Beggars Opera were one of the best groups of the early British symphonic style, characterized by the likes of Spring, Fantasy and Cressida. Whereas some of their peers had a tendency to be overly concerned with pop melodies at the expense of instrumental depth, Beggars Opera were able to successfully meld the two, thanks in large part of Alan Park's distinctive organ and keyboard, as well as Rick Gardiner's biting guitar.

As part of the legendary Vertigo label, the first incarnation produced a number of solid albums, and at least one true classic in 1971's Waters of Change. Lacking commercial interest, they broke up after the disappointing Get Your Dog Off Me!.