Revisited, revitalised and still rocking
In a quick turnaround following Deep Purple's huge return to form on last year's Rapture Of The Deep, vocalist Ian Gillan has once again ventured out on his own, with Gillan's Inn celebrating his fortieth anniversary as an artist. But rather than simply put together a compilation that covers his varied solo output (As well as included a few Deep Purple numbers) over the years, Gillan has instead decided to give some of his best known songs a much needed update (In re-recorded form with the core band consisting of guitarist Michael Lee Jackson, bassist Rodney Appleby and drummers Michael Lee, Howard Wilson and Ian Paice), with a little help coming from some very well known friends.
Kicking of the fourteen track collection is the manic Unchain Your Brain (From 1980's Glory Road), featuring some on the spot improvisation from guitar legend Joe Satriani (Who was also at one time a temporary replacement for Ritchie Blackmore in Deep Purple, prior to the recruitment of Steve Morse), while his performances on the rocking Hang Me Out To Dry (From 1991's Toolbox) and Deep Purple's Speed King (1970's In Rock) are absolutely scorching. Former Gillan/Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers and Michael Lee Jackson trade off on the heavy Bluesy Blue Sea (From 1982's Magic), while Steve Morse and ex-Scorpions guitarist Uli Jon Roth duel it out on sweeping Loving On Borrowed Time (From 1990's Naked Thunder).
Elsewhere, Gillan shows he still has that remarkable ageless voice on Men Of War (From 1981's Double Trouble, and featuring Morse), the hilarious No Laughing In Heaven (From 1981's Future Shock, and featuring mystery guitarist 'Fanny Craddock', bassist Roger Glover and drummer Paice), Sugar Plum and Day Late And A Dollar Short (Both from 1998's Dreamcatcher, with the latter featuring Roth and Ronnie James Dio on backing vocals), while Jeff Healy shows his own sense of humour with his stellar performance on the appropriately titled When A Blind Man Cries. Black Sabbath's Trashed (Performed by Black Purple with Tony Iommi, Glover and Paice) and Deep Purple's 'Smoke On The Water' (Featuring Morse) unsurprisingly enough don't really make any great significant strides away from the originals (But fun none the less), while Def Leppard's Joe Elliott can be clearly heard harmonising on the Bob Dylan standard I'll Be Your Baby Tonight. No Worries (The only track without any guest appearances) sees Gillan add a little blues to the album (Enhanced with his own harmonica performance), which in turn adds a slightly different touch, as well as providing fans with the first new Gillan solo track in eight long years.
Revisiting past glories is more often than not an idea that show have remained just that, but somehow Gillan has managed to make his old hits on Gillan's Inn sound fresh, rocking, and most important of all, a whole lot of fun!
(Immergent Records/Thompson Music/E.M.I. Music Australia)