Glenn Hughes and David Coverdale might be reuniting to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their joining the “Mark III-IV” versions of Deep Purple — and to pay tribute to the group’s fallen keyboardist, Jon Lord.
Lord was a co-founding member of Deep Purple, and remained with the group from 1968 through its initial split in 1976. He returned when Deep Purple cranked up again in 1984, and remained until retiring in 2002. Lord died last July from complications relating to cancer.
Hughes and Coverdale joined Lord in Deep Purple in June 1973, pairing with founding guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and drummer Ian Paice to form the Mark III edition through May 1975. Blackmore then left, to be replaced by Tommy Bolin through March of 1976 in the Mark IV edition.
Deep Purple issued Burn in 1974, along with Stormbringer, and then Come Taste the Band in 1975, before Hughes and Coverdale departed.
Hughes tells CBS affiliate WNCX that nothing specific is planned as the anniversary of their joining looms — but to stay tuned.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we did something, David and I,” Hughes says. “Something might pop its head in the next two years.”
Hughes has since been part of Black Sabbath and, more recently, Black Country Communion, while Coverdale subsequently fronted Whitesnake and worked with former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. They’ve rekindled their relationship in the wake of Lord’s passing, however.
“David and I have talked about this weekly since Jon died — how we can do something to keep the flame burning. But we don’t want to hinder the heritage of the band. Some bands get back together and sound bloody awful. It’s the 40th anniversary of Burn next year. I’m not giving you a hint to something that’s gonna happen, but you just never know.”
Hughes has contributed a pair of tracks to the forthcoming tribute project Re-Machined: A Tribute To Deep Purple’s Machine Head, due on September 25, 2012 — “Maybe I’m A Leo” and “Highway Star.”
Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Deep Purple. Click through the titles for complete reviews …
IAN GILLAN AND TONY IOMMI – WHOCARES (2012): This new two-disc set of rarities and unreleased tracks, built around a double-sided benefit single from Ian Gillan and Tony Iommi, traces a series of intriguing side trips traveled by Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. There’s nothing on the order of “Iron Man” or “Hush,” but the two new cuts featured on WhoCares thrum with an old-school, balls-out energy — and, deeper in, there’s a terrific live redo of “Smoke on the Water,” which combines the bands’ two histories as the late Ronnie James Dio takes over to add a dark, bellowing vocal. Recorded in 1999 with Deep Purple and the London Symphony Orchestra, it was originally part of Live at the Royal Festival Hall.
DEEP PURPLE – TOTAL ABANDON: AUSTRALIA ’99 (2012): An intriguingly presented retrospective set, as the newly added Steve Morse brilliantly reexamines a group of signature Deep Purple tunes. Before the show is over, Total Abandon recalls not so much the Ritchie Blackmore years as it does the band’s fiery Tommy Bolin period. There’s a similar level of front-line guitar craft, and a similar level of energy. Deep Purple sounded like it was having fun again. And, to my ears, the group never really looked back so intently again. By the time they issued Bananas, some five years later, original keyboardist Jon Lord was gone — and Deep Purple had metamorphosed. The addition of Morse, like an ozone-producing jolt of lightning, had transformed what once seemed like a ghost band trying to reclaim its glory days into a freshly rejuvenated force to be reckoned with.
DEEP PURPLE – SHADES OF DEEP PURPLE (1968; 2011 REISSUE): Coming together in 1967, Deep Purple were like a lot of bands of the day, as their mission was to push the sonic envelope as far as possible and create something new and exciting. Based out of Hertford, England, the group achieved their goal straight away. Dramatic and bombastic, Deep Purple played a tumultuous blend of heavy metal and progressive rock before such labels arrived into being, tagging them pioneers of the genres.
FORGOTTEN SERIES: EPISODE SIX – THE ROOTS OF DEEP PURPLE: THE COMPLETE EPISODE SIX (1994): Formed in the summer of 1964, Episode Six quickly developed a star-studded reputation as a hotshot live band. The English group, which included lead singer Ian Gillian and bassist Roger Glover, who eventually gleaned even more accolades in Deep Purple, also cut a flock of brilliant singles that are featured on this set, along with a brace of previously unreleased material.