Roger Glover

Roger Glover is a bass player that made the famous Mark II of Deep Purple (1969-1973) just what it is - famous! His unforgettable bass runs, along with Jon Lord's Hammond wizardry and Ritchie Blackmore's classic guitar licks can be heard on their biggest hits, such as "Smoke on the Water" (72) and on their most famous live album, Made in Japan (1972) which sold millions and charted very well indeed all over the world at the time. With Glover, Deep Purple released these albums in the 70s: "In Rock" (1970, featuring "Child In Time" with Ian Gillan's loudest screaming vocals), "Fireball" (1971), "Machine Head" (1972, containing "Smoke on the Water" and "Highway Star") and "Who Do We Think We Are" (73). Tensions within the group had forced Glover to leave the band in that year; he was replaced by ex-Trapeze Glenn Hughes.

For a few years, he was concentrating on production work only (Rory Gallagher "Calling Card" 1976, Judas Priest "Sin After Sin" 1977, Status Quo 1976-77, Nazareth "Rampant" 1974, etc.), as well as an occasional side solo project (such as the famed musical rendition of "Butterfly Ball", which featured a star-studded cast, from the young Ronnie James Dio (Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath) to John Lawton (Lucifer's Friend, Uriah Heep), as well as a host of names from the Deep Purple and related camp.) This became an album and later a video, which has now long been out of print. Anyways, according to Roger, "the video stinks".

Since then, he has produced albums for many more bands, including the Danish metal meisters Pretty Maids.

He also recorded two more solo albums, "Elements" in 1978 (a concept album), and "Mask" (1984), in an 1980s pop vein. Later, in 1988, he teamed up with Ian Gillan for the recording of "Accidentally on Purpose" - a fun filled affair filled with humorous songs like "Via Miami" and first-class rock'n'roll, as well as the ballads which feature the gentler, kinder side of Ian.

In 1979, Ritchie Blackmore invited Roger into his band, Rainbow, and with him, the band released these albums: "Down to Earth" (1979, with Graham Bonnet on vocals), "Difficult to Cure" (1981), "Straight Between the Eyes" (82) and "Bent out of Shape" (83) (all featuring Joe Lynn Turner on vocals). The band toured extensively around the world, including Japan, and played the era's biggest hard rock festivals such as Reading in England.

In 1984, the Deep Purple reunion (the ubiquitous Mark II album) signified the breakup of Rainbow. Indeed Roger Glover reunited with his former bandmates - Jon Lord (keyboards), Ritchie Blackmore (guitar), Ian Paice (drums) and Ian Gillan (vocals). Their output over the span of the following 11 years included milestone albums such as "Perfect Strangers" (84) and "House of the Blue Light" (87), as well as the dubious live double set, "Nobody's Perfect" (88). In 1990, Ian Gillan was again sacked from the band (the first time was together with Roger in 1973) and pursued a solo career for a while; this was mainly Ritchie's fault, who couldn't get along with the singer. Joe Lynn Turner once again stepped in, and so the resulting album, "Slaves & Masters" (90) wound up sounding more like a rehashed Rainbow-type affair with Jon guesting on the Hammond.

In 1993, the band released "The Battle Rages On", another studio album, which received some really mixed reviews, and the troublesome "Come Hell or High Water" live album and video, after which 'twas Ritchie's turn to leave the group. After a brief stint with Joe Satriani on guitar, they chose Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs) as Ritchie's substitution, with whom they've already worked for a year now. According to the remaining original band members, with Ritchie's departure, the atmosphere has become much more relaxed and workable. Noone feel like a slave to the Master in Black anymore. Roger concurs with this opinion as much as anyone.

Earlier on this year, the band toured in South Africa and India, where they were greeted with an enormous enthusiasm and unbelievable attendance.

Meanwhile, Ritchie has reformed Rainbow (albeit being the ONLY original member of the old Rainbow) with Scottish singer Dougie White, and recorded an album called "Stranger in us All" (due to be released very soon).

With Steve, they've recorded the new studio album, to be released in early 1996, it's called "Perpendicular". What's in store for the future of the band? A new world tour and the new album release, and hopefully, many happy returns. Roger is enjoying himself in the band immensely these days, as being evident from his e-mail reports.

by Alex Gitlin.

Roger Glover can be contacted by email:

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