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Thread: Deep Purple: In Rock vs. Machine Head?

  1. #1

    Deep Purple: In Rock vs. Machine Head?

    What do you prefer between these two classic Deep Purple (MK II) albums and why?

  2. #2
    Member hippypants's Avatar
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    In Rock works for me

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    I’ve heard a lot of people say that In Rock is better than Machine Head but I still prefer Machine Head over any other DP album. Maybe it’s because MH was so popular especially with Smoke on the Water but I remember hearing Smoke on the Water on the radio and went right out to buy MH. Loved the album ever since. No reason other than I like it better.

    Rick

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    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    I've owned all the Deep Purple albums up to Fireball, but nothing later. I had to look up Machine Head to see what all was on it--I'm familiar with four out of the seven songs. So naturally I choose In Rock.
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  5. #5
    In Rock for me by quite a distance. They were still hungry. Even though the album before it is a desert island disc of mine.

    I never liked the production of Machine Head.
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

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    In Rock for me- what a statement of intent that must have been in 1970, with that huge distorted intro to 'Speed King' (wasn't this cut from US pressings? Bizarre!). And of course it has 'Child In Time' which is probably my favourite Deep Purple track.

    Machine Head is another classic too, but I prefer the live versions of its songs (well, the ones they played at the time!). There's an argument Made In Japan is the ultimate Deep Purple record...it's a view I share.

  7. #7
    Fireball.

    Whereas I considered myself the biggest DP-fan in the world at 13 y.o., the whole house pretty much fell apart and came down over my head on reading some "scholared" criticism of their work. Consequently since then I've found both In Rock and Machine Head to be mercilessly uneven efforts.

    Fireball remains, though. Completely great throughout.
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  8. #8
    Machine Head over In Rock but Fireball is the best Deep Purple to my ears.
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    Impossible for me to pick. I love both albums.

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    I view all three studio releases from "In Rock" to "Machine Head" as being on equal footing, that is equally great. Since I never replaced my vinyl copies with CDs, I haven't played them for decades. If I were to ever purchase one DP album on CD, it would actually be "Made In Japan - Box Edition Set", since I never had it back in the day and it has favorite tracks from all 3 studio albums including "Speed King", "Child In Time", "Highway Star", "Space Truckin" and "Smoke". It would be like rediscovering them, anew.

    I was fortunate enough to see them in February 1985 on the "Perfect Strangers" tour and it blew me away.

    Finally, as far as I am concerned, the studio albums after "Smoke" were pretty poor. Then, with "Perfect Strangers", they recaptured the beauty and awesome power that was Mark 2a.

  11. #11
    Back when I was teenager our entry to the world of Purple was a budget priced compilation 24 Carat Purple, and from there I gravitated to Made In Japan. The cognoscenti in my school preferred Machine Head, it was seen as one of the cornerstone albums in any rock collection, and of the Mk2 studio albums it was the one I was most familiar with. Have to say Fireball is one I prefer now, it didn’t get over played back then, and still sounds fresh when I’m in the right mood.... which as it has been mentioned is right now!

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    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    First DP album I ever heard was Fireball in the very, early 70s. Never really been a huge fan. I think the only proper album I have is Burn (which I really like) and some CDrs and comps and crap. Saw them in 2001 with Steve Morse.
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  13. #13
    In Rock is a band saying "this is our new direction", and getting away with it in fine style.

    Machine Head suffers because most of it ended up on MIJ. Of the remainder, Never Before is dull, Pictures of Home is so-so and only Maybe I'm A Leo is interesting for its 'groove'.

    But Fireball is better than both. Sadly, Blackmore didn't think so.

  14. #14
    I prefer Machine Head. But really, Made In Japan blows all their albums out of the water. Even with smoke on the water.
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    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Machine head is overplayed. Particularly that one song about some kind of incident in Montreux Switzerland, or something. In Rock is more raw. If one owns the British and not American version, it starts the way it ends: with Richie shredding.
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by SunRunner2 View Post
    I was fortunate enough to see them in February 1985 on the "Perfect Strangers" tour and it blew me away.

    Finally, as far as I am concerned, the studio albums after "Smoke" were pretty poor. Then, with "Perfect Strangers", they recaptured the beauty and awesome power that was Mark 2a.
    I agree. I saw the same tour and was totally blown away. I've seen Blackmore five times over the years and the performance I saw at the Philly Spectrum tops them all.

    Perfect Strangers takes some heat, but I thought it was a great return.
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

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  17. #17
    I love In Rock for its pure intensity and volcanic energy. It showcases all the individual talents while clearly assessing a collective, focused intent.
    Machine Head is more refined and contains more classic, well-known material, but lacks the kind of urgency that its predecessors had IMHO.
    Fireball is my favourite. The second half is stunning and I'm glad they acknowledged that by playing all those songs in the Morse era.
    That string of albums Self-titled - In Rock - Fireball (+ Machine head) is a great one.

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    When I first heard Fireball I was a little underwhelmed, but I now rate it every bit as highly as the albums either side of it. The second side in particular has some of their most 'progressive' material, I think.

    I quite like Perfect Strangers and House Of Blue Lights, although I far prefer the grittier production of the 70s albums.

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    Both are great but In Rock for me. It's really one of the building blocks of heavy metal. Machine Head was tailor made for 8 track car decks what with its clean production and streamlined hard rock but it doesn't burn with the intensity of In Rock, IMO.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    I've owned all the Deep Purple albums up to Fireball, but nothing later. I had to look up Machine Head to see what all was on it--I'm familiar with four out of the seven songs. So naturally I choose In Rock.
    Who Do We Think We Are is underrated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    I agree. I saw the same tour and was totally blown away. I've seen Blackmore five times over the years and the performance I saw at the Philly Spectrum tops them all.

    Perfect Strangers takes some heat, but I thought it was a great return.
    Hearing Child In Time for the first time during the Perfect Strangers tour remains my most vivid concert memory. So glad and surprised I can still tap into that warm fuzzy feeling!
    I only had 2 DP albums as a kid in 85' — MH and PS. Both kinda uneven, but was still able to love them out of sheer determination to get my money's worth (just as I did for my very first 2 albums...Dynasty and Glass Houses. Can you guess my age?). I was much older when I finally heard their whole catalog and Fireball was the standout for that era. But the album I revisit the most is probably Come Taste The Band.

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    ^I don't love the album as a whole, but the last couple of tracks on Come Taste The Band are the best things they did with Coverdale and Hughes IMHO. Not much like the old Deep Purple by that point, but very good in its own right.

    I've never thought Who Do We Think We Are was that great. A few good songs but they sound tired out. Even the single 'Woman From Tokyo' is kind of by-the-numbers.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by spiderfeathers View Post
    Hearing Child In Time for the first time during the Perfect Strangers tour remains my most vivid concert memory.
    That's one of mine, too. Gillan soared. That and the audience at the end of "Highway Star." Probably the loudest crowd I ever heard.

    Sometimes, we recall or hear the shows better than they actually were. Years later, I got a recording of the show I saw in Philly. It confirmed my memories. It was stellar and Ritchie was in absolutely top form.
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

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    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Honestly, the classic run of Mk. II albums are interchangeable for me, and I mean that in a good way. I don't tend to value one above another, as they are all so strong to my ears. I suppose if I was forced to choose between these two, I'd say In Rock.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    I've never thought Who Do We Think We Are was that great. A few good songs but they sound tired out. Even the single 'Woman From Tokyo' is kind of by-the-numbers.
    I wanted my money back after listening to the tracks on this one. Really poorly performed and barely going through the motions. The RS review at the time said it best:

    "... sounds so damn tired in spots that it's downright disconcerting" and "the band seems to just barely summon up enough energy to lay down the rhythm track, much less improvise."

    Ian Gillan admitted so much when he recalled:

    "We had just come off 18 months of touring, and we'd all had major illnesses at one time or another. Looking back, if they'd have been decent managers, they would have said, 'All right, stop. I want you to all go on three months' holiday. I don't even want you to pick up an instrument.' But instead they pushed us to complete the album on time. We should have stopped. I think if we did, Deep Purple would have still been around to this day"

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