Thursday, March 29, 2012

machine head

Deep Purple endured hepatitis, eviction, mazes of wires, and a casino fire to record this seminal heavy metal magnum opus. 'Machine Head' was recorded at various locations in Montreux, Switzerland. Despite lead singer Ian Gillan's hepatitis, the band was determined to get started on the new project and ready to start recording at Montreux Casino once the place closed for winter refurbishments. Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention played the last show on December 4; but during the concert a member of the audience shot a flare gun into the ceiling, which ignited the facility in flames. There were no casualties; but the band had to find a new location to record. They moved to the Pavilion; but complaints about the noise led to the police forcing them to move. The bulk of the recording was done at the Grand Hotel, which was problematic as well. 

Ritchie Blackmore recalls: "We had the Rolling Stones' mobile recording unit sitting outside in the snow, but to get there we had to run cable through two doors in the corridor into a room, through a bathroom and into another room, from which it went across a bed and out the veranda window, then ran along the balcony for about 100 feet and came back in through another bedroom window. It then went through that room's bathroom and into another corridor, then all the way down a marble staircase to the foyer reception area of the hotel, out the front door, across the courtyard and up the steps into the back of the mobile unit. I think that setup led to capturing some spontaneity, because once we got to the truck for a playback, even if we didn’t think it was a perfect take, we’d go, 'Yeah, that’s good enough.' Because we just couldn’t stand going back again." 'Machine Head' went to the number one spot on the British album chart and reached number seven in the US.

The classic 'Smoke on the Water' was inspired by the casino fire at the Montreux Casino.

"We all came out to Montreux
On the Lake Geneva shoreline
To make records with a mobile
We didn't have much time
Frank Zappa and the Mothers
Were at the best place around
But some stupid with a flare gun
Burned the place to the ground
Smoke on the water, fire in the sky

They burned down the gambling house
It died with an awful sound
Funky Claude was running in and out
Pulling kids out the ground
When it all was over
We had to find another place
But Swiss time was running out
It seemed that we would lose the race
Smoke on the water, fire in the sky

We ended up at the Grand Hotel
It was empty cold and bare
But with the Rolling truck Stones thing just outside
Making our music there
With a few red lights and a few old beds
We make a place to sweat
No matter what we get out of this
I know we'll never forget
Smoke on the water, fire in the sky"

'Highway Star'

'Space Truckin''

'Machine Head' 
full album:

All tracks written by Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.

Side one
1. "Highway Star" 6:05
2. "Maybe I'm a Leo" 4:51
3. "Pictures of Home" 5:03
4. "Never Before" 3:56
Side two
5. "Smoke on the Water" 5:40
6. "Lazy" 7:19
7. "Space Truckin'" 4:31

full concert:

classic albums part 1:

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