Deep Purple – Woman from Tokyo

This song is all about the riff…it is a memorable riff… The song has drive and suspense. Woman from Tokyo peaked at #60 in 1973. This is one of the group’s most popular songs, but they never liked it very much. They didn’t start playing it live until they re-formed in 1984 after their 1976 split.

Because of endless touring and fatigue, Ian Gillan gave a six-month notice and stated that he was leaving the band after fulfilling all of his commitments in 1973. The album Who “Do We Think We Are” was released in January of 1973. The release generated the hit single “Woman from Tokyo.” “Smoke on the Water” was also busy that year becoming Deep Purple’s biggest hit of all-time.

After lead singer Ian Gillian left Deep Purple in 1973 they had two other lead singers before reforming in 1984…and they were David Coverdale and Joe Lynn Turner.

From Songfacts

Deep Purple started recording their Who Do We Think We Are in Rome in July 1972. At this point, the band had yet to tour Japan, but they had three shows scheduled there for August: two in Osaka followed by one at the Budokan arena in Tokyo. Drawing on Japanese imagery (“the rising sun,” “an Eastern dream”), they concocted a story of a lovely lady from that country who drives them wild.

Rome was sunny and relaxing, so the band spent a lot of time in the swimming pool in lieu of working. There was also a sound problem in the studio, and the only track they got out of those sessions was “Woman From Tokyo.” The rest of the album was done in Germany.

In 1973, this was issued as a single, achieving a modest chart position of #60 in America. It aged well and got a lot of airplay on AOR and Classic Rock radio stations, keeping it alive. The stretched out “Toe-Key-Oh” became a bit of an earworm and helped embed the song into many an auditory cortex.

On some compilations from the ’70s, this song is listed as “live,” which Roger Glover insists is a lie, since they never did the song live in that decade.

Woman from Tokyo

Fly into the rising sun
Faces, smiling everyone
Yeah, she is a whole new tradition
I feel it in my heart

My woman from Tokyo
She makes me see
My woman from Tokyo
She’s so good to me

Talk about her like a Queen
Dancing in a Eastern Dream
Yeah, she makes me feel like a river
That carries me away

My woman from Tokyo
She makes me see
My woman from Tokyo
She’s so good to me

But I’m at home and I just don’t belong 

So far away from the garden we love
She is what moves in the soul of a dove
Soon I shall see just how black was my night
When we’re alone in Her City of light

Rising from the neon gloom
Shining like a crazy moon
Yeah, she turns me on like a fire
I get high

My woman from Tokyo
She makes me see
My woman from Tokyo
She’s so good to me

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

13 thoughts on “Deep Purple – Woman from Tokyo”

  1. long a staple on FM “classic rock” stations! Odd, I hardly ever hear “Smoke on the water” anymore – man, that was a radio “pigeon” (everywhere you went, it was there!) back when I was a kid.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. One of the first three albums I bought for myself (along with Sabbath’s Master of Reality and Yes’ Fragile). The cover does not work well. It is supposed to be an aerial shot of landscape plus clouds with the band floating away, but it looks like a seascape. I think the single omitted the solto part. Really its the only good song on the album. Of all three albums only Fragile gets played here.
    Between 74 and 75, it was Glenn Hughes and David Coverdale, with Tommy Bolin doing a verse (and the bass on Coming Home) when Blackmore quit.
    It was when the had reformed, and sacked Gillan (I think he turned up to a band meeting drunk and dressed only in a bin bag) and got Blackmore’s Rainbow singer Joe Lynn Turner in for an album in 1990. They then got rid of him and Gillan returned. And Blackmore quit.
    In 1980 Purple’s original singer Rod Evans was persuaded to do a tour under the name of Deep Purple with some session guys. The real purple sued and he was stripped of his royalties for the first three albums, which was a bit harsh.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes Rod Evans sang on “Hush” I believe. That was harsh I agree.
      Tommy Bolin also joined the James Gang which was not a good fit.
      The version of Deep Purple I like is this lineup with Gillan and Glover…Mach II is what I think this version is called.
      I have seen some recent tours on youtube with Gillan cannot believe they still tour.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Recent albums are good lyrically, but there’s no excitement. Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs and Kansas) took over from Blackmore. He is a fabulous player but the only things I’ve enjoyed from him recentlyish is with Flying Colors. I’ve a number of bootlegs where Purple let him fly in a so-so number called Fools. He does a central section which starts of very slow and soft then really builds up, often with runs up and down the register. Curiously it reminds me of Handel.
    I think Rod Evans is happy, he has a medical practise somewhere in America.
    Hush of course is by Joe South and Kula Shaker ripped off Purple’s version shamelessly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Flying Colors…I’ve heard a few things by them…Mike Portnoy plays drums for them I believe. I like his drumming. I’ve seen him in a few tribute bands as well…He did a great job with a Who tribute band but said it wore him out playing like Keith.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mike also drums for Neal Morse (no relation to Steve) who’s also in Flying Colors. Morse is a born again Christian (Portnoy’s Jewish) and has done a number of religious albums that would be fantastic if I couldn’t understand English. They prepare by choosing a song they like and covering it. Look out for Morse Portnoy George Covertocover and Cover2cover. I think I wrote about some of there songs in one of my 4*demoted posts. Lido Shuffle and a completely blitzed out Pleasant Valley Sunday are my favourites.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Their, their, their, their, their, their, their, their, their, their.
        Writing it out 10 times is so much easier with copy and paste.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I will look out for it thanks. Portney also played with “Winery Dogs”… they did a good cover of “Fooled Around and Feel in Love”


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: