Why Deep Purple is the Most Underrated Band ever
Deep Purple, 1972 - Getty Images
Or at least they were.
Deep Purple’s popularity was only ever shadowed by its contemporaries and co-pioneers of heavy metal, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. While anybody could say they’re already famous enough, it should be evident that Deep Purple’s creative genius deserved the top spot back in the day.
Why Deep Purple was potential King
“Highway Star“, the introductory track to their 1972 album Machine Head, is arguably Deep Purple’s magnum opus. Fast paced, amazing overlap of guitar progressions and organ notes, not to mention Ian Gillan’s powerful vocals, give the song its trademark grit. Ritchie Blackmore’s stylized riffs fill the song’s instrumental, the guitar matching the Gillan’s singing. Well-timed drum rolls drive the tempo of the song, and crisp cymbal crashes accentuate the song’s feeling.
Since we’re already talking about how underrated Deep Purple is, one song most people sleep on is “Child in Time”. From the 1970 album Deep Purple In Rock, this track is a roller coaster of technique and variations. Ian Gillan showcases his amazing range with controlled, almost wailing modulation. The song starts out slow and quiet and gradually ramps up after Gillan’s vocal gymnastics and then comes back down again after an intense guitar riff and organ run fiesta. The song has an interesting conception, as per Gillan’s account.
“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.”, Ian Gillan recounts, “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.”
The gaping void Blackmore left
What most fans and critics seem to agree on is that Ritchie Blackmore’s departure hurt the band in the artistic department. Blackmore’s seemingly bottomless charisma alone provided the audience energy to feed on during live performances. His unpredictability was his charm, and while some might think it was excessive, people began to realize years after he left. Now, Deep Purple is in a watered-down state. Not to discredit the legacy they have built, and their continuous efforts to produce quality material, but reality is often harsh. Nevertheless, let’s give the band a break. These men have moved on, and it’s high time the fans did too.