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Mike Portnoy was a guest on The Prog Report podcast recently, where he spoke about the albums turning 50 in 2022.

There’s some tremendous stuff from 72. Possibly two of the greatest prog albums of all time. That being said, Deep Purple’s ‘Machine Head’ is surely one of the greatest hard rock, early prototype metal albums of all time. And this is just an absolute classic for its time. And I think it’s Deep Purple’s masterpiece. I mean, they’ve put out many great albums, but this is the one that I think cemented them as one of the greatest hard rock bands of all time.

And, of course, the thing about Purple is they did have some prog elements. They started doing some symphonic stuff and jazzy stuff. When you think about what early prog was, it was that kind of melting pot of all those different styles. They had hard rock, prog, symphonic, and jazz, all thrown into this melting pot. And they were all such great musicians, every one of them was so great on their instruments.

This album has all the classics, opens with ‘Highway Star,’ one of the old-time classics. Obviously, ‘Smoke on the Water,’ is one of the most iconic guitar riffs of all time, and probably Deep Purple’s most famous song of all time. But then it’s got ‘Lazy’ and ‘Space Truckin’,’ ‘Maybe I’m a Leo.’ It’s one of those albums where top to bottom… You could rename this album ‘Deep Purple’s Greatest Hits.’ A lot of their live album ‘Made in Japan’ was off of this tour.

So, actually, when I picked a Purple album for Dream Theater to cover in its entirety, I picked ‘Made in Japan,’ because I really liked all of the improv and the jamming stuff that they did on that live version. But most of the songs on ‘Made in Japan’ is the stuff from ‘Machine Head’. This, to me, is their greatest studio album, and ‘Made in Japan’ is also an all-time favorite.

Dream Theater has a tradition of covering a classic album in its entirety at any two-night stands in the same city. While touring Japan in 2006 they did covers of Made in Japan at two shows — January 13 in Tokyo and January 15 in Osaka. The Osaka performance was released in the DT’s “official bootleg” series, with blessings from Roger Glover, who mixed the recording.

Thanks to Ultimate Guitar for the transcription.



3 Comments to “Top to bottom”:

  1. 1
    MacGregor says:

    The Mike Portnoy MH rave is around the 21 minute mark. Nice to see one of those guys mention Jethro Tull’s Thick As A Brick album & Barrymore Barlow’s drumming & percussion. Yes will always get mentioned from that era, a wonderful era it was. ELP were also & I didn’t get to finish listening to the podcast, they may have mentioned a few more classics no doubt. Cheers.

  2. 2
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Re Machine Head, I’m 100% in agreement with him. Hits the nail on the head.

  3. 3
    Dr. Bob says:

    If I graph my favorite albums along a time axis, 1970-1972 is clearly the peak in quantity & quality of music to my ears. On the peak of the peak sits In Rock, Machinehead, & Made in Japan. Ask me which is my favorite and my answer is which did I listen to most recently this week.

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