Deep Purple was formed in Hertford, England in 1968. They are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Originally formed as a progressive rock band, the band shifted to a heavier sound in 1970. Deep Purple, together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, have been referred to as the “unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal in the early to mid-seventies.” They were listed in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records as “the globe’s loudest band” for a 1972 concert at London’s Rainbow Theatre. They have sold over 100 million albums worldwide.
Flip through the gallery for 10 Things You Might Not Know About Deep Purple!
In 1967 former Searchers drummer Chris Curtis contacted London businessman Tony Edwards, in the hope that he would manage a new group he was putting together, to be called Roundabout. The group was formed and included Jon Lord, Ritchie Blackmore, Nick Simper, Rod Evans, and Ian Paice
After a brief tour of Denmark and Sweden in April 1968 billed as Roundabout, Ritchie Blackmore suggested a new name, "Deep Purple,” named after his grandmother's favorite song. Second to Deep Purple was "Concrete God," which the band thought was too harsh
After about two months of rehearsals, the band's debut album, Shades of Deep Purple, was recorded in only three days in May 1968. The album contains four original songs and four covers, thoroughly rearranged to include classical interludes and sound more psychedelic
After lead singer Rod Evans left he band, the band hunted down singer Ian Gillan from Episode Six. The band that had released several singles in the U.K., without achieving their big break for commercial success. Gillan had at one time been approached by Nick Simper when Deep Purple was first forming, but Gillan turned down the offer the first time
In September 1969, Deep Purple performed the Concerto for Group and Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Together with Days of Future Passed by the Moody Blues and Five Bridges by the Nice, it was one of the first collaborations between a rock band and an orchestra
In the summer of 1973, Ian Gillan and Roger Glover quit the band after their second tour of Japan over tensions with Ritchie Blackmore. Glenn Hughes was persuaded to join under the guise that Paul Rodgers of Free was joining as co-lead vocalist, but Rodgers had just started Bad Company and David Coverdale was hired instead
In July 2011, co-founding member and former organ player, Jon Lord was found to be suffering from pancreatic cancer. After treatment in both England and in Israel, he died at the age of 71 on July 16, 2012 at the London Clinic after suffering from a pulmonary embolism
Prior to October 2012, Deep Purple had never been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, though they had been eligible since 1993. They were nominated for induction in 2012 and 2013, but were not inducted by the Rock Hall committee. They were officially inducted on April 8, 2016 by Lars Ulrich of Metallica