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Smoke on the Water - Deep Purple

Smoke on the Water

Machine Head
classic rock hard rock rock deep purple 70s


Smoke on the Water is a song by the British hard rock band Deep Purple. It was first released on their 1972 album Machine Head. This song is known for and recognizable by its central theme, a four-note "blues scale" melody harmonized in parallel fourths. The riff, played on a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar by Ritchie Blackmore, is later joined by hi-hat and distorted organ, then drums, then electric bass parts before the start of Ian Gillan's vocal. “ We all came out to Montreux, on the Lake Geneva shoreline To make records with a mobile, we didn't have much time ” Jon Lord doubles the guitar part on a Hammond B3 organ played through a distorted Marshall amp, creating a tone very similar to that of the guitar. Blackmore uses two fingers to pluck[2] so the pairs of notes can be played exactly simultaneously, to match the organ's timing more closely. The song order is intro(riff)-verse-chorus-riff-verse-chorus-riff-solo-riff-verse-chorus-riff-solo. The first solo is performed on guitar by Ritchie Blackmore, and the second and final solo is performed on an organ by Jon Lord until the song fades out. The lyrics of the song tell a true story: on 4 December 1971 Deep Purple had set up camp in Montreux, Switzerland to record an album using a mobile recording studio (rented from the Rolling Stones and known as the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio - referred to as the "Rolling truck Stones thing" and "the mobile" in the song lyrics) at the entertainment complex that was part of the Montreux Casino (referred to as "the gambling house" in the song lyric). On the eve of the recording session a Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention concert was held in the casino's theater. In the middle of Don Preston's synthesizer solo on "King Kong", the place suddenly caught fire when somebody in the audience fired a flare gun into the rattan covered ceiling, as mentioned in the "some stupid with a flare gun" line. The resulting fire destroyed the entire casino complex, along with all the Mothers' equipment. The "smoke on the water" that became the title of the song (credited to bass guitarist Roger Glover, who related how the title occurred to him when he suddenly woke from a dream a few days later) referred to the smoke from the fire spreading over Lake Geneva from the burning casino as the members of Deep Purple watched the fire from their hotel across the lake. The "Funky Claude" running in and out is referring to Claude Nobs, the director of the Montreux Jazz Festival who helped some of the audience escape the fire.


Deep Purple is an English hard rock band that formed in Hertfordshire in 1968. Together with groups such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, they're considered as heavy metal pioneers. Especially influential to later metal bands were Ian Gillan's powerful screams and Ritchie Blackmore's virtuoso solos. Deep Purple were also very influential to progressive music as well, with their style evolving over the years and incorporating a variety of genres from art rock to blues to psychedelia and more. Show more ...

Smoke on the Water - Deep Purple

We all came out to Montereax,
On the Lake Geneva shoreline.
To make records with a mobile,
We didn't have much time.
But Frank Zappa and the Mothers,
Were at the best place around,
But some stupid with a flare gun,
Burned the place to the ground.
Smoke on the water and fire in the sky.
Smoke on the water...

They burned down the gambling house,
It died with an awful sound.
(Uh) Funky Claude was running in and out,
Pulling kids down to ground
When it all was over,
We had to find another place.
But Swiss time was running out,
It seemed that we would lose the race.
Smoke on the water and fire in the sky.
Smoke on the water...

We ended up at the Grand Hotel.
It was empty cold and bare.
But with the Rolling truck Stones thing just outside,
Making our music there.
With a few red lights, a few old beds,
We made a place to sweat.
No matter what we get out of this,
I know I know we'll never forget.
Smoke on the water and fire in the sky.
Smoke on the water...



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