Title - 'Re-Machined: Deep Purple Tribute' (Eagle Records)
Artist - Various
For no better reason than 2012 sees the 40th anniversary of the release of Deep Purple's landmark album Machine Head, in recognition of Deep Purple's influence, and that of the Machine Head album in general, some of rock music's biggest names have each contributed a version of their favorite track on the album to create Re-Machined: A Tribute To Deep Purple's Machine Head.
The album kicks off with the first version of the infamous 'Smoke On The Water,' this time with Carlos Santana rockin' the guitar licks and Jacoby Shaddix on vocals. And it has to be said that the lead singer for the rock group Papa Roach sounds completely different here. He has tuned his vocals to that of classic rock superbly. That is then followed by a live cut of 'Highway Star,' from Sammy Hagar and the rest of the Chickenfoot gang, but it sounds like it was recorded in a tin can, for some strange reason!
Anyway, next comes the pounding beats of 'Maybe I'm A Leo' from Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple) and Chad Smith (RHCP). A song so bluesy now, so fresh-sounding it is a marvel of a track to behld. Next up is Black Label Society's version of 'Pictures of Home,' which showcase Zakk Wylde's vocals perfectly, before the rousing blues funk of 'Never Before' comes forth. The highlight track, for me, it is performed by the Kings of Chaos - aka Joe Elliot (Def Leppard), Steve Stevens (Bruce Springsteen), and both Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum from Guns 'N Roses.
Next up is the second version of the well-known, beloved 'Smoke On The Water,' this one from alternative rockers Flaming Lips. And boy, oh boy, is it left of center and faaaaaar out there! I would never have expected to hear such a version on rock album like this, but after a minute or so ... nope, sorry, that didn't help either ... it 100% does not work for this collection! It's too artsy, to experimental.
Along next is 'Lazy.' Complete with a Jon Lord-inspired organ opening (and an ongoing musical backbone) that brings us both Jimmy Barnes and Joe Bonamassa, the latter's guitar work throughout blistering to say the least. Then Iron Maiden have a crack at 'Space Truckin', which is nice but doesn't really go anywhere fast, before Metallica bash out 'When A Blind Man Cries.' Interestingly enough, this was actually a track recorded at the Machine Head sessions, but originally released by Deep Purple as the B-side to 'Never Before.'
The album then rounds out with the bonus track (but why it's simply not track 10 is beyond me though!) 'Highway Star.' Another version off set from the earlier Chickenfoot one, this time it is slowed down (slightly) and made to flow better. And with Glenn Hughes (and, for the record, the 60 year-old rocker can still sing some incredible lead!) along with some stunningly beautiful guitar work from Steve Vai, drums from Chad Smith, this whole collection is sure to please new and old fans of Purple.