This might just be the best biography I have ever read on a rock band. Deep Purple, one of the longest running hard rock institutions on the planet, gets a royal treatment here from author Dave Thompson, who expertly takes the reader through 35+ years of Purple lore. From the early days of the band, when Rod Evans manned the microphone and Nick Simper was playing bass, to the glory years with Gillan & Glover, to the time spent with Coverdale, Hughes, Bolin, & Turner, to the many breakups and battles between Blackmore and Gillan, to their re-ermergence with Steve Morse in the 90's, to Jon Lord's retirement from the band, and Don Airey's hiring, it's all here.
While Thompson doesn't get too behind the scenes or provide too much dirt or gossip ( he claims to have left that for all to read in Ian Gillan's autobiography), this is still an enthralling read for anyone into one of the premier creators, along with Cream, Hendrix, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin, of the heavy metal sound. Each stage of the bands career is covered in depth (the various Mark line-ups, as they have been historically called), as well as a look into each of the albums the band put together. There's also lots of info in the "Purple Family Tree", so expect to see loads of documentary on Rainbow, Whitesnake, Gillan, Captain Beyond, Warehorse, the "fake" Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and any other project that any of the DP band members were ever a part of. In addition, there's a great discography included detailing every release that a DP member ever appeared on. Neat huh?
I could go on and on here, but if you are a Deep Purple fanatic, or a lover of classic hard rock and heavy metal, this is an absolute must read. It's over 300 pages, but I could not put it down and finished it in about 5 hours.