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Deep Purple - Black Night/Speed King CD (album) cover


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Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Now then guys and gals, here's a huge hit single

"Black night" was recorded during the sessions which resulted in the "In rock" album, but became a non album single when it was released in advance of the album (bizarrely, it was included on the Mexican release of "In rock"). Thus this was the first studio recording by the band's best known (mark II) line up to be made commercially available.

The song reflects the growing aspirations of Blackmore, Lord and Paice to move in a more rock orientated direction, a desire which led to the departure of Rod Evans and Nick Simper after the previous "Deep Purple" album. New boys Glover and Gillan add their stamp to the song, the composition of which is democratically credited to all five band members. Gillan's vocals are far better suited to the heavy rock sound the band had adopted than Evans, the song being driven along by the newly formed Glover/Paice powerhouse. The basic riff of the song is as familiar as the legendary "Smoke on the water", the lyrics being suitably dark but irrelevant.

The band clearly captured the mood of the singles buying public at the time, the song becoming a huge top 3 hit in the UK. It was around this time that bands such as Black Sabbath, Free, and 10 Years After all enjoyed significant singles chart success, consequently the UK airwaves were for a time full of fine music.

The B-side would become the opening track on the forthcoming LP, which quickly became the band's most successful album to date.

Report this review (#143790)
Posted Friday, October 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I usally do not review singles but this one is so special to me.

December 1970. Almost twelve years old.

"Paranoďd", "Whole Lotta Love", "See Me, Feel Me" and "Black Night". These four singles were purchased on the same Wednesday afternoon (school finished at noon and I used to go and buy records before going home).

These songs are still ones of my favourites. Nothing prog here of course; but so great music.

I couldn't imagine how much Purple would influence my young life (as the other three bands of course). When the band had finished with the "In Rock" sessions, the managers of the Harvest label were very enthusiastic about what they had heard, but there was something missing, in their opinion. A song for a single release.

OK, said the band. You're going to get it. They sat together for about two hours but couldn't get anything. So, they went out to a pub and stayed there for a while. Roger & Ritchie went back to the studio and the latter started jamming. It sounded very good to Roger and Ritchie told him : "It is borrowed from Summertime - Ricky Nelson". "You can't use that" said Roger. Ritchie replied : "Why not? Have you ever heard of it" said Ritchie ? Roger said "No". And Ritchie to conclude : "Fine" !

Ian Gillan said later : "We borrowed the title from the words of an old Arthur Alexander song. We stole the tempo from On The Road Again (Canned Heat). Roger and I sat trying to write the most banal lyrics we could think of".

And here you go for "Black Night". Their highest ranking in the UK charts!

My original copy had a black cover with just the song name in white (while "Speed King" was written in yellow). It was more in line with the title of the song than the one featured here.

"Black Night" is of course one of the anthems of the band. They still play it during their concerts (the last time I saw them was in May 2007, some thirty four years after my first Purple concert). There is an excellent and longer version available on the 25th anniversary edition of "In Rock" with more guitar solo.

What is extraordinary about this single is also its B-side. I played it as much as the A-side actually. It was one of the first song of "In Rock" (October 69) in gestation, while the superb and heavy intro was first cut in November. The first version was with a piano (also available, but remixed on the fanstastic 25th year anniversary version of the album). The version available here is the organ one.

This song is another Purple jewel. They could extend it to over fifteen minutes during their live sets and it also belongs to my beloved Purple song.

The quotation for the "Black Night" story are available on the liner notes of the special "In Rock" edition.

As a single this one deserves five stars. Thanks Bob for the entry. It reminds me great souvenirs.

Report this review (#157488)
Posted Wednesday, January 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Yes. As a previous reviewer wrote, "Black Night" was added to the Mexican version of the "In Rock" album. But I also have it in a 45 R.P.M. Extended Play, also released in Mexico, which also includes "Speed King", "Living Wreck" and "Into the Fire" taken from the In Rock album.

"Black Night" is one of the signature songs from this band, I think. One of the earliest International hits of the band in their second line-up, it is powerful, with very good drums by Ian Paice, a very good guitar solo and a very good distorted organ solo, plus very good bass and great lead vocals. It has all the characterisitic ingredients of the second line-up of this band which was more heavy than the first line-up of the band. I played this song with a covers band in the early eighties. I have to recognize that it was hard to try to play all the drums parts like Ian Paice does!

"Speed King" is a faster song, still heavy and good. Here Gillan`s vocals are also very good. I don`t remember the lyrics very well, but maybe they could talk about the use of some substances...but I could be wrong!

Report this review (#161331)
Posted Saturday, February 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I cannot state highly enough as to the high class quality release this single release is! Coming off the Deep Purple in Rock album it is one of those rare singles that offer classic tunes ' both sides' of the border. Personally I think ' Speed king' is the better song but 'Black Night' is also a great song. Ian Gillan is in fine form. One of those classic releases that sadly has not stood up to the test of time in my 45rpm collective. For collectors of singles for this era, you will already have this.
Report this review (#161611)
Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2008 | Review Permalink

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