Archive for Mr Universe

Great Rock Albums of 1979: Gillian- Mr Universe

Posted in 1979, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2012 by 80smetalman

For me, after he left Deep Purple, Ian Gillian kind of dropped off my radar throughout the rest of the 1970’s. This is mainly owing to the fact that none of Gillian’s songs ever got played on that old AM clock radio of mine. Therefore, this is yet another album that I listened to after the fact. What I know now that I didn’t know back then was that Gillian continued to rock on with his own band for the rest of the decade and was very successful in the UK.

Listening to “Mr Universe,” I get the feeling there’s a similar sound to the Deep Purple reunion album “Perfect Strangers.” The sound is more keyboard oriented but there is nothing wrong with that on this album. However, I do like the more rockier tracks “Vengeance” and “Puget Sound” as they have more harder sound. Furthermore, the guitar work of Bernie Torme, someone I would eventually come across when I got to London in 1986, is more present on those tracks. The other tracks are in no ways weak and all together this is a fine album.

Track Listing:

1. Second Sight

2. Secret of the Dance

3. She Tears Me Down

4. Roller

5. Mr Universe

6. Vengeance

7. Puget Sound

8. Dead of the Night

9. Message in a Bottle

10. Fighting Man

Gillian

Ian Gillian- vocals, harmonica

Bernie Torme- guitar

Colin Towns- keyboards, flute

John McCoy- bass

Mick Underwood- drums

Ian Gillian has always been one of my favourite vocalists and I will forever be blown away when I heard him sing “A Child in Time” live. His vocals are no less formidable on “Mr Universe.” One thing that has been said of singers who surround themselves with good musicians is that they do so to compensate for their limited vocal ability. Yeah, that’s certainly true with Jedward and some say it about David Lee Roth. However, Ian Gillian is not the case and his vocals and band has me wondering why I never heard of them in the US back then.

Next post: Pat Benatar- In the Heat of the Night

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