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|Song by Deep Purple from the album Machine Head|
|Recorded||6–21 December 1971
|Genre||Hard rock, heavy metal|
19:54 (Made in Japan version)
4:52 ("The 1997 Remixes" version)
Warner Bros. (US)
|Machine Head track listing|
"Space Truckin'" is a song by British hard rock band Deep Purple. It is the seventh and final track on the Machine Head album. Its lyrics talk of space travel and it showcases the vocal abilities of singer Ian Gillan and powerful drumming of Ian Paice.
When it was first performed live, the band appended an instrumental that was originally part of the song "Mandrake Root" on their first album but gradually evolved into a showcase for Jon Lord's Hammond organ and Ritchie Blackmore's guitar solos. This usually took the length of the overall song to over twenty minutes, and it was always performed as the last number of the main set. A good example of this arrangement can be found on the Made in Japan album, wherein Blackmore also quotes the "cello" solo of "Fools" off Fireball.
Jon Lord played his solo through a ring modulator or played some of it on an ARP synthesizer. Meanwhile, Ritchie Blackmore usually split the guitar solo into two halves, a quiet section with just drums, then a loud section with the full band. The second half was often when Blackmore would smash his guitar, play it with his feet or throw it into the air. One of the most infamous incidents where that happened was at the California Jam festival in 1974, where he dropped one guitar over the edge of the stage, smashed a second against a TV camera, then set his amplifier on fire, which then subsequently exploded.
When Deep Purple reformed in 1984, this extended arrangement was reworked, and later included snippets of other songs.
During the Man Of All Ages, the final part of the song, which originally featured much high-pitched screaming by Gillan (now 65), featured high-pitched guitar in the same key as his original vocals.
On the remastered version of their 1982 album Live in London, there is a 31-minute-long live version of the song. It consists of a lot of improvising from the band members and in one part of the song they play the main riff from "Child in Time".
In pop culture
- The intro was featured on the TV show WKRP in Cincinnati on the episode "The Airplane Show" (later issues of the episode replaced this track with generic music).
- The song is featured as a downloadable track for the Rock Band series of music video games as of 30 December 2008 and as a playable track in Guitar Hero: Van Halen.
- In the movie Lords of Dogtown, the main characters sneak into pools to skate while the song plays in the background.
- The song appeared in the documentary Warren Miller's Dynasty.
- Ian Gillan – vocals
- Ritchie Blackmore – guitar
- Roger Glover – bass guitar
- Jon Lord – keyboards
- Ian Paice – drums, percussion
- Dream Theater covered this and the whole Made in Japan album.
- Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One covered the song during their 2002 European tour, as seen on the Live on Earth DVD.
- American thrash metal band Overkill included a cover of the song on their 1999 album Coverkill.
- Serbian hard rock band Cactus Jack released a cover on their 2003 Deep Purple Tribute album.
- American industrial metal band Ministry include their version of the song in the all-covers album Cover Up.
- Tesla's version is the first track on their album Real to Reel.
- American thrash metal band Vengeance Rising covered the song on their 1990 album Once Dead.
- William Shatner covered the song on his album Seeking Major Tom.
- The song was available as a playable track in the 2009 music video game Guitar Hero: Van Halen.
- Iron Maiden's cover of this song appeared on the tribute album Re-Machined: A Tribute to Deep Purple's Machine Head, which was released in September 2012.
- Kraus covered this song in 2011.