Machine Head is Deep Purple’s most iconic album. It had 4 singles: “Never Before” , “Lazy”, “Highway Star”, and “Smoke on the Water”. It went straight to #1 in the UK and #7 in the U.S. In the US, it’s certified double Platinum. It’s featured in Robert Dimery’s book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
Ian Gillan: vocals, harmonica
Ritchie Blackmore: guitar
Roger Glover: bass
Jon Lord: keyboards, organ
Ian Paice: drums and percussion
- “Highway Star”–What an opener! Jon Lord is on fire on the keyboards, and the bass line is so chunky! Gillan is wailing!
- ” Maybe I’m a Leo”–Incidentally, Gillan is a Leo. 😏 All kidding aside, this song slays. Glover was inspired by John Lennon’s “How Do You Sleep”.
- ” Pictures of Home”–This is a song Blackmore refused to perform live. The lyrics are about Gillan’s homesickness while on tour.
- “Never Before”–The only single I don’t like. Paice does some great drumming, though.
- ” Smoke on the Water “–This song is about the recording of the album in the Grand Hotel in Montreux, Switzerland, and the evacuation of its casino after a concert by the Mothers of Invention, which resulted in a fire. Everybody brings their A game to this track. It’s my favorite song on the album.
- ” Lazy”–There’s nothing “lazy” about this one! It’s a straight bluesy tune with a great keyboard intro from Lord.
- “Space Truckin'”–Fun fact: this song was used as a wake-up call for Space shuttle program Flight STS-107 in 2003. I like the sci-fi feel to the lyrics.
Final Verdict: The album deserves its iconic status. Almost every song is a banger. In fact, this is the album that made me want to do this series.
One thought on “Ranking the Discography: Deep Purple Part VI: Machine Head (1972)”
It’s not my favorite Purple album, but there’s no denying the legendary status.