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Deep Purple: The Rock Brigade

In 1970, Deep Purple introduced a new era of loud music, with the seminal In Rock album. In 2005, Classic Rock looked at the making of the album that ushered in heavy rock

Heavy rock, hard rock, pomp rock, space rock, heavy metal – they’re all genres that today’s average music fan would regard as part of the vocabulary of everyday life. There’s no getting away from rock in all its forms – even if you wanted to.

Acts as disparate as, say, Coldplay, David Bowie, Pink Floyd and Audioslave all fall under the mantle of rock, a term we associate mostly with big guitar riffs, powerful vocals – and a broad array of (sometimes questionable) sartorial styles and hairdos. Everybody knows what ‘rock’ means. But it wasn’t always so. 

More than a third of a century ago the death of the 60s had landed the world and its groupie with a colossal cultural hangover. The decade of free love, peaceful protest and sticking flowers in soldiers’ guns was over, and the grim 70s – oil shortages, over-generous sideburns, Margaret Thatcher, punk – was just getting into its stride. 

The Beatles had just waved farewell to the world after arguing themselves into dissolution. Jimi Hendrix, the man thought most likely to bring guitar music to the masses, had recently checked out; The Doors’ Jim Morrison, the lizard king, had mere months to live. Cream and Blind Faith had been and gone in a multimillion-selling flash. Loud music from blokes with generous facial hair and a fondness for lots of drugs and/or girls (usually both) was an endangered species. 

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