Deep Purple In Rock NME June 13 1970

Unlike famous musicians, who we expect to be able to recall what they did on every day of their career (because we have to know!), I haven’t got the foggiest notion what I was up to on Friday June 5th 1970, beyond getting through another day at school.  Friday was usually sports all afternoon, an occupation I loathed. We’d be bussed up to some wind-wept fields on the edge of the Derbyshire moors and, after digging out the dried on mud and grass from between the studs on our boots, expected to somehow know the rules of rugby or cricket and get on with that until it was time for a freezing communal shower in what seemed like a converted WW2 bunker, before being bussed back.
If we were lucky it was cross-country running. Lucky because this sport was largely unsupervised and there was a ramshackle corrugated iron cafe near the mill pond half way round. So if nobody was stationed at the far end of the course with a clipboard (and we’d survived the mysterious air-rifler who took pot shots at us on occasions), we could get a cup of hot-chocolate and doss about for half an hour or so, then set off back and try to make ourselves look exhausted on arrival at the changing rooms.
I’d probably be thinking about trekking round town the next day to “do” the record shops, an occupation which usually meant doing very little beyond just pestering assistants in various shops to stick an album on in the listening booth. I may have spotted Deep Purple In Rock on display, but it would be a couple of weeks before I got to hear Black Night on the radio, and start to make the connections between this, snatches of sessions I’d heard, and the coverage in the music papers. I could hardly miss this front page advert (above) which appeared on the NME dated June 13th (it’s been on the site before but what the heck). The single bought, it was the flip of Speed King which had me saving up for In Rock, an awesome track the likes of which I’d never heard before.  It had everything you’d want in a rock record, and I played the single to death until I’d got enough to buy the album. Until then b-sides had usually been a bit of a disappointment, but here was one which was far better than the hit.
45 years have now passed since the single and album were released, indeed it’s been 20 years since I was involved in the remaster of the record, checking through old tapes on a mission my teenage self could only have dreamed about.
It may just be a piece of ancient history to the five musicians who created it, but for those of us it has given such listening pleasure to over the years it remains 35 minutes in time which we continue to marvel at.
I’ll treat myself to a couple of tracks to mark the occasion before I get on with the rest of the day. It does occur to me that the old cafe we bunked off to is still there, and the sun is out, so when I’ve finished filling in, scanning and emailing off some boring “supplier contract forms” (which apparently enable me to supply stuff even though I’ve already signed a contract to supply it, but without which I might well not get paid) I might sneak off for a cuppa there afterwards and ponder on where the time went.

I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence but Geoff Barton has done a piece on Mk 2 vs Mk 3 on the Classic Rock magazine site this week, which lauds In Rock – thanks to Tim Summers and Tom Dixon for spotting this.


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17 Responses to “SHVL777@45”

  1. P. Says:

    Just for information, I’m not sure how many people are aware of Steven Wilson who has recently released an album called ‘Hand.Cannot..Erase’ but he provides a very diverse playlist on his website from time to time. He has recently posted ‘In Rock’ as part of his current list.

  2. Leftin Says:

    Was the b-side Speed King the album version without Waffle (or was it Woffle?), or the Brubeck-inspired piano version? The first time I heard that (thanks to the accidental inclusion on the Swimsuit Album) was one of those moments where rock music starts a bio-chemical reaction.

    PS Nice to see others hated school “sports” as well. Some old enthusiasts still rattle on about the dreary events today!

    • simon robinson Says:

      I’m pretty sure the UK single was the full album version, with the intro woffle! Though never actually compared the timings.
      My absolute peak at sports was bunking off with a mate to practise javelin for an hour. We decided to use the rugby post to aim at and merrily chipped away at it with some success and until it looked like being in danger of collapse… not sure the groundsman ever quite worked out what had happened.

      • Clive Robey Says:

        I bought Black Night first time round (it was creeping up the charts 45 years ago this week) and the full album version of Speed King was present, not the piano version. I bought it, not because it was DP, but just because I liked it. And Paranoid was in the charts at the same time. Happy days for a 15 year old. Nothing, absolutely nothing, prepared me for that onslaught of a cacophony of noise. And I was hooked from then on.

      • simon robinson Says:

        Yep, I loved Black Night (which as you say I must have picked up around 45 years ago this month), but when I flipped it over for the full version of Speed King that was it. I wonder if I would have been as instantly converted if it had been that early piano version instead? I mean it’s interesting but… And I bought Paranoid as well. Those idiots who rubbish the 70s eh?

  3. Roy Davies Says:

    I came to ‘In Rock’ -like many of my later generation I suspect- via the dulcet tones of ‘Rainbow Rising’ in an attempt to work backwards through the previous Blackmore catalogue circa 1976-77. Luckily I picked it up early in my search; if I’d have bought ‘Concerto’ first I might have taken a decidedly different musical path!
    Am I alone in quite enjoying the school cross-country runs? The route took us down the side of the girls hockey pitch, and the dense foliage adjacent was perfectly made for an illicit rendezvous! Which brings us neatly back to In Rock and “Hard Lovin’ man” – and arguably even “Why Didn’t Rosemary?”- for indeed that was her name…

    • simon robinson Says:

      I must confess the cross country was enjoyable at times in a masochistic sort of way. At least I could do it, unlike the more organised sports. But sadly the course was – perhaps on purpose – steered out of town beyond the likelihood of meeting anything but sheep…

  4. Timothy Says:

    How strange that my secondary school sports lessons were the same as yours – only ten years later and without the cafe interlude. Seeing ‘KES’ on the telly at this time made me realise that ALL P.E teachers were alike and quite likely totally mad (Brian Glover was bang on the money). I think I pondered that In Rock inner gatefold more than any other… those cryptic words for each track, the slightly aloof look of each of the band and of course wondering what it looked like in studio as they hammered out Hard Lovin Man….

    • simon robinson Says:

      The cafe thing was a gamble; some weeks one of the beaks would drive his car to the end of the track, which was a proper cross country course through quite a steep valley. He would tick your name off as you reached the point. Much effort would be spent trying to find out if this was going to happen, and of course we were in for a bollocking if we got caught out!

  5. Tony B Says:

    Sounds like a great idea visiting the café for a cuppa and the fact that it is still there is nice as well. It got me thinking what isn’t here since June 1970.

    I can remember the time vaguely as it was our big house move. From here it seems a lifetime away almost like a sepia framed picture. I believe I can still remember Black Night being played on the radio a lot but this may be wishing a memory!

    More recently I remember the above NME edition when it was on the site before and thinking what a great picture it was of the time and the bands around then, the fact Deep Purple were on the front of the NME, the price 9d (!) and how much reading material you’d get.

    • simon robinson Says:

      I still enjoy re-reading those old issues when I have cause to go through my small collection of vintage issues. Just nice to see the sheer variety of music that they covered back then.

  6. quadey Says:

    “but for those of us it has given such listening pleasure to over the years it remains 35 minutes in time which we continue to marvel at”

    This is so spot on! My older brother bought this and though I listened to all of his albums (Crimson, Moodys, Crimson etc) In Rock just smacked me in the face and woke me up, couldn’t wait for Fireball and so it began. In Rock changed my musical life.
    A good blog which I’m sure millions can relate to.

  7. vincent chong Says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, rather enjoyed reading that. I have no idea what I was doing mid 1970 , probably up to no good as music appreciation was at its infancy with me. I read that the north American issues was missing that glorious chunk of Speed King’s opening mayhem and so I held off till the anniversary edition. I did buy the UK first pressing on one of my visits to the UK but it was an awfully long wait for what is my favourite Deep Purple LP. I only wished I had the chance to listen to the ferocity back in 1970.

  8. Bruce Metcalfe Says:

    I can’t say as I recall the exact date of my first Deep Purple LP purchase which was Made in Japan. In 1972, I was chiefly buying Top 40 singles and getting to know certain bands like Yes and the Canadian band April Wine. My only big LP purchase that year was Nilsson Shmilsson. I’d say it was very early in 1973 when I bought the single Smoke on the Water (on a whim). Strangely, it had the same song on the B side but with an audience!? (I pondered). Then, I believe it was around March on a gloomy rainy Saturday, my parents drove me into a Hamilton mall and I entered Sam the Record Man. There, on a hanging rack above the bins, was that LP with the wonderful live shot of the band! I believe that picture had 80% of the power that led me to purchase it that day! (Even though, having recently started drumming lessons, I couldn’t figure out why the drummer in the picture had his kit the wrong way around!) I took it home and immediately played side 2. Let’s just say listening to the second track made me no longer care about the drummer’s odd set-up!

    • simon robinson Says:

      People kind of forget that buying albums was expensive as a teenager, and it took a lot of deciding where that hard earned cash would go. If you made a mistake and bought a duff album you really regretted it! I know there was a bit of a second-hand market at school, and kids would try and swop or sell albums. I got my copy of Shades this way, and did a swop for Concerto – a lad had expected a heavy album like In Rock when he bought it and couldn’t wait to get rid!

  9. Kevin Kober Says:

    Indeed, nice to hear Black Night playing in the background in a record store featured in last night’s series finale of ‘The Game’ on BBC 2…

    • simon robinson Says:

      Others have mentioned this Kevin. Tim Summers says it’s worth watching the last episode on iPlayer with the hard of hearing captions on, to see them struggle to get the lyrics correct on screen!

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