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"Black Night"
Single by Deep Purple
B-side "Speed King"
"Living Wreck"
Released 5 June 1970
1980 (Re-issue)
1995 (In Rock 25th Anniversary Edition)
1995 (25th Anniversary Re-issue)
Format 7"
Recorded May 1970 at De Lane Lea
Genre Hard rock, heavy metal[1]
Length 3:28
Label Harvest Records (UK)
Warner Bros. (US)
Writer(s) Ritchie Blackmore
Ian Gillan
Roger Glover
Jon Lord
Ian Paice
Producer Deep Purple
Deep Purple singles chronology
"River Deep - Mountain High"
"Black Night"
"Strange Kind of Woman"
In Rock track listing
"Hard Lovin' Man"
"Black Night"
"Studio Chat (1)"

"Black Night" is a song by British hard rock band Deep Purple, first released as a single in June 1970 and later included on the 25th Year Anniversary version of their 1970 album, In Rock. The song became a smash hit following its release, peaking at #2 on UK charts, and to this day remains Deep Purple's highest charting UK single. It was also their first single that was not a cover.


Writing process and recording

Once In Rock had been completed, EMI asked for a suitable single to be recorded to help promote the album. After spending six hours searching for inspiration, the band went to a nearby pub and got drunk. Ritchie Blackmore started playing a riff that was closely based on guitarist James Burton's riff to Ricky Nelson's 1962 rock recording of the old George Gershwin standard "Summertime"[2] which had also inspired The Blues Magoos' psychedelic hit, "We Ain't Got Nothing Yet". Ian Gillan and Roger Glover came up with the lyrics: "We borrowed the title from the words of an old Arthur Alexander song. We stole the tempo from Canned Heat"

Live performances

"Black Night" made its way into the setlist soon after release, generally as the first encore. The song was not played in full after Ian Gillan and Roger Glover left the band in 1973, but snippets were often played by Ritchie Blackmore as part of his improvisations. On the reformation of Deep Purple in 1984 "Black Night" returned as part of the main set list. There are many versions of the song available on Deep Purple live albums.


Bruce Dickinson - B side of single: "Dive, Dive, Dive", recorded live in 1990.

Bad Manners - ska version on their 1997 album Heavy Petting.

The song is also recorded by the American death metal band Deicide on their 2006 album, The Stench of Redemption, though with rewritten lyrics.

CJ Crew also covered this song for the Dancemania compilation series, but has a heavier sound to it.

Pat Travers has recorded a version on his album P.T. Power Trio 2.

In 1982, post-punk group The Fall took to performing a medley integrating the song into their own composition "Cash 'n' Carry"; a recording of this was belatedly issued in 2002 on a reissue of Fall in a Hole.

Ritchie Blackmore himself covered Black Night with his new band Blackmore's Night. It was released in 2005 on Castles and Dreams album.

A version also appears on I Will Cure You by Vic Reeves.

In 2007 Finnish power metal band Twilight Guardians covered the song for their fourth and last album, Ghost Reborn, as a Japanese bonus track.

Metallica played the intro during the encore of their shows in 1989.

Book references

    • Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. London: Rough Guides. ISBN 1-85828-201-2.  

Other references




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