Fireball (song)

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Deep Purple
publication October 1971
length 3:25
Genre (s) Heavy metal , speed metal , hard rock
Author (s) Ritchie Blackmore , Ian Gillan , Roger Glover , Jon Lord , Ian Paice
Label Harvest (Europe)
Warner Bros. (USA, Japan)
album Fireball

Fireball (English for: 'Feuerball') is a song by the British hard rock band Deep Purple . The song was used as the opening track for the studio album of the same name Fireball and was also released as a single together with Demon's Eye .


Fireball reached number 15 in the British singles chart in 1971 . It is characterized by its fast, impulsive tempo achieved by means of double bass , which was almost unknown when it was released in 1971. Because of this style and the pattern of Ian Paice's drums, Fireball is considered a forerunner of speed metal and for heavy metal bands such as Judas Priest , Motörhead and Metallica . Ultimate Classic Rock magazine listed Fireball as # 4 in the Top 10 Deep Purple Songs .


Fireball was written on February 23, 1971 after a concert in Purley , in contrast to some of the other album titles that were previously written during the band's two-week stay on the north coast of Cornwall .

The song starts with the sound of the studio ventilation sounding barely three seconds, operated by Deep Purple's producer Martin Birch . Then the drummer Ian Paice's double bass intro opens the piece, which lacks a distinctive guitar solo, but is given a characteristic melody by Jon Lord's organ solo. The basics of Fireball , like Stormbringer later , are based on the riff of Speed ​​King . Ian Gillan's "driving and biting" vocals are another highlight of this song. In the final part of the piece, Ian Gillan plays the tambourine .

Fireball was played as an encore at Deep Purple's concerts in 1971 and 1972. Here a second bass drum was installed by a roadie so that Ian Paice had more power when he “hit it”. Fireball lost its place in the group's live repertoire at the latest after the "classic" Mark II line-up broke up in 1973 . Fireball was brought back into the live program in 1994 and served as the opener of the concerts during the Purpendicular Tour in 1996/97, after which it was again and again, for example in 2008/09/10, and again as the opener in 2012/13.

useful information

  • Fireball has a similar song structure or rhythm as the song Rock Star by the Canadian rock band Warpig from 1970, which also played several times in the opening act for Deep Purple.
  • On the "25th Anniversary Edition" from 1996, a 4:09-minute instrumental version under the title Fireball (Take 1 - Instrumental) was released on the studio album of the same name . A guitar solo by Ritchie Blackmore can be heard from the end of the original version at 3:30 .
  • When recording this track, Ian Paice opted for a double bass drum setup. With only one kick drum, he went into the studio next door and borrowed the kick drum from the band that had set up their equipment there. It turned out to be Keith Moon's kick drum when The Who used the studio next door to record Who's Next.

Cover version

  • In 1973 the Irish rock band Thin Lizzy produced an album under the name Funky Junction , which included covers of Deep Purple songs, including Fireball .
  • In 1994 Don Dokken and Reb Beach covered the song for the album Smoke on the Water - A Tribute to Deep Purple .
  • In 1995 Fireball appeared in Czech on Arakain's album Legendy .

Web link

Individual evidence

  1. Google Book Search: Camion Blanc: Riff story du hard rock au heavy metal
  2. ^ Andrew L. Cope, Black Sabbath and the Rise of Heavy Metal Music, p. 102
  3. Ultimate Classic Rock, Top 10 Deep Purple Songs
  4. Jürgen Roth and Michael Sailer: Deep Purple, the story of a band . Verlagsgruppe Koch GmbH / Hannibal, 2005. p. 146.
  5. Jürgen Roth and Michael Sailer: Deep Purple, the story of a band . Verlagsgruppe Koch GmbH / Hannibal, 2005. p. 150.
  6. AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia
  7. ^ Funky Junction - Play a Tribute to Deep Purple