Top 10 Things About the Song 'Highway Star' by Deep Purple

Metal_Treasure
Highway Star deserves a list because:
1) it's a very important song in metal music history but many metal fans don't know this
2) it's a great song
3) it's underrated

The Top Ten

1 It was written on a tour bus going to Portsmouth for their next live show

This explains why the lyrics are about highways and cars!
On this tour bus, a reporter asked the band how they wrote songs. To demonstrate, Ritchie Blackmore grabbed an acoustic guitar and began playing a riff consisting of a single "G" repeated over and over, while singer Ian Gillan improvised lyrics over the top. - Metal_Treasure

2 The song was refined and performed the night it was written

That's called stellar musicianship and creativity. They didn't even have a studio version and rehearsals! - Metal_Treasure

3 The guitar solo was the first true metal guitar solo

Before 1971-1972 there were heavy solos but they weren't Heavy Metal solos in the strict sense. In this solo Ritchie Blackmore used Bach-like chord sequences and it was revolutionary. Why? Because metal music was born when blues elements in hard rock were replaced by classical elements. And this is exactly what HE did first.
The solo is very fast and it's about 1:20 min long. - Metal_Treasure

4 The song has two solos and the first one is an organ solo

The organ solo is also impressive and it's about one minute long. - Metal_Treasure

5 Both solos are based on Bach-like chord sequences V 1 Comment
6 Highway Star is a proto-speed metal masterpiece

Yes, Ritchie Blackmore created the idea for using opening two strings and making metal riffs by it. - zxm

7 Many people think Highway Star is a hard rock song but this is wrong

It's a metal song. Hard rock is based on blues/Rock N Roll but Highway Star is clearly inspired by classical music (Johann Sebastian Bach). - Metal_Treasure

8 Many people think that the organ solo is a guitar solo

I've even read this in several comments on this site. - Metal_Treasure

9 Highway Star was written in 1971 and released in 1972 on the album Machine Head
10 There is a comment on TheTopTens: "The second solo seems a bit like the musical version of being shot out of a cannon at ultra-relativistic speeds"

It's a visitor comment, a really great description. - Metal_Treasure

The Contenders

11 It is the fastest song on the album
12 The most famous live version is featured on the 1972 live album Made in Japan
13 This song became one of the band's staples in live concerts, and was the set opener even before it was released on any album
14 A live version of the song was released in 1971, before the studio version in 1972

It was recorded live for German T.V. program Beat-Club in September 1971 and is featured on the History, Hits & Highlights '68-'76 DVD. - Metal_Treasure

15 Highway Star was overshadowed by Smoke On The Water from the same album

I like Highway Star better than Smoke On The Water. Don't kill me... - Metal_Treasure

16 The song starts with a good bass lick

A lot of people don't notice the cool bass lick. - zxm

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List Stats

16 listings
324 days old

Top Remixes

1. It was written on a tour bus going to Portsmouth for their next live show
2. The song was refined and performed the night it was written
3. The guitar solo was the first true metal guitar solo
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