Jon Lord – His Deep Purple Hits and Why we Should Remember Him

Jon Lord is as renowned for his keyboard skill as he was for inventing a new genre. Lord’s signature style saw him create a ‘rhythm organ’, a distinctive part of Deep Purple’s sound and something that was used in lieu of a rhythm guitar in the band.

Lord’s move into rock and roll came from his study of classical piano and also drama – both of which are evident in his and also in Deep Purple’s music. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at Jon Lord’s greatest songs.


Explosive from the very start, the title track of the 1974 LP is completely Jon Lord – this is the epitome of what Jon Lord was about. From the power chords to the solos to the layers of ARP Odyssey effects – it’s one of his finest. The combo of synth and also the Hammond power chords that bring an element of class to the song – amazing stuff.


The first Deep Purple hit single and one from the album Shades of Purple. This song is a funky one that works because of Lord’s abilities and organ riff. This and the wonderful bass line really help create the song’s punctuating sound. It’s a breath-taking sound and quite ferocious.

Knocking on the Backdoor

The number of schoolboy innuendos used in Deep Purple’s music can’t be overlooked; however it was the commonplace at the time. However, it only proved to increase people’s love of Deep Purple and Jon Lord’s abilities. Knocking on the Backdoor is a thumping mid tempo tune that managed to really show the glam rock pretenders to the throne what Deep Purple were about.

Lord’s setting of the stage with a dramatic intro to the song has tints of Hendrix’s Purple Haze and sets the stage for something dramatic. At Clive Conway Productions they remember him fondly playing piano during their hugely popular evenings with the late John Mortimer.

White Snake – Here I go again

Jon Lord also performed in White Snake and this version of the song Here I go Again showcases the metal band at their best. Even though Lord had differences with flamboyant lead singer David Coverdale, his time playing with White Snake showed his abilities as a more than solid foundation for the band. However, he returned to a reformed Deep Purple when he became sick of being a hired hand in a band he just didn’t seem fond of.

Highway Star

Deep Purple’s song Highway Star is a fantastic rendition and one that showcases Lord’s innovation – the sound of the distorted organ was pushed through Marshall Amps. This created a heavy, second rhythm guitarist like sound. In a lot of ways the stabbing sounds on the way to the chorus are what Deep Purple are about and showcase the band as the godfathers of modern heavy metal music.

Jon Lord will be fondly remembered as one of the greatest musicians of his era and also one of the creators of the genre of heavy metal. His classic influences worked with his innovative abilities to take Deep Purple to heights they may have not otherwise reached.