Flaming Lips Cover ‘Smoke on the Water’ for Deep Purple Tribute Album
The Flaming Lips have put a unique twist on one of the most famous riffs in the history of rock ‘n’ roll with their cover of Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the Water’ that will be featured on the forthcoming tribute album ‘Re-Machined.’ The Lips are one of 10 bands contributing to the collection, which celebrates the 40th anniversary of the multi-platinum disc, ‘Machine Head,’ Deep Purple’s best selling here in the States.
Quite an eclectic collection of artists contribute to ‘Re-Machined,’ from hard rock acts like Black Label Society and Metallica to the supergroup Kings of Chaos (featuring current Def Leppard and former Guns N’ Roses members) and the one-off pairing of guitar legend Carlos Santana with Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach.
It seems odd to find psych-rock weirdos the Flaming Lips hiding between all that testosterone, and the version of ‘Smoke on the Water’ that Wayne Coyne and his band turns in doesn’t make things any more normal. The Lips reduce the legendary massive opening riff to an atonal keyboard stab that sounds like an alarm clock, then add dinky drum-machine blips and vocals that carry all the emotion of a man reading names out of a telephone book.
Not surprisingly, it’s not the only version of ‘Smoke on the Water’ that made the comp. Perhaps preparing for the inevitable backlash that would come from such an oddball version — some old-school fans will probably say the Lips desecrated one of Deep Purple’s all-time greatest compositions — the ‘Re-Machined’ producers also let Santana and Shaddix pay homage by covering the tune. Their version is probably much more faithful to the original, but this shows that they are similar to Deep Purple in another important way: both bands aren’t afraid to push boundaries.
Listen to the Flaming Lips’ Cover of Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the Water’