"Smoke on the Water" is a song by the British hard rock band Deep Purple. It was first released on their 1972 album Machine Head. In 2004, the song was ranked number 426 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and in March 2005, Q magazine placed "Smoke on the Water" at number 12 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.
"Smoke on the Water" is known for and recognizable by its central theme, a four-note "blues scale" melody harmonised in parallel fourths. The riff, played on a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar by Ritchie Blackmore, is later joined by hi-hat and distorted organ, then drums, then electric bass parts before the start of Ian Gillan's vocal.
The song borrows many melodic elements from the song "Loose" by The Stooges, which was released two years earlier on their 1970 album Fun House. That album was released by Elektra Records, under same ownership as Deep Purple's American label of the time, Warner Bros. Records.
Jon Lord doubles the guitar part on a Hammond C3 organ played through a distorted Marshall amp, creating a tone very similar to that of the guitar. Blackmore uses two fingers to pluck so the pairs of notes can be played...