Machine Head (album): Wikis


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Machine Head
Studio album by Deep Purple
Released March, 1972
Recorded 6 December - 21 December 1971
Montreux, Switzerland
Genre Heavy metal, hard rock, blues-rock
Length 37:47 (original LP)
96:34 (1997 2CD edition)
Label EMI
Producer Deep Purple
Professional reviews
Deep Purple chronology
Machine Head
Who Do We Think We Are
Alternate cover
25th anniversary CD slipcase

Machine Head is the sixth Deep Purple studio album. It was recorded at the Grand Hotel Montreux, Switzerland in December 1971 with the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, and released in March 1972.

The album is often cited as being very influential in the development of the heavy metal music genre. It is Deep Purple's most successful recording, topping the charts in several countries following its release. In 2001, Q magazine named it as one of the 50 Heaviest Albums of All Time.

Machine Head is the subject of one of the Classic Albums series of documentaries about the making of famous albums. Machine Head was released on the multichannel formats Super Audio CD (2003) and DVD-Audio (2001).


Original Recording

Hiring the Rolling Stones Mobile One equipment and studios, the band recorded the entirety of the tracks in a Montreux hotel facility, with no overdubs. The "Smoke on the Water" lyrics' citation "Frank Zappa and the Mothers" refers to Zappa's show at a nearby casino. The casino burned down a few days before the start of scheduled Machine Head recording sessions.

A song entitled "When a Blind Man Cries" was recorded during these sessions, but not included on the album. Instead, it was used as a the B-side on the "Never Before" single. The song appears as a bonus track on the album's 25th anniversary edition.

The supporting tour for Machine Head included a trip to Japan that would later become the double-live Made in Japan album.

Track listing

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


Original release on vinyl

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

  1. "Smoke on the Water" – 5:40
  2. "Lazy" – 7:19
  3. "Space Truckin'" – 4:31

25th anniversary reissue (2CD)

Disc one: The 1997 Remixes

  1. "Highway Star" – 6:39
  2. "Maybe I'm a Leo" – 5:25
  3. "Pictures of Home" – 5:21
  4. "Never Before" – 3:59
  5. "Smoke on the Water" – 6:18
  6. "Lazy" – 7:33
  7. "Space Truckin'" – 4:52
  8. "When a Blind Man Cries" – 3:33

Disc two: The Remasters

  1. "Highway Star" – 6:08
  2. "Maybe I'm a Leo" – 4:52
  3. "Pictures of Home" – 5:08
  4. "Never Before" – 4:00
  5. "Smoke on the Water" – 5:42
  6. "Lazy" – 7:24
  7. "Space Truckin'" – 4:35

25th anniversary bonus tracks

  1. "When a Blind Man Cries" (original B-side) – 3:32
  2. "Maybe I'm a Leo" (Quadrophonic mix) – 5:00
  3. "Lazy" (Quadrophonic mix) – 6:57

Chart positions

Year Chart Position
1972 UK Albums Chart 1
1972 Australian Albums Chart 1
1972 Norwegian Record Charts 3


Additional personnel

  • Martin Birch – engineering
  • Jeremy (Bear) Gee – assistant
  • Nick Watterton – technician
  • Ian Hansford, Rob Cooksey, Colin Hart – equipment
  • Martin Birch and Deep Purple – mixing
  • Shephard Sherbell – photography
  • Roger Glover, John Coletta – cover design
  • Peter Denenberg, Roger Glover – remixing
  • Peter Mew – remastering

Sales accomplishments

RIAA certification[4] (United States)

Date Designation Total Sales
November 6, 1972 Gold 500,000
October 13, 1986 Platinum 1,000,000
October 13, 1986 Double Platinum 2,000,000

BPI certification (United Kingdom)

Date Designation Total Sales
1 January 1974 Silver[5] 60,000
1 January 1974 Gold[6] 100,000


External links

Preceded by
Fog on the Tyne by Lindisfarne
UK number one album
22 April 1972 – 20 May 1972
Succeeded by
Bolan Boogie by T.Rex
Preceded by
Harvest by Neil Young
Australian number-one album
26 June – 9 July 1972
Succeeded by
Thick as a Brick by Jethro Tull


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