11/12/14 – Roger Glover And Guests – The Butterfly Ball – 1974

Album Of The Day

Butterfly ballA concept album and Rock Opera put together by Deep Purple’s Roger Glover based on the children’s poem The Butterfly Ball and Grasshopper’s Feast written by William Roscoe 1n 1802. It spawned Love Is All, a cheery song with a convincing vocal performance from Elf/Rainbow and future Black Sabbath singer Ronnie James Dio.

The cover design came from drawings by Alan Aldridge intended for a book. It became a favourite with kids and TV networks looking for filler 5 minute videos in between shows due to technical difficulties or running time scheduling. A No. 1 in the Netherlands it was also extremely popular in France and became known in America through TV channels like Nickelodeon. The clip became popular in Australia some years after the event with airplay on popular music show Countdown.

The album was performed live with a cast of thousands at the Albert Hall on the 16th October 1975 (see the details in the link) including Vincent Price as the narrator. The corresponding film was produced by Tony Klinger and featured some dodgy ballet dancing, war footage and home video of kids (and probably their Dads) dressed as animals accompanying the live footage  – it’s well, very seventies and despite its shortcomings, sincere.

Roger Glover 1974

The original poem inspired an anonymous writer to create two sequels later revealed as Catherine Ann Dorset. Sadly the intended animated film to accompany the album was never made.





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4 Responses to “11/12/14 – Roger Glover And Guests – The Butterfly Ball – 1974”

  1. darkoflagg1 December 10, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    I happened to see this complete concert on dvd and with we’ed, I nearly had a heart artack from laughing at the hastily interjected dancer sequences, I’ll fitting costumes and stoner animation. A very fun exercise indeed.

  2. simone December 10, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

    Thanks Marty for writing about this. A lot of people are not aware of its existence – both the song and the book.I was 4 years old when the song was released and I absolutely adored it. I can remember seeing the video on tv all the time and became fascinated by it. I’ve actually always liked Dio’s voice in this – it’s powerful but still tender enough for the subject which was aimed at children.My grandmother even gave me the book ( yes it does exist!) which I still have. Aldridge won the Whitbread Children’s Book Prize in 1973 for his illustrations to this poem. William Roscoe was a largely self taught man who became an attorney and upon his retirement in 1796 he pursued botany and literature. There is in fact a proper sequel written by Roscoe in 1817 called The Butterfly’s Birthday.

  3. Woody December 11, 2014 at 12:47 am #

    A surprise Marty. Never heard of it. Who could know that mr Glover could do something this charming. Thought he was more or less responsible for the heavymeatal rubbish.

  4. Alastair Lord December 12, 2014 at 4:46 am #

    I remember it well. The animated video of ‘Love is All’ did receive a lot of airplay on Australian television back in late 70s. I even think, and please correct me if I’m wrong, it may have been aired just before the ABC news on a Sunday night.

    There was an accompanying volume to ‘The Butterfly Ball’ book. I can’ remember its title but I’m certain it had a blue cover.

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