Machine Head is the sixth studio album released by English rock band "Deep Purple". It was recorded through December 1971 in Montreux, Switzerland, and released in March 1972.
Machine Head is often cited as influential in the development of the heavy metal music genre. It is Deep Purple's most successful recording, topping the charts in several countries following its release. The album reached #1 in the UK, where it stayed for 20 weeks in the top-40. It also reached #7 in the US, remaining on the Billboard 200 for 118 weeks.
Deep Purple's iconic album "Machine Head" holds a special place in the world of rock music history. Released in March 1972, this sixth studio album by the English rock band propelled them to the pinnacle of success and solidified their status as one of the pioneers of heavy metal. While the album was universally acclaimed, it was the Italian release of the Gatefold 12" Vinyl LP that truly captivated fans and collectors alike.
Recorded in December 1971 at the Montreux Casino in Montreux, Switzerland, "Machine Head" showcased Deep Purple's raw energy and virtuosic musicianship. The album featured the talents of vocalist Ian Gillan, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, keyboardist Jon Lord, bassist Roger Glover, and drummer Ian Paice. Serving as the sound and recording engineers were Martin Birch and Jemery "Bear" Gee, while the Rolling Stones Mobile Unit was employed to capture the electrifying performances.
The Italian release of "Machine Head" featured a distinctive Gatefold 12" Vinyl LP format. This design added a touch of elegance and sophistication to the album, elevating the overall listening experience. The cover art, created by John Coletta (1932-2008), depicted a steam locomotive bursting through a brick wall, symbolizing the power and momentum of Deep Purple's music.
The album opens with the exhilarating "Highway Star", a hard-hitting track driven by Blackmore's blazing guitar solos and Gillan's soaring vocals. The catchy and blues-infused "Maybe I'm a Leo" follows, showcasing the band's versatility and tight musicianship. "Pictures of Home" delves into progressive rock territory, blending intricate arrangements with powerful riffs.
One of the most iconic tracks on "Machine Head" is "Smoke on the Water". Its memorable guitar riff has become legendary, instantly recognizable to music fans across generations. The song recounts a real-life event when the Montreux Casino caught fire during a Frank Zappa concert, inspiring Deep Purple to immortalize the incident in their lyrics. "Smoke on the Water" remains a staple of rock music, a timeless anthem that continues to captivate audiences.
"Never Before" adds a touch of melodic rock to the album, while "Lazy" showcases the band's ability to explore extended instrumental passages. The album concludes with the epic "Space Truckin'", a high-energy track that features powerful interplay between all band members and demonstrates their remarkable musicianship.
"Machine Head" quickly rose to the top of the charts worldwide. In the United Kingdom, it claimed the coveted #1 spot, where it remained for an impressive 20 weeks in the top 40. The album also achieved considerable success in the United States, reaching #7 on the Billboard 200 and staying on the chart for an astounding 118 weeks.
Deep Purple's "Machine Head" Italian release Gatefold 12" Vinyl LP album not only showcased the band's musical prowess but also became a cherished collector's item. The combination of John Coletta's striking cover art, the immersive gatefold design, and the timeless music contained within made this release a must-have for fans and vinyl enthusiasts alike.
"Smoke on the Water" is undeniably one of the most recognizable and iconic rock songs of all time. It was released as a track on Deep Purple's album "Machine Head" in 1972 and has since become an enduring anthem that transcends generations.
The genesis of "Smoke on the Water" lies in a real-life event that took place on 4 December 1971, at the Montreux Casino in Montreux, Switzerland. Deep Purple was set to record their album at the casino's theater but faced an unexpected setback. During a Frank Zappa concert, a fire broke out due to an audience member shooting a flare gun into the venue's rattan-covered ceiling. The entire casino complex was engulfed in flames, and the band watched the disaster unfold from their hotel, known as the Grand Hotel.
As they witnessed the inferno, the members of Deep Purple, like many other spectators, found themselves in awe of the spectacle before them. The sight of Lake Geneva ablaze with smoke rising into the night sky left a lasting impression on the band. The image of the smoke on the water became the inspiration for the song's title and its unforgettable guitar riff.
Ritchie Blackmore, the band's guitarist, composed the legendary riff that serves as the backbone of the song. The riff consists of four power chords played in a distinctive pattern: G, F, C, and D. This simple yet incredibly catchy guitar motif became instantly recognizable and helped propel the song to global fame.
Ian Gillan, Deep Purple's vocalist at the time, penned the lyrics for "Smoke on the Water." The song recounts the events of that fateful night in Montreux, capturing the chaos and excitement surrounding the fire. Gillan's narrative style of storytelling allows listeners to vividly picture the scene, evoking a sense of drama and anticipation.
"Smoke on the Water" became an immediate hit, achieving chart success around the world. Its impact extended far beyond the initial release, as the song's popularity continued to grow over the years. It remains a staple in rock music and has been covered by countless artists, further solidifying its status as a timeless classic.
The song's longevity can be attributed to its universally appealing elements. From the instantly recognizable guitar riff to the sing-along chorus, "Smoke on the Water" has an infectious quality that resonates with listeners across generations. Its combination of memorable melodies, powerful guitar work, and relatable lyrics has ensured its enduring presence on rock playlists and radio stations worldwide.
"Smoke on the Water" is more than just a song; it has become a cultural touchstone. Its impact on the world of rock music and popular culture is immeasurable. Whether it's being played at concerts, blasted from car stereos, or performed by aspiring guitarists, the song's influence and popularity endure, making it a true rock anthem that will continue to captivate audiences for years to come.
Music Genre:British Hard Rock
Sound and recording engineers: Martin Birch , Jemery "Bear" Gee
Martin Birch Martin Birch was an English music producer and engineer who was active from the late 1960s to the early 2000s. He was born on 26th June 1948 in East Molesey, England, and began his career as a producer and engineer in the late 1960s, working with several notable British bands of the time, including Fleetwood Mac and Deep Purple.
Birch's biggest contributions to music came in the 1970s and 1980s, when he worked as a producer and engineer for several of the most influential and popular heavy metal bands of the era, including Black Sabbath, Rainbow, and most notably, Iron Maiden. He was an important figure in the development of the heavy metal genre, and is widely regarded as one of the most influential and important producers of heavy metal music.
Birch's approach to production was characterized by his use of powerful and dynamic sound, which helped to define the sound of heavy metal in the 1970s and 1980s. He was known for his ability to bring out the best in the musicians he worked with, and for his willingness to experiment and take risks in the studio. He was also known for his commitment to quality and his attention to detail, which helped to ensure that the albums he produced had a timeless quality and still sound great decades after their original release.
Birch worked with Iron Maiden for over two decades, producing several of the band's most iconic and enduring albums, including "The Number of the Beast," "Powerslave," and "Somewhere in Time." He was an important part of the band's creative process, and helped to shape the band's sound and style.
Martin Birch retired from music production in the early 2000s, but his legacy lives on through the music he produced and the countless musicians he inspired and influenced. He is widely regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of heavy metal music, and his contributions to the genre continue to be celebrated and revered.
Martin Birch's production style was known for its clarity, power and dynamic sound. He was an early adopter of using multi-track recording and employed innovative recording techniques, such as creating layered soundscapes by recording and re-recording guitar parts multiple times, to achieve his desired sound. He was also known for his use of echo and reverb to create a sense of depth and space in his recordings.
Birch was known for his ability to bring out the best in the musicians he worked with and his hands-on approach to production. He was often involved in the arrangements and would often suggest changes to the songs to enhance their impact. He was also known for his attention to detail, taking the time to get the sound just right, and his dedication to quality, always striving to make each album sound as good as it could.
Aside from his work with Iron Maiden, Birch also produced albums for several other influential heavy metal bands, including Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Rainbow. He was also sought after by other musicians from outside of the heavy metal genre, and worked with artists such as Fleetwood Mac, The Move, and Deep Purple.
Birch was awarded with several gold and platinum records for his work, and was recognized for his contributions to the heavy metal genre with induction into the Heavy Metal Hall of Fame in 2006.
Although Martin Birch retired from music production in the early 2000s, his legacy continues to inspire and influence musicians and producers today. He is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential figures in the history of heavy metal music, and his work continues to be celebrated and enjoyed by fans of the genre around the world.
Recorded in Montreux Switzerland using the Rollng Stones Mobile Unit
John Coletta (1932-2008) - Cover Art
Record Label Information:Purple 3C 064 93261
|Packaging: Gatefold (FOC) cover design with artwork / photos on the inside cover pages
Media Format:12" Vinyl Stereo Gramophone Record
Total Album (Cover+Record) weight: 290 gram
Year & Country:1972 Made in Italy
Band Members and Musicians on: Deep Purple Machine Head
Track Listing of: Deep Purple Machine Head
The Song/tracks on "Deep Purple Machine Head" are
High Quality Photo of Album Front Cover "DEEP PURPLE Machine Head"
Photo of the album's Back Cover
Inner Sleeve of "DEEP PURPLE Machine Head" Album
Photo of "DEEP PURPLE Machine Head" Album's Inner Sleeve
Photo of the album's Inner Sleeve
Note: The images on this page are photos of the actual album. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash. Images can be zoomed in/out ( eg pinch with your fingers on a tablet or smartphone ).