Ian Gillan’s Songwriting Formula That He Used In Deep Purple Songs

Ian Gillan stood out with his wide-ranging voice when he became a part of Deep Purple in the late ’60s. Gillan initially appeared at Speakeasy Club with Deep Purple in 1969. During the band’s continuing rehearsal process, Gillan made one of his first contributions to the band by creating the vocal melody and lyrics of ‘Child in Time.’ The lyricist Tim Rice recognized his talent and asked Gillan to perform in his rock opera named ‘Jesus Christ Superstar.’

At the beginning of the ’70s, Ian started to feel exhausted because of overworking. Following the release of ‘Who Do We Think We Are,’ he wrote his retirement letter in 1973. After staying away from performing for almost two years, Ian established a jazz-rock band called Ian Gillan Band with Ray Fenwick’s guitarist. The first album called ‘Child in Time’ has the same name as Deep Purple’s 1970s song. As Ian chose the same name for his new band’s album, there were some other similarities between his parts in Deep Purple’s songs and Ian Gillan Band’s songs.

Which Technique Ian Gillan Used Both In His Solo Works and Deep Purple?

While Ian Gillan Band entered the music industry as a jazz-rock band, Deep Purple was established initially as a psychedelic and progressive rock band that began to create heavier songs in time. Despite these differences, they were inevitable similarities as they shared a mutual member.

Ian Gillan explained these resemblances in a past interview, stating that he was using the same method in his solo works he had been using while he was in Deep Purple. He revealed everyone was writing their parts in Ian Gillan Band as they had done the same method with Deep Purple members. Gillan added that although he liked heavy sounds, the new band had its unique style, with the members creating different works than Deep Purple.

Ian Gillan explained the similarities between Ian Gillan Band and Deep Purple:

“Well, to be quite fair, I think you could. Yes. I think you could probably say that certainly; Deep Purple as it was when I was with them, it’s the same voice, and it’s the same singer. My attitude to writing has probably matured a bit, but then again, I’ve benefited from a 2-year layoff. It’s got a freshness to it that has occurred to me, anyway. There must be a link obviously because I write the words and the tunes to the stuff I sang with Purple. And I’m writing the words and the tunes to what we’re doing now.

We’re writing very much in the same sort of way. Everyone is writing what they’re playing, if you know what I mean. We just tie it all together, and fortunately, it’s working very nicely. It’s a similar writing formula to the one with Purple. I think probably when we go on the road, we won’t be such a loud band this time. Not that I don’t like the volume, but I do like the volume very much. But the players are different kinds of players.”

Ian Gillan’s writing technique he adopted when he spent with Deep Purple is reflected in his following solo works, including Ian Gillan Band. He was asked whether this writing method became formulaic in time in the same interview. The singer said that he could not deny that this songwriting strategy resembled the outcomes.

He explained that every album had the same tempo because they tried to keep Deep Purple’s original style alive from the beginning. Although all members were very enthusiastic about creating, their method limited them. Ian also added that that was why he and Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple. He expressed that their excitement suddenly increased a lot and ended as quickly.

Gillan explained becoming formulaic in the albums:

“I don’t think that can be denied by anybody. Every album started with the same tempo, and that’s just it. That’s one of the reasons why I left because I was becoming stagnant. We became so entrenched in it because that was the Purple identity and the Purple image. But we were really restricting our means of expression.

I think it was one of the reasons Ritchie left. We were all very high-energy people, and I think it’s done everybody good. It’s done me good; it’s done Purple good; it’s done Ritchie good. I think what we had together was kind of like a musical orgasm. Perhaps we came a bit too quickly! I don’t know.”

Ian Gillan later reunited with Deep Purple in 1984. Gillan used the same method while writing for Deep Purple and his solo works as he did in Ian Gillan Band. Every member was writing while creating lyrics. According to Ian Gillan, on the one hand, this formulaic method caused Deep Purple to have a unique taste; on the other hand, it restricted their creativity.