Archive for Glory Road

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

 

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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