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

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.