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Jon Lord biography
"I still think the fusion of a group and orchestra has validity, if only for entertainment. And in fact I am working on a solo project this week with the London Symphony Orchestra. We are recording my 'Gemini Suite' at the EMI Studios in London." Jon Lord, 1971.

Jon Lord was born in Leicester, in the Midlands region of Great Britain, on June 9th 1941. Through his father's influence he took up classical music lessions at a very early age. The jazz bug that swept England in the early 60's also caught Lord up. He played piano in jazz quartets to make ends meet while in Drama college after having moved to London. This led to him joining Red Bludd's Bluesicians, renamed The Art Wood Combo (aka The Artwoods) when Art (older brother of Ronnie Wood) came in on vocals in 1963. Jon acquired his first electric organ in 1963. They secured a record deal with Decca, and he continued with them until a meeting with a certain guitarist named Ritchie Blackmore - after which they soon formed the seminal rock group Deep Purple.

As the group's spokesman and musical leader, he led Deep Purple through their most progressive era. Using his classical training, Deep Purple experimented with orchestrated structures apparent on such songs as "Exposition", "The Shield", and "April". Lord took his place along Emerson (with The Nice at the time) at experimenting the fusion of classical music and rock music... in other words symphonic prog, plus Jazz, Neo Classical and mainstream elements. Tensions within the band simmered as the group resisted Lord's classical rock tendencies and wanted to pursue a more 'rock' bent. Things came to head after the landmark live album "The Concerto for Group and Orchestra", after which Blackmore assumed the creative lead in the group's direction. Lord's passion was not so easily quenched though.

While he remained in Deep Purple, he worked on his first solo album, a continuation of his Deep Purple experiments. The 1971 album "Gemini Suite",while the results are decidedly mixed, was another milestone in symphonic prog. He was one of the few artists directly working for the union of classical music and rock. Additional symphonic prog albums followed in 1974 with "Windows", working with classical musician Eberhard Schoener. He released the last of his 70's experiments with symphonic prog with the acclaimed "Sarabande". Widely regarded as his best work of the three 1970's solo releases. After which he formed Paice-Ashton-Lord ...
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Durham ConcertoDurham Concerto
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JON LORD discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

JON LORD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.45 | 44 ratings
Gemini Suite
3.90 | 82 ratings
2.42 | 37 ratings
Before I Forget
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Country Diary of An Edwardian Lady
3.92 | 33 ratings
Pictured Within
4.06 | 32 ratings
Beyond The Notes
4.09 | 11 ratings
Danger: White Men Dancing (With the Hoochie Coochie Men)
4.15 | 13 ratings
Boom Of The Tingling Strings
4.00 | 14 ratings
To Notice Such Things
4.20 | 10 ratings
Concerto for Group and Orchestra

JON LORD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.31 | 30 ratings
2.50 | 9 ratings
Live At The Basement (With The Hoochie Coochie Men and Special Guest Jimmy Barnes)
4.33 | 12 ratings
Durham Concerto
4.07 | 9 ratings
Blues Project - Live
5.00 | 1 ratings

JON LORD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

JON LORD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Castle Masters Collection
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best

JON LORD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
0.00 | 0 ratings
Bach Onto This
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Country Diary Of An Edwardian Lady

JON LORD Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sarabande by LORD, JON album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.90 | 82 ratings

Jon Lord Prog Related

Review by Replayer

4 stars Many consider Sarabande to be the most successful of Jon Lord's experiments to combine an orchestra and rock band. In spite of Lord's hard rock credentials, do not go in expecting a symphonic metal album. As the song titles suggest, the focus is on classical music rather than rock, with the songs being based on Baroque dances.

The album is certainly more cohesive than Lord's earlier effort with Deep Purple, Concerto for Group and Orchestra, where the objective was to start off with the orchestra and the rock band in opposition and gradually integrate them over the course of the three movements.

Sarabande was recorded in Germany, by the Philharmonia Hungarica, a distinguished symphony orchestra founded by Hungarian expatriate musicians fleeing the Red Army's occupation of Hungary in 1956.

Lord is also backed by a rock group comprised of competent session musicians. Future Police member Andy Summers does a fine job on the guitar, particularly his electric solos on Gigue and Bouree. The drummer is Pete York, formerly of the Spencer Davis Group. Mark Nauseef, who would later be drummer in the Ian Gillan Band, provides interesting percussion. The bass is played by Paul Karas, previously of Rare Bird and Stackridge. Lord does not try to hog the spotlight and plays a variety of keyboard instruments.

Fantasia is the only purely orchestral piece and stars things off with bombastic brass. The middle section with woodwinds, harp and stings is quite lovely.

The title track starts off with just the rock band playing a jazzy Latin American-influenced tune. Soon strings join in, followed by brass. Lord and Summers have solo spots halfway through.

I originally thought Aria is a misnomer, since it is not a vocal work, but apparently the term 'aria' was also used for instrumental pieces. It's a beautiful and melancholy piece that showcases Lord's piano playing. Interestingly, the sparse accompaniment is played on synthesizers, though it fooled me. Its mood is somewhat reminiscent of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.

According to a quote by Jon Lord on his website, Gigue quotes the first twenty-four bars of Bach's 4th English Suite. Similarly to part 3 of Concert for Group and Orchestra, Gigue is slightly marred by a superfluous drum and percussion solo towards the end. Nevertheless, I consider it to be the most progressive composition on the album, with a multipart structure, and good solos by Summers, Lord and York.

Bouree has nothing to do with the Bach composition famously recorded by Jethro Tull. In fact, it has a distinct Middle Eastern feel, but in a much more authentic style than Blackmore's future Kashmir-style compositions with Rainbow and Deep Purple (Stargazer, Gates of Babylon, Perfect Strangers, Hungry Daze, Ariel). Mark Nauseef adds plenty of percussion effects. Great guitar and clavinet solos.

Pavane is a melancholy track, focused on acoustic guitar and piano later. Only the orchestra's string section is featured on this piece.

Caprice is a lively composition with an organ solo. It does not feature the orchestra. Due to the varied synths and uptempo, the piece reminds me of Catherine of Aragon and Anne of Cleve from Wakeman's The Six Wives of Henry VIII.

Finale begins by reprising themes from all previous compositions accompanied by drum rolls. It ends in the same way as Fantasia, with a few overdubbed synths. This track is rather disjoint, since it was assembled by splicing extracts from the previous compositions, but it is short and finishes on a satisfying note.

I would have preferred for the music to be in a more baroque style and livelier. As is, the music sounds much more like 19th or 20th century classical music (which it is!). There is little of the music that reminds me of Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Scarlatti or Pachelbel. I was expecting counterpoint, fugues, chamber music, Bach-style organ compositions, harpsichord sonatas or something in the vein of Lord and Blackmore's composition April, which remains one of my favorite Deep Purple songs.

Personal preferences and expectations aside, the music is very well orchestrated and performed. The album showcases Lord's compositional skill. The quality is very even throughout the album and the themes are memorable. I must admit that the album has grown on me with repeat listenings.

 Gemini Suite by LORD, JON album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.45 | 44 ratings

Gemini Suite
Jon Lord Prog Related

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

3 stars For me, a lover of Hammond organ, Jon Lord stands as one of the top five organ grinders of all time. Maybe, even, he's the greatest. Few organ players have been able to squeese, bend and distort the keyboard like him. Listening to the great(er) live albums by Deep Purple or those made in the studio, one is surely, regardless of ones preference in music, bound to be impressed by him.

So, knowing full well his love for classical music one could expect an album based on elements from that genre. In many of his recordings with Purple (and others) there are classical elements to be found and since Deep Purple seemed to stray more and more into Heavy metal territory, what could be more fitting than seeing Lord making a solo album in his own taste?

Actually, Gemini Suite is as progressive as it gets. Classical meets rock and gives birth to progressive music and they build a home named Gemini Suite and their furniture are long pieces of presumably epic proportions. Great!

But, and there is one, the music tends to be somewhat overwhelming and overbearing. Thus the music becomes too heavy handed and almost self centered. There is nothing really obviously wrong with the music, it is all very well played and composed. One has to give him credit for this work. However, it fails to grasp me and leaves me rather indifferent in the end. I think that the track "Organ" is the best of the lot. Begonning with an orchestra performing a classical sounding theme, Lord's organ creeps in to the picture and allows him to demonstrate his skill on the keys.

This may have been a visionary album in it's day and I applaud his effort. I can even say that I feel warmly about this album, though it fails to enthrall me in the way other albums by Lord (and associates mostly, I must confess) does. So, no matter how epic, progressive and visionary it may be, the album falls on it's face and leaves only a slab of classically infused prog on the ground. Impressive but not engaging. Sorry.

 Before I Forget by LORD, JON album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.42 | 37 ratings

Before I Forget
Jon Lord Prog Related

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

3 stars Before I Forget (1982) is the first Jon Lord's album in the 80's and his fouth solo album.

Here he's not trying to be as much as a classical composer like in the previous albums (and later albums too). He's more into playing the same music as he was in Whitesnake, the difference is, of course, many great keyboards. Even when the tracks are not that good. But of course you have the classical moments too.

I cannot say that Jon was an exceptional composer, but he was, for sure, a fantastic keyboard player. And when he was on Hammond organ no one could beat him!

'Chances On A Feeling' is a good 80's hard rock track. 'Tender Babes' are his classical side speaking louder.

Like I said, the tracks that are more classical are heavily under the Pop ones. But hey, nevermind that and listen the music. 'Hollywood Rock And Roll' is a fun R&B kind of song. Then closing A side 'Bach Onto This' a weird and great mix of Classical and Hard Rock. The most Prog on the album. So far so good.

B side is weaker, the whole of is ballads. It starts with the title track, a ballad full of keyboards. 'Say It's All Right' is yeat another ballad, now with female vocals. It continues on the ballad side with 'Burntwood'. At least we have 'Where Are You?' a good track, the best on the B side. great vocals, and if you like The Alan Parsons Project you will remember this voice.

Before I Forget (1982) is not really a Prog album, and it's certainly not the best album Jon Lord offered us. But it's a good album and far away from the 80's atrocities commited in 80's.

Key tracks: Chances On A Feeling, HOllywood Rock And Roll & Where Are You?

 Windows by LORD, JON album cover Live, 1974
3.31 | 30 ratings

Jon Lord Prog Related

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator 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'.

 Sarabande by LORD, JON album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.90 | 82 ratings

Jon Lord Prog Related

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Do not judge a book by it's cover.

Despite a craptacular art cover (creepy mustachioed exhibitionist or something) this album is a total keeper for the orchestra-keyboard-marriage lover that I am. I went around the block many times over, re-listening to the same old records and trying to discover some new material. I even went to the newcomers, unfortunately, nothing new to the horizon, just the same old flash in the pan: boom bang goes the drums, duhduh duhduh goes the bass and nini nini on the keys...yawn.

Finally Jon Lord arrived (too late) in my life, without Ritchie Blackmore this time. Frankly, this is a balm to me. On the contrary of ELP, Trace or Par Lindh Project, Jon Lord takes his time and does not focus on 'Hey Mom! Look what I can do!' attitude. He is not showing off; should he a bit more? If you like Triumvirat or Rick Wakeman, this could grind your gears (useless drum solo in Gigue, bongos, little keyboard diversity and humble technique). On the other hand, if you're a keyboard driven veteran, you could appreciate the modesty and the exotic/ modern music tangent of the album. The orchestral arrangements are nice and catchy, many times I surprise myself to air-maestro. Jokes on the side, the orchestra is very well melted in the songs: bombastic when needed and emotional as well.

Why this album is not in everyone's collection? Is it because it's on the simpler side of prog? Hey, a guy needs a bleeping break once in a while and Sarabande is a perfect soundtrack to chill out in your chair with a book and a pint of Harp lager.

Dedicated to the Raiders of the Lost ARP.

 Windows by LORD, JON album cover Live, 1974
3.31 | 30 ratings

Jon Lord Prog Related

Review by Cheesehoven

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.
 Blues Project - Live by LORD, JON album cover Live, 2011
4.07 | 9 ratings

Blues Project - Live
Jon Lord Prog Related

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars An excellent blues live record

Oh man ....this is really an excellent blues live record that I really enjoy it from start to end, without any signs of getting bored. It's basically a recorded live from the show at Rottweil Jazzfestival on May 14, 2011 and features classic blues songs written by Willie Dixon and Robert Johnson as well as more compositions by Deep Purple, Free and Tom Waits. Since Jon Lord left Deep Purple, I was not following his activities and I am now happy that he is still producing music even though no longer in rock arena. It;s OK. Please don't get surprised why this blues work is featured here. Well, if we look at history, Jon's solo album like Sarabande was actually a progressive music. He is now evolving into blues musician focusing more on Hammond organ backed with other musicians, including legendary drummer Pete York.

Listening to this record is to me like a refreshment having listened to many prog albums. Well, in fact I love blues as I have collected many CDs of John Mayall, BB Kings and the rest. This live set opens with a beautiful Hammond organ solo by Jon Lord in "Back At The Chicken Shack" (James O. Smith). This instrument piece is really killing and it has successfully set the overall tone and vibes of the show. There are jazzy piano solo in the middle of the track that is really nice, combined with blues rock guitar work by Miller Anderson. Miller Anderson then take a vocal part on the next track "Hoochie Coochie Man" (Willie Dixon). Again there are great parts of Hammond and piano solo followed nicely with guitar work.

Free's "Wishing Well" was sung excellently by Maggie Bell. Her voice that actuailly suits for R&B music sounds really nice here and it gives different sort of experience compared with traditional blues female vocal like Janis Joplin, for example. I can sense good drum playing by Pete York in this track. "It Never Rains But It Pours" starts nicely with piano followed by vocal work by Zoot Money. I like the Hammond organ and guitar work. Well, Jon Lord is still kicking!

"Lazy" by Deep Purple has become a legendary track that has grown with me since I was teenager. In fact it was part of my daily routine to play the Made In Japan cassette of Deep Purple as I love this track. The good thing is that this time Jon has completely rearranged the music to suit blues and jazz requirements and he is successful! Don't worry, the song does not radically transform into new totally different track. Rather, Jon is very smart by keeping the opening melody of the track that has been so legendary intact. What happen is that the nice flow of music which then changes smoothly into blues / jazz arena with duet vocal of Maggie Bell and Zoot Money. There is also another great performance of I'm a Man which was popularized by Chicago. The other Deep Purple track is When a Blind Man Cries.

Overall, I highly recommend this excellent blues performance by Jon Lord and his band. The performance of all contributors are really excellent. In fact the bass player (Collin Hodgkinson) was given a chance to provide his solo work in Walking Blues. It's a captivating bass guitar solo backed with great applause from the crowd. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

 Windows by LORD, JON album cover Live, 1974
3.31 | 30 ratings

Jon Lord Prog Related

Review by The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Before I Forget by LORD, JON album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.42 | 37 ratings

Before I Forget
Jon Lord Prog Related

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Before I Forget was, as far as I know, the only Jon Lord solo album ever releaesd in Brazil. It wasn´t met with much praise here (or anywhere else, for that matter). Too bad. While most Lord´s work was more classical inclined, this CD can be seen as a showcase of his rocker side, plus his other musical roots in blues, soul, funk and gospel. The results are mixed,of course. It was 1982 and the times were quite confusing, to say the least! Lord was in Whitesnake at the time and it is no surprise that some of the songs here sound a lot like David Coverdale´s group. What ties it all together and makes it a worth result is Lord´s extremely personal keyboards playing, his tasteful arrangements and his great knack for the nice melody. And I got the new remastered CD with three bonus tracks only recently and I must say I enjoyed it much more now than at the time it came out in vinyl.

The opener Chance on a Feeling is a typical Whitesnake track, as it is the third, Hollywood Rock´n Roll (well, maybe a more Glenn Hughes song then). Just imagine Coverdale on vocals and you´ll have a tune that could be on Saints & Sinners or Slide It In. He is backed by several outstanding musicians, among them fellow Deep Purple/Whitesnake member Ian Paice, Bad Company´s Mick Ralphs, Simon Kirke and Boz Burrell and studio drummer extraordinaire Simon Philips) There are several strong instrumentals that I think are the best ones. The title track is a beautiful piano ballad and sure is among Lord´s best ever compositions. Poignant and powerful at the same time. I just love this song! The longest (and more progressive) Bach Onto This is quite good, but never reaches the heights he achieved when played on Deep Purple on their best moments.

The ballad Say It´s Alright has a fierce vocal perfomance by Sam Brown and mixes very well its bluesy feeling with some gospel influences. Unusual, ok, but very well done. I also fancy very much the soulfulness of Going Home (a nice voice and keyboards only track) . The production is quite good and the new CD version sounds much better mixed and balanced than the original vinyl as far as I can tell. The two bonus tracks are a worth addition to the 10 previous ones (the third bonus is just a long interview).

Conclusion: I don´t agree with the low ratings this CD got from several reviewers. Before I Forget is a very good album. It shows Jon Lord tackling styles that he usually didn´t handle on his solo output. But those songs prove he is much more versatile composer and player than most of us knew. A kind of homage to his early musical origins as a professional player in the 60´s if you like. Just don´t expect anything too symphonic and it´s alright.

Rating: 3,5 stars.

 Live At The Basement (With The Hoochie Coochie Men and Special Guest Jimmy Barnes) by LORD, JON album cover Live, 2003
2.50 | 9 ratings

Live At The Basement (With The Hoochie Coochie Men and Special Guest Jimmy Barnes)
Jon Lord Prog Related

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars First years of new Millennium Jon Lord met with his new low-profile band (of old guys, including bassist Bob Daisley) Hoochie Coochie Men. No jokes, they play blues standards, using vintage keyboards, in a traditions of British blues of late 60-s.

This album is first new band recording, and it's double CD album, recorded live in Sydney, Australia. From band's name and cover art you can perfectly recognize, what kind of sound you will find inside. Guys play enthusiastic, but extremely simple classic blues tunes, with harmonica, some characteristic Lord's Hammond passages ( too much of cliché) and .... it's all. Plenty of speaking communication with dedicated public makes this release more attractive for heavy fans.

Musically there are myriads of blues musicians, playing that music better. Even in rare moments, when band goes to heavier blues rock, the music sounds as played by good suburb pub band. Guest vocalist is terrible though.

I believe Lord and Co. have fun playing easy and relaxed music. This recording is absolutely collectors item, possibly released for sales during band's live shows ( by the way released in Australia only). Fans can hear Jon playing simple music in informal atmosphere. Nothing else to add.

Thanks to micky for the artist addition. and to Snowster for the last updates

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