Deep Purple Didn't Intend To Release 'Smoke On Water'

Michael Angulia | 08-28-2020

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Deep Purple

Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover says that the band's legendary hit song "Smoke On Water" was never intended to be on their iconic "Machine Head" album.

Glover spoke with antiMusic's Morley Seaver about the group's new studio album, "Whoosh", and Roger was asked how the band's dynamics with producer Bob Ezrin and also explained how they came to work with him.

During the discussion Roger revealed that the band didn't plan to include the signature hit "Smoke On Water" on the 1972 album. Here is that portion of the interview:

antiMusic: All five members of Deep Purple are well known for their abilities, not just hired sidemen but active and knowledgeable song architects. Bob Ezrin is known as a tinkerer --- someone who really takes songs apart with a fine tooth comb. How does everybody manage to put aside their feelings when he makes a judgment on a song... particularly yourself who has such a pedigree of your own with producing?

Roger:That's a multi-layered question really. Bob Ezrin brings an objective viewpoint. When you're in the band and you're producing the band, you can't have that. So it makes it very difficult. So I'm very happy to have an outside producer. And the key, of course, is do you trust him?

Because not everyone agrees. We have five creative people in the band. There's bound to be disagreements and he is the one who irons it all out and quickly saves us time. We don't argue about whether it's going to be a B flat or an F. He's musically knowledgeable so we trust him. That makes us relax.

And what's a producer's job? Well, we both agree on that. A producer's job is to create an atmosphere in which people can perform and express themselves freely. And that's what he does.

antiMusic: I didn't get to speak with you the last few albums so can you refresh our memories, how did you first get connected with him?

Roger:He came to see us. I forget how the connection was made. I suspect it was our agent. But he lives in Toronto and eight or nine years ago we were playing Toronto and he came to see the show. We didn't see him that night but we had a meeting with him the next day. He said some lovely things and some pretty encouraging things and he wanted to produce us. So we thought, "Great!" What a moment that was. We didn't know it at the time, of course, but it was the start of a great relationship.

And that first album we did with him was the first one in eight years. I think we were just ready. And he encouraged us to be ourselves and not worry so much about trying to do something but just doing things. Just being natural about it. Because there's always a feeling that if you have a band name, people are going to listen to it so you'd better make it good. That's a kind of pressure. Well, then people are going to listen to it so just do what you want to do and do the best you can.

And I think that's the key really. Because how can you plan a hit? You can't. They just happen from various circumstances. The audience make hits. We just make music. So there's a divide there. 'Smoke on the Water' was never even intended to be on the record. We didn't think it was that good. So are we any judge of what is going to be a hit or not. I don't think so. (laughs)

Read the full interview here.

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