There are plenty of classic rock songs that share titles. One of those titles is “Gypsy” – a title used by 3 of the biggest heavy bands of the 70s. Songs about Gypsies tend to make for some interesting tales, and there’s loads of songs about Gypsies [be it in title or lyrics]. These tracks each tell a different Gypsy tale. Feel free to drop your 2 cents your take on some of these tales. I kept this list short and to the heaviest songs, so yes on – I am aware there are tracks titled “Gypsy” by Canadian band Abraham’s Children, The Moody Blues, and Fleetwood Mac, but they’re all pretty poppy or soft rock, so…
Anyway, let me know your favorites of these [in chronological order], and if you actually know of one I’ve missed. Feel free to leave comments and subscribe to my page.
Released in 1970, the first track on the debut album from British band Uriah Heep. A classic heavy pounding rocker, with fantastic organ intro, a memorable riff and wild organ solo. It’s a tale written by David Byron about a guy who is in love with a Gypsy girl, but can’t get past her father. The song would remain one of the band’s favorites and has always been a highlight of their live set over 50 years. *Also check out Iron Butterfly’s “Scion” from ’75.
Uriah Heep – Gypsy (Official Audio) – YouTube
Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come + After The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, he formed Kingdom Come, this track is from the band’s 3rd album titled Journey, released in ’73. It’s a pretty experimental album, featuring lots of lengthy progressive / rock pieces, and less vocals., as well as a drum machine. No idea what this one is about, not a lot of words, but a very ‘futuristic’ epic, clocking in at over 9 minutes. Gypsy – YouTube
From the same guy who did “The Twist”. This B-side [non-LP] single from 1973 is very different, pretty funky, an intro reminiscent of Hendrix “Fire”. Cool blues rockin’ guitar throughout this, fast and heavy bass & drums, a bit of organ, all building into one killer solo, and more for the last minute of playout. I’m curious who actually performed on this[?] Great tune – very heavy! Lyrically this Gypsy is about the one travelling from town to town, catching the trains; perhaps a bit of a stretch of tale of a travelling musician!? Kinda reminds me of Rare Earth stuff in the early ’70s, mixed with a Hendrix influence.
Cypsy (Bonus) – YouTube
From the band’s 1974 album Stormbringer. Cheating slightly as this contains ‘The’ in front…but oh well…. Great heavy rock tune from the David Coverdale era; love the mid section with a classic Ritchie Blackmore solo, and a fine blend of Coverdale’s and Glenn Hughes’ vocals. Not totally sure on what this is all about, as The Gypsy is who is visited and asked for a favor [with her crystal ball], perhaps from the perspective of an aging or dying man looking for more time or a spell[?] Anyone? Produced by the legendary Martin Birch [RIP].
Hughes would resurrect this song on the debut Voodoo Hill album [featuring guitarist Dario Mollo] in 2000, and Coverdale would re-do it on 2015’s The Purple Album, from Whitesnake.
The Gypsy – YouTube
Fresh Start + From 1974, Fresh Start featured guitarist Paul Frank, who had previously recorded with Head Over Heels [1 highly collectable album from ’71]. This album is a good bit of funk, and heavy rock. This one is about a guy wandering away from someone, perhaps a relationship, and wandering home. A great tune, only just over 3 minutes, but packed with 2 heavy guitar breaks. Co-penned by Paul Frank, singer Bill Pratt, and drummer Fred Allen. Following this album Pratt, Allen, and bass player Milo Martin would continue on [w/ others] as Fresh, and release a few more albums [albeit a bit softer, and Frank would still contributing to their songwriting. The guitarist would also turn up in Bruzer who released an album in ’82, featuring Vinny Appice on drums] Fresh Start – Gypsy – YouTube
I love Technical Ecstasy – one of my favorite Sabbath albums. This is one underrated Sabbath classic, a few changes in this one and a bit of keyboards, a bit of a psychedelic feel in places, kinda progressive, and a classic Tony Iommi guitar solo. Lyrically, the writer visits the Gypsy to have his fortune told and winds up in bed with her and under her spell… I think… Would’ve made for a better global single than the non-Ozzy sung “It’s Alright.”
Gypsy (2013 Remaster) – YouTube
From the outstanding debut from Ronnie James Dio’s band in ’83, after he left Black Sabbath. A classic line-up with Vinny Appice, Vivian Campbell, and Jimmy Bain [RIP]. A hard edged piece of 80s metal, with Dio’s angry sounding vocals, and Campbell’s distinctive guitar sound and fast solo. Like Sabbath’s Gypsy, Dio’s seems to be about being under the spell and/or attracted & attached to a nasty Gypsy woman. Love the original Dio band albums; much of the magic was lost IMO after Campbell left.
Gypsy – YouTube
KJJ, 08/’20 [re 04/’21 +]