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Best opening tracks

A discussion in our forum prompted this question: what are the best Deep Purple album opening tracks? A good opening track sets the tone and the mood for the whole album. Think about yourself bringing a new album home, putting it in a CD player / turntable, turning the volume all the way to 11 and listening to it for the very first time.

Think about the tracks impressed you right away and the album didn’t disappoint. Tracks that impressed you, but the rest of the album was disappointing after that. Tracks that disappointed you, but later you came to realise that it does fit the album.

Think about it and tell us your opinion.

  • You can select up to 10 best opening tracks (we’ll be generous this time 😉 ).
  • Everybody is allowed to vote only once.
  • To vote, you need Javascript and cookies enabled in your browser.
  • Poll closes on September 17 at 23:59 UTC.

Thanks to Jim Collins for the idea.

What are the best album opening tracks?

  • Highway star (15%, 992 Votes)
  • Burn (14%, 914 Votes)
  • Speed king (10%, 658 Votes)
  • Fireball (10%, 645 Votes)
  • Knocking at your back door (8%, 553 Votes)
  • The battle rages on (7%, 463 Votes)
  • Vavoom: Ted the Mechanic (6%, 419 Votes)
  • Stormbringer (5%, 329 Votes)
  • House of pain (5%, 310 Votes)
  • Woman from Tokyo (4%, 292 Votes)
  • Bad attitude (3%, 233 Votes)
  • Comin' home (3%, 210 Votes)
  • Money talks (3%, 179 Votes)
  • Any fule kno that (2%, 126 Votes)
  • King of dreams (2%, 113 Votes)
  • And the address (2%, 111 Votes)
  • Chasing shadows (1%, 88 Votes)
  • Listen, learn, read on (1%, 58 Votes)

Total Voters: 6,693

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88 Comments to “Best opening tracks”:

  1. 1
    Ulf says:

    Burn is the best for me, followed by Speed King and Highway Star. The fast ones, you see 🙂

    The Battle Rages On must be mentionned, too. I usually “skip” all the other tracks of the album.

  2. 2
    alexander says:

    We have got a problem without Ritchie and Jon. Sorry Don and Steve…

  3. 3
    Nick Soveiko says:

    Ulf: i think you’re missing the point. it you like TBRO, but skip the other tracks on the album, it’s a BAD *opening* track — it’s not representative of the album, but rather deceptive.

  4. 4
    Klaus says:

    Speed King is unique, starts with noise, flows into kindness to jump into live
    at last. Blackmore and Lord are not duelling, they speak together.

  5. 5
    Ulf says:

    Ok, then it’s a bad opening track because I like it 🙂

    I see your point, though.

  6. 6
    Markus says:

    there are really some good opening tracks for an album, and I agree with Ulf regarding the rating (if we consider the Highway Star version from Made in Japan).
    Additionally I must mention that there is only one opening track for the live set, and this is Highway Star. I would appreciate to see a show starting with it.

  7. 7
    paolobud says:

    well…all tracks are superb…but i think chasing shadows is an important song for deep purple!! i don’t like burn studio version..i love money talks from the last album..and comin home from come taste…i hope one day deep purple plays all the songs here live!!!!thanx

  8. 8
    massimiliano says:

    well…I’ve always loved fast and heavy tracks as openers, so I’ d say Burn, Speed King, and I think even Coming Home would sound fine… BUT… once you’ ve heard Highway Star as opener, no way, that’s the one! I’ ve seen the guys live some 7 or 8 times, and the first two gigs still had Higway Star at the beginning, it was sometime around 1986. Fast, heavy, much louder than now, it used to go straight to your guts!

  9. 9
    Chris Sigman says:

    In my most humble of opinions, A Deep Purple track is better than pretty much anyone elses. Whiles its obvious that I will have my person favorites, the one thing that I will always rely on is that any given DP albumns do not dissappoint…ever
    What I do know for sure is that if I was responsible for putting together the global “best rock n roll songs EVER” album, Highway Star would be number one with a bullet.

  10. 10
    AndreA says:

    I think that highwayStar is the only one that can rap me….it is a historical intro that could be not replaced with other pieces.

    i love seeing DP on current tours but it is a pity listens this song foward to the ending of the show

    ps please,usually i write here on THS and often i ask to my self if the readers catch my dirty english 🙂
    cheers

  11. 11
    Cranberry says:

    Ted the Mechanic………………..Good opener, signifies out with the ‘old’ in with the ‘new’!!

  12. 12
    panos says:

    fireball is the best opening track for all concerts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    solo of ian paice is very powerful!

  13. 13
    ponzo says:

    they are all good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!hahahaah

  14. 14
    micke says:

    Burn because it was the first… but speed king and Highway star are great too. As most dp openers..

  15. 15
    ormandy says:

    They ARE all good, what an impressive list of tunes! No other band has that many great openers.

  16. 16
    purple robe says:

    The Battle Rages On is imo not only the best opening track but the album is totally out of this world… a true Purple album! Time To Kill is an instant classic!

  17. 17
    Mark Bee says:

    Anything from the Coverdale days is as bad as Bogus Deep Purple featuring Rod Evans. Comin’ Home is one of the worst songs ever.

  18. 18
    Karl-Heinz says:

    I love the smashing sound of “Coming Home” – in my eyes the best opener. Hear it loud!!!

    Tommy’s Bassplaying here is fantastic (yeah, on Coming Home plays Tommy bass, not Glenn, because he missed the sessions for this very song….)…

    “Coming Home” is my vote, although DP always had very good opening tracks (Speed King, Chasing Shadows, TBRO) in the pre-Morse aera.

  19. 19
    Peter N. says:

    Burn is the best opener, because it is a perfect track for a perfect album. Highway Star and Speed King come close behind. Perfect Strangers could have been perfect in the same way as Burn if they had changed the places of KAYB and Perfect Strangers. Never understand why Perfect Strangers opened the second side from Perfect Strangers and not the first.

  20. 20
    PATRICK says:

    the battle rages on is my personal fav album of all time.. it really just sets u up and gets you ready for a very strong album … yes u can feel the tension but .. that tension is what made the album out of this world , i wish they would have made one more! and i agree with KARL HIENZ comin home is KILLER ! “groovin to american bandstand BB on stage with lucille” !!!!

    BUT HEY i love house of blue light 2 🙂 bad attitude is kick ass

  21. 21
    KRIS says:

    MARK II – HIGHWAY STAR, SPEED KING
    MARK III – BURN
    MARK IV – COMING HOME
    MARK VII – TED THE MECHANIC
    MARK VIII – HOUSE OF PAIN

  22. 22
    PATRICK says:

    oh hey i forgot highway star IS and should be the opener dammit pictures is great but highway star-classic

    i can hear gillan sayin now ‘this might be our opener for some time”

  23. 23
    George says:

    so, Hey Cisco (from the Purpendicular) is one of the greatest and suitable one for opening both show or album

  24. 24
    ormandy says:

    You are right on the money Patrick. TBRO & HOBL are great Purple albums.

  25. 25
    Chrissy says:

    Highway Star is the ultimate opening track on a DP album coming close second is Speed King from In Rock(the version with the maniacal guitar intro)

  26. 26
    Roberto says:

    Fireballl is the best opener:fast and heavy with a very difficult intro from Ian Paice(i’m a drummer).Highway star probably is the best but i think it’s fundamental to begin very well(so fireball) but is essential to end in an historical way( so highway star).everyone will be satisfied.
    think about it.

  27. 27
    steve stewart says:

    always thought intro to knocking on your back door was great while announcing a pro basketball team unto the court

  28. 28
    Eric says:

    Way back in 1970 I heard speed king as the opener for In Rock. The superb intro from Ritchie left it’s marks on me untill this day. So this is the best opener ever. Second best are burn and highway star, especially as the openening tracks for the live albums.

  29. 29
    True Believer says:

    Ted The Mechanic…Steve Morse ushers in the new era with string picking madness that gets the shiver running up ones spine.

  30. 30
    T says:

    “And the Address” is an interesting opener for the entire group’s history, as Jon begins with the gentle rumbles of pulling out the Hammond’s tone bars, one at a time at first, then goes into that giant crescendo, announcing: “We’re here.”

    We Amerians were gyped out of the giant barrage known as the “Speed King Intro” since we got the edited version on “In Rock”. But the long European version with the exploding craziness followed by Jon’s gentle touch… *That’s* probably the strongest opening track.

    Opening tracks have only been “good” of late…nothing that really smacks you Straight Between the Eyes. Best Morse-era? “Ted” of course. Although his name was not Ted…and he wasn’t a mechanic. Tom the Plumber, perhaps?

  31. 31
    alfredo+ says:

    1. HIGHWAY STAR The best opening for an album, and the best track of DP
    2. SPEED KING smaching, trashing, speeding
    3. BURN the best dueling blackmore & lord EVER
    4. FIREBALL yess!! glourius double bass drums by paicey
    5. the battles rages on The last best 80’s 90’s 00’s

  32. 32
    Héctor de San Martín says:

    I vote for “Highway Star”, but I´m not feel fine, because “And the Adress”, “Chasing Shadows”, “Speed King”, “Fireball”, “Woman from Tokyo”, “Burn” and “Stormbringer” are various of my favourites songs.
    From Buenos Aires, Argentina.

  33. 33
    alf+ says:

    and the worst opening LP isss KING OF DREAMS
    and the worst LP is SLAVES & MASTERS
    and the WORST singer LP is JOE LYN TURNER
    and the worst PERSON in LP is RITCHIE BLACKMORE (But the best musician)

  34. 34
    Phil says:

    There should be a poll for best intros to an opening song. This would narrow it down to just 2. Speed King & Highway star. Now you have your winner(s)
    Cheers

  35. 35
    George says:

    I really like listening to the Burn album the title track says it all , it’s just so damn good. Ritchie was really playing great guitar back then.
    Also Comin ` Home from Come & Taste The Band is very powerfull opener! Who could every forget the powerfull drumming from Cozy,Dio’s vocals , Ritchie’s guitar, Bain’s heavy bass, Tarot Woman from Rainow Rising is a killler opening track!

  36. 36
    KLEBER says:

    HIGHWAY STAR IS THE BEST OPENING.
    I LIKED THE BATTLE RAGES ON TOO.

  37. 37
    Russ says:

    Am I missing something? Those percentages total more than 100%

  38. 38
    massimiliano says:

    Russ it’ s because you can vote more than one single song !

  39. 39
    George says:

    I had bought Slaves & Master’s & it was just terrible . I then bought The House of Blue Light & that’s more what i had in mind , i expected Slaves to be like that. So my first introduction of Purple in the 80`s was Bad Attitude which was quite a good opener. How about Death Alley Driver the opener from Rainbow’s Straight Between The Eyes , now that’s a powerfull opening song!

  40. 40
    Michael Huck says:

    I’ll stick with the 70s: Speed King – what the hell of an opener! Fireball – little Ian on double-bass-drums!!! Burn – one of my all time favourites! Stormbringer – this one grooves like sh.. (and is way underrated)! Comin’ Home – Tommy Bolin rocks!!!
    Next would be Knocking At Your Back Door – it was an impressive comeback. Money Talks – the Lord is gone, long lives Don. Bad Attitude suffered from production. Any Fule Kno That was the wrong choice as an opener – but I love the heavy “Abandon”-sound – the album rocks!!!

  41. 41
    Andy Worthington says:

    Cranberry and True, I’m with you Ted T M opened the door to a new era it made you want to hear what comes next and how new that could sound by the band we all love.

  42. 42
    AndreA says:

    yes. also Comin’Home is great:TommyB. rules with his sound!! heavy beggining and great guitar solo on this song

  43. 43
    Seven 47 says:

    Knocking At Your Back Door, classic track for the re-birth of the greatest band ever!

  44. 44
    giacomo says:

    highway star is the best live opener… greaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!!!!!!!!!!!!! the best album opener is sped king & knocking at your backdoor

    bye!

  45. 45
    deep lavender says:

    Just listened to “Bananas” yesterday on a little roadtrip. Reinforced my opinion “House of Pain” as the ultmate opener. I had to keep a close eye on my speed…..the driving riff of that song could make a car accelerate on its own. (followed closely by Highway Star).
    One of the many things that has made Purple a great band is they always have great opening songs on both their albums and concerts.

  46. 46
    Russ says:

    I realize you can vote for more than one track. But the percentages should total no more than 100%.

  47. 47
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Strangeways anyone?
    The Unwritten law?
    Twist in the tale?
    Mandrake root!!!!!!!

  48. 48
    Russ says:

    Those are not opening tracks.

  49. 49
    Ulf says:

    quote: “I realize you can vote for more than one track. But the percentages should total no more than 100%.”

    That’s totally normal. Right now,65 % of the participants voted for Highway Star. But since you have 10 votes, many of those may have voted for Burn or other songs also. If you have multiple votes, the total cannot be 100!

  50. 50
    Rascal says:

    Kinda makes the percentages analysis shit then doesnt it?

  51. 51
    Mr Jone says:

    I think I’d say Fireball. Great song.

    BUT, I must say, that despite releasing good albums, none of them has ever had a truly good sound.

    The last two sound like they’re recorded inside a smarties-tube. The sound is cack awful. Fire that producer, and get some one else(Bob Rock would be great!) Not to mention Perfect Strangers…the drums and the guitarsound makes me think of a bad, mean and heavy hangover. Soundwise, almost anything from the seventies is shite. They should re-record them, but keep the original vocal tracks. Neither Ian or David could possibly redo their work nowadays.

    Purpendicular is the best sounding one though, and the best album.

  52. 52
    PATRICK says:

    man your insane ! inside a smarties tube ? lol almost anything from the 70’s is shit ??

    although i do feel they need to fire bradford b/c rodger can do a WHOLE LOT better

    give me some of what ur smokin mr jone

  53. 53
    rabid dog says:

    the unplugged flight of the bumble bee wings it for me.

  54. 54
    Mr Jone says:

    I am actually sober, ha ha! I need to stress that I did not say the seventies stuff was shit, but I think the seventies SOUND is shit.

    And yes, Bananas an Rapture sounds….er..I just hate the sound of them. It’s too boxy, and dead sounding.

  55. 55
    True Believer says:

    Yes, Rapture’s sound quality is below par….I thought it was my CD player…It also takes ages to load.

  56. 56
    PATRICK says:

    oh im sorry !!!! but they sound really hardcore to me.. that hammond was a beast ! and like u cant get that sound anymore ! probably not even with rodger producing 🙂

  57. 57
    martin correa says:

    Vavoom ted the mechanic is,for me,the best opening song,because,it represents the mayor part of the album and because it’s necessary that kind of song to open an album,FULL OF ENERGY

  58. 58
    T says:

    Run even a home keyboard with a rock organ setting through a Marshall amp and it sounds pretty close!

  59. 59
    renzo says:

    Hey mates, it’s just a joke, I propose to vote the worst DP song ever. To me is Hungry Daze!! (But also Dead or Alive is very bad!)l
    Long live DP!

  60. 60
    Snoopster says:

    Burn, Fireball, Highway Star, Ted the Mechanic, House of Pain

  61. 61
    Rascal says:

    Worst DP song…………………..’Fire In The Basement’…………..

  62. 62
    Jyrki Jämsén says:

    Great songs like Cry Free and Not Responsible were not included on albums but on the last two albums there are A LOT of bad songs. I´m worried that the bar is much lower nowadays. I also agree that the sound on Bananas and Rapture Of The Deep is bad.

  63. 63
    n.i.b. says:

    mmh…I never heard The Book of The Taliesyn, Deep Purple (mk1), and Slaves and Masters (except King of Dreams), but I also think that the worst Purple song is….. Hungry Daze from Perfect Strangers…

  64. 64
    Kev says:

    Bit disappointed Knocking At Your Back Door has got more votes than (say) Ted. More to do with who’s in the band than the quality of the music perhaps?

    Also: Clouds and Rain 🙂

  65. 65
    AndreA says:

    I guessed that from opening song people have changed the discussion on all others dp songs..ahahah….very difficult to choose the better,the best among all the pieces (I remain for highwaystar)

  66. 66
    TruthHurts says:

    Re: sound quality on the last few LPs – they were recorded on cheaper digital systems like ADAT and Protools – that’s why they sound bad. Analogue reel to reel multi-track and and a proper console: that’s what you need to make a great sounding record.

    Re: best openers – no arguments with Highway Star, Burn, etc. but sad to see JLT and MK V getting a bashing again. To me “King Of Dreams” was the most dramatic album opener for DP since the ’70s, the whole album is excellent, and JLT a fantastic singer, songwriter and frontman for Deep Purple.

  67. 67
    deep lavender says:

    Truth Hurts is absolutely right. ProTools and other digital editing systems are what have caused the decline in music quality over the last decade or so. Nothing beats a reel-to-reel. Maybe next record, DP should get a mobile studio again, with “…a few red lights, and a few old beds…..”
    I would like to see DP open the next album with their own version of “Hang Me Out To Dry”. It’d be hard to beat the version with Leslie West, but I’d still like to hear it.

  68. 68
    Shawn says:

    Highway Star is the best opening track EVER!!!!!

  69. 69
    Swill says:

    Who voted for Street of Dreams? This was a DP release in name only. Hold On, Ritchie’s most hated tune, is better than this one!

  70. 70
    PATRICK says:

    i love the deep rainbow stuff ! dont get me wrong its not my fav album ….. but dam ritchie’s playing was fantastic …

    plus i was about like … 9 years old WHEN IT CAME OUT ! and a can still remember my dad playing it .. then i remember going to the record store and picking up TBRO and i was hooked from there 🙂 !!!

  71. 71
    T says:

    When you look at “Slaves & Masters” objectively, you will see some of Purple’s finest playing–period. If you’re not a Turner fan, fine…but listen to the music. You might be missing out. The whole band were on fire.

    “The Battle Rages On” is similar in that regard. Gillan comes in, wipes the vocals and puts his own on. He wasn’t *as* involved, and as a result it sounds strained–the worst reunion-era album–until you look behind it and only listen to the *playing*.

    “Deep Rainbow”? I guess we have Purple Sabbath now. Or Dregs Purple. Was Mark II Purple Episode (or worse–Deep Six!)? That’s silly. “Slaves & Masters” was just as much a DP album as any other. Just another shade of Deep Purple.

  72. 72
    kasper kjærsgaard says:

    A band have to progress, it would be damn right stoopid, if DP kept re-recording albums like “In Rock, Fireball, Machine Head”! There would for certain be no Purple anymore!

    All right, in my ‘umble opinion “Slaves & Masters” was the bottom! It sucked! But there have been as many great “Steve Morse period” DP numbers as there have been Blackmore numbers that was above the average.

    Admitted, Blackmore was a genius, sometimes, but he was not a god above others!

    Best opener? Highway Star!

  73. 73
    purplepriest1965 says:

    “Fire in the basement “and “Dead or alive” are classics!!!!!!!
    Slaves and masters had, like HOBL, great songs on it, but they still had their minds in the wrong place : they tried to adapt to 80’s shit with synths, drumcomputers and so on…….
    “The battle rages On” has lots of greatness too……

    About reworking Gillan songs as a DP one
    I love “A dollar late,and a dollar short” from Gillan’s Inn!!!!! My hero has sucked bigtime over the last 20 years, but on this album he’s back with a vengeance!!!

  74. 74
    XL says:

    Burn is the best opening song. Second is Fireball And third is Knockin at your back door.

    Keep on rockin hard 🙂
    XL

  75. 75
    Bo says:

    Burn is the best ever, but Fireball, Highway Star and Speed King are vey close to Burn – but that Blackmore riff – nobody is like hime GREAT!!!.
    Also one of the best ever with Morse ,”House of Pain” is a great one, so I join the pack of Purple fans wating it hard, fast and with great riffs. So Purple when they are best.
    Do I need to say that for a concert – even with Gillan – Burn should be THE opener if not Pouse of Pain. Just see Whitesnakes concertt DVD.

  76. 76
    T says:

    I have been saying for a long time that “Burn” needs to be done–even if just as an instrumental. I would *love* to hear a Morse/Airey version. It *would* make a great concert opening (you know the crowd would go “Bananas”), but even though I think Gillan could put his own into it–he would never do it. We’ll have to leave it to Glenn & David in their respective bands.

  77. 77
    Andy says:

    Highway Star,Woman from Tokyo,Knocking at you back door,The battle rages on,Ted the Mechanic are the best opening songs played ever.
    Especially the live versions of this songs.I like to hear Purple when they are playing these songs or any songs in concert.They are amazing.Keep on rockin’ chaps!

  78. 78
    TruthHurts says:

    Am I the only one that thinks that “Bad Attitude” was a great opening track and a great Ian Gillan performance?

  79. 79
    T says:

    Noooo…absolutely not. I’ve always started my “Reunion Era” CDs with “Bad Attitude.” Great performance from Gillan…and how about Lord at the end? It still gives me chills when I hear it.

  80. 80
    deep lavender says:

    The boys in DP have always sold themselves short on “House Of Blue Light”. Maybe it was the tension in the band during the recording of it that makes them hate it, but to the fan who just puts the CD in to listen to it, “HOBL” is one of their finest albums, and “Bad Attitude” is the only song that could’ve opened it.
    Not only Lord at the end; how about Lord at the very beginning?…..that organ sounds like what you’d hear walking in to the cathedral of hard rock!

  81. 81
    Ovidio says:

    Highway star è incredibile!!

  82. 82
    T says:

    Deep Lavender: *good point*. “The House of Blue Light” and “Who Do We Think We Are” have something in common: They are underrated because the band were going through a time and kept downgrading those two albums because of BAD MEMORIES–*not* bad music! But if a band keeps telling us how rotten they were, people start to believe it.

    Neither of these albums were bad–especially “Who Do We Think We Are?” As for “House,” how can you put down “Bad Attitude,” “Unwritten Law” (“Chasing Shadows” anyone?) “Mad Dog,” “Spanish Archer,” “Black and White” and “Mitzi Dupree” with some of Blackmore’s finest work–and it was a DEMO that he refused to polish. Really, only “Hard Lovin’ Woman” needed to go.

    I think “Spanish Archer” was a modern/experimental direction that Ritchie wanted to go and was at loggerheads with Gillan who wanted a more traditional blues-based approach.

    Yeah, you can’t judge an album by how much fun–or not–a band had doing it.

  83. 83
    david says:

    me gustan todos los temas de deep purple y se me hace imposible encontar un tema en especial pero me kedo con burn y speed king y obviamente highway star simplemente expectacular!!!!!!!!!!!!

    saludos a todos los perpulianosss

  84. 84
    Jyrki Jämsén says:

    It is nice to see that there are people who like House Of Blue Light. My favorites are Black And White, Unwritten Law and Bad Attitude. I also think that Ian Gillan´s performance on that record might be his best ever.

  85. 85
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I am not so sure about that.
    Gillan sounds like a weak bird on that one.
    But, like Who do we…I think it’s an underrated album full of great songs, but played WRONG : synths, drumcomputers.
    I said it when it came out and I was right : they should not have tried adapting to those terrible 80’s.
    I can’t stand Call opf the wild though. I hated Mad Dog too, but I kinda grew into it. But still, man…those fucking synhs while you have the master of Hammond in your band. How STUPID can a genius(DP) become? same problem with the title track of Perfect Strangers. The only thing to hold it back from a classis is that awful synth solo. Yes, live they corrected that.
    Who made these stupid and terrible decisions to overrule the GREAT HAMMOND SOUND and playiing extra long versions live? Was it only Gillan? Who said in those days (Quote) : these are the 80’s and peole will get bored with long solo’s….
    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! You ……, it’s one of the essences of the DP sound……….

  86. 86
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Maybe a idea for another thread but……….
    The best openin for a show?
    What about THE BEST TAPE BEFORE THE BEGINNING?
    RAINBOW once had agreat one, with tracks like Fire from Arthur Brown and so on………..
    Wow, that did set the mood !!!!
    Those days are gone?
    Sob sob……..

  87. 87
    Roberto says:

    ‘Money talks’ ‘king of dreams’ ‘Bad attitude’ chasing shadows’ are the worst among these…the rest is pure gold…

  88. 88
    Rasmus Heide says:

    A Simple Song – it hits you somewhere Purple haven’t hit you before.

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