Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple were both established in 1969, but Led Zeppelin gained notoriety first with their ground-breaking Hard Rock and Blues. Purple didn’t truly start to become a successful band until they made the decision to adopt parts of that approach on their fourth album, “Deep Purple In Rock” (1970).
Ritchie Blackmore, a guitarist and one of Deep Purple’s co-founders, has discussed several other bands throughout the years, including Led Zeppelin. The two Zeppelin tracks that Rock and Roll Garage chose are ones that Blackmore has already commended.
The 2 Led Zeppelin songs that were praised by Ritchie Blackmore
Whole Lotta Love
Blackmore begins by praising the massive Led Zeppelin song “Whole Lotta Love,” which serves as the album’s opening track and was released in 1969. Blackmore said that he was motivated by Zeppelin to alter the sound of Deep Purple and make the music harsher during a talk with Trouser Press in 1978.
Ritchie said, “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.”
“I’m not giving all that I can. Thanks to them for the inspiration. They got it from Jeff Beck, who got it from the Small Faces.”
John Bonham, the late drummer for Led Zeppelin, and Blackmore were close friends. Even a humorous tale about their time spent drinking together at Los Angeles’ Rainbow Bar & Grill exists. The guitarist angered Blackmore by claiming that Deep Purple’s guitar parts were simple. The guitarist then began to inform Bonham about the sources from which Zeppelin had previously “stolen” their tunes, and Bonham wasn’t amused.
Blackmore also admired “Kashmir,” another Led Zeppelin song from the 1975 album “Physical Graffiti.” The guitarist concurred in an interview with Kerrang! magazine from 1984 that Zeppelin contributed to the “sophistication” of rock & roll.
Ritchie said, “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.”
Jimmy Page, the band’s guitarist, who also produced all of the group’s recordings, was one of the key contributors to the album’s audio quality. He was oddly born not too far from where Blackmore was raised. In 1962, they had their first encounter, and they later collaborated as session musicians.
In 2015’s “Ritchie Blackmore Story” documentary, he recounted such instances.
“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.”
“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.”