Deep Purple in Rock

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Deep Purple in Rock
Deep Purple in Rock.jpg
Studio album by
Released3 June 1970 (1970-06-03)
Recorded14 October 1969 – 13 April 1970
LabelHarvest (Europe, Oceania, South America)
Warner Bros. (USA, Canada & Japan)
ProducerDeep Purple
Deep Purple chronology
Deep Purple
Deep Purple in Rock
25th anniversary edition
Deep Purple in Rock - Anniversary edition.jpg

Deep Purple in Rock is the fourth studio album by English rock band Deep Purple, released in June 1970. It was the first studio album recorded by the Mark II line-up of Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.

The album was the band's breakthrough album in Europe and peaked at No. 4 in the UK, remaining in the charts for months (the band's prior MK I albums had been much better received in the United States and Canada than in their homeland). An accompanying single, "Black Night" reached No. 2. The album was supported by the successful In Rock World Tour, which lasted 15 months. The album has continued to attract critical praise as a key early example of the hard rock genre.


Deep Purple MkII were formed in June 1969, after founding members Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord and Ian Paice decided to replace original lead singer Rod Evans with someone who could tackle a hard rock style. Lord and Blackmore had initially met with Paice, with Blackmore recalling wanting to "have a go at being really heavy" after hearing Led Zeppelin's debut album.[6] The three went to see a gig by local band Episode Six on 4 June, and after Blackmore sat in with the band, they offered vocalist Ian Gillan the job.[7]

While the original lineup of Deep Purple included experienced musicians, none of the five were accomplished songwriters.[8] Thus, Deep Purple's earlier work ranged from psychedelic hard rock built around Blackmore riffs, to classical-influenced tracks developed and arranged by Lord, to cover songs that ranged from The Beatles to Joe South to Neil Diamond, among others.[9] Gillan and Episode Six bassist Roger Glover had a good amount of songwriting experience, and consequently Glover was also recruited into the band.[10] The group initially met and developed song ideas in secrecy, not telling Evans or founding bassist Nick Simper because the MkI lineup still had tour dates to complete, with their final show happening on 4 July.[11] The Mark II Deep Purple lineup debuted live at The Speakeasy Club in London on 10 July 1969, even though Gillan and Glover did not play their final show with Episode Six until 26 July.[12]

The MkII lineup began to tour extensively, and found they had good musical chemistry together.[13] Hanwell Community Centre was booked for the band to rehearse and write new material. The basic structure of "Child in Time" was worked out at these sessions.[14] "Flight of the Rat" evolved during rehearsals from a humorous re-arrangement of "Flight of the Bumble Bee" by Glover.[15]

Though In Rock was this lineup's first studio album, two other MkII recordings preceded it: the Greenaway-Cook penned single "Hallelujah"[16] and the ambitious Concerto for Group and Orchestra, a Jon Lord composition that was recorded live on 24 September 1969 by the band with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.[17]

In Rock was recorded at IBC Studios in London, with the first sessions in October, 1969. Recording was spaced out between gigs, which were needed to provide the band with income, and continued intermittently until May the following year.[15] The band's US record company, Tetragrammaton declared bankruptcy in early 1970, meaning an uncertainty of the album being released in the US. Warner Bros subsequently bought out the Tetragrammaton contract.[18]

The cover depicts the band in a rock sculpture inspired by Mount Rushmore.

Critical reception[edit]

People say, 'oh, what's your favourite album?' To me it's always In Rock, because that's the nucleus of where we came from.

— Bassist Roger Glover[19]

According to Tony Dolan in Deep Purple: a Critical Retrospective, the first MkII album Concerto for Group and Orchestra had given Deep Purple much needed publicity in the UK, but the band – Ritchie Blackmore in particular – were determined that they "would not be labeled as a novelty act. He was adamant that the next studio album should be an all-out assault on the eardrums. As Blackmore said to others, 'if it’s not dramatic or exciting, it has no place on this album.' In Rock was everything Blackmore had envisaged and more. It would remain in the UK charts for over a year. Deep Purple had finally found its niche with its hard-driving, heavy, thunderous, powerful rock."[20]

Rock journalist Malcolm Dome stated that "In Rock is one of the great albums...not just by Purple, by anybody." On new members Gillan and Glover, he added: "How Ian Gillan remains completely in control of his voice whilst going completely insane is remarkable. And Roger Glover was unfussy, but very good technically...also contributing nicely and impressively to songwriting."[20]


Unlike the three Mark I albums, which all included some cover songs, every song on In Rock is credited to the five Deep Purple band members.

Among the album's songs, "Child in Time", "Into the Fire" and "Speed King" were regularly played at concerts during the Mark II era. "Speed King" started as an opener, but later would be more frequently performed as an encore, along with the non-album single "Black Night".

"Child in Time" is considered one of the most prominent songs of the Mark II era, especially before the release of "Smoke on the Water" in 1972. Jon Lord developed the main riff's chord structure, which is based around[21] the song "Bombay Calling" from American band It's a Beautiful Day. ("We made no attempt to hide it," said Gillan. In return, It's a Beautiful Day recorded the Deep Purple instrumental "Wring that Neck" almost note-for-note, and called it "Don and Dewey".) "Child in Time" would be a concert staple for every version of Deep Purple that included Gillan, up until the singer's voice could no longer support it. Ian Gillan tells on his homepage:

"It was 1969 and the band was rehearsing at a Community Centre in West London; it was either Southall or Hanwell. Jon Lord was dicking around (or 'extemporising on a theme' as it's known in the trade) with a tune from the new album by It's a Beautiful Day; it was 'Bombay Calling'. I started singing and the words came easily because we were all aware of the nuclear threat which hovered over us at this time which was probably when the 'cold war' was at its hottest."[22]

Lord used both the Leslie speaker and a Marshall amplifier with his Hammond organ, therefore the organ sound varies throughout the album's songs. (Example: "Living Wreck" – Leslie speaker, "Hard Lovin' Man" – Marshall amplifier.)

The song "Bloodsucker" would be re-recorded 28 years later, with Steve Morse on guitar, and retitled "Bludsucker" for Deep Purple's 1998 album Abandon.

Later editions[edit]

In some countries, including Mexico, Deep Purple in Rock also included "Black Night", a single recorded during the sessions.

The U.S. release of the album cut the intro to "Speed King", which lasts just over a minute. It remains edited on the standard Warner Bros. U.S. release, but was restored to full length on the 25th Anniversary package.

In 1995 a remastered and revised 25th anniversary edition of the album was released by EMI. The remastering and remixing job was overseen by Roger Glover. The album adds "Black Night", some remixes, plus two bonus songs ("Cry Free" and "Jam Stew") that were recorded during the In Rock sessions but not included on the original album. In 2013, this particular edition of the album turned Gold in the UK.

On 21 July 2009 audiophile label Audio Fidelity released a remastered version of Deep Purple in Rock on a limited edition 24 karat gold CD. Mastering for the CD was performed by Steve Hoffman. This release follows the original 7-track format with no bonus tracks.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[23]

In 2005, the album won the Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards (given by the British monthly magazine Classic Rock) in the category Classic Album. The award was presented to Ian Gillan, Ian Paice, Jon Lord and Ritchie Blackmore.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.

Side one
1."Speed King"5:52
3."Child in Time"10:18
Side two
1."Flight of the Rat"7:53
2."Into the Fire"3:30
3."Living Wreck"4:31
4."Hard Lovin' Man"7:10


Deep Purple

Additional personnel

  • Andy Knight – engineer IBC Studios (side 1, tracks 1 & 3, and side 2, tracks 2 and 3)[25]
  • Martin Birch – engineer De Lane Lea (side 2, tracks 1 and 4)[25]
  • Phil McDonald – engineer Abbey Road Studios (side 1, track 2)[25]
  • Peter Mew – Original album remastering
  • Roger Glover – Oversaw the mixing of the extra tracks
  • Tom Bender and Jason Butera – Additional studio work



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[29] Gold 30,000^
France (SNEP)[30] Gold 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[31] Gold 250,000^
Italy (FIMI)[32] Gold 50,000*
Netherlands (NVPI)[33] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[34] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[35] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Kerrang! United Kingdom "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time"[36] 1989 15
Guitarist United Kingdom "Top 50 Most Influential Guitar Albums of All Time Ever"[37] 1994 8
Q United Kingdom "50 Best Albums of The '70's"[38] 1998 48
Kerrang! United Kingdom "100 Best British Rock Albums Ever"[39] 2005 56
Classic Rock United Kingdom "100 Greatest British Rock Album Ever"[40] 2006 13
1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die United States "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die"[41] 2006 *

(*) designates unordered lists.



  1. ^ "Deep Purple - Deep Purple In Rock (album review)". Sputnikmusic. 10 August 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  2. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Fireball - Deep Purple | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 July 2019. 1971's Fireball saw the band broadening out from the no-holds-barred hard rock direction of the previous year's cacophonous In Rock.
  3. ^ Hoffmann, Frank. "Deep Purple". Sam Houston State University. Retrieved 15 May 2019. The band's fifth LP, Deep Purple in Rock (Warner Bros. 1877; 1970; #143), represented a major stylistic shift to classic heavy metal.
  4. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo (3 June 2015). "How Deep Purple's 'In Rock' Set a Template for Everything That Followed". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 15 May 2019. Together, these songs make up one of metal’s most defining and oft-copied statements.
  5. ^ "Top 20 heavy metal albums". The Daily Telegraph. 25 September 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Ritchie Blackmore – Recalls Life with Deep Purple". Archived from the original on 10 October 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  7. ^ Thompson 2004, p. 69.
  8. ^ Anasontzis, George (2010). "Nick Simper". Archived from the original on 30 August 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Songs Covered by Deep Purple". Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  10. ^ Thompson 2004, p. 70.
  11. ^ Robinson, Simon (2000). The Book of Taliesyn Remastered (CD Booklet). Deep Purple. London, UK: EMI. p. 8. 7243 5 21608 22.
  12. ^ Robinson, Simon (1995). Deep Purple in Rock (CD Booklet). Deep Purple. London, UK: EMI. p. 9. 7243 8 3401925.
  13. ^ Thompson 2004, p. 73.
  14. ^ Thompson 2004, p. 77.
  15. ^ a b Thompson 2004, p. 87.
  16. ^ Gillan & Cohen 1993, p. 62.
  17. ^ Gillan & Cohen 1993, p. 73.
  18. ^ Gillan & Cohen 1993, p. 78.
  19. ^ [1] Panagiotopoulos, Stathis; Review of Made in Japan including quotes from Roger Glover; October, 2013.
  20. ^ a b "Deep Purple - A Critical Retrospective/Rock Review". Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  21. ^ Ian Gillan on Deep Purple: The Interview picture disc, 1984.
  22. ^ Gillan, Ian. "Wordography – 16 'Child in Time'". Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  23. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. Deep Purple in Rock at AllMusic
  24. ^ BBC review
  25. ^ a b c Deep Purple In Rock (Media notes). Harvest. 1970. SHVL 777.
  26. ^ German Album Charts 1970
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Singles". Deep Purple. Official Chart Company. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  29. ^ "Argentinian album certifications – Deep Purple – Deep Purple in Rock". Argentine Chamber of Phonograms and Videograms Producers.
  30. ^ "French album certifications – Deep Purple – Deep Purple in Rock" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
  31. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Deep Purple; 'Deep Purple in Rock')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  32. ^ "Italian album certifications – Deep Purple – Deep Purple in Rock" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 24 April 2019. Select "2019" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Deep Purple in Rock" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Album e Compilation" under "Sezione".
  33. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Deep Purple – Deep Purple in Rock" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter Deep Purple in Rock in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  34. ^ "British album certifications – Deep Purple – Deep Purple in Rock". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Deep Purple in Rock in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  35. ^ "American album certifications – Deep Purple – Deep Purple in Rock". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  36. ^ "Kerrang – 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time – January 1989". Kerrang. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  37. ^ "Guitarist – Top 50 Most Influential Guitar Albums of All Time Ever – December 1994". Kerrang. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  38. ^ "Q – 50 Best Albums of The '70's – April 1998". Kerrang. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  39. ^ "Kerrang – 100 Best British Rock Albums Ever – February 2005". Kerrang. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  40. ^ "Classic Rock – 100 Greatest British Rock Album Ever – April 2006". Classic Rock. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  41. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (7 February 2006). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5.


External links[edit]