"I'm picking this one just to annoy Ian Paice, who doesn’t like it": Ian Gillan's five favourite Deep Purple deep cuts

Ian Gillan studio portrait
(Image credit: Ben Wolf)

With the 50th anniversary edition of Deep Purple's Machine Head in the rearview mirror and new album =1 a few short corners away on the road ahead, we spoke to frontman Ian Gillan about his favourite Deep Purple songs that aren't the obvious ones.

=1 is released on July 19. The mainland European leg of Purple's One More Time tour kicks off in June, before North American shows with Yes begin in August. UK dates are scheduled for November. Get tickets.


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.”

Rapture Of The Deep (Rapture Of The Deep, 2005)

“I think Rapture is quite similar to a song like Pictures Of Home [from Machine Head]. It was a very good collaboration between Steve Morse and Don Airey. Rapture Of The Deep has a slight Oriental feel to it. The riff is great – and I think the words are pretty good too [laughs].”

Razzle Dazzle (Bananas, 2003)

“I’m picking this one just to annoy Ian Paice, who doesn’t like it. Me, I think it’s brilliant. But Ian comes from an entirely different perspective – sitting behind the drums.”

Into The Fire (In Rock, 1970)

Into The Fire has always been one of my all-time favourites that we did. I still love singing that one right to the present day. It’s a slice of pure, raucous, uninhibited rock’n’roll – albeit mid-tempo rock’n’roll.”

Lazy (Machine Head, 1972)

“I’m going to pick something from the album we’re here to talk about [Machine Head]… Let’s say Lazy. [When Classic Rock asks Ian whether he means the studio version, or the longer, looser take on Made In Japan, Gillan ponders the question for a moment and then with a smirk replies: “Both”.]

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’.