Archive for Ian Gillan

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Loudness- Disillusion

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2018 by 80smetalman

No further proof is needed to support the fact that heavy metal had the world by the balls in 1984 than the album from Japanese metal greats Loudness, “Disillusion.” As far as I know, this was the first Loudness album to be sung in English. All previous albums had been sung in the band’s native tongue although that did not make them any less kick ass.

Thinking about the above statement, that leads to the one small problem with the album. Minoru Nihara’s vocals are sometimes difficult to hear. This is a shame because it is true he sings better English than what he speaks. I’ve heard interviews with him. What is a further shame is the fact that you can’t hear what a great voice he has. Some of you might remember that when I’ve posted about previous Loudness albums, I compared Minoru Nihara to the likes of Ronnie James Dio, Klaus Meine and Ian Gillan. He certainly belongs in the same league as those just mentioned.

While not being able to fully appreciate Nihara’s vocals on “Disillusion” is a little frustrating at times, it is only a small inconvenience because what does obscure the vocals is the brilliant guitar playing of Akira Takasaki. From the first note of the instrumental opener, he just shreds and riffs all over the album. The solos are superb and even his rhythm guitar parts are done amazingly well. He shines extremely well on the tracks “Butterfly” and his instrumental solo “Exploder.” However, my vote for the favourite track is still “Satisfaction Guaranteed” because Nihara’s vocals come through the clearest on it and he does a good job with them. Of course, Takasaki’s guitar playing guided by a good rhythm section help as well.

Track Listing:

  1. Anthem
  2. Crazy Doctor
  3. Esper
  4. Butterfly
  5. Revelation
  6. Exploder
  7. Dream Fantasy
  8. Milky Way
  9. Satisfaction Guaranteed
  10. Ares’ Lament

Loudness

Minoru Nihara- lead vocals

Akira Takasaki- guitar

Masayoshi Yamashita- bass, taurus pedals

Munetaka Higuchi- drums

“Disillusion” put Loudness on the metal map in the West and set the stage for the following album which would propel them to greatness. It also proved that culture, race, or national borders had nothing to do with enjoying great metal.

BTW, I will be purchasing my tickets for Sunday’s Download tonight.

Next post: Triumph- Thunder 7

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Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1984: Deep Purple- Perfect Strangers

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2018 by 80smetalman

Destiny brought them back together again. At least that was the big advertising plug for the “Perfect Strangers” album from the newly reformed Deep Purple. Back in the day, this album split opinion among many metalheads. Older ones like me, (I was 23 then), embraced this album immediately. However, there was some dissent from many teen metalheads at the time. Some even said that Deep Purple never should have reformed. To them, “Perfect Strangers” was a disappointment.

Let me add my theory to why teen metalheads might have been disappointed with the album. See, all these youngsters ever heard about in regards to Deep Purple was the classic “Smoke on the Water.” For many, this was their only experience with the legends. Therefore, they expected the entire album to be like that classic and when Deep Purple showed their more progressive rock side, which they do on the album, these youngsters were put off.

My experience with Deep Purple, although late, was full on. Of course, I knew of “Smoke on the Water” but I also enjoyed their more progressive songs like, “Wring That Neck” and there’s my favourite, “Woman From Tokyo” which incorporates both the prog and hard rock they were famous for. While none of the songs on “Perfect Strangers” quite match up to my fave, they do a rather good job of fusing their progressive and hard rock sounds. I think what these young people didn’t understand was that the band couldn’t help but add a little prog rock into their music when they had one of the best keyboard players of all time.

Deep Purple try to explain to their listeners that they had progressed from the days of “Smoke on the Water.” The closing track and my pick for hidden gem, “Hungry Daze,” states this clearly with the lyrics:

“We all came out to Montreax, but that’s another song.” 

The opening track, “Knocking At Your Back Door” pretty much shapes the entire album. You have some killer guitar work from Blackmore, great keyboard wizardry from Lord, Ian Gillan’s vocals were as sharp as they had been ten years earlier and the bombarding rhythm section of Glover and Paice holding all together. It’ s a great song to begin the album with. Things just go on from there with the slightly harder “Under the Gun,” then the more progressive “Nobody’s Home”  which shows off Jon Lord’s best keyboard work and the more bluesy sounding “Mean Streak.

One of my biggest regrets after writing “Rock and Roll Children” comes with the title track. When I saw Deep Purple live in early 1985, there was a phenomenal light show accompanying the song. I loved how the lasers shot across the length of the Philadelphia Spectrum making different patters with the notes. I don’t think I did it justice in the story. It was the first single and an okay song. “A Gypsy’s Kiss” remind me of the old DP classic, “Burn” with Ritchie belting out a blinder of a solo as well as the trade-off with Jon Lord where guitar and keyboards go back and forth. Okay, there are two hidden gems on this album.

In regards to the other gem, I don’t think “Hungry Daze” should have been the closer on the album. It’s a good track but everything about the penultimate track, “Wasted Sunsets” screams closer! Just listen to the opening guitar solo and the way Gillan’s voice just takes over before relinquishing again to another blazing Blackmore solo. The slower blues beat with it bears even more witness that it should be a closer. Hell, even the title suggests it! Other than this track misappropriation, “Perfect Strangers” was a good album for them to come back on.

Track Listing:

  1. Knocking At Your Back Door
  2. Under the Gun
  3. Nobody’s Home
  4. Mean Streak
  5. Perfect Strangers
  6. A Gypsy’s Kiss
  7. Wasted Sunsets
  8. Hungry Daze

Deep Purple

Ian Gillan- lead vocals

Ritchie Blackmore- guitar

Roger Glover- bass

Jon Lord- keyboards

Ian Paice- drums

Was 1984 the right time for Deep Purple to return? I’ve always thought so. I admit, “Perfect Strangers” isn’t exactly “Machine Head” but it’s a good album. The musicianship of the five members is outstanding, proving that there’s more to them than “Smoke on the Water.”

Next post: Venom- At War With Satan

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://crreadac.cf/current/ebooks-free-download-rock-and-roll-children-fb2-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

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

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Black Sabbath- Born Again

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

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The first concert I saw at the Philadelphia Spectrum after getting out of the marines was Black Sabbath. Having heard the album they were promoting on the tour, “Born Again,” I already knew that former Deep Purple lead singer, Ian Gillan, would be fronting them. However, I still thought it was a bit strange that when they came out for the second encore, they played “Smoke on the Water.” Actually, that strange feeling lasted only for a few seconds because the song worked as did Gillan singing some of the more classic Sabbath songs. I thought he did a particularly good job on “Heaven and Hell.”

This begs the question, if Ian Gillan sounded so good for Sabbath, then why did so many of the so-called rock critics slate it and why isn’t this album considered one of their best? Let me address the second point. When I hear “Born Again,” I don’t immediately start pining for the more classic Sabbath albums like “Paranoid” or “Heaven and Hell” but I won’t put it on the same level as those more memorable albums either. It’s a great album but not a classic. As for the critics, well, what do they know?

Ian Gillan’s Deep Purple influence comes out immediately on the album. “Trashed” could have been a Purple song. At least until Tony Iommi goes into one of his trademark guitar solos in the middle of the song. Plus, I can say the same thing for “Disturbing the Priest,” although the instrumental track in between those two, “Stonehenge” tries too hard to copy “E5150.” My hypothesis here is that Tony and Geezer let Ian sing according to his style and bent their guitar and bass playing styles around the vocals. Personally, I think they do a damned fine job of it as well. This really shows through on the track “Zero the Hero.” Unlike some critic, I don’t find the song embarrassing, I quite like it, especially how Tony Iommi nails the guitar solo on it.

My favourite track on the album has to be “Digital Bitch.” I love the way, they take Gillan’s shrieks and Tony’s guitar and fuse them together. The title track is a more slower bluesier number. Black Sabbath have been doing these for years except in the past, they did it with a much heavier guitar. They don’t do that so much with this one except for the chorus. At the time, it was believed that this would be the closest Black Sabbath would come to a power ballad. Ian Gillan’s voice suits the song well but then he is definitely if not the best, one of the best vocalists in rock or metal.

Now I haven’t forgotten to mention the interesting album cover. After all, I had it on a t-shirt. I always thought it very amusing even if the American religious community didn’t. Now, I wish I still had that shirt.

Track Listing:

  1. Trashed
  2. Stonehenge
  3. Disturbing the Priest
  4. The Dark
  5. Zero the Hero
  6. Digital Bitch
  7. Born Again
  8. Hot Line
  9. Keep it Warm
Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath

Tony Iommi- guitar

Ian Gillan- vocals

Geezer Butler- bass

Bill Ward- drums

Note: Bill Ward would not tour with the band for this album. Replacing him for the tour was former ELO drummer Bev Bevan

I wonder what would have happened if Ian Gillan had stuck around with Sabbath for a few more albums. Would musical history as we know it been changed? Hard to say. As we know, Ian would leave Sabbath after this and rejoin his mates Ritchie Blackmore and Roger Glover from Rainbow and reform that band they were in together during the early 1970s. Ian Gillan might have only recorded one album with Black Sabbath but it is definitely one to remember.

Next post: Because they supported Black Sabbath when I saw them, I thought it right that it be Quiet Riot- Mental Health

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 Metal Albums of 1982: Loudness- Devil Soldier

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2015 by 80smetalman

LOUDNESS_DS

Funny thing about Loudness, I spent the last three months of 1982 and the first three of 1983 in their home country, Japan, and never heard of them. Thinking back to my time there, I do not remember hearing any home grown music of any kind. The juke boxes in any bar I went to or even in the night clubs, all they seemed to play was Western music. My conclusion is that the Japanese are more receptive to Western music and for an act to make it there, it has to first make it outside of Japan. Loudness would certainly do that three years later but at this time, they would remain beyond my attention.

One thing that Loudness certainly prove with their second album, “Devil Soldier,” is that metal can rule no matter what language it’s sung in. As long as there is a great band behind a brilliant voice, great metal can break down barriers. Some of the songs are sung in the native tongue with some parts sung in English. Take “Rock the Nation,” I tried to follow along with the lyrics written down in English but they didn’t sound like English to me, except for parts of the chorus. Nevertheless, lead singer Minoru Nihara sings it very well and he is yet another singer whose talents haven’t been given the respect it deserves. I’m going to put my hand in the piranha’s tank and put him in the same class as Dio, Meine and Gillan. His vocals just come through on each and every song.

Talking about talent, guitarist Akira Takasaki has gotten some well deserved respect. Some have said that he copies other great guitarists but I don’t hear it. The closest he or the band in general come to copying is on the title track where the beginning of the song reminds me of Heart’s classic “Barracuda.” Thinking about it, I did see that song on at least one juke box when I was in Japan. Back to the subject, Akira lays down some good riffs on many songs, most notably, “Hard Workin'” and “Angel Dust.” When he’s not shredding, he does very well in accompaniment with the rhythm section. So, what do I think? Simply, this album kicks ass.

Track Listing:

  1. Lonely Player
  2. Angel Dust
  3. After Illusion
  4. Girl
  5. Hard Workin’
  6. Loving Maid
  7. Rock the Nation
  8. Devil Soldier
Loudness

Loudness

Minoru Nihara- vocals

Akira Takasaki- guitar

Masayoshi Yamashita- bass

Munetaka Higuchi- drums

In 1985, many in the West would say that thunder would come from the east and it did. However, in 1982, Loudness were still gearing up for their conquest with a great album in “Devil Soldier.” It’s proof to me that heavy metal could unite the world.

Next post: Whitesnake- Saints and Sinners

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishingroup.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 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