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|Song by Deep Purple|
|from the album Machine Head|
|Recorded||6–21 December 1971|
6:39 ( The 1997 Remixes version)
|Label|| EMI (UK)|
Warner Bros. (US)
|Machine Head track listing|
"Highway Star" is a song by the English rock band Deep Purple. It is the opening track on their 1972 album Machine Head and is the fastest song in tempo on the album. It is characterised by long, classically-inspired guitar and organ solos.
This song was born on a tour bus going to Portsmouth in 1971 when a reporter asked the band how they wrote songs. To demonstrate, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore grabbed an acoustic guitar and began playing a riff consisting of a single "G" repeated over and over, while vocalist Ian Gillan improvised lyrics over the top. The song was refined and was performed that same night.The song first appears on the 1972 LP Machine Head. The track remains one of the band's staples in live concerts, and was the set opener even before it was released on any album.
The very first live version released, recorded live for German TV program Beat-Club in September 1971, is featured on the History, Hits & Highlights '68–'76 DVD. It is the opening track on the live albums Nobody's Perfect (1988), Come Hell or High Water (1994), and From the Setting Sun… (In Wacken) (2015).The most famous live version is featured on the 1972 live album Made in Japan . The Guardian said, "Blackmore’s playing is like a force of nature on the Made in Japan version; those slashing chords in the intro, and that amazing solo featuring the distinctive neo-classical descending runs, combining the spirits of Bach and Jimi Hendrix."
The structure of the song consists of a 35-second bass/guitar introduction, before the band launches into the thumping opening riff, which soon leads into the first vocals section (0:55). The first two verses are sung, then Jon Lord begins his organ solo (2:14). This part consists mostly of fast, arpeggiated notes with a late Baroque/Early Classical influenced feel and makes use of the harmonic minor scale. The organ solo lasts for about a minute, then Ian Gillan sings the third verse of the song (3:24). At the conclusion of the third verse, the guitar solo starts (4:04), and lasts for just under a minute and twenty seconds. Blackmore wanted a very Bach like sound and worked out the solo note by note over the chord progression Dm, Gm, C, A which itself was borrowed from Bach.Then, the fourth and final verse, which in the original recording is simply a repetition of the first verse, is sung, finishing around 6:10. Depending on the version, there may be a 15-second-long exit section before the end of the song. When the song is played live, Gillan has been known to improvise its lyrics, as seen in the official video for the song.
The guitar solo would gain recognition when readers of Guitar World voted it No. 15 in their list of the "100 Greatest Guitar Solos".
The song was covered by the Gwarside project X-Cops in their 1995 album You Have the Right to Remain Silent... , with the lyrics changed to reflect the band's police brutality theme.
In 2012, a tribute album featuring cover songs from Deep Purple's Machine Head was released, titled Re-Machined: A Tribute to Deep Purple's Machine Head . On this album, a live recording of "Highway Star" was featured by rock supergroup Chickenfoot, as well as a version recorded by Glenn Hughes, Steve Vai, and Chad Smith.
A cover by Cory Todd is heard in an episode of the science fiction television series The Expanse ("Delta-V", season 3); this version is sung in the creole used by Belters (residents of the asteroid belt).
Other bands to record the song include Dream Theater, Point Blank, Stryper, Metal Church, Buckcherry, Type O Negative, Faith No More.
Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford, Hertfordshire, in 1968. They are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach has changed over the years. Originally formed as a psychedelic rock and progressive rock band, they shifted to a heavier sound with their 1970 album Deep Purple in Rock. Deep Purple, together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, have been referred to as the "unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal in the early to mid-seventies". They were listed in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records as "the globe's loudest band" for a 1972 concert at London's Rainbow Theatre and have sold over 100 million albums worldwide.
Machine Head is the sixth studio album released by the English rock band Deep Purple. It was recorded in December 1971 at Montreux, Switzerland, and released on 25 March 1972 on Purple Records.
"Smoke on the Water" is a song by the English rock band Deep Purple. It was first released on their 1972 album Machine Head. In 2004, the song was ranked number 434 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time, ranked number 4 in Total Guitar magazine's Greatest Guitar Riffs Ever, and in March 2005, Q magazine placed "Smoke on the Water" at number 12 in its list of the 100 greatest guitar tracks.
"Child in Time" is a song by the English rock band Deep Purple. Loosely inspired by the Vietnam War, it is featured on the band's 1970 album Deep Purple in Rock and runs for over 10 minutes.
"Never Before" is a song by British rock band Deep Purple, which appears on their 1972 album Machine Head. It was also released as a single and reached #35 in the UK.
Richard Hugh Blackmore is an English guitarist and songwriter. He was one of the founding members of Deep Purple in 1968, playing jam-style hard rock music that mixed guitar riffs and organ sounds. Blackmore is prolific in creating guitar riffs and is often noted for his classically influenced solos.
"Fireball" is a song by the English rock band Deep Purple, from the album of the same name. It was also released as the band's second single of 1971, and peaked at No. 15 on the UK Singles Chart. It is one of several songs based on Ian Gillan's real life experiences: "She was a complete mystery to me. This is another tale of unrequited love", he explained.
"Space Truckin'" is a song by British hard rock band Deep Purple. It is the seventh and final track on the Machine Head album and its lyrics talk of space travel.
"Lazy" is a song by Deep Purple from their 1972 album Machine Head. A live performance of the song can be found on the album Made in Japan, released later the same year.
Come Hell or High Water is a CD and DVD by the hard rock group Deep Purple. It was recorded on 16 October 1993 at Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle in Stuttgart, Germany and at the NEC in Birmingham on 9 November.
"Mandrake Root" is a song by Deep Purple that is featured on their debut album Shades of Deep Purple. The title is in reference to the mandrake plant, but is also the name of a pre-Purple band that Blackmore was trying to form in Germany when he got the call from Deep Purple's original management.
"Perfect Strangers" is a song by the British hard rock band Deep Purple. It is the title track of their 1984 comeback album Perfect Strangers.
Pictures of Home is a song by the British hard rock group Deep Purple, from their 1972 album Machine Head. It begins with a drum introduction by Ian Paice and features a fast-paced, driving guitar riff and bass line with several instrumental solos.
"When a Blind Man Cries" is a song by British rock band Deep Purple, originally only available as the B-side of the single "Never Before", released in 1972. It was recorded during the Machine Head sessions in December 1971.
"Burn" is a song by British rock band Deep Purple. It was released on the album of the same name in 1974, and was the first song by the Mark III lineup.
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"The Mule" is a song by British hard rock band Deep Purple, and was originally released on their 1971 album Fireball. The song became famous for its live performance, which would always feature a drum solo by Ian Paice.
Around The World Live is a four-DVD box-set by British hard rock band Deep Purple, released in May 2008.
Deep Purple in Rock is the fourth studio album by Deep Purple, released on 5 June 1970. It was the first studio album recorded by the Mark II line-up of Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.
The Deep Purple European Tour was a year-long successful concert tour by British hard rock band Deep Purple, lasting from July 1969 until June 1970. The band played mostly United Kingdom shows, also covering Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium. It was the first tour to feature the classic Deep Purple line-up: Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord and Ian Paice. It is considered to be the pre-tour for the In Rock album, as the band mostly played songs from the upcoming album.