Deep Purple's Roger Glover on 50 years of Machine Head: It was a quick album - Hindustan Times
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Deep Purple's Roger Glover on 50 years of Machine Head: It was a quick album

ByRishabh Suri
Feb 22, 2024 08:09 AM IST

Bassist-songwriter Roger Glover gets talking about 50 years of their iconic album Machine Head, and of course Smoke On The Water.

"It's all going according to the plan- we sat down and said 'let's write an iconic song'... of course things don't happen that way!," laughs Roger Glover, one part of the legendary rock band Deep Purple over a video call.

Roger Glover
Roger Glover

The band's most famous piece of work, Machine Head, is celebrating it's belated 50th anniversary and set to release a new edition with remastered versions. "We are a very unplanned band. One high led to another, it's only when you look back you can see what the journey was like. When you write an album, you don't know what's going to happen to the songs, it is up to the record buying public," quips the bassist-songwriter.

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Smoke On The Water, the band's most recognised piece of work across the globe, was in fact the last song to be included, and we are surprised. Glover explains, "We used to record in studios which are designed to suppress sounds, and when we did live gigs on stage, the sound was everywhere. We wanted to capture the live experience. Of course we didn't get to do that as the fire cut it short."

That infamous fire in a casino theatre in December 1971 had burnt their recording venue to the ground, while Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention were playing. "We didn't have a studio suddenly, we were up against the wall. We only had a Rolling Stone mobile for three weeks. By the time we were running around trying to finish things, less than two weeks were left. So Machine Head was a very instant album. It grew up as we were recording. On a day someone would start a riff, we would say 'let's do that' It was quick. Maybe that's the magic of the album. It was so fresh we didn't have time to play with it. We managed to record Smoke... after the fire in a different location. When we finished the rest of the album, we said 'let's listen to that thing' The phrase came to me after the fire was raging. It is about what happened to us!," laughs Glover.

He describes Smoke... as a 'wonderful thing' to have happened to their lives. "We couldn't smell it's future. It was a song made in dire circumstances... for it to become the song that defines you, it's hard to swallow, but we are happy to swallow it," he adds.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Rishabh Suri writes for the daily Entertainment & Lifestyle supplement HT City. From Bollywood to Hollywood, from Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam films, to OTT and television- he covers it all.

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