I recall a somewhat ambiguous and semi-misleading headline on Blabbermouth a couple of months back that read: "METALLICA, IRON MAIDEN, CHICKENFOOT Featured On 'Re-Machined: A Tribute To Machine Head'". Knowing Blabbermouth's occasional proclivity to stir and incite its readers, judging by the comments posted underneath said article, many (including myself) were duped into believing such legendary acts had actually recorded cover versions of Machine Head songs...as in Robb Flynn & co. Not so. Of course not so. What we have here is not legendary bands paying tribute to an overrated, over-hyped band but, in fact, some of rock and metal's finest musicians covering the suite of songs that constituted the legendary Deep Purple's seminal 'Machine Head' album, released to coincide with the record's 40th anniversary.
Deviating slightly from the album's original tracklist, a version of 'Smoke on the Water' featuring guitarist Carlos Santana and Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix, opens proceedings before matters settle down into Purple's original song order, including another version of the opener courtesy of alt-rockers The Flaming Lips and ending with a 'bonus' of sorts with Metallica's take on 'When a Blind Man Cries' (only released previously as a B-side on the 'Never Before' single). Ranging from pastiche where certain artists have attempted to put their own spin on these classic tracks (such as The Flaming Lips, Black Label Society and Metallica) to more straightforward and faithful covers (Glenn Hughes/Chad Smith and Iron Maiden fall into this category) the tribute, as a whole, is a pleasingly varied one, thus fortunately doesn't fall into the trap of mere mimicry. Otherwise, what would be the point? This is a classy tribute from some of Purple's peers and those who've drawn musical inspiration from these British rock legends.
Informative liner notes which include a brief narrative about the original recording process of 'Machine Head' as well as how this tribute came to be, also feature quotes from some of the contributors, loaded with eulogistic praise for Purple, such as Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson's proclamation that: "I cut my teeth as a kid on Purple. It's what I grew up with. It's what got me out of bed in the mornings", and Metallica sticksman Lars Ulrich's claim that "I have a list of songs in my head that Metallica should play before we either break up or die, and Deep Purple's When A Blind Man Cries is one of those songs." These are stirring eulogies and their passion for Purple's music is evident in the music they've covered for this tribute. It's claimed that tracks were "specially recorded" for the release although Chickenfoot's live version of 'Highway Star' has been lifted from a previous recording as it's been present in their live set since 2008. I'm guessing this is the only exception though.
With this release dedicated to "two great men" - the band's ex-manager Tony Edwards who sadly passed away in 2010, and the recently deceased Jon Lord (Purple's keyboardist who, of course, played on the 'Machine Head' album) - it's a fitting tribute to not only this groundbreaking music from rock history four decades after it was first unleashed, but also to Lord's innovative musical genius. So what are you waiting for? Go purchase this most awesome of tributes right now!
RE-MACHINED - A TRIBUTE TO DEEP PURPLE'S MACHINE HEAD
Review by Mark Holmes
1st Oct 2012
1) Smoke on the Water (Carlos Santana); 2) Highway Star (Chickenfoot); 3) Maybe I'm a Leo (Glenn Hughes & Chad Smith); 4) Pictures of Home (Black Label Society); 5) Never Before (Kings of Chaos); 6) Smoke on the Water (The Flaming Lips); 7) Lazy (Jimmy Barnes & Joe Bonamassa); 8) Space Truckin' (Iron Maiden); 9) When a Blind Man Cries (Metallica)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...a classy tribute from some of Purple's peers and those who've drawn musical inspiration from these British rock legends."