The album boasts the all time most famous riff in guitar history, 'Smoke On the Water' and naturally has acclaimed a legendary status as a result. However there is more to offer here than mere killer riffs.
The lineup is the infamous DP band featuring on vocals the air raid sirens of high octave legend Ian Gillan, the pounding drums of Ian Paice, the guitar wizard Ritchie Blackmore, the keyboard magician Jon Lord and the wonderful Roger Glover, bass guitarist extraordinaire.
With this musicianship it would be impossible to fault, right? Well, almost. The album hits the mark with a rocking start with the hard driving 'Highway Star', the kid sister of 'Speed King'. The dynamic interplay of guitar and organ is wonderful and draws the listener in as it builds into the first verse.
But its all about the riffs for this band and they deliver everytime. The true metal progenitors like no others. The song is a throwaway which is unusual for DP at this point in their careers. Gillan is fabulous on this track with an awesome chorus with an infectious hook, "I'm alone here, With emptiness eagles and snow, Unfriendliness chilling my body, And whispering pictures of home. The actual thematic content is fascinating about how a "stupid with a flare gun" burned down the recording studio of Zappa and the Mothers in Montreux.
Now the event is immortalised forever in song. It is great to watch DP perform this in Montreux. I would hate to think of how many musos have played this riff on 'Smoke' but it is mind boggling the impact this 7 note chord riff has made on the rock world. And it is dead easy to play too. The live version is even better with a great intro. A must have track. The best version is found on live albums but Lord is awe inspiring on this no matter what version you hear.
The power riffs and grinding organ absolutely slam you to the wall on this one. So there you have it, some awesome indispensable tracks among a host of standard rockers. A very good album, though no masterpiece, this is perhaps Deep Purple's second best. I do not have the version with bonus disc but that would be the best version of course.
A solid legendary album beyond doubt. By this time in their career, Deep Purple had already lost all the prog related tendencies and indulged themselves completely in the early hard rock scene.
Starting with the magnificent album opener that is as fast as its title might suggest Highway Star sweeps the listeners off the feet at the first sounds of the heavy hitting riff. For everyone who is still unconvinced of the brilliance of this almost self-explanatory classic only have to wait a few minutes for the uncompromising solo section that combines all the best moments from the two previous MKII album openers and pushes them even further by comprising it all in one complete package.
The remaining six compositions begin the bumpy journey where every even-numbered track is excellent while every odd is a complete masterpiece. Among these I consider Pictures Of Home to be the best while the album's first single titled Never Before is still somewhat a mystery to me.
Pictures Of Home has such an epic feel to it with excellent lead vocals, great organ buildup and magnificent solo spots from Jon Lord, Ritchie Blackmore and even Roger Glover! It's true that I've never been a huge fan of the slightly overrated classic called Smoke On The Water but even this won't stop me for giving it my highest regards for the simplicity of the composition.
The closing performance on Space Truckin' shows all the band members having great fun at the same time as they deliver another one of those magnificent performances. The lyrics are laughable at best, but still it all works so well in the context of this release. Machine Head is simply a must-have album from Deep Purple. The album might not have a single trace of progressive rock on it but there is really no doubt that it's a masterpiece of rock music that will go on making generation after generation of rock fans jump in excitement.
Fortunately, several listens eventually brought me to my senses. I still think it's a little overrated in other words, it doesn't make it to In Rock level for me , but only a little. The biggest problem for me, as on the last album, is the production; it's an improvement over Fireball , for sure, as there's way more crunch and grit here, but nothing blasts out of the speakers the way the opening of "Speed King" did, and Ian's voice is still mixed annoyingly low for my tastes. Otherwise, though, except for the slight monotony of the sound they returned to the "basics" on this album, which on the one hand means the band does what it does best, but on the other means I get worn down the way I eventually do even on In Rock , and a couple of slightly less inspired numbers, this is friggin' glorious.
The megahit, of course, was "Smoke on the Water," which even I knew plenty well before getting into Purple, which says something considering that, as a rule, I avoid classic rock radio like the plague. I suppose there's no real use in describing the song, as the great simplistic riff and the story-telling lyrics are as essential to 70's rock as the parting of the Red Sea is to the Old Testament, but I will point out something that was brought to my attention by the great online reviewer no longer active, alas CapnMarvel ie Ryan Atkinson : Paice, Glover and Lord basically set the standard here on how to turn a midtempo rocker into an immortal classic.
And, oh man, was Ryan ever right to go nuts over the ending fadeout, where those three start playing an entirely different groove from the rest of the track, which may rock even harder than what they'd been doing previously.
Simply glorious. That said, while "Smoke" is midtempo Purple bliss, I tend to lean more to the faster Purple numbers, which is why "Highway Star" shares the best song title with "Smoke.
Lessee, we have brilliant singing, starting with an incredible scream. We have lyrics as unpretentious as can be "Nobody gonna beat my car, gonna race it to the ground". We have the instruments chugging along at a pace suitable to In Rock. We have insanely interesting solos Lord's organ solo may be his peak moment with the band from both key members, with Ritchie taking full advantage of the wonderful invention known as the whammy bar.
We have heaven. Almost rising to the same level is the album closer, "Space Truckin'. Man, I know that most "classic" DP songs end up getting broken down into great Ian singing and great, tight riffage, which might make my DP reviews seem repetitive, but I can't help it - even when I know they're doing basically the same style every time, I'm just so floored at how well they do it that I can't help but mention it for the n'th time. So sue me - I'm too busy trying to figure out how the hell Ian hits those notes near the end of this song.
Beyond these three classics, the rest of the album kinda pales in comparison, but not terribly. I'm not that thrilled by "Lazy," which is just a bit too heavy on the "decent guitar jam" for my tastes not to mention the keyboard introduction, where it sounds like Jon is channelling his Mk. I do, however, freely enjoy the crunchy mid-tempo riff of "Maybe I'm a Leo," as well as the vibe of desperation that comes out of the riffage and solos of "Pictures of Home.
And there, once again, is a great slab of rock'n'roll done as heavy metal. If you are a headbanger that doesn't own this, you should be ashamed of yourself. If you're not, this can still turn you into one for about 40 minutes and not make you regret it in the meantime.
This album is clearly one of my favorites, has some killer Hammond organ courtesy of the one-and-only Jon Lord, great Blackmore riffs, and probably the tightest and best rhythm sections of any Deep Purple album. This album would be considered a masterpiece on any classic rock web site, but as a progressive rock album, it isn't quite in the same league as other prog rock groups of this period, so four stars seems like a reasonable rating to me.
The celebrated "Highway Star" opens with a fine hard-rock groove, displays fine soloing by Lord's keyboard and Blackmore's guitar. It ends without accomplishing much, but is miles better than the sing-songey blues repetition of "Maybe I am Leo", which follows. The lead playing is generally solid and interesting, and when the group kicks it into gear they're quite effective-- the instrumental jam session "Lazy" comes to mind; however, the album is marred by the bland rhythm section Paice's drumming is a snooze- fest , Gillan's surprisingly uninspired vocals, and genearlly unambitious songwriting I'll take Hendrix any day of the week.
My introduction to this band was with the excellent In Rock , which practically rocked my socks off, but this almost feels like a different band, their playing considerably more precise but also more gutless.
Fine hard rock, but not exciting enough to stick with me or artistic enough to engage me. Indeed one of those albums on here that are "progressive" in a literal sense, this album is known for having broken barriers leading into the creation of heavy metal, along with the first few works of Black Sabbath. Considering it's still only upon its release, we're talking about some pretty cutting-edge music here. Oh, did I mention these are some really fun, rockin' tunes?
Generally what can be found in this album is a good blend of blues and hard-rock, some tracks more of the former, like Lazy, and some more of the latter, like Space Truckin'. There is of course the heavy-metal standard Smoke on the Water, which is ironically the least interesting song on the whole album. Good riffs but not exactly I guess one should especially give this album a go if they think Smoke on the Water is the best the band put out, since it's the most well-known.
This is the first Deep Purple album for me to hear. My Dad bought it a couple years ago, and I figured they were another one of those oaky "classic" bluesy albums like Eric Clapton for which I've never had any taste. I figured I'd give it a spin just once for the sake of open- mindedness, a virtue for which I was rewarded, since the songs were such quality hard- rock that even my fear of bluesy music couldn't keep me from denying its awesomeness.
Every riff is amazing, every vocal line, every keyboard lick this guy really new how to use the Hammond organ! Pictures of Home and Lazy get a bit on the proggy side, always a delight from such a renowned group.
However, the album is far from perfect: Space Truckin' had a tinge of half-hearted-ness to it, however head-banging it might be. Whats more some of the keyboard and guitar runs weren't exactly super clean. And Smoke on the Water is on the dull side. What's more the influence they had on other bands cannot be understated, and for that reason alone, this is one highly recommended work by yours truly.
The highlight of the album is probably Highway Star. Whilst in terms of subject matter it's arguably just a reworking of Speed King from In Rock, the sheer furious speed and fury the band bring to bear during this song and the exceptional, driving guitar solo is surely a foundational document of speed metal.
Space Truckin' might have goofy lyrics but there's no denying that it's got a hell of a riff. And on balance, the album's finer qualities more than outshine the rushed circumstances of its recording. Deep Purple aren't my favourite early- s proto-metal band by any measure, but this album showcases why they're considered a big influence on metal better than any other of their studio works.
This doesn't mean that it isn't a great album, though, because it really is. And Ritchie Blackmore's solo is one of the most intensely delivered in music; I sweat almost every time I hear it. The spacey organ intro on this one gives me chills every time.
And "Space Truckin'" is a lively, percussive finish with sci-fi lyrics that finishes off the album on a fun note. A masterpiece of rock music and an album that I'd highly recommend to anyone.
I became a fan of Deep Purple back in '84, only a couple of months before the reunion album "Perfect Strangers" was released. I loved it! But DP albums were not easy to find on cassette back then. After "House of Blue Light" I lost interest for many years. Ian Gillan was gone then back. Then Ritchie Blackmore was gone. This amount is subject to change until you make payment.
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Sign in for more lists. No additional import charges at delivery! This item will be posted through the Global Shipping Program and includes international tracking. Learn more - opens in a new window or tab. May not post to Russian Federation - Read item description or contact seller for postage options. Also in top form was singer Ian Gillan , who crooned and exploded with amazing power and range throughout to establish himself once and for all as one of the finest voices of his generation, bar none.
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Top reviews Most recent Top reviews. Top reviews from Canada. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Verified Purchase. The 3 stars is for the vinyl not the music which is 5 stars, the vinyl is red wine color not purple as claimed which is disappointing considering the name, I already have it on black remastered vinyl so I wanted it for the color purple so I returned it, the same for the other DP records not purple.
One person found this helpful. A hard rock classic from one of the grandfathers of Heavy Metal. His performance is great, in rhythm sections and with solos too, the clearest example is Highway Star. Ian Paice, drummer, does the best job of his whole life, I personally love his fills here. Ian Gillan is an excellent singer, and he takes advantage of it, fitting on every track. And Roger Glover also stands out, and he gives us an amazing bass solo in the song Pictures of Home. The intro of the song is promising and, and when Gillan starts singing it turns into an anthem.
Powerful vocals, a solid drumming accompanied by Roger bassline, and of course, Ritchie and Jon. They are the stars here with their respective solos. But honestly, when you think of Machine Head, you think of the other five tracks, not these two. Pictures of Home is a great song, which contains everything you expect from Deep Purple, and its talented members. Possibly the best song of the album.
Awesome, really. The former one, the longest song on the album, is characterized by the great guitar work, and also by the keyboards.These two records would define the sound of the band, which is still held. With Ian Gillan singing, Deep Purple reached their peak. And if you found interesting In Rock and Fireball, Machine Head will indeed grow on you. It’s by far the best album Deep Purple managed to do, containing only seven songs in 37 minutes.