Smoke on the Water

Deep Purple

About Smoke on the Water

"Smoke on the Water" is a song by the English rock band Deep Purple. It was first released on their 1972 album Machine Head. In 2004, the song was ranked number 434 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time, ranked number 4 in Total Guitar magazine's Greatest Guitar Riffs Ever, and in March 2005, Q magazine placed "Smoke on the Water" at number 12 in its list of the 100 greatest guitar tracks.


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We all came out to Montreux
On the Lake Geneva shoreline
To make records with a mobile
We didn't have much time
Frank Zappa and the Mothers
Were at the best place around
But some stupid with a flare gun
Burned the place to the ground
Smoke on the water, fire in the sky

They burned down the gambling house
It died with an awful sound
Funky Claude was running in and out
Pulling kids out the ground
When it all was over
We had to find another place
But Swiss time was running out
It seemed that we would lose the race
Smoke on the water, fire in the sky

We ended up at the Grand Hotel
It was empty cold and bare
But with the Rolling truck Stones thing just outside
Making our music there
With a few red lights and a few old beds
We make a place to sweat
No matter what we get out of this
I know we'll never forget
Smoke on the water, fire in the sky

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Deep Purple

Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. They are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although some band members claimed that their music cannot be categorised as belonging to any one genre. They were once listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as "the globe's loudest band", and have sold over 100 million albums worldwide, including 7.5 million certified units in the US. Deep Purple were ranked number 22 on VH1's Greatest Artists of Hard Rock programme. more »

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Written by: Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger D Glover, Jon Lord, Ian Paice

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

7 facts about this song

Song Composition
"Smoke on the Water" is arguably the most famous song by the English rock band Deep Purple. - It was released in 1972 as part of their "Machine Head" album. - The music was composed by all band members – Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord, and Ian Paice.
Lyrics Inspiration
The song's lyrics were inspired by a real-life event when a casino in Montreux, Switzerland, caught on fire during a concert by Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention. - The lines of the song narrate the entire story of the fire, the smoke spreading over the lake (Lake Geneva), and the struggle to get their album recorded.
Distinctive Riff
The song is particularly noted for its iconic four-note blues scale riff in G minor. - It is often considered one of the greatest riffs in rock history. - Owing to its simplicity, it is one of the first riffs taught to beginner guitarists and is often used as a demonstration in guitar stores.
Chart Success
"Smoke On the Water" was not initially a chart success, it only gained significant radio airplay after being released as a single in May 1973. - By 1977, it had been certified as a gold single by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Cultural Impact
The song's title, "Smoke on the Water," has been used for the name for several entities, including a charity event and a brand of BBQ sauce. - An episode of "The Simpsons," where Homer learns to play the bass guitar, showcases it as one of the songs he tries to learn.
Live Performances and Covers
Like many of Deep Purple's songs, "Smoke On the Water" has been performed live by Deep Purple many times. - Over the years, numerous artists and bands have covered the song, including Carlos Santana, Metallica, and Black Sabbath.
Recognition and Rankings
"Smoke on the Water" was ranked number 434 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. - In 2007, the song's iconic riff was named the fourth-greatest hard-rock riff by the music channel VH1.

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    Smoke on the Water

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