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One may always wonder whether artists making a work that will enter the legend of their art are aware of that accomplishment. Take Nirvana for instance: it seems quite obvious that when recording their "Nevermind" album for a few bucks in the early 90's, they never considered it as becoming an artistic 'hashtag' for a generation. I do believe it was exactly the same for Deep Purple when recording "Machine Head" in 1971. Five young British dandys, feeling like the kings of their world, land in Switzerland wearing the coat of their new fame. They are about to become even bigger than they already are. And that is thank to a few striking hit to be featured on their next LP, composed and recorded under odd circumstances in a last minute booked old greasy hotel in Montreux, 'on the lake Geneva shoreline'. The genuine, improvised character of their music and their lyrics will give birth to their most acclaimed and famouse piece of work. "Machine Head" opens with Highway Star, a classic hard rock number that any hard rock fan can sing in his sleep. The guitar solo in particular has caused thrills to several generations of headbangers. The jazzy Maybe I'm a Leo, the epic Pictures of Home (about eagles and snow), the catchy Never Before, the swinging Lazy (borrowed to Clapton), the psychedelic Space Truckin', all those tracks have made it to the legendary heavens of rock classic material. But none of them has reached to perfectness of Smoke on the Water. The song tells in the most simplistic way the story of its own recording with the fire at the Montreux Casino in the background. The riff has been played from Turkmenistan to the Amazonian jungle, to every newborn since then. Yet, no fan would curse at me if I strongly recommend to listen to the live version featured on the amazing live album Made in Japan (the one you will find on every desert island of the planet). Machine Head is pure, concentrated joy of hard rock. Period.
What can you say one of the best classic rock albums of all time. Of course there is "Smoke On The Water" the most famous guitar riff ever written. Then there is two more of their most famous songs on this album "Highway Star and Space Truckin" which are still played live to this day. But my favorite Purple song is "Maybe I'm A Leo" this song just has a great groove to it. The album is rounded out with "Pictures Of Home", "Lazy" and "Never Before". If you are into Classic Rock this album is a MUST.