A new book about the final year of Deep Purple’s classic lineup will be published on the 25th anniversary of Ritchie Blackmore’s last appearance with the band.

Deep Purple Mk II – Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice – reconvened for their third stint in 1992, and released The Battle Rages On. Then the guitarist suddenly quit on Nov. 17, 1993.

In Deep Purple: Time to Kill, author Jerry Bloom explores the period leading up to the split, building off his own first-hand knowledge after attending nearly a quarter of the shows on this final tour. “With all eyes on the 25th anniversary of the band's inception, there was huge pressure both from within and outside of the band for Gillan to return to the fold so that the occasion could be celebrated in style," Wymer Publishing said in a statement. "The critics said it wouldn't work — it did. And they said it wouldn't last ... well, they were certainly right about that!

“[T]he American shows were all cancelled, which left just Europe and Japan. Whilst the tensions within the band were greater than ever, Jon Lord went on to say, ‘the shows were done at an energy level and ability level I’ve rarely seen attained before. I think we played as well as we’ve ever played,’" the statement continues. "Indeed, for those fortunate to witness the tour most fans shared Lord's opinion. Yet, the divisions between Blackmore and Gillan grew as the tour progressed with Blackmore calling a halt to proceedings before the Japanese leg could begin. In all, there would be just 37 shows — the last hurrah of the ultimate Deep Purple line-up.”

Blackmore was replaced on short notice by Joe Satriani before Deep Purple hired Steve Morse. Gillan last year shot down Blackmore’s suggestion of a one-off reunion concert: “Ritchie and the band got divorced. He walked out in the middle of a tour, and the rain stopped and the sun came out for the band," Gillan said. "It’s like somebody saying, ‘You’re happily married now, but we want you to get back together with your divorced wife, with which there’s been much bitterness over the years.' Just for the sake of the fans. It’s not gonna happen.”

The limited-edition hardback version of Deep Purple: Time to Kill comes with additional items and is available for pre-order now.

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