June 11, 2014

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 68: Jon Lord - Gemini Suite

Jon Lord ~ Gemini Suite                                            .
 Reel-to-Reel Tape box detail                                         .
detail photo by Styrous®                                            .

In addition to my vinyl LP record collection I'm selling, I have hundreds of reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes as well. This is an entry about one of them that is for sale on eBay (see link below for others). I have the vinyl LP version as well. Interested? Contact me by email, please, not by a comment.

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reel-to-reel tape 
cover design by John Van Hamersveld
cover painting by Cliff McReynolds
photo by Styrous®

Jonathan Douglas Lord was born 73 years ago this month on June 9, 1941. He was better known as Jon Lord of the hard rock group, Deep Purple.

The Gemini Suite was performed by Deep Purple and the Light Music Society under Malcolm Arnold at the Royal Festival Hall in September of 1970.

reel-to-reel tape 
cover design by John Van Hamersveld
photo by Styrous®

After the 1969 classical / rock fusion Concerto For Group and Orchestra, (also see link below), Jon Lord was commissioned to write a follow-up. This was Gemini Suite, five long movements inspired by the members of Deep Purple, and performed live in September 1970 at the Royal Festival Hall with The Light Music Society Orchestra and broadcast life on British and Danish radio (the album of the concert was issued in 1993 as Gemini Suite Live). Jon Lord then recorded it in the studio as his first solo project in 1971, with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Malcolm Arnold and soloists drawn from the rock world. Gemini Suite was an important step for Lord and led to albums such as Windows (1974) and Sarabande (1976).

reel-to-reel tape back cover details
cover design by John Van Hamersveld
detail photos by Styrous®

The album was originally released in Europe and America in 1971 with different cover artwork. The 1973 US reissue (this copy) featured a third version of the cover artwork.

reel-to-reel tape back cover detail
cover design by John Van Hamersveld
detail photo by Styrous®

The first movement starts out very dramatic with the full orchestra and an extremely dynamic tympani beat "fit to beat the band".  There is some fine guitar work by Albert Lee in it.

The second part of the first side is jazzy and upbeat with Lord on piano. The orchestra follows and play along with the game. Lord does a fancy keyboard solo on this piece. Pretty nice stuff here. 

The third section opens with some dramatic tympani which is a nice introduction to the fine drum work á la Gene Krupa by Ian Paice. Paice, the orchestra and the timpani finish out the piece in grand style.

photo by Styrous®

Capricorn opens side two. It is very slow, quiet and mysterious. It features vocals by Yvonne Elliman and Tony Ashton. 

The second section of part two is jerky and dissonant and features some really cool bass guitar work by Roger Glover. It quiets down some at the end. 

The third section is all Lord's. He does some amazing organ work and rocks out with the orchestra. It gets a bit eerie for a while before it goes back to a rock motif that then builds to the finale.

reel-to-reel tape label detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Studio album track listing:

Side 1:

1    "Guitar" - Soloist: Albert Lee - 8:52
2    "Piano" - Soloist: Jon Lord -
3    "Drums" - Soloist: Ian Paice

Side 2:

4    "Vocals" - Soloist: Yvonne Elliman and Tony Ashton
5    "Bass guitar" - Soloist: Roger Glover
6    "Organ" - Soloist: Jon Lord

Production notes

    Composed and scored by Jon Lord
    Lyrics by Jon Lord
    Recorded at Abbey Road and De Lane Lea studios, London, March 1971
    Studio engineers: Mike Gray, Philip McDonald, Dave Stock
    Mixed by Martin Birch

Warner Brothers WST 2717-C

1973 reissue


Later studio version of Gemini Suite:
Side 1
Side 2

Deep Purple website

Jon Lord ~ Gemini Suite reel-to-reel tape is on sale on eBay

reel-to-reel tapes on eBay

Jon Lord died on July 16, 2012. The Guardian wrote an obituary on him on July 19 and quoted him as saying, 'We're as valid as anything by Beethoven."

Right on, Jon!

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