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Smoke on the Water is Beethoven’s Fifth Backwards

    The origin of the famous “Smoke on the Water” riff by Deep Purple has been a subject of interest and debate among music fans for years. In a candid revelation, Ritchie Blackmore, the legendary guitarist of Deep Purple, has confessed to drawing inspiration from Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. Blackmore admits that he ingeniously reimagined the iconic motif of Beethoven’s masterpiece by playing it in reverse, giving birth to the unforgettable riff that would go down in rock history.

    As fate would have it, this inventive musical creation led to the immense success of “Smoke on the Water,” which became Deep Purple’s biggest hit ever. During the recording process, Funky Claude, a memorable character associated with the events surrounding the Montreux Casino fire in 1971 (the incident that inspired the song’s lyrics), was actively assisting in rescuing people from the chaotic scene. This added a unique layer of intensity to the song’s creation and contributed to its timeless appeal.

    Rock historians have also uncovered interesting connections between “Smoke on the Water” and Iggy Pop’s Stooges song “Loose,” released two years prior. It is pointed out that Deep Purple drew on various melodic elements from “Loose,” adding another dimension to the intricate origins of the iconic riff. These revelations showcase the importance of having a keen sense of musical hearing and a thorough understanding of the intricate web of influences that shape musical compositions.

    The genesis of Deep Purple’s legendary “Smoke on the Water” riff is a tale of musical ingenuity, historical happenstance, and interwoven inspirations. Ritchie Blackmore’s confession about his ingenious reinterpretation of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, combined with the dramatic events surrounding the Montreux Casino fire, propelled the band to new heights of success. Yet, the story also sheds light on the complex nature of musical influences, as the song’s connection to Iggy Pop’s “Loose” reveals the intricacies of creativity in the world of rock music.


    Tony M.