“It shows every member of the band doing what they did best – Gillan’s vocals, Jon Lord’s keyboards”: the In Rock classic that’s Tony Iommi‘s favourite Deep Purple song

Deep Purple’s In Rock album cover with an inset of Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi
(Image credit: Harvest/Future)

The cover of Classic Rock 326, featuring Deep Purple

(Image credit: Future)

The first glimmerings of what would become hard rock and heavy metal can largely be traced back to three British bands at the very end of the 1960s and start of the 70s: Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. All three were hugely successful, notching up a string of successful albums and – seven-inch refuseniks Zeppelin aside – singles.

You’d be forgiven for thinking there was a bitter rivalry between the bands, but apparently not. Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has spoken about jamming with members of Led Zeppelin. Now, in the brand new issue of Classic Rock magazine, he’s revealed his admiration for Deep Purple – and picks his favourite song of theirs.

The new issue of Classic Rock features a list of the greatest Deep Purple songs as chosen by members of Queen, Kiss, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and more, as well as members of Purple themselves. For Iommi, it was the track that kicked off the band’s classic fourth album, 1970’s Deep Purple In Rock.

“I always liked Deep Purple, and my favourite album of theirs is In Rock,” Iommi tells Classic Rock. “It has one classic song after another. They always used to come up with great riffs, and Speed King is hard to beat.

“It’s a great, energetic song that shows every member of the band doing what they did best,” he continues. “[Ian] Gillan’s vocals and the keyboards of Jon Lord… They were such great musicians.”

In Rock was a significant moment for Deep Purple. It was the first album they made with new singer Ian Gillan, who released four landmark records with the band before departing in 1973.

Such was Iommi’s admiration for Purple that, over a decade later, he invited Gillan to replace departed Sabbath singer Ronnie James Dio for 1983’s Born Again album – despite the former Deep Purple man claiming to never have heard a note of Sabbath’s music.

The brand new issue of Classic Rock, featuring a list of the greatest Deep Purple songs ever as, is onsale now. Order it online and have it delivered straight to your door.

Classic Rock 326 - cover image featuring Deep Purple

(Image credit: Future)
Classic Rock

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