David Coverdale discussed Deep Purple’s 1974 hit “Burn,” saying in a new video (transcribed by UG):
“‘Burn’ is the best rock opener or closer you can imagine! That immediately caught people’s attention.
“I was such a new kid on the block [‘Burn’ was David’s first album with Purple, he was 22 at the time of recording] – I’d written like six different lyrics and laid them out on the piano; I’d been up all night, I think it was Montreux, Switzerland…
“And when I came in the studio the next day or whatever, they were all standing around, and of course Ritchie [Blackmore]’s favorite was the sci-fi lyric. One versino was called ‘The Road.’ You know… *sings ‘Burn’ chorus with different lyrics* ‘Take me down… the roooooadddddd…’, which always amused Jon Lord for years after, bless his heart.
“I couldn’t come up with anything for the sequence which became ‘You know we had no time…’, which is so Glenn [Hughes], he did a beautiful job on that. All soloists, Pacey [drummer Ian Paice] drives it… instane.
“So to go back and revisit stuff… certain things are etched in stone. You have to be faightful, and my musicians understood that.
“One of the problems we always have playing ‘Burn’ as Whitesnake is that Purple only had two front-line soloists with Jon on keyboards and Ritchie on guitar. And of course, Whitesnake’s a two-guitar band.
“So I’d sent Reb [Beach, guitar] a rough idea of what I thought it should be, trying keep it within context of the ’70s so it didn’t stick out like a sore thumb. This was a sequence for Reb and he came up with a far superior sequence. And then ultimately Joel [Hoekestra, guitar] joined [in 2014] and Reb generously moved that over to Joel. I love the new version of ‘Burn.'”