Deep Purple


Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. They are considered to be among the pioneers of modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Originally formed as a progressive rock band, the Deep Purple's sound shifted to hard rock in 1970. They have been influenced by prog rock for most of their career and they have also been quite influential on many heavy prog, Hammond-driven bands. Deep Purple, together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, have been referred to as the "unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal in the early to mid 70s". The group have influenced a number of rock and metal bands including Metallica, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Alice in Chains, Pantera, Bon Jovi, Rush, Motörhead, and many of the New Wave British Heavy Metal bands such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Def Leppard. They were listed in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records as "the globe's loudest band" for a 1972 concert at London's Rainbow Theatre and they have sold over 100 million albums worldwide, including 8.05 million certified units in the US. Deep Purple were ranked number 22 on VH1's Greatest Artists of Hard Rock programme and a British radio station Planet Rock poll ranked them 5th among the "most influential bands ever". At the 2011 Classic Rock Awards in London, they received the Innovator Award. They are considered to be one of the hardest touring bands in the world. From 1968 until today (with the exception of their 1976–1984 split) they continue to tour around the world. In 2007, the band received a special award for selling more than 150,000 tickets in France, with 40 dates in the country in 2007 alone. Also in 2007, Deep Purple's Rapture of the Deep Tour was voted number 6 concert tour of the year (in all music genres) by Planet Rock listeners. Deep Purple released a new live compilation DVD box, Around the World Live, in May 2008. In February 2008, the band made their first ever appearance at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia  at the personal request of Dmitry Medvedev. Prior to that, Deep Purple has toured Russia several times starting as early as 1987, but hasn't played a venue of this caliber. In 2000, Deep Purple were ranked number 22 on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock" programme. In 2011, they received the Innovator Award at the 2011 Classic Rock Awards in London. A Rolling Stone readers' poll in 2012 ranked Made in Japan the sixth best live album of all time. Prior to October 2012, Deep Purple had not been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as they've been eligible since 1993), but were nominated for induction in 2013. Despite ranking 2nd in the public's vote on the Rock Hall fans’ ballot, which had over half a million votes, they were not inducted by the Rock Hall committee. Kiss bassist Gene Simmons and Rush vocalist Geddy Lee commented that Deep Purple should obviously be among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees. There have been criticisms in the past over Deep Purple not having been inducted. On October 16, 2013 Deep Purple were again announced as nominees for inclusion to the Hall.


The band has gone through many line-up changes and an eight-year hiatus (1976–1984). The 1968–1976 line-ups are commonly labelled mark I, II, III and IV. Their second and most commercially successful line-up featured Ian Gillan (vocals), Jon Lord (organ), Roger Glover (bass), Ian Paice (drums), and Ritchie Blackmore (guitar). This line-up was active from 1969 to 1973, and was revived from 1984 to 1989, and again from 1992 to 1993. The band achieved more modest success in the intervening periods between 1968 and 1969 with the line-up including Rod Evans (vocals) and Nick Simper (bass, backing vocals), between 1974 and 1976 (Tommy Bolin replacing Blackmore in 1975) with the line-up including David Coverdale (vocals) and Glenn Hughes (bass, vocals), and between 1989 and 1992 with the line-up including Joe Lynn Turner (vocals). The band's line-up (currently featuring Ian Gillan, and guitarist Steve Morse from 1994) has been much more stable in recent years, although organist Jon Lord's retirement from the band in 2002 (being succeeded by Don Airey) left Ian Paice as the only original Deep Purple member still in the band. Jon Lord died of cancer on 16 July 2012.


HISTORY
The beginning (1967–68)

In 1967, former Searchers drummer Chris Curtis contacted London businessman Tony Edwards, in the hope that he would manage a new group he was putting together, to be called Roundabout. Curtis' vision was a supergroup where the band members would get on and off, like a musical roundabout. Impressed with the plan, Edwards agreed to finance the venture with two business partners: John Coletta and Ron Hire, all of Hire-Edwards-Coletta (HEC) Enterprises. The first recruit was the classically-trained Hammond organ player Jon Lord, Curtis' flatmate who had most notably played with The Artwoods (led by Art Wood, brother of future Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, and featuring Keef Hartley). He was followed by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, who was persuaded to return from Hamburg to audition for the new group. Blackmore was making a name for himself as a studio session guitarist, and had also been a member of The Outlaws, Screaming Lord Sutch, and Neil Christian. Curtis' erratic behaviour soon forced him out of his own project, but Lord and Blackmore were keen to continue, and carried on recruiting additional members, keeping Tony Edwards as their manager. For the bass guitar, Lord suggested his old friend Nick Simper, with whom he had played in a band called The Flower Pot Men and the Garden (formerly known as The Ivy League) back in 1967. Simper had previously been in Johnny Kidd and The Pirates and survived the car crash that killed Kidd. Simper had known Blackmore since the early 1960s when his first band, the Renegades, debuted around the same time as one of Blackmore's early bands, the Dominators. Bobby Woodman was the initial choice for the drums, but during the auditions for a singer, Rod Evans of the Maze came in with his drummer, Ian Paice. Blackmore had seen Paice on tour with the Maze in Germany in 1966, and had been impressed by the 18-year old's drumming. Blackmore arranged an audition for Paice and both Paice and Evans won their respective jobs, and the line-up was complete.


The band began in earnest in March 1968 at Deeves Hall, a country house in South Mimms, Hertfordshire. The band would live, write and rehearse at Deeves Hall, which was fully kitted out with the latest Marshall amplification. After a brief tour of Denmark and Sweden in April, in which they were still billed as Roundabout, Blackmore suggested a new name: Deep Purple, named after his grandmother's favourite song. The group had resolved to choose a name after everyone had posted one on a board in rehearsal. Second to Deep Purple was "Concrete God", which the band thought was too harsh to take on.



Early years (1968–70)

In May 1968, the band moved into Pye Studios in London's Marble Arch to record their debut album, Shades of Deep Purple, which was released in July. The group had success in North America with a cover of Joe South's "Hush", and by September 1968, the song had reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and number 2 on the Canadian RPM charts, pushing the Shades LP up to No.24 on Billboard's pop album charts. The following month, Deep Purple was booked to support Cream on their Goodbye tour.

Hush

The band's second album, The Book of Taliesyn (1968) -including a cover of Neil Diamond's "Kentucky Woman"- was released in North America to coincide with the tour, reaching number 38 on the Billboard charts and number 21 on the RPM charts, although it would not be released in their home country until the following year. 

Wring that Neck (instrumental)


Early 1969 saw Deep Purple record their third album, simply titled Deep Purple. The album contained strings and woodwind on one track, "April", showcasing Lord's classical antecedents such as Bach and Rimsky-Korsakov, and several other influences were in evidence, notably Vanilla Fudge. Lord and Blackmore had even claimed the group wanted to be a "Vanilla Fudge clone".  Not satisfied with the possibilities for singles off this album, the band also recorded a single called "Emmaretta", named after Emmaretta Marks, then a cast member of the musical Hair, whom Evans was trying to seduce. This would be the last recording by the original line-up. Deep Purple's troubled North American record label, Tetragrammaton, delayed production of the Deep Purple album until after the band's 1969 American tour ended. This, as well as lackluster promotion by the nearly-broke label, caused the album to sell poorly, finishing well out of the Billboard Top 100. Soon after the third album's eventual release, Tetragrammaton went out of business, leaving the band with no money and an uncertain future. Tetragrammaton's assets were assumed by Warner Bros. Records, who would release Deep Purple's records in the US throughout the 1970s.

Blind


During the 1969 American tour, Lord and Blackmore met with Paice to discuss their desire to take the band in a heavier direction. Feeling that Evans and Simper would not fit well with a hard rock style, both were replaced that summer. Paice stated, "A change had to come. If they hadn't left, the band would have totally disintegrated." In search of a replacement vocalist, Blackmore set his own sights on 19-year-old singer Terry Reid. Though he found the offer "flattering", Reid was still bound by the exclusive recording contract with his producer Mickie Most and more interested in his solo career. Blackmore had no other choice but to look elsewhere. The band hunted down singer Ian Gillan from Episode Six, a band that had released several singles in the UK without achieving their big break for commercial success. Gillan had at one time been approached by Nick Simper when Deep Purple was first forming, but Gillan had reportedly told Simper that the Roundabout project would not go anywhere, while he felt Episode Six was poised to make it big. Six's drummer Mick Underwood –an old comrade of Blackmore's from his days in The Outlaws– introduced the band to Gillan and bassist Roger Glover. This effectively killed Episode Six and gave Underwood a guilt complex that lasted nearly a decade, until Gillan recruited him for his new post-Purple band in the late 1970s. This created the Deep Purple mark II line-up, whose first release was a Greenaway-Cook tune titled "Hallelujah". Despite TV appearances to promote the record in the UK, the song flopped. Blackmore had told the Record Mirror they "need to have a commercial record in Britain", and described the song as "an in-between sort of thing", a median between what the band would normally make but with an added commercial motive.


The band gained some much-needed publicity in September 1969, with the Concerto for Group and Orchestra, a three-movement epic composed by Jon Lord as a solo project and performed by the band at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Malcolm Arnold. Together with Five Bridges by The Nice, it was one of the first collaborations between a rock band and an orchestra. This live album became their first album with any kind of chart success in the UK. However, Gillan and Blackmore especially were less than happy at the band being tagged as "a group who played with orchestras" at the time; what they had in mind was to develop the band into a much tighter, hard-rocking style. Despite this, Lord wrote the Gemini Suite, another orchestra/group collaboration in the same vein, for the band in late 1970. In 1975, Blackmore stated that he thought the Concerto for Group and Orchestra wasn’t bad but the Gemini Suite was horrible and very disjointed. Roger Glover later claimed Jon Lord had appeared to be the leader of the band in the early years.

Concerto for Group and Orchestra-Third Movement Vivace Presto



Breakthrough success (1970–73)

Shortly after the orchestral release, Deep Purple began a hectic touring and recording schedule that was to see little respite for the next three years. Their first studio album of this period, released in 1970, was In Rock (a name supported by the album's Mount Rushmore-inspired cover), which contained the then-concert staples "Speed King", "Into The Fire" and "Child in Time". The band also issued the single "Black Night", which finally put Deep Purple into the UK Top Ten. The interplay between Blackmore's guitar and Lord's distorted organ, coupled with Gillan's howling vocals and the rhythm section of Glover and Paice, now started to take on a unique identity that further separated the band from its earlier albums. Along with Zeppelin's Led Zeppelin II and Sabbath's Paranoid, In Rock codified the heavy and hard rock genre.

Into the Fire


Black Night

Another album, Fireball, was issued in the summer of 1971. The title track "Fireball" was released as a single, as was "Strange Kind of Woman", not from the album but recorded during the same sessions (although it replaced "Demon's Eye" on the US version of the album).

No No No


Within weeks of Fireball's release, the band were already performing songs planned for the next album. One song (which later became "Highway Star") was performed at the first gig of the Fireball tour, having been written on the bus to a show in Portsmouth, in answer to a journalist's question: "How do you go about writing songs?" Three months later, in December 1971, the band travelled to Switzerland to record Machine Head (1972). The album was due to be recorded at a casino in Montreux, using the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, but a fire during a Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention gig, caused by a man firing a flare gun into the ceiling, burned down the casino. This incident famously inspired the song "Smoke on the Water". The album was later recorded in a corridor at the nearby empty Grand Hotel. Continuing from where both previous albums left off, Machine Head became one of the band's most famous albums. It reached number 1 in the UK and number 7 in the US, and included tracks that became live classics, such as "Highway Star", "Space Truckin'", "Lazy" and "Smoke on the Water", for which Deep Purple is most famous. Deep Purple continued to tour and record at a rate that would be rare thirty years on; when Machine Head was recorded, the group had only been together three and a half years, yet the album was their sixth. Meanwhile, the band undertook four North America tours in 1972, and a Japan tour that led to a double-vinyl live release, Made in Japan. Originally intended as a Japan-only record, its worldwide release saw the double LP become an instant hit. It remains one of the most popular and highest selling rock live-concert recordings.

Highway Star


Smoke on the Water

The classic Deep Purple mark II line-up continued to work, and released the album Who Do We Think We Are (1973), featuring the hit single "Woman from Tokyo", but internal tensions and exhaustion were more noticeable than ever. In many ways, the band had become victims of their own success. Following the successes of Machine Head and Made in Japan, the addition of Who Do We Think We Are made them the top-selling artists of 1973 in the US.


New line-up (1973-76)

Ian Gillan admitted in a 1984 interview that the band was pushed by management to complete the Who Do We Think We Are album on time and go on tour, although they badly needed a break. The bad feelings culminated in Ian Gillan, followed by Roger Glover, quitting the band after their second tour of Japan in the summer of 1973 over tensions with Blackmore. The band first hired Midlands bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes, formerly of Trapeze. After acquiring Hughes, they debated continuing as a four-piece band, with Hughes as both bassist and lead vocalist. According to Hughes, he was persuaded to join under the guise that the band would be bringing in Paul Rodgers of Free as a co-lead vocalist, but by that time Rodgers had just started Bad Company. Instead, auditions were held for lead vocal replacements. They settled on David Coverdale, an unknown singer from Saltburn in Northeast England, primarily because Blackmore liked his masculine, blues-tinged voice. This new line-up continued into 1974, and their spring tour included shows at Madison Square Garden, New York on 13 March, and Nassau Coliseum four days later. The band then headlined the famous California Jam festival at Ontario Motor Speedway located in Southern California on 6 April 1974. Attracting over 250,000 fans, the festival also included 1970s rock giants Black Sabbath, Eagles, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Earth, Wind & Fire, Seals and Crofts, Rare Earth and Black Oak Arkansas. Portions of the show were telecast on ABC Television in the US, exposing the band to a wider audience. This line-up's first album, titled Burn (1974), was a highly successful release (the second studio album, after Machine Head, to crack the US Top 10), and was followed by another world tour. The title track "Burn", which opens the album, was a conscious effort by the band to embrace the progressive rock movement that was popularized at the time by bands such as Yes, ELP, Genesis, Gentle Giant, etc. "Burn" was a complex arrangement which showcased all the band members musical virtuosity and particularly Blackmore's classically-influenced guitar prowess. The album also featured Hughes and Coverdale providing vocal harmonies and elements of funk and blues, respectively, to the band's music, a sound that was even more apparent on the late 1974 release Stormbringer. 

Burn



"A" 200

Besides the title track, the Stormbringer album (1974) had a number of songs that received much radio play, such as "Lady Double Dealer", "The Gypsy" and "Soldier Of Fortune." However, Blackmore publicly disliked the album and the funky soul elements, even calling it "shoeshine music". As a result, he left the band on 21 June 1975 to form his own band with Ronnie James Dio of Elf, called Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, later shortened to Rainbow after one album. With Blackmore's departure, Deep Purple was left to fill one of the biggest band member vacancies in rock music. In spite of this, the rest of the band refused to stop, and announced a replacement for Blackmore: American Tommy Bolin. Before Bolin was recruited, Clem Clempson (Colosseum, Humble Pie), Zal Cleminson (The Sensational Alex Harvey Band), Mick Ronson (David Bowie & The Spiders From Mars) and Rory Gallagher were considered for the part. Bolin had been a member of many now-forgotten late-1960s bands, Denny & The Triumphs, American Standard, and Zephyr, which released three albums from 1969–72. Before Deep Purple, Bolin's best-known recordings were made as a session musician on Billy Cobham's 1973 jazz fusion album Spectrum, and as lead guitarist on two post-Joe Walsh James Gang albums: Bang (1973) and Miami (1974). He had also jammed with such luminaries as Dr. John, Albert King, The Good Rats, Moxy and Alphonse Mouzon, and was busy working on his first solo album, Teaser, when he accepted the invitation to join Deep Purple. The resulting album, Come Taste the Band, was released in October 1975. Despite mixed reviews and so-so sales (#19 on the U.K. charts and #43 on the U.S. Billboard charts), the collection revitalised the band once again, bringing a new, extreme funk edge to their hard rock sound. Bolin's influence was crucial, and with encouragement from Hughes and Coverdale, the guitarist developed much of the material. 


Drifter



Band split (1976–84)

The end came on tour in England on 15 March 1976 at the Liverpool Empire Theatre. Coverdale reportedly walked off and handed in his resignation, to which he was allegedly told there was no band left to quit. The decision to disband Deep Purple had been made some time before the last show by Lord and Paice (the last remaining original members), who hadn't told anyone else. The break-up was made public in July 1976. Later, Bolin had just finished recording his second solo album, Private Eyes, when, on 4 December 1976 in Miami, during a tour supporting Jeff Beck, Tommy Bolin was found dead. He was 25 years old. After the break-up, most of the past and present members of Deep Purple went on to have considerable success in a number of other bands, including Gillan, Whitesnake and Rainbow. There were, however, a number of promoter-led attempts to get the band to reform, especially with the revival of the hard rock market in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 1980, a touring version of the band surfaced with Rod Evans as the only member who had ever been in Deep Purple, eventually ending in successful legal action from the legitimate Deep Purple camp over unauthorised use of the name. Evans was ordered to pay damages of $672,000 for using the band name without permission.


Reformation (1984–94)

In April 1984, eight years after the demise of Deep Purple, a full-scale reunion took place with the classic early 1970s line-up of Gillan, Lord, Blackmore, Glover and Paice. The reformed band signed a worldwide deal with PolyGram, with Mercury Records releasing their albums in the US, and Polydor Records in the UK and other countries. The album Perfect Strangers was recorded in Vermont and released in October 1984. A solid release, Perfect Strangers, sold extremely well reaching number 5 in the UK and number 17 on the Billboard 200 in the US and included the singles and concert staples "Knockin' At Your Back Door" and "Perfect Strangers". The reunion tour followed, starting in Australia and winding its way across the world to North America, then into Europe by the following summer. Financially, the tour was also a tremendous success. In the US, the 1985 tour out-grossed every other artist except Bruce Springsteen. The UK homecoming saw the band perform a concert at Knebworth on 22 June 1985 (with main support from the Scorpions; also on the bill were UFO and Meat Loaf), where the weather was bad (torrential rain and 6" of mud) in front of 80,000 fans. The gig was called the "Return Of The Knebworth Fayre".


Perfect Strangers


The mark II line-up then released The House of Blue Light in 1987, which was followed by a world tour (interrupted after Blackmore broke a finger on stage while trying to catch his guitar after throwing it in the air) and another live album Nobody's Perfect (1988) which was culled from several shows on this tour, but still largely based on the by-now familiar Made in Japan set-list. In the UK a new version of "Hush" (with Gillan on lead vocals) was released to mark 20 years of the band. 

Dead or Alive


In 1989 Gillan was fired as his relations with Blackmore had again soured and their musical differences had diverged too far. Originally, the band intended to recruit Survivor frontman Jimi Jamison as Gillan's replacement, but this fell through due to complications with Jamison's record label. Eventually, after auditioning several high-profile candidates, including Brian Howe (White Spirit, Ted Nugent, Bad Company), Doug Pinnick (King's X), Australians Jimmy Barnes (Cold Chisel) and John Farnham (Little River Band), Terry Brock (Strangeways, Giant) and Norman "Kal" Swann (Tytan, Lion, Bad Moon Rising), former Rainbow vocalist Joe Lynn Turner was recruited into the band. This mark V line-up recorded just one album, Slaves & Masters (1990) and toured in support. It achieved modest success and reached number 87 on the Billboard Charts in the US, but some fans criticised it as little more than a so-called "generic Foreigner wannabe" album.


With the tour complete, Turner was forced out, as Lord, Paice and Glover (and the record company) wanted Gillan back in the fold for the 25th anniversary. Blackmore grudgingly relented, after requesting and eventually receiving 250,000 dollars in his bank account and the classic line-up recorded The Battle Rages On... (1993). However, Gillan reworked much of the existing material which had been written with Turner for the album. As a result, Blackmore became infuriated at what he considered non-melodic elements. During an otherwise successful European tour, Blackmore walked out in 1993 for good, during a 17 November show in Helsinki, Finland. Joe Satriani was drafted to complete the Japanese dates in December and stayed on for a European Summer tour in 1994. He was asked to join permanently, but his commitments to his contract with Epic Records prevented this.


Revival with Steve Morse and longer tours (1994–present)

The band unanimously chose Dixie Dregs/Kansas guitarist Steve Morse to become Satriani's successor. Morse's arrival revitalised the band creatively, and in 1996 a new album titled Purpendicular was released, showing a wide variety of musical styles, though it never made chart success on Billboard 200 in the US. The mark VII line-up then released a new live album Live at The Olympia '96 in 1997. With a revamped set list to tour, Deep Purple enjoyed successful tours throughout the rest of the 1990s, releasing the harder-sounding Abandon in 1998, and touring with renewed enthusiasm. 


In 1999, Lord, with the help of a Dutch fan, who was also a musicologist and composer, Marco de Goeij, painstakingly recreated the Concerto for Group and Orchestra, the original score having been lost. It was once again performed at the Royal Albert Hall in September 1999, this time with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paul Mann. The concert also featured songs from each member's solo careers, as well as a short Deep Purple set, and the occasion was commemorated on the 2000 album Live at the Royal Albert Hall. In 2001, the box set The Soundboard Series was released featuring concerts from the 2001 Australian Tour plus two from Tokyo, Japan. Much of the next few years was spent on the road touring. The group continued forward until 2002, when founding member Jon Lord (who, along with Paice, was the only member to be in all incarnations of the band) announced his amicable retirement from the band to pursue personal projects, especially orchestral work. Lord left his Hammond organ to his replacement, rock keyboard veteran Don Airey (Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Whitesnake), who had helped Deep Purple out when Lord's knee was injured in 2001. In 2003, Deep Purple released their first studio albums in five years, Bananas, and began touring in support of the album immediately. EMI Records refused a contract extension with Deep Purple, possibly because of lower than expected sales. Actually In Concert with the London Symphony Orchestra sold more than Bananas. Most of the songs played in their live concerts consist of old materials released in early 1970s. In July 2005, the band played at the Live 8 concert in Park Place, Barrie, Ontario and, in October of the same year, released their next album Rapture of the Deep. In the USA, the album sold 2500 copies during the first week. In the UK, the album sold 3500 copies during the first week and 1200 copies during the week after. It was followed by the Rapture of the Deep tour. This mark VIII line-up's two studio albums were produced by Michael Bradford, who is known as rap and pop musician. In February 2007, Gillan asked fans not to buy a live album Come Hell or High Water being released by Sony BMG. This was a recording of their 1993 appearance at the NEC in Birmingham. Recordings of this show have previously been released without assistance from Gillan or any other members of the band, but he said: "It was one of the lowest points of my life; all of our lives, actually". In 2009, Ian Gillan said, "Record sales have been steadily declining, but people are prepared to pay a lot for concert tickets." In 2011, Deep Purple did concert tours in 48 countries. Until May 2011, the band members had disagreed about whether to make a new studio album, because it wouldn’t really make money anymore. Roger Glover stated that Deep Purple should make new studio album "even if it costs us money." In early 2011, David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes told VH1 they would like to reunite with former Deep Purple mark III line-up for the right opportunity, such as a benefit concert. After a lot of songwriting sessions in Europe, Deep Purple decided to record through the summer of 2012, and the band announced the release of their new studio album in 2013. Steve Morse announced to French magazine Rock Hard that the new studio album would be produced by the highly respected Bob Ezrin, who is known for his works with Alice Cooper, Kiss, and Pink Floyd.
On 16 July 2012, the band's co-founding member and former organ player, Jon Lorddied of cancer in London, aged 71. On 26 April 2013, the new studio album of Deep Purple, Now What?!, was released.




DISCOGRAPHY
Studio albums

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

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Boffomundo Show: John Wetton interview 1979


This is a John Wetton interview on Boffomundo Show in 1979 conducted by presenters Aaron Weiner and Ron Curtiss. John Wetton initially rose to fame in progressive rock with bands such as Mogul Thrash, Family, King Crimson, Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry, Uriah Heep, U.K., Jack-Knife, and Wishbone Ash. His biggest commercial success was as the frontman and principal songwriter of the supergroup Asia.

Part I
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Freddie Mercury: The Untold Story


Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara, 5 September 1946–24 November 1991) was a British musician, singer, and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the rock band Queen. He was a gifted performer, known for his flamboyant stage persona and powerful vocals over a four-octave range. A great songwriter, Mercury composed many hits for Queen, including "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Seven Seas of Rhye", "Killer Queen", "Somebody to Love", "Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy", "Don't Stop Me Now", "Bicycle Race", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", and "We Are the Champions". In addition to his work with Queen, he led a solo career, and also occasionally served as a producer and guest musician (piano or vocals) for other artists. He died of bronchopneumonia brought on by AIDS on 24 November 1991, only one day after publicly acknowledging that he had the disease. Posthumously, in 1992 he was awarded the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, and the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert was held at Wembley Stadium, London. As a member of Queen, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004, and the band received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002. In 2002, Mercury was placed at number 58 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. He continues to be voted one of the greatest singers in the history of popular music. In 2005, a poll organised by Blender and MTV2 saw Mercury voted the greatest male singer of all time. In 2008, Rolling Stone editors ranked him number 18 on their list of the 100 greatest singers of all time. In 2009, a Classic Rock poll saw him voted the greatest rock singer of all time. Allmusic has characterised Mercury as "one of rock's greatest all-time entertainers", who possessed "one of the greatest voices in all of music". This is a documentary about Freddie's life and career that includes interviews with his mother, his sister, Queen's guitarist Brian May, Queen's drummer Roger Taylor, his personal assistant Peter Freestone, his life long best friend Mary Austin and several of his close friends. 




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Procol Harum


Procol Harum are a British rock band. Formed in 1967, they contributed to the development of progressive rock, and by extension, symphonic rock. Their best-known recording is their 1967 single "A Whiter Shade of Pale". Although noted for its baroque and classical influences, Procol Harum's music also embraces the blues, R&B and soul. In October 2012, the band was nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but were unsuccessful on this occasion.


HISTORY
Origins

Based in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, The Paramounts, led by vocalist and pianist Gary Brooker and guitarist Robin Trower and including bassist and organist Chris Copping and drummer Barrie James Wilson, scored a moderate British success in 1964, with their version of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller's "Poison Ivy", which reached number 35 in the UK Singles Chart. Unable to generate any follow-up success, the group disbanded in 1966. The Paramounts were signed to EMI UK for their releases; until one day before Procol Harum linked with EMI UK again, they were called The Pinewoods. A last-minute offer from Chris Blackwell's fledgling Island Records label was given the thumbs down by Brooker and band. In April 1967, Gary Brooker began working as a singer-songwriter and formed Procol Harum with non-Paramounts lyricist Keith Reid, Hammond organist Matthew Fisher, guitarist Ray Royer and bassist David Knights. Guy Stevens, their original manager, named the band after a friend's Burmese cat. The cat's Cat Fancy name was Procul Harun, Procul being the breeder's prefix. In the absence of a definitive origin, the name attracted various interpretations, being said to be Latin for "beyond these things" (but the correct Latin translation of "beyond these things" is Procul His), or translated as "of these far off things", the genitive plural harum perhaps agreeing with an understood rerum, "things". The name of the band is frequently misspelled.



Early years

At Olympic Studios, with session drummer (and non-Paramount) Bill Eyden, producer Denny Cordell, and sound engineer Keith Grant, the group recorded the album A Whiter Shade of Pale which was released in 1967. With a structure reminiscent of Baroque music, a countermelody based on J.S. Bach's Orchestral Suite N° 3 in D Major by Fisher's Hammond organ, Brooker's soulful vocals and Reid's mysterious lyrics, "A Whiter Shade of Pale" single reached No.1 on the UK Singles Chart and the Canadian RPM Magazine chart. It did almost as well in the United States, reaching No.5. In Australia, it was No.1 for many weeks, setting a record of 8 weeks in Melbourne. After "A Whiter Shade of Pale" became a hit, the band set out to consolidate their studio success by touring; their live debut was opening for Jimi Hendrix in 1967. 

She Wandered through the Garden Fence

Kaleidoscope


Procol Harum became the first band to build a multi-movement suite that lasted a whole side and this was in early 1968 in their second album called Shine on Brightly and became a real influence for all progressive groups to come. The group's follow-up single, "Homburg" reached No.6 in the UK, No.15 in Canada, and No.34 in the US.

In Held Twas in I (part of)


A Salty Dog (1969) was popular among fans. The title track gained a good deal of US FM radio airplay. However, one noted US writer previewed the LP and the story ran in print as 'A Salty Duck'. Fisher, who produced the album, departed the band soon after its release. The group would have many personnel changes, but their line-up for their first three albums was Brooker (piano and lead vocals), Trower (guitar and lead vocals), Fisher (organ and lead vocals), Knights (bass), Wilson (drums), and Reid (lyricist). 

The Devil Came from Kansas


Former Paramount Chris Copping joined on organ and bass in 1970. The group appeared at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970. By their fourth album Home (1970), their sound had evolved to almost hard-rock. 

Still There'll be More


By 1971, the disparities in style had become too great and, after the release of their fifth album Broken Barricades, Trower left to form his own power trio band and was replaced by Dave Ball

Simple Sister


From late 1972 until 1977, the group's guitarist was Mick Grabham. Procol Harum returned on the record charts in the following years with a symphonic rock sound, often backed by symphony orchestras. They were one of the first groups to achieve success at this; Procol Harum Live in Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (1972) was a No.5 gold album in the US in 1972 and reached No.48 in Britain. "Conquistador" (a track from their first album) re-charted accompanied by the Edmonton Symphony in 1972, reaching No.16 in the US, No.7 in Canada and No.22 in the UK. Their follow-up album, Grand Hotel, did fairly well, reaching No.21 on the US Billboard 200 in 1973.

Bringing Home the Bacon



Mid 1970s

In 1974, the band released Exotic Birds and Fruit and in 1975 Procol Harum played their final concert at the Rainbow Theatre in London. More personnel changes contributed to declining sales in the later part of the 1970s, with "Pandora's Box" being their final UK Top 20 hit in 1975. Its parent album, Procol's Ninth (1975) saw a reconnection with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller who both produced and wrote for the band. 

Pandora's Box

The band broke up in 1977, after seeing the album Something Magic stall at No. 147 in the US Billboard 200 chart. They reunited for a single performance five months later, when "A Whiter Shade of Pale" was named joint winner (along with Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody") of the Best British Pop Single 1952–1977 at the BRIT Awards, part of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee.

The Mark of the Claw



1990s: Reformation

The band reformed in 1991 with Brooker, Fisher, Trower and Reid (Wilson died in 1990), and released The Prodigal Stranger, but sales were modest. After the album's release, a new incarnation of the band, with Brooker and Fisher, but not Trower, toured the US and the world for a few years in the first half of the 1990s. They released The Long Goodbye in 1995 and in August of the same year Procol Harum played at the Cropredy Music Festival, as guests of Fairport Convention. In July 1997, fans arranged the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the success of "A Whiter Shade of Pale", and invited the then inactive band to play a concert at Redhill, Surrey.



2000 and beyond

In late 1999, Brooker promised that "Procol will play in 2000", and in September the band played an open air gig with the New London Sinfonia in Guildford. In 2000, Procol Harum received some attention after the song "In Held Twas in I", appeared on Transatlantic's debut album. Since 2001 the band, comprising Brooker, Fisher, Geoff Whitehorn (guitar), Matt Pegg (bass) and Mark Brzezicki (drums), has made several tours of mostly Europe, but also Japan and the US. A 2001 concert in Copenhagen was released on DVD in 2002. In 2003, the band released the album The Well's on Fire and appeared at the Progman Cometh festival in Seattle. Their concert in London on Friday 12 December 2003, with much of the material from that album, was released on DVD in 2004: Live at the Union Chapel. Fisher left Procol Harum in 2004. The band resumed a limited touring schedule in 2005, with Josh Phillips replacing Fisher on Hammond organ, leaving Brooker as the only original performing member. In June 2006 they played at the Isle of Wight Festival. Since then, they played several orchestral concerts in Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden and Germany, as well as festival concerts in Norway and Finland, small tours in European countries and strings of US concert dates. In 2012 Henry Scott-Irvine published an excellent biography of the band "Procol Harum-The Ghosts of A Whiter Shade of Pale". Martin Scorsese wrote the Foreword, Sir Alan Parker wrote an Introduction and Sebastian Faulks wrote an Afterword. He also hosted a rare Procol Harum film evening at the BFI on the South Bank, which was attended by members of the group. In September 2012 Procol Harum was among 15 final nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Class of 2013 (induction 18 April 2013). In the subsequent election that December, however, the band failed to gain enough votes for election.



DISCOGRAPHY
Studio albums

Procol Harum (1967)
Shine on Brightly (1968)
A Salty Dog (1969)
Home (1970)
Broken Barricades (1971)
Grand Hotel (1973)
Exotic Birds and Fruit (1974)
Procol's Ninth (1975)
Something Magic (1977)
The Prodigal Stranger (1991)
The Well's on Fire (2003)


Sources:

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