Moments From the Real Story Of Deep Purple's Album 'Machine Head' that Can Make a Great Movie Plot

Metal_Treasure
The album 'Machine Head', Deep Purple's masterpiece, was recorded in extreme circumstances in the early Dec 1971 - the planned recording time was shortened by some really extreme circumstances that ruined Deep Purple's plans.

I truly believe that the real story of making this album can make a great movie plot even for an action film.

Here's what actually happened:

The Top Ten

1 Deep Purple planned to record the album at Montreux Casino in Switzerland
2 They had to postpone the beginning of recording because singer Ian Gillan contracted hepatitis and was advised to spend the next few months recuperating
3 Ian Gillan heroically ignored the doctor's advice but the recording began a bit later than planned
4 Deep Purple went to Montreux, Switzerland, but the Casino where they were supposed to record the album caught fire and burned down one day before the beginning of recording

The band arrived in Montreux on Dec 3, but on Dec 4, the Casino caught fire during Frank Zappa's concert because an audience member fired a flare into the roof and the Casino burned down. Deep Purple were supposed to begin recording on Dec 5, after the big Zappa concert. But on Dec 5 there was no Casino anymore. - Metal_Treasure

5 Deep Purple were shocked and wrote a song about what happened in Montreux, Switzerland - the song was titled 'Smoke on the Water', referring to the smoke from the fire on the Lake Geneva

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
Smoke on the water
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
Smoke on the water
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 - Metal_Treasure

6 Deep Purple moved to a theater nearby and began recording with a Mobile Studio unit but the neighbors flooded the police station to complain about the noise the band made

Just to remind you, Deep Purple hold a record on The Guinness Book of World Records for "globe's loudest band" for a concert in 1972
(the concert is from the same era as well as the equipment they had for the recording of the album) - Metal_Treasure

7 The band then moved to a hotel where they walked across balconies to provide mattresses from the bedrooms... as sound-insulating "equipment" (the Mobile Studio was in a truck on the street!)

That's already pure action! Here's the corresponding lyric describing how they made their music:
"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" - Metal_Treasure

8 Deep Purple were quickly evicted from the theater they turned into an improvised recording studio

The eviction scene would be heartbreaking... - Metal_Treasure

9 Everyone was so exhausted that Deep Purple didn't even listen to the playbacks of their recordings and just played the songs

1) The album is a masterpiece so the band members are obviously true masters of the craft
2) Who was the "lucky" sound engineer who had to record and mix this album? The one and only Martin Birch! Who else could do it in extreme circumstances? And when mattresses are sound-insulating "equipment"? Nevertheless, the sound of the album is awesome. - Metal_Treasure

10 Happy End: the song 'Smoke on the Water' became Deep Purple's most popular song

I think Highway Star is the best song on this album but that's not important right know. As singer Ian Gillan wrote in the lyrics,

"No matter what we get out of this

I know we'll never forget". - Metal_Treasure

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129 days old

Top Remixes

1. Deep Purple planned to record the album at Montreux Casino in Switzerland
2. They had to postpone the beginning of recording because singer Ian Gillan contracted hepatitis and was advised to spend the next few months recuperating
3. Ian Gillan heroically ignored the doctor's advice but the recording began a bit later than planned
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