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Songs Covered By Deep Purple
The Highway Star

Discography Index
Albums, singles, videos
Song List
Set Lists
Chart Positions
Cover Versions

This is a list of songs that Deep Purple have covered through the years. Only full versions are mentioned, as snippets of songs are beyond the scope of this list.

Deep Purple covered 4 songs on their debut album, Shades Of Deep Purple. They covered 3 songs on the next album and only 2 on their 3rd (confusingly entitled "Deep Purple"). Deep Purple's first 3 single releases were all cover versions. However, once Ian Gillan and Roger Glover joined their songwriting confidence grew and the covers stopped, except for the occasional in-concert jam.

To see who else have done what Deep Purple have done, go here.

Any comments to Brian Currin.

Difficult To Cure/ Beethoven

An uptempo guitar-based reworking of Beethoven's 9th Symphony ("Choral" in D minor, Opus 125), often referred to as the Song Of Joy or Ode To Joy. Originally appeared on Rainbow's Difficult To Cure album (UK #3) in 1981 with an arrangement by Ritchie Blackmore, Roger Glover and Don Airey.

In the studio:
Not recorded in the studio by Deep Purple.

In concert:
Debuted in the set-list in 1985 and stayed there until Ritchie left in 1993. It usually evolved into a keyboard solo section for Jon Lord. Officially available on the Knebworth 85 CD (1991) as part of the Space Truckin' medley and introduced by Ian Gillan as "a piece of music". Can also be found on the video version of Come Hell Or High Water released in 1994, where it was titled simply "Beethoven ".

Georgia On My Mind

This classic 1930 Hoagy Carmichael song was made popular by Ray Charles who took it to #1 in the US charts and #24 in UK in August 1960. Composed by Hoagy Carmichael (music) and Stephen Gorrell (words).

In the studio:
No studio recording.

In concert:
Glenn Hughes' vocal improvisational section during Smoke On The Water on the 1975/76 tour included many classic soul/gospel numbers; Georgia On My Mind was one of them. Released on the On The Wings Of A Russian Foxbat CD in 1995 in 2 different versions!

Going Down

Originally written by Don Nix and recorded by Freddie King (with Nix's help) on his 1971 album Gettin' Ready. This excellent album featured the original version of the much-covered Going Down. Don Nix was born 27 September 1941 in Memphis, Tennessee and was an original member of the Mar-Keys. Freddie King was born Billy Myles on 30 September 1934 in Gilmer, Texas and died on the 28 December 1976 in Dallas, Texas.

In the studio:
No studio recording.

In concert:
Mark III continued the Mark II tradition of using a cover version as an encore. Mark II had used Little Richard's Lucille and Marks III and IV used Don Nix's lesser-known Going Down from 1974 until the break-up in April 1976. Live recordings are available on On The Wings Of A Russian Foxbat CD from 1995 and Mk III: The Final Concerts from 1996.


Not really a cover as I am not aware of anyone else ever recording this track before Deep Purple, but it appears on this list because it was not written by the group. It was, in fact, composed by that famous song-writing team of Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway.
Written by Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway [Blue Mink, David And Jonathan, the original Brotherhood Of Man, The Pipkins, Edison Lighthouse, The Fortunes, Whistling Jack Smith, The Flowerpot Men, White Plains] so very Tin Pan Alley rather than New York's Brill Building. They later came up with Coca Cola's "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" and, of course, Episode Six had done their "Something's Gotten Hold Of My Heart" at the BBC on 3rd June 1969, only the day before E6's fateful Woodford Green gig.

I think Greenaway wrote some of The Drifters' 1970's hits and Cook now lives in the US, writing country music hits.
-- Nigel Young, March 1999
There's a version by the Derek Lawrence Statement on The "Derek Lawrence Sessions Take 1" CD on Line Records (LICD 9.01118, 1991). Very confusingly, I have another version by a group called People on a German 7" single, where the song is credited to Cy Payne/Reg Guest, yet the publishing credit says "Cookaway Music", suggesting that it was written by Cook/Greenaway. It's on Vogue records, DV 11138, 1970 and there's no mention of a producer.
-- Stathis N. Panagiotopoulos, March 1999

In the studio:
Recorded at the very first Mark II session at De Lane Lea Studios in Kingsway, London on the 7 June 1969. Roger Glover played as a session musician on this track as he had not yet officially joined the band! The Mark I group still played gigs during June and July after this first Mark II session. Released as a single in July 1969 (backed by the Mark I track, April part 1), but failed to make a dent in the charts.

In concert:
None, a bit surprisingly.


A chart-topper for The Beatles in US and UK in 1965 from the songwriting team of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

In the studio:
Slow epic version of this usually uptempo number. A brave arrangement which works and has been copied by many others. Released on The Shades Of Deep Purple album in 1968. Released as a single in France in 1969.

In concert:
Performed live by Mark I during 1968/69.

Hey Joe

This classic Jimi Hendrix track has quite a varied history, so stay with me as I explain...

It was first recorded by an LA band called The Leaves in 1965. They re-recorded it in 1966 and took it to #31 in the US charts during June that year. The song was credited to one Chester A. Powers (who was really Dino Valenti, later of Quicksilver Messenger Service), but the real composer was an obscure West Coast folk-singer by the name of Billy Roberts. The Leaves version was a fast-paced folk-rock song, but Tim "Morning Dew" Rose recorded a slowed-down version in 1966. The Jimi Hendrix Experience took Rose's arrangement, added Jimi's classic guitar-style and made it their own. It charted at number 6 in the UK in December of 1966.

In the studio:
Deep Purple chose Jimi's epic slow blues style for their 1968 cover of this great song. It starts with a "bolero"-type introduction (based on The Miller's Dance from a ballet score called The Three Cornered Hat by Spaniard Manuel de Falla) then slows down to the main track. It was released on the Shades Of Deep Purple album in 1968. It was also released on the flipside of a French-only single release of Help in 1969.

In concert:
Performed as an encore by Mark I in 1968/69. Also recorded at the BBC on 14 January 1969 and released as a bonus track on the EMI Germany re-issue of Shades Of Deep Purple released in February 2000.
Revived by Mark 5 with Joe Lynn Turner for the 1991 tour.

Homeward Strut

A track from Tommy Bolin's 1975 Teaser album.

In the studio:
No studio version by Deep Purple.

In concert:
Performed during the Mark IV tour in 1975/76. Released on the On The Wings Of A Russian Foxbat CD in 1995, but incorrectly listed as The Grind.


Deep Purple's recording debut was this track composed by Joe South (born Joseph Souter, 28 Feb 1940, Atlanta, Georgia). Originally recorded by Billy Joe Royal (and produced by South) in October 1967 reaching US #52. Also recorded by Joe South himself, and released as a single in 1970 and on The Best Of Joe South in 1990. Recorded by Kula Shaker in May 1997 in a very similar style to Deep Purple's version and released as the title track of a CD single. Went to #2 in the UK.
In 1997 Dan Baird formerly of the Georgia Satellites put out a solo album called Buffalo Nickel. He also remade Hush with Joe South doing backing vocals. -- Tom Bopp, June 2004
In the studio:
Released on a single which reached number 4 in the USA in September 1968, achieving the first million-selling single for both composer and artist. It failed, however, to bother the chart-compilers in Britain. Released on the Shades Of Deep Purple album in 1968. Re-recorded by the re-formed Mark II in February 1988 during the Hook End Manor rehearsals and tagged on the end of the otherwise live album, Nobody's Perfect, later that year. Released as a single in June 1988 achieving UK #62.

In concert:
Performed live at the Playboy Club, Los Angeles on 23 October 1968 and broadcast on the Playboy After Dark TV show in the USA. This performance can be seen on the Heavy Metal Pioneers video compilation released in 1991. Released as a bonus track on the February 2000 re-issue of Shades Of Deep Purple.

  • Performed by Mark I on tour and at the BBC during 1968 and 1969.
  • Performed by Mark II as the set-opener for the Concerto For Group And Orchestra concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 24 September 1969. Recorded and released on the Powerhouse compilation album in 1977.
  • Performed by Mark II in 1970 then dropped from the set-list.
  • Re-appeared again in 1988.
  • Performed as a snippet during The Cut Runs Deep song in 1991.
  • Performed on the 1993/94 tour.
  • Dropped until Toronto on November 21 1996 as an opener and stayed there for the rest of '96 North American tour. Remained in the set-list for the 1998 European tour. Probably to show Kula Shaker fans how it really should be done!

I'm So Glad

A classic blues track originally written and recorded by Skip James in 1931. Skip James was born Nehemiah Curtis James on 9 June 1902 either in Yazoo City or Bentonia, Mississippi. He died on 3 October 1969. His original version can be found on Skip James: The Complete 1931 Recordings, released on the Yazoo label in 1994. I'm So Glad was also recorded by Cream for their debut album Fresh Cream in 1966.

In the studio:
Released on Shades Of Deep Purple in 1968.

In concert:
Performed at the BBC on the 24 June 1969 and again, a week later, on the 30th. Also performed in concert by Mark I during 1968/69.

Kentucky Woman

Neil Diamond wrote this song and also originally recorded it in November 1967 taking it to number 22 in the US charts.

In the studio:
Deep Purple released this track on The Book Of Taliesyn album in 1968. It remained fairly faithful to the original, but included a wonderful instrumental break with an organ solo by Jon, followed by a guitar solo from Ritchie. Released as a single in December 1968 and scraped into the US top 40 at #38. Did not chart in the UK.

In concert:
Performed live by Mark I during 1968/69. No official live recording has ever been released.


A song written by Donovan Leitch and released by him (as Donovan) as a single in October 1968 and reached US #33.

In the studio:
Recorded for their 3rd album titled simply Deep Purple. Sleeve notes: "Donovan's song done how we thought Donovan might like to have heard it."

In concert:
Performed at a BBC session on 24 June 1969. No other live performances that I'm aware of.


This Little Richard rock n' roll stomper was written by "Little" Richard Penniman and Albert Collins and released in February 1957. It sold well over a million copies and charted at number 21 in the US and at number 10 in the UK.

In the studio:
No studio recording.

In concert:
This was a Mark II encore track from 1970 right through to 1973. The intro to this song was often a tune-up time for Ritchie Blackmore after the abuse suffered by his guitar during the marathon work-out of Space Truckin'. Recorded for the BBC Sounds Of The Seventies show on 9 March 1972 at the Paris Theatre in London and released on the In Concert album in 1980 and CD re-issue in 1992. Recorded in Japan in August 1972 and released as a bonus track on the Made In Japan 25th Anniversary re-issue album in 1998.

Paint It Black

This Mick Jagger/ Keith Richard composition was a hit in 1966 for the Rolling Stones. It topped both the UK and US charts in May of that year.

In the studio:

In concert:
Introduced into the 1970 set, as an instrumental wrapped around Ian Paice's drum solo. It stayed through 1971 until The Mule took over as the Paicey spotlight in 1972. A live version can be found on Scandinavian Nights album released in 1988. A vocal version was also used as part of a medley with Space Truckin' and Woman From Tokyo during the 1993/94 tour. An official release of this medley can be found on the Come Hell Or High Water video released in 1994.

River Deep Mountain High

This brilliant example of Phil Spector's "Wall Of Sound" production technique was taken to number 3 in the UK charts in June 1966 by Ike And Tina Turner. Written by Phil Spector, Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, it only reached #88 in the US.

In the studio:
Released on The Book Of Taliesyn album in 1968. An edited version (without the long classical introduction [see below]) was released as a single in the US in February 1969 but only got to number 53 (higher than the original though!).

In concert:
Performed in full by Mark I during 1968/69.

Rock Me Baby

B.B. King's great blues song written by Riley B. King and Joe Josea in 1958. This has been covered numerous times by various artists including Ike & Tina Turner and Eric Clapton.

In the studio:

In concert:
Tagged onto the end of Mark III's blues epic Mistreated during 1974 and 1975. Released on the Made In Europe album in 1976 and also appears uncredited on both versions of Mistreated from the Mk III: The Final Concerts double CD in 1996.

Satch Boogie

An instrumental (aren't they all?) Joe Satriani track from his 1987 album, Surfing With The Alien.

In the studio:
Not recorded in the studio by Deep Purple.

In concert:
Performed during the 1994 tour of Europe and Japan when Joe Satriani joined briefly to help out after Ritchie's sudden departure. Will probably never officially see the light of day on CD.

2001: A Space Odyssey

See Janell Duxbury's Deep Purple Classical Quotes page for information on this reworking of Richard Strauss' Thus Spake Zarathustra.

We Can Work It Out

Originally recorded by The Beatles, who had a double chart-topper with this Lennon and McCartney composition. It was a double a-side release with Daytripper and reached number 1 in both US and UK in 1965.

In the studio:
Recorded with a slowed-down introduction and then into a more funky feel for The Book Of Taliesyn album in 1968. (and this long before Glenn Hughes!)

In concert:
Not performed live.

Wild Dogs

A track from Tommy Bolin's 1975 Teaser album.

In the studio:
No studio recording by Deep Purple.

In concert:
Performed by Mark IV during 1975 and released on the Last Concert In Japan album in 1978.


  • The Great Rock Discography, 5th Edition - Martin C. Strong (Canongate)
  • Q Encyclopedia Of Rock Stars - Dafydd Rees & Luke Crampton (DK)
  • British Hit Singles and Hit Albums books - Paul Gambaccini, Tim & Jo Rice (Guinness)
  • The Billboard Top 40 Hits and Top 40 Albums books - Joel Whitburn (Guinness)
  • Million Selling Records - Joseph Murrells (1984, Batsford)
  • Deep Purple, The Illustrated Biography - Chris Charlesworth (1983, Omnibus)
  • Jimi Hendrix: Electric Gypsy - Harry Shapiro and Caesar Glebbeek (Mandarin)
  • Music Central 97 CD-ROM (Microsoft)
  • Sleeve notes for The Original Deep Purple Remastered Collection (February 2000)

  • Donor Section

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