Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

The legendary hit has a new music video. “Smoke On The Water” by Deep Purple: Fire, water, smoke, police and dragons

Plate “Machine Head” groups Deep Purple was published in March 1972, but “Smoke On The Water” (check!) was released as a single only a year later, in May 1973. The musicians themselves admitted that they did not expect such a success (4th place on the Billboard chart).

Guitar riff played on a Fender Stratocaster by Ritchie Blackmore this is one of the most famous licks in rock history. Many contemporary musicians, including… started their adventure with the instrument with the “Smoke On The Water” exercise Steve Morsewho performed in Deep Purple from 1994 to 2022, becoming the guitarist with the longest experience in this band.

The Super Deluxe version (which will consist of three discs – CD, vinyl, Blu-ray) will include, among others: new mixes by Dweezil Zappapreviously unreleased live recordings from Montreaux from 1971 and a newly remastered edition of the original.

On the occasion of this release, a new music video for “Smoke On The Water” was released online. They are responsible for the animated production Dan Gibling and Luke McDonnell (Chiba Film). Their idea was to include a story related to the creation of the song and album “Machine Head” in the video.

“The band was under pressure to record this album in time after the events that took place at the casino. We wanted to accurately portray all of these events and the band members, but also take the animated film to an exciting, action-packed chase where the band is pursued by the needle, moving along the deep grooves of the record,” say the creators of the video.

“During their journey, we visit places and characters mentioned in the song, and also encounter fire, water, smoke, police and even dragons,” they add.

The lyrics of the song tell the true story of a casino fire that happened on December 4, 1971 in Montreaux, Switzerland. It was to this town that Deep Purple musicians came to work on the album “Machine Head”.

The British visited the Alpine resort in May 1971, where they played a concert at The Casino. They also had good memories of cooperation with the owner of the facility, Claude Nobs. Other rock giants of the time also performed here – Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath Whether PinkFloyd.

The British rented a concert hall in the casino building and a mobile studio for recording The Rolling Stones. The Casino was traditionally closed for the winter and was to be used by Deep Purple after the end of the concert season. However, the band’s plans were thwarted by the group’s performance Frank Zappa December 4, which was supposed to be the last one this year. One of the participants lit a flare, which set the roof of the building on fire.

“But some stupid with a flare gun / burned the place to the ground” – he later sang in “Smoke On The Water” Ian Gillan.

“In December, the old wooden casino in Montreaux on Lake Geneva burned down completely. The fire broke out during a Frank Zappa concert, which we went to during a break from recording our own album. There were many injured. We managed to get out safely and after returning to the hotel, we watched the action from the window rescue service and the struggles of firefighters,” the bassist recalled years later Roger Glover in the book “42 Conversations” by Piotr Kaczkowski.

“I dreamed about these events for the next few nights. I woke up screaming: smoke… smoke over the water. When Ian Gillan started writing a text about that evening, I told him the dream,” Glover said.

Claude Nobs (mentioned in the song’s lyrics as Funky Claude, who personally saved the “kids”) offered Deep Purple a new place to record – the nearby Pavillion theater. The group didn’t stay there for long either. The music disturbed the neighbors, who asked the police to intervene. Although the technicians stopped the security guards by keeping the doors to the Pavillion closed, the team decided to find a new location.

Ultimately, the recordings were made in the corridor of the Grand Hotel, which was closed for the winter. The Rolling Stones’ mobile studio was parked at the main entrance, which caused considerable logistical problems for the musicians (they had to go through hotel bedrooms and balconies), so they quickly gave up listening to the recorded material, playing until they were finally satisfied with the final result.

“Once we got to the mobile studio, we thought it was good enough because we didn’t want to run back and forth all the time,” the guitarist explained. Ritchie Blackmore.

As a curiosity, let us add that the only song that was not entirely recorded at the Grand Hotel was “Smoke On The Water”. This now iconic number was recorded during an interrupted session at the Pavillion (only Ian Gillan’s vocals were recorded at the Grand Hotel, the lyrics were also written there).

The current line-up of Deep Purple from the “Machine Head” era still features Ian Gillan, Roger Glover and drummer Ian Paice. Blackmore left in 1975, then returned from 1984 to 1993. Hammond organ and keyboard player Jon Lord he died in 2012, having left the band 10 years earlier. Lord’s successor is Don Airey, and since 2022 he has been playing guitar Simon McBride.