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|"Smoke on the Water"|
Cover of the 1973 German single
|Single by Deep Purple|
|from the album Machine Head|
|B-side||"Smoke on the Water" (live)|
|Deep Purple singles chronology|
|Machine Head track listing|
"Smoke on the Water" is a song by the English rock band Deep Purple. It was first released on their 1972 album Machine Head . In 2004, the song was ranked number 434 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time,ranked number 4 in Total Guitar magazine's Greatest Guitar Riffs Ever, and in March 2005, Q magazine placed "Smoke on the Water" at number 12 in its list of the 100 greatest guitar tracks.
Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily from the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.
Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. The band is considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Originally formed as a progressive rock band, the band shifted to a heavier sound in 1970. Deep Purple, together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, have been referred to as the "unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal in the early to mid-seventies". They were listed in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records as "the globe's loudest band" for a 1972 concert at London's Rainbow Theatre, and have sold over 100 million copies of their albums worldwide.
Machine Head is the sixth studio album released by the English rock band Deep Purple. It was recorded during December 1971 in Montreux, Switzerland, and released in March 1972.
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"Smoke on the Water" is known for and recognizable by its central theme, developed by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. It is a four-note blues scale melody in G minor, harmonised in parallel fourths. The riff, played on a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar by Blackmore, is later joined by hi-hat and distorted organ, then the rest of the drums, then electric bass parts before the start of Ian Gillan's vocal. Blackmore later claimed that the riff is an interpretation of inversion of Symphony No. 5 by Ludwig van Beethoven, and that "I owe him a lot of money".
Richard Hugh Blackmore is an English guitarist and songwriter. He was one of the founding members of Deep Purple in 1968, playing jam-style hard-rock music which mixed guitar riffs and organ sounds. During his solo career, he established the heavy metal band Rainbow, which fused baroque music influences and elements of hard rock. Rainbow steadily moved to catchy pop-style mainstream rock. Later in life, he formed the traditional folk rock project Blackmore's Night, transitioning to vocalist-centred sounds. As a member of Deep Purple, He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2016. Blackmore often considered one of the greatest and most influential guitar players of all time.
The term blues scale refers to several different scales with differing numbers of pitches and related characteristics.
G minor is a minor scale based on G, consisting of the pitches G, A, B♭, C, D, E♭, and F. Its key signature has two flats. Its relative major is B-flat major and its parallel major is G major.
The opening lyrics are:
We all came out to Montreux, on the Lake Geneva shoreline
To make records with a mobile, we didn't have much time
The Rolling Stones Mobile Studio is a mobile recording studio once owned by the English rock band The Rolling Stones. Numerous bands and artists have recorded music using it, including Dire Straits, Deep Purple, Lou Reed, Bob Marley, Horslips, Nazareth, Fleetwood Mac, Bad Company, Status Quo, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Wishbone Ash and the Rolling Stones themselves. More recently, the unit has been acquired by the National Music Centre in Calgary.
Jon Lord doubles the guitar part on a Hammond C3 organ played through a distorted Marshall amp, creating a tone very similar to that of the guitar. Blackmore usually plays the main riff using a finger pluck [ infringing link? ]
John Douglas Lord was an English composer, pianist, and Hammond organ player known for his pioneering work in fusing rock with classical or baroque forms, especially with Deep Purple, as well as Whitesnake, Paice Ashton Lord, The Artwoods, and The Flower Pot Men. In 1968, Lord co-founded Deep Purple, a hard rock band of which he was regarded as the leader until 1970. Together with the other members, he collaborated on most of his band's most popular songs. He and drummer Ian Paice were the only continuous presence in the band during the period from 1968 to 1976, and also from when it was reestablished in 1984 until Lord's retirement from Deep Purple in 2002. On 11 November 2010, he was inducted as an Honorary Fellow of Stevenson College in Edinburgh, Scotland. On 15 July 2011, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree at De Montfort Hall by the University of Leicester. Lord was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 8 April 2016 as a member of Deep Purple.
The Hammond organ is an electric organ, invented by Laurens Hammond and John M. Hanert and first manufactured in 1935. Various models have been produced, most of which use sliding drawbars to specify a variety of sounds. Until 1975, Hammond organs generated sound by creating an electric current from rotating a metal tonewheel near an electromagnetic pickup, and then strengthening the signal with an amplifier so it can drive a speaker cabinet. The organ is commonly used with, and associated with, the Leslie speaker.
A performance by the original Mark II lineup was filmed in 1973 in colour during a US concert in New York City for Live in Concert 1972/73. Blackmore played the intro on the 3rd and 5th fret of a 3 tone sunburst Fender Stratocaster, often turning his back to the camera or the audience. Later on, he can be seen using his thumb top-down on the E and A strings on 8th and 10th fret, as follows:
Live in Concert 72/73 is a live DVD from Deep Purple, released in 2005. The DVD was certified Gold on August 3, 2007 by the RIAA, selling 50,000 copies in the US. It was recorded in KB Hallen in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1972, but not released until 1987 in Japan, under the title Machine Head Live 1972, and in Europe three years later under the title Scandinavian Nights .
Sunburst is a style of finishing for musical instruments such as electric and acoustic guitars and electric basses. At the center of a sunburst-finished surface is an area of lighter color that darkens gradually towards the edges before hitting a dark rim. Among the best known examples of a sunburst finish are the Gibson Les Paul guitars and the Fender Stratocaster. It was originally intended to imitate an aged French polish finish, as applied to classical string instruments such as violins, as well as to enable the use of wood with less attractive edge grain on high-end instruments.
The Fender Stratocaster is a model of electric guitar designed from 1952 into 1954 by Leo Fender, Bill Carson, George Fullerton, and completed by Freddie Tavares. The Fender Musical Instruments Corporation has continuously manufactured the Stratocaster from 1954 to the present. It is a double-cutaway guitar, with an extended top "horn" shape for balance like the Precision Bass guitar. Along with the Gibson Les Paul and Fender Telecaster, it is one of the most-often emulated electric guitar shapes. "Stratocaster" and "Strat" are trademark terms belonging to Fender. Guitars that duplicate the Stratocaster by other manufacturers are usually called S-Type or ST-type guitars.
------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------- ------8-10-----8-11-10--------8-10--8------ ---10-8-10--10-8-11-10-----10-8-10--8-10--- ---10-------10-------------10---------10---
There are two solos in the song; the first was performed on guitar by Ritchie Blackmore, and the second was performed on an organ by Jon Lord until the song fades out.
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The lyrics tell a true story: On 4 December 1971, Purple were in Montreux, Switzerland, to record an album using a mobile recording studio (rented from the Rolling Stones and known as the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio—referred to as the "Rolling truck Stones thing" and "a mobile" in the lyrics) at the entertainment complex that was part of the Montreux Casino (referred to as "the gambling house" in the song lyric). On the eve of the recording session, a Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention concert was held in the casino's theatre. This was to be the theatre's final concert before the casino complex closed down for its annual winter renovations, which would allow Deep Purple to record there. At the beginning of Don Preston's synthesizer solo on "King Kong", the place suddenly caught fire when somebody in the audience fired a flare gun toward the rattan covered ceiling, as mentioned in the "some stupid with a flare gun" line.Although there were no major injuries, the resulting fire destroyed the entire casino complex, along with all the Mothers' equipment. The "smoke on the water" that became the title of the song (credited to bass guitarist Roger Glover, who related how the title occurred to him when he woke from a dream a few days later) referred to the smoke from the fire spreading over Lake Geneva from the burning casino as the members of Purple watched from their hotel. "It was probably the biggest fire I'd ever seen up to that point and probably ever seen in my life" said Glover. "It was a huge building. I remember there was very little panic getting out, because it didn't seem like much of a fire at first. But, when it caught, it went up like a fireworks display." The "Funky Claude" running in and out is referring to Claude Nobs, the director of the Montreux Jazz Festival who helped some of the audience escape the fire.
Montreux is a municipality and a Swiss town on the shoreline of Lake Geneva at the foot of the Alps. It belongs to the district of Riviera-Pays-d'Enhaut in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland and has a population of about 25,000, and about 85,000 in the agglomeration Vevey-Montreux.
Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a sovereign state situated in the confluence of western, central, and southern Europe. It is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons, with federal authorities seated in Bern. Switzerland is a landlocked country bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. It is geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi), and land area of 39,997 km2 (15,443 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are located, among them the two global cities and economic centres of Zürich and Geneva.
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first stable line-up consisted of bandleader Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman (bass), Charlie Watts (drums), and Ian Stewart (piano). Stewart was removed from the official line-up in 1963 but continued to work with the band as a contracted musician until his death in 1985. The band's primary songwriters, Jagger and Richards, assumed leadership after Andrew Loog Oldham became the group's manager. Jones left the band less than a month before his death in 1969, having already been replaced by Mick Taylor, who remained until 1974. After Taylor left the band, Ronnie Wood took his place in 1975 and continues on guitar in tandem with Richards. Since Wyman's departure in 1993, Darryl Jones has served as touring bassist. The Stones have not had an official keyboardist since 1963, but have employed several musicians in that role, including Jack Nitzsche (1965–1971), Nicky Hopkins (1967–1982), Billy Preston (1971–1981), Ian McLagan (1978–1981), and Chuck Leavell (1982–present).
Left with an expensive mobile recording unit and no place to record, the band was forced to scout the town for another place to set up. One promising venue (found by Nobs) was a local theatre called The Pavilion, but soon after the band loaded in and started working/recording, neighbours took offence at the noise. The band was only able to lay down backing tracks for one song (based on Blackmore's riff and temporarily named "Title No.1"), before local police shut them down.
After about a week of searching, the band rented the nearly-empty Montreux Grand Hotel and converted its hallways and stairwells into a makeshift studio, where they laid down most of the tracks for what would become their most commercially successful album, Machine Head (which is dedicated to Claude Nobs).
The only song from Machine Head not recorded entirely in the Grand Hotel was "Smoke on the Water" itself, which had been partly recorded during the abortive Pavilion session. Its lyrics were composed later, primarily by Gillan and based around Glover's title, and the vocals were recorded in the Grand Hotel.
Because of the incident and the exposure Montreux received when "Smoke on the Water" became an international hit, Purple formed a lasting bond with the town. The song is honoured in Montreux by a sculpture along the lake shore (right next to the statue of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury) with the band's name, the song title, and the riff in musical notes. The new casino in Montreux displays notes from the riff as decoration on its balustrade facing the gambling hall.
On the Classic Albums episode about Machine Head, Ritchie Blackmore claimed friends of the band were not fans of the "Smoke on the Water" riff, which they thought too simplistic. Blackmore retorted by making comparisons to the first movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony, which revolves around a similar four note arrangement.
"The amazing thing with that song, and Ritchie's riff in particular," observed Ian Paice, "is that somebody hadn't done it before, because it's so gloriously simple and wonderfully satisfying."
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"Smoke on the Water" was included on Machine Head, which was released in early 1972, but was not released as a single until a year later, in May 1973. ("Never Before" and "Highway Star" were the first singles issued from the album.) The band members have said that they did not expect the song to be a hit, but the single reached number 4 on the Billboard pop singles chart in the United States during the summer of 1973, number 2 on the Canadian RPM charts, and it propelled the album to the top 10. Live performances of the tune, featuring extended interplay between Blackmore's guitar and Jon Lord's Hammond organ would become a centrepiece of Deep Purple's live shows, and a version of the song from the live album Made in Japan became a minor hit on its own later on in 1973.
The principal songwriters included the song within their subsequent solo ventures after Deep Purple had split up. Ian Gillan in particular performed a jazz-influenced version in early solo concerts. The band Gillan adopted a feedback-soaked approach, courtesy of Gillan guitarist Bernie Torme. This song was also featured live by Ritchie Blackmore's post-Deep Purple band Rainbow during their tours 1981–83, and again after Rainbow was resurrected briefly in the mid-1990s and for three European concerts in June 2016.
During Ian Gillan's stint with Black Sabbath in 1983, they performed "Smoke on the Water" as a regular repertoire number on encores during their only tour together. It remains one of the few cover songs that Black Sabbath has ever played live.
The song is popular among beginner guitarists, but Blackmore himself has demonstrated that most who attempt to play it do so improperly. Actually played using "all fourths" (or double stops) as specified by Blackmore, a power chord-driven variation on the main recognizable riff is not difficult, and is consequently often played by learners.
"Smoke on the Water" has received the following rankings:
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||1,000,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||200,000|
|"Smoke on the Water"|
Cover for the "Rock Aid Armenia" charity release
|Single by Rock Aid Armenia|
|Format||7- & 12-inch records|
|Recorded||8–15 July 1989|
|1990 reissue cover|
Cover of the 7" reissue of the Rock Aid Armenia single
Rock Aid Armenia, a charity project to help victims of 1988 Armenian earthquake made a charity re-recording of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water", with different vocalists singing various verses. The single made it to the UK Top 40 Singles Chart.
The track was recorded by an elite group of contemporary prog rock, hard rock and heavy metal musicians who gathered at the historic Metropolis Studios in Chiswick, London. Recording began on 8 July 1989 and was completed over 5 different sessions.
The rock musicians involved in the recording included Bryan Adams, Ritchie Blackmore, Bruce Dickinson, Geoff Downes, Keith Emerson, Ian Gillan, David Gilmour, Tony Iommi, Alex Lifeson, Brian May, Paul Rodgers, Chris Squire and Roger Taylor. John Paul Jones and Jon Lord were credited as "helping" behind the scenes with the track. The track's producers were Gary Langan and Geoff Downes. Talent co-ordination for the record was overseen by Jon Dee, with David Gilmour being the first to join up after a call from Dee. Ian Gillan's manager Phil Banfield also helped out with talent recruitment.
In 1994, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 1,322 guitarists gathered to play the world-famous riff all at the same time for a place in the Guinness Book of World Records .On Sunday 3 June 2007, in Kansas City this record was topped with 1,721 guitarists. Just 20 days later, in the German city of Leinfelden-Echterdingen by the group 'Party Blues In Bb' with over 1,800 other people involved. The record was again topped on 1 May 2009, in Wrocław, Poland, when 6,346 guitar players, joined by current Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse, performed the song during the Thanks Jimi Festival.
Roger David Glover is a British bassist, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known as the bassist for hard rock bands Deep Purple and Rainbow. Glover wrote the guitar riff on "Maybe I'm a Leo". As a member of Deep Purple, Glover was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2016.
"Highway Star" is a song by the English rock band Deep Purple. It is the opening track on their 1972 album Machine Head and is the fastest song in tempo on the album. It is characterised by long, classically-inspired guitar and organ solos. Organist Jon Lord claimed that the organ and guitar solos were based on Bach-like chord sequences.
"Maybe I'm a Leo" is a song by the British rock group Deep Purple, from their 1972 album Machine Head.
Ian Gillan is an English singer and songwriter. He is the lead singer and lyricist for the rock band Deep Purple.
"Lazy" is a song by Deep Purple from their 1972 album Machine Head. A live performance of the song can be found on the album Made in Japan, released later the same year.
Come Hell or High Water is a CD and DVD by the hard rock group Deep Purple. It was recorded on 16 October 1993 in "Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle" in Stuttgart, Germany and in Birmingham on 9 November.
Live at Montreux 2006: They All Came Down to Montreux is the first live release by English hard rock band Deep Purple's mk VIII lineup. This concert was recorded in Montreux, during 2006 Rapture of the Deep tour. Besides a DVD release, the concert film has also been released on HD DVD and Blu-ray.
Live in California 74 is a live DVD of the first California Jam concert performance from Deep Purple released in 2005. It was recorded and aired live by ABC-TV on 6 April 1974 at the Ontario Motor Speedway near Los Angeles, California. This concert was one of the first ever music concerts issued on videotape and laser disc in 1981 under the title California Jam in Japan and the UK.
Live at Montreux 1996 is a live album and DVD by British hard rock band Deep Purple, recorded in 1996 and released in 2006.
Live in Paris 1975 is a live album by the British hard rock band Deep Purple, recorded in 1975 at the Palais des Sports in Paris. It was meant to be released before the 1975 Come Taste the Band album, but was not released until 2001 by Purple Records. See also Made in Europe (1976) and Mk III: The Final Concerts
"The Mule" is a song by British hard rock band Deep Purple, and was originally released on their 1971 album Fireball. The song became famous for its live performance, which would always feature a drum solo by Ian Paice.
Live in Montreux 69 is a live album by English rock band Deep Purple, recorded 4 October 1969 in Montreux, released in 2006. It was recorded in the Montreux Casino that burned down two years later.
Deep Purple in Rock is the fourth studio album by English rock band Deep Purple, released in June 1970. It was the first studio album recorded by the Mark II line-up of Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.
Deep Purple Secret USA Tour was a small warm-up tour of British hard rock band Deep Purple with new guitarist Steve Morse and included only two shows in the USA.
Live at Montreux 2011 is a live release by English hard rock band Deep Purple's mk VIII lineup credited as Deep Purple with Orchestra, and performed alongside the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt conducted by Stephen Bentley-Klein. This concert was recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival on 16 July 2011. Besides a 2CD release, the concert film has also been released on DVD and Blu-ray. All formats were released on 7 November 2011 by German label Eagle Rock Entertainment. In 2015 a vinyl collector's edition of the album was released for a Record Store Day.
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