Ritchie Blackmore

Ritchie Blackmore will always be best known for the titanic riff he supplied to 'Smoke on the Water,' but there's more to the guitarist than Deep Purple. He also co-founded Rainbow, a band that spanned both neo-classical metal and more pop-influenced rock sounds over its lifespan, and later steered toward traditional folk-rock with Blackmore's Night. But without Deep Purple, none of this would have been possible. Blackmore powered the group to fame between 1968-75, notching a pair of Top 10 albums in the early '70s with a lineup fronted by Ian Gillan. In 1984, Blackmore returned to the band, reuniting the classic lineup for the 'Perfect Strangers' album. He followed that up with a reunion with Rainbow. As the only constant member of that revolving group, Blackmore provided the vision. But collaborators like the late Ronnie James Dio, Cozy Powell, Deep Purple's Roger Glover, Graham Bonnet and Joe Lynn Turner helped him bring that vision to life.

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