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April 8, 1972


4.396 (average of 12 ratings)


British hard rock/ heavy metal


“One of the essential hard rock albums of all time.” – Eduardo Rivadavia, All Music Guide

Album Tracks:

  1. Highway Star
  2. Maybe I’m a Leo
  3. Pictures of Home
  4. Never Before
  5. Smoke on the Water
  6. Lazy
  7. Space Truckin’

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 2.0
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 2.0


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 7
peak on U.K. album chart 1 3

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Never Before (4/1/72) #35 UK
  • Lazy (6/72) --
  • Highway Star (10/72) –
  • Smoke on the Water (5/26/73) #4 US, #21 UK. Sales: ½ million


A 25th anniversary edition expanded the original album by three cuts (B-side “When a Blind Man Cries” and alternate versions of “Maybe I’m a Leo” and “Lazy”) and added a second disc of remixes.


Machine Head

Deep Purple


“Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, and Deep Purple’s Machine Head have stood the test of time as the Holy Trinity of English hard rock and heavy metal, serving as the fundamental blueprints followed by virtually every heavy rock & roll band since the early ‘70s.” ER

“Though it is probably the least celebrated of the three, Machine Head contains the ‘mother of all guitar riffs’ – and one of the first learned by every beginning guitarist – in Smoke on the Water. Inspired by real life events in Montreux, Switzerland, where Deep Purple were recording the album when the Grand Hotel was burned to the ground during a Frank Zappa concert, neither the song, nor its timeless riff, should need any further description.” ER

“However, Machine Head was anything but a one-trick pony, introducing the bona fide classic opener Highway Star, which epitomized all of Deep Purple’s intensity and versatility while featuring perhaps the greatest soloing duel ever between guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and organist Jon Lord.” ER

“Also in top form was singer Ian Gillan, who crooned and exploded with amazing power and range throughout to establish himself once and for all as one of the finest voices of his generation, bar none. Yes, the plodding shuffle of Maybe I’m a Leo shows some signs of age, but punchy singles Pictures of Home and Never Before remain as vital as ever, displaying Purple at their melodic best.” ER

“Finally, the spectacular Space Truckin’ drove Machine Head home with yet another tremendous Blackmore riff, providing a fitting conclusion to one of the essential hard rock albums of all time.” ER

Review Source(s):

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Last updated March 28, 2011.