Yngwie Malmsteen Tackles Deep Purple's "Highway Star" in the Eighties — Listen

by Guitar World Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2014 at 5:58pm

We admit this one is random — completely inspired by Yngwie Malmsteen's action-packed visit to Guitar World HQ last week. Check out Malmsteen's high-energy instrumental cover of Deep Purple's "Highway Star" from the mid-Eighties.

The track originally appeared on a release called I Surrender: Odyssey Tour Rehearsals.

"Highway Star" relentlessly charges ahead like the car it was written about, taking no prisoners. Malmsteen takes the heaviness of the 1972 original and injects it with his unmistakable sense of drama and theatrics.

Of course, the original guitar solo was performed by one of Malmsteen's biggest six-string influences, one Ritchie Blackmore.

“I wrote that out note for note about a week before we recorded it,” Blackmore said. “And that is one of the only times I have ever done that. I wanted it to sound like someone driving in a fast car, for it to be one of those songs you would listen to while speeding. And I wanted a very definite Bach sound, which is why I wrote it out—and why I played those very rigid arpeggios across that very familiar Bach progression—Dm, Gm, Cmaj, Amaj. I believe that I was the first person to do that so obviously on the guitar, and I believe that that’s why it stood out and why people have enjoyed it so much.

“[Keyboardist] Jon Lord worked his part out to mine. Initially, I was going to play my solo over the chords he had planned out. But I couldn’t get off on them, so I made up my own chords and we left the spot for him to write a melody. The keyboard solo is quite a bit more difficult than mine because of all those 16th notes."

Check out Malmsteen's version of the song below — and don't forget his rendition of "Smoke on the Water"!


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