In March 1968, a group was created consisting of Ritchie Blackmore – lead guitar, John Lord – organ, backing vocals, Rod Evans – vocals, Nikki Simper – bass, backing vocals, Ian Paice – drums. At the suggestion of Richie, they decided to name the new group “Deep Purple”. This name was taken from an old song that Richie’s grandmother loved to listen to.
Ritchie Blackmore (Ritchie Blackmore) – was born in the English province on April 14, 1945. Already in his youth, he demonstrated his mastery of guitar, which caused the desire of numerous novice bands in England to have such a solo guitarist in his group. John Lord (Jon Lord) – was born in England (Leicester) on June 9, 1941, and already from childhood began to play the piano, and later began to take lessons on this instrument. Ian Paice (Ian Paice) – was born on June 29, 1948. In adolescence, he showed a love for percussion instruments and at the age of 14-15 he received his first drum kit. Rod Evans (Rod Evans) – was born on January 20, 1947. The first vocalist of “Deep Purple”, had a “ballad” voice, because of which he was expelled from the group in 1969. Nick Simper (Nick Simper) – was born on November 3, 1945.
The group immediately began to rehearse and practice a lot of material, and on April 20, 1968 in Denmark the first concert “Deep Purple” took place. The group adhered to its own style – rock with a fair amount of classical music.
The musicians also proved themselves as good arrangers, having set about working out cover versions of songs by various artists. The first album, “Shades Of Deep Purple”, released in September 1968, contained four cover versions, among which the song “Hush” achieved great popularity, falling on 4th place in the American hit parade, and for which musicians in the USA got their first “golden disk”. Continuing in the same vein, the group releases 2 more albums, which, like the first, do not achieve absolutely no popularity in England, but have little success in the USA. This is the album “Book Of Taliesyn”, released in late 1968 and the album “Deep Purple”, which appeared on American shelves in June 1969.
Then the following happens, Blackmore and Lord, decided to enter the English music market and move in the “difficult direction”, i.e. musicians decided to change the “sound” of the group and play hard rock. But Rod Evans and Nick Simper were not suitable for this. It was decided to find a new vocalist and bass player. By that time, “Deep Purple” had released 3 albums and a rather impressive number of singles, and if they had broken up then, they might have remained in the memory of rock experts and encyclopaedists as one of the most prolific cover bands in England.
Rod Evans was replaced by a talented vocalist with an extremely powerful high voice. His name was Ian Gillan. In place of Nick Simper was invited Roger Glover. Both new musicians came from the band “Episode Six”. With the advent of Gillan and Glover as a member of the band, “Deep Purple” began to play really cool. From this began the ascent of the group on the ladder of success.
Ian Gillan (Ian Gillan) – was born in England on August 19, 1945. In his youth he became interested in gaining strength, rock and roll. In 1964 he joined the band “Episode Six”, where he performed until July 1969.
Roger Glover (Roger Glover) – was born on November 30, 1945. In 1964 he joined the group “Episode Six”, where he became friends with Ian Gillan. In 1969, he accepted an offer from the promising, but little-known group “Deep Purple”, to join her with Gillan.
With the new line-up, the group released the single “Hallejujah / April. Part 1”, which at that time went unnoticed, and now is a classic of “Deep Purple”. In September, the group gives a concert along with symphony concerts. The concert was released on the album “Concerto For Group And Orchestra” and also appeared on video. Quite an unexpected job for a group that decided to move in the “difficult direction”. But the album was noticed in England (!!!) and it hit the 26th place in the charts.
Meanwhile, the group is working on new material that was due to appear on their new album. And they worked on the album “Deep Purple In Rock”. On their new album in June 1970, “Deep Purple” appeared as a completely new band. The musicians played real hard rock, composed by them, where the guitar and organ literally compete with each other. All this was supported by Gillan’s incredibly powerful rhythm section and divine vocals (divine – in the literal and figurative sense – in the same, 70th year, Gillan was also famous for playing the part of Jesus Christ in the rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar”) . “Deep Purple” made a splash. Although the album “Deep Purple In Rock” did not make it to the first place, but took 4th place in the England charts, its track in the history of rock music is simply huge.
Having finally consolidated their success with the single “Black Night”, which was released immediately after the album “Deep Purple In Rock”, the musicians began uninterrupted tours, only occasionally interrupting to record their next albums.