|"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 Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on 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 through December 1971 in Montreux, Switzerland, and released in March 1972.
"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, Blackmore was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2016.
The term blues scale refers to several different scales with differing numbers of pitches and related characteristics.
The Fender Stratocaster is a model of electric guitar designed in 1954 by Leo Fender, Bill Carson, George Fullerton, and 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. 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.
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 was a mobile recording studio 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 pluckor occasionally a plectrum upstroke (to accentuate the tonic).
John Douglas “Jon” 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. Around two million Hammond organs have been manufactured. The organ is commonly used with, and associated with, the Leslie speaker.
During an August 1972 show in Tokyo, Japan, Blackmore played the intro as follows:
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.
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 in the district of Riviera-Pays-d'Enhaut in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland.
Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western, central and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities. The sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million people is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva.
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first stable line-up consisted of 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. Brian Jones was the original leader of the group. The band's primary songwriters, Jagger and Richards, assumed leadership after Andrew Loog Oldham became the group's manager. Their musical focus shifted from covering blues songs to writing original material, a decision with which Jones did not agree. 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. Following Wyman's departure in 1993, Darryl Jones was contracted by the band to play bass. Since the firing of Stewart, the Stones have not had a keyboardist as a member of the band, but have had long working relationships with 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."
"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^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
|"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.
This section contains a list of miscellaneous information. (July 2018)
The iconic nature of the song has led to its inclusion in several music-related video games.
Rainbow are a British rock supergroup led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, active from 1975 until 1984, 1993 until 1997, and 2015 until present. They were originally established with Ronnie James Dio's American rock band Elf, but after their first album, Blackmore fired the backing members and continued with Dio until 1979. Three British musicians joined in 1979—singer Graham Bonnet, keyboardist Don Airey and then-former Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover—and this line-up gave the band their commercial breakthrough with the single "Since You Been Gone". Over the years Rainbow went through many personnel changes, with each studio album recorded with a different lineup, and leaving Blackmore as the band's only constant member. The singers Joe Lynn Turner and Doogie White followed Bonnet, and numerous backing musicians have come and gone. In addition to Blackmore, Rainbow's current lineup includes Ronnie Romero on vocals, Jens Johansson on keyboards, Bob Nouveau on bass and David Keith on drums.
"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.
Deep Purple in Concert is a live album by the English hard rock band Deep Purple, recorded by the BBC for their "In Concert" live series in 1970 and 1972. First released in 1980 in the UK, with the current US edition being made available in 2001.
"Maybe I'm a Leo" is a song by the British rock group Deep Purple, from their 1972 album Machine Head.
"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.
"Speed King" is a song by the English rock band Deep Purple, from their 1970 album Deep Purple in Rock.
"Mandrake Root" is a song by Deep Purple that is featured on their debut album Shades of Deep Purple. The title is in reference to the mandrake plant, but is also the name of a pre-Purple band that Blackmore was trying to form in Germany when he got the call from Deep Purple's original management.
Live in Europe 1993 is a live box-set, released by Sony/BMG, containing two concerts recorded by Deep Purple in 1993. Each concert has its own gatefold sleeve and paper CD-liners, being housed in a cardboard outer box.
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 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.
Knocking at Your Back Door: The Best of Deep Purple in the 80's is a compilation album by the British hard rock band Deep Purple. The album was released in 1992.
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
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.
Smoke on the Water & Other Hits is a compilation album by the British rock band Deep Purple, released in 2001.
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.
A: I listened to the all week and Beethoven. Play that backwards. Put something to it. That so I came up with that. Q: All you telling the famous riff "Smoking on the Water" is from Beethoven? A: It's interpretation of an inversion, in tone back and play back and forth. It's actually Beethoven's 5th. So I owe him a lot of money.