Like many British rock bands that came of age in the late ‘60s, Deep Purple has had a long and turbulent history. The quintet lost its original singer by the end of the decade and before the band started selling tons of records. New singer Ian Gillan helped anchor the new lineup through some of its most successful albums, including ‘Fireball’ and ‘Machine Head,’ which spawned the classic song ‘Smoke on the Water’ in 1972. By the end of the decade, Deep Purple would lose guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, and Gillan was replaced by David Coverdale. Turnarounds since the '70s have been plentiful, with members leaving and joining and forming bands like Black Sabbath, Rainbow and Whitesnake. But at its peak, the band drove hard-rock muscle straight into the pop charts, becoming one of the era’s most beloved groups.
- Selected Discography: ‘Fireball’ (1971), ‘Machine Head’ (1972), ‘Burn’ (1974)
- Related Artists: Ritchie Blackmore, David Coverdale, Ian Gillan
- Further Reading: Top 10 Deep Purple Songs, Top 10 Ritchie Blackmore Songs, ‘Smoke on the Water’ – Top 100 Classic Rock Songs