Deep Purple is a British rock group. They were one of the first and most famous hard rock bands, and are considered pioneers of heavy metal.
Despite their association with the sub-genre, Deep Purple has never been purely a heavy metal band, though many later true heavy metal bands cite their influence. The group has frequently changed styles and lineups over the years, but has always included virtuoso players in its ranks and placed a high priority on musicianship. Some incarnations of Deep Purple have brought aspects of jazz to a rock context due to their frequent use of their songs as vehicles for extended and sophisticated solos.
They were formed in 1968 as Roundabout, consisting of Ritchie Blackmore on guitar, Jon Lord on hammond organ, Chris Curtis on vocals, Dave Curtis on bass and Bobby Woodman on drums. After only a month of rehearsals, Blackmore and Lord would be the only two remaining members, bringing in vocalist Rod Evans, bassist Nick Simper and drummer Ian Paice. In April, the band would change its name to Deep Purple.
After three albums and extensive touring in the states, it was the inclusion of Ian Gillan and Roger Glover that created the essential Deep Purple line-up Mark II, that was reunited two times. This version of the group released the highly influential and successful albums Deep Purple In Rock and Machine Head (the latter featuring their most famous song, "Smoke on the Water"), and the live album Made in Japan.