Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin were both formed in 1969, but it was Zeppelin that first achived fame with their groundbreaking Hard Rock mixed with Blues. It was only when Purple decided to kind of follow some of that style, on their fourth album “Deep Purple In Rock” (1970) that they really became successful group.
The guitarist Ritchie Blackmore is of the co-founders of Deep Purple and over the years talked about many other bands, including Led Zeppelin. Rock and Roll Garage selected the two Zeppelin songs that Backmore already praised.
The 2 Led Zeppelin songs that were praised by Ritchie Blackmore
“Whole Lotta Love”
The first one praised by Blackmore is the huge Led Zeppelin “Whole Lotta Love”, the opening track of their second studio album released in 1969. During a conversation with Trouser Press in 1978, Blackmore recognized that he was inspired by Zeppelin to change the sound of Deep Purple, making the music heavier.
“Zeppelin. I liked their hard approach when they came out and did ‘Whole Lotta Love’. I immediately tuned in with that type of style because before when we were fiddling around with orchestras, I thought: something’s wrong.”
Blackmore was a good friend of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. There is even a funny story about when they were drinking together at the Rainbow Bar & Grill in Los Angeles. Blackmore was provoked by the musician, who said Deep Purple’s guitar parts were easy. So the guitarist then started to tell Bonham from who Zeppelin used to “steal” their songs and he wasn’t happy with it.
The other Led Zeppelin track praised by Blackmore was “Kashmir”, featured on the band’s 1975 album “Physical Graffiti”. In 1984, the guitarist agreed with Kerrang! magazine in an interview that Zeppelin helped to “sophisticate” Rock and Roll.
“I think Van Halen are interesting. I don’t particularly like them as a band. But there is a lot of movement, a lot of colour to the material they produce. Led Zeppelin too, now they probably defined the term ‘sophisticated rock’. Things like ‘Kashmir’, the certain, the certain scales they would hit… that was incredible,” Ritchie Blackmore said.
One of the main responsibles for the sound quality of the album was the band’s guitarist Jimmy Page, since he produced all the albums of the group. Curiously, he wasn’t born much far from Blackmore grew up. They had met each other for the first in 1962 and a few years later worked together as session musicians.
He recalled those moments for the documentary “Ritchie Blackmore Story” from 2015 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage),
“It is strange how we all come from the same area. Like I said, with Jimmy Page, he was in the same village, it’s like a village. Really not even a town. Clapton was a few more warm miles out and course (Jeff) Beck was in another area, but course, the same age.”
Ritchie Blackmore continued:
“I knew that he was going to be somebody then. Not only he was a good guitar player, he had that star quality there. There was something about him, he was very poised and confident. He was confident but not arrogant. So I thought ‘he’s gonna go somewhere’ that guy, you know. He knows what he is doing.”
“He was way ahead most guitar players, he was really good, he knew he was good too. (Also), he wasn’t arrogant but he was very comfortable within himself. Then 64 or 65, I met up with him, we did a couple of sessions actually with him,” Ritchie Blackmore said.