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2nd May 2012

Classic album: Deep Purple – Machine Head

Machine Head is a heavy rock milestone that should be in everyone’s collection.

Classic Album
Deep Purple
Machine Head
Released: 1972

Deep Purple’s 1972 album, Machine Head, is one of rock’s milestones, featuring some of the greatest work from the short-lived Mk.II line up. Legions of guitarists have driven the world mad practising ‘that’ riff, while the sheer musicianship and out of this world screaming from Ian Gillan inspired countless others, and arguably played a slight hand in the formation of metal (please be clear, I am not calling Deep Purple metal!).

Having already found success with Deep Purple In Rock, and to a lesser extent with Fireball, Purple had already established themselves amongst the other 70’s rock giants like Zeppelin and Sabbath. But their next album was to take them even further and cement their place in history. Having initially wanted to record at a renowned Montreux casino, with it’s now infamous owner Claude Nobs, plans quickly went out of the window as the casino was set alight during a Frank Zappa gig. Forced to move to a nearby Pavillion in a small village, it was hardly ideal circumstances for the, officially recognised, loudest band in the world to record.

However, these circumstances only strengthened the band and inspired the monumentally famous song ‘Smoke on the Water’ which tells the tale of this whole experience. And when an album has a riff like that, backed up by other timeless song like ‘Highway Star’ and ‘Lazy’ then you know you’ve got something special. Deep Purple didn’t pen these classics by accident, few bands can boast such masters of their craft in every department. I mean, Blackmore, Lord, Glover, Paice and Gillan – I’m sorry but that line-up is just too good for one band! With guitar and organ driven riffs, backed up by one of the greatest rhythm sections of all time, Machine Head is a heavy rock milestone that should be in everyone’s collection.

Deep Purple – Machine Head (full album)

Tom Ingham

Tom Ingham

Music Editor

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