“Strange Kind of Woman” is a song by British rock band Deep Purple that was originally released as a follow-up single after “Black Night” in early 1971. The song also became a hit, peaking at #8 on UK charts, the 1996 remix by Roger Glover later appeared on the re-release of their 1971 album Fireball, the original version can be found on various Deep Purple compilations. Although not part of the Fireball recording sessions, “Strange Kind of Woman” was included on the US and Canadian editions of the album, in lieu of the UK version’s track “Demon’s Eye”.
The B-side song, “I’m Alone”, was later released on The Deep Purple Singles A’s and B’s as well as the 25th-anniversary reissue of Fireball.
The song was originally called “Prostitute”. Vocalist Ian Gillan introduced the song on Deep Purple in Concert: “It was about a friend of ours who got mixed up with a very evil woman and it was a sad story. They got married in the end. And a few days after they got married, the lady died.” In Wordography’s section Gillan gives a slightly different version of the song’s history:
I loved her in a strange post-adolescent-pre-adult way, but then so did quite a lot of other people. She loved them too and gave them good return for their money. I failed miserably when I tried to break her from the habit…she said it wasn’t a habit, it was her life and what did I know anyway? I did get promoted from Wednesday morning trysts to Saturday evening dates (sort of). The fact is, this song is not about one woman…but a compilation of thrills and disappointments, and such a package can only be called Nancy. I grew up fast…the innocence died and, in the category…My Woman… all claims were relinquished.
When Deep Purple performed the song live, Gillan and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore would play a guitar-vocal duel in the middle. This would always end with an extremely long, high-pitched scream from Gillan before the band returned to playing the original song. An example can be heard on the live album Made In Japan recorded in 1972.
The song was covered by Serbian hard rock band Cactus Jack on their 2003 live/tribute album Deep Purple Tribute. It was also released by the Psychobilly band The Lucky Devils on their very first album Time Passes By in 2000.