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Lucifer, Isaac Asimov, and Ringo Starr

Classic Rock has an article on the intriguing story behind The Mule, with multiple quotes from the star of the hour himself — Paicey.

As with the majority of compositions by the Mk II Purple line-up, The Mule is credited equally to the classic quintet of Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Jon Lord, Roger Glover and Ian Paice. But hang on a minute. Type the track title into Google, or indeed any search engine, and a sixth name pops up: that of Jethro Tull mainman Ian Anderson.

Drummer Paice chuckles down the phone from his country mansion in Henley-on-Thames. “I can state categorically that no Aqualung influences were involved in the making of The Mule. It just so happens that Anderson is my middle name – Ian Anderson Paice.”

Somewhere in a parallel universe there’s a live rendition of The Mule with a marathon flute solo. But what happened in reality was this… After its appearance on Fireball, The Mule was incorporated into Purple’s stage show and became the focus for Paice’s tub-thumping talents. Live, the song’s running time increased dramatically. The Fireball version lasts 5:21; on the 1972 live album Made In Japan it’s twice as long.

The talent exhibited by Paice on The Mule sent shockwaves through the 70s rock scene. Cream fans in particular were stunned by the Purple pounder’s dextrous display of controlled power and awesome technique. Ginger Baker’s Toad – previously the benchmark for such drum-solo shenanigans – was summarily squashed under the trampling hooves of The Mule.

Continue reading on Louder Sound.

Thanks to Jim Collins for the info.



11 Comments to “Lucifer, Isaac Asimov, and Ringo Starr”:

  1. 1
    Keith Livingstone says:

    The version of the song on that very album (Made in Japan) was what gave me a lifelong, well so far, love and admiration for Mr P.

  2. 2
    Adel Faragalla says:

    Funny how each track from Mk2 albums has a life of its own and keeps growing and gaining momentum. At this rate maybe in 20 years from now DP will be bigger than Rolling Stones and the Beatles combined. With all respect to them both but after hearing Paul Gilbert playing Pictures of home on the previous post I think DP will keep growing and gaining new fan base without limitations.

  3. 3
    Mick MiXile Shanahan says:

    I know I’m in a very tiny minority but I’ve been skipping past that track nearly every time since release day. I love his drumming but a drum solo is a step too far for me.

  4. 4
    Ciatto Mosè says:

    Giorni, mesi, anni in saletta a provare a rifare lo stesso assolo, ma niente da fare, Big Ian non è di questo pianeta, però il vantaggio è che tutto quello che suonavao dopo mi sembrava semplicissimo a confronto.Lunga vita a Super Ian.👍💪😀

  5. 5
    John Horlock says:

    Mick MiXile Shanahan I’m not a fan of drum solos either. I’m not sure whether most rock fans enjoy them, or whether they’re just there to give the person at the back the spotlight for a while. It’s one of the benefits of In Concert ‘72 over MIJ IMO. I find it interesting that apart from the drum solos, I never heard Mk II in 70’s as a soloist band – I just hear fluid jamming. It’s later, particularly after reunion, that there was more emphasis placed on taking it in turns. Which I attribute to ego a bit. Or maybe just their experiences as band leader/centre of attention (Rainbow) and background filler (Whitesnake).

  6. 6
    MacGregor says:

    The MIJ version was certainly a air drumming moment back in the day as a very young individual. It also had a huge influence on myself eventually taking up playing the (tub thumping) drums.
    A major influence was Mr Ian Anderson Paice. Thank you indeed! Cheers.

  7. 7
    Alket Kellici says:

    for some reason grew out of it too. Once I got past that high school teenage age,I didn’t care much about that solo

  8. 8
    D'ablo Bicasso says:

    The highlight of the album.
    Well… Until the next song anyway
    🤘🤘💜

  9. 9
    Buttockss says:

    The Mule and Space Truckin are Paice’s Finest Moments on that live album😍

  10. 10
    N95 Mask says:

    Keep ritchie drunk and he won’t be moody….he will smile and be happy Ian.

  11. 11
    Dr. Bob says:

    If Ian Paice says that Ringo was an underrated rock drummer then I can’t argue with that anymore.

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