Deep Purple - Smoke on the Water - 1972

Deep Purple - Smoke on the Water - 1972

Smoke on the Water is a song by the English rock band Deep Purple. It was first released on their 1972 album Machine Head. This song is known for its iconic guitar riff and is considered one of the greatest classic rock songs of all time.

Background and Recording

The song's lyrics were inspired by a fire that broke out during a Frank Zappa concert at the Montreux Casino in Switzerland. The members of Deep Purple witnessed the fire from their nearby hotel and later composed "Smoke on the Water" as a reflection of their experience.

Music and Composition

The main guitar riff, played by Ritchie Blackmore, is one of the most famous and easily recognizable in rock music. The song is often cited as an example of hard rock and heavy metal.

Reception and Legacy

"Smoke on the Water" has been ranked among the best hard rock songs by various music publications. It is frequently played and covered by numerous artists and has become a staple of rock music culture.

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What inspired the lyrics of "Smoke on the Water"? (The fire at the Montreux Casino) (!An imaginary story) (!A band member's personal experience) (!A scene from a movie)

Which album features "Smoke on the Water"? (Machine Head) (!In Rock) (!Fireball) (!Stormbringer)

Who played the iconic guitar riff in "Smoke on the Water"? (Ritchie Blackmore) (!Ian Gillan) (!Jon Lord) (!Roger Glover)

In which country did the event that inspired "Smoke on the Water" occur? (Switzerland) (!England) (!United States) (!Germany)

What genre is "Smoke on the Water" often associated with? (Hard rock and heavy metal) (!Blues) (!Pop) (!Jazz)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

What is Deep Purple primarily known as? (A rock band) (!A jazz ensemble) (!A pop group) (!A classical music quartet)

In which decade did Deep Purple gain significant popularity? (1970s) (!1960s) (!1980s) (!1990s)

Which instrument does Ian Gillan, a member of Deep Purple, primarily play? (Vocals) (!Guitar) (!Drums) (!Bass)

Deep Purple is often credited with pioneering which musical genre? (Hard rock and heavy metal) (!Electronic music) (!Folk) (!Reggae)

Apart from "Smoke on the Water," which other song is Deep Purple famously known for? ("Child in Time") (!"Bohemian Rhapsody") (!"Stairway to Heaven") (!"Hotel California")

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

Which location is directly mentioned in the song "Smoke on the Water"? (Montreux) (!London) (!New York) (!Los Angeles)

The song "Smoke on the Water" describes a fire in which type of venue? (A casino) (!A hotel) (!A concert hall) (!A stadium)

What was happening at the Montreux Casino that led to the fire mentioned in the song? (A concert) (!A gambling event) (!A private party) (!A theatrical play)

Which band was performing at the Montreux Casino when it caught fire? (Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention) (!The Beatles) (!Led Zeppelin) (!Pink Floyd)

According to the lyrics of "Smoke on the Water," where did Deep Purple watch the fire from? (Their hotel) (!A nearby restaurant) (!The streets) (!A boat on the lake)


Montreux Casino Fire during a Frank Zappa concert
Ritchie Blackmore Iconic guitar riff
1972 Year "Smoke on the Water" was released
Machine Head Album featuring the song
Hard rock Genre of "Smoke on the Water"

Open Tasks


  1. Research local music history: Explore the music scene in your area during the 1970s and compare it to the era of "Smoke on the Water."
  2. Create a playlist: Make a playlist of classic rock songs from the 1970s, including "Smoke on the Water."
  3. Draw a concert scene: Illustrate a concert scene inspired by the lyrics of "Smoke on the Water."


  1. Write a song review: Compose a detailed review of "Smoke on the Water," discussing its musical and lyrical elements.
  2. Investigate the Montreux Casino fire: Research the Montreux Casino fire and write a report on its impact on music history.
  3. Analyze the guitar riff: Study the guitar riff of "Smoke on the Water" and explain why it's so iconic.


  1. Create a documentary: Produce a short documentary on the history and influence of "Smoke on the Water."
  2. Interview musicians: Interview local musicians about their thoughts on Deep Purple and the influence of "Smoke on the Water."
  3. Analyze Deep Purple's influence: Write an essay on how Deep Purple influenced the development of rock music.

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Oral Exam

  1. Discuss the cultural impact: Discuss the cultural impact of "Smoke on the Water" and how it reflects the music scene of the early 1970s.
  2. Compare music genres: Compare and contrast the musical elements of "Smoke on the Water" with those of other genres like pop or jazz.
  3. Explore song themes: Explore the themes of disaster and resilience in "Smoke on the Water" and other songs.
  4. Analyze musical influence: Analyze the influence of "Smoke on the Water" on later rock bands and songs.
  5. Evaluate live performances: Discuss the differences in live and studio versions of "Smoke on the Water" and their impact on audiences.

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