Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Jon Lord - Windows CD (album) cover


Jon Lord

Prog Related

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars When Rock meets Classic!

I was wrong. When this album was released, I was only aware after I knew Sarabande (third album by Jon Lord) first than "Windows". As "Sarabande" has beautiful melodies throughout the album, the music was much more accessible to my ears than "Windows". So by that time, "Sarabande" experienced more listening share than "Windows". At that time I perceived "Windows" was less attractive than "Sarabande". The reality is, "Windows" has the same quality than "Sarabande" and in fact the music is more classical and provocative. One thing that has resided for such a long time in my memory cells is the introductory remark by the master of ceremony (MC): "John Lord .. Glenn Hughes . David Coverdale .Mark Nauseff ." and of course .. a bit of introduction to Eberhard Schoener. Wow! What a memorable introduction to those talented musicians.

I only find this album interesting lately when I was about to write some reviews of Jon Lord albums for this site which I spun the three albums (Gemini Suite, Windows and Sarabande) at about the same time. The more I spun Windows the more I like it and in fact the composition is brilliant. I have underrated this album for such a long time and now I can say that this is as good as "Sarabande" album. Yes, the melody is not that catchy as Sarabande but Windows is much more complex and classical than Sarabande.

"Continue on Bach" is thought provoking in terms of musical arrangement as it contains elements of blues rock and classical music with various styles and textures during the song. The song is structured in multi sections with each section features excellent solos like those demonstrated by electric guitar, organ / Hammond as well as drums. I also like parts with vocal section. The other tracks are Movements (1 until 3) which depicts different music styles from one movement to another. I know that Jon is great keyboard player for Deep Purple, but his musical creations through his early period of his solo have proved that he is a smart musician. I still maintain the cassette format of this album.

Overall, this is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Jon demonstrates his virtuosity as musical arranger as well as great keyboard player. You should not miss this album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#137059)
Posted Saturday, September 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is more daring and demanding when compared to Sarabande which was issued two years later. Windows (the album) consists of only two live recordings clocking in at almost 50 minutes. Both are a blend of tradional classical music, modern classical music, Jazz and Rock with orchestra, rock group, rock singers and an opera soprano. Jazz is represented by guitarist Ray Fenwick whom you might know from the Ian Gillan Band. Lord always tried to let rock and classial music meet - collaborating here with conductor Eberhard Schoener enabled him to stage this most radical and pleasant musical adventure. It may take some time till you get into it - but its very well worth the effort. 4 stars. Favourite Tracks: both of 'em
Report this review (#169640)
Posted Saturday, May 3, 2008 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Look back in Renga

Jon Lord has always been the most progressive of the members of Deep Purple. Right from the band's earliest days, he encouraged them to take risks and to experiment beyond the boundaries of conventional rock. Deep Purple's "Concerto for group and orchestra" was his first major work, after which he decided to peruse a parallel solo career for future classically influenced outings. The BBC commissioned "Gemini suite" was the first of his solo studio releases, but even this was performed live by the band.

In 1974, Lord got together with conductor Eberhard Schoener and the pair composed the two pieces which comprise the album "Windows". Lord called in his new Deep Purple band mates David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes plus Tony Ashton (Ashton Gardner and Dyke) Ray Fenwick (Ian Gillan Band) and Pete York (Spencer Davis Group, Hardin and York). To this was added the Orchestra of the Munich Chamber Opera.

The two pieces were performed live in Munich in 1 June 1974 as part of a Eurovision presentation, and the recording of the event released on the fledgling Purple Records. Each piece occupies one side of the original LP. The result is somewhat unbalanced in terms of length, with "Continuo of B.A.C.H." running to but half the time of the three part "Window" suite.

"Continuo on B.A.C.H" is a variation on an incomplete fugue composed by Bach which was based on the four letters of his surname. There is of course no letter H in music notation, so it is represented by B sharp. (A fellow member with greater music knowledge than I explains that "In Germany the letter H is formally the way to describe the b sharp note as it is in most countries".) While for obvious reasons the piece has been well rehearsed, it generally has the feel of an improvisation. Off key playing of various instruments and jazz like passages combine to create an atmosphere of looseness. The purely orchestra sections therefore contrast more obviously than they would with a more rigid composition. The risk with such pieces is that they come over as pretentious and insincere. While Lord just about manages to keep such thoughts at bay, the symphonic passages do suffer from the usual malaise of rock stars who wannabee classical composers in that they become pseudo-classical. As with Bach's original composition on which this piece is based, there is a feeling as it ends that it is incomplete.

With all the grand pretensions of the wonderful prog of the early 1970's, "Window" is based on 14th century collaborative poetry from the far east called Renga, the lyrics of the 1st and 3rd movements being taken from a "contemporary renga" (found by Michael Kruger). The second movement is based on a vocal section of the aforementioned "Gemini suite".

During the first movement, David Coverdale and/or Tony Ashton do battle with a pair of sopranos, but in terms of avant-garde vocalisation, the latter win by a mile. Once again, the suite is a cross between almost straight classical styles and jazz rock improvisation. Whether the two styles sit well together is for the listener to decide, but overall the music is generally pleasing. Unfortunately, as was all too customary for the period, Pete York is allowed to add a quite superfluous and yawn inducing drum solo. At times, during the more melodic passages, I was reminded of Rick Wakeman's "Journey to the centre of the earth", although the two albums as a whole are quite different.

The sleeve notes for the album claim that this is a warts-and-all recording, devoid of over- dubs, and there is no reason to question this.

A remastered edition of "Windows" will be/was re-released in November 2009 to recognise the 35th anniversary of its recording.

Report this review (#247586)
Posted Sunday, November 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Quiet One
4 stars Windows 74, way ahead of Bill Gates

Probably Jon Lord's most ambitious project to date, interpolating classical music with a soul singer, a blues singer and an opera singer, plus a rock band backing up. The 1969 'Concertofor Group and Orchestra' was hit- and-miss, the first movement being amazing, while the other two movements were rather half-good half-boring. Well, with 'Windows' Jon Lord still isn't capable of making it all great, but still, who could have?

It's a very peculiar live performance if you can deal "rock meets classical", it's not something out-of-this-world, but it's neither your usual orchestral rock music. The first piece is a completition of an uncomplete piece by Bach, this piece does include rock instrumentation, though it's by no means as rockin' as the Movement 1 of the Concerto. This is essential for Bach fans, haha.

The second and final piece, 'Window', is the central piece though, lasting over 30 minutes. With the fantastic and emotive vocal performances of David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, Tony Ashton and a female opera singer, this is indeed a strange but not really out-there piece as you think it might be. The whole composition is divided into three different parts, each having their own ups and downs. While I wouldn't say there's much coherence between the three parts, the amount of interesting bits on this, clearly something that no other band or artist had done by that time, makes it up for me.

4 stars: excellent, mainly interesting, record that is a must-have for fans of 'rock meets classical' and its variations. The 'Concerto' was more straightforward classical and rock music interpolated, with 'Windows' Jon pushed the boundaries even more adding new styles and letting the compositions be more loose. Not top- notch althrough though, so don't expect two grandiose epics, if not excellent "experimentations" with orchestra.

Report this review (#297342)
Posted Friday, September 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars This is a strange hybrid of rock, jazz, classical and the avant garde. Although one can admire the bold eclectic experimentation of the two lengthy paces here, it is not quite a success. The first piece is billed as an attempt to continue Bach's unfinished art of fugue. There have been many attempts to conclude this magnificent composition in the past, usually less free than Lord's. The actual Bach composition does not start until we are 8 minutes into the piece and is played pretty straight. Before that we have rather incongruous jazz rock improves interrupted several times by heavy orchestral blasts of the BACH motif (B flat, A , C, B natural), and there's a viola solo hinting at themes from classical works followed by a jazzy trumpet solo. After the unfinished fugue, the jazz trumpet returns even more incongruous than before followed by an exciting but short lived riff passage. The problem for me is that none of this additional material bears any relationship to Bach's work either thematically or harmonically so I'm not sure what new insights it really brings. The longer piece "windows" is even more eclectic, Starting with a fairly ordinary bluesy organ, it is surprising to encounter a pair of sopranos improvising briefly interrupted by the more familiar strains of David Coverdale. Many rock fans, I suspect, will find their high pitched wailings rather grating. Without a break the slow movement begins about 10 minutes or so in. This is quite a change, a lushly scored and very big romantic theme, some weirdly 'spacey' sounds, then a memorable and darkly melancholy string tune. This is the highlight of the album for me. Coverdale adds some vocals but unfortunately the lyrics consist of platitudes such as "make love not war". A drum solo and more weird sounds lead to a return of the sopranos, intertwining to good effect. Then more generic 70s funky rock, drums solos etc and out of nowhere, a piano tune reminiscent of ELP. By now, what little shape the piece had has fallen apart and it is now an incoherent mess.
Report this review (#617629)
Posted Tuesday, January 24, 2012 | Review Permalink
Errors & Omissions Team
2 stars Jon Lord had been very active between all the bands he was in. Between recording and touring with Deep Purple and Whitesnake he had a solo career where he tried to fulfill his classical dream.

He tried with Deep Purple in Concerto For Group And Orchestra (1970), the band wasn't that much interested, so he tried solo with Gemini Suite (1971) and then Windows (1974), his second solo album.

I think he lost himself here, Windows (1974) is quite boring and full of nonsense music. Only this last line would resume the album quite accurately, but, for the sake of the album Jon Lord was smart enough to bring in some good participations like David Coverdale and Glenn Hugues (both his partner in Deep Purple at the time). They play a good role when the moments that the music really appears. Because the rest of the time the album is just a fail try in making a 'serious composition'.

Report this review (#1001505)
Posted Saturday, July 20, 2013 | Review Permalink

JON LORD Windows ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of JON LORD Windows

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.