Deep Purple: we all know them, we all love them. Undoubtedly the band’s most memorable era is the legendary “Mark II – Version I” line-up (1970-1973) comprised of Ritchie Blackmore (guitar), Jon Lord (Hammond organ), Ian Paice (drums), Roger Glover (bass) and Ian Gillan (vocals). In this era many of band’s classics including “Smoke on the Water”, “Highway Star” and “Child in Time” were released. However, the Mark II line-up is not the only era in the band’s catalogue that is worth exploring. Often overlooked, Mark I (1968-1969) has the unfortunate distinction of preceding the band’s most infamous albums. It is the intention of this playlist to unearth some of these hidden gems unique to this line-up.
Before Gillan and Glover joined the band in 1970, Rod Evans (vocals) and Nick Simper (bass) filled these respective positions. Although not as proficient as the men who would replace them, they did contribute to the band’s sound admirably. The band released three full-length albums in this incarnation: Shades of Deep Purple (1968), The Book of Taliesyn (1969), and Deep Purple (1969).
The band’s sound was closer to the progressive rock and psychedelic feel of the day. The songs take noticeable cues from other major artists including The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. There is a stronger emphasis on the Hammond organ; indeed, Jon Lord’s presence hangs over these tracks more than any other point in the band’s history. Mark I might not be the air-tight blues jams of Mark II but it is still darn good music. Check it out!
Recommended to fans of: Deep Purple, the sixties, progressive/psychedelic rock