Deep Purple: “Highway Star”

ALBUM: Machine Head

YEAR: 1972

WRITERS: Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice

Although an edit was released as a single, it didn’t chart.

To date, Deep Purple have opened one studio album and three live albums with “Highway Star.” The band’s late keyboardist Jon Lord once explained how it was written on the way to a gig in Portsmouth, England. “We needed a fast number to open the set, we’d got tired of the one that we were using – we always used to start with ‘Speed King.’ We just sat in the back of the bus and Ritchie came up with [sings opening riff] and Ian scribbled some words on the back of an envelope or something and we went on stage and did it that night. It was called something like ‘Frankie and Billy Make a Tank’ – whatever stream of consciousness words Ian Gillan came up with that night. It later became ‘Highway Star.’ Lester Bangs, one of the great rock writers, called it, ‘The classic girl/car hard rock song.’”

45 years ago, the Machine Head album by Deep Purple was certified gold for half a million copies sold.


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