This obscure hybrid of concert footage, live-action scenes, and a single animated vignette is a musical extravaganza intended for children but featuring several hard-rock singers. The piece was put together by Roger Glover, the longtime bassist of hard rockers Deep Purple.
In 1973, an illustrated children’s book titled The Butterfly’s Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast was released, based on William Roscoe’s 1802 poem of the same name. A short cartoon was made from one section of the book, and Glover wrote the accompanying music.
This generated a minor UK hit single titled Love Is All, with vocals by heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio, and plans were made for a full-length animated feature – but by the time Glover had finished writing songs for the proposed movie, production was cancelled.
Undaunted, Glover staged a live concert at London’s famed Royal Albert Hall, recruiting several celebrities to perform his songs. Footage of the 1975 concert comprises most of this movie.
The picture also features the Love Is All animated film clip as well as weird interstitial bits of performers in animal costumes strolling through London. The film climaxes with a live-action version of the ball, at which the various animal characters sit around a table in a scene straight out of Alice in Wonderland.
John Lawton provides one of the loveliest vocals, for the gospel-tinged ballad Little Chalk Blue, and subs for Dio on the movie’s epic-length rendition of Love Is All.
Mickey Lee Soule
Barry St. John
The Trinity School of Croydon Boys Choir
Alfonso Di Lieto