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IAN GILLAN The Definive Spitfire Collection Store For Music (2009)


Oh Dear.

One of hard rock's greatest ever vocalists, and a poorly annotated compilation of his lesser known work that may as well have 'cash in' stamped on it.

From the jazz fusion of the Ian Gillan Band, to the solo albums Naked Thunder and Toolbox, and a set with fellow Purple bassist Roger Glover, there is some good material here. Really, but none of it stands up to the early 80s Gillan albums.

The album opens with the jazzy 'Money Lender', 'Scarabus' and 'Over The Hill', where the funky jazz rock guitar of Ray Fenwick led the way. There were a couple of good albums back in the late 70s, but hardly classic.

'Clouds And Rain' (Gillan/Glover) is more whimsical, a project probably more fun to record than to listen to. Then it's back to IGB for their stand out track 'Twin Exhausted' (this really is worth checking out, one of the project's rockers).

Then it's 'Gut Reaction', a solo track that saw Gillan team up with former Export guitarist Steve Morris. Do you get the feeling that this is jumping around already?

This is a good track though, a period of Gillan's work that should not be overlooked.

More solo and IGB tracks follow, sadly the booklet (two-page) doesn't actually say where or when they are from, and the sleevenotes run to three very short paragraphs.

A highlight is the cover of 'Trying To Get To You', presumably from 'Cherkazoo And Other Stories', but it is not a patch on the 'For Gillan Fans Only' version.

Great vocalist, some great and not so great music, but hardly definitive.

**** (music) *½ (packaging)

Review by Joe Geesin

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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