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The story of Hush

Classic Rock has a piece titled The story of Hush, the song that blasted Deep Purple into the US charts and beyond, and it is exactly what it says on the cover. Complete with quotes from the man who at the time was living in the same general neigbourhood, albeit had very little to do with the actual original ’68 version — Roger Glover.

A racing pulse, shrieking organ fills, impossibly catchy chorus… Hush blasted out of speakers in the summer of 1968, taking the newly formed Deep Purple into the upper reaches of the US chart. First recorded by American country-soul singer Billy Joe Royal, who’d been gifted the song by his friend Joe South, Hush came to define early Purple in its mercurial fusion of psychedelic R&B and hard-nosed rock.

Purple’s Hush might not have happened at all, had it not been for Vanilla Fudge’s epic revamp of a Motown classic the previous year.

“Vanilla Fudge had covered a Supremes hit [You Keep Me Hangin’ On] and turned it into something else,” explains Purple bassist Roger Glover. “And that was such an inspiration. That’s what the band tried to do with Hush: put their own spin on it.”

Continue reading at Louder Sound.

6 Comments to “The story of Hush”:

  1. 1
    stoffer says:

    It is hard to believe that is from 1968, Jon’s keyboards in Hush are legendary!!

  2. 2
    Uwe Hornung says:

    By origin, it really is a country-gospel number.

    Funnily enough, I never really liked the melody of it, especially the nah-nah-nanah-part. But Jon’s organ solo and Nick’s propulsive bass playing set it apart, it’s certainly memorable and a lot of people like it to this day that are otherwise noncommittal about Purple.

    I sure can’t think of another hit song with as long (and wild) a Hammond solo!

    I could have imagined the Mk III line-up doing a cracker version of it, Glenn’s bass playing and the double-lead vocal attack of him and David, that would have been something. My favorite existing version is actually the pre-Concerto one with Ian Gillan that first came out on Powerhouse, Ian leans into some of his Elvis influences :


    Some honorary mentions:

    Kula Shaker – youthfully energetic:


    Gotthard – with the Maestro!


    Nasty Nick!


    The Black Crowes (cracker version!):


    It’s a credit to the original, uhum, “Deep Fudge” (or is it: “Vanilla Purple”?) arrangement that all later versions have basically followed it.

    Lest we forget, I was there, “Celebrating Rick Emerson”, with a lovely Airey/Wakeman duel, ALL TOGETHER NOW:


  3. 3
    Dr. Bob says:

    That was fun. I’d never heard the BJR version and the 1st time seeing any of these videos except for the last one. Does anyone know if the version in the official video with Gillan adding some harmonica is a live recording, or did they rerecord it in the studio?

  4. 4
    Uwe Hornung says:

    It was released with Nobody’s Perfect at the time, but it wasn’t a live gig recording, more a “live one take in the studio” thing.

    They never claimed it was live, but Roger revealed that they didn’t find it easy to get it down on tape. Initially, they wanted to treat it with a new arrangement, but nothing worked, so eventually they gave up on it and rerecorded the old arrangement.

    Roger was never satisfied how it turned out und it does sound a bit lackluster to my ears. To his chagrin, he couldn’t match Nick’s 60ies style “click bass” sound which he so admired on the original recording.

  5. 5
    MacGregor says:

    I don’t ever recall hearing that BJR version of Hush, that was the 60’s indeed. It often is the case that certain artists can do their own version of another song & it takes off. Always a pleasant experience to hear Hush from DP MK 1 & also a few different live versions during the early 70’s from MK 2. Cheers.

  6. 6
    GAVIN MOFFAT says:

    Hadn’t heard the original. Great that he sings it live.
    When it dips down to only the bass backing several times, it makes sense of … “hush” in a way Purples version doesn’t. It doesn’t have Jon’s stellar organ/organ solo however.

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