49 years ago: Deep Purple released "Deep Purple In Rock"

June 3rd 1970, 49 years ago Deep Purple released Deep Purple in Rock, their fourth studio album and the first with the Mark II line-up of Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice, Ian Gillan and Roger Glover.

Deep Purple MkII were formed in June 1969, after founding members Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord and Ian Paice decided to replace original lead singer Rod Evans with someone who could tackle a hard rock style. Lord and Blackmore had initially met with Paice, with Blackmore recalling wanting to "have a go at being really heavy" after hearing Led Zeppelin's debut album.

The three went to see a gig by local band Episode Six on 4 June, and after Blackmore sat in with the band, they offered vocalist Ian Gillan the job, and consequently Glover was also recruited into the band.

The Mark II Deep Purple lineup debuted live at The Speakeasy Club in London on 10 July 1969 and they began to tour extensively, and found they had good musical chemistry together. Hanwell Community Centre was booked for the band to rehearse and write new material.

In Rock was recorded at IBC Studios in London, with the first sessions in October, 1969. Recording was spaced out between gigs, which were needed to provide the band with income, and continued intermittently until May the following year. The band's US record company, Tetragrammaton declared bankruptcy in early 1970, meaning an uncertainty of the album being released in the US. Warner Bros subsequently bought out the Tetragrammaton contract.

The cover depicts the band in a rock sculpture inspired by Mount Rushmore.

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