Ian Gillan Band
Absolutely on of the greatest voices of metal and hard rock ever, is Ian Gillan. Gillan is the former/current/former/current, etc lead vocalist of Deep Purple. He first left Deep Purple in 1977 and formed The Ian Gillan Band who released two albums before giving way to Gillan. Gillan was formed with bassist/songwriter John McCoy in July '78. The band stayed together through December of '82, after which time, Ian had a short stint with Black Sabbath before rejoining Deep Purple. Anyhow, between all his many other solo projects including a solo album with Deep Purple's Roger Glover, Gillan (the band) put out a number of excellent albums, all of which are currently only available as imports. In later incarnations of Gillan, Janick Gers became the band's guitarist. Janick also performed on Bruce Dickinson's first solo album and now performs with Iron Maiden.

Child in Time Ian Gillan Band - Child in Time (Polydor / Oyster) 1976

1. Lay Me Down (2:55)
2. You Make Me Feel So Good (3:41)
3. Shame (2:47)
4. My Baby Loves Me (3:35)
5. Down The Road (3:27)

6. Child In Time (7:23)
7. Let It Slide (11:41)

"Child in Time" was the first solo album from Ian Gillan following his departure from Deep Purple. The album also features Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover.  The album took its title from the Deep Purple song "Child in Time", a version of which appears on side two of this album. The album title, which was an obvious connection to Ian's former band, was a bit misleading as the Ian Gillan Band band moved away from the hard rock, heavy metal and classical leanings of Purple and, with this album, headed into a heavy rhythm and blues style with slight leanings of jazz-rock fusion. The jazz-fusion thing would become even more prominent of future releases.

The first track, "Lay Me Down", is about as close as this LP gets to straight-forward hard rock. It's a short hard rocker with a funk mix and a Jon Lord styled organ solo in the middle. Track two, "You Make Me Feel So Good" caught me completely off guard when I first heard it many moons ago. The song explores a R&B and soul with an obvious funky groove and and explicit black gospel-style chorus. From this point on the band explores blues, R&B, gospel, soul, funk, etc. This was definitely Ian Gillan stretching out his wings and exploring different styles of music, probably the music that had inspired him before becoming the voice of 70's heavy metal.

Side two of the record is the most experimental and progressive. There are only two long tracks: a new version of Purple's "Child In Time" and the 11-minute "Let It Slide". The Deep Purple cover is interesting, though quite different from the originale version. I suppose being more familiar with the original song, I prefer it to this version. The lengthy progressive track "Let It Slide" brings in more of that gospel sound. Overall, I see "Child in Time" as a transition record to where Gillan and Co. would head in the future. The next album "Clear Air Turbulance" sports even more of a funky jazz-rock fusion.

For the moment I only own a Japanese vinyl import. I'm still wanting to add the remastered CD to my collection.

Ian Gillan Band - Clear Air Turbulance (Virgin/Japan) 1977

1. "Clear Air Turbulence" (7:34)
2. "Five Moons" (7:32)
3. "Money Lender" (5:38)
4. "Over the Hill" (7:19)
5. "Goodhand Liza" (5:27)
6. "Angel Manchenio" (7:18)

Ian Gillan was really trying to move away from the Deep Purple sound on this 1977 release. "Clear Air Turbulance" has got to be his most experimental disc ever. Instead of 1970's based heavy metal, this album sports more of a funky jazz-rock fusion, almost taking on a progressive rock sound. This album employs horn players and a flute player, proving to the world, and perhaps to Gillan himself that his talents extended far outside of just hard rock and heavy metal. Long songs, however, are not foreign to Gillan being that Purple could drag out a song forever. Each of these songs have at least one extended jam section. The bongo solo in "Goodhand Liza" is phenomenal. Love the album cover art too. Looks like something Stryper would have used. This album was released as a solo album, unlike his future band albums with Gillan. I originally owned the 1998 Spitfire re-issue still sealed in the used bins of CD Warehouse for $4.99. Funny thing is they also had the re-issue of "Toolbox" but they wanted $20 for a used copy. Go figure! Anyhow, now, thanks to my good friend Olaf, I have a beautiful Japanese copy of this disc and was able to give the Spitfire copy to a friend who was in need of it.

Scarabus Ian Gillan Band-Scarabus (Virgin/Japan) 1977

1. "Scarabus" (4:55)
2. "Twin Exhausted" (4:09)
3. "Poor Boy Hero" (3:10)
4. "Mercury High" (3:32)
5. "Pre-Release" (4:24)
6. "Slages to Bitches" (5:11)
7. "Apathy" (4:16)
8. "Mad Elaine" (4:19)
9. "Country Lights" (3:17)
10. "Fool's Mate" (4:19)
11. "My Baby Loves Me" [live] (8:12)

Decisively more rocking than 'Clear Air Turbulance,' but still Ian's band retains the progressive and jazzy elements, which may be part of the reason Ian started over with a completely new band for his next release. I actually think these early Ian Gillan Band albums are every bit as good as the Gillan albums, although they are quite different in style. I think I may have said this somewhere before, but Ian Gillan could sing over a busy signal on the phone and make it sound good. That's not to say the music on this disc is bad; as a matter of fact the exact opposite is true. The Ian Gillan Band are brilliant musicians. Songs like "Fool's Mate" has some of the most technical, intricate bass guitar work I have ever heard. My particular cd copy is a Japanese import, which is cool, but unfortunately the extensive liner notes that seems to included an detailed time line of Ian' career from '72 through '98 are unreadable to me. At least with Spanish and German I can make out a word here and there. With Japanese, I might as well be looking at chicken scratch. I can't make out a word of it.

Budakon Ian Gillan Band-Live at Budakon (Metal Blade) 1979

1. "Clear Air Turbulence" (12:49)
2. "Scarabus" (5:25)
3. "Money Lender" (10:53)
4. "Twin Exhausted" (5:05)
5. "Over the Hill" (8:35)
6. "Mercury High" (4:58)
7. "Smoke on the Water" (9:46)
8. "Child in Time" (10:16)
9. "Woman from Tokyo" (4:47)

Killer live performance from the Ian Gillan band complete with three Deep Purple classics. This has to be the funkiest version of "Smoke on the Water" I have ever heard. As with Purple, the Ian Gillan Band know how to expand a song, adding in plenty of extended jams. Despite the fact that Ian Gillan is one of my favorite vocalists of all time, his screams get annoying on "Child in Time." One other minor complaint is the very poor packaging. Other than that, however, this disc is almost as good as "Made in Japan" and is an essential disc to any Gillan or Deep Purple fan.

Ian Gillan Band-The Rockfield Mixes (Angel Air) 1997

1. "Over the Hill" (7:22)
2. "Clear Air Turbulance" (7:48)
3. "Five Moons" (7:39)
4. "Money Lender" (5:43)
5. "Angelo Manchenio" (7:24)
6. "This Is The Way" (2:05)
7. "Goodhand Liza" (5:27)

Apparently in 1977 when "Clear Air Turbulance" was originally recorded, Ian Gillan was not happy with the mixes that came out of Rockfield Studios in Wales. Ian took the tapes back to his home studio and remixed the entire album and the resulting release 'Clear Air Turbulance" was put out by Island Records that same year. The Rockfield mixes were mixed by the band collectively and are actually quite good. I am not exactly sure what it was about these mixes that Ian didn't like. Regardless, guitarist Ray Fenwick held onto the original Rockfield mixing session tapes and now they are available on cd. Ya! The Angel Air release also contains a nice 8 page color booklet with a bio and tons of photos from that error. A nice collector's disc that will no doubt be gone as quickly as it appeared.

Ian Gill Band-Live at the Rainbow (Angel Air) 1998

1. "Clear Air Turbulence" (5:26)
2. "Money Lender" (4:46)
3. "Child In Time" (8:51)
4. "Smoke On The Water" (8:06)
5. "Woman From Tokyo" (4:08)
6. "Twin Exhausted" (5:28)

A live show from May 14, 1977 at one of Britain's most well know rock venues. The sound is quite good for a live recording from the era, especially since there are little or no overdubs done. The material is divided between supurb reprises of Deep Purple rockers ("Smoke on the Water," "Woman from Tokyo" "Child In Time") and a couple originals by the Ian Gillan Band. I'm not sure if it was my mood at the time, or the recording, but "Child in Time" was a lot less annoying to me than the version on Live in Tokyo. Excellent booklet with extensive liner notes, photos, etc. The front cover picture is the actual sign that hung on the dressing room door of the Rainbow show, apparently someone salvaged it for the band. The last track, "Twin Exhausted," is the only track that was recorded at a different time and at a different venue, although the sound quality is so close, I can't really hear a difference.

Related bands:
Gillan | Deep Purple | Black Sabbath

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