“Classic Albums: Machine Head” by Deep Purple

Artist: Deep Purple
Release: “Classic Albums: Machine Head”
Label: Eagle Vision
Date: 11/19/2002
Genre: Rock
Rating: 8

Of all classic rock albums Deep Purple’s “Machine Head” probably has the most harrowing tale of gestation. As most rock fans know “Smoke On The Water” is not just a song with the most abused riff in music history but it also tells the story of how Deep Purple came to record in Switzerland and found themselves almost instantly in dire circumstances. This DVD from Eagle Vision documents that saga through interviews with Purple’s best known “mach” members, Ian Gillan, Ian Paice, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ritchie Blackmore, as well as producer/engineer Martin Birch.

For a band that has become notorious for their internal feuds this is a pretty jovial lot. Although only Gillan and Paice are interviewed together, each of the members of Purple pretty much corroborate each others’ stories. Each fleshes out the tale with the details they remember about being forced to record tracks quickly and for the most part live with a minimum of overdubs while being stuffed in the corridor of a closed for the season hotel. It’s extremely interesting to hear Blackmore relate the origins of some of the most famous guitar riffs ever written.

Glover & Birch, running the multi track masters, each point out how much of the “heavy” sound of this album – often attributed to Blackmore’s guitar work – is actually that of Jon Lord’s Hammond B3 organ. In a separate segment Jon demonstrates how the unique sound of “The Beast” as he calls it was achieved by pumping the B3’s output directly through a Marshall amplifier to create the distorted growl that is instantly recognizable as Purple’s trademark sound.

As with other Eagle Vision Classic Album DVD’s the extras are as good as the main show and shed additional light on the creation of the album and make the disc an even more worthwhile purchase.

Official Web site: www.deep-purple.com

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