Great Rock Albums of 1980: Gillan- Glory Road


For my goings on about American rock and metal acts who never made it in the UK, I have concluded that Gillan is the best British rock act not to have made it in the US. I didn’t learn about the existence of this band until I saw the newly reformed Deep Purple in 1985 and studied their family tree. Like many Americans, (I will probably get an onslaught of people who will say the contrary) I have always associated Ian Gillan as the lead singer of Deep Purple. The band he had during the years away from DP never came to my attention. I could blame it on being in the marines but I couldn’t be sure if I would have heard of them anyway. The bottom line though is that I regret having never heard Gillan back then because I would have definitely dug albums like this one, “Glory Road.”

Now that I have finally sat down and heard the album, I can safely say that it’s a good one. I have always stated that keyboards can be used in hard rock and metal if done properly and Gillan do it right. Colin Towns lays down some great keyboard backing while still allowing the much underrated Bernie Torme to show what he can do on the guitar. All this supported by a strong rhythm section and of course the man who I consider the best voice in rock/metal, Ian Gillan. There is little I can say about the vocal ability of Ian Gillan that hasn’t been said before.

“Glory Road” also shows the band’s versatility. While I mention the keyboards as a support, the album throws in a beautiful keyboard dominated song like “Abbey of Thelema” after such great rockers as “Sleeping On the Job” and “On the Rocks.” For anyone who likes a bit of variety, there is hard rock, a bit of prog rock and a little blues at times in “Glory Road.” To make a long story short, this album has it all.

Track Listing:

Glory Road

1. Unchain Your Brain

2. Are You Sure

3. Time and Time Again

4. No Easy Way

5. Sleeping On the Job

6. On the Rocks

7. If You Believe Me

8. Running, White Face City Boy

9. Nervous

For Gillan Fans Only

1. Higher and Higher

2. Your Mother Was Right

3. Red Watch

4. Abbey of Thelema

5. Running to Get to You

6. Come Tomorrow

7. Dragon’s Tongue

8. Post Fade Brain Damage

9. Egg Timer

10. Harry Line Theme



Ian Gillan- vocals, harmonica

Bernie Torme- guitar. lead vocal on Come Tomorrow

Colin Towns- keyboards, flute, lead vocal on Egg Timer

John McCoy- bass

Mick Underwood- drums

If you’re like me and hadn’t heard this album before, I definitely suggest you have a good listen to it. I guarantee you won’t regret it. I think I’ll be spending some time going through the Gillan backlog.

Next post: Utopia- Adventures in Utopia

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8 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1980: Gillan- Glory Road”

  1. I just got this one recently! I will have to play it again.


  2. Brilliant album. Maybe the best Gillan album… Torme’s guitar on No Easy Way is outstanding.


  3. Good shout, I’ve not heard this one for 20 years or so, I remember liking Abbey of Thelema from the bonus LP a lot – that and Unchain Your Brain.


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