BERNIE TORMÉ Reissues (2006)
Ex Gillan guitarist Tormé has had a fair solo career too (throw in Ozzy, Atomic Rooster, Desperado and Mammoth too), much of which he's reissued on his RetroWrek label. These albums he's making available for download from I-Tunes, all with bonus tracks too. A shrew and smart move.
Bernie's debut solo album, Turn Out The Lights (RETRK101DD), highlights why Gillan wanted him in his band, and why he formed such an integral part of the classic Gillan line-up. Punk metal, explosive energy, touches of blues a la Hendrix.
The single 'America' is here, and the title track is as good as anything he did with Gillan, it nods at Tobacco Road, exquisite.
There's some melodic touches too. Genius throughout. ****½
Electric Gypsies (RETRK102DD) was a heavier album, more metal, riffs and solos are all here in abundance. Still punk metal, and in the case of '20th Century' a glam influence too. 'Lightning Strikes' is a tad more commercial, but great too. ****½
Step forward a few years and we get Wild Irish (RETRK103DD) , is still classic Bernie, if a little more mature. Production not brilliant but a great listen. Pyrotechnics and melody aplenty. ***½
Punk Or What (RETRK104DD) is probably the least essential Bernie offering here, but it's still well worth a listen if you're a fan. It's a collection of archive recordings, many either previously unreleased or alternate takes, and they date from '77 to '79. There's an element to pub rock on a couple of tracks, with a firecracker up the jacksie of course. Being in demo form both recording quality and production suffer but it's still a lot of fun. ***
A few of these are also re-promoted as CDs, so worth checking out.
For more info, go to www.bernietormie.com
Review by Joe Geesin