Mark VII or Mark VIII?

Yesterday, I opined, regarding the forthcoming new Deep Purple album, that there is ‘unfinished business with Mark VII’ – a statement that I wholeheartedly stand by. However, it has come to my notice that the Deep Purple Appreciation Society regards the current line-up of the band as Mark VIII. Hmm.

It all turns on the question of whether one counts Joe Satriani’s stint with the band (from December 1993 to July 1994, following the abrupt departure of the illustrious Mr Blackmore) as a fully-fledged line-up of Deep Purple. DPAS does, and they present sound reasoning for doing so. Of course, Satch is a wonderful musician, and I’m glad he has an association with Deep Purple, and grateful for his help in guiding them through a rocky spell at a pivotal juncture in their career. Nevertheless, as he was not confirmed as an official member of Deep Purple, I will continue to regard the current line-up as ‘Mark VII’, viewing Mr Satriani’s tenure with the band in the light of a very welcome, and much-appreciated, extended guest turn.

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