Sneak Peek | Classic Albums: Deep Purple – Machine Head

Deep Purple’s 1973 single, “Smoke on the Water” is one of the most recognizable songs to this day. It’s ranked 434 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time. There’s no doubting the sheer power from that epic guitar riff.

In this clip of Classic Albums, Deep Purple co-founder Ritchie Blackmore says, “‘Smoke on the Water,’ that was just a riff I made up on the spur of the moment in Switzerland.” We also learn about that catchy lyrical hook “Smoke on the water, fire in the sky,” which is about a fire that broke out in a theater in Montreux, Switzerland while Frank Zappa was on stage. Deep Purple was in attendance as flames burst out inside of the Swiss theater. Bassist Roger Glover described the scene, stating, “All of a sudden smoke started appearing and within minutes the thing was an inferno.”

Discover more about this iconic song and Deep Purple’s other amazing tracks on the network premiere of Classic Albums: Deep Purple – Machine Head this Wednesday, March 21st at 9/8c on AXS TV.

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