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The classic (Mark II) line-up of Deep Purple. From left to right: Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord, and Ian Paice.

Nobody gonna take my car, I'm gonna race it to the ground
Nobody gonna beat my car, it's gonna break the speed of sound
"Highway Star", Machine Head

Deep Purple is a long-running hard rock band founded in 1968. Their style is primarily Blues Rock and Hard Rock, with occasional ventures into other rock sub-genres, including some prog efforts. Their sound was also an influence on Heavy Metal, and their musical virtuousity was an influence on Progressive Metal.

The group is also known for their constantly rotating line-up; the group has its roots in a proposed rock band called Roundabout, so named because musicians would get "on and off" the group as they pleased. This didn't quite work out, and while the group that eventually became Deep Purple is notable for its endless membership changesnote , each successive group has been more or less a cohesive unit.

So far there have been nine distinct lineups, or Marks, not including a "bogus" Deep Purple that toured in 1980 with only one original member (vocalist Rod Evans).

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     About the lineups 

Deep Purple Mark I (1968–69)
L-R: Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Paice, Jon Lord, Nick Simper, Rod Evans
  • Members: Jon Lord (keyboards), Ritchie Blackmore (guitars), Nick Simper (bass), Rod Evans (vocals), Ian Paice (drums).
  • Albums: Shades of Deep Purple 1968), The Book of Taliesyn (1968), Deep Purple (1969).

Despite only lasting for little over a year, Deep Purple Mk. I produced three albums and a single that remains one of their biggest hits, "Hush". This lineup was dissolved after Evans and Simper were fired in favor of Episode Six's Gillan and Glover. This lineup played a blend of 60's Psychedelic Rock and Hard Rock, with the occasional foray into progressive rock territory.

Deep Purple Mark II (1969–73, reunited 1984–89, and again 1992–93)

'Don't come into my part of the stage. If you do, I'm gonna smack you with my guitar.' My mic stand was much longer than his guitar, so we actually had a pitched battle on stage with mic stands and guitars. It became [sic] from being a thing of joy to an absolute nightmare.
— Ian Gillan on his onstage fighting with Ritchie Blackmore

  • Members: Jon Lord (keyboards), Ritchie Blackmore (guitars), Ian Paice (drums), Ian Gillan (vocals), Roger Glover (bass).
  • Albums: Deep Purple in Rock (1970), Fireball (1971), Machine Head (Album) (1972), Who Do We Think We Are (1973), Perfect Strangers (1984), The House of Blue Light (1987), The Battle Rages On... (1993).

Often considered the 'classic' Deep Purple lineup, Mk. II was formed when Ritchie Blackmore decided to fire Evans and Simper from the Mk. I lineup, and asked a musician acquaintance named Mick Underwood for ideas for replacements. Underwood, curiously, suggested the singer and bassist of his own band, Episode Six, by the names of Ian Gillan and Roger Glover. Gillan had recently recorded the part of Jesus on the original concept album for Jesus Christ Superstar when he got the Deep Purple gig. Although the band produced such classics as "Child in Time", "Highway Star", and their best known song, "Smoke on the Water", Mk. II suffered from the fraught relationship between Gillan and Blackmore. Gillan and Glover opted to leave the band (or were driven out) in 1973. Mark II would reunite in 1984, but Gillan and Blackmore proved no more able to work together than they had eleven years before (in one notable incident, Blackmore smashed a plate of spaghetti into Gillan's face). Blackmore quit Deep Purple for good in 1993. This lineup was instrumental in the creation of Heavy Metal, and experimented with early neoclassical and speed metal elements.

Deep Purple Mark III (1973–75)
back: Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Paice, Jon Lord. front: David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes
What you've heard about Ritchie Blackmore, folks, is true. He's a fantastic guitar player. Nice chap. But he's sort of the evil one amongst us.
— Glenn Hughes

  • Members: Jon Lord (keyboards), Ritchie Blackmore (guitars), Ian Paice (drums), Glenn Hughes (bass), David Coverdale (vocals).
  • Albums: Burn, Stormbringer (Both 1974).

The band recruited bassist and vocalist Glenn Hughes from another well-known British band, Trapeze, but Blackmore sought a vocalist with a more bluesy voice to be the frontman. Frustrated by attempts to recruit Paul Rodgers (of Free and Bad Company), Deep Purple ended up selecting an unknown singer named David Coverdale from a pile of submitted tapes. This is the lineup that played at the infamous California Jam concert where Blackmore attacked the cameraman with his guitar and set off an explosion on part of the stage. Blackmore walked out on the band in 1975, at which point Deep Purple made the fateful choice to go on without him. This lineup started out playing the hard rock the band was known for, but gradually introduced more funk and soul elements, to Ritchie Blackmore’s disgust.

Deep Purple Mark IV (1975–76)
L-R: David Coverdale, Ian Paice, Jon Lord, Glenn Hughes, Tommy Bolin
Drugs, groupies, hypodermic needles... What have you got to say about that?
— Interviewer
Love it all.
— David Coverdale

  • Members: Jon Lord (keyboards), Ian Paice (drums), Glenn Hughes (bass), David Coverdale (vocals), Tommy Bolin (guitars).
  • Albums: Come Taste the Band (1975).

American guitarist Tommy Bolin, known for his time in The James Gang, joined Deep Purple. By this time, Hughes was a cocaine addict, and Bolin turned out to be a heroin junkie. Deep Purple, never known as a junkie band, was beset with troubles as the members grappled with addictions and personal problems. A disastrous concert in Indonesia resulted in one of the band's road crew being murdered when thrown down an elevator shaft, and Deep Purple being forced to play an additional concert practically at gunpoint. Bolin tragically died from a heroin overdose in December 1976, after the Mark IV lineup (and the band, until 1984) broke up. Coverdale would go on to form his own band, Whitesnake, and Paice and Lord would join that band for several albums. Hughes had a brief stint as Black Sabbath's singer and also collaborated with Joe Lynn Turner (of the Mk. V lineup) in the Hughes-Turner Project. This lineup played Funk Rock, similar to Glenn Hughes' old band Trapeze.

"Bogus" Deep Purple (1980)

I was just reading the interview with Rod Evans in Sounds and he hasn't changed, he's really a nice guy, there's no malice intended. He probably wanted to make some money out of it, which he felt he might not have done in the beginning. But that's all over and now the lawyers are in and that's been stopped.
— Ritchie Blackmore

While not considered a legitimate lineup of Deep Purple, this strange incident in rock history should be noted. In 1980, an unscrupulous management company tried to recruit Nick Simper and Rod Evans to be part of a "bogus" Deep Purple with no connection to the official (and defunct) Deep Purple. Simper refused to participate, but Evans signed on to tour with a woefully inadequate band of studio musicians. Angry audiences rioted when they realized they'd been duped into paying to see a faux Deep Purple. Evans was sued for his part in the debacle, and vanished from the music industry in disgrace (although he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016 as a member of Deep Purple, Evans did not attend the ceremony). Very little is still publicly known about this band and the only recording available is a bootleg of "Smoke on the Water".

Deep Purple Mark V (1989–92)
L-R: Joe Lynn Turner, Jon Lord, Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Paice, Roger Glover
There were some super huge egos in that band and they thought 'The Ritchie and Joe Show' was going to steal the band and make it the Deep Rainbow. All these ridiculous things.
— Joe Lynn Turner on his tenure as Deep Purple's singer

  • Members: Jon Lord (keyboards), Ian Paice (drums), Ritchie Blackmore (guitars), Roger Glover (bass), Joe Lynn Turner (vocals).
  • Albums: Slaves and Masters (1990).

After Ian Gillan quit, the band struggled to find a replacement vocalist. Blackmore recruited American Joe Lynn Turner, the former vocalist of Blackmore's band, Rainbow. Lord and Paice were dissatisfied with Turner, and record label pressure eventually resulted in Turner's dismissal and the return of Gillan in 1992. Though short-lived, this lineup sounded quite similar to Rainbow, understandable given that three fifths of the lineup were Rainbow alumni. (Blackmore, Turner and Glover.)

Deep Purple Mark VI (1993–94)
L-R:Ian Gillan, Ian Paice, Joe Satriani, Roger Glover, Jon Lord
  • Members: Jon Lord (keyboards), Ian Paice (drums), Roger Glover (bass), Ian Gillan (vocals), Joe Satriani (guitars).

This incarnation of Deep Purple existed purely as a touring band and never recorded in the studio. After Blackmore quit in 1993, Deep Purple recruited guitarist Joe Satriani to finish out their tour. Although he was not able to stay on as a permanent member, Satriani has jammed with his Deep Purple bandmates on several occasions.

Deep Purple Mark VII (1994–2002)
L-R: Steve Morse, Roger Glover, Jon Lord, Ian Gillan, Ian Paice
  • Members: Jon Lord (keyboards), Ian Paice (drums), Roger Glover (bass), Ian Gillan (vocals), Steve Morse (guitars).
  • Albums: Purpendicular (1996), Abandon (1998).

Steve Morse, noted for his work with the Dixie Dregs, was brought on as the band's new guitarist. This lineup was stable until Jon Lord chose to leave, peacefully turning over keyboard duties to former Whitesnake keyboardist Don Airey.

Deep Purple Mark VIII (2002–2022)
From left to right: Don Airey, Ian Paice, Steve Morse, Ian Gillan and Roger Glover.

  • Members: Ian Paice (drums), Roger Glover (bass), Ian Gillan (vocals), Steve Morse (guitars), Don Airey (keyboards).
  • Albums: Bananas (2003), Rapture of the Deep (2005), Now What?! (2013), Infinite (2017), Whoosh (2020)

So far the most stable lineup of the band, Mark VIII has recorded albums and toured the world regularly since 2002, and performed at Deep Purple's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.

Deep Purple Mark IX (2022-present)
L-R: Roger Glover, Simon McBride, Ian Gillan, Ian Paice and Don Airey

  • Members: Ian Paice (drums), Roger Glover (bass), Ian Gillan (vocals), Simon McBride (guitars), Don Airey (keyboards).

Steve Morse initally took a hiatus due to his wife’s illness, but later announced his permanent departure. Simon McBride took over as a live guitarist (just as Joe Satriani had done when Ritchie Blackmore left) and was later named a full time member in September of 2022.

Current Members:

  • Ian Paice - drums, percussion (1968–76, 1984–present)
  • Roger Glover - bass, synthesizers (1969–73, 1984–present)
  • Ian Gillan - vocals, harmonica, percussion, conga (1969–73, 1984–89, 1992–present)
  • Don Airey - keyboards (2002–present)
  • Simon McBride - guitars (2022–present)

Former Members:

  • Ritchie Blackmore - guitars (1968–75, 1984–93)
  • Tommy Bolin - guitars, backing vocals, bass (1975–76, died 1976)
  • David Coverdale - lead vocals (1973–76)
  • Rod Evans - lead vocals (1968–69)
  • Glenn Hughes - bass, backing vocals (1973–76)
  • Jon Lord - keyboards, organ, backing vocals, synthesizers, piano (1968–76, 1984–2002, died 2012)
  • Joe Satriani - guitars (1993–94)
  • Nick Simper - bass, backing vocals (1968–69)
  • Joe Lynn Turner - lead vocals (1989–92)
  • Steve Morse - guitars (1994-2022)

Studio Discography:

  • 1968 - Shades of Deep Purple
  • 1968 - The Book of Taliesyn
  • 1969 - Deep Purple
  • 1970 - Deep Purple in Rock
  • 1971 - Fireball
  • 1972 - Machine Head
  • 1973 - Who Do We Think We Are
  • 1974 - Burn
  • 1974 - Stormbringer
  • 1975 - Come Taste the Band
  • 1984 - Perfect Strangers
  • 1987 - The House of Blue Light
  • 1990 - Slaves and Masters
  • 1993 - The Battle Rages On...
  • 1996 - Purpendicular
  • 1998 - Abandon
  • 2003 - Bananas
  • 2005 - Rapture of the Deep
  • 2013 - Now What?!
  • 2017 - Infinite
  • 2020 - Whoosh
  • 2021 - Turning To Crime

Live Discography:

  • 1969 - Concerto for Group and Orchestra
  • 1972 - Made in Japan
  • 1976 - Made in Europe
  • 1977 - Last Concert in Japan
  • 1980 - Deep Purple in Concert
  • 1982 - Live in London
  • 1988 - Nobody's Perfect
  • 1988 - Scandinavian Nights
  • 1991 - In the Absence of Pink
  • 1992 - Live in Japan
  • 1993 - Gemini Suite Live
  • 1994 - Come Hell or High Water
  • 1995 - King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents: Deep Purple in Concert
  • 1996 - California Jamming
  • 1996 - Mk III: The Final Concerts
  • 1997 - Live at the Olympia '96
  • 1999 - Total Abandon: Australia '99
  • 2000 - Live at the Royal Albert Hall
  • 2000 - Days May Come and Days May Go
  • 2001 - The Bootleg Series 1984 - 2000
  • 2001 - Live at the Rotterdam Ahoy
  • 2001 - The Soundboard Series
  • 2001 - Live in Paris 1975
  • 2001 - This Time Around: Live in Tokyo
  • 2002 - Inglewood – Live in California
  • 2004 - Live Encounters...
  • 2004 - New Live and Rare: Live in Europe 1969-71
  • 2004 - Perks and Tit
  • 2004 - Space Vol 1 & 2
  • 2006 - Live at Montreux 1996
  • 2006 - Live in Europe 1993
  • 2006 - Live in Montreux 69
  • 2007 - Live in Denmark 1972
  • 2007 - Live at Montreux 2006: They All Came Down to Montreux
  • 2011 - Phoenix Rising
  • 2011 - BBC Sessions 1968–1970
  • 2011 - Live at Montreux 2011
  • 2013 - Perfect Strangers Live
  • 2013 - NOW What?! Live Tapes
  • 2014 - Celebrating Jon Lord at the Royal Albert Hall
  • 2014 - Graz 1975

Highway Tropes:

    Tropes Relating to the band's music 
  • AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle: My woman from To-kay-oh...
    • From "Smooth Dancer": "You're acting like a girl who's got a false preg-NAN-cy..."
  • Accidental Marriage: "One Night in Vegas" in Infinite involves one.
  • Album Title Drop: "Listen, Learn, Read On" from The Book of Taliesyn.
    • From Whoosh!, the title is an onomatopoeia during "Man Alive". It was in the first snippet of music publicly teased.
  • All Just a Dream: Word of God states “Chasing Shadows” is about a recurring nightmare.
  • Ambiguously Human: The spaceman from the Whoosh! promotional materials, whose nature—a visitor from another planet? A person coming back after an extended trip through space?—is left unclear.
  • Anti-Love Song: A few. "All I Got Is You" off Infinite is a very bitter example.
  • Answer Song: "King of Dreams" is Ritchie Blackmore's response to "Smooth Dancer" (even name-dropping the original song in the chorus).
  • A Storm Is Coming: "Stormbringer."
  • Apocalypse How: "Man Alive" takes place in the aftermath of a Class 3 (implied to be a 3a), during which humanity has been wiped out and is down to a single human.
  • Audience Participation Song: "You Keep On Moving," when performed by Glenn Hughes.
  • Badass Boast: Occurs in "Highway Star," "Speed King," and "Comin' Home."
  • Baroque Pop: Features on their second LP The Book of Taliesyn where a full orchestral string section provides string orchestration.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: "Bad Attitude" off The House of Blue Light.
  • Bowdlerise: The initial U.S. release of The Book of Taliesyn changed the title of the instrumental "Wring That Neck" to "Hard Road", apparently because the U.S. record company considered the original title to be too violent. (According to the liner notes of a CD reissue from 2000, the original title was meant to refer to a guitar neck.)
  • Buffy Speak: In "Smoke on the Water". The band rented the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio to record what would become Machine Head. The lyrics refer to "the Rolling truck Stones thing just outside".
  • Call-Back: The music video for "The Surprising" includes callbacks to most of their album covers over the years.
  • Call-Forward: "Bloodsucker" mentions a "Hard-Lovin' Man", which was the title of the last song on the album.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The Ian Gillan-led versions of the group have never played anything from the David Coverdale/Glenn Hughes years. Gillan has even gone so far as to say he doesn't consider the three studio albums made during that period (Burn, Stormbringer and Come Taste the Band) to even be Deep Purple albums, although he admits they contain some very good music. Ditto for anything off Slaves and Masters, from the Joe Lynn Turner era. Gillan does sing songs from Mark I, though "Hush" and the instrumental "Wring That Neck" are the only ones that survived past 1972.
  • Car Song: "Highway Star".
  • Cover Version: Quite a few, especially of songs by The Beatles (John Lennon thought Deep Purple's version of "Help" was better than their own version).
    • "Hush" (arguably one of Deep Purple's most famous songs) is also a cover (the original by Billy Joe Royal was released a year before Deep Purple's version).
    • "We Can Work it Out" off The Book of Taliesyn, also originally from the Beatles.
    • Also from Taliesyn is "River Deep, Mountain High", covering Ike and Tina Turner.
    • "Lalena" off Deep Purple, this one a cover of a Donovan song.
  • Crisis of Faith: “Holy Man” is a rare example of one where the narrator doesn’t regain his faith at the end.
  • Double Meaning: "A-200" off Burn note .
  • Downer Ending: Occurs in "Strange Kind of Woman"...
    She finally said she loved me
    I wed her in a hurry
    No more callers and I glowed with pride
    I'm dreaming
    I feel like screaming
    I won my woman just before she died
  • The Drifter: "Drifter."
  • Drugs Are Bad: Word of God states this is the subject of "Into The Fire".
  • Dying Candle: The front and back covers of Burn
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Their first three albums are less aggressive and more psychedelic than the sound they would become known for.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: "Lazy". Nearly four and a half minutes of organ solo before the actual song starts. (And the rest of the song is only three minutes long!)
    • Their cover of The Beatles' "We Can Work it Out" also opened with a long instrumental called "Exposition" (which, true to Jon Lord's classical background, includes quotes from Ludwig van Beethoven's Seventh Symphony and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet" overture).
    • And prefiguring "Lazy", we have "April" from their third album, of which only the final third has vocals.
    • Their cover of Ike and Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High" has a four-minute intro.
  • Epic Rocking: On most of their albums.
    • "The Mule" and several other songs from Deep Purple in Rock, Fireball, and Machine Head live (at least circa Made In Japan). Definitely well-deserved; who doesn't want to sit through twenty minutes of "Space Truckin'" or "Smoke on the Water"?
    • "Child in Time". That is all.
  • Evolving Music: And how. This is most prominent in the shift between Mk I and II.
    • There's also a brief dip into funk during Mk III and IV.
    • Mark VIII veers further into straight-up prog rock the longer they go.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Slaves & Masters, according to Blackmore.
  • Genre Roulette: While they are generally considered a Hard Rock band, their music incorporates multiple influences. In addition, each Mark has its signature take on rock (with Mark I being more of a Progressive Rock or Psychedelic Rock bent, Mark II on the harder rock part, Mark III / IV known for funk influences, Mark V with an AOR sound that sounded more like '80s Rainbow or Foreigner, and the modern lineup being a mix of all of this with strong prog rock elements.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: Occurs in “One More Rainy Day” off Shades of Deep Purple.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Deepest Purple: The Very Best of Deep Purple in 1980.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: From "The Painter": "Writer, write me out a play/Writer, make the meaning gay".
  • Heavy Metal: They were a significant influence on the genre in its early years, and the primary influence on the faster, more technical genres of Metal. They're one of the oldest bands to be accepted in the Metal Archives, and the Mark II, Mark VII, and Mark VIII albums are generally agreed to be the most "metal" of their works.
  • Heavy Mithril: A rare Deep Purple instance of this is the title track of "Burn", which is about a medieval witch hunt, where the witch turns the tables and burns her accusers. "Stormbringer" is an ambiguously mythical-sounding theme about the titular, death-bringing figure. The theme of "Burn" was invented by Ritchie Blackmore, who would a year later go on to found the pioneering fantasy-metal band Rainbow.
  • High-Class Call Girl: The titular "Lady Luck" off Come Taste the Band.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: "Strange Kind of Woman" from Fireball and "Lady Luck" off Come Taste The Band.
  • Hypocrite: "Mary Long." The first line of the song is even "Mary Long is a hypocrite."
  • Incendiary Exponent: Both Fireball and Burn evoke this, and then there's the subject of "Smoke on the Water" and "Into the Fire."
  • Instrumentals: "And the Address...", "Wring That Neck", "A-200", "Contact Lost", "The Well-Dressed Guitar," and "Owed to G".
  • Intercourse with You: "Hard Lovin' Man," "Mandrake Root," "Lay Down, Stay Down."
  • Knight Templar Parent: The father in "Anyone's Daughter".
  • Last of His Kind: The titular man in "Man Alive" is the last human being.
  • Live Album: They outnumber their studio outputs at this point.
  • Metal Scream: Ian Gillan in Child in Time. The last sequence can be scary at the wrong time, for the wrong people.
    • May this also count as Careful with That Axe?
    • Ian Gillan pulls them off routinely, period. Even in his seventies, the man can wail. Not for nothing he's called the Silvervoice.
    • Glenn Hughes does really, really good ones as well, to this day.
    • David Coverdale can pull them off, though he does them far less than Gillan and Hughes, and seems less comfortable doing them.
  • Money Song: "Love Don't Mean a Thing." See Anti-Love Song above.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: "Smoke on the Water". One of the most epic riffs in rock history, dramatic arrangement, tasty harmonies. But you can boil down its lyrical content to: "We went to Switzerland to make a recording, but a fire broke out in the venue we were planning to use the day before we were scheduled to start. Thanks to the prompt action of venue staff, there were no serious casualties. So, we moved to a different venue, and our recording schedule was not materially affected."
  • New Sound Album:
    • Deep Purple In Rock saw the band transitioning from the psychedelic sound of the Mark I albums to a much more aggressive style that is often counted as an early example of Heavy Metal.
    • Stormbringer introduced funk and R&B influences to their sound, elements that they would double down on in Come Taste The Band.
    • Slaves and Masters was a full-fledged AOR album.
  • One-Woman Song: "Lalena" off Deep Purple, though there are surprisingly few in their catalogue.
    • "Lady Double Dealer" from Stormbringer
  • One-Word Title: "Anya", "April", "Anthem", "Bananas", "Blind", "Bloodsucker", "Burn", "Dealer", "Drifter", "Fireball", "Fools", "Help", "Hush", "Lazy", "Shield", Solitaire", "Stormbringer".
  • Precision F-Strike: Not Responsible from Perfect Strangers and Hip Boots and All I Got Is You from Infinite are the only examples in their discography.
  • Pun-Based Title: Many of their album (and song) titles, with Purpendicular and Abandon note  being two prominent examples.
  • Rock Me, Amadeus!: Ritchie Blackmore, having a keen interest in Medieval music, and formal training in classical guitar was very fond of inserting classical passages and techniques into his playing.
    • So did Jon Lord to an extent, though his training was mostly in Jazz.
    • Don Airey, who's had training in both, does this from time to time.
  • Rearrange the Song: The band produced a reworked version of the Mark II era song "Bloodsucker" and released it as "Blüdsucker" on their album Abandon.
  • Recycled Lyrics: "Hard Lovin' Man" from "Bloodsucker", and reappearing on the track of the same name later on the same album.
    • Lampshaded in the song "Hungry Daze" from their 1984 album Perfect Strangers, which recycles the first line of "Smoke on the Water":
      "We all came down to Montreux, but that's another song"
  • Ride the Rainbow: Occurs in Stormbringer's title track
    Ride the Rainbow
    Crack the skies
    Stormbringer coming
    Time to die
  • Rock-Star Song: Subverted on “Comin’ Home,” which is a much Lighter and Softer example. Overlaps as a Shoutout to multiple rock’n’roll pioneers.
  • Rushmore Refacement: The cover of Deep Purple in Rock, which is also a Visual Pun.
  • Scatting: Gillan was very fond of this. A notable example happens in the jam on the Made in Japan version of "Strange Kind of Woman", where he repeats Blackmore's guitar improvisation by screaming the same notes in sequence.
  • Self-Titled Album: Shades of Deep Purple, Deep Purple, and Deep Purple in Rock; the latter of which is most widely known.
  • Shout-Out: Their song, "The Mule", is based on a Foundation story; "The Mule". The titular antagonist has Mind Control and emotion-reading powers, and has Converted even his deadliest enemies into loyal servants.
    No one sees the things you do
    Because I stand in front of you
    But you drive me all the time
    Put the evil in my mind
    Just another slave for the mule
  • Show, Don't Tell: "Highway Star" counts. It was written as a response to an interviewer's question regarding how the band writes their songs.
  • Siamese Twin Songs: "This Time Around" and "Owed to G."
  • Slipping a Mickey: Implied to happen in “What’s Goin’ on Here”
    Found myself sittin' in a west side bar
    Tried to leave but I could not go far
    High class woman try'n to give me a line
    Should've left early when I felt so fine
  • Solo Side Project: Jon Lord's "Sarabande."
    • Subverted with Tommy Bolin, who had already begun his solo album "Teaser" before he joined Purple.
    • Odd example of a duet side project with Accidentally on Purpose by Ian Gillan and Roger Glover while both were still part of Purple.
    • Don Airey has released five solo albums during his tenure with Deep Purple: A Light in the Sky, All Out, Keyed Up, Going Home and One of a Kind.
    • Steve Morse has released several solo albums as well.
    • Hell, the only one of the current lineup not to do this is Ian Paice. Roger Glover and Ian Gillan have each been on at least one solo album after the turn of the millennium.
  • Song of Song Titles: Sort of. The first song Gillan ever wrote with Deep Purple was "Speed King", where he just quoted bits of lyrics from other rock 'n roll tunes (by Little Richard, Elvis Presley and so on) — apparently only the chorus is 100% his.
  • Space Trucker: "Space Truckin'". Partly the Trope Namer, as it seems.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Tommy Bolin in Dealer, though only for a verse.
  • Stop and Go: "Pictures of Home".
  • Studio Chatter: Almost everywhere on Days May Come And Days May Go.
  • Subliminal Seduction: The windy sounds at the start of "Stormbringer", when played backwards, are outright unpleasant.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Never a Word" off of Bananas. You didn't think there was a Deep Purple song with acoustic guitar, didja?
  • Take That!:
    • "MTV" from Rapture of the Deep is a scathing take on the modern music industry, down to disc jockeys getting band member names wrong.
      "Mr. Gillian and Mr. Grover..."
    • So is "Mary Long" from Who Do We Think We Are, this time against Moral Guardians.
    • "Smooth Dancer", also from Who Do We Think We Are, this time from Ian Gillan to Ritchie Blackmore.
    • "Black or White" from The House of Blue Light, against tabloid journalism, paparazzi and intrepid reporters, with one target clearly mentioned:
      "Is this the News of the World?"
    • "King of Dreams" off Slaves and Masters is a rebuttal to "Smooth Dancer", from Ritchie Blackmore to Ian Gillan.
  • Technician Versus Performer: Purple as a whole are the Technicians, to their contemporaries (Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath's) Performers, being a band comprised of virtuosos, but definitely not a band as marketable as the two aforementioned ones.
    • Ritchie Blackmore was this compared to Tommy Bolin. They were both very disciplined, technical players, but while Ritchie preferred far more rigid Classical stylings, Tommy leaned more towards Jazz, which is a lot looser, despite the immense skill needed to play it.
  • Title Track: Fireball, Stormbringer, Burn, Perfect Strangers, The Battle Rages On, Bananas, Rapture of the Deep.
    • Averted for Infinite, though according to some of the others the album was almost named "Time For Bedlam", which would have made it this.
  • Tyop on the Cover: Almost. The glass on the cover of Come Taste The Band was originally accidentally carved to say “Come And Taste The Band.” The album ended up getting delayed by a few weeks because they needed a new glass.
  • Uncommon Time: Generally rare in their music, but the instrumental sections of "Perfect Strangers" are in alternating bars of 4/4 and 5/4 time, up until the point where Gillan sings "I know I must remain inside this silent well of sorrow", which reverts to 4/4 time.
    • Bananas alternates between 7/4 and 5/4.
  • Ur-Example: Concerto for Group and Orchestra is the first-ever recording to combine a rock group with a live orchestra (London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra). This presaged several rock and metal genres, including Progressive Rock and Symphonic Metal.
  • Vocal Tag Team: Part of what made MK III distinctive; although David Coverdale was the lead vocalist, bassist Glenn Hughes would also sing some songs and the two would often trade off vocals, as in "Burn". Overlaps with Soprano and Gravel.
    • Taken further with Mark IV, where Tommy Bolin, David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes all sang lead, though sadly, Bolin only had one lead spot on the album. However, in Australia, Purple would perform "Wild Dogs" off Teaser, where he sang lead and Glenn Hughes sang the harmonies.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: The subject of “What’s Goin on Here”
  • You Are Number 6: Bad Attitude from The House of Blue Light has this line:
    Don't want a number, I've got a name

     Tropes relating to the members or the general history of the group 
  • A Day in the Limelight: Tommy Bolin plays bass and sings the backing vocals on “Comin Home” (as Glenn Hughes was in England for drug rehab).
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Averted. Even with Ian Paice's explosive drumming style, he is The Quiet One of the group and is the only remaining original member.
  • British Rockstar: They're all British (Except Tommy and Steve), but they mostly don't fit the stereotype
  • The Big Guy: Ian Gillan, 6'2 and quite muscular in his youth.
    • Jon Lord, also rather tall, though slenderer in the Seventies.
    • Don Airey, who's about Ian Gillan's height.
  • The Band Minus the Face: Played straight with the band disbanding when Ritchie Blackmore departed, then subverted when the classic Mark II line-up reunited in 1984. Then double subverted when Blackmore left the group for good in 1993.
  • Berserk Button: Ritchie Blackmore has many, including going onstage before he sees fit, cameramen getting in his space, Ian Gillan, bassists, funk music and Ian Gillan.
  • Butt-Monkey: Roger Glover for Mk II Purple. And how.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Ritchie Blackmore, fittingly, has worn pretty much exclusively black for the past fifty years.
  • Child Prodigy: Blackmore dropped out of school and became a professional guitarist/session musician at age fifteen. By the time Deep Purple was formed, he was a mere 23 years of age, and still had a bigger playing resumé than many could ever hope for.
  • Classical Music Is Cool: Jon Lord.
    • Richie Blackmore, full stop. There is a reason why neoclassical metal is a thing, and it all started with Ritchie.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Ian Gillan, full stop. Between...odd wardrobe choices, occasionally silly lyrics, a penchant for sometimes forgetting said lyrics, and his concert-side ramblings, he seems to be a pleasantly strange one.
    • Ritchie Blackmore is a darker version as well He would most often be seen in all-black and a witches hat, destroys his instruments in elaborate ways and is famous for playing the guitar with his feet, the edge of the stage, his own amplifier, and basically any solid surface he can find...
    • According to Ian Gillan, Ian Paice this in his younger days as well.
  • Control Freak: Ritchie Blackmore.
  • Cool Shades: Ian Paice most of the time.
    • Jon Lord often sported a pair, too.
    • The whole band sometimes. here and here, for instance
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most of them. Not Steve though.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Glenn Hughes after his Trapeze days could have easily passed for a very tall woman.
    • Tommy Bolin, full stop.
  • Fish out of Water: David Coverdale has admitted being this the first few months with Purple, having been an amateur musician lucky to play club gigs, and working a standard job up till he joined the band, which had already seen massive success, and had been active for 5 years.
    • Roger Glover says he felt similarly in the early days.
  • For Want Of A Nail: Roger Glover joined the band on sheer accident; Nick Simper was still the bassist in Deep Purple, but Roger happened to hang along for Ian Gillan's first session with the band, and got tagged in to lay the bass tracks - since he was a very skilled bassist. Simply put, had Roger Glover not happened to be at the right place at the right time, Deep Purple would've been a very different band.
  • Great Balls of Fire!: At the California Jam, where the group had to exit by helicopter to avoid arrest by fire marshals and ABC executives, thanks to Ritchie Blackmore blowing up his amplifiers, and accidentally, part of the stage.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Joe Satriani, who had a short stint with the band after Ritchie left. The three current members who were there at the time credit him with giving them the courage to keep going.
    • Subverted with Don Airey, who was a last-minute replacement for Jon Lord when he had an injured knee...only to take over from him about six months later when Jon chose to retire for good.
    • Jordan Rudess stood in for Don Airey when Airey was forced to miss a gig. So far, this seems to be a one-off.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Ian Gillan and Roger Glover, who were friends long before Purple and remain so to this day.
    • Glenn Hughes and Tommy Bolin, prior to Tommy's death. Hughes has said Bolin was like a brother to him.
    • Jon Lord and Ian Paice, to a certain extent. They were in three bands together (Deep Purple; Paice, Ashton, & Lord; and Whitesnake) and were consistently bandmates until Lord's retirement from Purple. Not only that, but their wives are identical twins.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Ritchie Blackmore, infamously so. Pretty much anything would set him off. In fact, when particularly annoyed, he'd purposely half-ass shows, miss entire songs, storm off stage, or simply not show up at all.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Every member of Mark VIII downplays his own involvement and talents in favor of his four bandmates. According to pretty much any of them, they're surrounded by geniuses and are just happy to be along for the ride.
  • I Am the Band: Averted; Ian Paice remains the only original member of Deep Purple, but never was its true leader.
    • Attempted by Ritchie Blackmore.
  • Insistent Terminology: Ritchie referred to pretty much everything Glenn Hughes added as "shoeshine music", a not so politically correct way of describing Hughes soul and funk influences.
  • Iconic Outfit: Ritchie Blackmore's all black outfits, paired with the witches' hats, the first part also being the basis for Yngwie Malmsteen's stagewear.
  • Iconic Item:
    • Tommy Bolin's echoplex.
    • Ritchie Blackmore's white Fender Stratocaster, with scalloped frets.
    • Roger Glover is one of the more famous users of Rickenbacker basses, having used them pretty much exclusively during Purple's heyday. Pretty much every other Purple bassist used Fender Precisions.
  • In Name Only: An infamous faux-reunion in 1980 with Rod Evans as the only member to have had anything to do with Deep Purple; fortunately, they were given a cease and desist order.
    • Poor, poor Rod Evans took the fall for the whole scam. His musical career was completely derailed because of it. The scammers running the show and the other band members were barely affected.
      • This is because the scammers, in order to entice Evans, offered him a contract giving him ostensible "ownership" of the new group even though they were actually funding it and would receive most of its revenues. When the lawyers came knocking, he was the official owner of this venture and the one left holding the bag.
  • Instrumental Weapon: Ritchie Blackmore's Stratocasters, especially at Cal Jam.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Tommy Bolin owned a kitten named Zane while living in Colorado.
  • Lead Bassist: Glenn Hughes is a Type B for MkIII/IV.
    • Roger Glover is a slight Type A - he is known as a very skilled bassist, with a lot of memorable playing. He's also skilled with several different instruments, and is a renowned producer. Not to mention that he was the only Deep Purple member that Ritchie Blackmore would let join Rainbow.
  • Looks Like Cesare: Ritchie Blackmore, pale, rail-thin, dressed in all-black, gaunt face and a huge mess of black scraggly hair.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes, David Coverdale, and Tommy Bolin stand out as this. See Dude Looks Like a Lady above.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: Mark II barely makes it as a Type V, totaling 10 years and two months.
    • The present MK VIII line-up of Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ian Paice, Steve Morse and Don Airey has now notched up 16 years as of 2018, qualifying as a Type 2 long runner line-up.
  • Meaningful Name: Ian Paice, the drummer. May also be a Punny Name.
    • The albums Who Do We Think We Are (last album before Mark II's dissolution and the formation of Mark III) and The Battle Rages On (Mark II's last album, period) reflect the Creative Differences that had affected the band, primarily between Blackmore and Gillan.
    • Ritchie Blackmore. Is there any better name for one of the primary innovators in Heavy Metal, not to mention one that dressed exclusively in black and witch hats?
  • Mr. Fanservice: According to Ritchie, Ian Gillan was partly hired because he was very popular with the ladies.
  • Nobody Loves the Bassist: In the past, Ritchie Blackmore has been very vocal of his... dislike of bassists.
    • His (and at times the whole band's) treatment of Roger Glover, especially early on, is dark evidence of this. Glover's firing in 1973 would turn out to be a blessing, as it led to him doing the Butterfly Ball album, which led to him becoming a sought-after producer, to the point Blackmore brought him into Rainbow to help write songs when he wanted to conquer America. Since the band reunited in 1984, Glover has been a Lead Bassist.
    • Nick Simper was fired in 1969 and had a more minor career since. He wasn't even included when the band finally got inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2016.
    • Averted with Glenn Hughes, who was 1/2 of a Vocal Tag Team with David Coverdale.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted by Ian Gillan (singer) and Ian Paice (drummer).
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Downplayed example with Ian Paice, one of the shortest members of the band, who also happens to be one of the loudest and was hired in part because of how wild he was onstage.
    • Tommy Bolin, though no official height is available, has been described as rather short, as well as about as thin as a straw of grass.
  • The Prankster: Ritchie Blackmore was notorious for tormenting his bandmates and everyone around him with rather cruel pranks.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The classic line-up was comprised of a classically-trained jazz/classical musician (Jon Lord), a skilled record producer (Roger Glover), a young drum prodigy (Ian Paice), a former pop singer (Ian Gillan) and a session guitarist that was something of a legend in Germany of all places (Blackmore).
  • Revolving Door Band: Deep Purple and its two Spin-Off bands Rainbow and Whitesnake enjoyed a complex, deeply odd three-way set of revolving doors. Members of one band would often spend time in one or both of the other two bands, moving among them almost as if they were a single, three-headed line-up.
    • Further complicating the picture, the three bands later served as a sort of farm team for post-Ozzy Black Sabbath.
    • Also the reason why founding member Chris Curtis called the band Roundabout – he wanted a core of three members, where other members could join or leave the band at any time.
  • Rockers Smash Guitars: California Jam, 1974; Blackmore threw guitars into the audience and more infamously smashed a network video camera with his guitar.
  • Sex Drugs And Rock N Roll: Averted for MK I and II. Played tragically straight with MK III and IV, particularly with Glenn Hughes, and especially with Tommy Bolin, who died of a drug overdose age 25. Seems averted after this point, however.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Averted with Glenn Hughes and Ian Gillan, whose singing voices are similar to their speaking voices.
    • Coverdale's singing voice is rather husky and deep, his speaking voice is even deeper.
    • Played straight with Tommy Bolin, whose speaking voice is much more nasally than his singing voice.
  • Soprano and Gravel: Glenn Hughes and David Coverdale.
  • Signature Headgear: Roger Glover. In recent years he's taken to a bandana, though. Ritchie Blackmore also sported a top hat, and sometimes a witches' hat in the mid-'70s, as seen on the cover of Burn.
  • So What Do We Do Now?: Ritchie Blackmore's departure in 1975, full stop.
    • Averted with Jon Lord's departure in 2001. If anything, the band kicked up a notch.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Many, many articles spell Glenn Hughes' name with only one "n." He's not too fond of it.
  • Spin-Off: Rainbow, and Whitesnake, too; what with Mark III/IV vocalist David Coverdale being, well, the band. Paice and Lord were also members for a period of time.
  • The Stoic: Ritchie Blackmore, who onstage and off often pulls off a generic unemotional facial expression. He also tried that in concert.
    • Ritchie does smile, but even his smiles are tense. During MK I's performance at the Playboy mansion, he can even be seen giggling.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: When David Coverdale first joined, he was apparently overweight, no fashion sense, wore thick glasses and had a bizarre haircut. Post 1974? Not so much.
  • Team Dad: Jon Lord, the oldest and arguably most mature in the band.
  • Titled After the Song: At a band meeting to pick a name, Blackmore suggested the standard "Deep Purple", because it was his grandmother's favourite song and she would often pester him to play it. Everybody else agreed to the suggestion.
  • Trash the Set: In a fit of rage over being moved up at the 1974 California Jam, Ritchie Blackmore had an epic onstage meltdown, breaking many guitars, a network television camera, and eventually blew up half the stage by having his roadies cover his amplifiers in gasoline and lighting them up.
  • True Companions: Mark VII started it a bit. By Mark VIII, this has come into full play.
  • Wandering Minstrel: Ritchie Blackmore in modern times.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Ian Gillan feels this way towards Ritchie Blackmore. Although Gillan has stated that enough time has passed since Blackmore left for good that he can look back fondly on their work together, he still has absolutely no desire to try and reconcile with him.
    • Nick Simper has this attitude towards the band as a whole. It's obvious from interviews that he's still hurt over his treatment in the band, though not without good reason - he was sacked simply because Roger Glover happened to come with Ian Gillan to the studio - and not even being told directly by the band that he was being replaced.
    • Rod Evans certainly felt like this. According to Nick Simper, Rod went ballistic when he found out he was being sacked. The Fake Deep Purple debacle only worsened things, since he got sued to hell and back by his former bandmates, effectively ending both his musical career, and any semblance of friendship with the rest of the band in one fell swoop.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Original vocalist Rod Evans disappeared after his involvement with the infamous "Deep Purple Reunion" of 1980. He hasn't been seen or heard from since, but is apparently receiving royalties again as of 2015. Former Captain Beyond drummer Bobby Caldwell mentioned in 2015 that Rod currently works in Los Angeles as a respiratory therapist.

Sweet child in time... you'll see the line...