Deep Purple, one of the pioneers of hard rock and heavy metal, has built an impressive repertoire over the years. With their distinctive sound, ranging from powerful guitar riffs to melodic organ solos, they have left a lasting mark on music history. But which Deep Purple songs are truly classics? Here’s our top 10 list of the best Deep Purple songs:
10. Perfect Strangers
Perfect Strangers, from the album of the same name released in 1984, marks the reunion of the classic Mark II lineup of the band. The song has a mystical atmosphere, with a striking keyboard intro and powerful guitar parts. The lyrics reflect a sense of alienation and the search for identity, perhaps a nod to the reunion of the band members after years of absence.
9. Soldier of Fortune
Soldier of Fortune, from the “Stormbringer” album released in 1974, is one of Deep Purple’s most touching ballads. With its acoustic guitar and the melancholic voice of David Coverdale, the song touches the hearts of many. The song is about longing for a lost love and the pain of parting.
8. Speed King
Speed King, from the legendary “In Rock” album released in 1970, is a true hard rock masterpiece. The song starts with a lightning-fast guitar riff, followed by Jon Lord’s signature organ play. The lyrics pay tribute to rock-‘n-roll pioneers like Little Richard, and the song even includes a snippet from his hit “Good Golly Miss Molly”.
Hush, originally written by Joe South and first released by Billy Joe Royal, became a hit for Deep Purple in 1968. With its catchy bass line and psychedelic organ solo, it’s a perfect example of the band’s early sound. The song has a swinging rhythm, and Rod Evans’ vocals complete it.
Burn, the title track from the 1974 album, introduced new singer David Coverdale and bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes. The song has a distinctive riff and a powerful chorus. The dual vocals of Coverdale and Hughes give the song a unique dynamic, and Jon Lord’s organ play is, as always, phenomenal.
5. Knockin’ At Your Back Door
From the “Perfect Strangers” album, Knockin’ At Your Back Door is one of Deep Purple’s most recognizable songs from the ’80s. With its double entendre lyrics and Ritchie Blackmore’s signature guitar work, it’s a song that showcases both humor and musical craftsmanship.
4. Woman from Tokyo
Woman from Tokyo, released in 1973, is a tribute to the Japanese capital. The song has a cheerful melody and an unforgettable chorus. The lyrics describe the band’s fascination with Eastern culture and the beauty of Tokyo.
3. Highway Star
Highway Star, from the “Machine Head” album released in 1972, is one of the ultimate car songs. With its fast pace and lyrics about a love for speed, it’s a song that makes you long for the open road. Blackmore’s guitar solo and Lord’s organ solo are both highlights of the band’s career.
2. Smoke on the Water
Probably the most iconic song of Deep Purple, Smoke on the Water tells the story of the burning Montreux Casino in Switzerland. The riff is one of the most recognizable in rock history, and the song is a must-learn for every guitarist.
1. Child in Time
Child in Time, from the “In Rock” album, is an epic song that is both soft and sensitive as well as powerful and intense. Ian Gillan’s vocals range from whisper-soft to screaming high, and the song features one of Jon Lord’s most emotional organ solos. It’s a song that takes the listener on an emotional journey and rightly deserves the number one spot on this list.