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We’ll never forget

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Tidal magazine is celebrating 50th anniversary of Machine Head with a special:

At the summit of heavy-rock greatness there are three entities: Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. The trio is united in bombast but vastly different in style and legacy. Sabbath is immutable, untiring and dark. Led Zeppelin is mythical and flashy and lost in time. And Deep Purple is the band of gentlemen gunslingers, the professionals who streamlined the power of muscle cars into a sonic call to start your engines.

This week marks 50 years of Deep Purple’s crowning commercial achievement, Machine Head, and a revival of affection for its formidable power is overdue. This was Purple’s sixth album in four years — not including a live classical outing! — and the third long-player to feature the fabled second-generation “MkII” lineup with scream virtuoso Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover alongside the founders: guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, organist Jon Lord and drummer Ian Paice. Any one of these players alone would have been star material in any other band. Together, they comprised a proper juggernaut.

Continue reading in Tidal.

Sleaze Roxx continues the theme:

In early spring of 1972, Deep Purple unleashed their sixth (and most popular album) on the rock and roll masses en route to their part in a hard rock triumvirate influencing metal to come, along with fellow Brits Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. In comparison, the shelf life of most rock bands expire well before six records but somehow not only were Deep Purple able to hit their prime six releases in, they’ve managed to weather a break up and countless line-up changes to release a whopping 22 studio album including last year’s impressive Turning To Crime. This is astonishing when considering that since the band’s inception in 1968, only drummer Ian Paice remains, having rocked his way through over five decades alongside three different bass players, six vocalists, a couple of keyboard players and a group of highly acclaimed guitarists by the names of Blackmore, Bolin, Satriani and Morse.

Continue reading in Sleaze Roxx.

And so does Music Radar:

London 1969. There’s something in the air. Flower power has wilted. The rock scene is sprouting chest-hair and testicles. Zeppelin are already out of the blocks, Sabbath are on their heels, and at a low-key club gig in June, Deep Purple’s guitar wizard and dark lord, Ritchie Blackmore, is head-hunting the final members for his near-mythical Mk II line-up.

Given the animosity that would later derail the band’s four-year run, perhaps it’s apt that bassist Roger Glover sensed a malign presence in the crowd as he and vocalist Ian Gillan performed with doomed outfit Episode Six that night. “These two shadowy figures arrived,” he recalled in Classic Rock of Blackmore and Purple organist Jon Lord. “I remember being rather scared. They were very dark, broody sort of villains. I felt they were from another world, not mine.”

Continue reading in Music Radar.

Italian language Swiss site tutti.ch features writeup of the story how the album was made. Consult SotW lyrics for the English version. 😉

Wall Street Journal has also jumped on the anniversary bandwagon, but their effort is hidden behind a paywall. Let us know if there’s anything interesting if you’re a subscriber.

23 Comments to “We’ll never forget”:

  1. 1

    It’s hard to believe, that 50 years ago I bought my first LP. Exiting the store I opened up the gate fold to see the pictures inside, it was amazing to see the band at work on the album. Listening to it at home it was an enjoyable album but I Didn’t think it was as good as in rock. On the radio they would play in the US only on FM stations highway star, smoke on the water and space trucking. It took about a year for the live version of Smoke On The Water from MIJ to come out and skyrocket the sales of both of these albums. In 1973 you could even hear smoke on the water on a.m. stations, studio version Of course FM was playing the live version from MIJ. Amazing how time flies, yesterday you were a teenager and today I am not, but the best part is I got to share this music with my brothers and sons.

  2. 2
    stoffer says:

    We all know the story, details and insights or at least we think we do, but this is well written and respectful to the bands legacy and the current MKVIII. Nicely done, there was even an article in the Wal $treet Journal about MH turning 50!!

  3. 3
    Krister Adolfsson says:

    How lucky we all are to have and to have had those epic bands – and a lot other bands too I must ad.
    Music is a very powerful force indeed.
    Keep on rockin’!

  4. 4
    DeeperPurps says:

    A major milestone for a landmark rock album…Deep Purple’s Machine Head 50 years later. I hope such an event would be commemorated by other major rock magazines (we know which ones) with special editions or at least some significant coverage.

  5. 5
    Jet Auto Jerry says:

    All of these articles and stories about Machine Head in the magazines and/or websites are great tasty appetizers, but when is that hearty meat and potatoes meal of a book coming out EotE?!?

    Does anyone know anything about it other than it is on perpetual delay? Did I miss something?

  6. 6
    MacGregor says:

    Machine Head is one of the first albums I heard way back in the early 70’s. A wonderful sounding record with so many great songs. The opening track HS with those screams was an ear opener indeed. Great memories every time I hear it & also think of it.. I have found my ‘lost’ cd of it after thinking I didn’t own a copy of this gem a few months ago, which had me wondering how that could be. A memory lapse that was.
    I will be giving it a spin again after not playing it for a very long time. One of a kind & a defining album it is. Cheers.

  7. 7
    Dr. Bob says:

    6 Singers? If we count Hughes then that is 5. Who am I missing?

  8. 8
    775Russ says:

    @6… Tommy Bolin.

  9. 9
    775Russ says:

    oops… the above comment was meant for Dr. Bob not MacGregor.

  10. 10
    Falk says:

    Tommy Bolin sings on Dealer.

  11. 11
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Machine Head wasn’t the first DP album I heard – I already had Shades Of, Book of Taliesyn, In Rock and Stormbringer (a weird mix, I really didn’t know what I was doing when I bought those albums pretty much within a week or two, didn’t know about different line-ups etc). But to this day I think it is Deep Purple’s “perfect album”, it’s flawless:

    – I like a little bit of pop with my hard rock. MH ticks all the right boxes there. In Rock is a bit too garage-sounding for me and there are not really a lot of hummable melodies on it (more a statement in sound than in songwriting, the most hummable track – Child in Time – is a rip-off!), Fireball a bit too proggy/bluesy/jammy. MH has strong, melodic songs front to back, there is not a single filler to my ears on it. Very catchy.

    – It’s the Mk II album where the guitar- and organ-driven unison sound of DP was honed to sleek, elegant (yes, hard rock can be elegant, DP is living proof with this album), streamlined and gleaming perfection. Inspired AND neat!

    – I might be the odd man out, but I like the particular sonics of that album. I believe that sound could not have been achieved in different surroundings to the Grand Hotel. I know it was coincidence, makeshift and an improvised studio surrounding, but I love the dry sound of that album which lets you hear – quite in contrast to those murky Led Zep recordings with echo all over – everything so clearly. It lets you detect how cleverly constructed and “well-engineered” DP’s music is, everything makes sense and is in the right place.

    – It was up to then Martin Birch’s best production and engineering job, every instrument plus Gillan’s voice in full splendor. Also the first Mk II album where Roger’s bass sound – thanks to his freshly introduced Rickenbacker 4001 – really shone. That bass sound is friggin’ iconic – and Roger’s performance awesome.


    Of course, the MH tracks have mostly been played to death, not least by the band itself. I also understand people who say that In Rock was more of a music culture game changer and set off 70ies rock, iconic cover and all, or who prefer Fireball for its more introspective variation and less commercial approach.

    But if someone asked me: “Explain to me what hard rock is and why you like it so much?”, Machine Head would be the album I dig out. Its legendary status is totally deserved.

  12. 12
    Uwe Hornung says:

    It’s actually eight singers: Roger Glover and Steve Morse sing here.


  13. 13
    Georgivs says:

    Roger did some singing instead of Ian during some American tour when Ian was sick. But if we count this, hey, then we should add Randy California to the regiment of DP guitar players!)

  14. 14
    George M. says:

    I am a WSJ subscriber. The only thing reported in the article that was news to me, and I’m not convinced it is factually accurate, was that the label put out three other “Machine Head” tracks as singles before “Smoke.’’ I know of only one: “Never Before.’’ The article also somehow fails to mention Frank Zappa. Nonetheless, happy to see the song and LP recognized in one of the few US papers read nationwide. On an unrelated note, saw Martin Barre’s band with special guest Clive Bunker on drums last night at a small venue in Massachusetts. Great show. Proof that one is never to old to rock’n’roll if one is … still vertical. Cheers, and belated congrats to the lads for their condemnation of Putin’s war.

  15. 15
    MacGregor says:

    @ 11 – yes indeed & the fact that Machine Head was also available in quadrophonic sound says something about the quality of the production & mix. It would have been selected for a quad mix for that very reason. Not that I am a surround sound person for conventional rock music. Stereo just sounds more direct to my ears. As you said recently, stereo is more palatable to the ears.. MH is a superb album in all facets. Cheers.

  16. 16
    AndreA says:

    What about Led Zeppelin?!

  17. 17
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Led who?

    Silly name, bad spelling, never ‘eard of’em.

  18. 18
    DeeperPurps says:

    @17, Uwe, your favourite band!

    Well in 2010, Classic Rock Magazine put out a 35 year anniversary edition to commemorate Led Zeppelin’s Physical Grafitti. And in 2020, it put out a 40th anniversary edition to commemorate AC/DC’s Back in Black.

    So far though, nary a peep yet from CRM / Louder about Deep Purple’s Machine Head at 50 years old.

    Am I surprised!? No, no no…not in the least.

  19. 19
    john says:

    @ 12, and they sing in I got your number, too 🙂
    @ 18 “Oh yes, I love you dearly
    but why do you exist?
    Oh yes, I love you really
    Is there something that I missed?…” 🙂

    MH is for me THE album, with absolute capital letters. InFinite thanks for all af your albums and for beig always there, dressed in purple, white, black or many other colors.

  20. 20
    MacGregor says:

    George M @ 14 – thanks for the Martin Barre mention, glad you enjoyed the gig. Many reviewers of Barre in concert prefer his band to the watered down version of ‘Jethro Tull’ these days. Not surprising given Ian Anderson’s vocal. Martin Barre is one of rock music’s stand out guitarists in many facets, a wonderful player. Last time I witnessed Tull in action was 2005 & they were musically brilliant of course, a shame Anderson has that vocal issue. I never bothered with Anderson’s solo band concerts when they visited our shores. Cheers.

  21. 21
    DeeperPurps says:

    John @19……”It’s only the glitter and shine that gets through……
    Where’s my Robin Hood outfit”?

  22. 22
    George M. says:

    MacGregor @20, etc. — This was the fourth time Martin played in my town, the first during the Covid era. I’m surprised Ian Anderson hasn’t asked/begged Martin, Dan, and Alan to join Tull. He could let Dan do the singing on stage. Bring back Clive or Barrie Barlow, and John Evans on keyboards. That’s not going to happen though. IA is like the emperor with no clothes when it comes to his voice, which has been dreadful since the late 1990s. I brought my flute-playing daughter to a Tull show around 2005 and felt compelled to apologize for IA’s voice. It’s a shame, because he had a great range back in the day, and he is still a brilliant songwriter. The ’70s lineups were Tull’s finest hour, in my unsolicited opinion. My desert island rock LP would either be “Machine Head” or “Songs From the Wood.” Had the pleasure of chatting with Martin for about an hour six years ago. An incredibly nice guy.

    As for “Machine Head,’’ I was 10 years old when it was released. My older cousins had the LP. I loved it at first listen and have been a Purple fanatic ever since.

    Sad to read that Steve’s wife, Janine, is battling cancer. Here’s wishing them the best.

  23. 23
    MacGregor says:

    George @ 22 – yes I have a great respect for Martin Barre & I loathed the way he was treated at the sudden ‘ending’ of Tull 10 years or so ago. I am firmly in the camp of ‘no Martin no Tull’. Doane Perry was great also drumming with Tull. The 70’s were the highpoint of Tull no doubt. I was unaware of them at the time but have plenty of friends who went to the Sydney 1977 gigs. I missed the boat big time there. However I do enjoy the early 80’s up to & including Broadsword. That ‘A’ tour video of the live performances is mighty powerful indeed, a great lineup that is. Pity is was a one off. I was at the 1984 gig in Sydney where Anderson pulled the plug after about 15 minutes. He sounded terrible & looking back on Tull history, he was having trouble with his voice a couple of months before arriving in Australia.
    I cannot believe he continued to tour with his problem & then would risk ruining his vocal as a result of that. Thankfully Purple were in town also that week & a few days later I was at the George Harrison cameo concert, so some good was achieved with one of my favourite bands at least on that trip to Sydney. I went to a 1994 Tull concert & having Dave Pegg doubling at times vocally was a good thing. They did sound rather grand there. I would have thought Anderson upon choosing a replacement bass player with Pegg’s retirement from the band, that a singing bass guitarist would have been a necessity. However he didn’t, a strange decision indeed. Cheers.

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