Saturday, April 23, 2005

Song Review: Smoke On The Water, Written By: Deep Purple, Ian Gillan; Ian Paice; Jon Lord; Ritchie Blackmore; Roger Glover

Considered one of the greatest riffs of all time and a popular one for new guitarists to learn. It is one of the songs from Deep Purple’s 1972 Machine Head, which went to number 7 in the US and number 1 in the UK. When Smoke on the Water was released as a single in June 1973 it went to number 4 in the US. The creation of the song has now been embedded in rock myth. It was when the group were going to record their new album. They wanted to capture a live feeling on the album due to their popularity live. They decided to record the album at the Casino, in Montreux Switzerland, using the Rolling Stones mobile 16 track studio.

The day before Frank Zappa was playing a show at the Casino and during the show someone fired a flare gun which created a fire and the Casino burned down. Nobody was hurt but Deep Purple now had to find a new place to record. They choose the Grand Hotel. Ritchie Blackmore (the lead guitarist) had come up with the riff that was soon to spawn this song, so Ian Gillian had to quickly create some lyrics to it. It didn’t help that the Swiss police had arrived at the hotel due to neighbours complaining about noise. Apparently the police were left outside banging on the door until the track had been recorded.

The song itself is in fact about the whole event taking place, as the lyrics describe. To sum up the song, its main appeal is the guitar riff, but it has some nice keyboard and bass in it as well. The guitar solo is not technically great but it does sound good. This song is a classic, and defiantly is in my top 100.


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3:44 PM  

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