RockStory - Hard Rock: Deep Purple - In Rock
Deep Purple: Deep Purple was formed, Roundabout, in February 1968 and in June 1970 Deep Purple In Rock was released.

Deep Purple - In Rock

By Claes Hassel at

Deep Purple was formed, Roundabout, in February 1968 by Chris Curtis(former drummer in the Searchers) together with the keyboard player Jon Lord(born June 9, 1941 in England), guitarist Ritchie Blackmore(born April 14, 1945 in England), bassist Nick Simper(born 3rd of November 1945 in England) and others.

In March 1968 the band reformed, after auditioned several singers, with Rod Evans(born January 19 1947 in Scotland) on vocals, Ian Paice(drums) and Lord, Blackmore and Simper.

Note: Rod Stewart was on the audition but was rejected!?

During a tour to Denmark the band changed their name to Deep Purple(title of an old song by April Stevens) and 1968 they scored success with the remakes of two covers:

"Hush" (by Joe South, US Country artist) released in June 1968(from their debut album "Shades of Deep Purple") which smashed the Top 5 in the US.

Neil Diamond's "Kentucky Woman." which went to #38, from their follow up album "Book Of Taliesyn".

During 1969 the band's live perfomances took the sound to a heavier and louder approach, much due to Ritchie Blackmore's aggressive guitar play.


To be able to walk the "Hard 'n' Heavy Rock" path and to follow the success of "Led Zeppelin" and "Black Sabbath", Blackmore and Lord decided to replace both Rod Evans(vocals) and Nick Simper (bass).

Rod Evans and Nick Simper were kept uninformed when former bandmates in "Episode Six"(back in 1965) Ian Gillan and Roger Glover was on audition for Deep Purple and offered the job as singer and bassist.

And with that the essential Deep Purple line-up Mark II(June 1969 - June 1973) was created.

Rod Evans
ended up in the Anglo-American supergroup Captain Beyond in 1972, together with two ex-members of Iron Butterfly: Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt(guitar), Lee Dorman(bass) and ex-Johnny Winter drummer Bobby Caldwell.
They released their excellent self titled record in July 1972, one of the best records ever made!!

Nick Simper(bass) formed the band Warhorse together with his two old bandmates Ged Peck (guitar) and Mac Poole (drums) including Ashley Holt (vocals) and Frank Wilson (keyboard). They released two albums, Warhorse(1970) and the excellent heavy Red Sea(1972).

I'll get back later in the Hard Rock "chronicles" to talk about Captain Beyond and Warhorse


The new version of Deep Purple started up with an idea that Jon Lord had of bringing classical music with rock music, the album "Concerto for Group and Orchestra" was recorded live(Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) at the Royal Albert Hall September 24th 1969.

But it wasn't the bands intention to be a Progressive/Symphonic Rock band.

The band looked for a more harder-edged, heavy music approach and it would be fullfilled with their next record, Deep Purples fourth album, "In Rock ", one of the most important hard rock albums ever made

Deep Purple - In Rock

"In Rock" was pointing in a new direction, leaving the path that Deep Purple has walked in previous efforts, a totally new concept but still built around Rock'n'Roll AND cleverly produced/recorded by Martin Birch, who would produce Iron Maiden ten years later .

And as Ritchie Blackmore said during the recordings 'If it's not exciting/dramatic it doesn't belong on this album..'

That's what's In Rock is: Exciting and Dramatic!!!

Released in June 1970 and recorded between Aug 1969 & Feb 1970 at De Lane Lea and Abbey Road studios in London, engineered by Andy Knight, Martin Birch and Philip McDonald and produced by Deep Purple

A Masterpiece is Born!

My first ecounter with Deep Purple was a year before In Rock and when I bought In Rock I expected a similar the previous ones.

My mother had a connection(at a record shop) so I got the record some time before it was released in the stores..I was home..having a cold..looked a the great cover, turned on the receiver and put the LP on the turn table..waiting for the first song...suddenly...a screaming guitar intro opens the album..

'Speed King'[5:53]
and it keeps on for 40 seconds and ends up in an organ intro in a classical Baroque style when the song turns into a Rock 'n' Roller when Gillan sings:

'Good Golly, said little Miss Molly
When she was rockin' in the house of blue light
Tutti Frutti was oh so rooty
When she was rockin' to the east and west
Lucille was oh so real
When she didn't do her daddies will
Come on baby, drive me crazy - do it, do it
I'm a speed king - You got to hear me sing
I'm a speed king - See me fly'

2 minuts 40 seconds into the song Blackmore and Lord starts a jazzy interplay which ends up in a fuzzy guitar solo while Paice and Glover carry the song forward, 4:20 into the song back with Gillan....
What an opener!!!

'Gotta black breast Chinese eyes
Got an English brain that's gonna make me wise
Got a long story that I wanna tell
To a rhythm that I know so well
Really got a lot of lovin' that I wanna give
Baby I'm a mystery but you know I gotta live
I tried another but she didn't want to know
Aaaah --- no, no, no!'

This song is one of Gillan's highlights on the album, Lord and Blackmore is trading solos while the rythm section just goes on an on..

'Child In Time'[10:18]
A ten minute epic anti-war song, with the intro, G G Am---G G Am--- F F G-- G G Am,   from the band It's A Beautiful Day's song "Bombay Calling".

Dominated by the church liked organ play and Gillan's beautiful singing both smooth and in falsetto.

3 minutes and 33 seconds into the song it's time for Blackmore to take the lead with a great bluesy and lightning-speedy solo, over 2:30-minutes long which ends up in part 1(organ+singing):

'Sweet child in time you'll see the line
The line that's drawn between the good and the bad
See the blind man shooting at the world
Bullets flying taking toll
If you've been bad, Lord I bet you have
And you've not been hit by flying lead
You'd better close your eyes and bow your head
(And) wait for the ricochet'

and by then Gillan has showed that he's the greatest heavy metal singer, ever!

'Flight of the Rat'[5:53]
and it's time for my Purple favourite song with fast tempo shifting parts were the band takes the song to a higher level..again and agan..

2:49 into the song it's time for Jon Lord's Hammond organ to make a ass-kicking solo, with distortions and wah-wah..great..

3:55.. time for Blackmore's guitar to fire..ends up in whammy-barred wacka..wacka wah-wah..and back to the main theme...
What a Rocker!!

'Into The Fire'[3:29]
...with the screaming Gillan, 'into the FIREEEEE!, great solo by Blackmore..a "simple" rock 'n' roller..not a filler but close to..but if it was on an other artist album it might be the highlight!

'Living Wreck'[4:31]
...a bit weak compared to the other(highlights)..a sort of "Old Deep Purple song"..

'Hard Lovin Man'[4:31]
...but now we are talking..back to heavy guitar riffing, distorted Hammond and screaming vocals..heavy driven bass and drums "Flight of the Rat" this is a song with tempo shifting parts and a fast distorted organ solo by Lord...

3:30 into the song a gong cymbal echo crash and Ritchie is on it again, with a furious guitar play..ending up with the Fender Stratocaster "smashing" the amps..
One of my fav tracks..


The In Rock album went into the top 5(reaching no.4) in the UK, and remained on the top 30 for over a year and in september the same year(1970), the single 'Black Night', reaches no.2 in the UK(singles chart).

Their following albums was hugh successes, Fireball(released in September 1971) and Machine Head(released in March 1972) both went no.1 in the UK.

The singles Strange Kind of Woman(from Fireball) with B-side I'm alone(recorded during the Fireball sessions) and Smoke on the Water(from Machine Head) with different B-side's climbed the singles charts.

The band toured heavely and in August 1972 the band had three gigs in Japan(between two US tours) and made one of the best(The Best?!) live recordings ever, titled 'Made In Japan'.

The double record was released in December 1972 and was Deep Purples most selling record in the US, up to date.

In the autumn of 1972 Ian Gillan and Ritchie Blackmore was on collision course and after the release(March 1973) of the studio album Who Do We Think We Are, Gillan and Glover left the band(June '73) or merely kicked out by Ritchie?!

And with that, sadly, it was the end of the MKIIa lineup of Deep Purple.