When Metallica recorded its now fan favorite live album S&M with the San Francisco Symphony, that recording was lauded by fans and critics alike. The praise showered on the band was fully justified. It was considered by some to be a groundbreaking performance because it was the coming together of two entirely separate musical worlds. What many people might not know is that S&M was not in fact the first time that the two worlds have come together. Former Deep Purple member Jon Lord crafted and performed his now famous Concerto for Group and Orchestra almost forty-five years ago in 1969. That performance was truly groundbreaking. Sadly, cancer claimed Lord in July of 2012. Thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment though, Lord’s opus finally saw the light of day that same year. And now again thanks to Eagle Rock, audiences are taken even deeper into Lord’s majestic and magical composition thanks to a new documentary on that record. There is a lot to like about this recently released documentary. The documentary’s behind-the-scenes main feature is the main portion of what audiences will appreciate in this release. Audiences are provided a history of Lord’s original performance of his opus in order to set up the more recent recording session. As part of the recording process, viewers will also get to hear from some big names that helped bring the recording to life. Audiences will also appreciate that not only are they taken behind the scenes of the recording’s birth, but they are also provided with two opportunities to hear the recording in the new Blu-ray presentation. It is included both as a bonus feature on the Blu-ray itself, and as its own separate CD as even more of a bonus. All of this taken into consideration makes the documentary on Jon Lord’s Concert for Group & Orchestra quite the interesting work.
Far too many record labels in today’s music industry add “making of documentaries” to their new albums and try to pawn them off on fans as something special. The problem is that so few of those “documentaries” in question are really worth the extra money shelled out by hard working audiences. Jon Lord: Concerto for Group& is not one of those releases. This documentary gives audiences a full history of the former Deep Purple member’s iconic song, from its very first ever performance in 1969 at the famed Royal Albert Hall to its first non-live recording in 2012. Audiences see just how much work went into putting his composition to record. It’s a fitting tribute to the musician, who sadly lost his battle with cancer just last year. From the initial setup to the recording of each part and everything in-between, viewers will see that this isn’t just another one of those albums where each part was recorded separately in different studios. This understanding will generate a whole new appreciation for the song and everything that went into actually doing a “studio” recording of it. This applies to listeners that are both more familiar with Lord’s work and those that might be less so.
Along the course of the documentary, viewers get to hear from some of the biggest names in the rock world that took part in the recording process. Those names include greats such as Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden and blues/rock guitar great Joe Bonamassa among so many others. The respect shared between them and Lord is obvious through their shared commentary and by the seriousness with which they approached their respective roles in the overall composition.
The overall presentation of the documentary here is exceptional to say the least. From the composition’s history to its first official studio recording, so much information is shared on its importance. As impressive as the main feature is, Eagle Rock didn’t stop there. Eagle Rock has included as a bonus for fans, the complete Concerto for Group & Orchestra both on its own CD and as a bonus feature on the primary Blu-ray disc. And it’s not all that is included as a bonus, either. Eagle Rock has exceeded expectations once again with this documentary’s bonus material. Also included as bonus material is are interviews with Paul Mann and Marco de Groeji. Mann conducted the orchestra assembled for the new recording of Concerto for Group & Orchestra. The insight that he shares is something special. That’s because of his understanding of and appreciation for the worlds of both rock and classical, as well as for Lord himself. His interview and that with others involved with the record’s production more than live up to the title of bonus features. Together with the documentary’s main feature, they collectively make this release one that transcends genres. It’s one that fans of both classical and rock will enjoy. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at http://www.eaglerockent.com and http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.