Saturday, 19 June 2010

CD Review: Machine Head, by Deep Purple (1972)

In a burst of creativity that has rarely been matched by any other band irrespective of genre, Deep Purple were three albums into the classic Mark II lineup when they recorded one of the best and most influential heavy metal albums of all time. Four of the seven tracks are enduring classics that helped define the genre in its formative years.

Machine Head is a landmark album in the history of heavy metal, and one of the best heavy metal albums of any era. It permanently established Deep Purple as masters of the genre, and placed them alongside Back Sabbath and Led Zeppelin as the dominating triumvirate of metal's first decade.

Highway Star was the first and remains among the best examples of a song creating and maintaining a hypnotic fast-paced groove. Smoke On The Water was the first heavy metal anthem, and its riff remains one of the most recognizable in all of music. Lazy became the blueprint for long metal tracks that make use of elaborate intros leading into epic riff-driven energy, and demonstrated that creative keyboards, can, indeed, play a huge role in the genre. And Space Truckin' is an infectious and irresistible journey.

For good measure, Pictures Of Home is an under appreciated and terrifically imaginative track. Never Before and Maybe I'm A Leo are solid, but clearly inferior to the rest of the album.

Machine Head set a high standard for what heavy metal can achieve, and in the 40 years of metal history, it's an album that has rarely been matched.


Ritchie Blackmore - Guitar
Ian Gillan - Vocals
Jon Lord - Keyboards
Roger Glover - Bass
Ian Paice - Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Highway Star - 10 *See video below*
2. Maybe I'm A Leo - 7
3. Pictures Of Home - 9
4. Never Before - 7
5. Smoke On The Water - 10
6. Lazy - 10
7. Space Truckin' - 10

Average: 9.00

Produced by Deep Purple.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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