Classic Album: Deep Purple-Burn.

When Ian Gillan and Roger Glover left Deep Purple in 1973, this left a huge void for one of the unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal. They were regarded as almost irreplaceable, and had played a huge part in Deep Purple’s rise to titans of rock. For Deep Purple and their legion of loyal fans, it was the end of an era.

Deep Purple had come a long way since they changed their name from Roundabout in 1968. However, success didn’t come overnight and it was their fourth studio album Deep Purple In Rock, released in June 1970 that transformed their fortunes. It was certified gold in Britain, America, Italy and France. This was just the start for Deep Purple.

For the next three years, commercial success and critical acclaim would be constant companions of the original lineup of Deep Purple. During that period, they were one of the hardest rocking groups of the seventies. They also established a reputation as one of the hardest living bands.

Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin were crowned 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 during lengthy tours.

By 1973, all wasn’t well within Deep Purple and the group needed a break. Their management pushed them to finish Who Do We Think We Are despite bad feeling and tension within the band. This led to Ian Gillan quitting the group following the second Japanese tour in the summer of 1973. Then  Roger Glover was dismissed at the insistence of Richie Blackmore. It was a huge loss, and many critics thought this could be a fatal blow for Deep Purple.

They brought onboard Glenn Hughes who had been the bassist in Trapeze, and unknown vocalist David Coverdale. The new lineup of Deep Purple began work on their eighth studio album Burn in November 1973. However, the Deep Purple story began six year years earlier.

Although Deep Purple were formed in 1968 in Hertford, the story begins in 1967. That was when ex-Searchers drummer, Chris Curtis, contacted London based businessman, Tony Edwards, with a business proposition. He 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 also joined Roundabout, and  so did bassist Nick Simper, whose most recent band was The Flower Pot Men. He 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, and their drummer was Ian Paice. He became the final piece in the jigsaw. However, he wasn’t the first choice drummer.

Originally, Bobby Woodman was meant to be Roundabout’s drummer. He was drummer when Rod Evans auditioned as vocalist. However, Richie Blackmore had seen Nick Paice playing before, and  although he just eighteen,  knew he was a good drummer. So when Bobby Woodman headed out to buy cigarettes, Ian Paice was auctioned. Instantly, everyone realised he 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 Blackmore’s  hard rock guitar riffs. 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. They headed into the recording studio in September 1968 to record what became The Book of Taliesyn.


The Book of Taliesyn.

Time was against Deep Purple as there wasn’t long before their American tour was due to begin. They only had five new songs written and 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 and  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, with 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 and 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. Deep Purple headed to the Pavilion where they recorded 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 with 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. It 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 and 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, and saw them release Burn.


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 as 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 with Deep Purple had been vindicated.

Storm had been well received by critics and was a commercial success. While it wasn’t as successful as some of their earlier albums, it was something to build on for Deep Purple Mk. III.



Buoyed by the success of Storm, Deep Purple’s thoughts turned to their next album which became Stormbringer. Deep Purple and Martin Birch coproduced the album, which was recorded at Musicland Studios, in Munich, Germany, between August and September 1974.

When Stormbringer was released  in November 1974 there was no consensus amongst critics. Their reviews ranged from favourable to mixed although the album featured future classics like Lady Double Dealer, High Ball Shooter and the wistful ballad Soldier of Fortune. Despite the mixed reviews, the album was certified silver in Britain and gold in America and France. However,  the album sales were way down, and to make matters worse David Coverdale didn’t like the funky soulful parts of Stormbringer. 

On the ‘21st’ of June 1975, it was announced that after just two albums with Deep Purple, David Coverdale  had left the band.  He joined forces with Ronnie James Dio of Elf, and formed a new band waging they called Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. The name was shortened to Rainbow after the first album. By then, it was all change with Deep Purple.

After the departure of David Coverdale, the other members of Deep Purple cast their net wide and looked at some of the biggest names in music. Everyone from Rory Gallagher, Mick Ronson, Humble Pie’s  Clem Clempson and Zal Cleminson of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. Eventually, one of the quintessential British rock groups settled on American Tommy Bolin who had been a member of The James Gang between 1973 and 1974. He made his debut on Come Taste The Band.

 Come Taste The Band.

Deep Purple Mk IV began recording what became  Come Taste The Band on the ‘3rd’ of August 1975. The sessions finished on the ‘1st’ of September 1975, and after two months, Deep Purple’s tenth album was complete. 

Come Taste The Band was released on the ‘10th’ of October 1975, and Deep Purple returned to a much more traditional hard rocking sound on what was a much more commercial sounding. However,  Come Taste The Band the consistency and  quality of previous albums and was described as a weak album. 

Things didn’t improve for Deep Purple when the album stalled at forty-three on the US Billboard 200. The only small crumb of comfort was when Come Taste The Band reached number nineteen in Britain and was certified silver by November 1975. However, the sales of the album worldwide were disappointing. It was hoped that the 1976 tour would help sales.

In 1976, Deep Purple toured Come Taste The Band and things didn’t go to plan. Although Tommy Bolin was a talented guitarist, his problems with hard drugs started to affect his ability to performances. Fans didn’t realise he was in the throes of addiction and booed him because he couldn’t play solos like Ritchie Blackmore. To complicate matters, Glenn Hughes was addicted to cocaine and all this resulted in a number of poor performances. Things got so bad that the future of Deep Purple was in doubt.

Although Deep Purple Mk. IV called time on their career in the spring of 1976 the break up of the band was only announced in July 1976. By then, only Jon Lord  and Ian Paice remained from the lineup of Deep Purple that released Shades Of Deep Purple in 1968. They had been with the band  since they released their debut album Shades Of Deep Purple in 1968. Ten albums and four lineups later they were the last men standing and had been with the band through good times and bad. 

This included a five year period where the classic lineup of Deep Purple were at the peak of their powers as they released four studio albums and the live album Made In Japan. Between 1970s Deep Purple In Rock and 1975s Who Do We Think We Are, the classic line hardly put a foot wrong. Albums like Deep Purple In Rock, Fireball, Machine Head and Made In Japan are now regarded as classic albums and Jon Lord  and Ian Paice played their part in the sound and success of these albums, held transform Deep Purple into one of the most successful and hardest rocking British rock bands of the seventies. They were also one of the hardest living British bands.

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. They were living the dream. This continued until the release of 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.  It was the last album the classic lineup of Deep Purple released.

The departure of Ian Gillan and Roger Glover looked as if this spelt the end of  Deep Purple. However, they continued to record and tour but were never quite the same band.

Deep Purple released just three albums after the departure of Ian Gillan and Roger Glover.  The first was Burn, which featured elements of boogie, blues, funk and soul, and was by far the best of this trio of albums. It was well received by critics and a bigger commercial success than its predecessor Who Do We Think We Are. Despite that, Burn isn’t regarded as one of Deep Purple’s classic albums. However, it’s much better  and stronger album than Stormbringer and Come Taste The Band which are both disappointing albums. Nowadays, Burn is regarded as the last great album that Deep Purple released before splitting up in July 1976. 

Just like classic albums like Deep Purple In Rock, Fireball, Machine Head and Made In Japan, Burn features Deep Purple at their hard rocking best. These albums have stood the test of time and so has Burn, which is the best of the rest and an essential album for anyone interested in Deep Purple’s music. 

Burn is also a reminder of the golden age of rock, when Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin the “unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal ruled the roost, and recorded and released a string of classic albums that are truly timeless and part of Britain’s rich musical legacy. 

Classic Album: Deep Purple-Burn.

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