Formed in Hertford in 1968, Deep Purple were originally called Roundabout. The original line-up featured Ritchie Blackmore, Rod Evans, Nick Simper, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.

The band's debut album, 'Shades of Deep Purple' released in July 1968, didn't catch the attention of the UK, but in American they landed a top five hit with 'Hush'. The albums 'The Book of Taliesyn' (1968) and 'Deep Purple' (1969) followed but, as the band's ambitions were growing, their American label folded. Evans and Simper left the band and Ian Gillan and Roger Glover took their places, marking the first of many line-up changes.

'In Rock' (1970) heralded the beginning of the group's commercially successful period, as it spawned the hit singles 'Speed King', 'Into The Fire' and 'Child In Time'. They then released 'Black Night', which became a top ten hit in the UK. After the success of 'In Rock' and 'Fireball' (1971) the band decided on a European location to record their next album.

They chose The Casino in Montreux in Switzerland, only to see it burn down the night before recording was to begin. Out of the ashes of the Casino, however, was to come their most memorable song and their most successful album ever. With smoke literally wafting over the water of Lake Geneva, the band took up residence in the Grand Hotel and, in the swiftly converted corridors and cupboards of the deserted Hotel, recorded the album that was to become their tour de force. The multi-platinum 'Machine Head' reached the top spot in the UK and the US Top Five in 1972.

It also produced their most iconic track 'Smoke On The Water' (1971), as well as concert classics 'Lazy', 'Highway Star' and 'Space Truckin'. This album was followed by four North American tours and a Japan tour in 1972, with the latter leading to the double-vinyl live release 'Made In Japan.

In 1973, they released 'Who Do You Think You Are', from which 'Woman in Tokyo' came. It also made them the best-selling artists in the US that year. Internal tensions and exhaustion became more apparent, leading to another line-up change.

Gillian and Glover later left the band, while David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes were recruited for 1974's 'Burn'. A tour followed with dates played at Madison Square Gardens [[[del s]]] in New York and the famous California Jam Festival alongside other rock giants such as Black Sabbath and Eagles. A world tour followed.

After finishing 1974's 'Stormbringer', which spawned the radio hits 'Gypsy', 'Lady Double Dealer' and 'Soldier of Fortune'. However, Blackmore was unhappy with this record and its funky soul elements. He left the band to form Rainbow in 1975.

Deep Purple broke-up in 1976 and it wasn't until 1984 that the classic line-up of Blackmore, Gillan, Lord, Glover and Paice reunited for the platinum selling 'Perfect Strangers' album. A reunion tour followed in 1985, with it out-grossing every tour that year including Bruce Springsteen.

In 1987, they released 'The House of Blue Light', which was once again followed by a sell-out tour. After this they released the live album 'Nobody's Perfect' in 1988.

Throughout the 90s, the band continued in one form or another, despite Blackmore leaving for good in 1993, and the release of several archival releases and box-set collections have helped keep their fan base happy. They also released new material in the form of the 1996 album 'Purpendicular' and 1998 release 'Abandon'.

The next few years were spent touring. One of the band's last original members of the band, Lord, retired in 2002 under friendly circumstances to pursue solo projects. The following year, Deep Purple released 'Bananas', which was followed by their next studio album 'Rapture of the Deep' in 2005. It is thought that the band are working on a follow-up.

This may be put on hold for now as the band's co-founder Lord died at the age of 71 on 16 July 2012 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.