Speed King

Album: Deep Purple In Rock (1970)
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Songfacts®:

  • Deep Purple drew inspiration from early American rock, and the lyrics of this song are made up of bits from songs by Little Richard, Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry. The first verse borrows from Richard's songs "Good Golly Miss Molly," "Tutti Frutti" and "Lucille." The second verse is pulled from the soul classic "Rip It Up," as well as Elvis' "Hard Headed Woman" and Berry's "Some People." Deep Purple would later pay tribute to Little Richard when they named their 1987 album The House of Blue Light, after a line in "Good Golly Miss Molly."
  • According to Deep Purple lead singer Ian Gillan's autobiography, this song was called "Kneel and Pray" for some time. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Dougie - Delhi, India
  • Deep Purple played this song live for about eight months before they recorded it. In concerts, it was usually their opening number. The song got bumped on September 13, 1971 when the band decided they wanted a new song to open their shows, wrote "Highway Star" on the tour bus, and performed it that night.

Comments: 9

  • Jobin Higashikata from Morioh, JapanSet my orchard on fire lol.
  • Ricky from Killie, United KingdomScott - as you say the riff was a combination of the start/stop of Hendrix's Fire in the verse but on the chorus the riff was based on Hendrix's Stone Free.
    Its rumoured that Ritchie used an SG at times, he certainly owned one at the time, but nothing can be proved and Ritchie's never confirmed where it was used on In Rock if at all. He played his '68 Strat through a Hornby Skewes Treble Booster with 200w Marshall Major (that were boosted also) and in the studio he used an Arbiter Add-a-sound for an Octave Divider, a silicon transistor Fuzz Face and a Marshall Fuzz Unit at various times. He also used his Gibson ES335 almost certainly on Child In Time. His Vox AC30 was used as well but its difficult pinning down what he used on this track - the guitar is heavier and more distorted than the earlier versions when it was originally called Kneel and Pray. I'd say it was the Strat/Marshall and treble booster set-up.
  • Mark from Londonderry, NhI agree with Bill. Ian Paice is the BEST drummer ever. Period.
  • Scott from London, OnThe original riff was an idea of Roger Glover's when Ritchie Blackmore said he wanted a riff like Hendrix's "Fire."
  • Bill from Dundee, United KingdomDeep Purple's drummer - Ian Paice - still IS one of the very best, if not THE best rock drummers.
  • Roy from Eighty Four, PaI remember reading somewhere that Blackmore played a Gibson SG on this album before he later switched to Fender Stratocasters.
  • Sam from Seattle, Wathe drums for this are amazing! DP's drummer was one of the best
  • Ulya from Sliema, EuropeI was nearly shocked when i first heard this song, this fight between the organ and the guitar, just incredible. And the vocal by Ian Gillan. Something to drave you crazy!
  • Ray from Palm Bay, Iddeep purple still perform this song in concert. they are still rockin.
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