Deep Purple – Machine Head
Of the big three rock bands of the 70s, Deep Purple are often neglected, with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath garnering significantly more attention. To call this unjust is a massive understatement, as there is no one that has sounded like them before or since. What is known as the Mark II line-up, consisting of Ian Gillan (vocals), Ritchie Blackmore (guitar), Jon Lord (keyboards), Roger Glover (bass) and Ian Paice (drums) produced not one, but five iconic hard rock albums, with Machine Head at the top of the pile. Ignoring for a moment that it produced the most well-known guitar riff ever known in Smoke On The Water, it also laid the groundwork for many features that would become common practice in the hard rock and heavy metal world. Whether it is Gillan’s piercing screams on Highway Star, Blackmore’s harmonized solo lines on the same track or Paice’s rapid-fire drum introduction to Pictures of Home, the obvious influences are numerous. But the reason this album has stood the test of time is because Machine Head threw down the glove to other rock bands in terms of musical prowess. Blackmore and Lord formed one of finest musical partnerships in the history of rock music (albeit a relatively short lived one) and the combination of the two still sounds unique to this day. The musicianship on display would go on to inspire countless musicians to really test their limits and see where the boundaries of their instruments truly lay, whether that be through the the neo-classical shredding of Yngwie Malmsteen or the ambitious song structures and musical interactions of John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess in Dream Theater. In terms of re-defining what a hard rock album could be, few records can match Machine Head.
Alice Cooper- Schools Out
This album came out in 1972 and was released on Warner Bros records. The album reached number 1 in the UK chart’s. Alice Cooper is an icon on his own and is well known for his unusual stage performance’s. Alice is from Detroit Michigan USA and began his career in 1962. He has been known for using stage prop’s such as electric chairs, his real life snake and a lot of fake blood as he takes his inspiration from his love of horror movies. The inspiration behind school’s out is pretty self explanatory. Alice has once said there’s was two occasions in my life that made me happy,One being Christmas morning and the other when you break up from school for summer. Alice has not only inspired music but the way band’s such as Rob Zombie set up their live shows. With his music also being used in horror theatricals.
- School’s Out
- Luney Tune
Gutter Cat vs. the Jets
- Grande Finale
Status Quo – Piledriver
It does exactly as it says on the tin. Three long haired denim clad geezers smashing out their guitars in line on stage. It looked exciting , that was because it was. The first album the band released on Vertigo and produced themselves. Eight tracks of rock and roll boogie. Status Quo were by 1972 veterans of the clubs and small theaters and were on the up. Battalions of young like minded hairy patch wearing males packed out the gigs and bought the records, Piledriver reached #5 in the album charts.. and that was when units were counted in the millions. Big fat mama and the cover of The doors Road house blues were live favorites decades later. It wasn’t heavy metal in the full sense, but it cannot be dismissed how influential the album , and particularly the band were at this time in British culture. The Quo are rock legends , nowadays often derived and scoffed at , which is so wrong, because at their peak, they were untouchable , and after Piledriver’s release the view the band had must have been uninterrupted and stunning.
Francis Rossi – guitar, vocals
Rick Parfitt – guitar, piano, organ, vocals
Alan Lancaster – bass, 12 string acoustic guitar, vocals
John Coghlan – drums, percussion
Words by our Dj Simon kidd