Personalities | Deep Purple | Seventies | Rock
(Vocal/instrumental group, 1968–76, 1984–present)
Deep Purple have sold over 100 million records in a 38-year career – continuous apart from a hiatus between 1976 and 1984 – so are one of the more commercially successful rock bands in history. Though classed as contemporaries of fellow early 1970s trailblazers Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, Purple were distinctly different, drawing on classical, jazz, R&B and (later) funk roots. They let live performance spread the word and cut one of the all-time classic concert albums in 1972’s Made In Japan, which included air-guitar anthem ‘Smoke On the Water’.
Their classic line-up captured on 1970’s In Rock was Ritchie Blackmore (guitar), Jon Lord (keyboards), Ian Gillan (vocals), Ian Paice (drums) and Roger Glover (bass). The latter three were still in harness in 2006 with Don Airey (keyboards) and sole American Steve Morse (guitar), and now play extensively to South American and former Iron Curtain countries, where their popularity endures.
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