RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Re-Machined – A Tribute to Deep Purple’s Machine Head
Eagle Records


Rating: B

Deep Purple’s Machine Head is not only one of the best early heavy metal albums of all time, it is also one of the most influential. One can tell the hard rock communities reverence for the album just by looking at who jumped onboard for the project. Metallica, Iron Maiden, Black Label Society, Chickenfoot, Steve Vai, Joe Bonamassa and Santana all jumped at the chance to take part in the tribute.

Santana’s “Smoke on the Water” is a pure gem as the guitar god lets it rip. Also redoing “Smoke on the Water” are the Flaming Lips. Their version is less musical and while it has been getting accolades, I must be too damn old to get it. It is just plain freaking weird as the spoken word vocals only confuse the listener and distract him from the fact that, musically, they are butchering the song.

On a positive note, Black Label Society kicks “Pictures of Home” in the ass as Zakk Wylde plays a blistering solo. Iron Maiden does well with “Space Truckin’” and Joe Bonamassa and Jimmy Barnes give “Lazy” a swift kick in the backside. “Highway Star” makes two appearances, the first a live version by Chickenfoot and then as a bonus track as Glenn Hughes, Chad Smith and Steve Vai take the song to a new high, musically.

Where most remake albums tend to be boring, this one keeps the listener engaged, and the talent on the album makes the whole thing so damn good it is hard to get this one out of your CD player.

By Jeb Wright