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Sudden understanding

Roger Glover, Windsor, Canada, Aug 21 2014; photo © Nick Soveiko cc-by-nc-sa

Louder Sound lists Roger’s seven favourite Deep Purple tracks

Hard Lovin’ Man (Deep Purple In Rock, 1970)

“Unlike concert halls, studios are very dead spaces. But the live sound we got on stage changed the band; it made us animated and aggressive. We started making violent music. With Hard Lovin’ Man there was no toning down, it was full-on. Even in the studio, Jon was still rocking his Hammond back and forth. That song was a breakthrough for us because it defined what we did on stage.”

Continue reading in Louder Sound.

42 Comments to “Sudden understanding”:

  1. 1
    AndreA says:

    Absolutely the 1st heavy metal song of the history of music.

  2. 2
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Hard Lovin’ Man? I always thought the key change for the, uhum, organ eruption after the break at 02:18 was supposed to be the orgasm … Wasn’t it dedicated to “For Martin Birch – catalyst”?

    Purple really should have patented that gallop rhythm – they’d be earning good money to this day from any Iron Maiden release, I’m not aware of any Iron Maiden album that doesn’t at least feature one song with it, regularly it’s actually more than one per album.


  3. 3
    Gregster says:


    Yes indeed…A most formidable track that really keeps the whip cracking & yo ass moving a little to the left, & a little to the right, whilst stimulation of your musical brain happens via Jon Lord’s keyboard playing, aka John Coltrane, & stepping outside…The hypnotic drone & rhythm propel your imagination.

    I’d suggest Leiber Uwe that the lyrics were written after the tunes arrangement was determined.

    Peace !

  4. 4
    sidroman says:

    In Rock to me is definitely the first real metal album. Black Sabbath’s first record even Paranoid are so overrated. Purple was just as heavy and even more polished. Sabbath were a garage band in comparison, their stuff sounded like demos. It wasn’t until Sabbath Bloody Sabbath still my favorite Sab album, that they finally learned how to use a recording studio.

  5. 5
    Leslie S Hedger says:

    Glad to see Loosen My Strings on Roger’s list. It’s one of my favorites also!!

  6. 6
    Wiktor says:

    I always prefered “Speed king” myself but sure..Hard lovin man got a great riff.. But when it comes to lyrics that actually got something to say theres a real ace in “Flight of the rat” and also “Bloodsucker.” Two importent social themes in two great songs that nobody talks about that much when they are talking about “In Rock”…its a pity. Both “In Rock” and “Fireball” had a couple songs that took a critical view on social issues .. But that all disappeared when they wrote MH.

  7. 7
    Ivica says:

    I love the song “No One Came” too, my number one
    from the Fireball album all four instrumentalists are amazing, I don’t know who is better than the best. Big Ian phenomenal lyrics and vocal performance, similar to 9 years later in “No Laughing In Heaven” too. Amazing diction,
    rhythmic speech I love his ” rap side” haha
    PS i After 53 years when you listen to that song .. it seems fresh, just as exciting,thank you Martin Birch…. your soul enjoyed paradise

  8. 8
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “I’d suggest Leiber Uwe that the lyrics were written after the tune’s arrangement was determined …”

    I marvel at your innocence, St. Gregster, do preserve it! It’s so rare and precious, a beacon of light that guides us all in these times of moral darkness.


    In the meantime my corrupted and corroded self dwelling in a cesspool of sexual innuendo can just imagine Lordy going: “What are you singing there, Ian? I think a key change of blissful musical elation would slot in nicely with the subject matter at this point.”

    That is not to say that the original bare bone(r) ideas of the song – like the insistent rhythm (—> pelvic thrust?) might not have given the lyricist in question lewd ideas … Cross-fertilization so to say.

  9. 9
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I’ve always liked Big Ian’s rhythmic vocals too, Ivica, the human voice as a percussion instrument, yet there is still lyrical content. Whether it was on No One Came, Scarabus, No Laughing In Heaven, Disturbing the Priest, Dancing Nylon Shirt, Via Miami, Ted the Mechanic or Any Fule Know That. Many people (Ritchie Blackmore and some de(ep)votees here included) think he does that because he is too lazy to develop a good melody. Far from it, it’s an alternative form of idiosyncratic vocal expression to him.

    Ironically, the album where his rhythmic vocal approach shone most was not a Purple one, but Born Again. Black Sabbath of all bands, who never really had a rhythmic singer. Not Ozzy, not Dio or Tony Martin, not even Glenn (who had to discard his rhythmic approach to singing on Seventh Star, which is why to me he sounds strangely disconnected to the music). But Big Ian, the way he sang over, underneath, with and against the Brummies’ music, was a wonder to behold. He really yanked the music of Black Sabbath around with the might of his phrasing and rhythmic placing. When I first heard Born Again (the song), I was amazed at how unconventional Big Ian’s approach was to a song that was initially obviously intended to be a conventional Sabbath ballad.


    I remember a buddy of mine – who is also a singer and generally rates Mick Jagger highly for his innate rhythmic sense of placing vocals to the music – and when he heard that track he just shook his head in disbelief and said: “You’ve got to hand it to old Gillan, there is no other singer that could have come up with a vocal track like that.” True.

  10. 10
    Hassan nikfarjam says:

    Hard lovin man, rap pat blue and no one came. I always wondered why these songs aren’t popular. They are amazing and different. I have listened to them all my life. Flight of the rat, pictures of home…..

  11. 11
    Kidpurple says:

    Nice list – all favorites!
    Thank goodness Big Ian never wore a Robin Hood Outfit!

  12. 12
    MacGregor says:

    Hard Lovin’ Man, not a bad song to finish the album with, but the least favourite for me both musically & lyrically. Some of the young man Gillan’s worst lyrics, but hey he had to compete with Percy after all, all that lovin’ has to go somewhere as a virile youngster. Regarding Born Again & it’s lyrical content, take me to the Hot Line Baby ain’t his best, but he is human after all. Wasn’t there a Ian Paice article on Louder just before this Glover one? His favourite tracks. I will have another look. A good selection these songs are from Roger Glover. Cheers.


  13. 13
    MacGregor says:

    Sorry, this should be the link.


  14. 14
    Gregster says:


    Sidrowman said…

    qt.”In Rock to me is definitely the first real metal album. Black Sabbath’s first record even Paranoid are so overrated. Purple was just as heavy and even more polished. Sabbath were a garage band in comparison, their stuff sounded like demos. It wasn’t until Sabbath Bloody Sabbath still my favorite Sab album, that they finally learned how to use a recording studio”…

    * I agree with most of this statement, except that the debut from Black Sabbath is more a heavy blues album, & the editions I have on CD, reveal an excellent recording, I mean outstanding recording, even sublime. Paranoid dropped a little in recording quality, but both albums spawn pretty amazing riff-work, & creative musical vistas, so they were for sure in-the-game. Everyone has to start somewhere, & all were trying to compete with LZ & their heavy sound !

    Peace !

  15. 15
    MacGregor says:

    I will say one thing for the sound of those early Sabbath records. The drums are really good on those, (don’t sigh or roll your eyes anyone) before the guitar was turned up to 17 or even higher in the mix (VOL 4 ). They were also with an experienced producer in Rodger Bain for the first three albums. A huge mistake it was with Iommi trying to produce Vol 4, a favourite album of mine for the songs etc, but NOT the production. All that coke & it’s sinister effects tend to muddle the brain it seems. Cheers.

  16. 16
    Gregster says:


    You need the Warner Brothers edition of Vol.4, it is very, very good.

    The Castle edition is digitally flawed, especially “Changes”…

    Peace !

  17. 17
    MacGregor says:

    Talking of Sabbath & a few recent interviews have appeared online with Tony Martin & Tony Iommi. Cheers.


  18. 18
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Guys, there is no one band that invented/spawned heavy rock or heavy metal. It wasn’t just Led Zep or DP or Black Sabbath. These three are often named as the great three Brit progenitors, the Holy Trinity, but actually I believe that the North Americans were there first – and not just one band there, but several. I’d name The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Iron Butterfly, Vanilla Fudge and Steppenwolf (the list isn’t comprehensive) – these were bands that preceded what the Brit groups did (just by a bit, but the 60ies were creative and fast-moving times culturally) and who recorded already in 1967/68 music that moved into a “heavy & dark” immersive experience with slower or faster than usual tempos, distortion and overdrive, the predominance of guitar- and organ-doubled riffs, more expressive and “wilder” drums, improvisational solos and the use of sheer volume (as well as the ability to generate it via evolving amp and loudspeaker technology!) for drama. And if you want to look even earlier than that, then you’ll stumble on Cream (and are back in Britain!).

    Heavier music wasn’t an invention by one or even a small circle of bands, it was a musical movement/trend of the times that ALSO came to frution in Zep’s, Sabbath’s as well as Mk II’s debuts (which were all three in their own ways remarkable). But they weren’t the first nor by any means the heaviest at the time. A band like Detroit’s MC5 (a band from an industrial hub just like Birmingham where Sabbath and parts of Zep came from) played music like this already in the summer of 1968:


    Now tell me that wasn’t blossoming heavy metal already! (Ironically, a couple of years later in 1976, the MC5 would together with The Stooges and the somewhat later on the scene appearing New York Dolls be viewed as proto-punk by the music media, but in 1968 they were just another, but extremely heavy and energetic as well as politically vocal group.)

    PS: This is just a pet theory of mine, don’t take is as gospel, but I believe to hear some of the MC5’s metallic edge (as well as their frantic approach) on In Rock, that guitar sound is no-holds-barred anarchic for the time.

  19. 19
    Gregster says:


    Agreed, some people even add “The Kinks” in there too.

    I’d suggest that there were many bands getting into distortion, heavy bass & drums, but who would sign them ???

    Jimi Hendrix, The Who, & certainly Cream are the most recognized possible originators, likely from the sheer volume levels played if anything else.

    Peace !

  20. 20
    MacGregor says:

    I cannot believe I started my day listening to MC5, my coffee curdled big time, he he he. That band & New York Dolls & a few others were what my older brother got into when he moved to Sydney in late 1976. Also a few local ‘punk’ bands at that time & he came back for a visit a few months later & told me he ditched all his records, Sabbath, Purple, Zep, Budgie, Quo, Floyd & Heep etc etc. I thought he was joking, alas he was serious. He went to Rainbow, didn’t invite me down there for that, not happy (he said they were shit). Moving from the sticks to the big smoke can do things like that to certain people. Oh well, such is life. Cheers.

  21. 21
    MacGregor says:

    Didn’t Hendrix use the ‘Devils Chord’ in Purple Haze, enough said there. Sabbath encapsulates the dark & mythical doom & eeriness like no other, so I guess that is why they are repeatedly mentioned as the forefathers of that genre or saying. Zeppelin & Purple are NOT so called metal, certain people just need a few other big names to add weight (pun intended) to their cause. Even Rob Halford banging on about it says it all. Bill Ward keeps going on about it. Not sure why, it is what it is, does it need to be enshrined or something? Joe Elliot recently said what he thinks about the terminology aspect to it. Cheers.



  22. 22
    MacGregor says:

    The heavy riff introduction to popular electronic guitar based music was mentioned to be possibly from Dave Davies of The Kinks. He deliberately damaged a speaker in his amp & then proceeded to use it with a fuzz or buzz sound emanating from it. Hence the ‘You Really Got Me’ riff. The DP Mandrake Root riff is from another guitarist isn’t it. Blackmore ‘borrowed’ it & possibly beefed it up a little. That could have been after the Hendrix debut album though.
    There are other guitarists that have stumbled upon dirty & heavy riffs, however Sabbath really did place it all into a single box or separate genre indeed. The lyrics, the music & the attitude. Cheers.


  23. 23
    sidroman says:

    Gregster if you’re going to use my name its sidroman not sidrowman.

    Uwe and who can forget those frequently unmentioned Metal Gods……….. Supertramp!

    Sorry I couldn’t resist, not a big fan of them although I do like some of their songs so my only Supertramp cd has been getting played a lot.

  24. 24
    DibDude says:


    Don’t go telling people more than one band invented heavy metal, the media decided 14 years ago it was Black Sabbath writing the one song, “Black Sabbath”.

    History is null and void, the truth has been rewritten

  25. 25
    DeeperPurps says:

    Uwe @18 and MacGregor @20-22…….we mustn’t forget that Grand Funk Railroad of Flint City Michigan was putting on the fuzz and heavy riffage back in 1969. Check out their own version of “Paranoid”…..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2xDCbEdWwA

  26. 26
    DeeperPurps says:

    DibDude @24…..don’t believe everything you hear and read in the corporate rock music media. The rock media is all about hype and being the mouthpiece for corporate interests. Granted Black Sabbath had a large role in the evolution of what we call Heavy Metal, it was not the sole contributor. As Uwe @18 has written, several bands can take credit for it. The media’s revisionist history of HM’s origins is suspect at best.

  27. 27
    MacGregor says:

    I don’t label Black Sabbath as ‘heavy metal’ I never have. They just happened to tick all of the boxes I would think for others to run with that title. Grand Funk indeed DeeperPurps @ 25 were very heavy at times & another band from State side were too but I forget their name. I don’t think they went anywhere though regarding success etc. Was it Blue Cheer or something like that perhaps. Anyway once Judas Priest ceased being hippies & wearing big girls blouses they certainly donned the leather & studs & that is what probably became a image & sound more to the point of what many would say is ‘metal’. All those studs have to weigh a bit I could imagine, I don’t know I have never gone there, he he he. It is an over used title though by many in the press & also many followers of the metal genre. Deep Purple & Led Zeppelin metal, they are anything but that. Even Uriah Heep have been placed into that box by some. Bizarre to my mind. Cheers.

  28. 28
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Sidroman, STOP!!!, no, even to a liberal mind Supertramp were definitely NOT heavy metal! Let’s not get carried away. I’d like to speak to your parents btw. 🤣


    But they were artful intelligent pop (not even PROG) with brilliant arrangements and that is enough for me. Crime of the Century is a classic album, even more so than Breakfast in Amercia.

    DeeperPurps: You’re of course right, how could I forget the guys from Flint, what a Mean Mistreater I am!


    Forgive me, I own everything from Grand Funk Railroad and from Flint (the post GFR-split band) plus from Mark Farner, I try and try, but you know how it is: Sin’s a Good Man’s Brother!


    MacGregor, I’ll never forgive the Punks for hijacking MC5, The Stooges and The New York Dolls as “Punk” forefathers and -mothers. In the early 70ies all three were hard rock bands, period.




    I don’t get hung up with the hard rock, heavy rock or heavy metal terminology. For each one of those terms you can find bands that fit the bill like a (studded leather) glove, but you’ll just as easy find groups that fit all three brackets or hop around between them. I think the common thread between all three is, if you boil it down, “electric guitar-centric music with a pulsing rhythm and dominant riffs (with remnants of Blues DNA) that holds specific appeal to male adolescents”. It’s as easy as that.

    And let’s face it: We’re all stunted development male adolescents here. None of this needed to have happened had we found girlfriends earlier. Let’s be inclusive: or boyfriends.

  29. 29
    Gregster says:


    Every Dominant-7th chord has the so-called “devil’s interval” within its structure. It’s the interval of the #11 or b5 between the 3rd & 7th notes.

    Get over it.

    Without a Dominant-7 chord, you could wipe-out most musical forms…

    And there’s no-such-thing as the devil per-se, it’s all in your mind lol ! Though wars & activity as such make-one-wonder what goes on in the minds of some bankers & their affinity with money.

    Peace !

  30. 30
    MacGregor says:

    MC5 were much better to my ears than The Stooges & The New York Dolls, more riff & groove related & a much much better singer. At least from what I have heard years ago & here again just now. Hawkwind is about the closest I have ever got to ‘punk’ at times, with Bob Calvert in the late 70’s, some of that had that feel to it at times. I just find punk rock & that style too messy for want of a better description, too radical or something. I guess I like a little order in rock music. Cheers.

  31. 31
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Like a lot of even white Motor City acts, MC5 had a thrusting and slightly frantic black groove in their music, the kind of energy you’d also hear at a Motown soul revue. You can even hear it in The Amboy Dukes/Ted Nugent (he freely admits to that influence) and Grand Funk Railroad (Flint is in the Detroit region and an auto city as well). Black music was one of their roots.


  32. 32
    DeeperPurps says:

    MacGregor @ 27, yes I believe Blue Cheer was the band that many called one of the first examples of Heavy Metal. I had their album for awhile but if it was HM, it was a very rudimentary attempt at best. As for Judas Priest, yes I agree….the start of that leather & studs trend in the genre seems to have its roots with them. And Deep Purple, as Ritchie Blackmore often said in interviews, was a hard rock, not a heavy metal band. Though I think the track Hard Lovin’ Man from In Rock does certainly qualify as the earliest gallop and possibly the first thrash-style song.

    Hey, even the Beatles dabbled in the HM genre in its nascent stages. 1968’s Helter Skelter was far from being a shrinking violet of a song…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk1hCSA89fc

    Yes indeed Uwe @ 28….GFR!!! So many great examples of fine songwriting and heavy playing. Beyond Mark Farner’s singing, I think their real secret weapon was Mel Schacher’s lead bass approach…..a very fine player to my ears. You being a bassist, I am interested in your take on Mel’s technique!?

  33. 33
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Yeah, Blue Cheer, never the most nuanced of bands, were certainly part of the seed that eventually bloomed into heavy metal. If captioning genres is your thing, they are today largely perceived as ‘Stoner Rock’, the type of band that spawned groups like Monster Magnet.

    DeeperPurps, there are not enough good things that can be said about Mel Schacher! I concur with Homer Simpson: “The bone-rattling bass of Mel Schacher!”



    We are not worthy. Schacher was/is great. He was one of those extremely busy players that still didn’t overstep. He provided a carpet of groove and had an uncanny sense of melody. There are some parallels between his playing and Geezer Butler’s but Mel was more lightfooted. You can hear that he grew up listening to James Jamerson who played on so many Motown hits.


  34. 34
    DeeperPurps says:

    Uwe @33, thanks for those insights re Mel’s playing. Agreed, I always thought there were some similarities between he and Geezer. Absolutely!…. James Jamerson, the original Funk Brothers bassist would certainly have been a significant influence on Mel who lived just an hour down the road. Those tricks he picked up from JJ no doubt helped Mel put the Funk in GFR! And as I understand it, Glenn Hughes cites Jamerson as a big influence on his own funky style of playing.

  35. 35
    DibDude says:


    That was the point of my post. I’m old enough to know what happened. Modern media, and a lot of the young welps who hang on every word are trying to change the narrative.

  36. 36
    DeeperPurps says:

    Agreed DibDude @ 35. We are on the same page. The corporate rock media has its darlings and have been / still are spoonfeeding ill-informed nonsense to new generations of listeners. It’s all about Black Sabbath/Ozzy, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC et al all the time while Purple has been for some odd reason, been relegated to 2nd tier status.

  37. 37
    Uwe Hornung says:

    From my memory, the term “Heavy metal” first made inroads around 1975. I remember Blue Öyster Cult being lauded as “Heavy Metal” and “heavier than anything you have heard before” in the CBS press blurb on their German tour then. European rock critics quipped at the time: “Heavier than anything you’ve heard before? Not if you’ve been to a Slade, Status Quo or Deep Purple gig.” And of course BÖC weren’t all that heavy, but they were very good and varied songwriters (too varied for real Heavy Metal perhaps?).

    They were, however, the first band with a real leather image, I remember an Eric Bloom interview where he said that – just like Judas Priest later on (who in 1974/75 were still wearing cowboy hats and mother’s blouses) – they bought their stage garments in gay boutiques in NYC “because those were the only places you could get stuff like this back then”.




    Ted Nugent too was in 1975/76 – also by CBS – already brandished as a “heavy metal axeman” though Uncle Ted’s music is really only Hard Rock with a rhythm & blues basis played very loud and energetically.

    Studded writst bands? Judas Priest didn’t invent those either. They loaned them from the Punks, when the Punk revolution hit in 1976, leather jackets (Ramones!)


    and studded wrist bands (Sid Vicious!)


    left a huge fashion impact. The leather, the studs, Halford cutting his hair short, all that was lifted from Punk. Priest wanted street credibility to go with their Midlands industrial background. It must have dawned on them that times were changing and that the Zeppelin rock god look was on the wane. Incidentally, the leather look was KK Downing’s initial idea, not Rob Halford’s: Although a gay man he had never worn leather before adopting the biker look with Priest which initially – fashion insecurity! – he overdid a little … 🤣


    And btw the first guy to wear prominent studded wrist bands to heavy music was no one else but Purple Family alumni Ashley Holt from Warhorse:


    And that was in 1971: Credit where credit is due! I believe a young Bruce Dickinson took a close look.

  38. 38
    MacGregor says:

    @ 36 – I was thinking about that DeeperPurps as I recently noticed ACDC commencing their tour & the ‘new’ Led Zeppelin documentary. Regarding Black Sabbath I do think that they wouldn’t be in the news as much if the O$Bourne circus wasn’t so popular in the USA. You forgot to mention Metallica & Dave ‘I’ve been everywhere man’ Grohl, The Beatles, Springsteen, Gun’s & Roses etc etc & how much someone sold their mansion for & whether someone is getting along with someone else, ie, Van Halen (Hagar) circus, Pink Floyd (Gilmour & Waters) etc etc. Gotta have some fisty cuffs in there somewhere. I actually prefer Deep Purple not being in that type of spotlight, although Glenn Hughes & his past drug history & the Blackmore & Gillan feud rear there heads occasionally. Maybe we all should undertake a tabloid journo test to see if we would pass or fail as some of us here can go on at times, he he he. But not in that way, surely. Cheers.

  39. 39
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I was at the 90th birthday of my first wife‘s mother yesterday and re-met people I hadn’t seen for nearly two decades. And of course conversation turned at one point to whether I still go to rock concerts (as I had always been known for) and I could confirm that and when I mentioned the Nick Simper gig in Vienna and the two more recent Glenn ones as well that I have tickets for DP in July, the reaction was as ever: “YOU MEAN THEY STILL TOUR?!!! BUT THEY MUST BE IN THEIR 80IES!”

    In the perception of people with only a superficial knowledge of rock and pop, there is a disconnect in recognition between the legacy act and the living + breathing organism of today. Most people between 30 and say 70 know that DP were a rock band and they also make the SOTW connection, but everything that went on since the reunion in 1984 is under their radar. Still, if I had only said “I saw Judas Priest in March …” a lot fewer people would have known who I was talking about even though JP are a major (not mega) act in Germany. But they were never a household name like Purple were in the early 70ies and none of their albums really ever graced mainstream record collections outside of heavy metal circles like In Rock did.

  40. 40
    MacGregor says:

    It looks like ACDC are playing quite a few gigs in Germany for Uwe to attend. A possible review would be nice & no doubt should contain a degree of head banging of sorts. We wait keenly with much anticipation. Cheers.

  41. 41
    Uwe Hornung says:

    AC/DC are huge in Germany, they don’t need me. And I saw them with Bon Scott twice, ensuring me the eternal admiration of any serious fans of the Aussies. The eyes of the little critters well up when I tell them that I saw both one of the first and one of the last AC/DC gigs in Germany. Being the gentle guy, I never hurt their feelings by admitting that I didn’t go to see AC/DC both times, but only Rainbow and Judas Priest respectively.

  42. 42
    MacGregor says:

    Such compassion & empathy Uwe, it is well appreciated out here, I assure you. Those enduring memories of Bon without his shirt on & Angus carrying on like, well like a school boy must be heartening to your soul, not to mention mine. Angus spinning around on his back whilst playing, not forgetting Chuck Berry & his duck walk. Cheers.

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