Jon Lord-tastic

Lord_Gemini-Suite_Cover.jpg

It’s something of a bumper month for Jon Lord fans with four recent or forthcoming vinyl reissues hitting the shops (well if you can find one – as I write HMV are playing tag with their landlords over rent at some of their stores, and threatening to close some).

First up there’s a Concerto vinyl box. Matthew Kean, who says going to his local indie store now feels like more like a record buying trip in the 80s there is so much vinyl in there, spotted this. It packages up the 2010 special edition audio as a triple LP set.  The split is Arnold’s opening piece on side 1, Deep Purple’s set on two sides, then the Concerto itself over remaining three sides. Which as Matt points out is shorter running times than the Rainbow On Stage set we all moaned about at the time. Well those of us old enough to remember those heady days. Still, it ought to mean good audio quality. The cover seems to be as the original EMI sleeve, but many sellers are getting it muddled up and showing the more recent sleeve art. It’s on Parlophone.

jon lord gemini suite.jpg

Meanwhile Ear Music are promoting their reissues of the three Jon Lord “solo” albums Gemini Suite, Continuo and Sarabande by commissioning new (or in millenial speak, ‘reimagined’) versions of the sleeve art. Windows is tweaked so you can see Jon’s eyes behind the shades, Sarabande gets a strange new drawing which sort of copies the old one but is more 3D looking (and ends up looking like a Whitesnake cover), while for Gemini they’ve gone all out with a brand new illustration which is very well executed but seems a strange thing to do fifty years after the original. Still it now becomes a great pub quiz question, which Jon Lord solo album has had the most cover revamps? By my reckoning it’s the fifth vinyl edition with a different sleeve (new and old show above).

There is no new music, but they have gone back to the quarter inch vinyl master tapes for two of them. Although so did the CD editions from Purple Records way back, so it’s a case of how they mastered them I guess as to whether we will spot much change.  The packaging is revamped too, and Simon has revisited his sleeve notes for two of them, but I’m not sure how many people will feel the need unless they lack earlier reissues.  Still nice to see Jon’s catalogue being treated with some respect and care again as we reach the fiftieth anniversary of his original Concerto this month.  My thanks to Ear Music, Matthew Kean and Tom Dixon for his help.

You can check out our archived Concerto original discography at the old website:

http://www.deep-purple.net/discography/concerto/disconcerto.htm

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