‘Smoke on the Water’ Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Ritchie Blackmore

This month, Deep Purple’s classic masterpiece “Smoke on the Water” turns 40, signifying the ruby anniversary of what is believed to be the most popular and played guitar riff of all time.

… Dah dah DAAH, dah dah da DAAH, dah dah DAAH, dah dah.

Earlier this year, Fender meticulously crafted a tribute to the very instrument that Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore played the riff on, launching a million aspiring guitarists. To this day, one can walk into any local music store and see people of all ages wrestling with the timeless riff.

Limited to 2013 production, the limited edition Fender Custom Shop Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster is an exact replica of the black Strat guitar Blackmore played with Deep Purple in the early ’70s, including the recording of seminal album Machine Head and the band’s greatest hit single.

“Smoke on the Water” was released on album, Machine Head, in 1972 and as a single in May 1973. A major hit, it reached number four on the Billboard pop singles chart in the United States and propelled the album into the top 10 worldwide. The song has appeared on countless “greatest” lists over the past 40 years, including Rolling Stone magazine’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time,” VH1’s “40 Greatest Metal Songs” and Q magazine’s “100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.”

The timeless track also fit perfectly in a new AT&T commercial showing the interactivity between generations.



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