Deep Purple - Machine Head Super Deluxe Edition

Deep Purple – Machine Head (Super Deluxe Edition Review)

The year of 1972 is a pretty significant one in the world of Rock-n-Roll music with releases such as The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main St., Lou Reed’s Transformer, and David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Each historically quite important to Rock, perhaps one of the biggest albums of 1972 was Deep Purple’s Machine Head. Released on March 30th of that year, Machine Head may have marked Deep Purple’s sixth studio album, but in the hearts of many, is their most legendary.

A band which had kept themselves rather busy in a very short span of time – touring and releasing 5 albums between the 1968 debut Shades of Deep Purple, into 1971’s Fireball – doing the numbers, that averages out to to over an album a year. The point is, coming out the gate Deep Purple was truly prolific and driven to write/record music, all while spending extensive time on the road. Knowing all of this, when you look at Machine Head, the album’s sessions were just a few months removed from those for Fireball; making it unfathomable to think within such a small window of time that they had created arguably some of their best work to that juncture. Adding even more intrigue to it all, the sessions were actually plotted to be recorded in Switzerland at the famous Montreux Casino; however, somewhere else in the massive venue, during a Frank Zappa concert, it actually burned to the ground because someone in the audience fired a flare gun into the ceiling. Rather unfortunate, it has become common knowledge that this series of events actually inspired one of the Deep Purple’s most beloved songs…. “Smoke on the Water.”

Adding another wrinkle to it all, Machine Head is also a record which features an outstanding lineup of Ritchie Blackmore on guitar, Ian Gillan on vocals, Roger Glover on bass, Jon Lord on keys, plus Ian Paice on drums. One to remember, together they created music that is often credited in the early development of Heavy Metal music, thus drawing in even more attention. Producing the album themselves, with engineering/mixing from Martin Birch (who already had a history with the band, before going onto to work with everyone from Black Sabbath to Iron Maiden), Machine Head is truly an explosive listen from start to finish. An album which features huge tracks like “Highway Star,” “Smoke on the Water,” and “Space Truckin’,” let us not forget other greats such as “Maybe I’m a Leo,” as well as “Lazy.” Originally seven songs in total, each of them has their own unique personality, yet cohesive yet together and exemplifies the brilliance of Deep Purple as a tight knit live and recording band.  

Naturally, all these factors would launch Deep Purple’s Machine Head toward becoming their most easily recognized, commercially successful album ever; hitting number 1 in numerous countries and going two times platinum in the USA alone. Truly a sensational conquest that adds to the band’s rich story, many reissues have come and gone through the years in various formats. Quickly summarizing it all, you had the 25th anniversary 2-disc CD edition from 1997, before the more expansive 40th anniversary 4-disc edition which emerged in 2012. Both worthy additions to any collection, now in celebration of Machine Head’s 50th anniversary the year of 2024 brings a brand-new release called Machine Head Super Deluxe Edition.

Released on March 29th through Rhino, the album is offered in a hybrid vinyl/CD/Blu-ray audio format, or simply as a digital format. Rather cool, and fulfilling physical format lovers’ many desires, you get Machine Head pressed to vinyl; and it features the sought after B-side “When a Blind Man Cries.” Sounding rather perfect on this new pressing to wax, joining it are 4 discs of material. A lot offered for a single album, it encompasses the album itself, disc one a CD of  the 2024 remix, plus 2024 remastered edition of Machine Head. Beyond this, there are 2 more audio CDs; which are the great live recording of Deep Purple In Concert ’72, plus the rawer, but no less compelling, never-before-release live Deep Purple Montreux ’71. Which leads to the Blu-ray audio, which is a great addition featuring 2024 ATMOS remixes by Dweezil Zappa, the 1974 U.S. Quad Mix, plus some 5.1 mixes. In truth, the cherry on top, it is a must listening experience for those with a Blu-ray player and quality sound system.

All put together in a nice gatefold vinyl, with a solid outside boxing, the discs sit nicely inside the gatefold, individually in cardboard sleeves, while the record itself is pressed to a thick purple smoke vinyl. If this were not enough, there is also an eye-catching large booklet within the set featuring tons of cool photos of the band, plus new liner notes from Rolling Stone’s Kory Grow. 

When it is all said and done this is tried and true the most epic edition of Machine Head ever put together. Furthermore, while we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Machine Head, Deep Purple themselves also have announced they will be releasing a brand-new album on July 19th entitled =1. The first studio album to feature Simon McBride on guitar, who took over for long tenure Guitarist Steve Morse who departed due to personal reasons a couple of years ago, it should be a very interesting listen to say the least. So, prepare for the new music, but look back at the past, because Cryptic Rock gives Rhino’s release of Deep Purple’s Machine Head as a Super Deluxe Edition 5 out of 5 stars. 

Deep Purple - Machine Head Super Deluxe Edition
Deep Purple – Machine Head Super Deluxe Edition / Rhino (2024)

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