Ian Paice: The Origin Of Progressive Metal

“Burn” from Burn

If you’re not familiar with Ian Paice’s incredible drumming and Ritchie Blackmore’s ability to craft an unforgettable guitar riff, this song should clue you in. “Burn” kicks butt and blends Deep Purple’s progressive rock leanings with their metal influences.

Paice’s blistering single-stroke assault propels this tune much like Pierre Van der Linden did in “Hocus Pocus” by the Dutch prog band Focus (but fortunately without all the yodeling and whistling). You’ll need to warm up and get a triple shot of espresso before attempting this one.

“We were down in a place in Wales, and the guys were running a part of the song that would become ’Burn,’” Paice remembers. “They were going over and over it, and I was bored stiff. And as they did it one more time I just started to solo under the chords they were playing — staying in time but totally ignoring what they were doing. And they all stopped and said, ’That was great. That’s what it needed. Do it again.’”

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“Fireball” from Fireball

Want to improve your feet? Put your double pedal in a closet until you can play the intro to “Fireball.” This tune has another blistering Ian Paice drum intro that helped establish him as one of the best drummers in rock.

<.p>This fast intro would challenge any drummer to play, let alone create, which makes it even more amazing that this track chronicles the very first time Paice had ever experimented with two bass drums. “The song had basically been written, and I knew what I was trying to achieve with the drum intro,” Paice explains. “Being a one-bass-drum player, I was trying to find ways of simulating what would happen with two bass drums. I initially started by trying to play all the notes of that double-bass-drum pattern with just my left foot. I could just about get the speed, but I couldn’t get any power to make it sound convincing.

“Luckily for us, the night before, The Who had been recording in the same studio, and Keith Moon’s kit was still there — the roadies hadn’t taken it away. So I took one of his bass drums out of the case and stuck it next to mine, and for the first time ever I just played the pattern with the two kicks. That gave the power and the feel to set the song up. It’s not a difficult part, but it’s a great part for that song.”

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