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It´s a bit difficult to write about tribute albums, because presumably it´s just a treat for fans of the “originals” anyway... and honestly, that´s the reason for my interest in Re-Machined, too. Well, one of the most influential albums of one of the best bands on this planet has a 40th anniversary to celebrate, and in recognition of the influence of Deep Purple and the “Machine Head” album in particular, some of rock music´s biggest names have contributed a version of their favourite track.
First of all, I think this compilation is an excellent one, not only because of all those big names (Metallica, Iron Maiden, Black Label Society, Santana etc etc). There are some surprises, although none of the artists attempted to “improve” the original version. Only one track sticks out – almost as a parody, but well, this is how The Flaming Lips re-interpret Smoke on the Water in the Computer/Sampling/Drum+Bass/CreativeMix age...
Those surprises include finding Glenn Hughes – he was a member of Deep Purple – here, and the pretty meek sounding Iron Maiden. Well, their “Spacetrucking” was a side product of their 2006 “A Matter Of Life And Death” sessions and never got released, here remixed by Kevin Shirley. However, the biggest surprise for me is Metallica and their emotional and respectful version of When A Blind Man Cries – yet still with the Metallica-punch – FUCKING GREAT!
This song and many of the others on the list are the reason why this album should not be seen as “reduntant release”. Yet, without rating, as it´s a must-have for collectors anyway.
1) Smoke On The Water – Carlos Santana & Jacoby Shaddix
2) Highway Star – Chickenfoot
3) Maybe I´m A Leo – Glenn Hughes & Chad Smith
4) Pictures Of Home – Black Label Society
5) Never Before – Kings Of Chaos (Joe Elliott, Steve Stevens, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum)
6) Smoke On The Water – The Flaming Lips
7) Lazy – Jimmy Barnes with Joe Bonamassa
8) Space Truckin´ – Iron Maiden
9) When A Blind Man Cries – Metallica
Very interesting video about the making of this tribute: