4. Made In Japan Live Double LP
The Land of the Rising Sun is the gestational ground zero of many of metal’s great live albums including Scorpions’ Tokyo Tapes, Judas Priest’s Unleashed In The East and Iron Maiden’s Maiden Japan. Deep Purple’s double live opus Made In Japan was the first to be recorded there and arguably the best. Touring behind their landmark Machine Head LP, the group was firing on all cylinders storming through and stretching out on their biggest hits. Going Top 10 stateside upon its release, it cemented the band’s superstar status and is one of the best-selling live rock albums of all time.
3. Machine Head LP
The band’s most commercially successful release, 1972’s Machine Head, is neck and neck with In Rock as Deep Purple’s best album. The story of the strange circumstances of its recording gave the band its biggest hit in “Smoke On The Water,” and it also includes signature tunes “Highway Star,” “Space Truckin’” and the concert favorite “Lazy.” It is one of the most influential LPs in hard rock and heavy metal history and also rates as one of Ozzy Osbourne’s Top 10 favorite British albums.
2. “Smoke On The Water” single
The song that launched a million guitarists. It’s 4-note main melody is the most recognizable riff in all of rock. The song tells the true story of the band going to record at the Montreux Casino with The Rolling Stones Mobile Studio only to see their plans go up in smoke after “some stupid with a flare gun” at a Frank Zappa concert show accidentally set a fire that “burned the place to the ground.” Its popularity among beginning guitarists is somewhat belied by the fact that curmudgeonly guitarist Ritchie Blackmore insists most people play it wrong.