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Deep Purple - Machine Head CD (album) cover

MACHINE HEAD

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

4.27 | 782 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

crimson87
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is my first Deep Purple review , and I chose quite a milestone to analyze! I have this feeling that this kind of classic albums sometimes do not get the respect they deserve by the progressive rock community because they are so well know... and popular music does not go with our style. This is a blueprint of the 70's just like Led Zep IV , DSOTM and Frampton Comes Alive! We 've heard them so much times that there is nothing that can surprise our minds anymore.

The question is: Why do we still hear them? Because they sound as fresh as when they were released. Machine Head is one of those records. The album itself , while not progressive , manages to give the listener a good time while rocking really hard in the process. Although we all know Smoke in the Water , my favourite number among the seven tracks is the opener. Highway star is a straightforward hard rock song where we can appreciate those trademark screams by Ian Gillian as well as a couple of guitar and keyboard duels that were usual in the Blakmore era. The lyrics... yes quite banal but this is a Deep Purple album! If you fancy thought provoking lyrics you may check Peter Hammill's works but you wont find poetry with this band.

Maybe I am a Leo is not a strong as the opener and probably is the track that prevents me from giving the record the full 5 stars mark. Still , the tune ain't bad at all the rhythm section is adequate and Jon Lord does some funky solos. My main problem with it are the vocals. They don't have the energy you would expect from Ian Gillian at it's peak. Of course , the situation changes radically with the third track. When I getting into classic rock at the age of 16 one schoolmate told me that he had heard an "unknown" Deep Purple track on the radio and its name was "Cuadro de Casa"* he said that it was incredible and worth the listen. Since MP3 wasn't fully developed by the time and I didn't had it in my DP compilation I had to wait some time until I heard it when a relative brought the record to a birthday. When I heard it , I understood what all the fuss was about: Ian Paice shines here , and the riff is really addictive ( much more than Smoke on the water by the way) Moreover , the vocal melody is memorable. It's still to this day and age one of my favourite songs by the band , I couldn't believe my eyes when DP performed it in Argentina!

The next tune is much more laid back than "Pictures" but it has a funky vibe that I really like and will anticipate the direction the band was going to take in the future. Next , we have "THAT" song and "THAT" riff... I won't talk much about it. I was never a big fan of this tune and to be honest the only thing that discourages me from hitting the fast forward button is the little guy behind the drums , his performance is as solid as an AC/DC riff.

The record ends very well with two favourite numbers that will be performed on every tour since their release. Of course , both tracks are exellent on this record but to be appreciated in full regalia , you must get a hold of "THAT" live album. Lazy is a really interesting mixture of blues jazz and funk , much like the Allman Brothers Band... which can only be a good thing. This track keeps on growing on me after every listen. To close the record , we have another favourite "Space rocking" I mean , trucking. Lyrics are so senselless yet the song rocks so hard. You have to love this kind of stuff at least for a brief period of your life.

And there it goes , "like a wild hurricane" , my first Deep Purple review. Although I am more of a MK1 fan I can't say no to "Machine Head" , being an obligatory introduction to the classic rock realm and therefore: "An exellent addition to any (prog) rock music collection"

* Cuadro de casa=Pictures of Home.

crimson87 | 4/5 |

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