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"Child in Time"
Song by Deep Purple

from the album Deep Purple in Rock

Released June 1970
Recorded 1969–1970 at IBC, De Lane Lea & Abbey Road Studios
Genre Hard rock, heavy metal, progressive rock
Length 10:18
Label Harvest (UK)
Warner Bros. (US)
Writer Ritchie Blackmore
Ian Gillan
Roger Glover
Jon Lord
Ian Paice
Producer Deep Purple
Deep Purple in Rock track listing
"Bloodsucker"
(2)
"Child in Time"
(3)
"Flight of the Rat"
(4)

"Child in Time" is a song by British hard rock band Deep Purple. Featured on their 1970 album Deep Purple in Rock, the song is 10 minutes and 18 seconds long.

History and characteristics

Written by the band in 1969, it is said by the band members themselves to have been inspired by a riff featured in a song by the Psychedelic band It's a Beautiful Day, called "Bombay Calling"[1]. As Ian Gillan put it, "Jon Lord at practice just said "Oh, Have you heard that new album by It's A Beautiful Day?" He just started to play the lick much slower. That song was written in 10 minutes."[2]

"Child in Time" is an essentially simple composition, featuring an organ intro, three power chords, and a two minute long solo. Lyrically dark, vocalist Ian Gillan utilizes his full vocal range and goes from quiet singing to loud, high-pitched, banshee-esque screaming. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore comes in with a slow solo, which builds up to a fast-pace playing and then ends abruptly, with the whole song cycle starting over again. Blackmore is normally associated with playing a Fender Stratocaster, however, he played a Gibson ES-335 on the studio version of the song.

A staple of the Deep Purple live concerts in 1970–73 and later after their initial reunion tours of 1985 and 1987-88, the song has not been featured regularly at concerts since Gillan returned (for a second time) to the line up in 1993. Gillan cites many personal reasons for leaving the song out, but it is likely that, given his advancing years, the song is becoming increasingly difficult to perform without sampled vocal backings. Its last appearance in Deep Purple's live set was at Harrogate in 2002. In that performance, high-pitched guitar was used to cover up Gillan's now-limited vocal range during the "screaming" parts. A similar technique is used on current live performances of "Space Truckin'".

Noted on the original album release: Child in Time ... The story of a loser -- it could be you [3]

A live version later appeared on the 1972 live album Made in Japan. Another live version can be found on the Scandinavian Nights / Live in Stockholm live album, recorded in September 1970. Gillan also featured a live jazz influenced version of the song in his Ian Gillan Band project of the late 1970's.

Covers and references in popular culture

  • Former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore's current band, Blackmore's Night, featured a new truncated version on their 2006 studio album The Village Lanterne, titled "Mond Tanz / Child in Time".
  • Jon Lord's solo organ introduction was sampled by Big Audio Dynamite and used in the introduction to their song "Rush".
  • The song is used in the 1999 documentary One Day in September, which is about the 1972 Munich Olympics hostage crisis. It plays during a rapid montage of the violent aftermath of the concluding airport shootout.
  • This song was used in the finale of Bottom Live 2003: Weapons Grade Y-Fronts Tour as Eddie and Richie begin traveling back in time to the dawn of time.
  • A portion of this song was featured in the 2007 BBC television documentary 'The Secret Life of the Motorway', in the last programme of the 3 part series [1].

References

Kusnur, Narendra (2002-05-03). "Ian Gillan, Mumbai, India. 3 May 2002". Mid-Day Newspaper. http://deep-purple.net/Review-files/asia2002/mumbai-gillan-interview.htm. Retrieved 2006-12-30. 

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