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Deep Purple - Mandrake Root

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Published on May 22, 2011

Of the four songs the band wrote themselves on the album, "Mandrake Root" is definitely the most known among the originals. It was written at the same time as "And the Address", in early December 1967. The song was originally penned as an instrumental, something which is very evident in the finished song, but the band felt that one track without singing was enough, so lyrics were added. The song opens with the sound-effects of grasshoppers flapping their wings and cars honking. Following is a guitar riff that bears a close resemblance to the Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Foxy Lady", released a year earlier. Then a groovy drum rhythm is added, during which two verses are sung by Rod Evans. After the vocal-parts, the song transforms into a heavy instrumental jam, that together with "Hush", comprise the heaviest playing on the album. These jam sections would typically be drastically extended when performed live, often reaching past the 20 minute mark, and sometimes even 30 minutes. "Mandrake Root" and "Hush" are the only two songs off this album that are still performed live by the band. Instrumental sections of "Mandrake Root" would later be added to live extended versions of the Mark II Deep Purple song "Space Truckin'," such as the version on Made in Japan (1973).

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