[hand] [face]
The Original Deep Purple Web Pages
The Highway Star

Pure, raucous, and uninhibited

Ian Gillan provided his top 5 favourite Purple tracks to Louder Sound:

Mary Long (Who Do We Think We Are, 1973)

“I’d like to point out that I’m choosing these songs spontaneously, they could all change tomorrow. I like Mary Long because nobody had written a song like that before. [The name Mary Long was a composite of the ‘moral crusaders’ Mary Whitehouse and Lord Longford, who were particularly active in the 60s and 70s. Its opening lines were: ‘Mary Long is a hypocrite/She does all the things that she tells us not to do’.] I was twenty-something years old and full of opinions.”

Read more in Louder Sound.

19 Comments to “Pure, raucous, and uninhibited”:

  1. 1
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Mary Long was musically brilliant and lyrically a riot! Always one of my fave Mk II tracks.

  2. 2
    Gregster says:


    I’m glad that some newer tunes were mentioned too by Ian, as certainly Rapture of the Deep is a new-classic of some-sorts. Razzle dazzle is maybe an unusual selection, but there’s no denying the addictive hook either.

    And of course, there’s just so many more awesome tunes that spring from the Steve Morse era, that the list is almost endless…Really, really good tunes.

    No doubt “=1” will have a few too.

    Peace !

  3. 3
    AndreA says:

    I Love Mary Long ♡

  4. 4
    Friedhelm says:

    Maybe I’m standing alone but Mary Long for me always was the weakest track on WDYTWA. As was Into the Fire on In Rock. Which of course doesn’t mean that they are bad songs. On the other hand: With Rapture, Razzle Dazzle and Lazy I’m completely on Ian’s side.

  5. 5
    Wiktor says:

    No song from Gillans favourite 70.s album Fireball…
    Mary Long is a good tune.. and the lyrivs fine although they dont mean that much to me cos I didnt grow up in England..
    the lyrics on Smoothdancer are more of interest to me..

    but hey…thats just me!

  6. 6
    Max says:

    Razzle Dazzle … an all time fave of mine and youknowwhoyouare! 😉

    Apart from being a fun tune that always puts a smile on my face I always thought the lyrics – especially those of the “bridge” – are interesting if not full of wisdom. So spot on here.

    Mary Long and Rapture of the Deep are also very well crafted in the lyrics department I think, ROTD is a deep track anyway and it is a pity it doen’t get played in the shows anymore. Could easily take the place of Anya any other night.

  7. 7
    Attila says:

    Well, it is what it is. News bullshit. Razzledazzle. Come on.

  8. 8
    Attila says:

    Seriously, one of the greatest rock singers.
    Why talk about a teenager audience?
    I am no beginner. I saw the best in history bullshit around the house of blue light.
    Do not consider yourselves just a rock star.

  9. 9
    David N says:

    “Mary Long IS a great song.”
    In 1984 or ’85 here in the states we had our own “Mary Long.” A congressional caucaus of witches waged war on the record companies. They were led by Tipper(Mary Long)Gore and her husband Al(Lord Longford)Gore. These people were upset about a Prince song that was sexually suggestive. They wanted the record companies to put warning labels on all explicit records. The hearings should still be available on Youtube. The highlight being the exchange between Dee Snider and Al(Lord Longford)Gore. Priceless.

  10. 10
    MacGregor says:

    @ 9 – Isn’t that episode & many other things the reason that Frank Zappa challenged congress, something like that from my memory. Good on Frank & such a pity he left too early. Those zealots would have loved that. Only the good die young. RIP FZ

  11. 11
    Uwe Hornung says:

    We even have a Purple Family nominee, “Trashed” by Black Sabbath was on the list of baddie and youth-corrupting songs at the time (“Filthy Fifteen”) too

    https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-lists/pmrcs-filthy-15-where-are-they-now-60601/ ,

    painstakingly compiled by the Desperate Housewives of Washington D.C. – for allegedly inciting to drink and drive. Greater honor has never been bestowed upon Bjg Ian, the lyrics maestro!

    And of course Auntie Roberta’s gentle ballad ditty about the pleasures of (not only) oral sex here:


    “Wrapped tight around me like a second flesh hot skin
    Cling to my body as the ecstasy begins

    Your wild vibrations got me shooting from the hip
    Crazed and insatiable let rip

    And eat me alive
    Eat me alive

    Sounds like an animal panting to the beat
    Groan in the pleasure zone and gasping from the heat

    Gut-wrenching frenzy that deranges every joint
    I’m gonna force you at gun point

    To eat me alive
    Eat me alive

    Bound to deliver as you give and I collect
    Squealing in passion as the rod of steel injects

    Lunge to the maximum spread-eagled to the wall
    You’re well equipped to take it all

    So eat me alive
    Eat me alive

    Eat me alive
    Eat me alive“

    Alas!, the West Midland poet in question could have shed some light on the fact that Eat Me Alive was not geared towards converting Tipper Gore’s daughters to any lewd acts – or anyone’s daughter for that matter (sly pun intended!).

    That would have been fun, Rob Halford in full gay biker regalia injecting some insight into the committee (and Madam Gore especially) where the “rod of steel” was to really eventually go (“spread-eagled to the wall, you’re well equipped to take it all”).🤣

  12. 12
    Leon Mark Rodziewicz says:

    Good picks but surprised (nay shocked) nothing from Fireball.

  13. 13
    Uwe Hornung says:

    No Burn (the song) either which a drummer friend of mine once complimented as “the most hilarious mix of traditional swing and
    back then still fledgling heavy metal rudiments & rolls imaginable, something only Paice could have come up with and incredibly difficult to replicate”.

    But I believe that Little Ian subconsciously restricted his choice to Mk II, VII + VIII material, ie stuff he identifies with the other Ian and Roger.

  14. 14
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Mighty Ian is the only person ON EARTH who writes songs about battleship camouflage painting.


    And his quip “a real fine line between an orgy of destruction (like on Branson’s racetrack —> Trashed) and a wonderful time” makes me crack up every time I hear it.

    Cunning linguist 24/7.

  15. 15
    MacGregor says:

    @ 14 – talking of camouflage musicians. Jethro Tull bassist Jeffrey Hammond- Hammond in all his ‘regalia’. Cheers.


  16. 16
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Oh yes, an iconic sartorial ensemble that was!


    Never at the time would I have believed that Hammond’s bass lines were all written/played out to him by Barre and/or the keyboarders, he just didn’t have the skill or interest for that. I wouldn’t have thought that you could last ten seconds in a band like JT like that – with its complex music and ambitious arrangements. He always wanted to be a painter and that is what he eventually became – a successful one too. And he was apparently very reliable – something Anderson apparently rated highly as he had second thoughts about Glascock’s (otherwise beloved by the band both as a person and a musician as well as a superior bassist) more wild lifestyle (reminiscent of Glenn Cornick, Hammond’s gifted predecessor), especially considering Glascock’s heart condition. Control and supervision of the musical situation was always high on Herr Anderson’s agenda.

  17. 17
    MacGregor says:

    Ian Anderson had a no drug, booze & shenanigans policy in Tull & rightly so. Some musicians couldn’t handle the strict discipline in certain aspects from what I have read. Not that I am suggesting Hammond left for that reason. There are occasionally certain musicians who dabble in rock ‘n roll for a while then move onto something totally different in their lives & apparently he was a painter before Tull. Hammond was certainly involved with some of their most popular records & the live playing would have been a blast for him no doubt. Maybe the stricter discipline in Tull had wained a little by the later 70’s, as John Glascock did appear to be a bohemian sort of fellow in that aspect. Cheers.

  18. 18
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Hammond left against Anderson’s wish – he simply wanted to devote more time to his art, you can’t paint when you’re on tour.


    He never wanted to be a bassist in a rock band, but got talked into it because erverybody loved him as a person. He was in for the ride, but knew it couldn’t last forever for him. His departure had nothing to do with drugs or his playing.

  19. 19
    MacGregor says:

    Glenn Cornick & John Glascock were shown the door out of Tull because of the hedonism etc. Must have been something with certain bass guitarists back then. Drummers would never indulge in anything like that. Well not Jethro Tull drummers, a Saintly position it is. Cheers.

Add a comment:

Preview no longer available -- once you press Post, that's it. All comments are subject to moderation policy.

||||Unauthorized copying, while sometimes necessary, is never as good as the real thing
© 1993-2024 The Highway Star and contributors
Posts, Calendar and Comments RSS feeds for The Highway Star