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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my life's defining moments...
... 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...
Published on 22 July 2011 by David P

versus
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deep Purple, Machine Head, Vinyl Re-issue 2012.
7th November 2012: Update.

To explain: Because I have already reviewed the 2010 version I am not allowed to review a second version so I have added the 2012 vinyl review to my 2010 vinyl review. The 2010 is still attached after the 2012 vinyl review: Confused? Please read on:

Mis-Machined, Machine Head 2012 Vinyl

This is probably not to...
Published on 24 Aug 2010 by P. Kelly


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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my life's defining moments..., 22 July 2011
By 
David P (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
... 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ferrari of rock, 15 Nov 2007
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Deep Purple have made several great albums, so there's no absolute consensus on which is their best, but 'Machine Head' gets my vote ahead of 'Made In Japan' and 'In Rock.' The sleek, fast-paced 'Highway Star' and 'Pictures of Home' reveal the band's major qualities. They can do heavy, as on the famous 'Smoke On The Water,' but its the rich quality of musicianship that counts here, allied to their flamboyance. Even the lyrics generally avoid cliches. 'Never Before' wasn't really instant enough to be a hit, but swaggers with class nevertheless. 'Space Truckin'' is the surprise for me, featuring a rawer, basic style, with Ian Gillan barking out the chorus. 'When A Blind Man Cries' is the album's most soulful track, a beautiful way to end the album. Packed with great songs and quality performances, even the album's lesser known tracks are superb. The second disc is interesting enough, but the original album on its own would have been enough. An all-time classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic revisited, 22 Feb 2008
By 
P. G. Harris - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
What is the point of writing a review of an album which already has a place in the elite of all time great hard rock albums?

Well, it's simply this. I've just come back to this album for the third time. Back in the seventies it was the first proper LP I owned, playing both of my vinyl copies to death. In the nineties I bought it on CD. Then, yesterday, wandering around London I played it on my iPod, and was once more struck by the sheer quality.

So thoughts about it. Well Deep Purple are often classified as heavy metal, but this album is just stunningly melodic when compared to what is described as metal today. Also, it seemed to me that Machine Head has more in common with what Pink Floyd were doing around this time than what, say, Sabbath were doing.

Also, the way the Mk2 line up complement each other is just fabulous. Of coure there is the juxtaposition non-pareil of Gillan's voice and Blackmore's guitar, but the rhythm section of Glover and Paice give the whole album a fantastic momentum. Lord's keyboards are almost unique in hard rock.

So down to the tracks themselves. My favourites from my younger days, Highway Star, Pictures of Home and Space Truckin retain their sheer power and are as exciting as ever. Highway Star opening a show must be one of the all time great live moments. But now I find the gentler, blues-ier tracks, Maybe I'm a Leo and Lazy to be the real stand outs. Lazy is probably the best track, even though it feels dangerously like Spinal Tap's experimental jazz period and I guess its not too original to say that Jon Lord must be the prototype for Derek Smalls.

And then we come to THAT TRACK, and THAT RIFF. Not having listened to it for a while I was struck by, (riff aside) what a perfectly crafted rock song Smoke on the Water is. The gradually layering in of guitar, drums, base, and keyboards at the start, the central guitar solo, and of course the unique lyrics.

So it sounds a bit trite to say highly, recommended but if you have a taste for rock music, and don't have this in your collection, what the flaming heck are you waiting for, order it now. Maybe Led Zep VI is ahead of Machine Head in the list of all time great hard rock albums, but I can't think of anything else that is.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Answers many of the 'How did they do it?' questions, 13 Jun 2006
By 
Gavin Wilson - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Machine Head (Audio CD)
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Machine Head, 22 Aug 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: MacHine Head (Audio CD)
Before we get started, a quick note for those of an audiophile persuasion;

This is a review for the 1986 CD issue of Machine Head, EMI CDP 7462422. It seems to be a nice flat transfer from the original tapes, with no extraneous compression or use of noise-reduction, although it does have pre-emphasis (which will usually only make a difference to the quality of sound if you rip it to CDR without setting the flag properly during the process, so no big deal for the majority who will listen to the actual CD). It comes with a 10 page booklet full of photos, which makes a pleasant change because often with CD's of this vintage you're lucky to get more than a basic 2 page fold-over featuring only song titles and advice on how to treat your disc.

Ok, and so to my brief review of this album

Machine Head saw something of a return to form for Deep Purple after the very good - but slightly lacking - Fireball. Despite that album's inherent funkiness and drive, it featured a lot of instrumental sections which were laid-back to the point of being almost horizontal. Very uninspired. With Machine Head the band tightened up their focus as a musical unit. They got their groove back.

But is Machine Head "the" Deep Purple album it's often cited to be? That's up for debate really. It lacks the primal ferocity and barely restrained brutality of In Rock, which is the only other Deep Purple album which can legitimately battle against Machine Head for pole position as "the" classic. Yet each are very different musical beasts.

Machine Head is the more mature of the pair and most certainly has a more professional production.

One thing that really stands out for me with this album is how surprisingly low at times the guitar is in the mix - which is very easy to overlook because Jon Lord's keyboard being pumped through a distorted Marshall stack often has the presence of a guitar. It wasn't until I saw Machine Head - Classic Albums [DVD] [2008] and heard Blackmore's guitar work isolated, and then made a point of listening closely through headphones to the CD, that I began to appreciate the effective simplicity of his rhythm guitar work on this album - because on the whole it's more implied than upfront due to the mix giving the keyboards a general rhythmic prominence. His lead and riff work is though given more of an equal footing.

Don't mistake that for meaning this album doesn't rock. It does. And very nicely so. Not in the brash, outlandish and abrasive style of In Rock, but in a solid and dependable manner. From the opener of Highway Star to the closer of Space Truckin' it's a steady paced ride, the only slump in proceedings being Lazy - a mellower number which sounds somewhat out of place due to overtones of (dare I say it!) Jazz and R&B harking back to the days of Georgie Fame.

So, Machine Head get 4 stars from me. Out of all of the Gillan-era Purple albums it's the one I find myself returning to most often.
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking! Deep Purple at their best!, 10 Aug 2004
By 
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Fire in the Sky, 11 Jan 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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As It Was Meant To Be Heard, 21 Jan 2004
This review is from: Machine Head (Audio CD)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Purple's Definitive Album, 28 Oct 2000
By A Customer
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Roger Glovers remix breathes new life into a classic album, 29 Dec 1999
By A Customer
How can anyone improve on one of musics defining albums ? Well Roger Glover has...great alternate solos from Blackmore, new drumming from Paicey and never before heard intros and outros to most songs makes this 2CD set rock. The remix really does sound unique to the original which is included as a remastered CD including rare B-side When A Blindman Cries and Quadrophonic mixes of Leo & Lazy . Excellent 28 page booklet with detailed liner notes & very rare pics of Purple recording in 1971. Well presented in a sleeve featuring the unused alternate album cover for Machine Head.
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