“I love to play it myself”: The Deep Purple riff Brian May thinks is “one of the biggest and best of all time”

Deep Purple are due to release a brand new album this July, titled =1.

[L-R] Ritchie Blackmore and Brian May

Credit: Getty Images

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Queen’s Brian May believes Deep Purple’s 1970 single, Black Night, contains “one of the biggest and best” guitar riffs of all time.

The track was originally released in June 1970 and was later included on the 25th Anniversary edition of the band’s studio album, Deep Purple In Rock, which was first released that same year.

Deep Purple are due to put out a brand new album this July, titled =1. It marks their first full-length release since their 2021 covers album, Turning To Crime, and their first body of original music since 2020’s Whoosh!

But while we wait for new material from Deep Purple to come our way, Black Night remains a firm favourite for May. In the new print issue of Classic Rock, May states, “I grew up alongside those guys, and I’m a big fan. For me, it’s hard to beat Black Night. What an enormous riff – one of the biggest and best of all time. I love to play it myself, and I’ve played it on stage with the guys.

“Playing off Paicey, one of the most monumental drummers in music, is quite something. He has that signature shuffle that not many people can do well. Being on stage with him, and locking into that, was one of the most memorable moments of my career.”

He concludes, “Black Night has got the best drum break in the world… [Brian imitates it, laughing]… that always makes me smile.”

In 2022, Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse departed the band after 28 years to care for his wife who was battling cancer. She sadly passed away in February 2024. Since his exit from the group, Simon McBride has filled in on guitar.

=1 lands on 19 July. View all upcoming tour dates for Deep Purple.

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