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Deep Purple / Rainbow Collectibles & Memorabilia

Deep Purple / Rainbow

Containing perhaps the most recognizable guitar riff in rock history, "Smoke on the Water" related how proto-metal masters Deep Purple overcame a number of obstacles to make the classic LP Machine Head. The band's history, however, has many more layers. Originating in Hertford, England, in 1968, Deep Purple's initially was known as Roundabout and featured guitar phenom Ritchie Blackmore, keyboardist Jon Lord, drummer Ian Paice, singer Rod Evans and bassist Nick Simper. They released their debut album, Shades of Deep Purple, in 1968, scoring a hit with the Joe South cover "Hush"; in 1969, they followed up with The Book of Taliesyn, which yielded their version of Neil Diamond's "Kentucky Woman." Their self-titled third album signaled a change in direction, with Lord's classically influenced keyboards coming to the fore. As their U.S. record label, Tetragrammaton, folded, more changes were in the offing, as Evans and Simper were given the boot. Adding singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover from Episode Six, Deep Purple Mark II was born. After the groundbreaking 1970 mix of rock and classical music Concerto for Group and Orchestra, this version of the band unleashed a series of seminal hard-rock albums, including 1970's Deep Purple in Rock, 1971's Fireball, Machine Head, and 1973's Who Do We Think We Are, which featured the smash "Woman from Tokyo." Inner tensions led to the departures of Gillan and Glover, who were replaced by David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes, respectively. The Mark III lineup released the landmark LP Burn and Stormbringer in 1974, before Blackmore left to form Rainbow. Enter Tommy Bolin, who recorded Come Taste the Band with Purple, but the group dissolved soon after. With Rainbow, Blackmore joined forces with singer Ronnie James Dio. They debuted with Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow and recorded Rising in 1976. In 1979, however, Dio joined Black Sabbath. Beset by personnel changes, Rainbow would eventually carve out a more commercial path with singer Joe Lynn Turner on such LPs as Difficult to Cure, Straight Between the Eyes and Bent Out of Shape. But Blackmore reunited with Deep Purple's Mark II lineup for 1984's platinum smash Perfect Strangers. Always a great concert draw, Deep Purple's earlier gig posters and handbills - particularly those from the late '60s - are worth hundreds of dollars, as can show postcards and programs. However, some can be had for under $100. Concert tickets from Purple's heyday can range in price from around $40 to more than $100. Some of their Tetragrammaton records might fetch between $30 and $600. Certainly, any Blackmore used guitars would be worth quite a penny, while Rainbow patches and badges offer collectors an affordable option.

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