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Deep Purple|Machine Head  (Super Deluxe)

Machine Head (Super Deluxe)

Deep Purple

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A rock album could be considered a classic if it had one truly iconic riff, but Deep Purple's sixth album managed to pack in three all-time indelible guitar lines in its 38-minute runtime. Machine Head (the third album by the band's "Mk. II" lineup) was the first one where all the members were at the height of their powers and functioning at their peak as a unit. The result was one of the genre's most classic albums: full of radio staples and some of the most impactful—if simple—barre-chord riffs of the decade. For 50 years now, beginner guitarists have found satisfaction plunking out "Smoke on the Water," but the propulsive guitar work behind "Highway Star" and "Space Truckin'" pack just as much punch-per-note. Of course, Machine Head is more than just those three classics; the gently grooving bits of "Never Before" and the musical pyrotechnics of "Lazy" are still revelatory moments.  There are also plenty of terrible lyrics—ranging from the diaristic banalities of "Smoke on the Water" and the ridiculous "Space Truckin'" to the awkward imagery of "Pictures of Home"—but they're nonetheless a perfect fit for this material, never letting the listener think this is anything but a full-bore heavy rock record.

While one may wonder what could warrant yet another anniversary edition—the album had previously been expanded on both its 25th and 40th birthdays—there should never be any doubt that a label will find some reason to repackage a classic for further re-consumption. In this case, it's the inclusion of an audience recording of the band's 1971 performance at the Montreux casino, which happened early in the year and inspired them to return later with a mobile truck to record Machine Head. Unfortunately, the night before they were slated to start the sessions, a fan shot a flare into the ceiling at a Frank Zappa show, eventually burning the casino to the ground (there were no major injuries, thankfully). Deep Purple were watching the conflagration from across Lake Geneva and "Smoke on the Water" was born. While the concert is somewhat tenuously connected to Machine Head (several of the album's songs are embryonic and near-finished versions), the ties are even dicier when it comes to the fresh remix of the album included here. Previously, Roger Glover had remixed the infamously muddy album for its 25th anniversary release, and those new versions were both subtle and clarifying, fleshed out with bits of additional material. It's risky to mess with a classic, and while a handful of fans prefer those 1997 mixes to the original, most others view them as a curiosity or a complement. (Those mixes were well-enough received to also be included on the 40th anniversary.) This 2024 remix by Zappa's son Dweezil is likely to meet a less generous fate as he takes a notably heavy hand to his mix. Using alternate vocals and adding somewhat distracting effects to such well-known songs is a daring move, but it also results in a fish-nor-fowl product that manages to distance itself from the original without sounding breathtakingly new. Differing opinions on Dweezil's remix aside, this remaster is excellent, as are the soundboard performances from the Machine Head tour. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz

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Machine Head (Super Deluxe)

Deep Purple

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1
Highway Star (2024 Remix)
00:06:10

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Dweezil Zappa, Remixer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

2
Maybe I'm a Leo (2024 Remix)
00:04:51

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Dweezil Zappa, Remixer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

3
Pictures of Home (2024 Remix)
00:05:05

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Dweezil Zappa, Remixer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

4
Never Before (2024 Remix)
00:04:01

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Dweezil Zappa, Remixer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

5
Smoke on the Water (2024 Remix)
00:06:09

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Dweezil Zappa, Remixer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

6
Lazy (2024 Remix)
00:07:21

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Dweezil Zappa, Remixer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

7
Space Truckin' (2024 Remix)
00:04:33

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Dweezil Zappa, Remixer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

8
When a Blind Man Cries (2024 Remix)
00:03:31

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Dweezil Zappa, Remixer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

9
Highway Star (2024 Remaster)
00:06:07

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

10
Maybe I'm a Leo (2024 Remaster)
00:04:51

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

11
Pictures of Home (2024 Remaster)
00:05:05

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

12
Never Before (2024 Remaster)
00:03:59

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

13
Smoke on the Water (2024 Remaster)
00:05:40

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

14
Lazy (2024 Remaster)
00:07:23

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

15
Space Truckin' (2024 Remaster)
00:04:32

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

DISC 2

1
Introduction (Live 1972) (2024 Remaster)
00:00:15

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards - Roger Glover, Producer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

2
Highway Star (Live 1972) (2024 Remaster)
00:07:41

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

3
Strange Kind of Woman (Live 1972) (2024 Remaster)
00:09:32

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

4
Maybe I'm a Leo (Live 1972) (2024 Remaster)
00:05:35

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

5
Smoke on the Water (Live 1972) (2024 Remaster)
00:07:31

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

6
Never Before (Live 1972) (2024 Remaster)
00:05:18

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

7
Lazy (Live 1972) (2024 Remaster)
00:09:22

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

8
Space Truckin' (Live 1972) (2024 Remaster)
00:22:11

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

9
Lucille (Live 1972) (2024 Remaster)
00:07:33

Albert Collins, Writer - Richard Penniman, Writer - Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards - Roger Glover, Producer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

10
Maybe I'm a Leo (Soundcheck) [Live 1972] (2024 Remaster)
00:04:31

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1972, 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

DISC 3

1
Swiss Yodel (Live in Montreux 1971)
00:01:14

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards - Roger Glover, Producer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

2
Speed King (Live in Montreux 1971)
00:08:59

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

3
Strange Kind of Woman (Live in Montreux 1971)
00:08:21

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

4
Into the Fire (Live in Montreux 1971)
00:04:18

Don Dokken, Composer, Lyricist, Writer - Jeff Pilson, Composer, Writer - George Lynch, Composer, Writer - Patrick Milligan, Contributor - Ted Myers, Contributor - Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards - Roger Glover, Producer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

5
Child in Time (Live in Montreux 1971)
00:20:13

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

6
Paint It Black (Live in Montreux 1971)
00:05:14

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar - KEITH RICHARDS, Writer - MICK JAGGER, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards - Roger Glover, Producer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

7
Wring That Neck (Hard Road) (Live in Montreux 1971)
00:17:09

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Nick Simper, Writer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

8
Black Night (Live in Montreux 1971)
00:07:47

Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards, Writer - Roger Glover, Producer, Writer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

9
Lucille (Live in Montreux 1971)
00:05:50

Albert Collins, Writer - Richard Penniman, Writer - Ritchie Blackmore, Producer, Guitar - Jon Astley, Remastering Engineer - Deep Purple, MainArtist - Ian Gillan, Producer, Lead Vocals, Harmonica - Ian Paice, Producer, Drums, Percussion - Jon Lord, Producer, Keyboards - Roger Glover, Producer, Bass - Martin Birch, Engineer, MixingEngineer - Jeremy Gee, AssistantEngineer

© 2023 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 2024 Warner Records Inc., a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.

Album review

A rock album could be considered a classic if it had one truly iconic riff, but Deep Purple's sixth album managed to pack in three all-time indelible guitar lines in its 38-minute runtime. Machine Head (the third album by the band's "Mk. II" lineup) was the first one where all the members were at the height of their powers and functioning at their peak as a unit. The result was one of the genre's most classic albums: full of radio staples and some of the most impactful—if simple—barre-chord riffs of the decade. For 50 years now, beginner guitarists have found satisfaction plunking out "Smoke on the Water," but the propulsive guitar work behind "Highway Star" and "Space Truckin'" pack just as much punch-per-note. Of course, Machine Head is more than just those three classics; the gently grooving bits of "Never Before" and the musical pyrotechnics of "Lazy" are still revelatory moments.  There are also plenty of terrible lyrics—ranging from the diaristic banalities of "Smoke on the Water" and the ridiculous "Space Truckin'" to the awkward imagery of "Pictures of Home"—but they're nonetheless a perfect fit for this material, never letting the listener think this is anything but a full-bore heavy rock record.

While one may wonder what could warrant yet another anniversary edition—the album had previously been expanded on both its 25th and 40th birthdays—there should never be any doubt that a label will find some reason to repackage a classic for further re-consumption. In this case, it's the inclusion of an audience recording of the band's 1971 performance at the Montreux casino, which happened early in the year and inspired them to return later with a mobile truck to record Machine Head. Unfortunately, the night before they were slated to start the sessions, a fan shot a flare into the ceiling at a Frank Zappa show, eventually burning the casino to the ground (there were no major injuries, thankfully). Deep Purple were watching the conflagration from across Lake Geneva and "Smoke on the Water" was born. While the concert is somewhat tenuously connected to Machine Head (several of the album's songs are embryonic and near-finished versions), the ties are even dicier when it comes to the fresh remix of the album included here. Previously, Roger Glover had remixed the infamously muddy album for its 25th anniversary release, and those new versions were both subtle and clarifying, fleshed out with bits of additional material. It's risky to mess with a classic, and while a handful of fans prefer those 1997 mixes to the original, most others view them as a curiosity or a complement. (Those mixes were well-enough received to also be included on the 40th anniversary.) This 2024 remix by Zappa's son Dweezil is likely to meet a less generous fate as he takes a notably heavy hand to his mix. Using alternate vocals and adding somewhat distracting effects to such well-known songs is a daring move, but it also results in a fish-nor-fowl product that manages to distance itself from the original without sounding breathtakingly new. Differing opinions on Dweezil's remix aside, this remaster is excellent, as are the soundboard performances from the Machine Head tour. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz

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