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Box set par excellence

Earlier this year I had the great pleasure in reviewing most of the Ian Gillan and Gillan re-mastered albums. All had personalised notes from Ian with an expansive write up from Valerie Potter. I am very please to say that the Singles box set has also been given the same lavish treatment from Edsel Records (through DemonMusicGroup).

We have a luxury box set containing 11 cd sized replicas of their original 7" sleeves, plus a DVD containing no less than seven promo videos from the vault. The promo videos ARE the icing on the cake in this box set as they have never been commercially released and have remained unseen since they were broadcast on a handful of occasions in the '80's manna from heaven indeed! Although some bugger will have them on YouTube by now, no doubt.

Basically if you are a fan like me and have already purchased the re-mastered albums then there is nothing new to see (or hear) here. For the collector then it really is an excellent addition to the album series. The singles are a great example of just how good Gillan was in the '80s, excellent melodies, tight riffs, and a punching rhythm section, they should have been much, much bigger (not in a John McCoy sense). Gillan for some reason liked to record cover versions and all are on show here, with excellent versions of Elvis' 'Trouble', Stevie Wonders ' Livin For The City' and Gary US Bonds' 'New Orleans'. Virgin realised that the uniqueness of Gillan was to put out tracks that would not appear elsewhere and released Mutually Assured destruction, a song in keeping with 'Future Shock's' sci-fi theme. After being I once huge fan, I didn't stick around to the end. My listening days finished with Double Trouble. With Magic I missed out on a real treat, one of the highlights for me is 'Long Gone' the last video Gillan ever did, plus its a close a blatant pilfering from a certain Mr Van Halen as the keyboard used on Jump is an absolute ringer for this intro.

The videos on the dvd are something to behold. Like other rock bands of this time they certainly new how to make naff promo videos. Five out of the seven are just music videos with no theme attached. The only ones which featured a storyboard are No Laughing In heaven and Living For The City. But they show the bands image, McCoy clad in overralls, Torme as a punk gypsy and Gillan in traditional denim waistcoat.

Songs are all excellent, the videos corny, especially NLIH, but the picture quality is reasonably good for vids now over 20 yrs old. Sound quality is reasonable, not re-mastered like the recent albums but now way detracts from this excellent box set

A cert of a choice for any Gillan fan, otherwise a great slice of what rock music was like in the good 'ol '80's

Well worth 15 of anyones money