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Music / Concerto for Group and Orchestra

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Concerto for Group and Orchestra is the debut live album by Deep Purple, released in 1969. It is a collaboration with the Royal Philharmonic 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, and likely the entire genre of Symphonic Metal.

Interestingly enough, Concerto for Group and Orchestra happened relatively early in Deep Purple's career - in fact, it's 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 with a recreated score (the original score was lost in 1970).


  1. "Symphony No. 6, Opus 95" (25:13)
    1. "1st Movement: Energico" (9:19)
    2. "2nd Movement: Lento" (8:52)
    3. "3rd Movement: Con Fuoco" (7:02)
  2. "Hush" (4:42)
  3. "Wring That Neck" (13:23)
  4. "Child in Time" (12:06)
  5. "Concerto for Group and Orchestra" (51:43)
    1. "First Movement: Moderato-Allegro" (19:23)
    2. "Second Movement: Andante" (19:11)
    3. "Third Movement: Vivace-Presto" (13:09)
  6. "Parts of the Concerto's 'Third Movement'" (5:53)

Principal Members:

Concerto for Tropes and Orchestra:

  • Classical Music: Well, duh!
  • Cover Version: Malcolm Arnold's own Symphony No. 6, 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: Despite being the first Deep Purple release to feature the Mark II lineup, the album maintains the more psychedelic sound of the Mark I band.
  • 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 the huge Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Genre-Busting: It's a composite of rock and classical music. At first the band and orchestra play separately, but later during the performance, they start to perform together until they become one soundscape.
  • Genre Mashup: A crossover between classical music and rock that indeed attracted attention from both audiences.
  • Instrumentals: The music is mostly instrumental, due to the nature of classical music, of course.
  • Limited Lyrics Song: "Andante" is the only movement in the title suite that has lyrics, and those lyrics are only in two fairly short sections in the middle.
  • Live Album: The entire performance is live.
  • 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 said 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 world
    Bullets flying taking toll