Fireball was the first of three number one albums Deep Purple would have in Britain. Belatedly, Britain had “got” Deep Purple. They were their own, and were proud of that. The hard rocking quintet’s unique brand of hard rock was winning friends and influencing people. Having toured extensively, at last Deep Purple were now part of British rock royalty. This continued with Fireball.

Given Deep Purple extensive touring schedule, albums were recorded whenever the band had downtime. Fireball was recorded during various sessions that took place between September 1970 and June 1971. Recording took place at De Lane Lea Studios and Olympic Studios, London. Other sessions took place at The Hermitage, Welcombe, North Devon. During these sessions, seven tracks were recorded. Each of the tracks were credited to the five members of Deep Purple. Unlike other bands, everyone in Deep Purple played their part in the songwriting process. That had been the case since the first album Deep Purple Mk. II had recorded, Deep Purple In Rock. Just like Deep Purple In Rock, Fireball would be a commercial success.

Most critics gave Fireball favourable reviews. There were very few dissenting voices. Apart from later, members of Deep Purple. They felt Fireball wasn’t their best album. Record buyers disagreed.

Across the world, Fireball was a huge commercial success. Fireball was released in Britain in July 1971. Record buyers in America and Europe had to wait until September 1971. By then, Fireball had reached number one in Britain and was certified gold. Two singles were released in Britain. Strange Kind of Woman reached number eight and Fireball number fifteen. This was just the start of Fireball’s success.

When Fireball was released in America it reached number thirty-two in the US Billboard 200 charts and was certified gold. In Canada Fireball reached number twenty-four. Fireball proved one of Deep Purple’s most successful albums in Japan, reaching number sixty-six. Australians were won over by Fireball, when it reached number four. Deep Purple proved popular in Israel, where they enjoyed a top ten album. However, it was in Europe that Fireball burnt brightest. 

On Fireball’s release in September 1971, it reached number one in Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Sweden. Fireball reached the top ten in Finland, France, Holland, Italy Norway. Despite the widespread commercial success and critical acclaim Fireball enjoyed in Europe, the only gold disc awarded was in Holland. However, Deep Purple would make up for this with their sixth album, Machine Head.


Machine Head.

By 1972, Deep Purple had established themselves as one of the hardest working bands in music. They seemed to be constantly touring. When they weren’t touring, they were recording. As a result, Deep Purple were about release their sixth album in less than four years, Machine Head.

Unlike their five previous albums, Deep Purple didn’t head into the recording studio. Instead, they brought the recording studio to them. They were booked to stay at the Grand Hotel, in Montreux Casino, Switzerland. So that’s where they brought the Rolling Stone’s sixteen track mobile recording studio to. Between the 6th and 21st December 1971, Deep Purple were meant to record their sixth album, Machine Head. However, there was a problem.

Lead vocalist Ian Gillan had contracted hepatitis. His doctors advised him to rest. For Deep Purple, this was a disaster. The hotel rooms and mobile recording studio was booked. They’d already had to cancel their forthcoming American tour. Cancelling the recording of their sixth album would be an utter disaster. No doubt realising the gravity of the situation, and buoyed by the excitement of starting recording a new album, Deep Purple decided to head to Switzerland.

Deep Purple landed in Switzerland on 3rd December 1971. Only one further concert had to take place at Montreux Casino. That was Frank Zappa’s now infamous concert. It took place on the 4th December 1971. During Frank Zappa’s set, an over enthusiastic member of the audience fired a flare. It hit the roof, causing the Montreux Casino to go on fire. Fortunately, nobody was hurt. Unfortunately, the Montreux Casino was in no fit state to double as a makeshift studio. Luckily, the Montreux Casino’s owner Claude Nobs new a theatre nearby that could be transformed into a makeshift studio. So Deep Purple headed to the Pavilion, where they’d record a song based on the somewhat surreal experience at the Montreux Casino. This song would become a classic, Smoke On The Water.

For what became Machine Head, Deep Purple had six songs completed. They were all credited to the five members of Deep Purple. So would the unfinished song. It was provisionally titled “Title No. 1.” However, as the five members of Deep Purple spoke about the events at the Montreux Casino, bass player Roger Glover uttered the immortal words “Smoke On The Water.” A classic had been born. 

During a sixteen day period between the 6th and 21st December 1971, Deep Purple recorded their sixth album, Machine Head. The conditions weren’t ideal. The mobile recording studio was parked outside and cables run through the Pavilion. They ran along corridors and under doors. It was far from the ideal conditions to record an album. Coupled with Ian Gillan’s medical condition, it’s a wonder Deep Purple were able to even record an album, never mind a career defining album.

Machine Head was released on 25th March 1972. Reviews varied between favourable to glowing. Although reviews mattered, what counted was sales. There was no problem there. On its release, Machine Head reached number one in eight countries. This included Argentina, Australia, Austria, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France and Yugoslavia. In Holland, Italy, Japan, Norway andSweden, Machine Head reached the top ten. Across the Atlantic, Machine Head became Deep Purple’s most successful album, when it reached number seven in the US Billboard 200 charts. Given the commercial success of Machine Head, it received a plethora of gold and platinum discs.

Having reached number one in their home country, Machine Head was certified gold in Britain. Across the English Channel, Machine Head was certified gold twice. In Argentina, Machine Head was certified platinum. However, Machine Head was most successful in America, where it was certified double-platinum. However, this wasn’t the end of the commercial success. Machine Head featured two singles.

Never Before was chosen as the lead single in Britain. Although it reached number twelve, this seemed a strange choice. After all, Smoke In The Water was a classic in waiting. It reached number four in the US Billboard 100 charts. It wasn’t until 1977 that belatedly, Smoke In The Water was released as a single, where it reached number twenty-one. How it wasn’t released as a single in 1972, remains a musical mystery. However,  having released a career defining album, Machine Head, Deep Purple headed out on their Machine Head World Tour.


Made In Japan.

The Machine Head World Tour would be one of the most gruelling tours Deep Purple had embarked upon. It was scheduled to last the rest of 1972 and into 1973. Deep Purple were a hugely successful band. That’s why music lovers in the four corners of the globe wanted to see and hear Deep Purple. That included in Japan.

By August 1972 Deep Purple had arrived in Japan. They’d been popular in Japan for most of their career. However, Machine Head transformed Deep Purple’s fortunes. This included in Japan. On the 15th and 16th of August 1972, Deep Purple took to the stage in Osaka. Then on 17th August 1972, Deep Purple landed in Tokyo. These three concerts were recorded and became Made In Japan, which was akin to a  a heavy rock masterclass from Deep Purple.

For anyone who couldn’t make the Machine Head World Tour, Made In Japan was the perfect reminder of a legendary tour. Especially the Japanese leg. Between the 15th and 17th August 1972, Deep Purple were at their hard rocking best. 

This continued wherever they went. However, there were a lot of people who wanted a reminder of this legendary tour. For others, who for whatever reason, couldn’t get to see Deep Purple, a double album entitled Made In Japan was almost as good. So Made In Japan was released in Britain in December 1972 and in America in April 1973.

When critics heard Made In Japan, even the most cynical and hardbitten rock critic had to compliment Deep Purple. They were no one of the three best heavy rock bands in the word. Led Zeppelin were the best and Deep Purple and Black Sabbath fought it out for second place. So well received was Made In Japan, that it was heralded as one of the finest live albums ever. Made In Japan further reinforced Deep Purple’s reputation as one of the greatest heavy metal bands.

On its release in December 1972, Made In Japan reached number fifteen in Britain and was certified gold. Made In Japan reached number one in Austria, Germany and Canada. In Norway, Made In Japan reached number seven. Then in April 1973, Made In Japan reached number six in the US Billboard 200. For Deep Purple, this resulted in even more gold and platinum discs.

Across the word, Made In Japan was a commercial success. After being certified gold in Britain, it was then certified gold in France. Made In Japan was then certified platinum in America, Austria, Germany and Italy. In Argentina, Made In Japan was certified double platinum. Just four years after they first formed, Deep Purple were one of the most successful rock bands in the world. Their 1972 legendary live album,  Made In Japan, is a reminder of Deep Purple at their very best.

Following Made In Japan, commercial success and critical acclaim continued for Deep Purple. There would also be changes in lineup, breakups and reunions. However, the classic lineup of Deep Purple features on Made In Japan. The classic line up of Deep Purple bid a farewell on 1973s Who Do We Think We Are.


When Who Do We Think We Are.

Following the critical acclaim and commercial success of Made In Japan, Deep Purple were keen to build on the momentum created by their live opus. Fortunately, Deep Purple had already recorded a new studio album. It had been recorded in Europe, during summer and autumn 1972.

The five members of Deep Purple had penned seven new songs, and they were recorded during using the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio. It made its war to Rome, Italy in July and part of When Who Do We Think We Are was recorded there. Then in October 1972, When Who Do We Think We Are was completed in Frankfurt in Germany. With their new studio album completed, this should’ve been a time for celebration. It wasn’t though.

Far from it. The group was slowly being ripped apart by disagreements within Deep Purple. Tensions had been high when When Who Do We Think We Are was being recorded. Things got so bad, that members of the Deep Purple weren’t speaking to each other.  This resulted in a schedule having to be drawn up, so that warring band members could record their parts separately. Somehow, though, the five members managed to record the followup to Made In Japan. The big question was, would the internal strife affect quality of music on When Who Do We Think We Are?

When critics heard When Who Do We Think We Are, there was no consensus. Critics felt the quality of music was inconsistent. That was why reviews ranged from mixed to negative. Some critics accused Deep Purple of merely “going through the motions of making an album.” This was a far cry from previous albums.

When Who Do We Think We Are was released in January 1973, it reached number four in Britain. Across the Atlantic, the album proved successful, selling 500,000 copies within the first three months. This helped When Who Do We Think We Are reach number fifteen in the US Billboard 200. This resulted in gold discs in America and France. Compared with Deep Purple’s recent  success this was seemed slightly disappointing. To make matters worse, vocalist Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover left the band after Who Do We Think We Are. Deep Purple’s career looked like it was at a crossroads.


With Ian Gillan and Roger Glover having left Deep Purple, this left a huge void. marked the end of an era for Deep Purple. Ian Gillan and Roger Glover were almost irreplaceable. They had played a huge part in Deep Purple’s rise to titans of rock.

From Deep Purple In Rock, right through to Made In Japan, Deep Purple enjoyed critical acclaim and commercial success.  Deep Purple, and its classic lineup of  Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Jon Lord, Ian Paice and Roger Glover were one of the biggest bands in the free world. However, the departure of Ian Gillan and Roger Glover looked as if this spelt the end of  Deep Purple. Maybe it would be best if Deep Purple called it a day, while they were at the top. The last thing they wanted to do was besmirch their illustrious musical legacy. However, the three remaining members of Deep Purple weren’t ready to call it a day.

Instead, the two departing members of Deep Purple were soon replaced. A then unknown David Coverdale became Deep Purple’s vocalist, while Glen Hughes of Trapeze took over as bassist. They had big shoes to fill. However, with the help of the remaining members of Deep Purple, managed to do so during 1974. It was one of the busiest years of Deep Purple’s career.


With the two new members of Deep Purple onboard, work began on the first album of Deep Purple Mk. III’s career. When work began on what became Burn the five members of the band  were involved. There was a problem though. Glenn Hughes had unexpired contractual obligations. This meant he couldn’t be credited on the album. Despite this, Glenn Hughes and the rest of Deep Purple cowrote five songs. The exceptions were Sail Away and Mistreated, which Richie Blackmore and David Coverdale cowrote. A200 which closed Burn, was written by Richie Blackmore, Jon Lord and Ian Paice. These songs were recorded in Montreux, in Switzerland.

Recording of Burn took place during November 1973. The Rolling Stones Mobile Studio had been hired, and made its way to Montreux. This was where the new  lineup of Deep Purple made its debut. Deep Purple Mk. III featured a rhythm section of drummer Ian Paice, bassist Glenn Hughes and guitarist Richie Blackmore. Augmenting the rhythm section, was keyboardist Jon Lord.  They provided the backdrop for new vocalist David Coverdale. He was part of a group that moved Deep Purple’s traditional sound forward. There was more of a boogie influence on Burn, which even featured elements of funk and soul. Once Burn was completed, Deep Purple would shortly showcase their new sound.

With Burn recorded, and the release scheduled for 15th February 1974. Before that, critics had their say on Deep Purple’s eighth studio album. Most of the critics were impressed with Deep Purple Mk. III’s ‘debut’ album. The hard rocking Burn set the bar high, as a hard  rocking Deep Purple kicked loose. There was no stopping them, as they incorporated elements of boogie, blues, funk and soul. Burn was an album where Deep Purple’s music began to evolve. However, how would their fans respond?

On the release of Burn on 15th February 1974, it reached number three in Britain and number nine in the US Billboard 200. This resulted in gold discs in America, Argentina, Britain, France, Germany and Sweden. Richie Blackmore, Jon Lord and Ian Paice’s decision to continue continue with Deep Purple had been vindicated. Now their thoughts turned to Deep Purple’s second album of 1974, Stormbringer.



Following the success of Burn, Deep Purple began work on a new album, Stormbringer.  It was a case of building on the momentum of Burn. So Deep Purple began work, writing and recording Stormbringer.

Soon, though, it became apparent that Stormbringer was quite different from Deep Purple’s previous albums. The first difference was that only Love Don’t Mean a Thing, High Ball Shooter and The Gypsy were credited to Deep Purple. Previously, entire albums were written by, and credited to, the entire band. This had worked well. However, things had changed on Burn. Maybe by then, musicians were realising who lucrative songwriting was, and why various songwriting partnerships sprung up within Deep Purple?

For Burn, the new members played a part in writing Stormbringer. Richie Blackmore wrote Stormbringer, Lady Double Dealer and Soldier Of Fortune with David Coverdale. He and Richie Blackmore cowrote You Can’t Do It Right with Glenn Hughes. Hold On was written by David Coverdale,  Jon Lord and Ian Paice. These nine songs were recorded in Germany,

Deep Purple returned to the studio in August 1974. This time though, they made the trip to Giorgio Moroder’s Musicland Studios, in Munich. It was becoming a popular recording studio, and would continue to be throughout the seventies. Many rock bands, including Led Zeppelin and Queen would record albums at Musicland Studios. Deep Purple were just the latest band to make the journey to Munich. That was where they recorded  a rock album with a difference. Before that, David Coverdale had made a discovery.

One of the songs Deep Purple cowrote, was the title-track Stormbringer. When David Coverdale cowrote the song, he claimed that he had no knowledge that Stormbringer was the name of a magical sword in Michael Moorcock’s books. This was a  somewhat embarrassing discovery. For Michael Moorcock, this was neither the first, nor last time Stormbringer would inspirer a musician. Hawkwind had been inspired, and later, so would Blue Öyster Cult, That was in the future. Before that, critics received advance copies Stormbringer.

Critics were in for a surprise when they received a copy of Deep Purple’s ninth studio album, Stormbringer. When they played the album, they discovered that the funk and soul influences that had been glimpsed on Burn, were now much more prominent on Stormbringer.  This came as a shock to critics. They had never envisaged one of the hardest rocking bands on planet rock, incorporating funk and soul into their music? Deep Purple’s stylistic change was about to backfire on them.

None of the critics were impressed by  Stormbringer. Reviews of Stormbringer called the album Deep Purple’s most disappointing album. There were few saving graces apart from Lady Double Dealer, which became goth metal favourite;  the uber rocky High Ball Shooter and wistful balladry of Soldier of Fortune. Deep Purple had failed to reach their usual high standards…by a long chalk. How would their faithful fans react?

When Stormbringer  was released in November 1974, it  reached number six in Britain and number twenty in the US Billboard 200. Stormbringer was certified gold in America, Britain, France and Sweden. Record buyers continued to buy Deep Purple’s albums, albeit not in the same quantities as during their classic era. Despite this, the two albums Deep Purple had released during 1074, meant it was one of the most successful years of band’s career. Sadly, 1975 was the beginning of the end. 

Come Taste The Band.

After releasing two albums that were certified gold on both sides of the Atlantic during 1974,  successes gave way to uncertainty in early 1975. Guitarist Richie Blackmore decided to leave Deep Purple. Another member of the classic lineup had left. With just two remaining, and Deep Purple having just released the worst album of their career, surely now was the time for one of the titans of rock to call time on their career? If they didn’t, they risked harming their reputation even further. Despite this risk, Deep Purple Mk. III soon became Deep Purple IV.

David Coverdale, one of the new recruits had approached Jon Lord to ask him to keep Deep Purple together. Jon Lord agree, and the search for a new guitarist began. It just so happened that David Coverdale new someone who suited the bill,  Tommy Bolin. He was drafted in and work began on Come Taste The Band which was written in Los Angeles.

For the first time ever, not one song on a Deep Purple album was credited to the entire band.  Songwriting partnerships were formed, and only two of the nine songs were was written by the two remaining members of the classic lineup of Deep Purple. Ian Paice cowrote the album opener Comin’ Home with David Coverdale and Tommy Bollin. Jon Lord cowrote This Time Around/Owed to ‘G’ with Glenn Hughes and Tommy Bollin. The rest of the album, was the work of the new members of Deep Purple.

Tommy Bollin and David Coverdale penned Dealer, I Need Love, Drifter and Love Child. David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes closed the album closer You Keep On Moving.  The other song on Come Taste The Band, was Lady Luck, which was written by David Coverdale and Jeff Cook, who was  Tommy Bollin’s usual songwriting partner. Just like at least one other track, this wasn’t a new song. 

At least two songs on  Come Taste The Band  weren’t new songs. Jon Lord later said that he thought that You Keep on Moving had been written in 1973 by David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes, and had been rejected for the Burn album. Lady Luck was another old song. It was going to make its debut on Come Taste The Band. However, there was a major problem. Incredibly, Tommy Bolin couldn’t remember the lyrics, and couldn’t get in touch with Jeff Cook. So David Coverdale rewrote some of the lyrics and Deep Purple recorded. the song. Fortunately, Jeff Cook approved the new lyrics and the pair shared the songwriting credits on Come Taste The Band.

With Come Taste The Band written, Deep Purple began to rehearse the album at Robert Simon’s  Pirate Sound Studios. Robert Simon was meant to be engineering Come Taste The Band. That was the plan. After problems about scheduling,  Deep Purple left Pirate Sound Studios, and headed to Musicland Studios.

No longer was Robert Simon going to engineer  Come Taste The Band. Co-producing  Come Taste The Band with Deep Purple was Martin Birch. Recording began on the 3rd of August 1975, and continued right through to the 1st of September 1975. By then, Deep Purple’s tenth album was complete. 

With Come Taste The Band recorded, EMI and Warner Bros, decided to release the album on Deep Purple’s Purple Records on 10th October 1975. Purple Records had released every Deep Purple album since 1971. Back then, though, Deep Purple were a musical goliath. Things were very different four years later.

Although Come Taste The Band saw Deep Purple return to a much more traditional hard rocking sound, the album was much more commercial sounding.  However, Come Taste The Band lacked one thing that most Deep Purple albums had, consistency and  quality. Critics described Come Taste The Band as a weak album. Given the reviews of Come Taste The Band, this didn’t auger well for Deep Purple.

And so it proved to be. In Britain, Come Taste The Band reached number nineteen and was certified silver. This equated to just 60,000 sales. Meanwhile, Come Taste The Band stalled at forty-three in the the US Billboard 200. There was no glittering prize this time around. This was disappointing. However, things got worse when two members of Deep Purple spent time in jail.


After the release of Come Taste The Band, Deep Purple headed out on tour, to support their tenth studio album. All was going well until the band reached Jakarta, in Indonesia. Patsy Collins who was one of the team who looked security for Deep Purple was found dead. An inquiry found that Patsy Collins  that there were “suspicious circumstances” surrounding the death. The Indonesian police arrested Glenn Hughes and two others. They were taken to a local jail. To the rest of the band as if the four men were being framed. However, the promoter was determined that show must go on.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian promoter had arranged a second concert. There was a problem though; he was only willing to pay for one night. The Indonesian police seemed only to willing to ensure the show went ahead. They brought Glenn Hughes to the venue at gunpoint. The show went ahead, and then Glenn Hughes was returned to jail. Meanwhile, Tommy Bolin was given some morphine by the promoter. This would have consequences on the Japanese leg of the tour.

By then, a satisfactory solution had been found to the problem of the “charges.” Deep Purple’s management had to not only forego their fee, but pay add a further sum of money to the pot. This it was alleged was given the Indonesian police and army, who made sure Glenn Hughes was able to leave Indonesia. A relieved Deep Purple left Indonesia, en route to Japan.

On the flight to Japan, Tommy Bolin took the morphine the Indonesian promoter had given him. He promptly fell asleep for over eight hours. Unfortunately, he had fallen asleep on his arm, and when he woke up was unable to play guitar properly. With Tommy Bolin indisposed,  Jon Lord had to play many of the guitar parts on his keyboards and organ. This was just the latest problem that had beset Deep Purple. They seemed to be fated. So it was no surprise that when the tour ended, Deep Purple split-up until 1984.

Deep Purple Mk. IV called time on their career in the spring of 1976. Only Jon Lord  and Ian Paice remained from the lineup of Deep Purple that released Shades Of Deep Purple in 1968. Two years later, Deep Purple In Rock transformed the fortunes of Deep Purple.

For the next five years, commercial success and critical acclaim would be constant companions of  Deep Purple. Between 1970 and 1975 Deep Purple enjoyed worldwide success.  Deep Purple would also become one of hardest rocking groups of the seventies.

Vying with Deep Purple for the title of Kings of seventies rock were Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Just like Deep Purple, they were hugely successful and hard rocking bands. They were also the hardest living living rock groups. This lead to them being known as the “unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal.” The three groups seemed proud of their infamy, and wore it like a badge.

The “unholy trinity’s” penchant for the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle was legendary. Excess and extravagance was an everyday occurrence. Similarly,  chaos and carnage was omnipresent as the “unholy trinity” toured the world. Each group seemed to determined to outdo the other. Hotel rooms were wrecked, televisions thrown out of windows  and copious amounts of drink and drugs consumed. They were living the dream.  That dream appeared to continue until Who Do We Think We Are.

By the time Deep Purple began work on Who Do We Think We Are, all wasn’t well within the band. Things had gotten so bad, that a schedule was drawn up that allowed band members to record on their own. Somehow, Deep Purple managed to complete Who Do We Think We Are, which was well received by critics and a commercial success. After that, Ian Gillan and Roger Glover left Deep Purple.  

The departure of Ian Gillan and Roger Glover looked as if this spelt the end of  Deep Purple. Maybe it would be best if Deep Purple called it a day, while they were at the top. Instead, Deep Purple continued but were never quite the same band.

Deep Purple released three albums after Ian Gillan and Roger Glover left. Burn was the best of the trio, but still didn’t come close to matching the quality of the albums Deep Purple released during their classic era. The other two albums,  Stormbringer and Come Taste The Band were disappointing albums.  By Come Taste The Band,  Deep Purple knew their time was up, and called it a day in the spring of 1976. It was the end of era, but not the end of Deep Purple.

Eight years later, the original lineup of Deep Purple eventually made a comeback, and released Perfect Strangers in 1984. During the eight year period Deep Purple were away, Led Zeppelin called it a day after the death of drummer John Bonham.  This left a huge void. When Deep Purple returned in 1984, this went some way to filling it. Good as the reunited Deep Purple were, they never released albums of the quality that they released between Deep Purple In Rock and Who Do We Think We Are. These albums were classics, and featured Deep Purple  at their hard rocking best. These albums have stood the test of time.

Over forty years later,  and many of Deep Purple Mk.II’s are now regarded as classic albums; while Deep Purple are now regraded as rock royalty. The same can be said of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, the other members of the “unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal. Their music is a reminder of the golden age of rock. Especially the music Deep Purple released between Deep Purple In Rock Who Do We Think We Are.

These albums feature the finest music of Deep Purple’s long career. During the period Deep Purple recorded these classic albums, their penchant for the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle was legendary. It came with the territory. This was after all, rock ’n’ roll. Chaos and carnage was omnipresent and expected as Deep Purple toured the world. This never seemed to affect Deep Purple’s music. Just like  Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, Deep Purple were the hard rocking, hard living, good time band, for whom commercial success and crucial acclaim were constant companions.

Deep Purple’s Journey To Rock Titans.







Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: