Machine Head Songs Ranked

Machine Head is the sixth studio album released by the English rock band Deep Purple. It was recorded in December 1971 at Montreux, Switzerland, and released on 25 March 1972 on Purple Records. As previous recording sessions had been slotted into the group’s gigging schedule, Deep Purple wanted to dedicate time to record an album away from the typical studio environment, hoping it would result in a sound closer to their live shows. They hired the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio for recording and block-booked the Montreux Casino as a venue, but during a Frank Zappa concert immediately before the sessions, the casino burned to the ground. The band managed to book the Grand Hotel, closed for the winter, and converted it into a live room suitable for recording. These events, particularly the casino fire, became the inspiration for the song “Smoke on the Water”. Machine Head is Deep Purple’s most commercially successful album, topping the charts in several countries, including number one in the UK. Influential in the development of traditional metal, it continues to be viewed favorably by music critics and has been reissued several times. Here are all of Machine Head songs ranked.

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7. Maybe I’m a Leo

“Maybe a Cream like blues song, but I find it more engaging that Cream’s efforts in that genre early on in their career. Mid-tempo track. Features the organ.”

6. Never Before

“Never before has a bluesy rock theme. Bass, with some interesting drumming at times. More organ features. Riff and licks at times aren’t bad.”

Review: Deep Purple – Machine Head (1972) | ANTICHRIST Magazine

5. Pictures Of Home

“Pictures of home has a frenetic drum intro and outro. Expressive lead guitar (mid-tempo). Features the organ. Has a “Strange kind of woman” vibe to it…another Deep Purple track, from the previous yet.”

See more: Deep Purple Albums Ranked

4. Lazy

“Lazy is mostly an instrumental…for over half of its running time, in any case. Starts with an organ which sounds over the top, then gets boogie, then rock’n’roll syntax later. Nice keyboard parts at times.”

Deep Purple Albums Ranked From Worst To Best | Louder

3. Space Truckin

“The organ intro to this song reminds me of an Australian pop song, actually (released years later though)…The Rockmelons’ “New groove”, I think (as far as the keyboard and bass guitar goes). A song notable for its drum solo. High concept lyrics with a cool tone to the drum later, and the solo, like I said. A rocking song with a Gothic riff on the keyboard.”

See more: Deep Purple Songs Ranked

2. Smoke on the Water

“Iconic for both the guitar riff and drumming. Apparently some music shops have banned guitar browsers from playing the riff…it’s been done so ofen. Did hear within the last year or two that the world record for most guitarists playing at one time, together, had them doing this song’s riff. Musically, this song has a cool organ, great guitar solo, cool bass guitar and I like the ‘chopping’ sound effect later on in the song. A flatmate once taught me how to play the riff just using notes on the sixth string…even though I don’t play guitar and haven’t attempted this ‘feat’ for years, I’m pretty sure I could quickly rediscover how to do that again. Iconic for a reason.”

Deep Purple Hit 'Smoke on the Water' Was Inspired by a Swiss Fire -  InsideHook

1. Highway Star

Highway star has that rock’n’roll syntax which becomes heavy metal at times. Good riffing, bass, organ and operatic (soaring) notes from the talented lead singer, Ian Gillan. More coolness lies in the baroque elements to the song, like the lead guitar and organ parts, at times.”