DEEP PURPLE - Machine Head 12" Vinyl LP Album

- Gatefold Album Cover with Photo Collages on Both pages

"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.



Album Front Cover Photo of DEEP PURPLE Machine Head Gatefold

"Machine Head" Album Description

Deep Purple's 1972 album "Machine Head" is not only a hard rock landmark but a testament to the power of album artwork. This legendary release came housed in a gatefold sleeve, a format that allowed for an expansive and visually arresting presentation. "Machine Head" fully utilizes this format, featuring memorable photo collages on both inner pages.

The Gatefold Experience

Upon opening the gatefold of "Machine Head," the listener is greeted with a series of striking black-and-white portraits of the band members: Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Roger Glover, Jon Lord, and Ian Paice. These aren't your typical rock star poses; the images are candid, stark, and capture the raw energy that Deep Purple embodied at the time.

The stark black-and-white aesthetic adds to the album's no-nonsense intensity, echoing the driving riffs and blues-infused power of the music contained within. The collage arrangement, while seemingly random, lends a sense of dynamism that reflects the unpredictable and exciting nature of Deep Purple's live performances.

The Music Within

Of course, an album's music ultimately defines its legacy and "Machine Head" offers no shortage of classics. The opening riff of "Highway Star" blazes a trail for a high-speed rock and roll anthem. "Maybe I'm a Leo" and "Pictures of Home" reveal Deep Purple's range, offering contrasting grooves and moods. And then there is "Smoke on the Water," arguably one of the most iconic riffs in rock history, forever linked to the real-life tale of a disastrous recording session in Montreux, Switzerland.

Beyond the Music: Impact and Legacy

The gatefold artwork of "Machine Head" complements the music seamlessly. It visually foreshadows the raw power and timeless appeal the album holds. The photo collages are as recognizable as the music itself, contributing to the album's enduring status as a defining moment in rock history.

"Machine Head" went on to achieve phenomenal commercial success, topping charts worldwide and becoming one of Deep Purple's best-selling records. The album's influence on heavy metal and hard rock is undeniable, paving the way for generations of musicians to come.

Featured Song: "Highway Star" Explained

Among the pantheon of classic rock anthems, Deep Purple's "Highway Star" stands tall as a blazing testament to speed, virtuosity, and the sheer joy of rock and roll excess. Featured on their 1972 album "Machine Head", this track has become a staple of the band's live shows and a beloved icon for generations of hard rock fans.

The Birth of a Classic

Legend has it that "Highway Star" was born on a tour bus, during a Q&A session between the band and a music journalist. When asked how they wrote songs, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore improvised a lightning-fast riff on the spot, leaving the rest of Deep Purple to catch up and build a song around it.

Revved Up and Ready to Go

From the first revving engine sounds, "Highway Star" bursts into life. Ritchie Blackmore's iconic, neo-classical inspired riff cuts through the mix like a hot knife, setting the pace for a high-octane musical ride. Ian Gillan's vocals match the intensity, his banshee wail soaring over the relentless rhythm section of Roger Glover and Ian Paice.

Musicianship on Overdrive

"Highway Star" isn't merely about speed; it’s a showcase of incredible musicianship. Jon Lord's swirling Hammond organ solos provide a thrilling counterpoint to Blackmore's guitar pyrotechnics, creating a thrilling call-and-response battle for sonic supremacy. The rhythm section anchors everything with a tight and propulsive groove, ensuring the song never flies off the rails.

Lyrics for the Open Road

Thematically, "Highway Star" taps into the romance of the road and the thrill of speed. Gillan's lyrics portray a rock star's life on the highway, complete with fast cars, adoring fans, and the fleeting nature of fame. It's pure rock and roll escapism, delivered with attitude and swagger.

Watch Highway Star performed Live:

Essential Album Information For: DEEP PURPLE Machine Head Gatefold

Music Genre:

Hard Rock, Classic Rock

Label & Catalognr:

Purple Francis-Day 3C 064-93261

Media Format:

Record Format: 12" Vinyl Stereo Gramophone Record
Total Album (Cover+Record) weight: 230 gram  

Year & Country:

1972 Made in Italy

DEEP PURPLE Machine Head Gatefold Production & Recording Information

Album Packaging

The inner pages of this album gatefold cover contains collage of black and white portrait photos of the Deep Purple band-members.



Deep Purple - Producer

Sound & Recording Engineers:

Martin Birch - Sound Engineer

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 Deep Purple , Iron Maiden , Rainbow and others.


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.

Jeremy "Bear" Gee - Assistent Sound Engineer

Recording Location:

Recorded in Montreux Switzerland using the Rollng Stones Monile Unit

Album Cover Design & Artwork:

J. Coletta - Album Cover Design

Roger Glover - Album Cover Design


Shepard Sherbell - Photography

Musicians on: DEEP PURPLE Machine Head Gatefold

Band-members, Musicians:

Ian Gillan - vocals, harmonica

Ian Gillan, a British singer from London, is best known as the lead singer of the legendary British hard rock and heavy metal band, Deep Purple. He also had a stint as the lead singer of Black Sabbath from 1983 to 1984.

Ian Gillan was born on August 19, 1945, in Chiswick, Canada Bay, New South Wales, Australia. His exceptional vocal abilities and charismatic stage presence propelled him to the forefront of the music industry.


Gillan's musical journey with Deep Purple began in 1970 when he joined the band and worked alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Malcolm Arnold. At the age of 24, he made significant contributions to their album "In Rock" (1970). The following year, at 25 years old, Gillan's powerful vocals featured prominently on Deep Purple's iconic album "Machine Head" (1971) and "Fireball" (1971). His distinctive voice continued to captivate audiences as he recorded with the band for albums like "Made in Japan" (1972) and "Who Do We Think We Are" (1973).

In 1983, Ian Gillan took on a new musical venture as a member of Black Sabbath, working on their album "Born Again." His time with the band allowed him to explore different musical styles and showcase his versatility as a vocalist. The following year, in 1984, he returned to Deep Purple and contributed to the album "Perfect Strangers" (1984). His rejoining of the band marked a triumphant comeback and reaffirmed his status as one of rock music's iconic frontmen.

Ian Gillan's commitment to music remained unwavering as he continued to work with Deep Purple on albums such as "The House of Blue Light" (1987) and "Nobody's Perfect" (1988), released when he was 41 and 42 years old, respectively. Throughout his career, Gillan's powerful voice, range, and dynamic stage presence have made him one of the most influential and recognizable figures in rock music.

Ian Gillan's contributions to the music industry, both as a solo artist and as the lead singer of Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, have left an indelible mark on the rock and heavy metal genres. His distinct vocal style and unforgettable performances have earned him a place among the greatest rock vocalists of all time.

Timeline of IAN Gillan musical career

1962: Gillan joins his first band, The Javelins, as their lead vocalist.

1965: Gillan becomes a member of Episode Six, a British rock band known for their energetic live performances.

1969: Deep Purple, an English rock band, invites Gillan to audition for the lead vocalist position. He joins the band and records the album "Deep Purple in Rock", which marks a shift towards a heavier and more progressive sound for the band.

1970: Deep Purple releases the album "Deep Purple in Rock", which becomes a commercial success and establishes the band as pioneers of hard rock and heavy metal.

1973-1975: Gillan leaves Deep Purple due to creative differences and forms a band called simply "Gillan". They release a series of albums and achieve moderate success, with notable hits like "New Orleans" and "Trouble".

1983: Gillan rejoins Deep Purple, replacing David Coverdale as the lead vocalist. The band releases the album "Perfect Strangers", which reunites the classic Deep Purple lineup and receives critical acclaim.

1989: Gillan leaves Deep Purple once again, citing exhaustion and creative differences.

1992: Gillan forms a new band called "Gillan's Inn" and releases an album under the same name. The band continues to tour and release new music intermittently.

1993: Gillan reunites with Deep Purple once more, and the band releases the album "The Battle Rages On..".. However, tensions within the band lead to Gillan leaving once again in 1994.

1999: Gillan rejoins Deep Purple for their 25th anniversary and continues to be an active member of the band to this day. They release several successful albums, including "Bananas" (2003) and "Now What?!" (2013).

2020: Deep Purple releases their 21st studio album, "Whoosh!", featuring Gillan's powerful vocals and songwriting contributions.

Ritchie Blackmore - lead guitar

Roger Glover - bass guitar

Roger David Glover, known professionally as Roger Glover, was born on November 30, 1945, in Brecon, Sir Powys, Wales, United Kingdom. He is the first child of Norman Glover and Brenda Glover.

Glover's career in the music industry began to take shape in the late 1960s when he joined the psychedelic rock band Episode Six as their bass guitarist. However, it was in 1969 when Glover received a major breakthrough by joining the iconic rock band Deep Purple . At the age of 24, he became the bass guitarist for Deep Purple, a role that would define much of his musical journey.


In 1970, Glover contributed to Deep Purple's collaboration with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Malcolm Arnold. This project showcased the band's versatility and experimental approach. The following year, at the age of 25, Glover played bass guitar on the highly influential albums "In Rock" and "Fireball." These albums solidified Deep Purple's status as one of the pioneers of hard rock and heavy metal.

Glover's contributions to Deep Purple continued throughout the 1970s and beyond. In 1972, at the age of 26, he played on the live album "Made in Japan," which is widely regarded as one of the greatest live recordings in rock history. He also played bass guitar on the album "Who Do We Think We Are" released the same year.

During his time with Deep Purple, Glover also ventured into music production. In 1973, at the age of 27, he produced the album "Loud And Proud" by Nazareth. He continued his work as a producer in 1974 with Nazareth's album "Rampant Mooncrest." In 1976, at the age of 30, Glover produced Rory Gallagher's album "Calling Card," showcasing his skills behind the scenes.

In 1979, Glover briefly left Deep Purple and joined Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow as their bass guitarist. He played on the album "Down To Earth" and then rejoined Deep Purple in 1984, at the age of 38, for the album "Perfect Strangers." Glover's return brought a renewed energy to the band, and the album was a critical and commercial success.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Glover continued to be an integral part of Deep Purple's lineup. He played bass guitar on albums such as "The House of Blue Light" (1987), "Nobody's Perfect" (1988), and "Slaves and Masters" (1990). His remarkable talent on the bass guitar added depth and precision to Deep Purple's sound.

In addition to his work with Deep Purple and Rainbow, Glover has also released solo albums and collaborated with other artists over the years. He has shown his versatility as a musician and a songwriter, continually pushing the boundaries of rock music.

Roger Glover's contributions to the world of rock music, both as a bass guitarist and a producer, have left an indelible mark. His ability to create melodic bass lines, combined with his technical expertise, has made him one of the most respected figures in the industry. His career, spanning several decades, showcases his passion, dedication, and unwavering commitment to his craft.

Jon Lord - piano, organ, keyboards

Jon Lord, whose full name was John Douglas Lord, was a highly talented British composer and keyboard player. He is best known for his exceptional performances with renowned bands such as Whitesnake, Deep Purple, as well as his successful solo career.


Jon Lord was born on 9 June 1941 in Leicester, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom. He was the first child of Reginald Charles Lord, born on 18th December 1907, and Miriam Hudson, born on 16th October 1912. Sadly, when Jon Lord was 54 years old, his mother Miriam Hudson passed away in 1995. The following year, when he was 55, his father Reginald Charles Lord also passed away in 1996.

In terms of his personal life, Jon Lord was married twice. He first married Judith Feldman in 1969 when he was 28 years old. However, their marriage ended in divorce in 1975. Together, they had a son named Sarah Lord. Later in the same year, at the age of 34, Jon Lord married Vickie Gibbs, and they had a son named Amy Lord.

Jon Lord's professional journey as a musician began in 1968 when he joined the band Shades of Deep Purple. He was 27 years old at the time. The following year, in 1969, he continued his musical career as a member of the band Self-Titled (Mk I), also known as Deep Purple, when he was 28. Throughout the 1970s, he contributed his musical talents to various Deep Purple albums, including "In Rock" (1970), "Machine Head" (1971), "Fireball" (1971), "Made in Japan" (1972), "Who Do We Think We Are" (1973), and others. Additionally, during this time, Jon Lord released solo albums such as "Windows Continuo On Bach" (1974) and "Sarabande" (1975).

In the mid-1970s, Jon Lord expanded his musical horizons by working with Whitesnake, joining them in 1978 for their album "Trouble." He continued his collaboration with Whitesnake on the album "Live in the Heart of the City" (1980). In the early 1980s, he released another solo album titled "Before I Forget" (1982). Later, he reunited with Deep Purple for albums such as "Perfect Strangers" (1984), "The House of Blue Light" (1987), and "Slaves and Masters" (1990).

Tragically, on 16th July 2012, Jon Lord passed away in London, England, United Kingdom at the age of 71. His remarkable contributions to the world of music, both through his performances with Deep Purple, Whitesnake, and his solo work, left a lasting legacy. In 2012, he was laid to rest in Hambleden (St. Mary) New Churchyard, located in Hambleden, Wycombe District, Buckinghamshire, England. Jon Lord's exceptional talent and unforgettable compositions continue to inspire musicians and fans alike, ensuring that his impact on the music industry will never be forgotten.


Ian Paice - drums

Track-listing of: DEEP PURPLE Machine Head Gatefold

Tracklisting Side One:
  1. Highway Star 6:05
  2. Maybe I'm a Leo 4:51
  3. Pictures of Home 5:03
  4. Never Before 3:56
Tracklisting Side Two:
  1. Smoke on the Water
  2. Lazy 7:19
  3. Space Truckin' 4:31


Front Cover Photo Of DEEP PURPLE Machine Head Gatefold


DEEP PURPLE Machine Head Gatefold  album front cover

Photo Of The Back Cover DEEP PURPLE Machine Head Gatefold


DEEP PURPLE Machine Head Gatefold  album back cover

Photo One Of The Inner Gatefold DEEP PURPLE Machine Head Gatefold

A collage of small photos of the Deep Purple band-members, and production information on the inner page of the gatefold cover

DEEP PURPLE Machine Head Gatefold  inner gatefold cover

Photo Two Of The Inner Gatefold DEEP PURPLE Machine Head Gatefold

A collage of small photos of the Deep Purple band-members, track-listing and production information on the inner page of the gatefold cover

DEEP PURPLE Machine Head Gatefold  inner gatefold cover

Close up of record's label DEEP PURPLE Machine Head Gatefold Side One

Record Label Details: Purple Coloured label with "Francis Day" 3C 064 - 93 261, Made in Italy

DEEP PURPLE Machine Head Gatefold  enlarged record label

Index of DEEP PURPLE Vinyl Records and Album Cover Gallery

Deep Purple has undergone several line-up changes since its formation in 1968. Here are the most notable line-ups in the band's history:
    Deep Purple Mark I (1968-1973)
  • Rod Evans (vocals)
  • Ritchie Blackmore (guitar)
  • Jon Lord (keyboards)
  • Nick Simper (bass)
  • Ian Paice (drums)
    Deep Purple Mark II (1973-1976)
  • David Coverdale (vocals)
  • Ritchie Blackmore (guitar)
  • Jon Lord (keyboards)
  • Glenn Hughes (bass, vocals)
  • Ian Paice (drums)
    Deep Purple Mark III (1976-1984)
  • Ian Gillan (vocals)
  • Ritchie Blackmore (guitar)
  • Jon Lord (keyboards)
  • Roger Glover (bass)
  • Ian Paice (drums)
    Deep Purple Mark IV (1984-1989)
  • Ian Gillan (vocals)
  • Ritchie Blackmore (guitar)
  • Jon Lord (keyboards)
  • Roger Glover (bass)
  • Ian Paice (drums)
  • Joe Lynn Turner (vocals)
    Deep Purple Mark V (1989-1992)
  • Ian Gillan (vocals)
  • Ritchie Blackmore (guitar)
  • Jon Lord (keyboards)
  • Roger Glover (bass)
  • Ian Paice (drums)
  • Joe Satriani (guitar)
    Deep Purple Mark VI (1993-2002)
  • Ian Gillan (vocals)
  • Steve Morse (guitar)
  • Jon Lord (keyboards)
  • Roger Glover (bass)
  • Ian Paice (drums)
    Deep Purple Mark VII (2003-present)
  • Ian Gillan (vocals)
  • Steve Morse (guitar)
  • Don Airey (keyboards)
  • Roger Glover (bass)
  • Ian Paice (drums)

DEEP PURPLE: Related Rock Bands and Similar Music


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Led Zeppelin

Pioneered hard rock and heavy metal, with influences from blues and psychedelia. Known for their powerful vocals, driving riffs, and complex instrumentals Led Zeppelin

The Who

Pioneered power pop and mod rock, known for their energetic live performances and Pete Townshend's distinctive guitar work. The Who's music is often heavier and more aggressive than Led Zeppelin's, but both bands share a love for extended jams and powerful vocals. The Who