Various Artists: Re-Machined: A Tribute To Deep Purple's Machine Head

Metallica and Maiden toast UK rock gods

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It’s remarkable, if not a little disheartening, to realise that Deep Purple created their landmark Machine Head album some 40 years ago. Proof positive that real art is borne of adversity, their initial recording sessions were to take place in The Montreux Casino, which burnt down the night before they were due to start work there (and would be immortalised forever in the lyrics to Smoke On The Water).

Consequently, they’d create one of rock’s most enduring albums in the corridor of the deserted Grand Hotel. In what feels like a lifetime later, the great and the good have lined up to recreate that lightning-trapped-in-a-bottle moment.

Metallica’s When A Blind Man Cries doesn’t do much but show off James Hetfield’s limitations as a singer, which is hardly his fault; the young Ian Gillan had an enormous voice, as does Bruce Dickinson on Iron Maiden’s thunderous Space Truckin’. Jimmy Barnes whoops and hollers his way through Lazy while Joe Bonamassa lets his guitar do all the wailing and moaning.

A staple of Chickenfoot’s live set is Highway Star, which they blast through here, Joe Satriani recreating the parts he briefly played when he deputised on guitar in Purple. Little wonder it’s such a highlight.

Philip Wilding

Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion.