Interview with PURPLE RECORDS

March 2001

Nowadays there are many so called “independent” labels that usually deal with not so well known artists. There were many such labels before – but, once they flopped, they never were re-born as Phoenix.
Except for Purple Records, the label celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year. Many would say the label has something to do with DEEP PURPLE. Indeed, the label was set up to control the band members’ side activity, since they both wrote and produced for other musicians. Purple Records didn’t handle the band’s records as DP were signed to EMI.
In 1976 PURPLE ceased to exist for eight years while the label lived to 1979 when the DP singles collection was released. Nevertheless, in 1997 enthusiast Simon Robinson decided to restore the company – and did so. Since 1999 Purple Records released 15 collectors’ CDs, among them – recordings of “Come Taste The Band” rehearsals and DEEP PURPLE’s live rendition of Jon Lord’s “Gemini Suite”.
So, there’s a good reason to ask some questions, ain’t there?

– Whose idea it was – to launch (and then re-launch) the label? What was the initial reason for doing this, in 1971?

The label was the brainchild of the band’s managers so they could issue records by different acts they were involved with. It was Simon’s idea to relaunch the label.

– What was the reason of the label’s demise after DEEP PURPLE disbanded?

After the band split up, the management also went into other areas of the record business. They still issued records but on new labels, and Purple was put on ice.

– What is the precise year of the demise? If it’s 1976 so how could David Coverdales’s solo albums be released on Purple?

No, it was a gradual process, and in act the label was used for some archive releases during the eighties.

– Who was the A&R man for Purple Records?

The managers and the band members both kept an eye out for acts.

– Was Roger Glover a full-time executive for the label?

I don’t think so!

– What became of the Purple Records catalogue?

It’s still all there in the vaults, and we will try to reissue some of the more interesting titles over the next couple of years.

– Some words, please, on Simon Robinson, the “motor” behind all the DP collectors’ releases?

It’s a motor that is in dire need of an oil change and a new alternator!

– Connoisseur Collection – is it a branch of the Purple Records or another label releasing DP related music owned by Purple?

Connoisseur is not connected to the old label in any way but was able to issue some DEEP PURPLE titles through they’re business contacts – but they have a big catalogue of other material as well.

– How many albums approximately released the label?

Including compilations and everything they issued just 35 albums in the UK.

– DEEP PURPLE have quite a many live albums. So one thing is strange: why there’s none from “Fireball” and “Who Do We Think” tours?

We think there were some recording made on the Fireball tour but the tapes did not survive. By “Who Do We Think We Are” nobody was really interested enough because of the problems within the band.

– CURTISS MALDOON were in some way related to Steve Howe. But what links this release with DP?

Dave Curtiss was auditioned to sing with DP in 1968, and DP’s managers paid for the album to be made.

– If there is Purple Records while DP are signed to EMI – why “DP In Concert with London Symphonic Orchestra” was released by the Eagle Records?

The EMI contract only exists for a certain number of albums. If EMI turn down a new album, the band can then offer it to a different label. EMI turned down the Concerto, and regretted it very quickly!!!

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