Black Night

Album: Deep Purple In Rock (1970)
Charted: 2 66
  • Bands often complain about record companies putting pressure on them to produce a hit song, but in many cases, these tactics work. That was the case here, as Deep Purple bass player Roger Glover explained in a 1988 interview with Metal Hammer. Said Glover: "I love the way that song was born. It happened one night in the studio after we finished Deep Purple In Rock and the management were screaming for a single, because there wasn't an obvious single on the album. So we thought that we'd humor them, because we never thought of ourselves as a singles band. We spent a whole afternoon trying to get a riff and nothing happened. Round 7:30 we decided to go down to the pub and stayed there until closing time and came back to the studio completely drunk wherupon Ritchie (Blackmore) picked up the guitar and started playing what was to become 'Black Night' and we said 'yeah, that sounds great let's do that.'"
  • According to Glover, the guitar riff was "inspired" by Ricky Nelson's 1962 version of "Summertime."
  • All Deep Purple fans know the song "Black Night," a rare hit single from a heavy metal band, but what inspired it? Lyric-wise it does not amount to much, but according to Ian Gillan in Wait For The Ricochet: The Story of Deep Purple In Rock, the title came from a song recorded by Arthur Alexander.

    Arthur Alexander (1940-93) was a black songwriter from the American Deep South who was more influential than famous. However, the "Black Night" he recorded in 1964 was written by another unheralded black songwriter, also from the Deep South. Jessie Mae Robinson née Booker (1918-66) was the first black woman to become a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. "Black Night" was recorded by Charles Brown in December 1950 and as a downtempo piano-based jazzy number with a saxophone; it was released in 1951. The Arthur Alexander version is distinctly uptempo. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 1

  • Paul from Rothesay, Nb, NbClassic Purple! Check out Blues Magoos "We Ain't (Got Nothing Yet)" from 1966. There are similarities.
see more comments

Lip-Synch RebelsSong Writing

What happens when Kurt Cobain, Iron Maiden and Johnny Lydon are told to lip-synch? Some hilarious "performances."

Lace the Music: How LSD Changed Popular MusicSong Writing

Starting in Virginia City, Nevada and rippling out to the Haight-Ashbury, LSD reshaped popular music.

Mike Love of The Beach BoysSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer/lyricist of The Beach Boys talks about coming up with the words for "Good Vibrations," "Fun, Fun, Fun," "Kokomo" and other classic songs.

Maria MuldaurSongwriter Interviews

The "Midnight At The Oasis" singer is an Old Time gal. She talks about her jug band beginnings and shares a Dylan story.

Did They Really Sing In That Movie?Fact or Fiction

Bradley Cooper, Michael J. Fox, Rami Malek, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow and George Clooney: Which actors really sang in their movies?

Rock Revenge SongsMusic Quiz

John Lennon, Paul Simon and Lynyrd Skynyrd are some of the artists who have written revenge songs. Do you know who they wrote them about?