Deep Purple are, by far, one of the most important heavy rock bands to have ever existed. Beyond ‘Smoke On The Water‘ sits an extensive back catalogue of pure classics — ‘Burn‘, ‘Child In Time‘ and ‘Highway Star‘ amongst others eloquently defined the rugged features of what made rock heavy and even carved out the template for what would go on to become ‘heavy metal’.
But, as of July 16th, the world lost one of the most integral components of that legendary original group — keyboardist and founding member Jon Lord. Lord, whose style was distinctly rooted in the world of classical music, was best known for his searing organ solos that pierced above even the loudest of distorted guitar riffs and when you’re up against the likes of Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Morse or Joe Satriani, it takes a blinding amount of unbridled talent to steal the spotlight. His real opus, however, was the Concerto For Group And Orchestra, which saw the band perform a three movement concerto, composed by Lord, alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, forever concreting the idea that metal and classical music are secret bedfellows.
Many music news outlets will be understandably distraught at this news and any tribute I make isn’t even a drop in the ocean, but if you’re truly a fan of metal, you owe it to yourself to at least check out the astonishing work this man contributed during his time. I’ve included some choice tracks after the jump if you’re not sure where to start and hopefully you’ll come to the same conclusion I did — we’re a poorer world without him.
Fireball – Fireball (1971)
Highway Star – Machine Head (1972)
Perfect Strangers – Perfect Strangers (1984)
Burn – Burn (1974)