Classic Rock Wiki

"Black Night" is a song by British hard rock band Deep Purple, first released as a single in June 1970 and later included on the 25th Anniversary version of their 1970 album, In Rock. The song became a hit following its release, peaking at No. 2 on UK charts, and to this day remains Deep Purple's highest charting UK single. It topped the charts in Switzerland, and is one of only two singles from the band to chart in Ireland, peaking at No. 4, thus making it the group's only Irish Top 10 hit. It was also the first single penned by the band.



  • 1 Writing process and recording
  • 2 Live performances
  • 3 Personnel
  • 4 Covers
  • 5 References
    • 5.1 Book references
  • 6 External links

Writing process and recording[edit][]

Once In Rock had been completed, EMI asked for a suitable single to be recorded to help promote the album. Though Roger Glover claims that Ricky Nelson's 1962 hard rocking arrangement of the George Gershwin song, "Summertime", was the basis for the Mk II Deep Purple single "Black Night",[1] it is also similar to Blues Magoos's 1966 psychedelic hit song "(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet".[2] In the BBC documentary Heavy Metal Britannia, keyboardist Jon Lord supports Glover's statement about the song's origin, stating "Black Night was nicked from the bass line in Ricky Nelson's Summertime" and then proceeds to play the bassline riff on his grand piano.[3]

Live performances[edit][]

"Black Night" made its way into the setlist soon after release, generally as the first encore. The song was not played in full after Ian Gillan and Roger Glover left the band in 1973, but snippets were often played by Ritchie Blackmore as part of his improvisations. On the reformation of Deep Purple in 1984 "Black Night" returned as part of the main set list. There are many versions of the song available on Deep Purple live albums.


  • Ian Gillan - vocals
  • Ritchie Blackmore - guitar
  • Roger Glover - bass
  • Jon Lord - organ
  • Ian Paice - drums


This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2015)
  • In 1982, Los Angeles female-fronted metal band Hellion recorded this song as the B-side of their "Driving Hard" single, which was released on Mystic Records in early 1983.
  • In 1982, post-punk group The Fall took to performing a medley integrating the song into their own composition "Cash 'n' Carry"; a recording of this was belatedly issued in 2002 on a reissue of Fall in a Hole.
  • Metallica played the intro during the encore of their shows in 1989.
  • Bruce Dickinson - B side of single: "Dive, Dive, Dive", recorded live in 1990. He and his band would perform it live during the Tattooed Millionaire tour.
  • In 1991, Vic Reeves covered the song on I Will Cure You album.
  • Bad Manners - ska version on their 1997 album Heavy Petting.
  • CJ Crew also covered this song for the Dancemania compilation series, but has a heavier sound to it.
  • A version also appears on 2005 Live DVD, Castles and Dreams by Blackmore's Night.
  • Pat Travers has recorded a version on his album P.T. Power Trio 2 in 2006.
  • The song is also recorded by the American death metal band Deicide on their 2006 album, The Stench of Redemption, though with rewritten lyrics.
  • In 2007, Finnish power metal band Twilight Guardians covered the song for their fourth and last album, Ghost Reborn, as a Japanese bonus track.

In addition, the song is played at the beginning of the French Movie Les Lyonnais ( A Gang Story ).