"The five of us wrote that song together in the castle’s crypt… it felt magical": Glenn Hughes' six favourite Deep Purple songs

Glenn Hughes studio portrait
(Image credit: Joby Sessions/Bass Guitar Magazine)

Despite being a member of the band for just three years, Glenn Hughes' legacy with Deep Purple is almost as great as that of the man he replaced, longstanding (and current) bassist Roger Glover. 

This isn't just because of what he brought to the band – new ideas, soul and that voice – but because of the way he's curated that legacy ever since, regularly taking his Classic Deep Purple Live show on the road, spreading the word to old fans and new. In fact, he's doing it right now in Europe, with US shows to follow in September.

These are Glenn Hughes' six favourite Deep Purple songs. 


Burn (Burn, 1974)

“We were at Clearwell Castle when Ritchie said: ‘We should write song called Burn.’ He had the idea of the title already. The five of us wrote that song together in the Castle’s crypt in the key of ‘G’; Jon’s Bach instrumental, inserting the riff… it felt magical. Burn is such a great, dramatic rock track. It stops, starts, turns around, and there’s the Bach influence and vocal harmonies. It was completely different to anything that Deep Purple had ever done before. It ticked all the boxes of those that questioned whether the new line-up could work.”

You Can’t Do It Right (With The One You Love) (Stormbringer, 1974)

“Ritchie was probably thinking about leaving even before we started making Stormbringer, so he didn’t arrive with a lot of material. Jon, David and I wrote some songs that were quite different for Purple – very different, in fact. This one was a great vehicle for David and I to do our vocal duet thing.

Love Don’t Mean A Thing (Stormbringer, 1974)

“Ritchie later referred to our songs as ‘shoeshine music’, but it’s important for me to state that he played so well on them. I do know that Ritchie wanted Mk III of Purple to be a different genre than Mk II, so whether or not Stormbringer was shoeshine music, well… I guess he got his wish. And by the way, the band played so well on these particular songs.”

Sail Away (Burn, 1974)

“We were still at Clearwell Castle, and it may have been the second or third song for the album. For me, having been in Trapeze, I very much identified with the song’s sense of groove. To this day I still love singing and playing it.”

This Time Around/ Owed To A ‘G’ (Come Taste The Band, 1975)

“For Come Taste The Band, my brother Tommy Bolin had replaced Ritchie. Jon and I wrote This Time Around alone in the studio in the early hours of the morning. Jon was playing this really cool movement and I started to sing along. I had no idea of the lyrics, they just tumbled out. The song wrote itself in half an hour. We got Martin [Birch, producer] out of bed to make a demo, and the following day we recorded it. My beautiful moment with Jon which led to the song is something I will cherish forever.”

Gettin’ Tighter (Come Taste The Band, 1975)

Come Taste The Band was written at my home. Tommy was living with me at the time. We took it to the rest of the guys and they loved it. I still play it as a homage to Tommy. In fact it’s the only one of my legacy songs with Purple that I have played at every concert since December 4, 1976 [the date on which Tommy Bolin died of a heroin overdose at just 25 years old].”

The 50th anniversary deluxe edition of Deep Purple's Machine Head is out now.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.