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Gillan - 'The Vinyl Collection 1979-1983' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/0b/73/2c/gillan-the-vinyl-collection-1979-1983-27-1523820630.jpg

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 15, 2018    
 
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This box-set will supply all your Gillan needs in fine audio fashion.

After leaving Deep Purple, vocalist Ian Gillan spent some years in the musical wilderness under the banner of The Ian Gillan Band, a hybrid of Jazz Fusion and Rock which was met with mixed reviews. By 1979, with the whole NWOBHM in full swing, Ian Gillan put together a new line-up, only keeping keyboard player Colin Towns who would go on to co-write with Ian Gillan on the majority of the material. Now, with so many bands name checking Deep Purple as an influence, it seemed the perfect time to re-emerge under the simple moniker of Gillan.

'Mr Universe' was released to impressive reviews and the younger Heavy Metal community that had missed DP's musical reign in the seventies welcomed Gillan with open arms. 'Vengeance', 'Fighting Man' and 'Mr Universe' set the template for future releases and new guitar player Bernie Torme put his Jimi Hendrix-inspired guitar playing to good use up until 'Future Shock' where upon he was replaced by future Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers until the band's final album 'Magic' in 1982.

All the vinyl records are housed in a hardboard case with the Gillan logo emblazoned across the front. Each release has been replicated, including the original inner sleeves that were where released at the time, and in the case of the classic 'Glory Road', you get the extra album 'For Gillan Fans Only' as well. If you have never heard this, then imagine a Gillan album inspired by Monty Python! That's not to say it is all musical comedy; 'Abbey Of Thelema', a song inspired by Aleister Crowley that pre-dates Ozzy Osbourne's attempt at the same subject, is one of Gillan's long lost gems.

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'Future Shock' has the lavish 12x12 booklet included, though sadly the track listing text on the back cover is somewhat blurred. The album included the hit single 'New Orleans' and the tongue-in-cheek lyrical masterpiece 'No Laughing In Heaven'.

'Double Trouble' looks quite grand and feels sturdier than the original flimsy gatefold cover. It contains a studio and live album (the first with Gers, the latter recorded at the Reading Festival 1981) and it may be one of the few truly live albums of its time.

'Magic' – an album I never cared for – was the beginning of the end for Gillan. A patchy affair that included a cover of the Stevie Wonder classic 'Living For The City' and a minor chart hit for the band in the shape of Pop Rocker 'Long Gone'. As nice as the gatefold is, it would have been by far more special if they had chosen the limited edition picture disc version originally released at the time.

All the discs are 180gm vinyl and I can attest to the sound quality being as good, if not better than some of the original releases. If you cannot track down some of the original, hard to find releases in any fit condition, then this box-set will supply all your Gillan needs in fine audio fashion.

Ray Paul

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