Gillan re-issue series
For those new to Gillan, and yes there may still be some of you out there, particularly as Deep Purple have just finished another UK tour (which feels like 6 tours in 4 years!) and some may be looking to take a listen of his back catalogue.
There was a time in British rock history that Ian Gillan was not in Deep Purple. On leaving the Purps in '73 and rejoining in 1985 he set about a solo career as either Ian Gillan Band / Gillan / the delightfully named Garth Rockett & The Moonshiners. With Double Trouble we join six albums in. This is another CD from the Edsel reissue series of Gillan albums. I seem to have skipped an album (Future Shock), and jumped in my trusty DeLorean to 1981 with Double Trouble. If you are like me, and fit into the 39+ age bracket of which I am a member, then you probably can remember some if not many of your album purchases, I mean good 'ol vinyl. Like Glory Road, I had a similar buying experience. 'DT' was the second album release in 1981, following 'Future Shock'. As a randy adolescent I was attracted by the two lovely 'hooker-esque' young ladies on the front cover. It was a toss-up (no pun intended honest!) between this and 'FS'. Something in the trouser department won and I bought 'Double Trouble'. Knob 1, Chesy 0.
Out had gone the wonderful Bernie Torme and in came (you either love him or hate him, ask any Maiden fan) Janick Gers from White Spirit. I thought he was Swedish for years, turns out he's from Hartlepool!
This was the Golden period for Gillan, even though the album, nowhere near as good as the previous two, still managed to spawn two Top 10 singles in 'Restless' and 'Nightmare'. I probably haven't heard it in more than 15 years, and still sounds fresh. The re-issue is true to form and is reproduced as a 2cd set with added bonus tracks. The first is a collection of 8 studio tracks, the 2nd cd is effectively a 'greatest hits' live set recorded at the Reading festival. 'Spanish Guitar' on the studio cd, and five additional songs from the live set. This is what reissues are all about
Gers fitted into Torme's place seamlessly, with his widdly trickery trademark guitarwork suiting Gillan perfectly. An ideal replacement! DT opens with a massive statement of intent, a thunderous flurry of drums leading into the primeval 'I'll Rip Your Spine Out', followed by the melodic first hit single 'Restless'. 'Men of War' is your typical Gillan 'screamer' of a song, concluding with the key changing 'Life Goes On'. The 3 part epic 'Born To Kill' featuring 'The Franks' aka roadcrew on backing vocals finishes things off.
The live CD recorded at Reading is the real treat here. Recording isn't perfect, proving its credentials, it only adds authenticity to the experience. The CD is almost a 'Best of' compilation, even more so now with the added five bonus tracks and is an ideal reminder of what it was like to witness Gillan in full flight.
Booklet again includes an intro by Gillan himself together with lyrics and an expansive notes section which fans will enjoy. Edsel Records have given these re-issues the love and care they deserve. Truly an essential listen of one of the best exponents of rock in the 80's