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The Deep Purple Song Ritchie Blackmore Found Awful”

Born in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, England, in 1945, Richard Hugh Blackmore, widely known as Ritchie Blackmore, played a pivotal role in the formation of Deep Purple at the age of 23. The band, which he co-founded, went on to become one of the most influential groups in history.

Blackmore remained a member of Deep Purple until 1975, at which point he decided to depart and establish Rainbow. Later, he rejoined the band from 1984 to 1993, during the reunion of the classic line-up. His contributions to the band produced records that are deemed untouchable, solidifying his status as a guitar hero. Despite this, Blackmore harbors reservations about certain aspects of his work with the group. In a mid-70s interview with Creem magazine, he candidly revealed his perspective on a classic song that he considered awful.

Deep Purple Song Ritchie Blackmore Deemed Awful

When Ritchie Blackmore parted ways with Deep Purple in 1975, the band had already released nine studio albums. Their renowned album, “Machine Head,” launched in 1972, included several chart-topping hits. One of the well-received tracks from that album is “Space Truckin’,” which continues to be featured in the band’s live performances. However, as Blackmore candidly shared with Creem magazine in 1975, “Space Truckin'” was one of the tracks he considered awful.

When asked if he listened to the band’s albums, Blackmore replied, “I never listen to all that stuff. I don’t know if other artists get this, but I can’t listen to much that I play at all. The only time I can listen to it is when I’m drunk out of my head in a discotheque somewhere. I’ll hear our records, and then I’ll go, ‘Oh… that’s all right.'”

He continued, “But if someone puts it on at home, I’ll feel very embarrassed. Because I’m only playin’ a third of what I can really put out. You can never excel yourself on record; it’s just hopeless. I listen to our records, think ‘Christ. That’s awful.’ Things like ‘Space Truckin’. Other times I listen to somebody else, and I’ll go ‘Well, that’s awful too.’ So at least ours is acceptable because it’s better than most,” according to Ritchie Blackmore. “Machine Head” stands as Deep Purple’s best-selling album, featuring many other well-known tracks such as “Highway Star,” “Smoke On The Water,” “Lazy,” and “Pictures Of Home.”

At that time, the band consisted of Ian Gillan (Vocals), Jon Lord (Keyboards), Ian Paice (Drums), Ritchie Blackmore (Guitar), and Roger Glover (Bass). The record claimed the top spot on charts in various countries, including the United Kingdom, and reached position number 7 on the United States Billboard 200.

Blackmore’s Insecurity Over the Simplicity of “Space Truckin'” Guitar Riff

In 1975, Ritchie Blackmore’s departure from Deep Purple marked the end of an era for a band that had already left an indelible mark with nine studio albums. Among their iconic releases, “Machine Head” from 1972 stood out, boasting smash hits that have endured through the years. Notably, “Space Truckin'” remains a fixture in the band’s live performances.

Interestingly, despite the success of “Space Truckin'” and the acclaim it received, Blackmore revealed in a 1975 interview with Creem magazine that he considered it one of the tracks he found dreadful.

When questioned about whether he listened to the band’s albums, Blackmore candidly confessed, “I never listen to all that stuff. I don’t know if other artists get this, but I can’t listen to much that I play at all. The only time I can listen to it is when I’m drunk out of my head in a discotheque somewhere. I’ll hear our records, and then I’ll go, ‘Oh… that’s all right.’

Continuing on the theme, Blackmore delved into his feelings about listening to the band’s music at home: “But if someone puts it on at home, I’ll feel very embarrassed. Because I’m only playin’ a third of what I can really put out. You can never excel yourself on record; it’s just hopeless. I listen to our records, think ‘Christ. That’s awful.’ Things like ‘Space Truckin’.’ Other times I listen to somebody else, and I’ll go, ‘Well, that’s awful too.’ So at least ours is acceptable because it’s better than most,” shared Ritchie Blackmore.

Despite Blackmore’s reservations, “Machine Head” remains Deep Purple’s best-selling album. Featuring not only the infamous “Space Truckin'” but also hits like “Highway Star,” “Smoke On The Water,” “Lazy,” and “Pictures Of Home,” the record solidified its status as a classic.

During this period, the band comprised Ian Gillan (Vocals), Jon Lord (Keyboards), Ian Paice (Drums), Ritchie Blackmore (Guitar), and Roger Glover (Bass). “Machine Head” dominated charts worldwide, claiming the top spot in multiple countries, including the United Kingdom, and securing the 7th position on the United States Billboard 200.

Blackmore, feeling insecure, considered the guitar riff for “Space Truckin'” overly simplistic

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Especially in the early days, Ritchie Blackmore grappled with shyness, occasionally hesitating to share his musical ideas with his bandmates. Recounting those moments in a 2002 interview for the TV series “Classic Albums” (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage), Blackmore revealed his initial insecurity about the seemingly straightforward riff for “Space Truckin’.”

“It was almost like a thumb exercise. It could be played with a thumb, and I took it to Ian Gillan. I said, ‘Ian, I had this idea, but it’s so ridiculous. It’s so silly and simple that I don’t think we can use it.’ He said, ‘Just play it to me.’ I went over in the corner, and I very quietly played it to him.”

Gillan’s response was pivotal. “He asked, ‘What is the type of vocal you have for it?’ I said, ‘Something like ‘Come on, ta da da da…’ I was very shy, and he grasped it and immediately said, ‘Great, sounds really good.’ I said, ‘But isn’t it too simple?’ He reassured me, ‘No, I think we can use it,'” recalled Ritchie Blackmore.

Despite initial doubts, “Space Truckin'” became a cornerstone of Deep Purple’s legacy. The band, hailed as one of the most important Hard Rock bands in the history of music, boasts a remarkable record of over 100 million records sold worldwide. Even after Blackmore’s departure over three decades ago, Deep Purple persisted. Joe Satriani (1993-1994) and Steve Morse (1994-2022) took up the mantle before passing it to the current guitarist, Simon McBride. The band’s enduring presence attests to its lasting impact on the world of rock music.

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