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4.46 | 137 ratings | 13 reviews
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Album · 1970

Filed under Hard Rock


1. Speed King (4:24)
2. Bloodsucker (4:16)
3. Child In Time (10:20)
4. Flight Of The Rat (7:58)
5. Into The Fire (3:30)
6. Living Wreck (4:34)
7. Hard Lovin' Man (7:11)

Total Time 42:15


- Ian Gillan / vocals
- Ritchie Blackmore / guitars
- Roger Glover / bass
- Jon Lord / organ
- Ian Paice / drums

About this release

Release date: June 3, 1970
Label: Harvest Records

Reissued with the following bonus tracks:

8. Black Night (original single version) (3:27)
9. Studio Chat (0:28)
10. Speed King (piano version) (4:14)
11. Studio Chat (2) (0:25)
12. Cry Free (Roger Glover remix) (3:20)
13. Studio Chat (0:05)
14. Jam Stew (unreleased instrumental) (2:30)
15. Studio Chat (0:40)
16. Flight Of The Rat (Roger Glover remix) (7:53)
17. Studio Chat (0:31)
18. Speed King (Roger Glover remix) (5:52)
19. Studio Chat (0:23)
20. Black Night (unedited Roger Glover remix) (4:47)

Thanks to Time Signature, Lynx33, diamondblack for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
Few albums can claim to have rewritten history but that's exactly what IN ROCK, the fourth album by the British progressive symphonic rock turned hard rock band DEEP PURPLE achieved with this landmark release from 1970. While the controversy preservers regarding the origins of heavy metal music, there's little doubt that IN ROCK played a pivotal role in ushering in the 1970s with a hefty infusion of energetic drive and virtuosic dexterity that took the harder arenas of rock to a completely new level. The leading up to the classic Mark II lineup of vocalist Ian Gillan, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, organist / keyboardist Jon Lord, bassist Roger Glover and drummer Ian Paice reads like a soap opera with new members snatched away from another band and the back stabbing act of forming a new lineup behind the backs of current members. Although deplorable in many ways, the tactics paid off and with the release of IN ROCK, the new lineup propelled DEEP PURPLE onto the world's stage and gave permission for bands to get hard and heavy in the 1970s with faster tempos, heavier distortion and an energetic drive that would morph into the world of heavy metal in the latter half of the decade.

Although DEEP PURPLE had formed all the way back in February of 1968, the band led by Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord was a bit aloof and missing some key ingredients in cementing a sound that made them stand out. While going through the proto-prog motions of crafting symphonic rock albums that followed in the footsteps of The Moody Blues, the Mark I era of DEEP PURPLE suffered from inconsistent songwriting, an over-reliance on cover songs and a noticeable lack of vitality that propelled them to the next level. As Blackmore and Glover conspired behind the backs of original members: singer Rod Evans and bassist Nick Simper to secretly replace them, after discovering a band called Episode Six commenced to seduce their singer and bassist over to the PURPLE side of the fence going as far as recording material with the new band members before telling the old ones they have been ousted. Long smitten with the organ infused psychedelic rock created by the US act Vanilla Fudge along with hearing Led Zepplein's debut that delivered bantering tracks like "Communication Breakdown," the band developed its own distinct brand of hard rock and proto-metal. Blackmore and Glover's plot to steer the band in a new direction ultimately proved to be a winning strategy.

After the drama played out and all was said and done, the new DEEP PURPLE emerged and found one of their missing ingredients, a competent songwriter in the form of Roger Glover. The newfound chemistry proved to be one of those magic moments and the band set out to start anew. IN ROCK was the perfect album to welcome the freewheeling 1970s in June of the first year after the 60s faded away. Following the recent groundbreaking albums from Led Zeppelin and early heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath, DEEP PURPLE delivered a complementary proto-metal style that rather than delving into the occult and demonic focused on fast tempo rhythms, tight-knit instrumental interplay, catchy guitar-driven grooves and a focuss on feisty soloing trade-offs courtesy of Ritchie Blackmore's electrifying guitar playing and Jon Lord's classical trained finger gymnastics turned up a few notches. The band forged seven distinct tracks that delivered an electrifying mix of heavy driving rock, gritty yet soulful vocal performances and a delivery system that offered instantly ear wormy hooks fortified with moments of progressive complexities. The recipe proved to be a major hit in the UK and remained high on the album charts for the next year. Ironically the band found success in the USA with their earlier albums but failed to make a dent with IN ROCK.

The new material was as much about improvisation as it was about crafting enduring compositions. "Speed King" for example was an attempt to emulate Jimi Hendrix's "Fire" but took on a life of its own. "Flight Of The Rat" likewise was based on the classic tune "Flight Of The Bumblebee" before morphing into a DEEP PURPLE original through endless rehearsals. The highlight of the album "Child In Time" began by borrowing the simple opening riff from It's A Beautiful Day's track "Bombay Calling" from its 1969 debut and likewise evolved into a completely different beast that would build upon the opening keyboard melody and turn it into a sizzling shredding jam session in the middle before resolving itself as it began. With new lyrics that took an anti-war stand in the time of the Vietnam conflict, the song evolved into a monstrosity that eventually became a de facto anthem for the anti-Communists in Eastern Europe. The track is really the highlight with dramatic crescendos that alternate between slow suspenseful vocal motifs and contrasted by thunderous displays of frenetic heaviness.

IN ROCK in effect played a part in a major evolution in the history of rock music that included inventive intros to songs such as the guitar and keyboard bombast that start the album off before the crushing assault of "Speed King" delivers a bouncy guitar riffing baseline that ushers in the band's unique rhythmic drive and accompanying keyboard counterpoints. The mix was irresistible and DEEP PURPLE had hit the big time and soon would become one of the biggest bands of the entire 70s and influential to a whole new breed of heavier rockers. Newbie Ian Gillan's vocal abilities proved to be the perfect match for the band's unique sound with a wide expressive range all the while providing that hard rock gruff that would develop into the more extreme expression of heavy metal down the road. Each track featured a distinct personality with varying riffs, organ fills, drumming techniques, unexpected elements and diverse dynamics however what tied the album together cohesively was the infectious stylistic approach that was delivered in a high-powered perfection. Jon Lord's extravagant keyboard wizardry added a completely new element to the standard rock paradigm that allowed the classical wankery of the past to integrate brilliant moments of contrast to the more boogie rock guitar riffing.

With an impressive repertoire of tracks that offered varying guitar riffing styles, instantly catchy melodic twists and feisty lively performances, IN ROCK really delivered the goods in giving the world of rock music the upgrade it needed to take the popular musical form into the 1970s and along with Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep and Black Sabbath, dominated the hard rock sector in the year 1970 and pointed the way to the next level of artistic integrity thus giving the world of rock and roll a much needed bridge from the giddy flower power hippie years to the more cynical years ahead. Not only DEEP PURPLE's finest moment but really one of the best albums ever made and although the band would become superstars and dominated the early 70s hard rock scene, these five musicians never quite rekindled the magic that was displayed on this album. It's true that some of the tracks take a little longer to warm up to. The first side of the album offers a more instant likability but repeated listening sessions have revealed that even what i once perceived as the "lesser" tracks such as "Living Wreck" and "Hard Lovin' Man" offer the same magic in a delayed fashion. In short, IN ROCK is one of the true rock masterpieces of the ages!
Enter Roger Glover and Ian Gillan on bass and vocals and the classic DEEP PURPLE lineup had arrived. This was the first studio album released by this lineup known as Mark II by DEEP PURPLE fans. This isn't as good as "Machine Head" in my opinion but it does offer up one of DEEP PURPLE's best tracks in "Child In Time" which over-shadows everything else on here. It's amazing though how powerful and dynamic this record is compared to their first three albums. You wouldn't know it was the same band. "Flight Of The Rat" and "Hard Lovin' Man" round out my top three tracks on here.
Deep Purple have two classic albums that I will always be proud to say I own: "Machine Head" and "In Rock". "Machine Head" is one of those albums that I enjoy listening to from time to time but I don't need to hear it often. It's a classic and I can leave it until I am ready to enjoy all over again. "In Rock", however, is one of my all-time favourite albums, and certainly one of my desert island picks.

I first bought this on cassette in the 80's and then on CD in the 90's. Then the remastered version came out with the full length version of "Speed King", which definitely adds dimension to not only the song but the whole album. It literally explodes in the same tympanic membrane-ripping style that it closes with on "Hard Loving Man". I think that the chords to "Speed King" fit right into early metal classic riffs along with Black Sabbath's theme song and Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog".

Jon Lord (RIP) is an amazing musician, doing to his organ what few can manage even on guitar. His solos are crazy, wild, off-key even, and yet come across with style, talent, and energy. The man was the first person who could make me appreciate the sound of the Hammond organ.

Ritchie Blackmore chooses the raunchiest guitar sound to come out of any DP album until Steve Morse turned up the distortion on Abandon. Somehow, however, that early raw sound is just so much wilder. It has the right crunch! If the band's purpose was to drive the recording levels off the charts then they certainly did it here.

Gillan is amazing and I don't think he has ever sounded better since. His vocals are wilder and crazier than on any subsequent album, and he holds nothing back. If you've heard him with Episode Six then you have to wonder what happened between "Mr. Universe" and "Bloodsucker". Who let the rabid cougar out? (If you've heard him on the Episode Six demos from the last year of their existence, you can hear what attracted Blackmore to Gillan's pipes, particularly his backing vocals to the haunting number, "Something's Got a Hold of My Heart").

The remastered release is a gem with not only a cleaner sound but with the b-sides, studio outtakes and studio goof-ups it becomes an even greater joy to listen to. In between bonus tracks you can here improvised musical comedy as members goof up or goof around in the studio. It's too bad the rest of the remastered albums didn't have all this, but as I understand they weren't laughing so much by the time they did "Who Do We Think We Are?"

If you're still not convinced after all these great reviews then give the samples a listen and then get your copy. This album is a milestone in hardrock/metal with some inventive twists on classical and jazz in some parts. This album truly contributed to the development of the heavy rock genre.
An album with a monumental reputation, but which as far as I can tell has had that reputation built on two of its seven songs - Speed King, which is a great intro, and the admittedly wonderful Child In Time. The rest of the material on display, frankly, is of decidedly mixed quality; the second side is particularly weak, with Hard Lovin' Man and Into the Fire being particularly repetitive and lightweight. The incorporation of organ into a proto-metal sort of structure is tastefully done, and at points is able to drive the group to powerful heights - as on Child In Time - but can anyone really say any of the other songs on the album compares to that masterpiece? Personally, I can't.
Time Signature
Speed kings...

Genre: hard rock

"In Rock" is one of the best rock albums of all times! It contains nothing but classics! And there are plenty of things on it that should appeal to metalheads and general rock fans alike.

The tracks "Speed King" (a legendary hard rocker in its own right) and "Flight of the Bat" are very much precursors of heavy metal music, with their uptempo beats and hard rocking guitars, as is "Hard Lovin' Man" which its galloping rhythm guitar. The groovy "Bloodsucker" is also a guitar-driven hard rocker, containing a type of blues scale based riffage which Rage Against the Machine would later give a central position in their brand of rap metal. THen there is the masterpiece "Child in Time" which is more of a progressive semi-psychedelic epic track, but it contains a lot of guitar work that would influence later neo-classical heavy metal.

There's so much that can be said about this album, but mere words cannot describe this behemoth of a rock music masterpiece. Check it out for yourself.
All killer no filler - Deep Purple rock like no others in 1970!

An incredible triumphant album, 'In Rock' is stone cold heavy metal in its earliest incarnation. When you put this into context, that metal was in its infancy, Metallica were in diapers and Dream Theater were nothing but a dream, Deep Purple were THE definitive progenitors of heavy prog. What a bold, brave album is here with one of the most astonishing vocal performances by the incomparable Gillan. In fact each band member became legends in their own right especially the guitar god Blackmore who absolutely burns it up on each track. Although I am not a massive fan of DP (I have all their essential albums) I have to give credit where it is due and this is their greatest album by a long shot. Let us examine the tracks that are evidence in themselves.

'Speed King' has become a well covered song by all manner of artists and for good reason ? it seriously kicks. The very first thing you hear is a ramming organ that builds up with guitar crescendos then it stops and we get that iconic screaming vocal "Good golly said little Miss Molly...". The fantastic thing about the track is all the affectionate references to classic 50s rock such as 'Tutti Frutti', 'Lucille', 'Let's have a Party', 'Saturday Night', 'Hard Headed Woman' and even the 'House of Blue Light' get a mention, which later became a title for a DP album of course. The killer riff is well known in metal and the lead break and organ tradeoff is dynamic and masterfully executed. A dynamite song that drives the hammer in the flower power coffin.

'Bloodsucker' features another brain searing riff where Blackmore shows his incredible skill. Gillan keeps screaming at the top of his lungs, "AAAAAAGH NO NO NO NO!" and we believe him! I have no idea what the song is about because meaning is incidental to the all over rocking hammering you receive from this. The glorious bassline by Glover is relentless and driving. The birth of head banging may well be contained in this song alone. I love the way it changes time sig and stops and starts with the shimmering organ. Ian Lord was a master and this is the magician at his peak until we hear the next track....

I have to take a breath before attempting to describe this track. 'Child In Time' is a masterpiece. There, that may be enough, but I must mention the way it builds up with quiet patient tempo, threatening to explode. Explode, it does, in the freakout instrumental section where guitar and keys break into fractured organ riffs and angular guitar playing. It is sheer bliss listening to these magicians at their craft, weaving their spell of magic around the soundscape. Fret melting hammer offs and lavish organ flourishes are epically performed. It is wonderful how the song does not just rely on the musicianship to launch it into the stratosphere, but rather there is a virtuoso performance by Gillan with his high octave range that would haunt him in later years when he could not perform to this range again. The band would perform this track thousands of time live and you must hear the version on 'Made In Japan' which is even better than this. Joe Satriani has performed a superb version on his cover album, demonstrating how influential this is. It returns after the instrumental break to the quiet melancholy section, until it blasts off at the end in an orgasmic paroxysm of light and dark shades of metal mayhem. It is like death has come to the track and it is crying out for mercy.

Where does it lead from here? Side two is not as good but what an act to follow, though there are still great tracks.

'Flight of the Rat' is a rocker that is popular among fans, but not as well known as the other tracks. The standout performance on this is the drumming metrical patterns of Paice, who is as good as he can get. He actually performs a drum solo in this track. There are many diversions on the song, very proggy and very heavy.

'Into the Fire' is a medium paced rocker with aggressive vocals "Into the Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiire!" That is as memorable as it gets though, and it is the weakest song on the album, though by no means a throwaway. There are some brutal riffs on this and Lord continues to impress on keyboards.

'Living Wreck' features a lot of staccato stabbing Hammond sounds from Lord that blast up and down the scales. The vocal pipes of Gillan are more restrained on this but he has a great octave range and uses it to perfection.

'Hard Lovin' Man' is the last track that is a highlight of side 2 with a frenetic intro and angular guitar riffing from Blackmore. The band go into full flight crunching out the riffs and solos in turn, they were so professional and tight it is astonishing.

It could be over if you only have the vinyl but the remastered Anniversary CD has a bonus. A CD full of edits, remixes, unreleased and unedited versions and of course a stack of studio chatting. The duel 'Black Night' versions are welcome, as it is always great to hear those indelible riffs, and the 'Unedited Roger Glover Remix' is compelling listening. The remix of 'Speed King' and 'Flight of the Rat' are there for the diehard fans but you will desire the original versions. The piano version of 'Speed King' is fascinating as is the instrumental, 'Jam Stew'. The unreleased 'Cry Free' is a curio if nothing else.

It is brilliant that this has been unleashed from the vaults at last and it makes the album an even greater experience completing its masterpiece status. 'Machine Head' and 'Fireball' are excellent albums too, but of the big three 'In Rock' is lord and master over all. In conclusion, grab this version and enter the Deep Purple experience at your nearest opportunity.

Members reviews

When I was first starting out on music forums, Deep Purple were nothing compared to Led Zeppelin, my long time favorite band. Of course, once I heard a lot of other classic rock bands, I realized that Deep Purple were everything compared to the vast majority of hard rock acts. Deep Purple, who practically invented progressive rock, were taking part in the scene pioneered by the likes of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, and before they switched from their proggy days to their hard rock days, the group achieved a middle-point which gives you everything you need to know about Deep Purple with a unique kind of magic. Deep Purple's proggy side really takes you away to magic worlds, and songs like Child in Time, with its epic metal wailing and slow build-up, really nail that Deep Purple trademark. But combined with the heavy metal side we'd see throughout the rest of the 70's, there's a perfect and even balance between magic and steel that in my opinion makes this more essential to Deep Purple than Machine Head. There's a mysticism in the lyrics that most Deep Purple albums don't have, and every member of the band is playing like they know it.
Ok, my first review here, and while it's not one of my all time favourite albums it contains one of my all time top 5 songs. This album was published a few months before I was born, so it was already quite old when I first listened in (I must have been around 16 or 17 then) and immediately bought it, of course on vinyl then.

And what a start Speed King offers. Easily one of the fastest songs Deep Purple ever recorded, it drives on for 6 minutes, including a classic of a guitar solo by Ritchie Blackmore. Track 2 is Bloodsucker, a fine contrast in its heaviness. But the highlight of the album is Child In Time, 10 minutes and 17 seconds of intensity, vibration and variety. Starting innocently with this wonderfully simple bass lick and organ motif, the first part is one single crescendo culminating in Ian Gillan's famous screaming. The following solo section is similar, the first minute or so comes rather bluesy before the whole thing accelerates and finally ends with a strong chord. One might think that this is already the end of the song, but no, it's back to the beginning with just some variations in the organ parts, and of course the screaming part is not followed by another solo but a rather dramatic winddown ending the song with something like a big crash.

Side two begins with Flight Of The Rat, which is one of the reasons the album didn't get all time favourite status and 5 stars. Yes, it is another powerful song, but I never was able to get a really distinct impression. This is different with the next song, Into The Fire. Though it's the shortest and probably least "progressive" song on the album, the riff and chorus are something I find myself whistling now and then. Living Wreck is the second less distinct song on this album, before it closes down with Hard Lovin' Man, another rather long track which I rate somewhere between the good and the less good songs, but closer to the good ones. While energy and the chorus are firmly in my ears, most of the other parts of the song are put back into the back drawers of my memory recall about 2 songs later.

I don't own the remaster, but the Black Night single, and I'm quite disappointed with it. While the core of the song is quite good, this version will never be equal to the live versions on Made in Japan or Nobody's Perfect with their beautiful bass intros. So contrary to my rating over at progarchives where half stars are not possible it's gonna be 4.5 stars because Child In Time is a 6 stars song.
First studio album with Roger Glover and Ian Gillan (they already released a live album with orchestra with this same lineup with Concerto for Group and Orchestra, an experiment that lead to mixed reaction). To many people, the departure of Rod Evans was no huge loss, as many felt he sounded more at home with cabaret than in hard rock. On the other hand, those accused him of that should go listen to the first Captain Beyond album from 1972, which features his vocals in a surprisingly bluesy/hard rock style. Much of the psychedelia of previous albums are now gone, and they totally gave up on covers, showing they are now confident writing their own material.

And with "Speed King", you can tell they were ready to rock. It was so much more in your face. Great guitar riffs from Ritchie Blackmore, and vocals from Gillan that are much more suited for this kind of music. Check out that nice organ solo for Jon Lord! "Bloodsucker" is another in your face piece, while "Child in Time" is more in prog rock territory, although they rock out. This song created some controversy with San Francisco psychedelic band It's a Beautiful Day, as the song partially borrowed from "Bombay Calling" (this was on the same, self-entitled album in 1969 that featured the hit "White Bird"). It's a Beautiful Day took revenge on Purple by recording "Don & Dewey" on their next album, Marrying Maiden (1970) which bears more than a passing resemblance towards "Wring That Neck" off The Book of Taleisyn. I guess better that, than lawsuits. Then the rest of the album is back into rocking territory. Unlike Machine Head, this album don't feature any song familiar to the regular FM rock radio listener (nothing like "Smoke on the Water" here), but don't let that put you off. On the other hand, you like Purple but felt Machine Head was a tad overexposed, you'll probably like In Rock better. Regardless all hard rock and metal fans need this album!
Deep Purple made a hard rock record with psychadelic influences and lots of guitar experimentation. The latter makes this record so unique. Speed King begins with a lot of solo guitar experiments followed up by and churge organ and then this rock formation starts playing the actual song. I love this! The beginning of In Rock realy hits the spot and gives me a feeling that I'm in for a lot to come! Bloodsucker is good hard rock song. Where the legendary Child in Time is considered the best song of the record. I realy like the guitar/organ solo part in the middle, but I don't think it is the best track. The inside of the lp version tells us about Child in Time: Story about a looser- it could be you. This sort of humor a can enjoy!

Flight of the Rat. This song is a bit more psychadelic. Lyricly it's a bit Piper at the Gates of dawn like. Childish and realy good! The song has a lot's of parts, with one boring part on wahguitar. Just when you think you had the boring part, it comes again at the end of the song. I realy feel teased by this stupendious peace of music, but I like it very much!

Into the Fire is yet another good heavy rock piece of art. Living Wreck is a more heavy ballad kind of song. The lyrics are good and instrumental parts are progressive (with the organ sounding like an screaming monster). Yet another fine offering.

Jesus had the best wine for the last moment, so did Deep Purple. Hard Lovin'Man is the ultimate rock experience. The atmosphere is psychadelic and a bit fearfull. I think this is the song with the best vocal parts, the screams of Ian Gillan are legendary! Along with Made in Japon this record goes into the history as one of my most special vocal abilities records. Never seen again after this recording! The end brings us to where we came from: Great guitar experimentation that keeps getting weirder in the and when only the guitar is left. At it's last moment you can hear the guitar accompanied by a falling drop of water and the last notes are played.

THIS IS HARD ROCK. A legendary record for the genre. Four and a halve stars.
A child or their time

Together with Black Sabbath's self-titled debut album, Deep Purple In Rock might be seen as the very first Heavy Metal album ever. Gone are the (often misguided) Classical aspirations of some of the previous albums; no symphony orchestras here, also no harpsichords and no piano or acoustic guitars. They opted instead for a whole new style of music with this album, though still heavily rooted in Blues and Rock 'N' Roll.

While Deep Purple's previous self-titled album had been a perfect balance between ballads and rockers, this album contains no ballads whatsoever. It is an all out Rock album, just like the title implies and this is certainly not subtle! I can imagine that it shocked a lot of people when the thunderous introduction to Speed King came out of the speakers in early 1970.

Speed King might deceive you, but it is basically a traditional Rock 'N' Roll song updated in early Heavy Metal style. Child In Time is another deceiver, with its over ten minutes length you might expect something of a Prog epic, but it is a very simple song with a long jam as its middle section. Still, it is a classic and not bad at all, but not really interesting either.

I feel that this is still a rather immature effort and Machine Head and Fireball are better albums. The one-sided emphasis on rockers over ballads and the lack of any really 'progressive' elements stops me from giving this a higher rating. Still, In Rock is an album with great historical value and it is a pretty good album in its own right too, but not really essential for every Metal collection.
1967/ 1976
If you are a Metal fan and you don't have "Deep Purple In Rock" you aren't a serious Metal fan!!!

This is the 2nd Deep Purple MkII (Blackmore, Gillan, Glover, Lord, Paice) line-up album and the 1st Heavy Metal album because Blackmore is the new leader of this band (previously the Purple's leader was Lord and themusic is a sort of Prog). This album is a turbulent torrent, a volcano in eruption, a tornado... Sure for 1970 "deep Purple In Rock" was one of the more extreme Rock album (Rock in general sense). Today "Deep Purple In Rock" is not so extreme but in comparison to Power Metal... This is Power Metal!

As comparison with contemporary Power Metal listen to "Speed King", an Hell of a song. Extreme for 1970 and extreme also today, this song is based on electric guitar/ organ riffs and pure Rock rhythms, so that is impossible to assign a genre. "Bloodsucker" is a Progressive Rock song in Heavy Metal... So, for me, this is the more pure example of Prog Metal. In a certain sense Purple invent: Traditional Heavy Metal, Power Metal and Prog Metal!!! Guitar and organ soli duel anticipates Judas Priest and all Heavy Metal guitar soli duels!!! "Child In Time" start as Blues/ Folk ballad but in truth this emotional song is the summary of "Speed King" and "Bloodsucker"!!! I've listen at least 1 million of times "Child In Time" but each time excites me like the first time. This song is perfect for Ian Gillan, never as in this occasion able to be here a minstrel of Rock and Metal. Blackmore played by God in a perfect Blues solo (which then turns into pure madness). Lord plays organ textures that seem to escape from the hands of a skilled weaver of carpets, Paice plays with a precision That I never hear nevermore and Glover... Attention, here it plays like it was possessed by the devil, as is clear in the simplicity of the accompaniment. In a word "Child In Time" is a perfect song. A song for a generation. "Flight Of The Rat" is a simple song (if simple is the correct definition for this song...), a song that serves to release tension and emotions born with "Child in Time". Only that, at the end, this song is a pure Rock song with Organ and guitar in first line and a good Gillan. From Hell is Lord organ solo and Paice solo. "Into The Fire" is a Blues Rock song, similar to Black Sabbath's songs but with organ for atmospheres. "Living Wreck" is in the same way of "Into The Fire" but this song is more airy, colorful, without reminiscent of Blues and Black Sabbath. But the style, at the end, is only more Proggy and Metal respect to "Into The Fire". This is also the song less technical of the album. "Hard Lovin' Woman" is a pure piece of innovation in Rock, Prog and Metal fields. In a sentence: "Hard Lovin' Woman" is a pure piece of feeling, emotion and technique dominated by Gillan and Lord.

In a sentence: the Heavy Metal has evolved into dozens of forms but the spirit remained the basic track from "Deep Purple In Rock". An album that is still current and if written today by a contemporary band sounds in the same manner that in 1970!

Immortal Masterpiece!!!
Let us not get into an endless debate about whether "In Rock" is metal or not. Though a good many people would not consider it as such by today's standards, it is without any possible doubt one of the landmarks of the whole history of rock music - the blueprint for the later exploits of thousands of hard rock and heavy metal bands. Released in 1970, "In Rock" saw one of the most incredible musical ensembles ever come together for the first time - a redoubtable fivesome boasting Ian Gillan's stratospheric vocals (the voice that launched a thousand screamers, though no one as talented as himself), the rock-solid rhythm section of Ian Paice and Roger Glover, Jon Lord's masterful, classically-influenced Hammond prowess, but especially Ritchie Blackmore's fiery yet elegant, immensely influential guitar playing. As the years to come were to prove, it was an extremely volatile mixture, which nevertheless managed to produce a series of essential albums for the development of the harder-edged incarnations of rock music.

That said, "In Rock" is also much more progressive than one might think, the best example of how Deep Purple managed to blend their symphonic roots with diamond-hard rock being the immortal "Child in Time". Although it has been often indicted of plagiarizing It's A Beautiful Day's "Bombay Calling", this song has rightly become legendary, especially thanks to the incendiary version included in 1972's live album "Made in Japan". Its solemn, organ-driven intro leads the way for a vocal performance by Ian Gillan which many singers would kill for, and climaxes with a guitar solo that no words can rightly describe (spoken like a true Blackmore fangirl!). Opener "Speed King" is another undisputed classic, with Blackmore's distorted guitar immediately setting the scene and Lord's Hammond providing a pulsating, relentless background, while Gillan screams his way through the song with wild abandon.

The remaining tracks are not as widely known (with the exception of hit single "Black Night", a rather straightforward yet irresistible song, whose original version is included in the 30th Anniversary edition of the record), though in no way less worthy of attention. A particular mention should go to the long, musically accomplished "Hard Lovin' Man" (dedicated to legendary producer Martin Birch, who went on to make stars out of Iron Maiden), with dazzling performances from all band members. All the songs, in fact, have a much more progressive structure than they are usually given credit for, based as they are on the unleashed power of Blackmore's guitar duelling with Lord's majestic, driving Hammond.

The 30th Anniversary edition contains some added bonus tracks, including alternative versions of "Black Night" and "Speed King", but most notably an unreleased instrumental called "Jam Stew", in which Blackmore is very much in evidence. However, even without any bonuses, this album would be an essential addition to ANY music collection. Would a lot Progressive Metal exist without "In Rock" paving the way? This is the stuff legends are made of. Crank it up, and enjoy.

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