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Machine Head 40th let-down

You’re looking at two Machine Head anniversary vinyl reissues; the 1997 25th anniversary edition and the brand new 40th reissue.

Machine Head 25th and 40th LPs

The 40th anniversary release has been promoted as the reissue attraction to top them all. Well, OK, perhaps there wasn’t really that much new music around to tempt us with, so the boat was pushed out on the packaging.

You’ll already have Roger Glover’s fantastic 1997 remix, possibly also the surround mixes and quad mixes and whatnot. But not the 60-page hardback booklet featuring all manner of fascinating reading material; detailed essays from Roger Glover himself and Mojo magazine editor Phil Alexander, quotes from Deep Purple fans Mikael Akerfeldt, Peter Hook, Eddie Jordan and others, and an interview with photographer Didi Zill, who photographed the recording session in December 1971.

Sounds like a package worth picking up. But whatever you do, just don’t get the vinyl edition, because that includes absolutely none of the above. The fact is, the Machine Head 40th anniversary LP will be remembered as the poorest Deep Purple reissue ever.

As the photo shows, it consists of an exact replica of the original sleeve. The inner gatefold, which isn’t shown here, also replicates the 1972 original. The LP itself comes in a plain white inner bag with the lyrics fold-out sheet (early version missing a few lines of Never Before) snug in next to it.

The bonus 7″ of Never Before and When A Blind Man Cries comes in a plain Purple records 7″ sleeve also stuck inside the gatefold sleeve.

In fact, the only attempt at extra info is that round black sticker on the front hyping the single. That’s it.

Machine Head has a fascinating story behind it, and as it is Deep Purple’s most popular album, you’d think including the booklet in some form would have been worth EMI’s while here.

Oh yes, the black vinyl has been remastered in 2012. While that might seem attractive, please don’t expect any kind of revelatory aural experience. The 1997 remastered reissue (also with the far superior Glover remix) serves all purposes as far as sound quality goes.

Deep Purple’s followers have always been spoiled with exquisitely packaged and well researched reissues overseen by the capable Simon Robinson and company at the DPAS. Sadly, EMI decided they knew better this time, so they released the LP in a discount packaging very unlike previous anniversary reissues.

Whatever their excuses will be, there’s been an expense cut here which only benefits EMI. You still pay full price for the LP, and we do not recommend it.

Inspect closely the L in Purple on this cover and you realize that whoever did the sleeve has simply scanned an old 1972 sleeve – but forgot to remove the remnants of an old price tag and its glue. Cheap!

20 Comments to “Machine Head 40th let-down”:

  1. 1
    T says:

    The exceptional job Mr. Glover did for the anniversary remixes in the 90’s is absolute proof that it is he who should be twiddling the knobs when it comes to Deep Purple recordings. I have retired all the original CDs and replaced them with his work. “Smoke on the Water” and “Woman From Tokyo” in particular are the way they should have been done in the first place, despite Blackmore’s assertion that Roger “keeps changing the guitar solos.” I sincerely hope that Roger’s input was seriously sought for the new studio album.

  2. 2
    nupsi59 says:

    Sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but I’m waiting for the 50th anniversary edition with a replica of the original napkin, on which Roger wrote the famous song title. I hope it will be available as an audio-cassette.
    I wish you well.

  3. 3
    Boswell's Johnson says:

    Thanks for the heads-up. I was considering the vinyl, but if that’s all emi sees fit to do for that price, they can get stuffed. I’ll stick with my old vinyl version and the 1997 remix.

  4. 4
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I see the 40th Anniversary Machine Head(The STUDIO DISC that is!!!)is coloured black?

    I once started buying the the Anniversaries made in the 90’s. The biggest blow for me was that they did not pursue that format.
    Not all the albums had purple coloured vinyl for example.
    If that was not enough, not all studioalbums did get a nice re isssue outlook or were’t published on vinyl.

    I am glad with the remasters they did on the MK 1 cd;s but never got to see a purple vinyl edition.

    I was kinda desperate I think and bought Shades on Vinyl, but that was because of 100 year EMI, not one like they did with In Rock, Machinehead and so on.

    One edition of Fireball Anniversary VINYL did have a little poster, I was too late ordering that one. So had to be satisfied with the 2nd edition.
    Many of the early 70’s vinyl reissues got a great innerbag with pics and stuff.

    I never bought Japanese Anniversary vinyl. I m not even sure if there was a Japanese edition, but if they did they probably and/or re did the artwork outlook or got more extra’s. STILL MAKES ME FURIOUS!!!!

    I bought The Book Of Talisyn(Also not included in the Anniversary serie : ( ….) for the reason that……..uhhhhhhhhh, could it have been that it was because it was on 180 Gram?

    Nowadays they usually use 180 grams, so thats not special anymore….

    BURN looked cool but I m with those people that DC’s request to master the reiossue way too loud is true IMHO.

    I once bought a Warner Brothers (USA) edition in the early 90’s.
    Nowadays I play THAT ONE enhanced with my basic equaliser.

    I always LOVED In Concert 1970/1972.
    Also because of the inbetween chatter of Gillan and the(so called) dj.
    I finf the comments and intonations of the dj of 72 for example dubious but it is additive IMO.

    I missed out on the 2005 REMASTER of In Concert 72, and only recently saw someone write that that already was an improvement.

    Instead of hastily searching for a 2005, I waited for the NOW enhanced and REMIXED version of 2012.

    I never play vinyl, it s just because I m mad and love to have it : )

    Last night I struggled with finding a download.
    On one certain page it was already marked as PERMANENTLY ERASED(By Gillan and the other money grabbers ofcourse).

    Ofcourse I searched on and found some other ahem providers.
    , Even though new and scarying the hell out of me, very often Russian I think, I downlaoded a part of it. The CRC or something like that failed so I now do have about 75 % .

    It is ofcourse not a real cd, soundwise, but still…
    I have the impression it made a big step forward compared to my 1992 cd edition.
    I even thought I heard things not heard before!!!!

    Please enlighten me what you think about it.

    Cheers, Mark

  5. 5
    purplepriest1965 says:


    I must told you in the past but……

    Unforgivable, still!!!, is :

    1 My 2nd Edition of The Anniversary was coloured black! Was the 1st edition perhaps purple? Does somebody know?
    2 Even more unforgivable :

    My, and I am sure not the only one I noticed over the years, one of my personal GEMS was not even releasewd as a Anniversary Vinyl.
    Reason they said was it would not sell or something like that!!!
    But they did give us Stormbringer with lay out cover!
    Damn you!!!

  6. 6
    buttockss says:

    So sad when you can’t just get the hard back book.

  7. 7
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Add. Uhmmmmm, that is remarkable.
    That ” certain provider” does not mention a problem today.
    Right now it is coming in.

    Did I tell you that the intro to Space Trucking from In Concert 1972 always travels with me. It always makes me feel so damn good : )

    What is occurring right now has become a annoyance for years now :

    Using the same titles for different products.

    Espescially with MachineHead you stumble over the Scandinavia recording.
    Scandinavian Nights used to be the former title of Stockholm 1970.
    And than saying I m mad!!!

  8. 8
    Brad DeMoranville says:

    Lucky for me, I’m not as serious a collector as many of you are and will likely give this a miss. I love the 25th. Oh, and I remember Ritchie bitching about his solos being changed.

    Well, Ritchie, if you ever took the opportunity to be involved in the project yourself, you might have some say in the matter.

  9. 9
    Heydrich says:

    It seems to me that DP has got the Gene Simmons sickness, that is laughing all the way to the bank while the fans are flooded by re-emissions, re-re-emissions, anniversary emissions and another and another and another live album… I just hope that the band know that they got the best and most rich fans in the whole world.

  10. 10
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Yeah, the hardbook issue.

    I was not really thinking about that aspect.
    But by now the idea is pushing in that I do miss out on that one.

    I m not sure if I really do though.

    If it is a good reason I d like to hear/read that.
    That combined with the In Concert REmix(If it is raelly so that is a true enhancement, I might consider after all buying the package.

    Ofcourse I d go for the 2 items above only if they were sold seperately : (

  11. 11
    RB says:

    Seeing as we’re having a moan about Purple releases I’d like to stick my oar in about the remastered Concerto cd/dvd. I’m pretty happy with the sound but what really gets me is that a large chunk of Paicey’s drum solo is missing! The solo is complete on the original vinyl and also on the first cd version so why isn’t it complete on the remastered cd/dvd? REALLY bugs me!!!

  12. 12
    LRT says:

    A lot have heard my [piece on this and I see a lot of posts here but have no interest at this point in reading. Just want to say thanks forthe fair warning I already got from Rasmus but was’t sure exactly what the point was. Fans, if yu have the 25th vinyl no real need for the 40th vinyl edition of this…much agreed! I also thank you for whateversavings are in it!

  13. 13
    Mark O'Neill says:

    If I recall I heard that there were recordings during the WDWTWA sessions of “It’s Only Make Believe” and some song about a “Smelly Body”. If this is so, why weren’t they on the remastered one and are they available anywhere?

  14. 14
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I played the In Concert 72/2012 version a few times now.
    The extra bits and pieces are very welcome, I like that.

    Soundwise I hoped for more.

    But maybe because this was recorded by the BBC it always was a good sound already.

    I do have the 92 version, never really had a problem with that.

    It s just, being spoiled with the remixes of Stockholm 70 and Live In Japan(Triple version), I just wanted another fix of quantum leap level, hehehe.

    Can anybody tell me what is in the HARDBOOK?
    Unknown pics of Gillan with a burning newspaper in his arse?

  15. 15
    Russ says:


    Roger said they would be on the WDWTWA remaster. But Jon Lord didn’t want them released. He thought the tracks would be confusing to people. What people? I have no idea. Maybe people that had never heard of Purple, who just happen to buy the remaster, listed to those tracks first, be confused, and never listed to the rest. I’m guessing it wouldn’t have been an issue with anyone.

  16. 16
    Gillan says:

    Even when EMI will continue putting his hand in our pockets?
    Another new remix? A DVD with 5.1 sound?
    Glover remix ’97 again? In Concert again?
    it’s a joke?
    As our ears can distinguish between 5.1, quad mixes and new remixes?
    And the cost…The book can be very good, but …$ 50!
    (And the funniest thing is that in a few years when the box is out of print, will be worth a fortune)
    Please, my friends…
    With the 25th anniversary edition really was enough
    At least for me…

  17. 17
    LRT says:

    I’ll bet ‘Smelly Botty’ is funny, he was a ham! RIP (some have heard it, or some say they have)

  18. 18
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I think DP were confused the moment of recording the songs

  19. 19
    John H says:

    No need for another remaster. It’s not like this has layers of strings, horns, pianos and other stuff that you wouldn’t hear before. It’s bass, drums, vocals organ and guitar and not complicated.

  20. 20
    Michael Callan says:

    I have just read the new 40th anniversary vinyl reveiw, too late I have bought it & true, it has the sticker marks on the sleeve, I feel stitched up & ripped off, I missed the earlier purple discs but have the CD’s, but I like vinyl & to be honest, the remastering does not jump out at you & I have a high end hifi & at £25 plus not value for money, buyer beware!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙁

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