Deep Purple started recording their Who Do We Think We Are in Rome in July 1972. At this point, the band had yet to tour Japan, but they had three shows scheduled there for August: two in Osaka followed by one at the Budokan arena in Tokyo. They concocted a song about a lovely lady from land they were about to visit to impress their Japanese fans.
Rome was sunny and relaxing, so the band spent a lot of time in the swimming pool in lieu of working. There was also a sound problem in the studio, and the only track they got out of those sessions was “Woman From Tokyo.” The rest of the album was done in Germany.
In 1973, this was issued as a single, achieving a modest chart position of #60 in America. It aged well and got a lot of airplay on AOR and Classic Rock radio stations, keeping it alive. The stretched out “Toe-Key-Oh” became a bit of an earworm and helped embed the song into many an auditory cortex.
On some compilations from the ’70s, this song is listed as “live,” which Roger Glover insists is a lie, since they never did the song live in that decade.
Always thought it might be a Yoko Ono reference: her and Lennon. A lot of folks back then couldn’t understand what he saw in her, maybe DP tried to explain it.
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