Deep Purple – Machine Head (1972)
Smoke on the Water‘s not so bad after all.
After seeing this album on another strong episode of Classic Albums, I have a new appreciation for the tune. For most of my life, I pictured this song up there with Stairway to Heaven on the list of songs guitar stores forbid amateur guitarists from playing.
As it turns out, in the majority of the cases, the aspiring guitarists who insist on playing the riff aren’t playing it correctly. It’s supposed to be plucked, not strummed!
What those guitarists are inadvertently trying to replicate is actually the sound of Jon Lord’s Hammond organ, which at times sounds like an overdriven guitar. For many, Deep Purple is part of a Golden Age of music (along with early Zeppelin & Sabbath) with Lord’s often frantic organ work setting Purple apart from its contemporaries. His moustache was nothing to sneeze at either.
There may be some Classic Albums bias at work, as once I see something dissected, it’s tough not to appreciate its composition. There are seven tunes on the original Machine Head release, not a miss in the bunch.
My thoughts overall? To quote Highway Star, “I love it, I need it!”
Though it’s the third line of the chorus that is perhaps most important, “I seed it.” It may be a convenient rhyme/grammatically incorrect tense of ‘see’ or ‘seen’ to fit with ‘need.’ However, if the intention was ‘seed’ as in planting seeds, mission accomplished. This album’s influence on future hard rock & heavy metal is likely difficult to quantify.
Deluxe edition collector friends – what reissue(s) of this one would you recommend?