Deep Purple Machine Head

75 Essential Albums – Day #65 – Deep Purple

Here goes with day 65 of my countdown of 75 Albums that in my opinion should have a place in everyones music collection.  They are not in any particular order though the top 10 will be my personal take on the top 10 albums ever released.  You might be surprised at some of my picks and some of my omissions.  Feel free to chime in with your comments and let me know if you love (or hate my choices).

Deep Purple – Machine Head

The past few days has seen me in mellow mood with my selections but today with my final selection before I go onto my top 10 albums let down your hair turn the stereo up loud and rock out to the sound of the mighty Deep Purple.

Released in 1972 Machine Head was the 6th Album by Deep Purple and the third by the line-up which must surely go down as the ultimate heavy guitar rock line-up in the history of rock music.  Richie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice a veritable collection of rock royalty.  For Machine Head the band went to Montreux Casino in Switzerland to record but as every rock fan knows the Casino was set on fire when an overly enthusiastic Frank Zappa fan shot off a flare.  The fire gave birth to deep purples most famous song ‘Smoke on The Water’.  As a result Claude Nobs, the owner of the casino (and organiser of the famous Montreux Jazz festival) moved them to an empty hotel and they laid down the tracks in a mobile recording unit.

The album was to prove the bands best seller ever and it would be an essential album if Smoke on TheWater’ was the only good track, but of of course that is far from the case.  The album hit No1 in the UK in its week of release, reached No7 in the USA and it stayed in the charts for over two years!

Machine Head set the standard for everything that followed.  Ian Gillan excels himself on “Highway Star,” and “Never Before”, the latter a single, released ahead of the album.  Of course it is Blackmore’s guitar that dominates the album.  His playing is superb throughout notably on  “When A Blind Man Cries” (not included on the original album but on the anniversary editions) and of course, “Smoke On The Water.”

The BBC’s review of the album says that “Its devastating simplicity is the foundation stone of the whole record and one of rock’s most archetypal riffs. Not only heavy as hell, it was insanely catchy and the long-haired denim-wearing world grasped it to their bosom without a moment’s hesitation”.

Sadly Gillan quit the band just a few months after the albums release and that was the end of what should have been the greatest rock band in history.   Machine Head however remains their finest hour.

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