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Ian Gillan, is an English singer and songwriter who achieved widespread recognition as the lead singer, songwriter and lyricist for Deep Purple, a rock band that is referred to, along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath to be one of the groundbreaking and original hard rock and heavy metal bands of the early to mid-seventies. The band was formed in 1968 as a progressive rock band, but changed style towards a heavier sound, getting Ian Gillan and Roger Glover on board from Episode Six in 1969. The band has undergone several line-up changes, but the second line-up, the Mark II, which includes Ian Gillan (vocals), Ritchie Blackmore (guitar), Roger Glover (bass), Jon Lord (keyboards, backing vocals), and Ian Paice (drums) is the most commercially successful line-up, having written ”Smoke On The Water”, considered to be the most influential rock riff of all-times. Fronted by Gillan, the band has released major rock classic albums including: Deep Purple in Rock, Fireball, Machine Head, Perfect Strangers, The House of Blue Light, The Battle Rages On…, Purpendicular, Abandon, Rapture of the Deep, Now What?! and their recent Infinite. Apart from Deep Purple, Gillan: sang the role of Jesus in the recording of Jesus Christ Superstar, worked with Pavarotti on special occasions, recorded one album for Black Sabbath and formed the Ian Gillan Band in 1975.
Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan on: coming from a musical household, boy soprano in the church choir, how he at fourteen got interested in rock’n’ roll, blues, soul music, Motown, having various bands, Episode Six, the craft of writing songs, finding style, joining Deep Purple in 1969, the formative years, humor, influences as a singer, finding your own voice, harmonies, Machine Head, what took place in Geneva, the Frank Zappa concert, ”Smoke on The Water”, scatting, improvisation, vocal secrets, musical differences, human chemistry, rehearsals, recording, touring, Jesus Christ Superstar, Ian Gillan Band, joining Black Sabbath, challenges, motto, Infinite, and more.
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The making of Machine Head, and how ”Smoke on the Water” came about
Artistic relationship with Ritchie Blackmore
The best songs are written in 20 minutes
With the original Mark II line-up
Upon leaving the band in 1973, and the reunion
On working with Luciano Pavarotti
On Ritchie leaving the band, and Steve Morse