13 Amazing Bands Similar To Deep Purple

Written by Dan Farrant

The English rock band Deep Purple are one of the most influential rock bands in history. They found success in the early 1970s, releasing hit songs such as “Smoke on the Water,” “Hush,” and “Highway Star.”

With more than five decades in the music industry, the band has sold more than 100 million records worldwide. VH1 ranked them #22 on the Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, and they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.

But if you love them and want to find some similar bands to listen to, where do you look? Well, in this post, we’ve put together a list of 13 amazing bands like Deep Purple to add to your playlist. Let’s get started.

Deep Purple (cropped) by dana wullenwaber (CC BY-SA 2.0)

1. Black Sabbath

Up first is none other than Black Sabbath. Formed in 1968, they were a pioneer in heavy metal and complex rock music. They occupy an important position as part of the “unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal” alongside Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin.

Black Sabbath has significantly impacted genres such as grunge, sludge, and alternative rock. Additionally, the band’s impact on modern music extends beyond just inspiration. Some up-and-coming bands have faced accusations of plagiarism for imitating Black Sabbath’s style too closely.

The ever-evolving lineup of Black Sabbath boasts impressive vocalists over its history. They were similarly involved with other powerhouses like Rainbow, Deep Purple, and Judas Priest.

Notable artists outside their genre also credit Black Sabbath’s legacy as a significant influence on their careers. Grunge legends Nirvana recognized them as a major force behind shaping their particular branch of alternative rock music.

2. Led Zeppelin

The remaining one-third of the “unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal” is our next band, Led Zeppelin. They are one of the most influential bands in music history, known for their unique blend of classic rock, heavy metal, and rock and roll.

Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple are among the pioneers of hard rock. They shaped the sound of hard rock by incorporating elements of blues and rock, along with guitar riffs.

Throughout Led Zeppelin’s career, they produced numerous albums that remain staples in any hard rock fan’s collection. Some of their popular songs include “Good Times Bad Times,” “Stairway to Heaven,” and “Rock and Roll.”

Led Zeppelin’s musical influence was far-reaching. Several prominent bands such as Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, and Soundgarden cited Led Zeppelin as having influenced their music.

3. Rainbow

The British rock supergroup Rainbow emerged on the music scene in 1975 after guitarist Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple. With Ronnie James Dio as the lead vocalist, Rainbow didn’t take long to make its mark in the industry.

Considering that Blackmore was a member of both bands, it’s inevitable that he would wield influence over the bands’ sound. His guitar-playing style and songwriting contributions are clearly heard in both bands’ music.

Soon enough, Rainbow became known for its energetic performances and captivating sound. Some fans consider the Dio-era Rainbow particularly influential due to its impact on new bands that flourished during the 1980s and 1990s.

With more than four decades in the industry, the band has released eight albums. One of the most recognizable is their cover of “Since You Been Gone” (not the Kelly Clarkson tune, mind). It appeared on the soundtrack of the movie Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3.

Rainbow disbanded in 1984 when Blackmore and bassist Roger Glover rejoined Deep Purple. Despite its relatively short existence, Rainbow left behind a rich legacy that continues to inspire musicians and fans.

4. Uriah Heep

In 1969, the English rock band Uriah Heep came together in London. This band drew significant influence from iconic bands such as Deep Purple.

Thus, it’s no surprise that the two bands have a lot in common, particularly in having hard rock and heavy metal influences. In many of their songs and performances, the bands incorporated heavy guitar riffs and rhythms.

Uriah Heep stayed true to classic rock energy while adding a touch of progressive rock elements into the mix. Just like Deep Purple, the bands made experiments in terms of song structures and arrangements.

Just check out Uriah Heep’s “Gypsy,” “Sweet Lorraine,” and “Lady in Black.” These and the rest of their repertoire show why they stand out as one of the must-listen bands that’s unique yet similar to what made Deep Purple so legendary in their heyday.

5. Whitesnake

Another English hard rock band we can compare to Deep Purple is Whitesnake. While Whitesnake began in blues rock and Deep Purple in psychedelic, both transitioned later to a heavy metal and hard rock style.

The similarity between the bands can also be attributed to a singer named David Coverdale. He was the lead singer of Deep Purple from 1973 to 1976. He put together a backing band that began playing in 1978. Coverdale was also involved in songwriting for both Whitesnake and Deep Purple.

Whitesnake has released 13 studio albums since its formation. Many of these were successful, particularly the 1987 album Whitesnake. It was a critical and commercial success worldwide, selling eight million copies in the US. RIAA certified it eight times platinum and reached the #2 position on the Billboard 200.

Despite Whitesnake’s similarities to other classic rock acts, it has established itself as an institution in the rock music industry.

6. Blue Öyster Cult

Hailing from New York, Blue Öyster Cult has been a hard rock band since the late 1960s. The band’s unique style makes their music stand out. It is characterized by a fusion of different genres, including hard rock, psychedelia, and fantastical.

This fusion influenced heavy metal music, which was the band’s biggest contribution to rock music. As a result, they gained a cult following, and their songs were constantly played on radio.

In addition, they have frequently been listed as one of the bands similar to Deep Purple. Both bands were at the forefront of hard-rocking sounds in their heyday.

Some of Blue Öyster Cult’s popular songs include “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” and “Godzilla.” With 15 albums released, the band has sold more than 25 million records worldwide.

Blue Öyster Cult’s influence can be seen even today, with many newer artists diving into their style of music.

7. Thin Lizzy

Up next, we have a hard rock band from Dublin, Ireland. Thin Lizzy was formed in 1969. Their music is heavily influenced by blues, psychedelic rock, and soul, which helped define their sound.

Both Thin Lizzy and Deep Purple had an influential impact on the development of hard rock and heavy metal. They inspired many other bands that came after them.

Thin Izzy was able to churn out 12 albums between 1971 and 1983. Most of the songs were written by vocalist Phil Lynott. And thanks to him, the group’s songwriting style has been celebrated as a classic example of working-class poetry. Some of their successful songs include “Whiskey in the Jar,” “The Boys Are Back in Town,” and “Waiting for an Alibi.”

Like Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy has cemented their place in rock music history beyond record sales or commercial success. They are part of a legacy that has shaped modern-day popular culture while influencing countless other artists.

8. UFO

The English rock band UFO was formed the same year that Deep Purple was founded. Both bands are often compared due to their unique blend of hard rock and heavy metal.

UFO was active for more than 50 years and released 22 studio albums and 16 compilation albums. They enjoyed somewhat moderate success in the 1970s and 1980s and sold more than 20 million records worldwide. Some of their popular songs include “Doctor Doctor,” “Natural Thing,” and “Lights Out.”

Over the years, many musicians have cited UFO as influencing their music. Slash from Guns N’ Roses has praised UFO guitarist Michael Schenker’s playing style. Also, Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine has called them one of his favorite bands growing up.

9. Scorpions

Another band similar to Deep Purple is the German rock band Scorpions. Their music is characterized by a blend of hard rock, heavy metal, and even soft rock.

British rock bands like The Who and Led Zeppelin heavily influenced the band’s early sound. Later on, the band transitioned to melodic heavy metal and produced power rock ballads. The band’s sound evolution could be seen from their 1979 album Lovedrive.

Scorpions are one of the most influential and best-selling rock bands ever, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide. They were known for their powerful guitar riffs and soaring vocals from lead singer Klaus Meine.

Both Deep Purple and Scorpions enjoyed successful and long careers in the music industry. They released albums and songs and often toured since their formation. Even decades later, the bands remained popular.

10. Nazareth

Moving on down the list, we have the Scottish hard rock band Nazareth, formed in Dunfermline in 1968. They gained international fame after their hit single “Broken Down Angel” became popular in Canada, the UK, and other European countries.

Nazareth is similar to Deep Purple due to their use of heavy riffs and powerful vocal performances. The former has the vocalist Dan McCafferty, whose gritty and soulful voice contributed to the sound of the band. In addition, both bands staged dynamic live shows that featured energetic performances.

With over 50 years in the music industry, Nazareth has released 25 albums. They also continued to tour throughout their career.

11. Dio

In 1982, singer Ronnie James Dio and drummer Vinny Appice left Black Sabbath and formed the new band, Dio.

In almost three decades, Dio released ten studio albums and sold more than five million records worldwide. They became known for the songs “Rainbow in the Dark” and “Holy Diver.”

Dio’s musical collaborations are some of the most well-known in rock and roll history. As a member of Rainbow, Elf, and Black Sabbath at various points in his career, the band worked alongside some of the biggest names in music during that era.

One thing that Dio and Deep Purple have in common is having vocal powerhouses. Deep Purple had David Coverdale and Ian Gillan as vocalists. Ronnie James Dio, on the other hand, possessed a powerful voice that was synonymous with the band’s sound.

His incredible vocal range was one key aspect that set Dio apart. Capable of singing hard-hitting rock anthems and lighter ballads with equal ease, he remains an inspiration to musicians even today.

12. Free

Another band that is similar to Deep Purple in terms of music genres and style is Free. This English rock band was formed in the late 1960s and became famous for their blues, complex rock sound, and Paul Rodgers’ distinct vocals.

Free was catapulted to international fame with the release of their third album, Fire and Water. It produced their hit single, “All Right Now.” At around this time, Free was one of the best-selling blues rock bands.

Aside from “All Right Now,” their popular songs include “Fire and Water” and “Wishing Well.” By the time they disbanded, they had sold more than 20 million records and been in more than 700 concerts.

Free disbanded in 1973 due to creative differences. However, their legacy continues to live on through their songs and contributions to rock music.

13. Atomic Rooster

To end our list, we present to you Atomic Rooster, a hard-hitting British rock band. They were formed in 1969 during the peak of the UK’s rock scene.

The group was founded by organist Vincent Crane and drummer Carl Palmer, both former members of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. They influenced many heavy metal bands, such as Iron Maiden and Deep Purple. In fact, Deep Purple opened for the band at a gig in 1969 in London.

One similarity between Atomic Rooster and Deep Purple is the use of organ and keyboard. Deep Purple had Jon Lord, whose virtuosic playing contributed to the band’s sound. Atomic Rooster had Vincent Crane, who played the Hammond organ.

Throughout Atomic Rooster’s career, they released several albums, such as Death Walks Behind You and Made in England. They gained immense popularity for blending progressive rock with an energetic performance that kept fans hooked.

Summing Up Our List Of Bands Like Deep Purple

If you are a fan of Deep Purple, then the bands above will give you more songs to add to your playlist.

So whether you’re hooked on Black Sabbath’s complex rock music or Led Zeppelin’s fusion of blues and rock, our list has everything to satiate your craving for heavy metal and hard rock.

Our list is by no means exhaustive. So if you want to see another band that’s closely similar to Deep Purple, then we’d like to hear from you!

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.