A timeless classic by Deep Purple….
Every so often I revisit a track which I played to death as a teenager just to see if it still hits the same notes for me. Obviously they cannot have the same depth of impact that they once did but, time and a bit of volume can reawaken many fond memories.
Some tracks just make you smile in appreciation, you get why they have been played to death. Listen closely (and loudly) to Hendrix’s version of All Along the Watchtower and it just reminds you of what the perfect rock track should sound like. That was Jimi’s crowning moment, it was a masterclass in construction, execution and production. Nothing he did before or after could truly beat that.
So tonight I revisited a song which is on every ‘rock anthem’ compilation ever made; Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple. There are a thousand versions of the song on You Tube but I wanted to find one from their heyday, which for me, was 1970 to 1973. Look out for a live version from the US in ’73 and you will see a young, handsome Ian Gillan alongside Richie Blackmore, the most elusive rock god of the Seventies playing with a real energy and power.
But You Tube being the way it is I soon found this, the story behind Child in Time including the song and wonderful period footage. Surely one of the great rock tracks of them all with a guitar solo that set the standard until Eddie Van Halen came along. Fast forward to the solo if you can’t be bothered withal of it but give it a listen or remind yourself of Blackmore at his best. Released in 1970 on the Harvest and Warner Brothers labels it featured on their seminal album In Rock and was principally, although often unnoticed, a protest song against the Vietnam War.
So here is one of those you just need to give another listen, imagine being a young person in the audience, imagine being able to relive hearing tracks like these for the very first time…
Categories: The Music Lounge