Review Summary: One of the best albums ever made3 of 3 thought this review was well written
Deep Purple is known for being one of the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal pioneers, along with Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Maybe it’s the least famous and successful of the three, and if you compare their respective materials, I think Sabbath and Zeppelin are a step above them. Despite this, and general opinions, they had their moments, and their sixth studio record, Machine Head is one of the best albums ever made. Take it seriously, one of the best albums in Rock history, and also one of the most influential ones.
Sure, it hit the charts in many different countries, but this LP is more than that. It was released in 1972, after two successful albums which were In Rock (1970) and Fireball (1971). 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.
Ritchie Blackmore is a great guitarist, everyone knows that and along the album he shows himself off with some awesome solos, (like Highway Star and Lazy, for instance) but also with cool riffs. But a key part of the album is his ability to combine his efforts along with Jon Lord (keyboards), who is an excellent musician. 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. Listen to Pictures of Home or Space Truckin’. Ian Gillan is an excellent singer, and he takes advantage of it, fitting on every track. Whilst he doesn’t shine like the rest (and like himself on other albums), he makes a solid singing along the album. And Roger Glover also stands out, and he gives us an amazing bass solo in the song Pictures of Home. That solo is just… well, “amazing” is the word.
As soon as you get into the opener, Highway Star, you’ll realize why this is a masterpiece. 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. Ritchie’s one is one of my favorite guitar solos ever, it’s definitely epic.
Maybe I’m a Leo it’s a slower paced song, based on a cool riff, and along with Never Before, it’s the least interesting offer here. Still, it’s a good song, quite enjoyable and by no means a filler. But honestly, when you think of Machine Head, you think of the other five tracks, not these two. However, I insist, they’re solid tracks, overpowered by the other five.
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. Driven by Pace’s drums, it has a great guitar solo, and Glover’s bass solo. And just when you think it’s over, it comes back for a few more moments. Awesome, really. Then we have Lazy and Space Truckin’. The former one, the longest song on the album, is characterized by the great guitar work, and also by the keyboards. The closer is a great way to finish the album, and one of the best Purple songs ever. Simple and powerful. There’s a space there for drumming improvisations, and another one for the guitars.
And well, you must be surprised I still didn’t name the most famous song Deep Purple ever did, which is Smoke on the Water. Even if you know nothing about them, you’ll recognize that riff. Sure, it’s a great song, and the main merit it has is being so famous, when it’s based on such a simple riff. That is the incredible part of it. Put it this way: every single guy who plays a guitar knows that riff. I like the song, it’s catchy and well-structured, and I can understand why people would love it. The solo is a highlight, also. Some people say they hate it, but I’m sure they wouldn’t say that if it wasn’t so famous.
I don’t think it’s the best song of this album (Pictures of Home and Highway Star are clearly better, in my opinion), and by no means Deep Purple best, title which belongs to the epic Child in Time, but it’s just another excellent song from a classic album. Not the best, not the worse you’ll hear throughout Machine Head, that’s the truth.
Well, this is Machine Head. From the terrific opener “Highway Star” to the closer “Space Truckin’”, a true masterpiece. If you’re looking for the best Rock albums ever made, give a listen to this, you won’t regret it. I’m not kidding when I say it’s one of the best albums ever made.
-Pictures of Home
-Smoke on the Water
Deep Purple line-up:
- Ian Gillan - Vocals, Harmonica
- Ritchie Blackmore - Lead Guitar
- Roger Glover - Bass Guitar
- Jon Lord - Keyboards
- Ian Pace - Drums