Mistreated (song)

"Mistreated" is a song by the British rock band Deep Purple taken from their 1974 album Burn. The song was written by the band's guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and new vocalist David Coverdale, who, along with new bassist Glenn Hughes, brought new blues and funk elements to the band.

At live performances Hughes would introduce "Mistreated" as a song that Blackmore had written a few years prior to Burn. The song had been considered for the band's earlier album Machine Head, but Ritchie held it back. When work on Burn started, Coverdale wrote the lyrics to "Mistreated", and it is the only song on Burn where he sings the lyrics entirely himself. In the booklet of the 30th Anniversary Edition of Burn, Coverdale commented on the recording of the vocals on "Mistreated":
"We recorded "Mistreated" from 11pm to 7:30 in the morning. I heard the first playbacks and thought it was terrible. It was so bad I just sat down and cried because I wanted it to be so good. Then the next night we had another session and I did it on the second take. It's like progressive blues. I wasn't raised in a shack by the railroad tracks but I've still had emotional hassles and that's the only kind of blues I can interpret. I tried very hard because I knew it was essential to get the strong emotive quality the song needs. The thing I wanted was for somebody listening to the song to think: 'I know what he's talking about' and get the feeling, then the song would be worth it. It's essentially a physical feeling. The reason it didn't come off straight away was simply that I was trying too hard."

The longest track on the album, the song shifts gear and builds to a climax, Blackmore launching into a rapid solo, with Coverdale and Hughes building a wall of multi-tracked backing vocals before the song's end.

The song stayed in the band's set-list until late 1975. After Deep Purple broke up in 1976, David Coverdale continued performing "Mistreated" with his band Whitesnake (which has also included former Purple-bandmates Jon Lord and Ian Paice) until the early 1980s and briefly again in 1997. Live versions of the song are featured on the band's albums Live at Hammersmith and the Heart of the City. Whitesnake re-recorded Mistreated for their 2015 album of Deep Purple covers, The Purple Album.

Blackmore also performed the song with his band Rainbow in the late 1970s and mid-90s. A live version can be heard on the group's albums On Stage, Live in Germany and Live in Munich 1977 with Ronnie James Dio on vocals. And, more recently, Hughes has rolled the song out at gigs with his latest band Black Country Communion.

Kirk Hammett of Metallica played the song as part of his guitar solo on the Live Shit: Binge & Purge DVD, recorded in San Diego in 1992 on the Wherever We May Roam Tour.


  • Ritchie Blackmoreguitar
  • David Coverdalelead vocals
  • Glenn Hughesbass, backing vocals
  • Jon Lordkeyboards
  • Ian Paicedrums, percussion