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JON LORD

Prog Related • United Kingdom


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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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Celebrating Jon Lord Celebrating Jon Lord "The Rock Legend"
Eagle Rock Entertainment 2014
Audio CD$17.98
Concerto for Group & OrchestraConcerto for Group & Orchestra
Eagle Rock Entertainment 2012
Audio CD$8.34
$3.79 (used)
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JON LORD discography


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

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

3.54 | 33 ratings
Gemini Suite
1971
3.86 | 65 ratings
Sarabande
1976
2.38 | 27 ratings
Before I Forget
1982
3.94 | 26 ratings
Pictured Within
1999
4.07 | 23 ratings
Beyond The Notes
2004
4.44 | 9 ratings
Danger: White Men Dancing (With the Hoochie Coochie Men)
2007
4.20 | 10 ratings
Boom Of The Tingling Strings
2008
4.09 | 11 ratings
To Notice Such Things
2010
5.00 | 3 ratings
Concerto for Group and Orchestra
2012

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

3.30 | 23 ratings
Windows
1974
2.48 | 8 ratings
Live At The Basement (With The Hoochie Coochie Men and Special Guest Jimmy Barnes)
2003
4.44 | 9 ratings
Durham Concerto
2007
4.12 | 6 ratings
Blues Project - Live
2011

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JON LORD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Before I Forget by LORD, JON album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.38 | 27 ratings

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Before I Forget
Jon Lord Prog Related

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover 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?

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 Windows by LORD, JON album cover Live, 1974
3.30 | 23 ratings

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Windows
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Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover 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'.

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 Sarabande by LORD, JON album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.86 | 65 ratings

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Sarabande
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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.

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 Windows by LORD, JON album cover Live, 1974
3.30 | 23 ratings

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Windows
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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.

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 Blues Project - Live by LORD, JON album cover Live, 2011
4.12 | 6 ratings

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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

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 Windows by LORD, JON album cover Live, 1974
3.30 | 23 ratings

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Windows
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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.

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 Before I Forget by LORD, JON album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.38 | 27 ratings

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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 wasnīt met with much praise here (or anywhere else, for that matter). Too bad. While most Lordīs 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 Coverdaleīs group. What ties it all together and makes it a worth result is Lordīs 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 Rockīn Roll (well, maybe a more Glenn Hughes song then). Just imagine Coverdale on vocals and youīll 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 Companyīs 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 Lordīs 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 Itīs 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 donīt 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 didnīt 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 60īs if you like. Just donīt expect anything too symphonic and itīs alright.

Rating: 3,5 stars.

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 Live At The Basement (With The Hoochie Coochie Men and Special Guest Jimmy Barnes) by LORD, JON album cover Live, 2003
2.48 | 8 ratings

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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.

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 Before I Forget by LORD, JON album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.38 | 27 ratings

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Before I Forget
Jon Lord Prog Related

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

1 stars I wish he had forgotten about this!

Jon Lord made some strange decisions in the late 70's/early 80's. Joining Whitesnake was one of them and recording Before I Forget was another. Lord's motivation behind making this album seems to have been to show Keith Emerson that he (i.e. Lord) could make an album worse than Emerson's Honky! I'm not sure whether he succeeded with that difficult task, but the two albums are close in badness. The major problem is that Lord seems not to know in what direction he wanted to go; we have Blues Rock, Rock 'N' Roll and Classical music in a pretty disparate mix. He is alternating between the different styles, but never once is he trying to fuse them together to create something more interesting. I'm not saying that all the material here is bad, there are indeed some decent moments. But there is nothing as good as would have been needed to save this album from overall mediocrity.

The three first tracks are very mundane bluesy Rock 'N' Roll songs whose only redeeming feature is a decent organ solo. The fourth track is actually the only thing that is remotely interesting on this album; it is an eight minute long Bach influenced track with nice keyboard work and some electric guitar. Good, but nothing too impressive. After this the album slows down quite a bit and changes its nature radically. It visits parts that come very close to what Lord would do many years later on his Pictured Within album. Most of the rest of the songs are based on grand piano, strings and guest vocals by "classical" singers (some of which would resurface on the Pictured Within album). Needless to say, most of these songs have absolutely nothing to do with Rock, progressive or otherwise. They are not bad songs, but not really my cup of tea.

Among all the tracks from the title track onwards, only Going Home strays from this Classical style. It is a cheerful, somewhat jazzy, up tempo instrumental piece and whose main melody is played on some keyboard instrument. It feels totally out of place among those classically oriented songs.

My version of this album has a 16 minute radio interview with Jon Lord recorded at the time of this album's release. This is easily the most interesting track and Jon is a very charming and funny person.

A weak album with only a few decent moments, only recommended for fans and followers of the Lord.

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 Sarabande by LORD, JON album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.86 | 65 ratings

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Sarabande
Jon Lord Prog Related

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Praise the lord (with moderation!)

During the period from the late 60's to the mid 70's, Jon Lord was very much interested in fusing Classical music with Rock. 1976's Sarabande album was the very culmination of that interest and most probably the most successful of his works in this style (I must admit that I have not heard them all, hence the 'probably'). I would say that this is about 80 - 85% Classical music and about 15 - 20% Rock music. In stark contrast to Concerto For Group And Orchestra, the Rock elements are perfectly blended into the overall mix of Sarabande. While Concerto For Group And Orchestra sounded more like a battle of group against orchestra rather than any kind of interesting fusion of Rock and Classical music, Sarabande achieves the goal of actually fusing the different styles together (even if the Classical elements dominate things). Maybe Lord himself also thought that he had achieved his goals with this album since this was the last album he ever did in that style.

The Rock elements consist of drums, occasional electric and acoustic guitars, bass and a quite interesting array of different keyboards including Hammond organ (obviously!), acoustic and electric piano and some different synthesisers. While Lord is most known for his Hammond playing, he did use synthesisers during the latter half of the 70's and occasionally in the 80's both with Deep Purple and on outside projects. However, from the 90's onwards he went back to his roots and played only Hammond and piano like he did in the 60's and early 70's. Maybe the presence of synthesisers is what has made Prog fans like this album so much? Or maybe it is the memorable melodies? Anyway, I think that this is worth listening to, but it is by no means essential.

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