Deep Purple – Hush

Deep Purple would change before too long to their most famous era of the band in the early seventies. Soon singer Rod Evans and bassist Nick Simper would be gone in 1969 and singer Ian Gillian and bassist Roger Glover would be in…and the most famous version of Deep Purple would last from 1969-1973 with reunions in the 80s and 90s.

This was written by Joe South and first recorded by the country singer Billy Joe Royal in 1967. Joe South was a prominent session musician and songwriter; some of his other compositions include “Games People Play” and “Rose Garden.” South also wrote “Down in the Boondocks” for Royal, which was a #9 US hit in 1965.

For Deep Purple, the song peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100 in 1968.

The Deep Purple version was included on their first album and recorded with the band’s original lineup, which didn’t include lead singer Ian Gillan, who joined in 1969, replacing Rod Evans. The song is a fan favorite, but Gillan kept it off the setlists when he was in the band since he wasn’t the original singer.

The band is still touring today without Ritchie Blackmore who quit and Jon Lord who died in 2012.

 

From Songfacts

After Royal released his version, “Hush” was quickly recorded by many artists in a variety of styles. The song is about a guy who is so crazy in love that he’ll drop everything if he thinks she might be calling his name. Royal’s recording has a definite country feel, while Deep Purple used a heavy rock sound.

Other artists to record the song include Jimmy Frey, The Rubes, Killdozer, Dan Baird, Gotthard and Thin Lizzy. Kula Shaker had the biggest UK hit with their cover going to #2 in 1997.

Joe South adapted the song from an old African American spiritual, which included the line: “Hush I thought I heard Jesus calling my name.”

It was a cohort of producer Joe Meek, Rod Freeman, who taught Deep Purple this song. Keyboardist Jon Lord recalled to Mojo magazine January 2009: “Initially we thought it’s a bit too disco, or whatever the word was then. But Ritchie (Blackmore) said it would work if we toughened it up a bit.”

This song has been in the following films: Apollo 11 (1996), Isn’t She Great (2000), Beyond the Sea (2004), Children of Men (2006). 

The UK Charlatans lifted the organ riff on their 1990 UK hit “The Only One I Know” from this song.

This was not a hit in Deep Purple’s native UK, though a re-recording made to celebrate their 20th anniversary reached a measly #62 in 1988.

In 1997 British band Kula Shaker’s cover of this song peaked at #2 in the UK, bettering Deep Purple’s chart position by 60 places. Kula Shaker’s version featured in the 1997 film I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Jon Lord (from Mojo magazine): “The whacka thing on the organ was something I started doing in (his previous band) The Artwoods. I played it almost like a set of conga drums. The rhythm of Hush is like a samba.”
When Steve Morse joined Deep Purple on guitar in 1994, he pushed to bring the song back to their live shows, which they did. “We have a big improv section in there and it’s just a great feel from beginning to end for me,” Morse said in our 2014 interview. “And the lyrics are not even lyrics. It’s just ‘Na nana na na na nananana.’ It’s the most basic tune in the world, but to me Deep Purple got on the map as a hard rock band from doing that version of ‘Hush.’ So I love that. And we stretch that out pretty far live.”

In the US, this was released on Tetragrammaton Records, which was co-owned by Bill Cosby.

 

 

Hush

Na na na na na na
Na na na na na na
I got a certain little girl she’s on my mind
No doubt about it she looks so fine
She’s the best girl that I ever had
Sometimes she’s gonna make me feel so bad

Na na na na na na
Na na na na na na
Hush, hush
I thought I heard her calling my name now
Hush, hush
She broke my heart but I love her just the same now
Hush, hush
Thought I heard her calling my name now
Hush, hush
I need her loving and I’m not to blame now

(Love, love) they got it early in the morning
(Love, love) they got it late in the evening
(Love, love) well, I want that, need it
(Love, love) oh, I gotta gotta have it

She’s got loving like quicksand
Only took one touch of her hand
To blow my mind and I’m in so deep
That I can’t eat and I can’t sleep

Na na na na na na
Na na na na na na
Listen hush, hush
Thought I heard her calling my name now
Hush, hush
She broke my heart but I love her just the same now
Hush, hush
Thought I heard her calling my name now
Hush, hush
I need her loving and I’m not to blame now

(Love, love) they got it early in the morning
(Love, love) they got it late in the evening
(Love, love) well, I want that, need it
(Love, love) oh, I gotta gotta have it

Na na na na na na
Na na na na na na
Na na na na na na

Author: badfinger20

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

11 thoughts on “Deep Purple – Hush”

    1. If they wouldn’t have changed singers I guess this would have been Deep Purple. I never thought it was Deep Purple until the 90s or sometime.
      You are right…those other bands would have covered it great.

      Liked by 1 person

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