Highway Star (6:43)

Cover of Live At Rotterdam Ahoy - Disc 1 -

From Live At Rotterdam Ahoy - Disc 1 - and 95 other releases

Highway Star is one of Deep Purple’s most famous songs. It is characterized by a long classically-inspired guitar solo and organ solo. Organist Jon Lord claimed that the organ solo is based on a Bach-like sequence. The song appears on the album Machine Head and is the fastest song (tempo-wise) recorded on the album.

The structure of the song consists of a 35 second guitar introduction, before the band launches into the thumping opening riff, which soon leads into the first vocals section (0:55). The first two verses are sung, then Jon Lord begins his organ solo (2:14). The organ solo lasts for about a minute, then Ian Gillan sings the third verse of the song (3:24). At the conclusion of the third verse, the guitar solo starts (3:45), and lasts for just under a minute and twenty seconds. Then, the fourth and final verse, which in the original recording is simply a repetition of the first verse, is sung, finishing around 6:10. Depending on the version, there may be a 15 second-long exit section before the end of the song. When the song is played live, Gillan has been known to improvise its lyrics, as seen in the official video for the song.

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