I think that over the years, I always tended to discount “Hush” as inferior Deep Purple, not so much because it was a Top Ten single (after all, so was “Smoke on The Water,” and you’re damn straight I’m gonna write about that), but because it was made by the wrong Deep Purple.
After all, everybody knows that Deep Purple Mark I was decidedly inferior to Deep Purple Mark II.
Which might be demonstrably true, but unfair to “Hush,” which is a song that is clearly firing on all cylinders. And besides, if original Purple members Rod Evans and Nicky Simper are basically the earliest cogs in a great big machine, the engine of that machine was humming down the road just fine, singing “Na na na na, na na na na na na na.”
Said engine being Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Paice and Jon Lord, who are definitely the guys you notice. Blackmore fires off a memorable riff at the end of end of each “Na na na na, na na na na na na” and starts switching it up almost instantly; Ian Paice creates a surprisingly funky drumbeat; and Jon Lord fires off a brilliantly catchy organ solo, which goes longer than you’d expect but never loses your interest.
Add to that Joe South’s catchy melody and universal lyrics, and you have a song that still sounds great nearly 50 years later, and a definite harbinger of the glories to come. BTW, check out the video below, it’s pretty funny.
Original video for “Hush”
“Hush” performed live on Playboy After Dark in 1968