One of the very few albums where there is absolutely no filler. Called “the original heavy metal album” in the liner notes, every track has Ritchie Blackmore’s great riffs, Jon Lord’s haunting keyboards and Ian Gillian’s snarling vocals. But to call it “heavy metal” is a bit of a disservice to those who may think of the genre as undecipherable, talent-depleted noise. Here the members, all veterans of the British rock scene blend their talents beautifully in a no-nonsense style that defied the glam rock so popular out of Britain at the time. The lyrics express fantasy, loss and lonliness, and simpler themes like car ownership. Best tracks are “Pictures of Home” (“I’m alone here, with emptiness, eagles and snow, unfriendliness chilling my body…”) and “Lazy”, with the great keyboard into and uptempo beat. “Smoke on the Water” will be a classic rock anthem until all us Baby Boomers are back in diapers and “Highway Star”, despite the silly lyrics, will get you up to 75 or more if you’re on the Interstate. One of the albums I actually once owned an 8-Track of, it sounds as good today as it did back in the early ’70s.