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4.8 out of 5 stars
Machine Head - 25th Anniversary Edition
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Deep Purple's sixth studio album (and the third with their famous MKII line Up) Machine Head is their most famous and arguably most loved album, contains many of the band's most famous songs and is considered both an all time classic of rock music and one of the key building blocks of heavy metal... the album held in very high esteem and with good reason.

The album set a new standard for rock music, it is full of very memorable songs, most of which the band play live a great deal and all of which are of the utmost quality, most with riveting performances both vocally and instrumentally.

Opening up with fan favourite 'Highway Star,' the album starts off strong, showcasing its rock credentials right from the beginning. Rithchie Blackmore and Jon Lord had always been talented virtuosic players, but the trade-off keyboard/neo-classical guitar solo on this song was a whole other level of skill and quality. The song just has a great attitude, with driving bass, great drum fills all throughout and a strong chorus.

'Pictures Of Home,' is similar in its heavy and driving nature, one of the best songs on the album and this time providing as much of a showcase for Ian Paice's drumming as Lord and Blackmore's soloing. Add to that 'Space Trucking,' which is equally strong, driving and rocking and you should be getting a picture for why the album is considered so good.

The only two tracks on the album which aren't famous in their own right are 'Maybe I'm A Leo,' and 'Never Before,' but each fit perfectly on the album, full of the same sort of musicianship as the rest of the album.

Of course, the album finishes with absolute classics 'Smoke On The Water,' and 'Lazy,' two songs you can't go to a Deep Purple concert without hearing and which spend a huge amount of time on classic rock radio programming. No need for me to describe them, you've more than likely heard them already.

Overall, Machine Head is the go to album for people getting into Deep Purple, an indisputable classic album and the home of much of the band's best known works. Highly Recommended.

If you get the 25th Anniversary edition, in addition to two remixes and one of the best linear note booklets ever made, you'll find the track 'When A Blind Man Cries,' which you really ought to hear if you like Deep Purple.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon 22 July 2011
... was hearing this for the first time.

I grew up in the 60s/70s with 2 quite older sisters. They were very much in to The Beatles and Elvis, and hence so was I. At school in the mid 70s I was still mad keen on Elvis, and shared my passion with one of my best mates. We were always swapping records and boring other friends rigid with our love and knowledge of Elvis and his music. Then one rainy lunchtime at school, my friend dragged me in to one of the music rooms where there was a record player which a few select pupils were allowed to use so long as they were careful. When we got in there, there were a few other boys from my class, and my mate said to me, "You have just GOT TO HEAR THIS", and then gave a nod.

The needle was carefully cued up over the appropriate track and then gently lowered, and then Smoke On The Water started to wash over us all.

We all know what a stunning track this is, but the effect on me was electrifying and profound. I can still remember that day 37-ish years ago as clearly and vividly as if it were yesterday, quite literally. In my rather sheltered musical exposure up to that moment, I had never heard anything like it before, and I just fell in love with rock, instantly.

Whenever I hear it now, and I hear it a lot, I am transported back to that day that changed my taste in music, and it is no exaggeration to say my life, for ever. I can see all my mates grinning at me, I can smell the rain and my damp blazer, I can hear the gentle hiss and crackle of the vinyl as the track started to play, I can feel the shivers going up my spine. I wasted no time in buying the album for myself, and having transferred it to CD myself years ago, I still get a kick out of listening to my own burned version of this now, with all the same pops and crackles that I got so used to during the hundreds and hundreds of plays of that disc during my formative teenage years. I much prefer it to modern clinical versions. That original piece of vinyl is in my DNA.

Many people on Desert Island Discs choose music to remind them of people and places. I would do the same, but I would also choose Smoke On The Water, not only for the memories but because it is a very special piece of music. No matter how many times you hear it, you never ever tire of it. EVER. That is very rare.

Best album ever? Well, it's right up there for me.

It was certainly the first album in my "proper" music collection ;-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Deep Purple Mk 2 had already made a huge impression with In Rock and Fireball by 1972 when they went off to Switzerland to record a follow up. Fortuitously for them an infamous Frank Zappa concert and the destruction of the recording studio provided the inspiration that led to one of THE most famous rock riffs of all time, Smoke On The Water. The track forms the centrepiece of this, the third in their trilogy of Rock album masterpieces that would seal their reputation and legend status.

It's a strong track and worth the price of the album in its own right, but the rest of the material is very strong and no mere filler. It's still all over the top frenetic rock, with all the usual Gillan howls, Lord organ fireworks and Blackmore guitar heroics, held together by the impeccable rhythm section of Paice and Glover. It's track after track of classic classic rock.

The 25 anniversary edition is a decent affair. It's two discs, disc one is a set of remixes of the original album, including when a blind man cries, a contemporary B side. Disc 2 contains a series of remasters of the original album and a couple of quadraphonic mixes. I'll be honest I am not enough of an audiophile to be able to tell the difference, and usually just play disc 1. The sound is pretty good and clear throughout though. There is also an extensive and informative booklet.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 2004
If you're looking for the best Deep Purple album, then look no further! Machine Head is one of the greatest albums known to rock. The Mk II lineup consisting of Ian Gillan on vocals, Ritchie Blackmore on guitar, Roger Glover on bass, Jon Lord on keyboard and Ian Paice on the drums are at their finest. Considering all that the band had been through at the time - read the 28-page booklet supplied with the album - witnessing the destruction of the Casino in Montreux as it was burned to the ground by "some stupid with a flare gun" (hence came the idea for the incredible Smoke On The Water) and being unable to find a place to record their songs for weeks - their skills and determination shine through in Machine Head.
The two discs supplied with the album are essentially the same, although it is interesting to listen to both. Disc 1 consists of the 1997 remixes, Disc 2 the originals. Both discs are truly awesome.
1. Highway Star - Superb, brilliant vocals by Gillan and fantastic guitar play by Blackmore. Probably the second best track on the album. 10/10
2. Maybe I'm A Leo - Just listen to that opening riff by Ritchie! This is an excellent track full of rhythm, one of the album's strongest. 10/10
3. Pictures Of Home - An ace song. Pictures Of Home simply reeks of perfection. 10/10
4. Never Before - Amazing. Never Before is just outstanding. 10/10
5. Smoke On The Water - Who hasn't heard of Smoke On The Water? With the greatest and most famous riff ever shredded, Smoke On The Water is the best song DP have ever done, bar none. 10/10
6. Lazy - Incredible, you'll want to listen to Gillan insisting you never get out of bed again and again. A great mixture of blues and hard rock. 10/10
7. Space Truckin' - Fantastic all over, the heaviest track on the album. 9.5/10
8. When A Blind Man Cries - The slow, tender melody track of the album. Gillan's vocals are heartbreaking. 9.5/10
I'd give these scores to the tracks on both discs.
I will treasure Machine Head as long as I live. An absolutely classic album, full of the greatest guitar riffs and solos by Blackmore and intense singing by Gillan. The whole band deserves the highest of praise for their amazing performance on this album. An eternal classic!!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 11 January 2004
Ian Gillan singing, Ritchie Blackmore on guitar and Lord, Glover and Paice all make this one of the finest albums that has ever been made. With two cds, a 28 page booklet and cardboard sleeve, this anniversary edition not only serves as a fitting tribute to Purple's masterpiece, but loyally remasters the original album, then remixes it into a wholly new experience.
The remasters cd is simply magnificent. Sit back somewhere comfortable (because trust me you wont be going anywhere)and crank up the volume.
Highway star opens the album perfectly- it's fast-paced, noisy trailblazing rock with a wonderful guitar solo, driven all the way by paice's relentless drums. Fantastic and worthy of its place on the 'best of'.
It all gets a bit jazzy and catchy for Maybe im a Leo, with a slowing of pace and plenty of time for echanging guitar and organ solos. The riff is a classic- its simple but you could hum it for days.
The speed picks up again for Pictures of Home which, i must confess, is my least favourite of the set... but a great song nonetheless. The remix does this one more justice i found.
The album's single is up next, in the form of Never Before. From a cool drum intro, through laid back guitars, this song suddenly turns into a rock'n'roll number which is both catchy and very playable even if you arent a huge heavy metal fan. It's good fun and has a commerciality to it that justifies its release, even if smoke on the water was to outshine it in terms of fame.
And then that riff kicks in. Smoke On The Water is so famous its ridiculous- everybody knows that riff and the rest of the song is just as excellent. The guitar solo here is superb and gillan's vocals are particularly good. It is the definitive Deep Purple anthem and deservedly so- i knew this riff long before i knew what song it came from.
Lazy is quite the opposite of its title. From an extremely noisy introduction into the jazziest guitar solo on the album, through increasing degrees of rock and roll with jon lord's organ churning out smooth melody after smooth melody, this has to be my favourit on the album. Gillan's laid back vocals are perfect and his harmonica adds to an already barnstorming masterpiece. The way this song builds from so little to so much totally excuses the cliche ending- only stairway to heaven does it better but this is so much more fun.
Space Truckin has a great intro, a groovy tune, funny lyrics and a riotous drum solo in the middle. A great all-rounder of a track robbed of a place on the 'best of'.
When a blind man cries, the B-side, is as laid back, bluesy, stylish and meaningful as one could hope for. With an understated solo and sedate vocals this is easy-listening stuff, a quiet and gorgeous classic.
Then there is the quadrophonic mixes, the remixes of the whole album, and everything else. The remix disc is worth a listen- it certainly (as someone else said) breathes new life into the original tracks but the basic album is the best in my opinion and worth the price of the set on its own.
This is my favourite Deep Purple album and one of the best i own. It simply defines 70s rock in a way even led zep couldn't have done- it has all the hallmarks of a great band (riffs, solos, talented players and a great singer)and still sounds amaing today. Buy it now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2015
1972's 'Machine Head' represents for the majority of Deep Purple's hardcore fans the group's finest hour and certainly, on the balance of the 7 strong and highly innovative tracks featured here, that claim is a hard one to disagree with. The opener 'Highway Star' is a marvellous, pacey number whilst 'Maybe I'm A Leo' lays down a snazzy, bluesy rhythm. 'Pictures Of Home' is notable thanks to some superb solos from Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord on guitar and keyboards respectively and is followed by one of my personal Purple favourites, the punchy 'Never Before'. The classic 'Smoke On The Water' is up next followed by the fast blues of 'Lazy' before the speedy 'Space Truckin' rounds things off very nicely indeed. If you're looking to discover the wonders of Deep Purple for the first time then I suggest that you can't go far wrong with this LP.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2013
fantastic 6 cd box set of every angle and every way you want to hear this classic from 41 years ago, though i was not crazy about the remixes back in 1997, this basically gives you everything you need when it comes to the mark 2s best album by most peoples standards ( my fav was in rock) regardless this was the record that got the world to know who purple where, also the quad mix is really good to and a great booklet with all the info you need to know about this is included, this is for a deep purple compleatest, if you fit that catagory then you gotta get this, if not just stick with the original album.................
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 13 June 2006
This is now the fourth version of the album I have bought. As a 13-year-old, I originally bought it on cassette and played it to death on a mono Philips 'cassettecorder' in the summer of 1972. With such lo-fi equipment, it was impossible for my uneducated ears to tell what was guitar and what was organ.

This became a source of some embarrassment when I heard the album at my next school on stereo LP -- Garrard SP25 Mark IV turntable etc -- and discovered that I had been doing air guitar solos during some of Jon Lord's bits.

Since then, I have bought both the bog-standard Machine Head CD and the 25th anniversary remasters. With the release of the SACD, it becomes absolutely clear who plays which part, and also how dependent Jon Lord and Richie Blackmore were upon each other. No wonder, during the 'Who do we think we are' arguments when Purple were deciding who was going to have to leave to restore peace to the band, that Jon Lord realised he had to hold on to Blackmore for as long as possible.

Organists played a very different musical role in the 60s and early 70s, compared to the synth players who would soon follow them. Some, such as Hugh Banton of VdGG, could substitute for a missing bass player via his pedals. Jon Lord, on the other hand, sounds like he could substitute for a guitarist who had had an intoxicant too many. The duetting between Lord and Blackmore, and indeed the passages of note-for-note copying, are brought to the fore in this mix. The drum and bass recording is nothing special, though the mix reveals some percussion (e.g. on Space Truckin') that I hadn't been aware of before.

The inlay notes seem to be the same as for the 25th Remastered version.

I would strongly recommend buying this version if you have an SACD player, while stocks last. It seems extraordinary to me that, once again, the hi-fi bit of the rock market has come to another end, just as it did with quadrophonic in 1973. SACD is the best possible sound you can get from a piece of music, but the technology just hasn't taken off -- perhaps because its battle with DVD-audio put potential buyers off committing themselves. I suppose we can't blame the record companies for trying to do SACD on the cheap by re-releasing all the quad mixes from 1971-1973 on SACD 5.1, but it could have been so very different.

Oh well, just enjoy Purple at their very best with this album.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2004
Yes it's multi-channel, no it's not 5.1. But it doesn't matter! It's the original quadrophonic mix from 1972 and it is nothing short of stunning!
Play the remastered stereo mix before listening to the SACD version, the stereo mix sounds muddy and basically a mush! The quad mix is simply amazing! I've been listening to this record for over 25 years and this is quite simply a revelation.
I've never heard some of the stuff on here before. Jon Lord's rhythm organ section on Smoke On The Water is sublime. Ritchie's guitar sings out from the speakers like Never Before (sorry, couldn't resist it!).
For Purple fans who (quite rightly) rate Machine Head as the band's finest ever effort, this is a must have purchase. This is the album sounding exactly as it was meant to be heard...."it's a wild hurricane, all right, hold tight..."
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 28 October 2000
This album with Led Zeppelin's "4 Symbols" was one of the ground breaking early 1970s albums. "Machine Head" features a quality and a sparkle, live feel, which for Hard Rock genre can't be beaten. Highway Star is so majestic and builds into a magnificent crescendo, with a solo by Blackmore which must rate as one of rock music's finest. "Lazy", "Pictures Of Home", "Smoke On The Water", the superlatives are unending. A hugely successful going Platinum, this is Deep Purple at their wonderful best. The musicianship is simply breathtaking. A must have album for any rock fan or for anyone with an appreciation of brilliant music.
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