Smoke on the Water (8:33)

Cover of Deepest Purple: The Very Best of Deep Purple

From Deepest Purple: The Very Best of Deep Purple and 422 other releases

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[2] 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).


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  • rockandrolljoe


    16 Oct 6:59pm Reply
  • md1163

    Funky Claude!

    16 Oct 5:24pm Reply
  • marjo47


    15 Sep 2:37pm Reply
  • Eye_Gore

    Love the song, but this is a pissy version

    3 Sep 4:26pm Reply
  • alea_jact_est

    the best!!!

    14 Aug 7:37pm Reply
  • paradrome


    10 Aug 9:13am Reply
  • Sathg

    smmooooooke on the waaaateeeerr! great classic ヽ(≧ω≦)ノ

    4 Aug 10:46pm Reply
  • TheBullfrog

    Unforgettable riff!

    4 Aug 3:36pm Reply
  • RockMusic1001


    30 Jul 1:02pm Reply
  • sharv11

    I agree with theironictea! I seriously cannot NOT love this song, no matter how many billions of times I may hear it!

    23 Jul 11:32pm Reply
  • KevinGrimm

    wow, very good

    21 Jul 2:36am Reply
  • theironictea

    If we get over the fact that this song is one of the most overplayed rock songs along with "Paranoid", it's a really damn good song, with an awesome riff, great lyrics, superb drumming, amazing organ and spectaculars solos by both Blackmore and Lord.

    11 Jul 11:11am Reply
  • lukasz_pulawski


    7 Jul 9:41pm Reply
  • YoQueSe666

    You’d be hard-pressed to find any hard rock enthusiast who doesn’t recognize this iconic Ritchie Blackmore riff. Backed by Jon Lord’s fuzzy Hammond organ, Ian Paice’s smooth drumming and Roger Glover’s electric bass, he helped drive “Smoke on the Water” forward with his Fender Stratocaster electric guitar. Add Ian Gillan’s vocals to the mix and you’ve got one of the most popular and successful songs in Deep Purple’s repertoire. -- watchmojo

    3 Jul 2:27pm Reply
  • HayleighRayment

    What do they taste like?

    24 Jun 9:15pm Reply
  • HayleighRayment

    Starlight mints

    18 Jun 8:34pm Reply
  • SunwaptaSam

    All time classic guitar riff intro... sheer genius !

    12 Jun 1:44am Reply
  • Skullcrusherx95

    classics never die

    10 Jun 11:08pm Reply
  • sidney_adv

    ìcone do rock!

    2 Jun 2:38pm Reply
  • venicechance

    The guitar riff deservedly gets the plaudits, but the solo itself is memorable, and Ian Paice is in fine form on the drums.

    1 Jun 6:22pm Reply
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