As you can see I renamed October to ROCKTOBER- Throughout the month I shall be posting classic Rock songs and the stories behind them. Starting with Deep Purple’s “Child in Time”
It is the 3rd track on the a side of Deep Purple’s classic 1970 album “Deep Purple in Rock”
Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan has said that “Child in Time” is based on It’s a Beautiful Day’s psychedelic song “Bombay Calling”.
It’s a Beautiful Day in return borrowed Purple’s “Wring That Neck” and turned it into “Don and Dewey” on their second album Marrying Maiden (1970). The song started with organist Jon Lord playing “Bombay Calling”, which the band then re-arranged and changed the structure. Gillan had never heard the original song, and created lyrics about the Cold War to fit the music, later saying it “reflected the mood of the moment”. The band then worked out instrumental lines to accompany this.
With themes of war and inhumanity, the song is regarded as a heavy metal anthem and an example of art rock.
A staple of the Deep Purple live concerts in 1970–73 and later after their initial reunion tours of 1985 and 1987–88, the song was not featured regularly at concerts after 1995. It was re-added to the setlist for the band’s 2002 European tour, with its final appearance in Deep Purple’s live set was at Kharkiv’s Opera Theatre’s scene in March of that year.
A live version later appeared on the 1972 live album Made in Japan.
Ian Gillan said in an interview in 2002: “There are two sides to that song – the musical side and the lyrical side. On the musical side, there used to be this song ‘Bombay Calling’ by a band called It’s A Beautiful Day. It was fresh and original, when Jon was one day playing it on his keyboard. It sounded good, and we thought we’d play around with it, change it a bit and do something new keeping that as a base. But then, I had never heard the original ‘Bombay Calling.’ So we created this song using the Cold War as the theme, and wrote the lines ‘Sweet child in time, you’ll see the line.’ That’s how the lyrical side came in. Then, Jon had the keyboard parts ready and Ritchie had the guitar parts ready. The song basically reflected the mood of the moment, and that’s why it became so popular.”
Lars Ulrich of Metallica cites this as one of his favorite songs of all time. He says that when he was 9 years old, his father took him to a Deep Purple show, and it changed his life. “This is their most iconic moment,” he told Rolling Stone regarding the song. “I’ve heard it 92,000 times, and it never sounds anything less than great.”
I have to agree with Lars on this one.
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