ARTIST: Deep Purple
TITLE: Deep Purple in Rock
YEAR RELEASED: 1970
CHART ACTION: #143 US, #4 UK
SINGLES: Speed King
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Child in Time
LINEUP: Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ian Paice, Jon Lord
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: After changing their lineup, and indulging Jon Lord’s symphonic jones, Deep Purple’s classic combo records their first album and, well, it’s good.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Seeing their fortunes dwindle, and their US record company go belly up, Deep Purple jettisoned their singer and bass player – adding Ian Gillan and Roger Glover. The classic lineup was born, and the first thing they did was….the symphonic record (covered in quickie form on the site).
Cranking out of the gate with “Speed King”, and moving through seven tracks that are mostly driving rock with progressive flourishes (especially the epic “Child of Time” – where Jon Lord gets his money’s worth), Deep Purple in Rock established the band once and for all in the UK. Later, the band toured the world and set the stage for their later success, wiping away their former status as the UK’s answer to Vanilla Fudge.
Tracks like “Flight of the Rat” and “Bloodsucker” are prime examples of Deep Purple, and are a developmental step in the music that soon became heavy metal. This record definitely shows that a band can re-invent itself to play off its strengths mid-career, and not have a ponderous pretentious record stall them out.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Black Night” was released as a single apart from the album and was a smash in the UK (#2) and a minor US hit (#66)
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A version with “Black Night” plus outtakes.
GRADE A-: Welcome, Deep Purple! We’ll mostly forget your earlier stuff.