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    Kirk's Corner 002: 'Machine Head' Album Review

    I still remember receiving a totally unexpected album at the end of my senior year of high school (now, this definitely says something about my age). It was from an unexpected source—a girl who I thought was relatively quiet, and would listen to , well "soft rock." The album was Machine Head. The artist was Deep Purple. It was an experience that changed my music like. I became an instant fan of hard rock, the Ritchie Blackmore way more so than the Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin ways. And my love of this album—still one of my ten all-time favorites—goes far beyond the classic riffs of "Smoke on the Water." The album's all of seven tracks (forget the remastered and expanded version; go with the original). But, oh, what seven tracks they are. No filler here. Just great rock 'n' roll, the way it was meant to be. I think it's the definitive hard rock album. Iconic. Influenced from classical music, with stunning guitar, organ the way it was meant to be played, the primal sounds of a vocalist in his prime, the rock solid drums and bass lines—everything you could want. All of that surrounded by melodies and instrumentals that still sound as good as they ever did (and that "Smoke on the Water" opening riff that can be heard in every Guitar Center every day everywhere on this planet). Perhaps Purple and offshoots like Rainbow and Whitesnake never reached these heights again (although their catalogues offer many great tracks). But, it's hard to hit the pinnacle more than once—and hit it this album does, even 45 years later...
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