Best Gillan album by a mile I think. It's one of those rare gems that when listened to as a whole becomes greater than the some of it's parts, a true 'album'. The bonus tracks on this cd reissue unusually makes it even better, greatest track for me being 'M.A.D.' relevant now more then ever! Overall a full-on FAST heavy rock album that both headbangers and foot-tappers should love, as well as those who also like a bit of depth to the lyrics without the cheese. No duff tunes at all. Gillan's voice is in fine shape indeed & reminds me of Arthur Brown sometimes, it's that powerful!
But you can't fault the work ethic as 8 months later "Future Shock" arrived, an album I still think of fondly. It's not a classic but it's the last really good thing Gillan the band did. Of course, it also co-incided with a spate of cover versions and Top Of The Pops appearances, which may not have been a good thing, with the benefit of hindsight, as it was one of those that led to Bernie Torme getting fired! But on the album, there were enough gems to let me hang on to my hopes - 'Night Ride Out Of Phoenix', 'If I Sing Softly' and 'For Your Dreams' still bring back pangs of longing for those long teenage nights, playing records and planning on ruling the world. This was also a time when bands looked out for their fans, as a cornucopia of stand alone singles - 'Trouble' and 'Mutually Assured Destruction' - and B-sides (six of 'em!) fill out the album with 'Your Sister's On My List', still a favourite, largely because of its chorus! Hey! I was sixteen!
Continues on Double Trouble
As reissue packages, these are well done, although there is absolutely nothing new or unreleased on offer for the serious collector. But it will save me digging through the crates of vinyl, something that makes life a whole lot easier, and with brief notes from Ian Gillan with each one alongside the lyrics and plentiful photos, Edsel have done a bang up job.
How do you follow Mr Universe? Make Glory Road. How do you follow Glory Road? Make a third classic in a row. Really, Gillan with Torme was so inspired that the band was able to make three ***** albums in a row. The sound of this album has been criticised, not least by Ian Gillan himself, but the CD sounds fuller than the vinyl; everything sounds clear. It doesn't sound oppressively dense, but this isn't Korn. It's Gillan in 1981, when they were up there with Rainbow and Whitesnake, putting albums in the Top 3 with pleasing regularity. And this remains THE classic Gillan line-up. In common with Purple, every member of the band was an equal contributor - Mick Underwood's drumming was perfect for the music, John McCoy is an underrated musician, Colin Towns has class, and Bernie Torme had something to prove. And then there was a certain singer with an equal amount to show the world...
The opening title song is not the all-out assault that Secret of the Dance and Unchain Your Brain had been - this time, the album starts out on a mid-paced note. It's powerful, riff-based, and original. The words still resonate now, 28 years into the future. Night Ride out of Phoenix is also riffy, but which other band could've come up with those dynamics, and that bouncy, melodic chorus? The harmony vocals call to mind ELO (as had Rainbow's Lost in Hollywood) - Jeff Lynne and co were friendly with the Purple guys. Lucitania Express is the first speedy track, and has a suitably locomotive groove. It's a 'mad' song, in the great Speed King tradition! No Laughing in Heaven is possibly the most famous original here, and reminds me of The Doors with powerchords and jokebag humour. Sacre Bleu comes as a surprise, being another full-tilt speed-rocker, with Ian's liberal use of the Franglais that he uses quite a bit onstage! Hit single New Orleans was stuck on Side 1 of the original album, almost as an afterthought, but it works. We were confused by its use of a melody Slade had taken into the Top 10 the previous year, until we discovered how old this song was.
Side 2 is just as good, believe it or not. Bite the Bullet is suitably frenetic, and was used onstage for quite a time. If I Sing Softly is an ironic title, but apposite too - Ian really does use sublety here. The song reminds me of one of Bernie Marsden's solo numbers from the same era, strangely enough. Then the album goes out with two absolute corkers. Don't Want the Truth marches in powerfully, then uses sparse verses with harmonies, and an escapist lyric. The Gillan trademark humour is still there, of course. For Your Dreams is one of those songs that shows rock music at its best. An eerie piano theme puts you in the middle of an ancient place, as Gillan sings an enigmatic theme: "She's got the face of a street kid, With the lips of an orchid, And the eyes of a distant dream." Gillan really excelled at this type of number - She Tears Me Down and Fighting Man were also examples of how Colin Towns was able to bring something unique to Gillan, band and personality.
The extras include two b-sides which were good enough to be album tracks - Your Sister's on my List and Take a Hold of Yourself.
To sum up, this album is spectacular, and crystalised everything that was inspired and original about Gillan. The Purple reunion was never going to happen in 1981!
This is without doubt the bands crowning glory. there musical peak. Gillan were on a roll, the band playing as well as ever, they hit the studio and produced this, what is now, classic album. Good old British rock n roll, heavy metal, call it what you will. Lets see, you have out and out fast rock tracks like " Lucitania express " and " sacre bleu " to the very funny " No laughing in heaven " as is Sacre bleu, giggle. Then your hit with the commercial " New orleans ", but still damn good,but to me one the most beautiful song you'll hear anywhere hits you. " If i sing softly " is a real breath remover of a track, after all the ram bash of the other tracks it hits you hard. and as for the flute section, fits perfectly. Great great album. And of course there are the add on's. Stuff that didnt quite make it, You'll giggle at " Your sister " and off course the two other singles from the period, "Lucille " and " Trouble ", good fun rock n roll tracks. If you aint got any GIllan, and if not why not, start here, or anywhere really, but to me this is a good place to start. Enjoy
This is a stunning album superbly re packaged with lots of contemporary pictures and also sleeve notes by Ian Gillan,however its the music which stands out, some brilliant tracks with Ian and the band producing some of the best material ever laid down by ex Purple people. Stand out tracks are Bite the Bullet,Dont Want the truth,Sacre Bleu the list goes on.Sensibly priced,great value for money.
Astonishingly good collection of songs that still holds up well, 30 years or so from its NWOBHM heyday.
Going solo from a legend band can be a brave move and it shows an individual's abilities (and how much the rest of the band did) in a new perspective - often one that shows their limitations.
Unlike say, Rainbow or Whitesnake, Gillan's solo project attempted to make a more contemporary sound (presumably with slightly younger musicians) rather than trying to evolve some ideas of the Deep Purple sound. Ozzy did something similar to great reward, but sadly history was never as kind to Gillan. Gillan's song writing seems to have improved immensely and combines with great musicians to give a spectacular spread of melodies, hard and soft, plenty of energy, emotion, humour and surprises.
And a load of screaming of course.
While many other Kerrang! style supergroups were assembled from personnel of other bands, several (including Gillan's own alliance with Black Sabbath)failed to deliver an album worthy of the line up, but this is the opposite. This is a cracking album - much more than the sum of the parts, musicians largely unknown at the time combining with the Purple underdog to make a superb piece of music.
Stacks of bonus tracks and sleeve notes abound in this new release, so plenty to think about while you transport yourself to a very different time in rock music.