Deep Purple – Child In Time “You’d better close your eyes”
Possibly my favourite Deep Purple song, it used to be because of Lord’s organ playing and Gillan’s histrionic vocals. Listening to it for the first time in ages recently, what impressed me most was Paice’s drumming, and to an extent Glover’s bass playing – the rhythm of the song. Powerful strokes, but with a subtle touch that carry the listener through the extended organ, vocal and guitar solos, the steady bass hum that marks continuity even as the lead instruments burst forth in pitch and volume. Fortunately, Blackmore’s guitar isn’t that noticeable against the other instruments, apart from the solo towards the end, which I must admit is pretty spectacular.
When I think about the songs and groups that my friend and I used to listen to, a fair few of them were derived from Deep Purple – Rainbow, Whitesnake, Gillan. There was definitely a family of bands that pursued a similar sound. What was the appeal? Loud guitar rock. The lyrics didn’t really mean very much – they were just words to sing, and convey the feeling generated by the song. Even now, I was surprised to read that the opening lines don’t go as follows:
“Sweet Child in Time. You’ll see the light”
Of course, it makes more sense. But back then, lyrics were not as easy to get as they are now. Slurred, indistinct vocals meant that it was often a case of guesswork what was being sung.
Putting myself in the footsteps of the child I was back then is nigh on impossible – both I and my friend are effectively for me children lost in time, preserved as the scantly clear memories that survive.