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 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.
The clip Deep Purple — Smoke On The Water can be downloaded for free and without registration.
|Genres||Classic Rock, Rock|