At this point when Coverdale/Hughes come on board both versions of “Smoke on the Water” are in the American top ten at the same time.
Glenn Hughes says he was one of the first to arrive at Clearwell Castle to begin writing Burn. He picked a bedroom and unknowingly Ritchie had set up speakers in his closet so in the middle of the night Glenn was awoken to sounds of ghosts.
They wrote and rehearsed. Coverdale lost his nerve and froze up. Jon Lord took him aside, gave him a few drinks, and said they played a Beatles melody for two hours.
On September 1, 1973, Coverdale was back up north celebrating his new gig. Hughes, Paice, and Lord got together for a jam session with Hughes playing lead guitar. They recorded two songs, “Don’t Know Yet” and Grand Funk Railroad’s “Some Kind of Wonderful.” These have never been released.
On September 23rd they announced their new lineup at a press event.
On October 4th Hughes accompanied Lord to perform on his Windows album. Yvonne Elliman, Peter York, Ray Fenwick were also present. Ritchie went as a spectator.
In the same month Gillan had bought De Lane Lea studios and renamed it Kingsway.
In November they returned to Montreux – Burn was recorded in Montreux in November of 1973 again using the Rolling Stones mobile unit.
Hughes contributed to songwriting but wasn’t able to be given credit due to unexpired contractual obligations. The 30th anniversary release included Hughes in the credits for all track except Sail Way, Mistreated, A 200, and the bonus track “Coronarias Redig.”
Jon Lord got more into experimenting with synthesizers on this album.
Lord and Paice agreed to give Ritchie more creative control in this lineup.
Martin Birch was very patient and supportive of Coverdale in the studio. Coverdale was inexperienced and had only recorded demos up until this point.
Coverdale’s mind was blown by the quality of the musicianship around him. He felt very self conscious and would stay up all night working on his lyrics and making alternate versions for the band to choose from.
They set up at the top floor of the convention center in Montreux.
Glenn had lots of experience in the studio but Coverdale had only recorded a few tracks with The Government and The Fabulosa Brothers.
Lord says: “David has always been a very self-confident man and if he was overawed to be working with us, it only showed when we were talking between ourselves over a beer later,never during the actual recording.”
Birch: “It was a much happier session than “Who Do We Think We Are.”
Coverdale, hopped up on diet pills, was an emotional wreck and considered leaving the band as he wasn’t thinking clearly.
Album Art & Booklet Review
Design by Nesbit, Phipps, and Froome who did “In Rock.”
Shot by Fin Costello.
Candles were specially commissioned but never commercially available. A second unused set was later auctioned off.
Nigel Young talks in the Burn booklet about how this was just meant to be a mock up for the band to see the idea he had. It ended up being picked up and used for the sleeve. Years later he relit his candles and shot it again and it was released in Kerrang! Extra Magazine No. 5 in the May/June 1985 issue.
Thanks again to @JoergPlaner for coming through with these great scans.
Album Details and Analysis:
All tracks by Blackmore, Coverdale, Hughes, Lord, Paice except where indicated.
Written in the dungeon of the castle.
One of the last songs written for the album. Hughes wrote the middle parts, the parts he sings. They knew they were going to divide up the vocals from the beginning but had to sort out who was taking each part.
Hughes said there was no competition for vocals and described it by saying it was more “you take this part, no after you.”
Coverdale wrote several sets of lyrics for this song and Blackmore chose his favorite.
One was called “The Road.”
Lord: “David had some trouble with Ritchie because he wanted a certain type of lyrics. He wanted songs about demonology, mythology, that type of thing.” You can see why he ended up in a band with Dio.
Coverdale: “I had some problems in finding the lyrics, I wanted them to have a modern setting yet give a surrealist flavor. Ritchie and I wrote “Burn” but Jon put the classical progression in, which to me is brilliant.”
Hughes talks about taking PCP (Accidentally) for the first time during recording Burn. His girlfriend sent him a letter. Blackmore recalls Hughes crawling around behind the drumset asking Ritchie why his head was expanding in size. Ian took him out for a walk.
Jerry Bloom reports that the riff for this song was inspired by the 1936 song “Fascinating Rhythm”
Blackmore: “I came up with the riff on the spur of the moment while we were jamming. Jon took a tape home a few days later and his wife at the time pointed out the similarity. Maybe subconsciously I was playing that but it worked very well.”
At the end of the song there’s a big mistake where Ritchie accidentally hit his fingers on the strings. Everyone said it sounded natural so they left it in.
Might Just Take Your Life
Song started by Jon Lord laying into this organ riff.
Written at Clearwell with different lyrics and a chorus about “rock and roll.”
Lyrics tell the story about how Coverdale and Hughes ended up in Deep Purple. Talks about people who laughed behind their backs when they talked of joining the band.
Single released three days before the album on Feb 12, 1974. Did not chart
B-side was “Coronarias Redig”
First UK single since “Never Before”
Riff reminiscent of Woman From Tokyo
No guitar solo! So the last 2 out of three DP tracks have no guitar solo!
Steve Pilkington says in his book on Track Deep Purple and Rainbow:
This lyric is the first example of what would become something of a Coverdale trademark of the ‘drifter without a home and needing no friend’ song. There would be many variations on the theme over the years.
Coverdale says this song was influenced by “Chest Fever” by The Band.
Ian Paice is just doing a drum solo the entire song.
Coverdale says this was how he was broken into the band and this was one of the first lyrics he’d ever written.
Sail Away (Blackmore, Coverdale)
Wanted to release this as a single but record company said “Might Just Take Your Life” was more commercial.
Starts with backwards cymbal.
Shows the direction Blackmore was looking to go.
Talks about “getting old.”
Tune Ritchie had been holding back from the Mark 2 lineup.
Verse lyrics were changed in the studio.
David holds it up as a sign of them going into a more funk/rock direction.
David did it in a lower register but didn’t think it sounded right. Jon and Ritchie convinced him that it sounded great.
Blackmore’s solo is using a Synthi Hi-Fi guitar synthisizer with slide on the fade out.
You Fool No One
Paice came up with the drum pattern.
Ian Paice was dripping with sweat after four takes and reportedly upset that others in the band weren’t keeping up. He threatened to walk out and they got it on the next take.
Successor to “The Mule” in the live set.
Coverdale/Hughes together on verse, trade choruses.
This was a long jam number live going 15 minutes.
What’s Goin’ on Here
Hughes describes this as something they put together in the studio as a throwaway bit of fun.
Jon on piano.
Steve Pilkington says: “Lord is also clearly having a good time but, with his rather unfortunate barrelhouse honky-tonk piano solo, that enjoyment fails to extend to the listener.”
Mistreated (Blackmore, Coverdale)
Hughes announced this song live as a song Ritchie had written a couple of years ago. Another that he held back from the Mark 2 lineup though it was considered for “Who Do We Think We Are.”
Only track where Coverdale sings alone.
Recorded from 11pm to 7:30am.
At first playbacks Coverdale thought it was terrible. It was so bad that he sat down and cried because he wanted it to be good.
The next night they had another session and nailed it on the second take.
Coverdale: “It’s like a progressive blues. I wasn’t raised in a shack by the railroad tracks but I’ve still had emotional hassles and that’s the only kind of blues I can interpret. I tried very hard because I knew it was essential to get the strong emotive quality the song needs. The thing I wanted was for somebody who was listening to the song to thing ‘I know what he’s talking about’ and the feeling, then the song would be worth it. It’s essentially a physical feeling. The reason it didn’t come off straight away was simply that I was trying too hard.”
Longest track on the album.
Coverdale and Hughes were very proud of their multi-tracked harmonies at the end of the song. When Blackmore showed up he said, “You can’t hear the guitar solo for the voices…”
Coverdale said you could hear a pin drop after the volumes were lowered.
This would be played by Rainbow, Dio, Whitesnake, Glenn Hughes,
Coverdale and Hughes spent all night crafting vocal harmonies in the studio only to have Blackmore come in the next morning and say they were overpowering the guitar and lower them all in the mix.
‘A’ 200 (Blackmore, Lord, Paice)
Originally titled “Touching Cloth.”
Written in the studio.
First time an eighth track would appear on a Deep Purple album in years.
A 200 was the name of a cream used to treat crabs and apparently the band was familiar with this particular ointment.
Reception and Review
There are only three dates on the reels, 11/8, 11/12, 11/14. Was this completed in only three sessions?
They recorded for two weeks before returning home. Album was mixed at Kingsway Recorders which was a studio owned by Ian Gillan.
Martin Birch did the mix and reportedly Ian Paice to his side watching the drum levels. All others were coming and going.
Glenn: “It was too basic rock for me. I wasn’t into that kind of material. I had to work with Jon and Ritchie to really get into that kind of music.”
Lord: “It had been worked on in rehearsal and thought out beforehand instead of albums where we just jammed in the studio until a song arrived. The only track where that happened was the instrumental and that was only because I wanted to use a synthesizer.”
Album was released on 2/15/74. Was almost late because of a worldwide shortage of vinyl. What??
Album hit #3 in the UK, #9 in the US and #1 in 4 European countries.
Mostly positive reviews. Two standout bad reviews:
Deep Purple’s first album since last year’s departure of vocalist Ian Gillan and bassist/composer Roger Glover is a passable but disappointing effort. On Burn, new lead singer David Coverdale sounds suitably histrionic, like Free’s brilliant Paul Rodgers (rumored to have been Purple’s first replacement choice). But the new material is largely drab and ordinary, without the runaway locomotive power of the group’s best work.
The title track is a notable exception, attractively energetic, with appropriately speedy instrumental breaks. And “Sail Away” is a Free-like mesmerizer. “Mistreated” again sounds like that lamentedly extinct group, but is flaccidly lengthy (7:25).
They fill out the LP with the relentlessly mediocre single “Might Just Take Your Life,” the stodgy blues-rocker “What’s Goin’ On Here,” the commonplace Cream-like funk riffs and harmonies of “You Fool No One,” and with a tedious Moog/bolero instrumental retread applying the coup de grace. Much of the LP is skillfully wrought and likable, and the new line-up has potential. But the Gillan/Glover spark that created “Highway Star” and other memorable Purple smokers is regrettably absent.
This Week in Purple History . . .
August 19 through August 25
August 19, 1945 – Ian Gillan is born
August 21, 1951 – Glenn Hughes is born
Glenn Hughes and Bob Hope for reference
August 25, 1970 – Concerto for Group and Orchestra was performed for the last time at the Hollywood Bowl
Recorded live at Club Lafayette in Wolverhampton, UK on Saturday, July 5th, 1969
Mel Galley guitar
Dave Holland drums
Glenn Hughes vocal, bass guitar
John Jones vocal
Terry Rowley guitar, keyboard
Lineup through their first album.
Second album “Medusa” stripped down
They were on a show on BBC 2 called Colour Me Pop. The morning after this aired they were contacted by George Martin to join The Beatles’ Apple label. The band opted not to join Apple because the direction George MArtin had in mind would have taken them in a different direction than they wanted to go.
Their first album “Trapeze” was released and played track-by-track on BBC Radio 1, something they’d only previously done for the Beatles.
They had huge success in the US.
Glenn talks in his book of the abundant drugs in this time period but how he stayed away and how he was scared of the drugs. He didn’t even like taking Tylenol.
The new three piece played 15 shows in 15 days and ended up in LA without money to get home. They wanted to play NY but they’d just played there so they set up a show in Houston so successful that they demanded a second night.
Playing Medusa one night John Bonham came up and took the sticks out of Dave Holland’s hands and played the song without stopping and it turned into a 15 minute long version.
Ritchie said he wanted to get a new bass player and singer and do more melodic content.
Gillan had given nine months notice but the band and management had done nothing until after Gillan left in June to look for a replacement. Maybe they didn’t believe he’d go through with it.
Jon Lord quoted as saying that their routine was “getting tired.”
Lord had also toyed with leaving the band at this point and wasn’t entirely happy with what they’d done to Glover. He’d also gotten offers to work on his Windows project with Eberhard Shoener.
Two singers were being entertained: Paul Rodgers and Glenn Hughes.
Paul Rodgers had a reputation of being a control freak and would likely have clashed with Blackmore. He wanted to start his own thing and formed Bad Company instead.
Rodgers was offered the job. He turned it down, allegedly not happy with it being leaked to the press that he was being offered the job.
Ritchie: “Jon is going to go with Tony Ashton and I said I’m off to make a rock band like Deep Purple and Paice is coming with me.”
Blackmore: “I wanted a new band. I didn’t want to get a new singer in and carry on where we’d left off.”
Roger took over as head of A&R at Purple Records and focused on production.
“I was writing about 80% of the stuff but the credit was being split up five ways. I got tired of not getting the respect. Then I decided that we were stagnating. I told Ian, the drummer, that I wasn’t happy with the way things were going. He didn’t want any trouble within the group, so he calmed me down most of the time but it gradually got out of hand, and I decided to leave and form my own band.”
Glenn Hughes in late 1972 played a few nights at the Whisky a Go Go and noticed Ritchie, Jon, and Paice in the audience, all separately on different nights. He thought they were just really big fans of Trapeze. Same thing again happened at the Marquis in London. He said, “I had a feeling they were there for another reason.”
They asked him to join and he said no. Eventually, after about a month, he changed his mind.
Ritchie invited Glenn to his house in South London where they jammed on what would eventually turn into “Mistreated” and talked about Ritchie’s vision for the band.
Glenn joined under the assumption he’d be replacing both Glover and Gillan. They debated moving forward as a four piece.
When they entered the band there were huge write ups about Deep Purple being the number 1 band in the world with a huge picture of the Mark 3 lineup.
Glenn Hughes talks about getting plaques, and watches and saying, “These should be Roger’s!” engraved for the sales of “Made in JApan.” Hughes: “It’s a bit embarrassing receiving a gift for something you didn’t play on.”
Roger was upset at this being taken away from him but didn’t hold it personally against Coverdale or Hughes.
Hughes claims Coverdale was the only one auditioned. Coletta said they auditioned multiple other people at Scorpio Sound. It could have been that they were auditioned before Hughes joined.
Coletta recalls that the people coming in to audition didn’t realize they were auditioning for Purple so it must’ve been a shock.
Sheila Hughes states in Hughes’ biography that he had also been courted by ELO and agonized over the decision before choosing Deep Purple. In “Smoke on the Water” Dave Thompson says that had turned down the gig in ELO previously.
Blackmore: “Glenn we saw at the Marquee, and Ian and Jon said we must have him, but we still needed another singer, a more masculine voice. I was off to form a band with Ian Paice, I thought it would be an adventure, but Ian Paice said it would be silly to abandon all our efforts. Probably in three years the band will have a reshuffle again; maybe David and Glenn will be getting in new members!
Blackmore: “I could put Ian down, but I don’t think I want to get into that, because he’s never put any of the band down. I thought Ian was a very good vocalist and he had a great face and image. He got a lot of people interested in Deep Purple. But then his vocals began not to do anything to me. I used to say, ‘I think that vocal is a load of shit’ and this is why Ian and I fell out. I wasn’t quite satisfied. The band was always a bit poppy. It was quite nice but it was too poppy.
They went through many demo tapes including a lot of Gillan impersonators and even a fifteen year old with no experience who was looking to start big. Who they would up with wouldn’t be too far off.
They were so desperate at one point they considered being a four piece with Hughes oas the lone vocalist.
Coverdale had supported Deep purple on 11/22/1969 at Bradford University and had given Lord his number. In 1973 he was an unknown 21 year old (meaning he was 17 when he supported Purple??) It was here that Coverdale gave Lord his
He was working at a “Stride In Style” clothes shop in Redcar. Coverdale read the Melody Maker advertisement during his lunch break and decided to audition.
Roger Barker, a local promoter for the Redcar Jazz Club where Purple had played, helped him send off his application and demo tape. Coverdale didn’t have any pictures so he got a picture from his mother of him dressed in his Boy Scout Uniform.
Coverdale’s demo featured his band, The Fabulosa Brothers, playing funk rock covers and recorded at Strawberry Studios in Stockport.
Ian Paice from “Smoke on the Water”: “David’s tape was rubbish except for four bars where he actually sung really hard and I thought there was something in his voice that was really good, so I said let’s get him down here. He had these incredibly awful glasses on and this strange, not quite straight hair, and he had an eye that wandered around. I’m sure it was a nervous thing and he was massively overweight but we got him in the studio and he sang very well. But part of the deal was, if you are going to come into the band, you’ve got to look a bit different to that, because he looked exactly what he was, a chap from a clothing store who really didn’t give a toss about himself. He agreed to everything because he wanted in and became the glorious David Coverdale that everybody knows and loves today.”
Coletta: “He was very overweight with pimples all over the place. We got his eyes fixed, put him on a diet, and gave him the right food to eat.”
They gave him contact lenses “diet pills.” Rob Cooksey, their road manager, says: “He was wired out all the time when they made the album but he weathered the problem because he is a such a strong personality.”
A few days later Barker received a call to bring David Coverdale to London for an audition at Scorpio Sound Studios.
Coverdale says he arrived with some “Dutch Courage” inside him meaning Bells Whisky. There he met Jon and Ian:
“Paicey and Lordy were already at the studio when I arrived. Mr. Lord was exceptionally charming and welcoming, doing his best to put me at ease…whilst Ian messed around on his Ludwig drum kit. Ritchie arrived next with his then wife, Babs, and their two wolfhounds whom Ritchie obviously doted on. He completely ignored me, other than a quick surreptitious look to check me out…a brief nod when we made eye contact. Without missing a beat I was off to the whisky for a quick, nervous sip…er…make that a gulp!”
He felt very self conscious about his looks and borrowed clothes from the boutique back home. Coverdale says he felt more at ease when Glenn arrived.
They jammed with Coverdale improvising. Coverdale said that he’d learned “Strange Kind of Woman” which they played slow and bluesy (would love to hear this).
Blackmore: “Ok, you can sing rock, let’s see what you can do with a ballad…anything you want to sing?”
Coverdale suggested “Yesterday.” He says this is what got him the gig.
Coverdale met with John Coletta who Coverdale says “interrogated” him about if he had any criminal convictions or an “unsavory past” that could embarrass the band. He passed the test and Coletta gave him 50 to get a new haircut and some better clothes.
Ian Paice drove Coverdale to the train and Coverdale used the money to buy himself a first class ticket on the train.
Coverdale didn’t hear anything for a week before he got the call from Tony Edwards to come back to London.
When he met with management they told him he’d be paid 80 a week to sign the contract.
Coverdale said he was earning almost this from working at the clothing store. They then told him that 80 was for him and that everything else (clothes, equipment, living expenses, travel) would be paid by the band. On top of that he would be a one-fifth member of the band.
Coverdale said he’d take the contract to look it over and Coletta lost his mind saying that he could get Mick Jagger if he wanted to and that he needed to sign it or he’d be out.
Coverdale was intimidated and scared and signed a ten year deal.
Coverdale confided in Jon Lord years later about this meeting and Jon Lord was furious and told him he never should have signed.
Coverdale was invited to Blackmore’s house for a writing session.
Blackmore wanted to pursue a solo career and only agreed to stay in Purple for more creative control.
Coverdale returned home with a cassette tape of Blackmore’s music and began writing lyrics.
The band then met at Clearwell Castle in Glouscestershire and set up a studio in the cellars.
Coverdale was extremely nervous and Lord jammed Beatles tunes with him to get him warmed up.
According to Coverdale the songs were put together with input form Lord, Paice, and Hughes but they all deferred to Blackmore for the final decision.
Coverdale was in disbelief:
“What a band. What an unbelievable, powerful collective this was. It was easy for me, as the singer, to stand back and watch and listen… and it was incredible! I couldn’t believe my luck in being involved with this enterprise. Please… if this is a dream… don’t let me wake up!”
The band flew to Hamburg and checked into the Atlantic Hotel for a long weekend off from rehearsals.
While at the clubs Blackmore told Coverdale to watch what tempos the girls were dancing to the most and to apply it to his songwriting:
Coverdale: “I learned an immense amount from him [Blackmore].”
At the castle the new band was announced to the world. The press was invited and all of them asked questions similar to “who is this guy?” The band was very supportive.
Blackmore, on new lineup: “You could say a Beatles feel with a hard rock backing in the basic thing. We expect a vocalist to take on the part of a lead instrument . . . Who knows? After th eLP I might be saying he’s [Coverdale] a shitty vocalist as well. I’m not going to say he’s the best vocalist int he world but when we heard him we thought, “Christ he’s good” . . . There are now two other guys involved so it makes it more or less a new band to me. IT’s not Deep Purple anymore although it’s still the same name. Really, it’s a completely different band.”
This Week in Purple History . . .
August 12 through August 18
August 15, 1950 – Tommy Aldridge is Born
August 15 & 16, 1972 – Made in Japan Live Performances
In “The Road of Golden Dust” Jerry Bloom lays a little more blame at the feet of Ian Gillan for the break of of Mark 2. In the book he states that Gillan insisted on traveling with his girlfriend, Zoe Dean. The rest of the band were enjoying all the stereotypical perks of the 70s rock star including many, many groupies. Zoe reportedly would phone the wives and girlfriends of the other band members and report in on what was going on in the road.
Jon Lord said to Mike Eriksson (trinkelbonker!) in 1981: “Ian was a primadonna. On stage he played a primadonna and offstage he was a primadonna.”
Gillan soon felt isolated from the band and began traveling separately.
One source says this was because the band gave Gillan an ultimatum of leaving Dean at home or traveling separately. This hasn’t been corroborated by anyone in the band but the rumor is out there.
Ian Hansford, roadie for Elf, says during a song one night Ritchie took his guitar off, threw it on the stage and walked off after Ian Gillan told him, “Look at me you c-word.” Blackmore told Hansford that he’d had it with Gillan
Gillan had started working on his Cherkazoo project on the side but the tour schedule gave him little time. He’d gotten in the studio with Glover, Lord, and Fenwick and completed some songs. Gillan also worked on producing an album by the band Jerusalem. That band broke up and members formed another band called Pussy which Gillan also produced.
He’d been in talks with Disney to develop a movie with Cherkazoo which he described as a “an animal/space/musical travelogue fantasy”
Back with Deep Purple Glover had the job of serving as a liaison between Gillan and Blackmore.
Blackmore claims he never spoke to Gillan during the entire recording of Who Do We Think We Are. Blackmore said he started holding back, not sharing all his ideas as he was saving them for a potential future project such as Baby Face.
Martin Birch says he never saw any confrontation, just Gillan and Blackmore purposefully avoiding each other.
Blackmore said everyone gave their worst and called the album rubbish.
Glover was much more positive on the final result.
The record label was starting to cash in and released “Purple Passages” compilation album around this time. It included 4 tracks from the “Deep Purple” album which was out of print at this time. This was good for Rod Evans giving him probably better royalties than he’d made with Purple in the 60s.
Album Art & Booklet Review
Album art removed the bubble of text. Simon Robinson: “The cover was in attempt, using an image from a NASA satellite, to have the heads of the five band members floating above the landscape. It was only partially successful and was altered for the US And Canadian version in an attempt to improve on the effect. Any subtlety they did manage with the complex overlaid color transparencies was lost by the cheap looking title lettering (which we’ve omitted on this edition).”
Album Details and Analysis:
Woman From Tokyo (‘99 Remix)
Woman From Tokyo (Alt. Bridge Version)
Painted Horse (Studio Outtake Version)
The sessions on produced two songs, Woman From Tokyo and “Painted Horse” which Ritchie hated and would not allow on the album.
Allegedly only Jon Lord may have been happy with the vocal performance and Gillan refused to redo it.
Each verse about death in a different form, a child, a carpenter, the narrator himself.
It wasn’t released until 1977 on the “New Live and Rare” compilation.
Gillan refused to do a second take, unhappy about having to redo the Machine Head formula.
Their process was to work in vocals later after recording music. This process didn’t work here because when Blackmore heard the vocals he didn’t like them and Gillan refused to do it again because of their relationship.
Our Lady (’99 Remix)
Rat Bat Blue (Writing Session Version)
Shows Ritchie’s guitar solos being worked out before ultimately handing all the solo over to Lord.
Rat Bat Blue (‘99 Remix)
First Day Jam (Instrumental Version)
First day was a write off. Roger got stuck in traffic in Rome and they recorded this instrumental with Blackmore on bass.
“Smelly Botty” and Conway Twitty’s “It’s Only Make Believe” were nixed by Lord for the special edition as he thought they would be a little distracting.
Reception and Review
Lord: “Ian’s timing of leaving was terrible. The band was just on the edge of becoming absolutely massive. And indeed Burn as an album actually did take advantage of that. IT was a tremendously good album.”
In 1973 they had 11 different entries in the billboard charts – when Ian Gillan left. #1 selling artist in the US.
John Lord in Melody Maker told Michael Watts on the last day of their US tour before flying to Hawaii then Japan.
“He told us nine or ten months ago that he wanted to leave this summer,” said Lord. “He feels he wants out of the business entirely. What do you call it? Re-evaluating? He may sing some more: in fact, knowing Ian as I do, I don’t think he can give it up completely.” Lord said that when the group returns to England they are to re-examine and re-evaluate their music.
“We want to get into regular rehearsing rather than just playing together to make an album which is what we have been doing during the last eighteen months.
“The only moves forward have come when we have gone to sound checks in the afternoons before gigs and sorted a few things together.
“I would like Deep Purple to develop into a freer group. We are a very tense band and orgasmic solos are our trademark. We actually want to become more vocal.”
Gillan: “We had just come off 18 months of touring, and we’d all had major illnesses at one time or another. Looking back, if they’d have been decent managers, they would have said, ‘All right, stop. I want you to all go on three months’ holiday. I don’t even want you to pick up an instrument.’ But instead they pushed us to complete the album on time. We should have stopped. I think if we did, Deep Purple would have still been around to this day.”
Ian Paice was going back and forth between leaving with Blackmore to form a new band and staying. The money rolling in with Purple convinced him to stay and convince Blackmore of the same.
Ronnie Jame Dio toured with Elf and DP for their last tour with Gillan. He said: “ Ian would stay in a different hotel to the rest of the band; he’d turn up at the gigs in a car, two or three minutes before the gig started, go onstage and do his bit, then as soon as it was over, he’d go back to his hotel again. We couldn’t understand that. This isn’t how bands should be! For me that was the most unusual thing that ever happened on the purple tours, seeing a side of things that I just didn’t know existed. I thought bands got on really well and stayed together forever. Boy, have I learned that lesson well over the years.”
A year later in Japan things weren’t as great for the band. One of their last shows at the Budokan ended with a riot after Ritchie walked off stage and refused to do an encore. The famous image of the chairs piled up and the place destroyed is from that show. Gillan got in a fight and was bloody and confronted Blackmore back at the hotel asking what the F that was all about. Blackmore reportedly said: “The audience sucked. They didn’t deserve an encore so F ‘em.”
On December 9th 1972 Gillan wrote a letter after a show in Dayton OH on stationery from the hotel they were staying at that he would be leaving the band after their tour obligations were complete on June 30, 1973.
He used the paper from the hotel which had printed on the top: Where every guest is king!”
Thank you for your telegram. Perhaps in my letter to you, the word ‘affiliations’ misled you. I must now make it clear that my doubts lie in the direction of my own desires to perform as an artist. I am so depressed with my occupation at the moment, as well as the circumstances and attitudes I have to work with that I felt it very necessary to put on record my intentions to leave the group on 30th June 1973. This decision is not impulsive, but is made after at least six months of thought.
I am certainly not considering moving to any other companies for management, etc. It is quite simply that if, after three months complete break I decide to continue in this business, I shall find a new way of expressing my ideas, or at least a more varied way. I suppose I could sum up by saying that I think D.P. has become a boring, stagnant machine, far removed from the refreshing, innovative group it once was. I think this was inevitable and that we should ‘quit while we’re ahead’.
Another advantage to deciding upon a date at least six months in advance is that nobody will be able to take an unfair advantage of the situation. You must admit that this is almost a probability, were matters allowed to follow an unguided course.
I have already formulated a basic pattern for the future and I shall obviously make you aware of my intentions when I reach London.
This would have been just about the time “Made in Japan” was released.
Ian Gillan writes in “Child in Time” that neither John or Tony asked him to reconsider or told him to take a break and think it over. He speculates that had he and Ritchie and the rest of the band simply had some time off instead of being worked like dogs that perhaps their relationship could have improved.
The next incarnation of Mark 2 shows this may not have been the case.
He admits he didn’t want to leave. The letter was a cry for help but no one was listening.
Ian Gillan decided that the band had gone as far as it could with that kind of rock. There was too much talent in the band for it to remain static. Felt band was losing integrity.
Ian wrote a letter stating he would leave on June 30th, 1973.
Jon Lord said this was a cry for help that management didn’t understand. It broke his heart.
They thought it would be Ritchie who would leave as he was toying around with a band with Phil Lynott.
Management had meeting Tony Edwards, John Coletta summoned Jon and Roger to restaurant and asked if they could convince Paice to stay and get a new guitarist and new vocalist and stay.
Management asked Blackmore what it would take for him to stay. Ritchie said he wasn’t into what Roger was doing but it wasn’t fair to him because he’s done nothing wrong.
Paice says he was just a kid, partying and living day to day, not worrying about what would happen next. He left that to Ritchie and Jon.
In early 1973 they agreed to fire Roger if Ritchie would stay. Ritchie felt awkward saying he’d rather leave and start something new.
Roger went to Tony Edwards to find out what was going on. Felt like no one was talking to him. Tony finally gave in and told him they wanted him to leave the band. Ritchie said he’d stay on the condition that Roger leaves. Roger says, “Pretty hurtful thing to hear.”
Roger asked why no one told him before. Tony said because they wanted to finish the tour and they didn’t want him leaving in the middle. Glover said, “F them, I’ll be the gentleman, I’ll fulfill my duties and then I’ll be gone.”
Roger sat next to Jon on the flight and Jon said he felt bad for what had happened. Roger said he felt more let down by Jon and Paice more than Ritchie.
On the final night Ritchie said to Glover, “It’s nothing personal, it’s business.”
Blackmore was really starting to withdraw and become more remote from the band.
Roger Glover: “It had gotten to the point where Ritchie wasn’t interested in doing anybody else’s ideas. I remember in particular coming up with a chord sequence which I thought would be an interesting idea for a song. I’d written this out on a piece of paper – four or five chords or whatever, nothing much, and a certain rhythm. I said to Paicey: ‘Start this rhythm, about this time.’ Jon started playing. I started playing. But Ritchie just looked over my shoulder at this piece of paper and didn’t put his fingers on the strings even once – so the jam quickly fizzled out. “Instead, he started playing another riff. It may have been Mary Long or perhaps another one – something mid-tempo – as a lot of his riffs were starting to sound the same, nearly all variations in G…”
Gillan’s Last words in Osaka. June 29, 1973: “All I want to say to all of you is thank you very much, you’ve been great. Thank you for everything you’ve given us in Japan and thank you . . . really you’re the representatives of the whole world as far as we’re concerned. Thank you and God bless you for everything you’ve ever given us. This is the last night. The end. God bless you. Thanks a lot. Good night.”
Still fresh from the success of the studio album “NOW What?!”, and just a few months before the release of the latest and equally successful album “inFinite”, Ian Gillan accepted the offer to tour for a month in Eastern Europe with a full rock show, accompanied every night by a different local orchestra.
Gillan decided to recruit the Don Airey Band, which features the guitar talent of Simon McBride.
All shows were truly unique, with Airey and McBride delivering perfect performances night after night. Deep Purple material (including rarities like “Razzle Dazzle” or “Anya”) went hand in hand with Gillan solo songs and surprises for those into the deepest catalogue.
The title is a humorous reference to Ian Gillan’s notorious reticence to pay any attention to his own or Deep Purple live releases (as he explains in the album liner notes). This live album and video might well be one of the nicest chapters in Gillan’s solo production ever and a reminder about how great his solo music and concerts have been over the years.
Curiosity: The last Deep Purple album was named “Infinity” (which later turned into: “inFinite”) during the afternoon preceding the Warsaw show that ended up being immortalized for its CD release.
1. Hang Me Out To Dry
2. Pictures Of Home
3. No Lotion For That
4. Strange Kind Of Woman
5. Razzle Dazzle
6. A Day Late ‘N’ A Dollar Short
8. Rapture Of The Deep
9. When A Blind Man Cries
10. You’re Gonna Ruin Me Baby (with Grace Gillan)
11. Ain’t No More Cane On The Brazos
12. Difficult To Cure (Beethoven’s Ninth)
14. Perfect Strangers
15. Hell To Pay
16. Demon’s Eye
17. Smoke On The Water
19. Black Night
This Week in Purple History . . .
August 5 through August 11
August 8, 1942 – John Gustafson is born
August 8, 1980 – Gillan releases Glory road, their third album
August 7, 2002 – Ian Paice releases instructional video “Not For The Pros”
They began recording in July of 1972 just a month before performing “Made in Japan.” Only Woman From Tokyo would make the album. They completed the album upon returning from Japan in October.
Woman From Tokyo was written before they’d ever been to Japan.
In the US they were more interested in the next studio album.
They recorded Who Do We Think We Are but since Made in Japan was “The ‘Machine Head Album’ they decided to release that first (in December) while Who do we think we are was released a month later in January of 1973.
Eventually Warner Bros. released it internationally because Deep Purple’s management was importing copies into the United States and they were losing out on not releasing it.
The band flew to the States four times in the first six months of 1972 as well as doing European dates. Almost everyone in the band had suffered from fatigue and serious illnesses.
When they stopped touring in July to begin recording they rented a villa near Rome.
Roger Glover says they had a supply of good cheap local red wine and hundreds of bottles were delivered at the start of recording.
The villa had a living room, dining room, five or six bedrooms, a patio, a swimming pool. They recorded in what Glover called “the feasting room.”
The first problem was that the mobile wouldn’t fit through the archway to the villa so they had to go out and buy extra long cables.
They had to walk a third of a mile to listen to the takes.
The equipment was all late so the first day was spent drinking wine. There was an old piano in the room that they used to have a singalong.
The first night there Glover writes about the cook bringing in the meal: “As evening fell, the cook, a dentally challenged woman who would soon be known affectionately as Fang, served the pasta and we all continued dipping into the copious supply of wine and grappa, confident that we were in good shape and that when the gear eventually arrived we would have a lot of fun making this album.”
They spent three weeks doing not much other than playing cards, drinking wine, swimming in the pool, and eating meals prepared by Fang.
Blackmore refused to stay in the house with the others and often didn’t come to the sessions at all.
Gillan: “I remember the joys of the local red wine, the underwater swimming championships in the pool and the eternal frustrations of trying to perform as a band while 20 per cent short in number…”
The sessions on produced two songs, “Woman From Tokyo” and “Painted Horse” which Ritchie hated and would not allow on the album.
Gillan write in “Child in Time” about a third song “Smelly Botty.” This was supposedly sung by Jon Lord.
Ian Gillan also did a cover of Conway Twitty’s “Its Only Make Believe.” with the band singing backup vocals.
Blackmore was trying to recruit Paul Rodgers to replace Gillan and trying to launch Baby Face who had done some demos. There were even rumors that Blackmore was trying to get Rodgers to front Baby Face.
Thin Lizzy would release a Deep Purple tribute album in 1972.
Glover, in an interview with Steve Pilkington, quoted Paul McCartney’s line about the album “Let it Be.” “It was 90% enjoyable but everyone wanted to focus on the 10%.”
Glover: “That’s how it was with Ritchie — a lot of the time it was fine, we had a great time, and it was a really good dynamic, it wasn’t these constant arguments that people imagine. The thing with Ritchie though is that while he’s a great, gifted musician, he’s not a natural team player.
Glover talks about starting up a riff and they’d all join in and say let’s do it but Ritchie would say he was saving that for his solo album.
I wonder if any of that was stuff that ended up on Burn.
Italian journalists showed up and saw Glover, Lord and Gillan set up to record in one room with Blackmore and Paice in a garage. There were fights that were witnessed and one Italian paper wrote, “if Deep Purple are always like this, a split cannot be far away.”
Album Art & Booklet Review
Title of the album. Ian Paice said: “Deep Purple get piles of passionate letters either violently against or pro the group. The angry ones generally start off “Who do Deep Purple think they are…”
Another such letter was criticizing Paice for kicking over his drums at the end of a performance. Ian said: “I bought it so I’ll bloody well boot it!”
Cover designed by Roger Glover with John Coletta. Photography is by Fin Costello.
Cover described as a “stormy sky” which is fitting given the state of the band.
It’s actually an image from a NASA satellite that was used.
Original idea for the cover was cardboard cutouts of all the band members propped up like mannequins as if fame and fortune had somehow turned them into “merely images.”
Roger said he didn’t care for the cover design they wound up with.
Gatefold of album features news clippings about the band to keep with the theme of the album title.
Ad to promote the album ran in Melody Maker on February 17, 1973. There were also teaser ads throughout the magazine. The record company seemed to be making more of an effort to promote the album. Theory is that they knew Deep Purple was doomed and they wanted to make sure they got the maximum back on their investment.
Album Details and Analysis:
Album was more of a turn to blues-based music.
It took longer to record because they had to arrange schedules to record parts when certain band members weren’t present.
Woman From Tokyo
Gillan heard the guitar and sang “TO-KY-O!” to match and he and Glover finished the rest of the lyrics imagining what it would be like on their upcoming trip to Japan. An imaginary love affair with a woman in Tokyo that Ian and Roger hoped they would meet.
Glover states: “The lyrics spoke authoritatively about something we knew very little about at that time.”
Only song on the album recorded at the villa in Italy.
Written in advance of going to Japan (where they recorded Made in Japan) though many people think it was inspired by their trip to Japan as this album came out after Made in Japan.
Refers back to another song, “Black Night”
Single was a hit. Achieved gold status faster than any previous single in the US (three months). Was not released in the UK. It was scheduled for release but was never released.
They never played it in Japan. They never played it live until Deep Purple reformed in the 80s.
Was their most well known song off this album.
Song cost £8000 for the whole session, as much as the entire Machine Head album.
This song was in their live set which is odd given the absence of “Woman From Tokyo.”
Was recorded in October using the mobile unit near Frankfurt.
Combination of names: Mary Whitehouse and Lord Longford.
Glover said they got the newspaper delivered at the studio:
“We had English papers delivered at the studio so we kept up with the news and those were the two people that got up our noses. It seemed that it was all getting much too pro-censorship and pro-do-gooder.”
Whitehouse’s pregnancy was announced in the newspapers. Glover: “Ian Came up with a great line: ‘We really didn’t know you’d had it in you’ — ever the master of the double-entendre!”
English social activist who felt that the liberal media had encouraged the youth of Britain to be more sexually promiscuous.
Founder and president of the NAtional Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association.
Opposed feminism, gay rights, and the sexual revolution.
She was against Doctor Who, Benny Hill, and the series “Till Death Do Us Part” A particular favorite of Ian Gillan’s. “Mary told Johnny not to write such trash . . .” reference to Johnny Speight, the creator of the show.
He was instrumental in decriminalizing homosexuality in the UK but later became a staunch opponent of homoosexuality calling it “utterly wrongful.”
He was kind of incompetent, being moved around from one position to another by his own party.
Labor Prime Minister Harold Wilson said that Longford had the “mental capacity of a 12-year old.”
He was discovered attending strip clubs thus the “porny lord” reference and claims of hypocrisy as he was very vocally speaking out against all forms of adult entertainment.
Gillan recalls: “Mary Whitehouse and Lord Longford were particularly high-profile figures at the time with very waggy-waggy finger attitudes. On reflection, it’s a little bit unfair because the generation before – in the post-war period – were extremely generous to us. But it’s just natural to rebel.
“Mary Long grew out of the whole idea of dealing with an imaginary person. It was about the standards of the older generation, the whole moral framework, intellectual vandalism – all of the things that exist throughout the generations.
“I had a lot of issues with the religion that I grew up with, but as I found out later, those issues exist in all religions, so Mary Whitehouse and Lord Longford became one person – fusing together – to represent the hypocrisy that I saw at the time.
“So there I was slinging names about and accusing them of all sorts of things – dastardly deeds and vile occurrences! The idea was that we are young, we are naked and therefore we are truthful. I never met a 20-year-old who didn’t think they were immortal and didn’t lack an opinion on everything – it was that sort of time.”
This is the only song from the album the band performed live. The band projected pornographic images to convey the message of the song. This was only played live for about two dozen shows.
Even Blackmore said this was one of the best tracks on the album.
A Deep Purple song under 3 minutes!
Titled after the name of the big spotlights used at the time.
Glover had been thinking of Freddie King’s song ‘Going Down’ when he wrote the riff.
“I was a young man when I died.” Inspired by deaths of Jimi Hendrix and other rockers at a young age.
Gillan: “I admit taking my anger out on Ritchie in particular, and did so in the only way I knew best – hidden in the lyrics. ‘Smooth Dancer’ is an example of this, with frequent references to black suede, his favourite clothing. Unfortunately, I don’t think he saw the subtlety, which made me even more angry!”
Black suede is a reference to Ritchie’s “man in black” persona.
References Blackmore’s attempts to force Ian out. Ian declares that instead he’s going to “Walk to freedom.”
It’s actually a pretty touching song when you read the lyrics. Both angry and sad.
Glover: “It’s illuminating to read those lyrics and realise what was going through Ian’s mind. He wasn’t going to take what Ritchie was handing out but at the same time he wanted to be friends with him again.”
Rat Bat Blue
Reportedly about Gillan’s misogynistic tendency to “use and discard” groupies.
Organ/key solo is a stand out.
The title of the song may be from the name Ian Paice gave a drum fill that he used to warm up. The words “Rat Bat Bat Bat Blue” match the hits on the snare drum.
Glover’s favorite track of the album. Glover: “About picking up a loose chick for the night.”
Refers back to “Hard Loving Man.”
Roger Glover says Ritchie was bored with their normal solo structure and just gave the solo to Jon.
Place in Line
Straight blues number.
About the rat race of the music business.
“Nine long years” could be his reference to the music business and his desire to leave.
Inspired by a concept in a sci-fi novel which Glover read and passed to Gillan. It’s about the repetitive life they lead at the time.
Heard it compared to “I Am The Walrus.”
No guitar solo.
Ian Paice believed and was quoted as saying the band was “finding it harder to come up with killer riffs.”
Blackmore came up with the title for this song after walking by a church of the same name.
Lord: ““Our Lady might be quite surprising, for a start it’s very slow and concentrates more on the tune and the lyrics and there are no solos. It’s just a song, which is not normally the way Deep Purple seems to work.”
Reception and Review
Ian Paice viewed the album as the band moving forward: “there’s more melody and more electronic effects without losing any of the guts.
Lord was also happy: “If you don’t do what they expect people cry ‘cheat’ and if you do what they expect they should ‘formula; at you. There’s obviously a nice middle passage between those two and that’s what we’ve tried to get on this album.”
Glover tells a story of The Wasp being a karate student. He was practicing his punch when Ian Gillan decided he’d show Martin how much harder he could punch. He ended up breaking his hand. They had to re-break it and set it in a cast and to this day he has no knuckle on the little finger of his right hand which Glover describes as “an odd legacy of the album.”
Now if I really wanted to get picky, I could point to the “join the crowd” moog solo on “Rat Bat Blue.” What a cliched instrument the synthesizer has turned out to be — even boogie monsters like TYA’s Chick Churchill are playing around with it. And speaking of Churchill, Lord manages to sound just like him on the Purple blooze, otherwise known as “Place In Line.” It’s sorta like a sound sleep imitating a coma. And then (then) there’s “Smooth Dancer,” where they rhyme “dancing” with “pregnancy” in a chauvinistic power play that curdled every drop of Women’s Lib blood in my veins.
Well, at least “Super Trouper” ain’t half bad, but how can you possibly fault a song with such a nifty title? For that matter, how can you slam a group that makes an album like In Rock? It’s easy when their three follow-ups get you wondering if it’s the same group — real easy.
Talks about remastering “Slide it In” 35th anniversary edition
“What was the most amazing thing for me, was while we were remixing this in the studio, I felt the presence of [guitarist] Mel Galley, [drummer] Cozy Powell and [keyboardist] Jon Lord,” he recalls. “Half the band that made that record have passed away.”
“Chris turned ’round to me, he said, ‘Are you okay?’ I said, ‘My God, I can so feel their energy in here.’ And he goes, ‘Oh my God, I hope it’s positive.’ I went, ‘Oh, it’s absolutely positive.’ And I just felt them — I could see them standing here, behind us, like, hands on his shoulders and my shoulders as we were mixing. Hearing the individual performances, like from 24-track analog transfers to digital … hearing Jon Lord’s sound on its own, and then hearing Cozy Powell’s immense drum sound — …. It was wonderful. It was touching. It was rewarding. It just made the project fresh and exciting for me.”
This Week in Purple History . . .
July 29 through August 4
August 1, 1951 – Tommy Bolin is Born
August 2, 1951 – Joe Lynn Turner is born
August 3, 1975 – Deep Purple begin recording Come Taste The Band
August 1, 1977 – Captain Beyond release their third and final album “Dawn Explosion” without Rod Evans. They tried to contact him but couldn’t find him. Willy Daffern replaced him. Was in a band called “Hunger.”
Audio/Video issue on last episode – the one time there’s no copyright issues!
Lead Up To Album & Writing:
Machine Head original concept was to be a studio album, with a live performance after.
Machine head was a hit but it wasn’t really until “Made in Japan” came out that people really registered it.
Was supposed to be a Japan only release initially.
The band didn’t like the idea of live albums. Agreed on condition it would only come out in Japan.
H-Bomb bootleg being sold illegally. This was a bootleg of a show they did on July 11, 1970 in Aachen, Germany. Virgin Records. Richard Branson. This was later released in 2001 as Space Vol 1 & 2. 20 minute wring your neck, 33 minute Mandrake Root.
Deep Purple had been heavily bootlegged for years.
Live albums were thought to be budget albums.
Glover (in Sounds magazine): “There are so many bootlegs of us going around, if we put out our own live set, it should kill their market.”
Japanese record company wanted to record it and the band kept saying no.
Finally they agreed to do it under certain conditions:
It only comes out in Japan.
It doesn’t come out at all if they don’t like it.
They mix it and record it with their own engineer.
Enter “The Wasp” Birch!
Control room was backstage, no eye contact with the band.
In the United States “Made in Japan” was a huge hit and introduced a lot of the US to their hits.
Ritchie and Ian weren’t getting along offstage but on stage the chemistry was great.
It was truly live, no overdubs which was a big deal as there is controversy over other live albums.
They recorded three shows (Osaka on August 15 & 16, Tokyo on August 17) and selected from them.
Interplay between Ritchie and Gillan was something you didn’t see on the records that had developed in their live show.
Jon, Roger, speak about this being the peak of their abilities and their best moments.
When they got back to England they listened to the tapes and were really impressed and decided they’d like to put it out.
In the US they were more interested in the next studio album.
Album Art & Booklet Review
Title was a joke – if something was made in Japan it was thought to be second rate.
Scene between Marty and Doc from “Back to the Future III.”
Cover was designed by Glover. Featured a color photo of the band. With the famous font.
Japanese release featured an overhead shot of the band at the Rainbow in London.
Phil Collen of Def Leppard was at the show and can be seen on the album cover.
Album Details and Analysis:
Recorded three nights, August 15 in Osaka (band was jetlagged thought to be the least impressive of the three nights)
August 16 in Osaka where the bulk of the album is from.
August 17 in Tokyo which was a good performance but was thought to have inferior sound quality.
Osaka – August 16
Child in Time
Osaka – August 16
“You’re only about four foot six, but don’t worry about it. There’s always somebody smaller than you.”
Suggestions that this remark was a reference to Ronnie James Dio as Elf would have been opening for Deep Purple at this time.
Smoke on the Water
Osaka – August 15
The August 16 recording’s opening riff was too crazy for the record company
Only track from that night
Blackmore’s improv opening.
Blackmore talks about how he originally wrote it with this really medieval style lick between the chords but the band didn’t like it so he went back to the chords. Sounding just like something out of Blackmore’s night. 95% sure Blackmore is pulling our legs with this.
Song extended about another minute.
Tokyo August 17
Only a minute and half of the main riff before going into drum solo.
Track preceded by Ian Gillan asking for a bit more volume in the monitor. Blackmore can be heard saying “everything louder than everything else.”
Strange Kind of Woman
Osaka August 16
Hearing Ritchie and Ian trade off, which they would do in later years as well.
Very long version at almost ten minutes
Tokyo August 17
Extended opening. Vocals don’t come in until about 6 minutes in.
Osaka August 16
20 minutes, four times longer than original
They’d perfected this with their 20-30 minute versions of Mandrake Root and Wring That Neck.
Blackmore throws in “Jupiter” from Holst’s the Planets.
Reception and Review
The album was an immediate success.
The band really didn’t give it much thought. Glover and Paice were the only two who showed up for the mixing sessions.
According to Martin Birch Gillan and Blackmore have never heard the finished album. (From “Smoke on the Water”)
Release was delayed in the US until April (January in the UK) because they didn’t want too much overlap with “Who Do We Think We Are”
Warner Bros released the Smoke on the Water single coupling it with the live recording.
Gillan was critical of his performance on the album (despite having never heard it?). Paice thought it captured the spirit of the band at the time.
Jon Lord says it’s his favorite Deep Purple Album: “The band was at the height of its powers. That album was the epitome of what we stood for in those days.”
The critics were very kind to the album as well.
Both versions of “Smoke on the Water” (live and album) were in the American top ten at the same time.
The album redefined Deep Purple and live albums in general.
Expanded edition released with performances not included on main album.
Rumors went around for years that the shows had been filmed. In 2009 they discovered an 8mm film of about 40 minutes from Tokyo that they were able to sync up to the music. This can be seen on the “Deep Purple – History, Hits, and Highlights” DVD.
Notes that there are hints of “Speed King” and “Hard Lovin’ Man” in this song.
Some speculate DP was playing this live and that Warpig stole it from them.
DP don’t exactly have a clean track record to support this.
Notes From The Field:
John’s Ace Frehley show review.
Lead Up To Album & Writing:
The day that “Fireball” was released, it appeared in the press that Deep Purple would be recording a follow up album in Switzerland using the Rolling Stones’ mobile unit.
They were now under the newly formed “Purple Records.”
Management wanted to avoid the disjointed recording sessions that lasted forever like the previous albums.
They had the month of August off to prepare for a three month tour schedule after which they would record “Machine Head.”
Fireball didn’t have as many songs that worked well in a live setting. (i.e. “Anyone’s Daughter”).
They went to America for a month and were headliners for the first time.
Two shows in Gillan became very sick and they did a third show with Glover on lead vocals. It didn’t work out and the band went home.
While Ian recovered Blackmore and Paice went into the studio to work on their Baby Face project with Phil Lynott. This never panned out.
Glover was really happy to have the break. “I got most of my ideas during the four weeks off just because I was able to relax.”
They also wanted to try recording outside of a studio and they picked the casino in Montreux. The idea was to record on the stage as if they were performing a concert.
The Rolling Stones had this hugely expensive mobile recording studio that allowed them to record in more interesting locations. It was so expensive to operate they’d begun renting it out to other acts to offset the cost.
They worked with Claude Nobs on the Montreux Jazz Festival and Claude, who was involved in running the Casino.
There were plans that after they recorded the album they would perform it live and record that as well to release a double album with one half in the studio and the other half live.
Machine Head title is about the part of the guitar. Roger Glover came up with it. “Struck me as a good title. It had the word head, of course, which is always a good word to have.” Roger Glover said the term “has a certain menace to it.”
Went to Switzerland to use the Rolling Stones’ mobile unit.
Taxes, you can avoid paying taxes if you make it outside the country.
Recorded in two weeks.
Everything had been worked on in rehearsal except “Smoke on the Water.”
They got shut down recording “Smoke on the Water” a The Pavilion and had to find a new place. They they’d only be able to record during the day.
Since the casino was destroyed (more on that later) Claude had to help the band find a new location to record.
Found an old hotel (The Grand Hotel) that was closed for the season. Found the end of a corridor of the hotel.
Because of how the mobile unit was set up it was very difficult to record/listen.
Mobile parked outside front entrance, cables run in
The had to go out of the area they were recording, into a bedroom
On to a balcony, climb over to another balcony
Down the balcony, back through another bedroom
Though two doors, onto the landing
Winding staircase, through hall, to front door
Across the courtyard, to the truck
Up the steps to the truck to hear the playback.
This was in winter, in the snow.
Martin Birth set up a CC TV to monitor things.
Estimated that the album cost £8000 to record, £5000 just for the mobile unit.
Album Art & Booklet Review
The cover image was made by taking a sheet of polished metal and die stamping the type right onto it. It was then propped up and used as a mirror with the band reflected in it.
If you look closely you can see the camera man, Shep Sherbell.
Born in New York City. In 1960s London he photographed musicians including the Beatles, The Who, Keith Moon, Cat Stevens, Jimi Hendrix, Badfinger, the Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, Frankie Valli, Humble Pie and Grand Funk Railroad. In the mid 70s, Sherbell moved to Washington and became a photojournalist covering the White House and Capitol Hill.
After the photoshoot he sold the camera he used to Roger Glover (his first Nikon!)
Shep passed away on August 18th of last year (2018)
Gatefold includes everyone who worked on the album.
The montage on the gatefold were simply cut up and put together.
Tony Edwards called Roger Glover to the office to suggest which image to use on the album. The rest of the band ignored Tony’s request and that’s why there are more shots of Roger than anyone else.
The original album came with a lyric sheet written in calligraphy.
Album reached #1 on the UK charts as well as many other countries. Did not chart in the US.
Has since received 2x Platinum in the US selling over 2 million copies.
Lord: “the apex of what we started to do with In Rock. I think we should try and go around a few corners with the next one. Some people say we don’t seem to have progressed very far since In Rock. Where some of that justification lies is in the fact that we haven’t really deviated from the set lines and I think it’s time we started to shoot for the stars a little bit more.”
Blackmore: “I think Machine Head is a good LP. I think the ideas are better and the group were playing well when we recorded it. Two tracks especially – Highway star and smoke on the water – i like. The whole album is a lot better than the last one.”
Started to show some stress about writing credits. Agreed in 1969 they’d credit everything to everyone.
Blackmore: “On this LP I wrote six tracks and Roger wrote two.”
Glover: “Sometimes I feel I’d like more credit for some of the stuff I do. I think it avoids friction this way, though I can’t say it won’t in the future. As soon as money comes into it people change; some for better, some for worse.”
Glover: “Machine Head was the beginning of the bad period. It was coming because as far as the writing side of it was concerned we’d agreed at the outset that we were going to share everything five ways, because everything we wrote was part of a jam, and in those days we had nothing to lose. It’s only when you realise how much money is involved in publishing that people turned around and said ‘he had nothing to do with that and yet he’s getting a lot of money for it.’ Those kind of things cause tension.”
By the time the album hit record stores in April of ‘72 Blackmore was telling journalists the the end was near. “”I suppose we’ll see the year out if we’re lucky.”
One morning Blackmore was late to a hotel reception on the tour. Their roadie, Colin Hart, went to get him and found him in the hallway of the hotel in tears. Blackmore had no memory of what had caused this nervous breakdown but he was able to get it together enough to complete the tour.
In The News . . .
Joe Satriani’s “Squares” album released today (July 12)!
This Week in Purple History . . .
July 15 through July 21
July 15, 1956 – Joe Satriani is born
July 16, 2012 – Jon Lord Dies
July 17, 1968 – The album that started it all, “Shades of Deep Purple,” is released
Thanks to the great Mike Healy for clearing that up.
Nate recorded a guest spot on the Alphabetallica podcast. Tom was a very gracious host and an excellent interviewer. Check out the Alphabetallica Podcast where Tom reviews and discusses the entire Metallica catalogue one song at a time in alphabetical order! You can also follow Tom on Twitter at @MetallicaPod.
Album Art & Booklet Review
Ian Gillan had issues with drinking at this point. He contributed extensively to the In Rock 25th anniversary CD booklet. When asked about contributing to Fireball he said, “I can’t remember anything.”
Doing the Hollywood Bowl Concerto gig to try to ignite excitement in America, the same way it had in the UK. This did not work.
Album Details and Analysis:
25th Anniversary Booklet Review.
Strange Kind of Woman
I’m Alone (B-Side)
Demon’s Eye (Remix)
The Noise Abatement Society Tapes
Fireball (Take 1 Instrumental)
No One Came (Remix)
In The News . . .
Review of Ian Paice’s performance with the Buddy Rich Band
Gabby Rabbitts, director of the Marine Theatre, said: “Our old website had run its course and we were finding it difficult to communicate with our audience and the community. The new website is responsive, user friendly, and people can become members. We are very grateful to Ian Gillan for funding this important project and we hope that everyone enjoys using the new site.”
Ian said: “I am delighted to support the Marine Theatre in its anniversary year; it does a fantastic job at bringing in names in to the town, while celebrating local performers. This new website is helping to communicate their important work to the community.”
This Week in Purple History . . .
July 8 through July 14
July 10 1942 Ronnie James Dio Born
July 10, 1969 Gover/Gillan’s first show at the Speakeasy
In response to the question posed “Deep Purple in Rock” or “In Rock.” James Massa came in with a good point that the I is lower case.
Patrons to Thank:
Lead Up To Album & Writing:
They toured for 15 months straight after the release of “In Rock.”
“Fireball” was initially meant to be released at the end of 1970 but recording lasted from September through June. It wasn’t released until July of 1971 as a result.
They recorded at De Lane Lea and Olympic Studios in London.
They also rented a house called “The Hermitage” in North Devon to prepare for the album.
The sessions weren’t very productive.
Blackmore was a bit of a prankster and smashed Glover’s door with an axe in the middle of the night leading to Glover chasing him and almost killing him.
During the two weeks locked away at this house Blackmore held a lot of seances.
The band was exhausted from being on the road and used the time to relax and spent a lot of time at the local pubs.
During this time Gillan and Blackmore’s relationship started to show its first signs of stress. Gillan was starting to drink a lot more.
In “Deep Purple – A Matter of Fact” Jerry Bloom tells this story Jon Lord told him about how he drove to pick up his wife who’d just had a baby and drives back to the writing sessions in the middle of the night. His child got sick and he had to drive them back to London. He missed three days of the recording session and they band was upset with him. It turned into a huge fight and he threatened to quit the band.
Roger Glover told a story about Ian Paice just walking all over the place holding a snare drum and hitting it. He didn’t like the way it sounded in the studio but preferred the sound he got in the corridor. Because of this he set up his drums in the corridor to record. Glover says the band was annoyed but they were happy with the resulting drum sound.
Blackmore was considering himself much more the focal point of the band, shifting from Jon Lord. Ian Gillan was drinking a lot and starting to fight with Blackmore. Roger Glover states: “Ian seemed to go off the rails with attitude and drink problems. He and Ritchie were at complete loggerheads and Ian may have got to the point where he thought ‘I’m the singer, if Ritchie can behave like that, so can I’. So he became just as big an arsehole.”
John Lord was having back problems which was a holdover injury from the Artwoods days when he was his own roadie, lugging a Hammond organ to gigs.
Roger Glover collapsed on stage one night and diagnosed with stress-related stomach problems.
Blackmore had to have his appendix removed.
Live shows were starting to show some strains. Set was unchanged wince they didn’t have time to write new material.
They hoped to not be in the same position of having short studio sessions between gigs like for In Rock but it didn’t work out.
In the middle of all of this Lord took Paice and Glover off to join his other guests to perform “The Gemini Suite” with the Royal Philharmonic.
First pressing came with double-sided lyric insert.
Album Details and Analysis:
Intro sound effect is meant to be a fireball moving by. It was made by an air conditioning unit being turned on. The band apparently told the press it was a “special synthesizer.”
Gillan says it’s a song about “unrequited love.”
Track was released as a single and reached number 15 in the UK charts.
First instance of Ian Paice playing a double bass drum.
Legend has it that he borrowed a second bass drum from Keith Moon who was recording next door.
When played live a roadie used to add a second bass drum to his kit as double bass pedals didn’t exist yet.
It was dropped from the setlist early on, perhaps because of the work needed.
Legend also has it that this laid the blueprint for metal moving forward with two kick drums.
2.) No No No
Political and social protest song against environmental destruction.
Roger: “Ritchie is very influenced by Shuggy Otis these days, that’s what all those bits are. A lot of it is very understated, it’s not flash, very cooly played.
3.) Demon’s Eye
This song is not on the US version that we had. Instead it was replaced with “Strange Kind of Woman.”
4.) Anyone’s Daughter
Tells a story in true Gillan fashion.
Gillans says this was a fun song but probably shouldn’t have been on the album.
The idea for the song came from Blackmore who was trying to emulate Albert Lee’s playing.
Recorded at the first session. Roger Glover stated: “It was recorded the day after we’d had a big discussion about being exciting and heavy. We were sitting around the studio waiting for inspiration when Ritchie just started tinkling around with that chord thing and we joined in.”
Jon Lord: “Ritchie has always admired country and western guitarists so he wrote it in that vein.”
5.) The Mule
Sounds like “Tomorrow Never Knows” by the Beatles. Same idea, not my favorite of either band.
You can hear him start to lose the drums toward the end.
Lyrics are about the Isaac Asimov character “The Mule” from the Foundation series. Odd that I never picked up on that because I would have been discovering this album around the time I was reading those books.
This song was in the set list until Mk 2 disbanded but mostly to serve as a launching point for Ian Paice’s drum solo.
Song brings up Christian imagery such as “dying on a distant hill.”
Roger Glover from liner notes: “It’s about a guy who dies and he’s looking abck and can see the world is run by fools. Ian’s voice has ‘thickened’ on this one. We’d been using the guitar solo on stage for some time, we never thought it would work on record, but it’s great. None of it was worked out, it’s just ad libbed.”
Ritchie used the volume swells he’s been using live on “Mandrake Root.”
7.) No One Came
Gillan says in “Child in Time” that this song came out of his fear that one day they’d play a show and no one would show up.
Another song that was never played live by the band.
Roger Glover from liner notes: “When we first recorded it, there seemed to be an awkward ending, so we made a ‘loop’ of eight bars of the basic riff and edited it on to the end. Jon sat at the piano and played anything that came into his head while in the control room, on an empty piece of tape we recorded it, slowing it down and speeding up the tape speed, creating a strange effect. This was then reversed and overdubbed randomly on to the new end section. No one knew what it would sound like but the very first time we tried it we loved the placement of it and that became final position.
Reception and Review
The band has been largely critical of this album over the years.
Blackmore was upset because he said that they were being pressured to record and not being given time to write.
“That was a bit of a disaster, because it was thrown together in the studio. Managerial pressure, we had no time. ‘You gotta play here, here, there, then you’ve got to make an LP.’ I told them, ‘if you want an LP, you’ve got to give us time.’ But they wouldn’t. I just threw ideas to the group that I thought up on the spur of the moment.”
Blackmore claims the only good tracks on the song are Fireball, No No No, and Fools.
Jon Lord said the album went in a direction they weren’t intending to go.
Gillan was the exception stating that Fireball was his favorite album. He said it was progressive and experimental.
“The reason I liked that so much was because I thought, from a writing point of view, it was really the beginning of tremendous possibilities of expression. And some of the tracks on that album are really, really inventive.” However, Gillan also said that the inclusion of “Anyone’s Daughter” on the album was “a good bit of fun, but a mistake.”
David Hughes of Disc Magazine questioned how Purple could be progressive and still have hit singles (e.g. Strange Kind of Woman).
The album was a huge success and reached number one in the UK and 32 in the US though it stayed in the charts for a much shorter period than In Rock.
Lars Ulrich states that he bought this album within 12 hours of having seen them live for the first time.
Yngwie Malmsteen says his sister gave him this album when he was 8 and it “changed everything.”
In The News . . .
This Week in Purple History . . .
July 1 through July 7
July 4, 1969 – Mk I plays their last show at the Top Bank Ballroom in Cardiff, Wales
New Patron: Clay Wombacher, joining us at the $5 monthly tier. Thank you so much, Clay!
Lead Up To Album & Writing:
In six months (between August of 1969 and January of 1970) Deep Purple had released three albums: Taliesyn, Deep Purple, and Concerto.
Jon Lord was writing Concerto while the rest of the band was working on In Rock.
The band just played together and jammed,Gillan would riff on vocals, and some of those things stuck and turned into songs.
Usually one of them would have an idea that would lead to the others joining in.
They decided, as opposed to previous albums, that they’d credit every song to all the members of the band.
This ended up being a bit of a sticking point in later years and by Mk 3 they reverted to crediting only the songwriters.
Roger Glover felt like Episode Six hadn’t taken his songwriting seriously and now in Deep Purple they took his ideas much more seriously.
Roger Glover In Ultimate Guitar: “We didn’t write, we played.”
Ritchie in Disc: “My main failing is composing. I can come up with riffs and I’m good at improvising, but I’m not very good at putting a song together.”
Jon Lord in Wait for the Ricochet backs this up: “80% of the songs on our album came from somebody with an idea and with jamming it . . . Ritchie was full of ideas, teaming with ideas.
Paice in Wait for the Ricochet: “I contribute nothing lyrically or melodically, I just suggest rhythms and arrangements. And in any type of music the arrangement is important. It’s always a five way thing for us.”
Gillan in Music Now in January of 1970: “Since those albums were released [talking about the mk 1 albums] the group’s changed. Our music now is much harder, our next album will be purely a group sound.”
No one really seems to remember who came up with “In Rock” as a title.
Tony Edwards came up with the idea for the album cover.
Took it to London design company Nesbit, Phipps & Froome.
He worked for hours trying to source pictures of Mt. Rushmore. In the early 70s this was much more challenging than today.
They used a transparency of Mt Rushmore. It was sort of rushed so you can see the background of the mountain was blurry.
Not sure why they didn’t just have someone paint it.
They used headshots of the band from earlier in the year.
Roger may have been reshot as he had sideburns in the original shoot.
The hair was painted over to try to join the two images.
Gatefold contained lyrics and “moody” black and white shots of the band.
Album Details and Analysis:
Album was recorded at three different studios:
De Lane Lea
Recording time only took up a couple of weeks, revolving around their intense gig schedule.
They gigged a ton during this time trying to recoup some money and tighten up the material.
The IBC studio sessions were the first time they worked with Martin Birch.
Martin Birth, also known as “the Wasp” was like a sixth member of the band in future years working on all their albums until the band broke up in 1976.
1.) Speed King
Recorded at IBC Studios
Beginning was cut off in the US release, I hadn’t heard the UK intro until I picked up the 25th anniversary edition recently.
Honors songs from the 50s:
“Good golly, miss molly” and “house of blue light from Good Gooly Miss Molly
“Tutti frutti and to the east and west” from “Tutti Frutti”
“Wen she didnt’ do her daddy’s will” from Lucille changed to “sister’s will”
“Saturday night and I just got paid “ from Little Richard’s “Rip it Up”
“Hard headed woman, soft-hearted man” changing the line “been the cause of trouble ever since the world began” to “they been causing trouble since it all began from Elvis’s “Hard Headed Woman.”
In an interview with Modern Keyboard in Jan 1989 Jon Lord said, “Speed King is speed metal, no question about it.”
At the live shows they would go on stage and make a point of making a loud, noise of instrumentation before launching into the song.
Jon Lord says in “Wait for the Ricochet”: “They had no time for sound checks on shows so they’d go onstage dry, make as much noise as possible so the soundman could set his levels, then start playing.”
Originally titled “Kneel and Pray” then later “Ricochet”
It was modeled to be a sort of start & stop like Hendrix’s “Fire.” – chorus is very reminiscent.
Roger Glover also noted that it sounded similar to “I’m a Man” the Spencer Davis Group hit.
Glover started the riff off and they all based the song around him.
Earliest recording of Speed king was August 11, 1969 being called Ricochet
Recorded again live on August 29 being called “Kneel and Pray” at this time for another BBC session
Version from same show in Montreux in October.
Last live version was on a live TV special in Holland recorded in January of 1970 but didn’t air until July, after the album was released. This is the last version where Ian, Jon, and Roger all harmonize “see me fly.” They dropped the harmonization before recording.
The title was changed after Roger saw a chain of laundromats called Speed Queen and simply reversed the gender. The Speed Queen company is still around and it’s the world’s largest laundromat company.
They used this song to open their live shows until 1972 when it was replaced by Highway Star and Speed King was saved for an encore.
Recorded at Abbey Road
Roger and Ritchie wrote it at Ritchie’s flat
Lyrics were about Ian Gillan’s run in with the band’s management. He’d asked for £ 20 advance and it became an issue. This was early 1970.
Also been stated that lyrics were referring to women in a rather rude manner.
Incomprehensible lyrics put through an echo effect. Stuttering effect.
Song never played live. Resurfaced in 1998 on Abandon as “Bludsucker.”
Roger Glover writes about it in his diary about how they were doing that “Bombay Calling” song.
Nick Simper said they had kicked around this jam before and they’d toured with A Beautiful Day in 1968.
Roger, Ian Paice, and Ritchie took a boat tour of the Thames and took this album with them (among others) and they listened to it on the boat.
Gillan developed lyrics about the cold war after they jammed it just weeks after Ian/Roger joined the band.
Jazz saxophonist named Vince Wallace claims he wrote this song and taught it to A Beautiful Day’s vocalist/violinist David LaFlamme. LaFlamme played this in a band called The Orkustra in the mid sixties before bringing it to It’s A Beautiful Day.
Ian Gillan’s lyrics writing on his website:
“I started singing and the words came easily because we were all aware of the nuclear threat which hovered over us at this time, which was probably when the “cold war” was at its hottest . . . through the medium of Radio Free Europe this song and many other reached the ears and hearts of like minded people behind the iron curtain as i found out many years later.”
People wondered how Ian did the screaming. From Wait for the Ricochet:
Melanie on the Isle of Wight wrote in to Meoldy maker with the quesiton: “How does Ian Gillan produce the very effective screaming effect in Child in Time from the LP Deep Purple In Rock.”
Ian’s response: “Thanks for the compliment but I haven’t the faintest idea how I manage it. Although lots of people regard it as incredible and ask me how it is done. It’s simply a vocal effect and I do it every night on stage, considerably endangering my health. I’ve never had any special training but I think that it helps that I wear tight trousers.”
Ian in later years says that he always took the highest harmony parts in Episode Six and practiced that way.
Ritchie praised Ian’s vocals on Child in time: “Child in Time is a great song. Ian Gillan was probably the only guy who could sing that. It was done in three stages, sort of like an operatic thing. That’s him at his best. Nobody else would have attempted that going up in octaves.” Guitar World December 1996.
Ian Gillan: “Child in Time is not a song against war, it is about stupidity. One is inevitable, the other is not. A missing comma from the title gives a false impression and — as happens so often — rhyme defeats reason.”
“Sweet child, in time, you’ll see the line.”
Ritchie uses the Gibson on this one.
Was released as a single in Belgium with one verse to each side.
Live the song was known to reach as long as 20 minutes.
Was replaced by the song “Mary Long” after Who Do We Think We Are in the live set.
Played on and off live after they reformed in 1984. Sometimes it was depending on whether Ian was up to singing it or not, sometimes Lord played his vocals on the organ.
They developed the frantic ending in the van.
Song ending mimics “A Day in the Life”, the chromatic ending. JL states: “We liked the sound of it, so we nicked it you might say.”
There are three live recordings of this songs before it was laid down at the studio:
The Paradiso concert in Hollad on August 23rd, 1969
At the Concerto – 12 minute version, solo structure not laid down yet,
At the casion in Montreux in October of 1969, 10 days later
Four weeks later they’d go into the studio to record it
Bombay Calling on next album – “Don and Dewey”
stealing from “Wring that Neck”, comes in around 0:30
4.) Flight of the Rat
Recorded at De Lane Lea
Written in the studio.
Jon used to play Flight of the Bumblebee as fast as he could during warmup. Ritchie played over it.
Percussive Guitar interlude
A cautionary tale about drug abuse.
The band were hard drinkers but not into hard drug use.
They never played this live because Ian Paice refused to, saying he couldn’t keep up the pace (pun intended).
They had a policy where if one member was strongly against playing a song live they wouldn’t do it.
5.) Into the Fire
Recorded at IBC Studios
Ritchie and Roger talked about wanting to do a song with a riff involving a chromatic scale and Glover just played the first thing that came into his head.
Lyrically Gillan’s lyrics are a warning about drugs.
Based off of King Crimson’s “21st Schizoid Man” released in October of 1969.
Candice Night retweets our mention of “Shadow of the Moon”
David Coverdale with two retweets!
MKI to MKII Transition:
Hallelujah/April released as single/B-side.
Ian Gillan and Roger Glover had left Episode Six officially in July. The Concerto was recorded in September.
Sheila Carter-Dimmock viewed the break up as inevitable. In “The Road of Golden Dust: The Deep Purple Story 1968-1976” she’s quoted as saying:
“Sooner or later someone was going to see this good looking guy with a great voice, oozing charisma and snap him up.”
Legal battle between Gloria Bristow and Deep Purple management. Allegedly settled for £3000.
Simper, who was furious, began legal proceedings which he ended up settling for £10,000 in lieu of a royalty deal which ended up being a bad move.
Rod Evans just sort of vanished, though this isn’t his last involvement with Deep Purple or their lawyers.
New sound, reporters were calling “progressive rock”, reminds me of how they called things “alternative” in the early 90s.
In the book “Smoke on the Water: The Deep Purple Story” Jon Lord says in an interview: “We believe in experiment and excitement. We were trying to develop unnaturally before. We would grasp all sorts of different ideas at once, like a child in a garden full of flowers — he wants them all at once. When Ian and Roger joined something very nice happened with the group.”
History of the Concerto:
Released in December of 1969 in the US by Tetragrammaton and in January in the UK.
Jon Lord had been taken by this idea when he’d heard “Bernstein Plays Brubeck Plays Bernstein” while he was in the Artwoods. He noted if they were doing this sort of thing with jazz then why not with Rock?
When he was with the Artwoods they planned to perform with an orchestra in Germany but the band broke up before they could realize this.
There had been a lot of bands who’d fused classical and rock. In 1961 Nero & The Gladiators had done a version of “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” In 1965 Blackmore had even done a version of this with his group The Lancasters.
Dave Edmund’s band Love Sculpture had done an arrangement of Kachaturian’s “Sabre Dance.”
Malcolm Jones at the new Harvest label was encouraged with the release of the “Hallelujah” single. While he said it did nothing in sales it had received a great number of positive reviews. He felt the band could do no wrong and gave the Concerto the green light.
Lord had talked about doing this for a while while in Deep Purple and Tony Edwards told Jon Lord in April that he’d booked the 24th of September 1969 at the Royal Albert Hall.
Jon Lord had wanted to do this sort of thing for a while and claimed that while he’d been thinking of this kind of idea for five years he had never been with a band he thought could pull it off until now. This is despite having previously tried with The Artwoods.
Malcolm Arnold was tasked to conduct. More than than Arnold helped Jon Lord along the way with the composition and taking on the task of how to deal with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Born in 1921, would have been 47 when conducting this, Jon Lord would have been 28.
Inspired by Louis Armstrong he took up the trumpet at age 12. By 1943 he was the principle trumpet in the London Philharmonic
During WWII he registered as a conscientious objector but and as a condition was put into the National Rifle Service.
The army ended up putting him in a military band and he shot himself in the foot to return to civilian life.
He remained in the LPO until 1948 before retiring to become a full time composer.
He ended up being one of the most sought after composers in Britain.
According to an article from the Daily Mail by 1961 he had a reputation for being frequently drunk and highly promiscuous.
He had two failed marriages and ended up hospitalized after two suicide attempts.
He overcame depression and despite being given 1 year to live he surpassed that by 22 years before his death at 84 in 2006.
Successful composer having composed for many, many movies such as “The Bridge Over The River Kwai”
He would be knighted in 1993.
The Lead Up to The Concerto:
Ian Gillan was not happy with the project. He was quoted as saying: “Roger and I, being the new boys, were thinking, what’s going on here? Are we in a rock band or a classical rock gimmick band?”
Blackmore was also against the Concerto wanting to see the band go in a harder direction.
Malcolm Arnold had been showed some pages of the score and was excited about the project. The members of the Philharmonic, not so much. They scoffed at the idea of this. Since classical music is very much a dictatorship Malcolm arnold apparently cursed at them and they calmed down about it.
The fact that it was decided that this would be broadcast on TV ended up being a very good move for the band.
Roger Glover in “Roger Glover – Made in Wales” talk about being “out of [his] depth.”
“Deep Purple” was being released in the US just at the time they were going record the Concerto. It got bad distribution because of the naked people displayed on the cover. Some places refused to display it and it did poorly.
This was the same label that had released John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Two virgins.”
A new label, Harvest, had been created by EMI to distribute more “prog” style acts and the Concerto was slated for release under this new label.
Jon Lord had to work on the Concerto nonstop, getting little sleep, while the rest of the band was a little more well-rested between gigs, rehearsal, and writing for “In Rock.”
Blackmore was the most adamantly against the Concerto. While they worked on material for “In Rock” they had a little resentment toward Lord who was being perceived as the “leader” of the band.
There was very little time to practice as renting a symphony orchestra is not trivial.
The initial runthrough was, according to Jon Lord, “an unmitigated disaster.” Lord was nearly in tears, convinced the whole thing would be a disaster.
One of the cellists reportedly stood up and denounced the project as performing with a “second rate Beatles.”
I’ve read a few versions of this. It’s usually phrased as Malcolm Arnold giving the orchestra a “talking to” but in “The Road of Golden Dust” he’s quoted as having screamed at the orchestra members and calling them “You’re supposed to be the finest orchestra in Britain but you’re playing like a bunch of [c-words]!” and soon after that they got their act together. He’s also quoted as saying “Tonight, we’re going to make history so we may as well make music at the same time.”
Jon Lord quoted as saying “the musicians were obliged to play and some of them hated it! And even the people in the audience weren’t all that thrilled. But it was 1969! But I think everything one does is a product of its time. Some things in this “Concerto” were really very much dead weight – I’d be the first to admit it but it was only an experiment. I only wanted to try and break these boundaries that separated rock ‘n’ roll from classic. On the other hand I don’t want to reject anything I once did afterwards; I can now only look at something from an, if you like, ‘wiser’ perspective. I mean, the fact that it was important at the time. And, to be honest, I still like it p the melodies, Gillan’s singing, Ritchie’s angry guitar, the whole atmosphere. I wouldn’t distance myself from this.”
Some tensions in the band. Lord missed a lot of rehearsals in the lead up to completing the Concerto’s score.
The band had a string of live shows lined up leading to the release of the Concerto. Not sure that the band gave him credit for the pressure he must’ve been under.
Gillan: “I must admit that my attitude was all wrong. Roger and I had only just joined the bana nad we didn’t really appreciate what working with the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra at the time could do for us. We were already writing for the album, and this seemed like an unwanted interruption. Deep Purple have always tried to be challenging, yet here we were with something truly challenging and different, and we couldn’t appreciate what we had.”
Album Details and Analysis:
Official release contains the three movements of the concerto, the second being split into two parts on either side of the record.
The cameras were not rolling as they played their three original songs.
The entire concert consisted of:
Symphony No. 6, a composition by Malcolm Arnold
Wring That Neck
Child in Time
Parts of the Concerto’s Third Movement as an encore
First Movement: Moderato – Allegro (19:23)
After an extended orchestral introduction, the group and orchestra work as separate blocks, trying to get dominance over the main theme and working as antagonists to each other. There are cadenzas for electric guitar and clarinet.
Second Movement: Andante (19:11)
This movement is based around two tunes that are played in various different arrangements by the orchestra and the group, individually and together. After a combined pop / blues version of the second tune, there is an organ cadenza followed by a quiet ending by the orchestra.
Third Movement: Vivace-Presto (13:09)
Apart from Ian Paice‘s drum solo, the music combines the orchestra and group together in a “free for all”. The movement alternates between 6/8 and 2/4 time signatures.
Reception and Review
Ian Gillan mentions in “Child in Time” that Jon’s first child was born that night to “complete his triumph.”
In six months (between August of 1969 and January of 1970) Deep Purple had released three albums: Taliesyn, Deep Purple, and the Concerto.
Went off really well. Lord noted a few minor sections he would have improved. There was only one major problem which is where Ritchie was supposed to play a ninety-second solo but he never stopped. Arnold was frantically trying to get Ritchie’s attention and Ritchie seemed to be ignoring him Finally Ritchie came out of it and they hit the cue perfectly.
Everyone was so pleased with the show that they demanded an encore which they were not prepared for.
This generated a huge amount of publicity for the band.
The masterstroke is in John Coletta’s masterful control of the publicity around this event.
Deep Purple got more press in the month surrounding the concert than they had in the previous two years combined.
Roger Glover in an interview: “The next day the papers were full of us and Jon Lord suddenly became the main composer of the band, which really got up the noses of everyone else in the band, and Ritchie in particular felt very bitter about it.”
Tensions in the band were so strong that Jon Lord almost quit. Somehow it all got smoothed out.
Now a lot of people were introduced to Deep Purple as this band that plays with Orchestras.
A monthly later the band showed up to play a gig in Ipswitch. The promoter had apparently been unable to book an orchestra so booked a brass band thinking they could play alongside Deep Purple. Instead the brass band opened and Deep Purple followed.
Some classical music critics panned it being derivative.
Rock critics also thought it to be derivative. The host of Top Gear, John Peel, was so appalled he refused to play Deep Purple on his show.
It was popular on the BBC and they commissioned Jon Lord to write another which he did with the follow up “Gemini Suite” which was performed almost a year later in September of 1970. This was not billed as Deep Purple and didn’t see an official release until 1971. This is credited to Jon Lord instead of Deep Purple.
The Concerto was performed three more times (some sources say one more time), in Vienna, Zurich, and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Lawrence Foster at the Hollywood Bowl on 25 August 1970, after which the score was lost.
The score had to be recreated to perform it again in 1999.
Malcolm Arnold, interviewed in 1970:
What strikes me about Deep Purple is their tremendous musical integrity. This is so refreshing in a commercial world. I loved working with them. They’re thorough musicians. They’re not trying to prove anything. They just like to play now and again with a Symphony Orchestra. They’re not trying to prove any deep philosophical problem. They just want to write music that’s enjoyable.
Ritchie Blackmore in a 1979 interview:
I was not into classical music then. I was very very moody and just wanted to play very very loudly and jump around a lot. I couldn’t believe we were playing with orchestras. We kept getting lumbered playing with them. We started off in ’68 – this is my opinion – as a relatively competent band with a lot to say but saying it all at the same time as each other. In ’69 we went into the classical stuff because it was Jon Lord‘s big thing to write a concerto for group and orchestra. He was very sincere, but I didn’t like playing it or respect the fact that we were doing it. The orchestra was very condescending towards us, and I didn’t like playing with them, so it was one big calamity onstage. But Jon was happy with it and management was happy with it because we had a press angle, which I resented very much.
In 1970 I said, ‘right, we’re going to make a rock and roll LP. If this doesn’t succeed I’ll play in orchestras for the rest of my life’, because Jon wasn’t too into hard rock. Luckily it took off, so I didn’t have to play with orchestras any more.
I love orchestras, chamber music—unaccompanied violin is my favourite. But I respected them too much, and we just weren’t in the same calibre. I’d been playing 15 years at the time, and stuck next to some dedicated violinist who’s been playing for 50 years just to give an angle to the press—it’s insulting. That’s why it started and ended very abruptly.
1999 performance included the same lineup swapping out Blackmore for Morse. Huge set including performances of songs from Deep Purple’s catalog over the years, the Butterfly Ball, Ronnie James Dio, The Steve Morse Band joins in, and the Kick Horns doing Wring That Neck.
Performance is scheduled for November 19, 2019 in Quebec featuring Bruce Dickinson for 50th anniversary.
Asked if he was listening to any younger bands, Gillan replied: “No, I steer clear of all that. And for a good reason. When I was in my formative years, I rejected Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Andy Williams and Dean Martin. I now realise they were all great artists but at the time as a young man, you have to clear the decks. There’s this sort of psychological vandalism that takes place for yourself.
“I’m in that position now. I need to step aside. My uncle was a jazz pianist, and I remember that when we did ‘Deep Purple In Rock’ he ran from the room screaming saying ‘I can’t hear anything, I can’t hear any instruments’. I was rubbing my hands going ‘Great’. I had upset the previous generation and a man I respect highly. I don’t think it’s right to pass comment.”
Gillan added: “The only advice I can give is to absorb as much as you can from as wide a spectrum as you can. If you’re in a rock band and only soak up Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple kind of beginnings then you’re not going to have much leeway. We soaked up everything from Beethoven to Chopin to Jimi Hendrix to Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan.
“If you do that then it will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life.”
This Week in Purple History . . .
June 10 through June 16
June 10, 1982 – Rainbow releases straight between the eyes
June 11, 1953 – Mark Nauseef is born
June 12, 2006 – Live in Montreux 69 is released
June 12, 1967 – “Hallelujah” is secretly recorded
June 13, 2006 – M3 (formerly Company of Snakes) release “Rough and Ready”
June 13, 2006 – Rainbow releases “Live in Munich”
June 13, 2008 – Judas Priest releases Nostradamus with Don Airey on keyboards
June 14, 2011 – Black Country Communion releases second album “2”
June 15, 1951 – Craig Gruber is born
June 15, 1973 – Tony Edwards notifies Roger Glover that Blackmore wants him out
Deep Purple Deep Track:
Fancy – Touch Me
From the album “Wild Thing” released in 1974
Ray Fenwick (guitar) – Ian Gillan Band, Spencer Davis Group, Jon Lord’s Windows
Mo Foster (bass) – Wizard’s Convention, Butterfly Ball (Finger pops)
Helen Caunt – former Penthouse model for studio work
Annie Kavanaugh – replaced Helen when they toured live, former chorus member of “Jesus Christ Superstar”
Les Binks (drums) – Wizard’s Convention, Judas Priest,