Deep Purple has released a cover of Huey “Piano” Smith‘s classic 1957 tune “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu” as the third single from their upcoming studio album, Turning to Crime, which arrives this Friday, November 26.
The track is available now via digital formats, while an animated music video for the tune has debuted at the earMUSIC label’s official YouTube channel. The clip tells the fantastical story of the rise and fall of a piano that plays music by itself.
As previously reported, Turning to Crime is the first Deep Purple album made up entirely of songs originally recorded by other artists. The band made the album remotely during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Regarding why the band chose to record “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu,” Deep Purple keyboardist Don Airey explains, “I’m supposed to say it’s a song I always wanted to do since I was a child, but at the same time it was quite new to me. I didn’t know the original very well, but I knew Professor Longhair‘s version, which is the one that inspired my arrangement.”
He adds, “I just love the whole thing, that style of piano playing…Very, very hard to replicate. It was a bit of a challenge. And when it came back from the other members of the band with all this other music on it, I just thought: ‘Wow, that worked out. What an insane arrangement!’”
Probably the best-known version of “Rockin’ Pneumonia” is the one by Johnny Rivers, which hit #6 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1973.
Turning to Crime also includes covers of Fleetwood Mac‘s “Oh Well,” Bob Dylan‘s “Watching the River Flow,” Cream‘s “White Room” and more.
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