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.


 [hide*1 Origin and production history

Origin and production history[edit]Edit

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 to perform on it, with a different vocalist for each track 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, 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 psychedelic tone of the clip and the lack of subtitles, made it very popular amongst young viewers. 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 70's, 80's and 90's recall seeing the animated song clip "Love Is All" being regularly played in children's TV programs like the The Great Space Coaster and Nickelodeon morning shows.

"Love Is All" and its animated music video was 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.

Later appearance[edit]Edit

Colin Meloy of The Decemberists has used the piece as intro music for the band's shows.[2]

Track listing[edit]Edit

Original Album[edit]Edit

  1. "Dawn" (Glover) 1.21
  2. "Get Ready" (Glover) 2.06
  3. "Saffron Dormouse and Lizzy Bee" (Glover) 1.25
  4. "Harlequin Hare" (Glover/Dio/Soule) 1.26
  5. "Old Blind Mole" (Glover) 1.11
  6. "Magician Moth" (Glover) 1.33
  7. "No Solution" (Glover) 3.28
  8. "Behind the Smile" (Glover) 1.46
  9. "Fly Away" (Glover) 2.22
  10. "Aranea" (Glover) 1.37
  11. "Sitting in a Dream" (Glover) 3.40
  12. "Waiting" (Glover) 3.11
  13. "Sir Maximus Mouse" (Glover) 2.35
  14. "Dreams of Sir Bedivere" () 4.09
  15. "Together Again" (Glover/Dio/Soule) 2.05
  16. "Watch Out for the Bat" (Glover) 1.41
  17. "Little Chalk Blue" (Glover/Hardin) 3.44 CD Reissue only
  18. "The Feast" (Glover) 1.48
  19. "Love Is All" (Glover/Hardin) 3.14
  20. "Homeward" (Glover/Hardin) 4.12

1995 Reissue (Repertoire Records / REP 4567-WY)[edit]Edit

  1. "Love Is All (Demo Version)" 3.04
  2. "Dawn" (Remix) 1.35
  3. "Magician Moth" (Remix) 1.37
  4. "Harlequin Hare" (Remix) 1.33
  5. "Magician Moth" (Remix) 1.34
  6. No Solution" (Remix) 3.58
  7. "Waiting" (Remix) 3.58
  8. "Fly Away"(Remix) 2.24
  9. "Aranea" (Remix) 1.38

Film version from the concert 16 October 1975[edit]Edit

  1. "Dawn" (feat Vincent Price)
  2. "Get Ready" (feat Glenn Hughes)
  3. "Saffron Dormouse and Lizzy Bee" (feat Helen Chappelle and Barry St. John)
  4. "Together Again" (feat Tony Ashton)
  5. "Old Blind Mole" (feat Earl Jordan)
  6. "Magician Moth" (feat Vincent Price)
  7. "Watch Out for the Bat" (feat John Gustafson)
  8. "Aranea" (feat Judi Kuhl)
  9. "Sir Maximus Mouse" (feat Eddie Hardin)
  10. "Behind the Smile" (feat David Coverdale)
  11. "Little Chalk Blue" (feat John Lawton)
  12. "Waiting" (feat Al Matthews)
  13. "Sitting in a Dream" (feat Ian Gillan)
  14. "No Solution" (feat Mickey Lee Soule)
  15. "The Feast" (feat Vincent Price)
  16. "Love Is All" (feat John Lawton a.o.)
  17. "Homeward" (feat Twiggy)
  18. "Love Is All" (encore)


  1. "Love Is All" (Glover/Hardin) 3.14
  2. "No Solution" (Glover) 3.28

Personnel Original Album[edit]Edit

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