Complete List Of Deep Purple Band Members And Lineups

Deep Purple Band Members

Feature Photo: haak78 / Shutterstock.com

Deep Purple, an iconic English rock band formed in London in 1968, has been at the forefront of the hard rock genre, paving the way for heavy metal alongside legends like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. From their psychedelic rock beginnings to becoming pioneers of heavy metal, the band’s musical journey has been segmented into various “Marks,” each signifying distinct eras defined by lineup changes and evolving musical styles.

The band’s early years, known as Mark I (1968–1969), featured their debut albums: Shades of Deep Purple, The Book of Taliesyn, and Deep Purple. This period established their initial psychedelic sound. The subsequent Mark II (1969–1973) is often celebrated as the band’s golden era, producing groundbreaking albums such as In Rock, Machine Head, and the live album Made in Japan. This lineup was instrumental in crafting the hard rock genre’s core sound. During Mark III (1973–1975) and Mark IV (1975–1976), the band ventured into a more robust hard rock style with albums like Burn and Stormbringer, and experimented with Come Taste the Band.

After a hiatus from 1976 to 1984, the Mark II lineup reunited to release Perfect Strangers and The House of Blue Light, recapturing the band’s earlier zeal. Mark V (1989–1992) saw the release of Slaves and Masters, introducing a different vocal dynamic. The return of the Mark II lineup for a brief period resulted in The Battle Rages On…, followed by subsequent lineups that produced albums such as Purpendicular and Abandon during Mark VI and VII. The long-standing Mark VIII (2002–2022) was particularly prolific, with the band producing several successful albums from Bananas to Turning to Crime.

Currently, in Mark IX since 2022, the band continues to evolve with the release of =1, showing that Deep Purple remains a potent force in rock music. Beyond their extensive discography, Deep Purple’s legacy is cemented by their recognition as one of the loudest bands of their time—a title noted in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records—and their impressive global record sales exceeding 100 million. Deep Purple’s enduring influence not only shapes the rock genre but continues to inspire musicians and fans across generations.

Here’s a breakdown of the band members associated with each Mark:

Mark I (1968–1969)

  • Rod Evans – Lead vocals
  • Ritchie Blackmore – Guitars
  • Jon Lord – Keyboards, backing vocals
  • Nick Simper – Bass, backing vocals
  • Ian Paice – Drums

Mark II (1969–1973)

  • Ian Gillan – Lead vocals
  • Ritchie Blackmore – Guitars
  • Jon Lord – Keyboards, backing vocals
  • Roger Glover – Bass
  • Ian Paice – Drums

Mark III (1973–1975)

  • David Coverdale – Lead vocals
  • Ritchie Blackmore – Guitars (until mid-1975)
  • Jon Lord – Keyboards
  • Glenn Hughes – Bass, vocals
  • Ian Paice – Drums

Mark IV (1975–1976)

  • David Coverdale – Lead vocals
  • Tommy Bolin – Guitars (replaced Ritchie Blackmore in 1975)
  • Jon Lord – Keyboards
  • Glenn Hughes – Bass, vocals
  • Ian Paice – Drums

Mark II Reunion (1984–1989)

  • Ian Gillan – Lead vocals
  • Ritchie Blackmore – Guitars
  • Jon Lord – Keyboards
  • Roger Glover – Bass
  • Ian Paice – Drums

Mark V (1989–1992)

  • Joe Lynn Turner – Lead vocals
  • Ritchie Blackmore – Guitars
  • Jon Lord – Keyboards
  • Roger Glover – Bass
  • Ian Paice – Drums

Second Mark II Reunion (1992–1993)

  • Ian Gillan – Lead vocals
  • Ritchie Blackmore – Guitars
  • Jon Lord – Keyboards
  • Roger Glover – Bass
  • Ian Paice – Drums

Mark VI (1993–1994)

  • Ian Gillan – Lead vocals
  • Joe Satriani – Guitars (touring member)
  • Jon Lord – Keyboards
  • Roger Glover – Bass
  • Ian Paice – Drums

Mark VII (1994–2002)

  • Ian Gillan – Lead vocals
  • Steve Morse – Guitars (joined in 1994)
  • Jon Lord – Keyboards
  • Roger Glover – Bass
  • Ian Paice – Drums

Mark VIII (2002–2022)

  • Ian Gillan – Lead vocals
  • Steve Morse – Guitars
  • Don Airey – Keyboards (replaced Jon Lord in 2002)
  • Roger Glover – Bass
  • Ian Paice – Drums

Mark IX (2022–present)

  • Ian Gillan – Lead vocals
  • Simon McBride – Guitars (replaced Steve Morse in 2022)
  • Don Airey – Keyboards
  • Roger Glover – Bass
  • Ian Paice – Drums

Current Members

Ian Paice

Ian Anderson Paice, born on June 29, 1948, in Nottingham, England, stands as the enduring heartbeat of Deep Purple, maintaining his role as the legendary rock band’s drummer since its inception in 1968. Paice is distinguished as the sole member to have participated in every lineup of the band, contributing to every album and live performance. His profound impact on rock drumming was officially recognized in 2016 when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Deep Purple.

Paice’s career outside Deep Purple is equally noteworthy. He has been involved in several projects with other Deep Purple alumni, including the formation of Whitesnake with Jon Lord and David Coverdale, and Paice Ashton Lord with Jon Lord. His versatile drumming skills have also led him to work with a host of other prominent artists, including Gary Moore, the Velvet Underground, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison.

Early Career

Ian Paice’s journey into music began in the early 1960s, initially playing drums in his father’s dance band in his teenage years. His first professional band, Georgie & the Rave-Ons, later renamed the Shindigs, released their debut single with a then 17-year-old Paice on drums.

By 1966, Paice was part of MI5, a band that soon rebranded as the Maze. Known primarily as a club band, the Maze produced several singles and recorded extensively across Italy and France. It was during his time with the Maze that Paice would cross paths with vocalist Rod Evans, leading to a pivotal change in both their careers.

Deep Purple Formation and Legacy

In March 1968, Evans, attending an audition for Deep Purple, brought along Ian Paice. Initially, the band had another drummer in mind, but his lack of enthusiasm for the musical direction prompted them to audition Paice. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, impressed by Paice’s performance in Hamburg, was instrumental in securing his place in the band. Blackmore later remarked on Paice’s profound influence and skill, describing him as the “motor of the band.”

Post-Deep Purple Ventures

Following Deep Purple’s disbandment, Paice co-founded Paice Ashton Lord in 1976. Despite the group’s brief lifespan, producing only one album, Malice in Wonderland, and performing a handful of shows, the band left a mark on the rock landscape. The group disbanded in 1977 during the production of their second album, primarily due to Tony Ashton’s preference for performing in smaller venues.

In 1979, Paice joined Whitesnake at the invitation of David Coverdale, contributing to several of the band’s albums including Ready an’ Willing and Saints & Sinners. His tenure with Whitesnake until the early 1980s marked another significant chapter in his illustrious career, reinforcing his reputation as a versatile and highly skilled drummer in the rock genre.

Read More: Ian Paice: The ClassisRockHistory.com Interview

Roger Glover

Roger David Glover, born on November 30, 1945, in Wales, is a revered figure in rock music, celebrated for his roles as a bassist, songwriter, and record producer. He has etched his mark in the annals of rock with stints in the legendary bands Deep Purple and Rainbow. In April 2016, Glover’s contributions to rock were immortalized with an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Deep Purple.

Glover’s musical journey began in South Kensington, London, where he relocated at the age of nine and soon gravitated towards rock music. By thirteen, he was already strumming the guitar. His early forays into music saw him forming the band Madisons during his time at Harrow County School for Boys. This group eventually merged with a rival band to create Episode Six, which also included future Deep Purple bandmate, Ian Gillan. The duo left Episode Six in 1969 to join Deep Purple, marking the beginning of a defining era in Glover’s career.

During his initial tenure with Deep Purple from 1969 to 1973, the band produced some of their most successful albums, including In Rock, Fireball, Machine Head, Who Do We Think We Are, and the live album Made in Japan. Glover not only played bass but also contributed to Deep Purple’s creative process. He is credited with naming “Smoke on the Water,” a title that came to him in a dream, sparking the song’s iconic lyrics. Additionally, Glover’s musical inventiveness led to the riff of “Maybe I’m a Leo,” inspired by John Lennon’s “How Do You Sleep?”

Aside from performing, Glover has had a prolific career as a producer, working with artists such as Judas Priest, Nazareth, Elf, and Status Quo throughout the 1970s. In 1974, he released his first solo album, The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast, which featured the hit single “Love Is All,” sung by Ronnie James Dio. Although it saw modest success in the UK, it topped the charts in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Australia, accompanied by an animated music video.

In 1979, Glover joined Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow as the bassist, lyricist, and producer, contributing to four of the band’s albums until 1984. That year marked a significant return to Deep Purple, reuniting with his old bandmates as they reformed. Glover’s solo work continued alongside his Deep Purple commitments, releasing Snapshot in 2002 under the name Roger Glover and the Guilty Party, and later If Life Was Easy in 2011, which featured notable collaborations with various artists.

Read More: Roger Glover: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview

Ian Gillan

Ian Gillan, celebrated for his formidable vocal prowess, emerged into the world on August 19, 1945, in Chiswick, Middlesex. Best known as the formidable frontman of the rock band Deep Purple, Gillan’s journey into music was heavily influenced by Elvis Presley, sparking his early foray into the music scene with local bands during the 1960s. His professional trajectory took a significant turn when he joined Episode Six, a stint that paved the way to his iconic role in Deep Purple starting in 1969.

Gillan’s tenure with Deep Purple marked a period of profound impact, where his voice became a defining feature on monumental albums like In Rock, Machine Head, and the revered live record Made in Japan. Not only did he influence the band’s sound, but Gillan also contributed creatively, famously deriving the title “Smoke on the Water” from a dream, which then inspired one of rock’s most enduring tracks.

After departing Deep Purple in 1973 due to the exhaustive demands of touring, Gillan briefly stepped away from the music industry. He returned with vigor, forming the Ian Gillan Band and later ‘Gillan’, exploring a blend of sounds before taking on a brief role as the vocalist for Black Sabbath in 1983. A year later, he was integral to the revival of Deep Purple, participating in their resurgence with albums like Perfect Strangers and continuing with the band through various departures and reunions.

Beyond his band involvements, Gillan’s career has been marked by diverse ventures, including his role as Jesus in the original album of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar and his participation in charity projects like Rock Aid Armenia. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to dabble in business, from a hotel to a motorcycle manufacturing venture, and even into music recording facilities with Kingsway Studios.

Don Airey

Donald Smith Airey, born on June 21, 1948, is a distinguished English musician whose expertise on the keyboards has graced the stages of rock legends such as Deep Purple, where he took over from Jon Lord in 2002. Airey’s career spans a kaleidoscope of collaborations with major acts including Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, as well as stints with Jethro Tull, Whitesnake, and Rainbow, showcasing his versatility across various rock genres.

From an early age, Airey was deeply influenced by his father, Norman Airey, leading him to pursue classical piano training from the age of seven. He furthered his education in music with a degree from the University of Nottingham and a diploma from the Royal Northern College of Music, under the tutelage of Ryszard Bakst. Before his major breakthroughs, he honed his skills on P&O cruise liners, playing in bands and traversing the globe.

Airey’s professional career in London began in earnest in 1971 when he joined Cozy Powell’s band Hammer. By 1975, he was a key member of Colosseum II, a notable jazz-rock ensemble, alongside Gary Moore. His work during this period also included significant contributions to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s album Variations. Airey’s knack for vibrant keyboard contributions continued as he joined Rainbow, playing on successful albums such as Down to Earth and Difficult to Cure.

The 1980s saw Airey in collaboration with Ozzy Osbourne, contributing to albums like Bark at the Moon and Speak of the Devil. His tenure with Osbourne coincided with the tragic death of guitarist Randy Rhoads, an event Airey witnessed firsthand. He later joined Jethro Tull for their tour supporting the album Crest of a Knave and contributed to Whitesnake’s seminal self-titled album. The decade also saw him explore solo projects, releasing K2 – Tales of Triumph and Tragedy.

Into the 1990s and beyond, Airey’s career did not wane; he played on Judas Priest’s Painkiller, influencing its sound with his keyboard work, notably on the track “A Touch of Evil.” His contributions to music extended into arranging and playing on the Eurovision-winning track “Love Shine a Light” by Katrina and the Waves in 1997. His solo work continued to flourish with albums like A Light in the Sky and more recent projects announced for release.

In 2001, Airey stepped into Deep Purple, initially filling in for an ailing Jon Lord and eventually becoming a full-time member by 2002. His tenure with Deep Purple has been prolific, contributing to albums like Bananas, Rapture of the Deep, and Whoosh!. His mastery of the Hammond organ has become a signature part of Deep Purple’s sound in the new millennium.

Simon McBride

Simon McBride, born on April 9, 1979, in Northern Ireland, has carved a niche for himself in the rock music world as a masterful singer and guitarist.  McBride’s journey in music began at a tender age, influenced by the rock ‘n’ roll records played by his father. By the time he was nine, he had already begun exploring the guitar, teaching himself the basics from a tuition book. His talent was evident early on, leading him to win Guitarist magazine’s Young Guitarist of the Year competition at just fifteen—a clear indication of his burgeoning skills.

Shortly after turning sixteen, McBride joined the metal band Sweet Savage, stepping into the shoes of founding guitarist Vivian Campbell. This period was critical in shaping his musical style and prowess. However, his musical journey took a turn when he teamed up with Andrew Strong of The Commitments fame in 1998. The shift from metal to a mix of soul and R&B broadened McBride’s musical horizons and deepened his versatility.

In the mid-2000s, McBride ventured into solo territory, forming Blind Friday, a Belfast-based rock band known for their raw, energetic sound. Although the band disbanded after releasing just one album, Wake Up, McBride continued to push his boundaries. In 2008, he debuted his solo album Rich Man Falling, which showcased his guitar skills and was well-received within the blues and rock communities.

His album Crossing The Line, released in 2012, was a blend of original work and classic covers, earning accolades for its artistry and helping cement McBride’s place in the modern rock scene. The album’s success was echoed in its inclusion in several ‘best of’ lists by notable music publications.

In 2016, McBride’s career took another significant turn when he joined the classic rock ensemble Snakecharmer, stepping in for Micky Moody. With them, he recorded the album Second Skin and toured extensively, further solidifying his status in the rock world.

The year 2022 marked a pivotal moment in McBride’s career when he was tapped as the temporary, and then permanent, replacement for Steve Morse in Deep Purple. His prior collaboration with Deep Purple’s keyboardist, Don Airey, and his deep respect for the band’s legacy made him a fitting successor to continue the Deep Purple saga.

Today, Simon McBride stands as Deep Purple’s fourth permanent guitarist in their storied history, promising to uphold and enrich the band’s legendary sound with his unique musical flair.

Former Members

Jon Lord

Jon Lord was the keyboardist and a founding member of Deep Purple, playing with the band from its inception in 1968 until its first disbandment in 1976. He rejoined the band in 1984 and continued until his retirement in 2002. Lord’s classical training and innovative use of the Hammond organ were central to Deep Purple’s sound. He played on all the band’s classic albums, including In Rock, Machine Head, and Burn. Lord passed away in 2012. Outside of Deep Purple, he had a successful solo career and worked with bands like Whitesnake and Paice Ashton Lord.

Ritchie Blackmore

Ritchie Blackmore was the guitarist for Deep Purple from 1968 to 1975 and again from 1984 to 1993. Blackmore’s virtuosic guitar playing and distinctive riffs, such as those in “Smoke on the Water,” helped define the band’s sound. He played on landmark albums like In Rock, Machine Head, and Burn. After leaving Deep Purple, Blackmore formed Rainbow and later founded the medieval folk band Blackmore’s Night.

Rod Evans

Rod Evans was the lead vocalist for Deep Purple from 1968 to 1969. He sang on the band’s first three albums, Shades of Deep Purple, The Book of Taliesyn, and Deep Purple. Evans’s vocal style helped shape the band’s early sound, including their hit cover of “Hush.” After leaving Deep Purple, he fronted the band Captain Beyond before retiring from the music industry.

Nick Simper

Nick Simper was the original bassist for Deep Purple, playing with the band from 1968 to 1969. He appeared on their first three albums, Shades of Deep Purple, The Book of Taliesyn, and Deep Purple. Simper’s bass playing was a key component of the band’s early sound. After leaving Deep Purple, he played with various other bands, including Warhorse.

David Coverdale

David Coverdale was the lead vocalist for Deep Purple from 1973 to 1976, joining the band during their Mark III lineup. He sang on the albums Burn, Stormbringer, and Come Taste the Band. Coverdale’s powerful voice and stage presence were significant assets to the band. After leaving Deep Purple, he formed Whitesnake, achieving considerable success.

Read More: David Coverdale: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview

Glenn Hughes

Glenn Hughes was the bassist and co-lead vocalist for Deep Purple from 1973 to 1976. He played on the albums Burn, Stormbringer, and Come Taste the Band. Hughes’s soulful voice and bass playing added a new dimension to the band’s sound. After Deep Purple, he had a successful solo career and played with bands like Black Sabbath and the supergroup Black Country Communion.

Tommy Bolin

Tommy Bolin was the guitarist for Deep Purple from 1975 until the band’s breakup in 1976. He played on the album Come Taste the Band. Bolin’s innovative guitar work and songwriting brought a fresh influence to the band. Tragically, he died of a drug overdose in 1976 at the age of 25. Before Deep Purple, Bolin played with bands like Zephyr and The James Gang.

Joe Lynn Turner

Joe Lynn Turner was the lead vocalist for Deep Purple from 1989 to 1992. He sang on the album Slaves and Masters. Turner’s melodic voice and rock sensibility brought a different flavor to the band during his tenure. After leaving Deep Purple, he continued his career with bands like Rainbow and as a solo artist.

Read More: Complete List Of Joe Lynn Turner Albums

Joe Satriani

Joe Satriani was the guitarist for Deep Purple on a temporary basis from 1993 to 1994, filling in for Ritchie Blackmore. Although he did not record any studio albums with the band, Satriani’s virtuoso guitar playing helped maintain the band’s momentum during live performances. Satriani is also known for his successful solo career and collaborations with other artists.

Read More: Top 10 Joe Satriani Songs

Steve Morse

Steve Morse was the guitarist for Deep Purple from 1994 to 2022. He played on albums such as Purpendicular, Bananas, and Rapture of the Deep. Morse’s technical skill and creative guitar work revitalized the band’s sound during his tenure. Before joining Deep Purple, Morse was known for his work with the Dixie Dregs and his solo career.

Read More: Steve Morse: 10 Albums That Changed My Life

Complete List Of Deep Purple Band Members And Lineups article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

DMCA.com Protection Status

DON’T MISS A BEAT

Be the first to know when a new article is published

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

carole King Songs
Top 10 Carole King Songs
Marty Friedman Interview
Marty Friedman: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview
Top 10 Rock Songs You Never Get Sick Of
Top 10 Rock Songs You Never Get Sick Of
10 Most Hypnotic Songs In Rock Music
10 Most Hypnotic Songs In Rock Music
10 Best Final Albums Released By Classic Rock Artists
Our 10 Favorite Final Albums Released By Classic Rock Artists
Top 10 Southern Rock Live Albums Of All Time
Top 10 Southern Rock Live Albums Of All Time
Grateful Dead Albums
Top 10 Grateful Dead Albums
Seven Killer Metal Albums
Seven Killer Metal Albums You May Have Never Heard
Elton John: Never Too Late Documentary To Premier In September
Elton John: Never Too Late Documentary To Premier In September
Paul McCartney Will End His 'Got Back Tour In The UK In Dec 2024
Paul McCartney Will End His ‘Got Back Tour In The UK In Dec 2024
REM REUNITES
R.E.M. Performs In Public For First Time In 15 Years
Eagles at the Sphere
Eagles Announce Residency at Sphere in Las Vegas For Fall 2024
Laurance Archer Interview
Laurence Archer of Grand Slam Talks Phil Lynott, Taking on Thin Lizzy Tracks, and joining UFO
Carmine Appice Interview
Carmine Appice: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview
Kiko Loureiro Interview
Kiko Loureiro, formerly of Megadeth & Angra: 10 Albums That Changed My Life
Gilby Clarke, formerly of Guns N' Roses: 10 Records That Changed My Life
Gilby Clarke, formerly of Guns N’ Roses: 10 Records That Changed My Life
Spoon Albums
Complete List Of Spoon Albums And Songs
Death Cab For Cutie Albums
Complete List Of Death Cab For Cutie Albums And Songs
Foster The People Albums
Complete List Of Foster The People Albums And Songs
Garbage Albums
Complete List Of Garbage Albums And Songs
9 Bands That Never Replaced Departed Members
Music CDs Comeback
Why Music CDs Have No Chance Of Making A Comeback
Classic Rock Bands Still Together But Overdue For A New Album
Classic Rock Bands Still Together But Overdue For A New Album
When Glam Bands Went Grunge In The 1990s
When Glam Bands Went Grunge In The 1990s
Billy Idol Rebel Yell 40th Anniversary Vinyl Review
Taylor Swift Albums And Discography
Complete List Of Taylor Swift Albums And Discography
Carly Simon Hotcakes Album Review
Carly Simon’s HOTCAKES Album Still Sizzles After 50 Years
11 Tracks Of Whack Album Review
Walter Becker – 11 Tracks of Whack Album Review