“Who do we think we are?” Good question, and if we’re talking the importance of seminal British band Deep Purple, the rock history books consider the question asked and answered. The first time I heard Deep Purple, with their cover of Joe South’s “Hush” exploding out of a car dashboard speaker in Summer 1968, I had no way of knowing that I was hearing the primordial hard rock bellow of what soon would evolve into Heavy Metal. Along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, Deep Purple widely has been credited as the third jewel in the British hard rock triple crown. Without Deep Purple’s 1970 proto-metal album Deep Purple In Rock or the benchmark Machine Head two years later, would Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Def Leppard have sold tens of millions of albums worldwide in the 1980s? Doubtful, and unlike Black Sabbath, Deep Purple made this impact musically, without the macabre death-obsessed lyrical themes that later mutated much of Heavy Metal into caricature.
My guests lead singer Ian Gillan and Roger Glover, along with drummer Ian Paice, still lead Deep Purple to this day, and along with lead guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and the late organist Jon Lord they comprised the Mark II lineup which placed such classics into the hard rock lexicon as “Speed King” and”Child in Time“from In Rock; “Strange Kind of Woman” from the under-appreciated transitional album Fireball in 1971; the international hit for the ages Machine Head yielding “Smoke on the Water”,”Highway Star“, and “Space Truckin’ “; the benchmark hard rock live album of its time, Made in Japan; plus “Woman from Tokyo” and the riff rocker “Rat Bat Blue” from Who Do We Think We Are? , the top-selling January 1973 followup to Machine Head and the final iteration of the classic Mark II lineup until the surprisingly popular in 1985 reunion Perfect Strangers eleven years later. Congratulations to the current and former members of Deep Purple for this long-overdue recognition as inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! –Redbeard