Archive for Gillan

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Bernie Torme- Electric Gypsies

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2016 by 80smetalman

bernietorme_eg

For most musicians, being kicked out of a band usually spells the end for their music careers. One would have been forgiven for thinking that would have happened to guitarist Bernie Torme when he was fired by Ian Gillan from his band. It seems somebody forgot to tell that to Bernie because in 1983, he was back with a new band, sometimes referred to as the name of this album, “Electric Gypsies.”

Back in the 1980s, not many Americans heard of Bernie Torme. I only learned of him when I saw this album on a catalog, though I never bought it, silly me. It wasn’t until I got to England in 1986 when a new found friend introduced me to Bernie Torme and eventually this album. I have been grateful to this friend ever since.

“Electric Gypsies” is one hell of an album, plain and simple. With a good rhythm section behind him and bassist Everton Williams also providing vocals, Bernie Torme just shows what he can do with the guitar and so many rocking ways. “20th Century” is a pure metal tune that just belts your eardrums from the very first note. However, the next track is my all time favourite, “Lightning Strikes.” It starts out with a soft progressive metal before it gets down to business with some heavy chords. This is the first song where Bernie truly goes to town with the guitar. Hell, he doesn’t go to town, he goes to the city and countryside and a few other places with it. He just lays down the jams on this one.

I like the funky vibe on the two songs after, “Too Young” and “Call of the Wild.” Both songs have a real catchy hook on them with the added bonus of Bernie’s soloing, especially on the latter of the two. “D.I.S.E.” is nearly a speed metal track but it’s pulled off rather well. Then comes “Presence.” It starts out like it’s going to be a hippy more progressive song with a very eerie but nice sounding melody to the acoustic guitar. I still find myself wanting to lay back and absorb myself into the song wishing I had something to smoke. This is the first half of the song but even then things don’t get that much harder. Bernie’s solo is captivating with Frank Noon doing some excellent drumming in support, a very interesting song to say the least.

The last two songs bring “Electric Gypsies” out on a real high. “I Can’t Control Myself” is a party song and livens things up following its more somber predecessor and that leads to “Go Go” closing the album out. This was truly an overlooked album.

Track Listing:

  1. Wild West
  2. 20 Century
  3. Lightning Strikes
  4. Too Young
  5. Call of the Wild
  6. D.I.S.E.
  7. Presence
  8. I Can’t Control Myself
  9. Go Go
    Bernie Torme and his band

    Bernie Torme and his band

    Bernie Torme- guitar, vocals

  10. Everton Williams- bass, vocals
  11. Frank Noon- drums

Do you think that Ian Gillan ever regretted firing Bernie Torme? Probably not but for Bernie, it gave him the opportunity to put out a kick ass album in 1983. Have a listen.

Next post: Manowar- Into Glory Ride

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

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1982: Triumphs and Tragedy

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2015 by 80smetalman

You may remember that when I first entered 1982, I spent eight of the twelve months of that year deployed with the marines. The first six months were especially difficult because I was floating about the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean on a ship. So I didn’t get that much news especially news pertaining to music. However, one piece of tragic news that did reach my ears whilst on the ship was the death of comic actor and Blues Brothers singer John Belushi.

Bluesbrothersmovieposter

Unlike the assassination of JFK, Belushi’s death may not have been a where were you moment when you first learned about it to most people. While I can say for sure that I was on board the ship when I learned about his tragic passing, I can’t say where exactly the ship was at the time. I do know that it was somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

His career may have been short but John Belushi packed a load of things to remember him by during those few years. For us music fans, the biggest contribution to music was most certainly The Blues Brothers. His collaboration with Dan Ackroyd  gave us a brilliant album and in 1980, a hilarious movie with one hell of a great soundtrack. For those new to 80smetalman, I have visited both on here if you want to take a look. Older statesmen like me, however, will always love Belushi for his antics on the old Saturday Night Live show. I will always love his Samurai character. In 1982, a true musical and comical genius was tragically taken from us. R.I.P. John Belushi.

John Belushi as Samurai in my all time favourite one: Samurai Night Fever

John Belushi as Samurai in my all time favourite one: Samurai Night Fever

Now on to the triumph. This year saw the third Monsters of Rock Festival at Donnington Park. Attendance was up from the previous two years and evidence that slowly but surely, heavy metal was taking over the UK. A small piece of festival history was made that year when Saxon became the first band to play at there for the second time. Headlining was another British band who failed to make it very far in the US, Status Quo. I have to admit, that I haven’t listened to them much over the years over the years. Guess I should rectify that. Other players that year included Gillan, Uriah Heep, space rockers Hawkwind and Canadian metal band Anvil. While it would be another year before I would hear about this great festival, I believe that this varied line up would have been a great thing to see and hear.

HW 1982-08-21 Castle Donnington.Monsters of Rock.1.front

Like I said at the beginning, my knowledge of musical events is limited due to the circumstances. So if there is some other event from 1982, triumph or tragedy, let me know and I will post about it because it is part of our history. Call this an urgent appeal.

Next post: Status Quo- 1+9+8+2

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Gillan- Magic

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Magic_-_Gillan

The 1982 “Magic” album would be the last studio album from Gillan and this probably is why they are the best British rock/metal act not to have made it big in the US. The band would disband after this album with Ian Gillan going onto to front Black Sabbath before reforming with Deep Purple. So the million dollar question is, did they go out with a bang?

One advantage for me in answering that question is that I’m still pretty much a new comer to Gillan because they didn’t make a huge impact in America. While, I have heard many of their previous albums and posted about them on here, I haven’t listened to them enough to arrange them in any sort of order to preferences. Furthermore, I try not to pay attention to chart positions and don’t give a crap if “Magic” didn’t chart as high as “Glory Road.” That makes it easier for me to judge this album on its own. I have also heard plenty of final albums from bands who disbanded after and I can say that since this is a last album from Gillan, they definitely go out on a high.

With “Magic,” Gillan try to walk a fine tightrope between hard and more synthesizer rock, which they do quite well. There are some great rockers like the opener, “What’s the Matter” and credit where due, Janick Gers lays down a mean guitar solo on “Bluesy Blue Sea.” I didn’t realise he was so capable of playing in the blues like style. Another great rocker is “Driving Me Wild.” On the synthesizer side is “Caught in a Trap” and “Devil Driver” which goes way out there on a very progressive yet creative streak. That one is definitely one to have playing while contemplating the universe. Of all the tracks, the one that brings both the guitar and synthesizer sides together to make a great song is “Living for the City.” It starts with the keyboard making one think that this is going to be in that vein when the guitar just steps in and takes over. Once again, Gers plays a great guitar solo and the keyboards don’t disappear but continue to add to the flavour. What stops it from being a fantastic song, unfortunately, is the vocals of Ian Gillan. He tries to hard to be a screaming rock singer when he doesn’t have to be. His voice is good enough without having to do that. Still, “Magic” is a great album.

Track Listing:

1. What’s the Matter

2. Bluesy Blue Sea

3. Caught in a Trap

4. Long Gone

5. Driving Me Wild

6. Demon Driver

7. Living a Lie

8. You’re So Right

9. Living For the City

10. Demon Driver (reprise)

Gillan (from this album)

Gillan 

Ian Gillan- vocals, harmonica

Janick Gers- guitar

Colin Towns- keyboards

John McCoy- bass

Mick Underwood- drums

After “Magic,” the members of Gillan would go their separate ways and move onto other things. With the person whom the band is named after, that would be left to history. It’s good that unlike so many other bands whose final album isn’t up to much, Gillan at least goes out with a bang with theirs.

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

Great Rock Albums of 1981: Gillan- Double Trouble

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Double_Trouble_-_Gillan

Not content with putting out one great album in 1981, Ian Gillan and his band went out and released another one. “Double Trouble” was the follow up to the fantastic “Future Shock” album they released earlier in the year. What was different about “Double Trouble” was that it featured two LP’s, one was studio recordings and the second disc was all live recordings. It is also the first album with future Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers as Bernie Torme was fired from the band when he did not want to participate in the playback TV performance of “No Laughing At Heaven” on “Top of the Pops.”

When you visit two albums that were recorded by the same band in a short time frame, it is very difficult not to compare and contrast the two. Therefore, I have to admit that of the two, I would say that “Future Shock” edges out “Double Trouble.” That said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the latter album. It does go back to the more progressive sound of “Glory Road” but there’s nothing wrong with that and there is still some shining hard rock moments on it. “Sunbeam” comes to mind here. Furthermore, the live recordings of some of the past songs are excellently done and give me the regret of never having seen them live. “No Easy Way” is a good example of this. One thing I can say is that while there are many studio/live albums out there, “Double Trouble” is NOT one of those were the artist just thinks, “I’ll just throw in some live tracks here.” The live tracks are well preformed and the live LP is very well thought out. Full marks here for the entire album.

Tack Listing:

Studio LP

1. I’ll Rip Your Spine Out

2. Restless

3. Men of War

4. Sunbeam

5. Nightmare

6. Hadley Bop Bop

7. Life Goes On

8. Born to Kill

Live LP

1. No Laughing at Heaven

2. No Easy Way

3. Trouble

4. Mutually Assured Destruction

5. If You Believe Me

6. New Orleans

Gillan (from this album)

Gillan (from this album)

Ian Gillan- vocals

Janick Gers- guitars

Colin Towns- keyboards

John McCoy- bass

Mick Underwood- drums

Usually YouTube is very good at allowing me to listen to albums I never got the chance to back in the day, like all of the Gillan albums I’ve covered so far. This time, it was a bit of a struggle. YouTube wouldn’t play tracks, “I’ll Rip Your Spine Out” and “Nightmare” so I can only speculate they were as good as the rest of the songs here. Whatever the case, with two great albums in the same year, Gillan must have been riding high.

Next post: Journey- Escape

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1981: Gillan- Future Shock

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Future_Shock_-_Gillan

After listening to the 1981 “Future Shock” album by Gillan, I even more regret that I never listened to them back in the day. Furthermore, this album cements my belief that Gillan were the best British act not to make it big in America. Once again, I have to thank YouTube for providing with an opportunity to listen to a great album I would have otherwise missed.

Maybe it’s me but “Future Shock” seems noticeably heavier that its predecessor, “Glory Road.” I mean the first four tracks on this album really rock. While the keyboards are definitely there, they play a more subordinate role in those songs but still make them sound great along with the guitar playing of Bernie Torme. But it’s the track “Sacre Bleu” where Torme’s talents really shine through. Then there’s the cover of “New Orleans,” which is very nicely done. After “Bite the Bullet,” which again has a cool guitar solo compliments of Torme, the album slows down with the cool power ballad, “If I Sing Softly.” I’ve only heard this song twice but I’m already ranking up there with some of the other great power ballads.

At first listen, I thought the album went more progressive with the last two songs but after the second listen, I am now of the opinion that I thought wrong the first time around. While the piano work Colin Towns is brilliant on the closer “For Your Dreams,” it’s still a rocker. Of course with all the great musicianship from the members of this band, it doesn’t make anyone forget whose name is on the marquee. Through his magnificent vocals, Ian Gillan lets you know that he is the singer and further proves why he gets my vote as the greatest voice in rock and metal.

Track Listing:

1. Future Shock

2. Night Ride Out of Phoenix

3. (The Ballad Of) The Lucitania Express

4. No Laughing in Heaven

5. Sacre Bleu

6. New Orleans

7. Bite the Bullet

8. If I Sing Softly

9. Don’t Want the Truth

10. For Your Dreams

Gillan

Gillan

Ian Gillan- vocals

Bernie Torme- guitars

Colin Town- keyboards

John McCoy- bass

Mick Underwood- drums

So, we have another great album fronted by a great vocalist and a fine band behind him. It makes me wonder why I never heard any Gillan back in 1981. I can’t really blame it being in the service either. But as they say, better late than never. Just to whet your appetites a bit, further along in the tour of 1981, I will be revealing who I consider to be the best American artist not to have cracked Great Britain.

Next post: An Unexpected Surprise

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Rock Albums of 1980: Gillan- Glory Road

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-Glory-lp

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

Gillan

Gillan

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

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London