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...minor quibbles aside, a sterling roundup of Deep Purple solo...
on 10 January 2008
When did they have the meeting that decided that a cardboard slip case was 1) a good idea and 2) in some way deluxe? They never invited me. It's just bloody irritating. It always ends up torn and if the intention is to 'protect' the jewel case, well that's just stupid. As for deluxe, give me a break. It's a bit cardboard.
Anyway, back to the album. Gillan best ofs are actually a bit of a rarity compared to other offshoots of the Deep Purple family. There was the "What I Did On My Vacation" back in 1986 and the "Trouble" budget compilation in 1993 but bar imports that was pretty much your lot. But with the 2007 mass splurge of reissued Gillan albums, it's not surprising to see the issue of a new best of. Unlike "...Vacation" it sticks resolutely to the 1976 - 1982 Ian Gillan Band / Gillan material, so no Ian Gillan or Gillan / Glover material here. Which is sort of bad news that is more than adequately compensated for by seven tracks from the eternally underrated Ian Gillan Band years. Yes, I am one of those people who gets considerably more excited by the live version of 'Mercury High' than by the opening salvo of 'Trouble' and 'New Orleans'.
Even better, it's a 2CD affair, so you're getting 31 tracks of sometimes brilliant material for your money. And as a seven quid budget line release, you have absolutely no excuse for not buying it. It's not chronologically sequenced so the transition from IGB to Gillan material can be a bit odd but in the days of iPod shuffles it probably matters less. One of my other bugbears about compilations is a lack of a simple track listing with the origins of the track right slap bang next to it. It's not beyond the realms of possibility that someone new to the music might be buying this, so scouring the tiny sleeve notes to find out what comes from where is a pain.
But it's a minor quibble as the double CD allows plenty of space for the real gems of the Gillan back catalogue as 'For Your Dreams' 'Secret Of The Dance', 'The Ballad Of The Lucitania Express' and all the IGB material material amply displays. I'd have bunged in a couple of "Clear Air Turbulence" and "Scarabus", something that is a glaring omission, but probably a licensing issue as they've only got material from "Child In Time" and "Live At The Budokan" here. Otherwise, this is a good a compilation as you're going to get, short of making your own.