Deep Purple

Deep Purple is widely considered pioneers of modern rock and metal and have sold over 100 million albums since their conception. Formed in Hertford, England in 1968, the band was originally comprised of vocalist Rod Evans, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, bassist Nick Simper, drummer Ian Paice, and keyboardist Jon Lord. The band would become famous for its frequent member changes, with each individual line-up being referred to with a 'Mark' number. Three albums were released by Mark I, which was succeeded by Mark II in 1969 when Evans and Simper were replaced by Ian Gillan and Roger Glover. This version of the group released the 1972 album Machine Head, which contained their most iconic hit, “Smoke on the Water.” Gillian and Glover departed in 1973 to pursue solo projects. Mark III and IV released three studio albums between them. In 1984, the band reformed with Gillan and Glover to resurrect the Mark II line-up, which released the platinum album Perfect Strangers. Internal disagreements resulted in Gillan's second exit from the band, but he returned in 1990, causing Blackmore to be replaced temporarily by Joe Satriani and then permanently by Steve Morse. Minor line-up shuffles continued throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, leaving the Mark VIII line-up of Gillan, Morse, Glover, Paice and Don Airey. In 2016, Deep Purple was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. They released their 20th album, InFinite, in 2017 and promoted it with a series of concerts dubbed The Long Goodbye Tour. Though many assumed from the tour’s name that this was the group’s swansong, they released Whoosh!, an album of all new material in 2020, a half-century after their initial formation. Deep Purple surprised their fans yet again when they returned with the album Turning to Crime in November 2021. The album, produced by Bob Ezrin, consisted entirely of cover versions including songs originally performed by Love, Fleetwood Mac, Little Feet, Bob Dylan, Cream, the Bob Seger System, the Yardbirds, and many others. In early 2022, longtime guitarist Steve Morse announced his hiatus from the band as he planned to spend time taking care of his wife, who had been diagnosed with cancer. Several months later, it was announced that he had permanently left the group and he was officially replaced by former Sweet Savage guitarist Simon McBride. In April, this line-up of the group – unofficially known as Deep Purple Mark IX - announced that they planned to release their 23rd studio album, =1, and tour in the summer of 2024. Over the course of their career, Deep Purple has also released over 40 live albums, two dozen compilations and 50+ singles.

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