Deep Purple – Never Before

‘Never Before’ is the fourth track from Deep Purple’s sixth studio album Machine Head, which was released in March 1972. It was the band’s most successful album and is regarded as one of the key albums in the development of hard rock/metal.

Seeking to capture on record their powerful live sound, the band initially planned to record at the renowned Montreux Casino (Switzerland), a popular rock venue with a great sound. Unfortunately, during Frank Zappa’s concert - which was the venue’s final concert of the year - a fan let off a flare gun causing the club to burn to the ground. Fortunately, there were no fatalities, but the band was forced to relocate the recording of the album to a theatre in the town centre. After laying down just one track on the first evening, they were evicted due to the noise, finally ending up in the empty Grand Hotel, with the Rolling Stones’ mobile recording studio parked outside. The story of the fire at the Montreux Casino was immortalised by the band in the song ‘Smoke on the Water’ - apparently the morning after the gig bassist Roger Glover awoke mumbling the phrase ‘smoke on the water…’ to himself.

‘Never Before’ was the first single to be released from Machine Head, but was not a huge chart success, reaching only number 35 in the UK charts. It was somewhat overshadowed by the success of ‘Smoke on the Water’ when it was released a year later in 1973. ‘Never Before’ was consequently performed live very rarely, although it can be heard on the live album Deep Purple in Concert. The song features a fantastic - and very challenging - bassline from Roger Glover. Played with the pick, it includes all of the elements of a great classic rock line: a chunky pick tone, big unison riffs, and melodic lines that weave in and out of the chord progressions.

Be sure to hit the Download Resources button above in order to download the PDF transcription for this piece. The transcription is available WITH TAB and WITHOUT. Please note that a backing track is NOT included with this course. The track used in the play-along can be purchased from