Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Ian Gillan The Glory Years|
Actors: Colin Towns, Ian Gillan, Bernie Torme, Mick Underwood, John McCoy
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Gillan were a hugely successful hard rock band in the early eighties fronted by legendary Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan. Their career ran from 1979 to 1982 during which time they released 5 albums all of which charted To... more »
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The Glory Years by Ian Gillan
George | Georgia, Tbilisi | 04/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Gillan have sadly proved to be the least enduring of the big three Deep Purple split groups who rubbed shoulders in the UK top twenty album and singles charts of the late seventies and early eighties. The band's easy accessability at the time made bracketed them less as rock gods and more as street level nonconformists - which is exactly what they were aiming at. Their legacy was a landslide of excellent, imaginative recordings, and a host of appearances on UK TV shows - where they were always ready to ham it up and provide top entertainment. 'The Glory Years' covers the Glory Road / Future Shock era fairly conclusively, providing a time capsule of music on TV in 1980-81 - Top Of The Pops, Rock Goes To College, warts, haircuts and all.
The DVD lasts for only one hour., but due to the hyperactive energy piled into every song it easily feels twice as long, in the nicest possible way . The main meat is a 40 minute live performance from BBC2's 'Rock Goes To College' show, where the (mainly punk and new-wave) acts played sets at university venues, and usually took the opportuntity to offload some inverted snobbery bile on the poor sods in the audience for daring to wish for further education. Such was the post punk era. Even Ian fits in a small aside about getting away from the 'hoi-polloi' . The show presents what is the only actual concert footage of that small era to have surfaced, so it's a relief to find that it captures the band in action so well. The picture quality is a bit soft, and the sound bassy, but that's TV recorded concerts from the period for you. As are the cross-fades, used with such abandon as on the 1980-81 edit of the California Jam. One thing thankfully missing is audience shots, as the cameras were too busy capturing the band whipping themselves up into a frenzy without being concerned about anyone else.
Once submerged in the occasion (which leaps out and grabs you instantly with the fabulous 'Unchain Your Brain') it is hard to tear yourself away. Torme looks like a punk Hendrix who's just burgled Adam Ant's dressing room, and John McCoy is utterly individual with his symmetrical half a hair cut . Not quite Bernie Marsden and Neil Murray! Despite their unique attire, the music is tackled with an almost shockingly grim faced ferocity, completely unlike the smiling, laughing Deep Purple which Ian fronts today. As a result it makes it impossible not to take them seriously. There is certainly no joking around Torme's ferocious, Hendrixed guitar work in a superb 'Mr Universe'. Was he irreplaceable when he left the band? Yes, I reckon.
'No Easy Way' features a lively if bludgeoning guitar / keyboard trade which seems incongruous given the nature of the beast, as opposed to Rainbow 1977 where such moments where the pillars of the show. Perhaps the jamming or the drum solo should have been left behind with the jazz rock of the IGB. However, it all does entertain, which is what matters. 'Trouble' is ramshackle in the extreme, but great to watch, Gillan where ideally suited for visuals and it is a shame that they've had to wait so long (too long I'd say) to make it onto DVD.
'Mutually Assured Destruction' and 'Vengeance' follow, while 'New Orleans' was a preview of the band's new single, and brings the show to a suitably manic conclusion, with dry ice, and some very serious instrument trashing.
The bonus cuts begin tamely with 'Vengeance' on 'Pop Rock', German TV, in January 1980. The sleeve claims it's live ('live' my arse), but though badly mimed the band really do still mean it. The promo film for 'Sleeping On The Job' is already on the recent singles box set, so its inclusion is pointless (where is the promo for 'Mr.Universe' that was shot around the same time?). And on to 'Top Of The Pops'.... funny how lame it looks today. Crappy sets, and a half dead audience wandering awkwardly around. It couldn't look less exciting if it tried. Which brings me to another point - has this compilation arrived over ten years too late? Nostalgia, and the silliness of early 80s TV does, I feel, now detract from the band and their music, especially on the mimed segments.
From October 1980 we have DLT (The Hairy Cornflake in person) introducing 'Trouble'. This was Gillan's first appearance on the show, a dry run for following larger than life return visits, where the band went all out to provide the visual energy to cover for the lack of life off-stage. 'Mutually Assured Destruction' appears to have a click on the soundtrack which wasn't on the original broadcast, but still comes across extremely well. By 'New Orleans' the theatrical Gillan band remembered best by many who remember them was fully formed, performing amid a sea of flash bombs, with Ian as a tongue out, puppet version of himself, Torme with Mad Max eye-patch and lightning bolt painted on his cheek, and McCoy festooned with bullet cross-belts. 'No Laughing In Heaven' brings the disc to a close, with Torme having just jumped ship, and being temporarily covered by McCoy using a double-neck guitar. And that was the end of that particular era. Next up came Blackmore puppet Janick Gers, more singles and even more bizarre TV appearances. Let's hope for a Vol.2. More of the same would be great, especially as none of it is the same as anything else, before or since."
FINALLY!! A Gillan DVD really worth having!!
JP | Macon, GA | 12/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Being a long-time Deep Purple fan, I followed the various members through their various post DP projects and was also fortunate to see most of them live. But I never got to see Gillan (who happens to be my all time favorite singer) solo, mainly because he never came to the South, at least at a time and place that I could get to. Which is a real shame because the Bernie Torme' line-up of Gillan is right up there with the Dio era Rainbow as my favorite post-Purple project. So it's too bad I never got to see Colin Towns, Bernie Torme', John McCoy and Mick Underwood!!
I was quite excited when the Live in Edinburgh 1980 DVD came out in 2006 but it was really just because I was finally able to see video of my favorite Gillan line-up. After the newness wore off I was really somewhat disappointed. After all it was only 5 songs and the final track, No Easy Way, was ruined by having the credits start 2/3 of the way through (I HATE that) and the song cut off early, it didn't even finish!! There were 3 more so called "archive footage" tracks, but they were horrible, not even worthy of being called bootlegs!!
So I was quite excited when I saw that this was to be released, especially after reading what all was on it and George's review (surprised his is still the only review on here.....we gotta get the word out about this DVD!!) And, unlike Live in 1980 - THIS DVD DELIVERS!! An 8 song mini-concert including Mutually Assured Destruction, No Easy Way (all of it), On The Rocks, and the superb Mr. Universe, one of my favorite Gillan songs, from ANY line-up! And, being from a professionally filmed concert, the video and sound is excellent, with the sound available in DTS or Dolby 5.1!!
There are also 6 bonus videos from European TV (German and BBC) including two more of my favorites: Sleeping on the Job and the always fun No Laughing in Heaven. And another Mutually Assured Destruction, this one from Top of the Pops. And a funny fact is, although it says "Live on the BBC", No laughing in Heaven is definitely lip-synching (say it ain't so Gillan!). Torme' had left the band and they obviously had to play the show before they could find a replacement so at least McCoy strapped on a double neck 6-string guitar/bass. And to try and at least make the "fake" look good he plays the bass during the verses and the guitar during the chorus and tries to fake Torme's solo best he can! BUT......in a "lip-synching sucks" protest, the instrument clearly ISN'T PLUGGED IN!!! And it does sound suspiciously like the mix from the 45 single and I DEFINITELY hear both bass and guitar! But that's a small gripe that in no way lessens my enjoyment of watching them perform a song I have heard hundreds of times over the past 25 years. And it's pretty funny too if you think about it.
And, speaking of McCoy - during the live concert - at first I thought "never seen him with hair", then the camera showed the other side and.....he'd shaved HALF his head!! Crazy!
In fact, about the only draw back is that both versions of Mutually Assured Destruction are the single version, neither one is the live extended version featured on the album Double Trouble, which is one of Torme's better solos. But, then again, that's the only place that has that version of M.A.D. (that I know of) so you'd only know it if you had the Double Trouble album. At least the concert version on this DVD gives him an extra 20-30 seconds to jam at the end.
Long winded bottom line - ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL for any fan of Gillan or Deep Purple. So what are you waiting for?!?!?!
The good ole days
Z. L. agduyeng | farmington,MN | 09/10/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"wat else do you want? it is as close as watching it live. bernie torme the stratmaster on guitar, gillan the master on vocals and a solid bass, keyboards and drum back up. they are not bad alone on their own albums, but, together you can play it out loud today and kick ass. buy it you will like it"