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Deep Purple - Machine Head CD (album) cover

MACHINE HEAD

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

4.32 | 1158 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Magnum Vaeltaja
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Aside from the weak track of "Smoke On the Water", this really is one of Deep Purple Mk II's finest moments, the other being "In Rock". I may be a bit biased in my review as this was the first rock album I'd ever heard, way back at the age of 8, but I'm confident that it really is a masterpiece. While I loved it the instant I heard the first power chord of "Highway Star", the album has grown on me over the years, and not just in a nostalgic way, either.

"Machine Head" isn't a very progressive album; "Pictures of Home" and "Lazy" (the two strongest tracks) are the only songs that really have a smattering of prog in them. This doesn't mean that it isn't a great album, though, because it really is. "Highway Star" is one of the most perfect driving songs ever written, up there with "Radar Love" and "Free Bird". And Ritchie Blackmore's solo is one of the most intensely delivered in music; I sweat almost every time I hear it. "Maybe I'm A Leo" features great blues soloing and "Pictures of Home" is a special blend of primordial progressive hard rock like "Run With The Wolf" off of Rainbow's "Rising" that I just can't get enough of.

"Never Before" and "Smoke On The Water" are both more straightforward hard rock but the latter is iconic enough that it has its place. "Lazy" is the album's best song with moody, emotive, virtuosic blues soloing from Blackmore and Lord. The spacey organ intro on this one gives me chills every time. And "Space Truckin'" is a lively, percussive finish with sci-fi lyrics that finishes off the album on a fun note.

"Machine Head" is one of those great rock albums where every song offers something different that lets it stand on its own while still working coherently as part of a greater whole. A masterpiece of rock music and an album that I'd highly recommend to anyone. 4 stars for the purposes of this site, though; this is progarchives, not rockarchives, after all.

Magnum Vaeltaja | 4/5 |

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