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Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. Along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, they are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although some band members have tried not to categorise themselves as any one genre. The band also incorporated classical music, blues-rock, pop and progressive rock elements. They were once listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's loudest band, and have sold over 100 million albums worldwide. Deep Purple were ranked #22 on VH1's Greatest Artists of Hard Rock programme.
Drummer Ian Paice, keyboardist Jon Lord, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, bassist Nick Simper and vocalist Rod Evans founded the group in 1968. They released their debut album, “Shades Of Deep Purple” later that same year. The album became insanely popular, thanks to their cover of Joe South’s “Hush.” 2 albums later, the band was evolving to a more heavier sound, with bassist Roger Glover and vocalist Ian Gillan replacing the more pop-oriented Simper and Evans. ”Deep Purple In Rock” dropped in 1970, and featured “Highway Star” and the 10-minute epic “Child In Time.” It was followed by “Fireball” a year later. “Machine Head” was released in 1972. It featured the band’s most well-known song, “Smoke On The Water,” mostly famous for it’s memorable guitar riff, as well as “Space Truckin’”. In 1973, after the “Who Do We Think We Are?” album, featuring the hit single “Woman From Tokyo,” Glover and Gillan both departed, replaced by Glenn Hughes & David Coverdale respectively. Despite all the changes, the title track to 1974’s “Burn” became a hit. “Stormbringer“ was released later that same year. In 1975, Blackmore left to form Rainbow, replaced by Tommy Bolin. That same year, they released “Come Taste The Band.” It sold poorly, and after the tour, they disbanded. A year later, while on tour opening for Jeff Beck, Bolin died of a drug overdose. Coverdale went on to front the successful 80’s hair metal stalwarts Whitesnake, who had a huge hit in 1987 with “Here I Go Again.” In 1984, the Mark II/Classic lineup of Paice, Lord, Blackmore, Glover and Gillan reformed for “Perfect Strangers.” In 1990, Gillan left and was briefly replaced by former Rainbow vocalist Joe Lynn Turner before returning 2 years later. In 1993, Blackmore quit and was replaced briefly by Joe Satriani before returning again. In 1996, after the release of “Purpendicular,” Blackmore quit for good, replaced by former Dixie Dregs/Kansas guitarist Steve Morse. In 2005, the group’s final lineup change took place when Lord left to focus on his classical work, he later died in 2012. Former Whitesnake keyboardist Don Airey replaced him, completing a lineup that has been stable for the past 13 years, and leaving Paice as the only founding member left. The band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2016, and is currently on a co-headlining tour with Judas Priest.