Orchestra rocks 'Smoke on the Water' and two other Deep Purple hits

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2021/10/26/orchestra-rocks-smoke-on-the-water-and-two-other-deep-purple-hits.html

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Go on, name them without reading the article. Anyone?

Well, Highway Star was pretty easy to recognise, but this whole orchestral medley thing left me cold, I’m afraid. Full rock drum kits and lead guitars? If they’re gonna do it, do it properly with just a full orchestra (and a slightly better arrangement?)

And Deep Purple have form here, of course:


Sorry, no. Worst of both worlds.


No Child in Time? Missed opportunity.

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two other Deep Purple hits

I… did not know that there was such a thing.


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Look at it.


Incredible! Thanks for sharing!

I was there in 1999 in the Royal Albert Hall. It was a good gig.
It started with a bunch of solo stuff from those that had been in the band over the years. The highlights of that were Ian Pace and the LSO’s horn section playing Wring That Neck, and Jon Lord’s solo works were superb. I think we also has some Dio, Gillan and and Morse.
Then we had the actual Symphony for Group and Orchestra, which was great. I really enjoyed it.
Then we had five Deep Purple songs. Each song seemed to gain a guest or solo, and the stage was slowly filling up.

But the final song was Smoke on the Water. And having been there, I can tell you that it was sublime. Utterly, utterly sublime. There is no recording technology available that could capture the richness and denseness of that sound. You could hear the strings, the horns, the guitars individually - but they also combined into something I did not expect. Something amazing. A sound that stretched out and filled the whole hall, yet was so detailed and rich that my mind was almost overwhelmed picking out details.
When I listen to the recording, I’m transported back to there in my mind - and disappointed that the recording doesn’t match my memory.

I’ve seen many bands live. This was the closest I’ve ever come to a religious experience at a gig. That one song was something special that I will never forget, and still find it hard to put into words. I just don’t have the vocabulary to properly explain what I heard - I can only grope around in the darkness half explaining it, and report how utterly wonderful it was.

(And it’s not even my favourite song of theirs!)


Still doesn’t compare to this performance of “the Holy Trinity of rock”

Yeah these things usually don’t do it for me, despite being a fan of both DP and symphony orchestras. Rare for arrangements to be good, though it does sometimes happen. Rock is so relatively monophonic so you just have these big extended unisons when what orchestras are good at is the richness you get with more complex harmonies and counterpoint and subtler textures. When you transcribe a typical melodic line like the verses in say Highway Star, it’s just so dippy simple, and without the additional texture of the syllables of the lyrics it just sounds lame, to me anyway.

And of course like what you like but even when I was at my deepest into prog rock and I owned every DP album I thought the Concerto for Rock Group and Orchestra sounded completely ridiculous. I always will encourage anyone to not stagnate and feel free to venture outside their lane but let’s admit sometimes it doesn’t work.

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Now playing in a supermarket near you!

Hey, at least there’s a puppet show.

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