The documentray DVD came out this week in the US and I picked it up yesterday. Wasn't sure exactly what to expect, the DPAS comments about not many rare clips and RB refusing to play stuff on electric guitar came across quite negative. But it's very cool! The coolest thing is that everyone is nice and complimentary about each other and the album. Almost no bitchiness, and the little that there is, is tongue in cheek (Ritchie channeling shortwave Bulgarian radio through his hat). Everyone praises the genius of Blackmore, and in turn RB is on his self-deprecating humour best behaviour - everything he says about Gillan is positive, and he gives credit to everyone as well as the album itself. It's mainly individual interviews except the two Ian's are together. Both Roger and Martin Birch are in front of mixing desks, some very interesting parts where they play a song but then fade out all but one track (instrument) so you can hear what someone is doing individually. Jon demonstrates some stuff on a Hammond, how he gets his sound etc - nice part where he plays bits of the Space Truckin' live improv. Ritchie plays stuff on acoustic but it sounds cool - talks about how he thought his chorus riff in Space Truckin' was too simple, but then Gillan took it and made it sound good with the right lyrics. They also interview a few other people, some guy from a guitar mag, plus Chris Welch and Chris Charlesworth. One weird thing, as far as I can remember, Lazy is not mentioned or played one single time, even in the bonus material section. Smoke On The Water of course gets the most airtime with the Casino fire story which I'm sure none of us ever heard before(!). Highway Star has the "written on the way to Portsmouth" story, Space Truckin' has Jon's bit as well as some goofing on the lyrics, Pictures Of Home gets a fair amount of time with Paice's drum intro and RB telling IG that "eagles" was OK to put in the words. Never Before was the "failed single", and there's a promo for it in the bonus section which is pretty obviously the band playing something completely different on video and the track put on the audio. Maybe I'm A Leo is only (I think) mentioned in the bonus material where Roger talks about how he came up with the riff. Oh yeah, there's one part where they all talk about getting from the studio to the playback room at the hotel. Very funny with each member doing a line and then splicing the video together. Definitely worth getting hold of. I guess it's on UK TV in the next week or so. Much more enjoyable to watch than say... Perihelion
If you saw the programme on TV, you know what you're getting. What you're getting is a dissection of a classic album. Martin Birch and Roger Glover sit at the mixing desk and twiddle some knobs. Jon Lord plays "The Beast" in his home. Ritchie speaks fondly of the others (!) and plays the "Smoke" riff on an acoustic guitar (he refused to play it on a strat apparently). What you get on this DVD is about half an hour of extra stuff that wasn't shown on TV (including extended footage of 'Smoke On The Water' and 'Space Truckin'). What you don't get (why?) is any discussion about Lazy. It's as if it's not on the album, let alone one of it's standout tracks! Wonder why not???
This is what a lot of DP fans have been waiting for - all 5 mark 2 members being interviewed (not together mind you!) in a relaxed sort of atmosphere. The DVD contains the full ITV broadcast from 27th of November as you are doubtless aware. However it does contain a whole lot more. There are 9 additional interview sections a couple of which are very short but enlightening nonetheless. Where this DVD is fascinating is the totally complimentary fashion in which all of the members discuss the other member's contribution to what is an outstanding album. They all seem to be wanting to give the the rest the credit. The interview sections with Blackmore and Lord demonstrating the riffs or instrumental constructions are particularly interesting. Ok there will be some diehards who will complain that all Blackmore's demonstrations are on an acoustic guitar but they will miss the point. Sadly it also merely serves as an appetiser as it contains some great footage of DP in action in the US during the early seventies. Unfortunately, it is these glimpses of the band in full flight which attract the attention and leave one wanting more - a whole lot more! The downside being that the owner of the footage of the whole show is reluctant to sell it in its entirety (What a DVD that would make!). The disc runs for approximately 100 minutes and it even kept my 2 year old son quiet!!!! This is a must have for any Deep Purple fan!
The other reviews sum it up well. No Lazy!! No Strat!! But you get all the Mk II members talking about the album, full of small-big compliments for each other. I really liked how Jon Lord showed how he transformed the sound of the Hammond, at last I found out why "When A Blind Man Cries" was not on the album (but is on the anniversary CD, thank God), you get a taste of what Ritchie is now doing with acoustic guitars, I confirmed that they are all very eloquent, not a bunch of lads who couldn't string a couple of words together and finally, that quiet, hippy Roger is probably the cornerstone of what we love about DP. The videos could have been better, but I guess we will have to buy more DVD's....
This is a great album by a great band at the highpoint of its career.
The DVD has some extras, but the original program was good enough to justify purchase as the program holds up to repeated viewings.
This is largely a very interesting film. All the members of the MKII line-up take part, although not in the same room at the same time! Gillan and Paice are interviewed together, Roger Glover is at the mixing desk, Jon Lord at "The Beast" (Hammond) and Ritchie Blackmore on his own. They all have fond memories of the recording of Machine Head and something I learnt from this film was that the vast majority of the album was recorded live in the studio.
I've docked it a star because as previous reviwers have said there is no mention of "Lazy" (although you do see the title on a piece of paper). It was always one of my favourite tracks so it was a shame not to learn anything extra about it. The only reason I can think why they don't discuss it is that essentially its a variation on a blues and as such is not terribly original.
Still aside from not discussing that track I found this a fascinating and at times inspiring film from one of the best rock groups of the 70's.
“Classic Albums: The Making of Machine Head” is a documentary film that was shown on television in 2002 and released on DVD in 2008. Here is some basic information about it:
** Production and distribution: Isis Productions and Eagle Rock Entertainment ** Produced by Martin R. Smith ** Directed by Matthew Longfellow
This is the story of Deep Purple and how they made the album Machine Head, one of the most famous albums in the history of rock & roll. The album was recorded in Montreux ("on the Lake Geneva shoreline") in December 1971 and released on vinyl in March 1972. It was released on a CD in 1989 and again in 2015. Here is a link to the CD: Machine Head.
There are seven tracks on the album:
# 1. Highway Star # 2. Maybe I’m a Leo # 3. Pictures of Home # 4. Never before # 5. Smoke on the Water # 6. Lazy # 7. Space Truckin’
The line-up of the band changed several times over the years. The line-up for this album, known as Mark II, is perhaps the best combination there ever was:
** Guitar – Richie Blackmore (born 1945) ** Keyboards – Jon Lord (1941-2012) ** Bass – Roger Clover (born 1945) ** Vocals – Ian Gillan (born 1945) ** Drums – Ian Paice (born 1948)
All five members of the band were interviewed for the film, but not at the same time and not in the same room. Ian Gillan and Ian Paice were interviewed together, but the other three were interviewed one by one and in separate locations.
The interviews are very civilized. They all speak highly of the album and of each other. It seems they all have a good memory of this recording session, even though it was a very difficult process, because they were faced with several problems, which are explained in track # 5, “Smoke on the Water.”
Perhaps, in some strange way, the quality of the album was raised by the numerous obstacles they had to face. Perhaps they all decided that they were going to record this album no matter what. And not just a decent album, but one that was exceptional.
The following persons were also interviewed for the film:
** Martin Birch, sound engineer on the album ** Chris Charlesworth, music journalist ** Brad Tolinski, editor of “Guitar World Magazine” ** Chris Welch, music journalist
Each track of the album is discussed in detail, except for track # 6, “Lazy.” I do not know why. No reason is given for this omission, which is a shame.
The song “When a Blind Man Cries” is discussed, even though it was not included on the original album. It was recorded in December 1971, with the other tracks, but Ritchie Blackmore did not like it, and therefore it was not included on the album. Instead it was released as the B-side of the single “Never Before” (1972).
The DVD comprises two parts. Part one is the main story which was shown on television and which runs for ca. 50 minutes. Part two is the bonus material which comprises nine short sections, for instance “No Smoke without Water, “The Beast,” and “Make Everything Louder.”
When the interviews took place, the witnesses were talking about an album that was thirty years old. By now, the album is more than forty years old, but it is still a great album. And it is good to have the story of how it was made in this film.
The five members of Deep Purple were a good team, but unfortunately it could not last. The members were too different. They wanted different things. They had to go their separate ways. In these interviews there is almost no mention of the internal conflicts that were simmering back in 1971. But towards the end of the film there are a few hints that tell us that these five musicians could not continue working together for long.
“The Making of Machine Head” is recommended, because it gives us the story behind an exceptional album. I like this film, but (as stated above) one track is forgotten, and this is something I cannot forget. I have to take off one star because of this flaw. Therefore I think this film deserves a rating of four stars.
An enjoyable mix of dialogue from interviews with band members and other knowledgeable / informed guests and music. I would have liked a bit longer just listening to the music, but maybe many watchers will have all of the music anyway - which I don't by chance. Anyway, well worth a watch.