Roger Glover & Guests – The Butterfly Ball And The Grasshoppers Feast (1975)

FrontCover1Roger David Glover (born 30 November 1945) is a British bassist, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known as the bassist for hard rock bands Deep Purple and Rainbow. As a member of Deep Purple, Glover was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2016

The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast is a concept album and subsequent live rock opera appearing in 1974 and 1975 respectively, based on the children’s poem of a similar title. The album cover design is from Alan Aldridge’s design for a 1973 book based on the poem.

The album spawned a hit song, “Love Is All,” which reached Number 1 in the Netherlands and Belgium.

The work was originally conceived as a solo vehicle for Jon Lord to be produced by Roger Glover who had recently left Deep Purple. However, Lord proved too busy with Deep Purple, and Glover took up the reins on his own. Using his connections, Glover recruited a large cast of noted rock musicians, with a different vocalist for each character, including David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes.

The single “Love Is All”, with vocals from Ronnie James Dio, made a minor impression in the UK but reached number one in the Netherlands. Its accompanying animated short movie, The Butterfly Ball, made by the Halas & Batchelor company, also gained unexpected success in France, where the newly launched second TV channel Antenne 2 used it as a fill-in every time it experienced “technical difficulties”. These random airings, together with the RogerGlover01psychedelic tone of the clip and the lack of subtitles, made it very popular amongst young viewers. This success was renewed in France in 1991 when Sironimo, a brand of flavored syrup used the song in a very popular animated commercial. In 2006 the song was used by the Dutch political party CDA in its election advertisements for the 2006 Dutch General Election. Many Americans in the late 1970s, 1980s and 1990s recall seeing the animated song clip “Love Is All” being regularly played in children’s TV programs such as The Great Space Coaster and Nickelodeon morning shows.

“Love Is All” and its animated music video were also given wide exposure in the southern hemisphere. It became something of a favourite well into the 1980s on pioneering Australian music show Countdown (1974–1987), and was also regularly used as an interstitial program on the ABC. With its rousing lyrics and parade of animals marching through the forest on their way to the mythical Butterfly Ball, the song attained Top 10 status “Down Under” four years after it was recorded.

On 16 October 1975, a one-off performance at the Royal Albert Hall took place. Again it had a star-studded cast of rock musicians, most notably Ian Gillan who was drafted in at the last minute and received a standing ovation on his entrance. He replaced an unavailable Ronnie James Dio who had commitments with Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow (although Dio did eventually get to perform the song at the Royal Albert Hall in 1999 as the guest of Deep Purple). Gillan had not performed since leaving Deep Purple in 1973. Also notable was the appearance of Twiggy as singer and actress and Vincent Price as narrator. Apart from most of the musicians involved in the studio recording, the concert also featured Jon Lord. The live concert was filmed and released in 1976, produced by Tony Klinger.

Colin Meloy of The Decemberists has used the piece as intro music for the band’s shows (wikipedia)

Booklet1

Of all the multitudinous highways and byways down which the enterprising Deep Purple collector can travel, none, perhaps, is so surprising as The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast, Purple bassist Roger Glover’s first “solo” album, and — almost incidentally — one of the most delightful children’s records ever made. Yes, a children’s record. In 1973, Glover was approached about creating a musical adaptation of artist Alan Aldridge and poet William Plomer’s book of the same name — a commission that surprised him, but which he nevertheless accepted. The book itself is delightful and, while Glover’s work is unquestionably more heavily flavored by the near-psychedelia of the illustrations, the spirit of the text is retained as well, to create an album that stands among the few truly successful musical adaptations of an existing story yet committed to vinyl. Although Glover, as the album’s premier composer, takes the bulk of the credit for this success, his co-conspirators, too, merit praise. Convening what resembles one of the greatest all-star lineups in heavy metal history — and then banning them from even glancing toward their usual territory — Glover is joined by Purple stalwarts David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes, future Rainbow frontman Ronnie James Dio, session stars Eddie Hardin and Tony Ashton, soul singer Jimmy Helms, Roxy Music’s Eddie Jobson and John Gustafson, and three quarters of funk-rock aspirants Fancy.

Singles

Each was given his own role to play and the resultant album is a tremendous mishmash of musical styles, from folky balladeering to psychedelic whimsy, but leaning most heavily toward an early-’70s pop/rock vibe — for some reason, one could imagine the early Queen spending an awful lot of time listening to The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast. Given the heavily narrative nature of the project, it is best listened to in one session — a handful of tracks certainly exist more to carry the tale than make a musical impact. Highlights, however, leap out from across the platter, with the macabre “Old Blind Mole” and the positively buoyant “Love Is All” the twin extremes around which the action revolves. Gustafson’s hard rock “Watch out for the Bat,” meanwhile, must surely have induced nightmares within the album’s younger fans, while Dio’s closing “Homeward” all but predicts the course of arena rock during the ’80s. [The original vinyl packs 19 tracks; the 25th-Anniversary CD adds one, the European B-side “Little Chalk Blue,” together with a fabulous enhanced multimedia clip (“Love Is All” again) taken from a projected animated TV series. It’s a great package, as well as a chance to reacquaint yourself with one of childhood’s most treasured tales.(by Dave Thompson)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Les Binks (drums)
Jack Emblow (accordion)
Ray Fenwick (guitar)
Michael Giles (drums)
Roger Glover (synthesiser, piano, guitar, bass, percussion, background vocals)
Eddie Hardin (keyboards, vocals on13., background vocals)
Eddie Jobson (violin)
Chris Karan (tabla)
Jon Lord (piano)
Mike Moran (piano)
Ann Odell (piano)
Robin Thompson (bassoon)
Nigel Watson (saw)
+
Tony Ashton (vocals on 15.)
Ian Gillan (vocals on 13.)
Helen Chappelle (vocals on 03.)
David Coverdale (vocals on 08.)
Ronnie James Dio (vocals on 11., 19. + 20.)
John Goodison (vocals on 05.)
John Gustafson (vocals on 16.)
Jimmy Helms (vocals on 12,)
Glenn Hughes (vocals on 02.)
Judi Kuhl (vocals on 10.)
Neil Lancaster (vocals on 04.)
John Lawton (vocals on 17.)
Micky Lee Soule (vocals on 07)
Barry St. John (vocals on 03.)
Liza Strike (vocals on 09.)
+
background vocals:
Kay Garner – Judi Kuhl – Joanne Williams
+
The Mountain Fjord Orchestra led by David Woodcock and conducted by Martin Ford, John Bell and Del Newman.

BookletTracklist:
01. Dawn (Glover) 1.20
02. Get Ready (Glover) 2.07
03. Saffron Dormouse And Lizzy Bee 1.23
04. Harlequin Hare (Glover/Dio/Soule) 1.26
05. Old Blind Mole (Glover) 1.14
06. Magician Moth (Glover) 1.34
07. No Solution (Glover) 3.23
08. Behind The Smile (Glover) 1.52
09. Fly Away (Glover) 2.17
10. Aranea (Glover) 1.41
11. Sitting In A Dream 3.42
12. Waiting (GHlover) 3.08
13. Sir Maximus Mouse (Glover) 2.37
14. Dreams Of Sir Bedivere (Glover) 4.11
15. Together Again (Glover/Dio/Soule) 2.06
16. Watch Out For The Bat (Glover) 1.41
17. Little Chalk Blue (bonus track) (Glover/Hardin) 3.45
18. The Feast (Glover) 1.48
19. Love Is All (Glover/Hardin/Dio) 3.15
20. Homeward (Glover/Hardin) 4.18

LabelB1

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My copy ot his album ws autographed by Eddie Hardin:

AutographedByEddieHardin

Everybody’s got to live together
All the people got to understand
So, love your neighbour
Like you love your brother
Come on and join the band

Well, all you need is love and understanding
Ring the bell and let the people know
We’re so happy and we’re celebratin’
Come on and let your feelings show

Love is all, well love is all,
Love is all, can’t you hear the call
Oh, love is all you need
Love is all you need at the Butterfly Ball

Ain’t you happy that we’re all together
At the ball in nature’s countryside
And although we’re wearing different faces
Nobody wants to hide Love is all and all is love and
It’s easy, yes it’s so easy
At the Butterfly Ball where love is all
And it’s so easyAll you need is love and understanding
Hey, ring the bell and let the people know
We’re so happy and we’re celebratin’
Let your feelings show

Love is all, yes love is all at the Butterfly Ball
Love is big, love is small
Love is free, love is all
At the Butterfly Ball

When you back’s to the wall
When you’re starting to fall
You got something to lean on
Love is everything
It can make you sing at the Butterfly Ball
Love is all, I say love is all, yes love is all
At the Butterfly Ball

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