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Deep Purple-Machine Head 45th Anniversary-Ian Gillan, Roger Glover

Listening four and a half decades later to the goosebump-inducing finished product, there is no indication whatsoever that Deep Purple‘s Machine Head  album was made amidst a virtual minefield of misfortune, any one of which had the potential to thwart the effort. And judging by this 1972 album’s iconic place in hard rock history, these hardships merely served to steel Deep Purple lead singer Ian Gillan, wayward guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, bass player Roger Glover, under-rated drummer Ian Paice, and the late organist Jon Lord against adversity on all sides.

The roadblocks began piling even before the band returned from the US Fireball  tour in Autumn 1971, as bass player Roger Glover’s new Rickenbacker bass purchased in New York City got impounded by British customs agents with Glover and a roadie both arrested. Then on the day of arrival in Geneva Switzerland to commence recording the next day, the band members barely escaped with their lives when the huge complex burned down during a concert. Miraculously all escaped but the facility they had planned to record Machine Head  was completely consumed by the massive fire seen here. Nevertheless, the songs “Highway Star”,”Maybe I’m a Leo”,”Lazy”,”Space Truckin’ “, and the timeless but true “Smoke on the Water” recorded by Deep Purple in a most unconventional way erected Machine Head  as one of the pillars of hard rock to this day. –Redbeard