500 Greatest Songs of All Time

434

Deep Purple, 'Smoke on the Water'

Writers: Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillian, Roger Glover, Jon Lord, Ian Paice
Producers: Deep Purple
Released: May '73, Warner Bros.
16 weeks; No. 4

Keyboardist Lord claimed that the working title for this song was "Durh Durh Durh" — a transliteration of the riff that some beginner guitarist is probably trying out for the first time right now. The lyrics tell the story of a fan shooting a flare gun during a 1971 Frank Zappa show at the Casino in Montreux, Switzerland, setting the venue ablaze.

Appears on: Machine Head (Rhino)

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