The 1973 book of art and verse, The Butterfly Ball And The Grasshoppers Feast, was inspired by an 18th Century poem and in turn inspired two different musical interpretations.
The better known version by Roger Glover and an all star cast overshadowed the album by Rod Edwards and Roger Hand of which this track was originally intended to be a part. But it’s the latter which stands up better today, helped to a large degree by the narration by Sir Michael Hordern and Dame Judi Dench.
It has now been reissued by Wizard Presents but a chance to right a terrible wrong has been missed as the song which to my mind was by far the best on the album but was replaced on the original release by an inferior alternative hasn’t been included on the re-release either.
That song was of course Old Blind Mole. Now admittedly I was seven at the time and some of the other songs have grown on me but I still contend the original Mole was the better version.
So to give the great unwashed an opportunity to decide here from a forty year old cassette is the cruelly discarded original of Old Blind Mole.
They did it:
Music and additional lyrics composed, written and arranged by
Rod Edwards and Roger Hand; published by Wizard Music.
Narration by Judi Dench and Michael Hordern
Keyboards and vocals: Rod Edwards
Guitar and vocals: Roger Hand
Drums: Gerry Conway; Bass: Bruce Lynch;
Percussion: Tony Carr and Morris Pert;
Solo violin: David Cross and Graham Preskett;
Harmonica: Mox; Piano on Cheers my Dears: Tony Hymas;
String bass on Happy-Go-Lucky Grasshopper: Alan Whalley;
‘The Butterfly Ball’ arranged by Chris Gunning;
Orchestra Leader: Pat Halling; Orchestral Contractor: George Hamer.
Recorded at Decca Studios, London, October 1974 to August 1975.
Sound Engineer: John Burns assisted by Mark Lusardi.
Additional engineering thanks to Derek Varnals and Adrian Martins.
Narration recorded at AIR London, engineer, Geoffrey Emerick.
Digital re-mastering engineer: Richard Spence.
Mastered for cd at Sound Performance, engineer, Andrew Thompson.
Special thanks to Robert Angles and Hugh Mendl
Produced by John Miller, Rod Edwards and Roger Hand.