Concerto for Group and Orchestra is the debut live album by Deep Purple, released in 1969. It is a collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Malcolm Arnold.
At the time of its release it surprised many because it was the first mainstream collaboration between a rock band and a classical orchestra.note It paved the way for other famous rock/orchestra collaborations in the future.
Interestingly enough, Concerto for Group and Orchestra happened relatively early in Deep Purple's career - in fact, its the first album officially released by the classic "Mark II" lineup. The song "Child in Time" even debuted on this album, before it was featured again in a hard rock version on Deep Purple in Rock.
In 1999, 30 years after the first performance, the concert would be performed again.
- "Symphony No. 6, Opus 95" (25:13)
- "Hush" (4:42)
- "Wring That Neck" (13:23)
- "Child in Time" (12:06)
- "Concerto for Group and Orchestra" (51:43)
- "Parts of the Concerto's 'Third Movement'" (5:53)
- Ritchie Blackmore - guitar
- Ian Gillan - lead vocals
- Roger Glover - bass
- Jon Lord - Hammond organ
- Ian Paice - drums
- The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, under conduction of Malcolm Arnold.
Concerto For Tropes and Orchestra:
- Classical Music: Well, duh!
- Cover Version: Malcolm Arnold's own "6th Symphony", specially written for the occasion, and the Joe South cover "Hush".
- Distinct Double Album: Inevitable, seeing the length of the standard classical piece. (It is worth noting that the original vinyl release contained only the "Concerto for Group and Orchestra", and was released on a single LP, which required splitting the second movement across two album sides and stretched the limitations of what would fit on a side of vinyl. The other tracks have been added to reissues of the album. The entire concert takes up three LPs or two CDs).
- Early Installment Weirdness: To those people more accustomed to Deep Purple's hard rock albums, this album may come as a surprise.
- Epic Rocking: Well... how much more epic can you get? The tracks are veritable jams that stretch out several minutes, like the 25:13 "Symphony No. 6, Opus 95" and the title track, which goes on for 51:43 straight ahead! All this, backed by a huge classical orchestra.
- Genre-Busting: It's a composite of rock and classical music. At first the band and orchestra play one at a time, but later during the performance they start to perform together until they become one soundscape.
- Instrumentals: The music is mostly instrumental, due to the nature of classical music, of course.
- Live Album: The entire performance is live.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: A crossover between classical music and rock that indeed attracted attention from both audiences.
- New Sound Album: This album was a genuine departure from the group's previous output and it still is in their entire repertoire. At the time, it was also the first major collaboration between a rock band and a classical orchestra, despite minor predecessors such as The Beatles and Frank Zappa.
- Non-Appearing Title: The album title is not referred to anywhere on the record.
- Progressive Rock: The album is one of the more unique classics in the genre, given that an actual classical orchestra is performing along with a rock band. While rock bands had used orchestral elements before, no prior collaboration between a rock band and an orchestra had been this extensive.
- Repurposed Pop Song: "Wring That Neck" originally appeared on the band's 1968 album The Book of Taliesyn.
- Silly Love Songs: "Hush"Hush, I thought I heard her calling my name
- War Is Hell: "Child in Time"See the blind man shooting at the worldBullets flying taking toll