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Dancing in an Eastern Dream

Ultimate Classic Rock has a story of the making of Woman From Tokyo:

One of Deep Purple’s best songs came out of one of their worst times.

The band was in disarray while recording “Woman From Tokyo,” which arrived in March 1973 as the lead single from Deep Purple’s seventh studio album, Who Do We Think We Are. “We had burned out,” keyboardist Jon Lord told this writer during the Mk II reunion tour in 1984. “We were working non-stop — recording, touring, recording, touring – no down time, no rest. It was just a treadmill, and it was wearing us down.

“We should have taken time off,” Lord added, “but management told us we couldn’t.” Instead, they gathered to start work on Who Do We Think We Are in July 1972 in Italy just seven months after recording the landmark Machine Head – and less than four months after its release.

Continue reading in Ultimate Classic Rock.

Thanks to Gary Poronovich for the heads-up.

18 Comments to “Dancing in an Eastern Dream”:

  1. 1
    MacGregor says:

    I noticed this article yesterday & I have been thinking of WDWTWA lately & whether it will receive any 50th anniversary accolades or not. Not being considered an ‘iconic’ album by many it may not reach that status. It probably could be listed as the album that flew under the radar or the album that didn’t live up to expectations. Not from me though, bring it on media outlets. Superb song Woman from Tokyo, one of my favourites & a quality recording to boot. Cheers.

  2. 2
    Gregster says:

    Yo, good article imo, & worth the read, – especially since followed down below is a list of pretty-good albums that I reckon I have over 50% of lol ! And then that’s followed at the near endless listing of records, by other DP articles, recent & past, so check-it-out !

    Peace !

  3. 3
    James Gemmell says:

    Gillan told me Ritchie didn’t like that song, but I think it’s great. Gillan emotes so well on this song and Jon Lord goes off on the keys.

  4. 4
    Peter J says:

    I wish they’d play Woman from Tokyo rather than Space this year… Roger shines on that song !

  5. 5
    Rajaseudun Rampe says:

    WDWTWA 50 years this year! I remember well the time the album was released. To my ears it sounded a whole lot different than the three previous ones. I liked it a lot, though. It was well understood at that time that topping MH was a mission impossible. After 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, 50 years, I still like it a lot. It is not a bad album at all. I would say it is underrated. It is much better than its reputation.

  6. 6
    Eitablepanties says:

    @4, Ian can’t hit high notes any more.

  7. 7
    Fernando Azevedo says:

    One of rock’s most underrated albums. In addition to Woman From Tokyo, other wonderful songs are on WDWTWA: Rat Bat Blue, Place in Line (it would be great to hear this blues in concert), Smooth Dancer and Mary Long, my favorite from the album. Martin Birch’s production is also very good.

  8. 8
    Nino says:

    Although it’s often called a failed album, I don’t know people who listen to Deep Purple and don’t like WDWTWA. I think the main problem was that after three completely innovative albums, it didn’t offer something radically new, but I never understood why Deep Purple was demanded for something that wasn’t demanded of other bands – no one is able to give out novelty over the course of 4 albums in 4 years, trends in one genre do not change so quickly, and the transition to another direction is simply opportunism and nothing more.

  9. 9
    Gregster says:

    @8…All of the 1970’s Mk-II studio albums loosely followed an album formula, where each record had “only” 7-tracks…And though they didn’t necessarily follow any particular order, the opening track was generally “the big one”, with some “rock-steady” tunes following, a “shuffle” in there somewhere, typically something “prog-like” too & generally a more obvious “blues” number thrown in for good measure to complete the package !

    Tunes like “Child in Time”, ” The Mule”, “Lazy” & “Place in Line” were the extended long-play tunes, with the side that only had 3-tunes on it. ( These were mostly found on side-2 with the exception of “In Rock” ).

    WDWTWA was regretfully the last diamond to be cut from that mark at the time, following those general guide-lines. The issue isn’t with the album, it’s a remarkable & awesome effort imo, but “Made in Japan” was released before it, to WDWTWA’s detriment. ( Even “Burn” & “CTTB” is dwarfed by “MIJ”…( Only MIE comes close imo)).

    If only a version of say “Super Trouper” found its way on “MIJ”, “WDWTWA” would be far more appreciated. I love it !

    When played along side the other early studio releases, it holds-its-own, just as well as the others do.

    Peace !

  10. 10
    Gareth says:

    A really good album . Band should definitely had taken time of and and maybe Ian wouldn’t have left .
    Any chance of an official release of Lyon ’73 concert which is rumoured to be somewhere in the Radio Luxembourg archives .
    There is a recording out there but poor quality and background hissing doesn’t do it justice.
    Hail Purple

  11. 11
    Tommy says:

    I’ve always liked Martin Birch’s ballsy production on this album. Favorite tracks for me are Rat Bat Blue, Place in Line, and Black Suede.

  12. 12
    Uwe Hornung says:

    It always has been a good album. It’s just no longer hungry or daring or setting out to prove something. Befitting Purple’s status at the time, it is saturated, relaxed and even a bit decadent – a bit like Stormbringer in fact. None of which makes it a bad album, I in fact like a lot of albums born out of 70ies decadence. It’s Purple at the height of their professional powers executing music well and not being too worried about who else might like it.

    The whole album has a bit of an Abbey Road feel to me which wasn’t the shabbiest Beatles album either.

  13. 13
    Rock Voorne says:

    Its always something to talk about.
    What did certain people say or not?

    Lord was seen as a gentlemen , full of integrity.

    I see that differently.

    He was honest about how they ditched Evans and Simper.

    Didnt he also say about the demise of MK2 :
    ” It was the biggest shame in rock and rock and roll. We we were writing so well.”

    Sounds different from Gillans whining in 1976 that the band stagnated or something like that. Also sounds different from the alleged quotes above.

    So what it is guys? Make up your minds.

    To me, WDTWA was always one of my favourites and stupidly ignored on stage, like when a blind man cries.

    You know that your heroes can be full of shit dismissing a song like that or the whole Made In Europe.

  14. 14
    Gregster says:

    @8 Rock said…

    qt. ” It’s always something to talk about…
    What did certain people say or not ?…. So what is it guys ?… Make up your minds “…

    LOL ! The Mk-II boys themselves don’t know specifically, & each has a different answer to many different questions when asked…But what we can do, is assess & group the similarities, & / or common responses between them…

    So on the basis that “it” is referring as to why the Mk-II line-up broke-up, the answer by general consensus, is that they were over-worked, & needed a break. And when you’re over-worked, you become quick-to-temper, say things you don’t really mean, talk behind peoples back, & then rumors start, & the rumors grow & spread really quickly, & the rumor eventually passes into legend…

    Ian Gillan handed in his resignation, & no-one approached him about it, or tried to change his decision.

    Behind the scenes, & to keep RB on-board, it was decided to let-go of RG too.

    Business is business, & back then in the early 1970’s, most bands were lucky to last 2-years, & we were up to year 5 with DP in 1973, & counting…

    *A good example that parallels DP’s early career is the Leslie West & Felix Pappalardi creation of “Mountain”, that also went through numerous line-up changes in their short time together along side Mk-II…And that included a super phenomenal 2-year & 3-record stint as “West, Bruce & Laing” whilst being book-ended with 4- Mountain studio releases & a couple of live albums LOL !

    That said, at least we got another 8-9 years of MK-II once again, along with 3-more studio albums & a couple of live one’s too in the 1980’s to early 1990’s !

    Peace !

  15. 15
    Rock Voorne says:

    It sounded good, the too many toursargument but GILLAN toured his ass off with his own band…

    During reunionyears they were also very much on the road, so……it must have been those fresh towels and sheets Lord talked about, without these he preferred to stay home and lay down his feet on the pre warmed floor.
    And after having played loads of oldies never played before and new songs it became a mainly MK2 setlist, how progressive….

  16. 16
    Kidpurple says:

    Love WDWTWA – – Woman From Tokyo
    Wife’s favorite Purple Song – that says it all!

  17. 17
    Gregster says:

    @15…You may be right there Rock…I only just finished listening to 1996’s “Live at the Olympia”, & wow, what a great gig…

    With Steve & the new album out, the band were certainly on fire with this live album, with them mining “In Rock” & “Fireball” mostly of the older material, with a fair-share of new tunes too. Very high-energy show throughout, especially Ian Paice’s performance imo.

    The fresh towels would have been needed after this show, that’s for sure…And it contains quite a good version, if not the best live recorded version of “My woman from Tokyo” available.

    Peace !

  18. 18
    Rock Voorne says:

    I must admit rarely playing Morse era music,sorry, so i dont remember.

    I just liked the adding of less known oldies combined with the best of Purpendicular and ABANDON at live Open Air in Germany 98, we were burning in the sun omg, and I often spoke out they(sic)should have put a triple tribute live album incl. the Lord/Morse era era, from Bloodsucker and The Purpendicular waltz to 7th Heaven…. et all.

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