Deep Purple partied to save their souls and spread the word around with this hard lovin' heavy metal ricochet. The second lineup of the band had recorded the live 'Concerto for Group and Orchestra' with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Malcolm Arnold before recording 'Deep Purple in Rock' at IBC, De Lane Lea, and Abbey Road Studios. The band produced the sessions with engineers Andy Knight (IBC Studios), Martin Birch (De Lane Lea), and Phil McDonald (Abbey Road Studios). The lineup featured Ritchie Blackmore on guitar; Jon Lord on keyboards and organ; Ian Paice on drums and percussion; Ian Gillan on lead vocals; and Roger Glover on bass.
Blackmore looks back: "I became tired of playing with orchestras. In Rock was my way of rebelling against a certain classical element in the band. Ian Gillan, Roger Glover and I wanted to be a hard rock band - we wanted to play rock and roll only. So off we went in that direction. I felt that the whole orchestra thing was a bit tame. I mean, you're playing in the Royal Albert Hall, and the audience sits there with folded arms, and you're standing there playing next to a violinist who holds his ears every time you take a solo. It doesn't make you feel particulary inspired...I'd seen the James Cotton Blues Band at the Fillmore East, and the guitarist in the band played with the vibrato bar. He got the most amazing sounds. Right after seeing him, I started using the bar. Hendrix inspired me, too...I went crazy with [the whammy bar]. I used to have quarter-inch bars made for me because I'd keep snapping the normal kind. My repairman would look at me strangely and say, 'What are you doing to these tremolo bars?' Finally, he gave me this gigantic tremolo arm made of half-an-inch of solid iron and said, 'Here. If you break this thing, I don't wanna know about it!' About three weeks later I went back to the shop. He looked at me and said, 'No - you haven't.' And I said, 'Yes I have.' In graphic detail, I explained to him how I would twirl the guitar around the bar, throw it to the floor, put my foot on it and pull the bar off with two hands. He was a bit of a purist, so he wasn't amused...If I remember right [during the final solo of "Hard Lovin' Man"] I was knocking my guitar up and down against a door in the control room. The engineer looked at me oddly. He was one of your typical, old-school engineers. Like my repairman, he wasn't amused, either."
'Deep Purple in Rock' became a big breakthrough for the band, charting at number one hundred and forty three in the US, five in Norway, four in the UK, and number one in Germany and Austria and going gold in Argentine, France, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US.
"Child in Time" became one of their finest moments. Gillian reveals: "That was written such a long time ago. There are two sides to that song - the musical side and the lyrical side. On the musical side, there used to be this song 'Bombay Calling' by a band called It's A Beautiful Day. It was fresh and original, when Jon was one day playing it on his keyboard. It sounded good, and we thought we'd play around with it, change it a bit and do something new keeping that as a base. But then, I had never heard the original 'Bombay Calling'. So we created this song using the Cold War as the theme, and wrote the lines 'Sweet child in time, you'll see the line.' That's how the lyrical side came in. Then, Jon had the keyboard parts ready and Ritchie had the guitar parts ready. The song basically reflected the mood of the moment, and that's why it became so popular."
"Black Night" was a non-album single recorded during the sessions. It went to number eight in the Netherlands, and number two in Germany and the UK.
'Deep Purple in Rock'
All songs written by Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.
1. "Speed King" 5:52
2. "Bloodsucker" 4:16
3. "Child in Time" 10:18
4. "Flight of the Rat" 7:53
5. "Into the Fire" 3:30
6. "Living Wreck" 4:31
7. "Hard Lovin' Man" 7:11
Ian Gillan interview