Classic hard rock & metal fans rejoiced in 2011 when Ian Gillan and Tony Iommi reunited to recorded the charity singles "Out of My Mind" and "Holy Water" along with the late Jon Lord (Deep Purple/Whitesnake) Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Jason Newsted (Metallica/Flotsam & Jetsam/Voivod) and Linde Lindstom (HIM). It was for a good cause, and for many a welcome reunion for the two legends who shocked the world by working together for Black Sabbath's 1983 album Born Again. While Gillan and Iommi originally released the 2 CD single for WhoCares last year, they wanted to put out a deluxe edition that not only featured the two new songs, but also include some classics and rarities for the hardcore fans who have followed both artists throughout their career in bands such as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Gillan, Iommi/Hughes, and more.
Of course, we've already covered the WhoCares tracks in detail when the CD single was released, but needless to say both are great representations of where both Gillan and Iommi are today. "Out of My Mind" is like the perfect marriage of Sabbath & Purple, with Gillan's confident vocals soaring over Iommi's dark, heavy riffs and Lord's classic Hammond organ (reminding us once again how much he will be missed after passing away earlier this year), and "Holy Water" is a great classic sounding slice of hard rock and heavy metal featuring two legends who still can bring it.
Included here is the ominous "Zero the Hero" from Born Again, one of the most popular tracks from that album, a crushing and evil song that could have only come from the union of Black Sabbath and Ian Gillan. "Trashed", also from Born Again originally, was redone by Gillan for his Gillan's Inn solo album earlier this decade, and features not only Iommi by also Purple's Ian Paice and Roger Glover. It's just as raucous and rampaging as the original, with Ian still screaming up a storm over Tony's heavy riffs and blazing solos. "Get Away" was a song that Gillan recorded with Greek vocalist MihalisRakintzis in 1993, and is actually a pretty catchy pop/rock tune with Ian in fine form, and "Slip Away" is a leftover from the Fused sessions between Iommi and Glenn Hughes. If you are a fan of that album, this is a must hear, and I'm surprised they left this heavy, driving track off that one, as Iommi's guitar is blasting out those doomy power chords alongside Glenn's powerful vocal delivery. From Ian's early '90s solo album Toolbox (a vastly underrated release in my opinion) comes the excellent rocker "Don't Hold Me Back", and the funky "She Thinks It's a Crime" is a rare single B side from his One Eye to Morocco period. Gillan put together the band Repo Depo just prior to rejoining Purple for The Battle Rages On in the early '90s, and "Easy Come, Easy Go" is a song from one of their recording sessions, a solid rocker and previously unreleased. The late Ronnie James Dio sings "Smoke on the Water" alongside Ian and the rest of Deep Purple and the London Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in 1999; you almost had to have this classic cut here, and it's appropriate to include a version with the late Dio guesting on vocals.
Over on CD2, you get the excellent (and completely underrated) "Anno Mundi" from Black Sabbath's Tyr, featuring vocalist Tony Martin and drum legend Cozy Powell, as well as another strong unused track from the Iommi/Hughes Fused sessions, "Let It Down Easy". "Hole In My Vest" was originally recorded during the Naked Thunder sessions by Gillan and his solo band, but only released as a B side to the single "Nothing But the Best". Again, another fine song that is finally seeing the light of day to the masses here. The Little Richard song "Can't Believe You Wanna Leave Me" is a lot of fun, recorded by Gillan & Roger Glover for their Accidentally on Purpose album, and the Marvin Gaye classic "Can I Get a Witness" is given royal treatment from Ian and his early band The Javelins when they reunited a bunch of years back. One of the staples of the Gillan band in the early '80s was the song "No Laughing in Heaven", and it's included here in a version that was recorded by Ian disguised as Garth Rockett. It's a rocking, heavy song no matter what way you look at it! Purple's classic "When a Blind Man Cries" appears in an unplugged performance featuring Ian and his solo band guitarist Steve Morris, and the 2 CD set closes with the instrumental jam "Dick Pimple", featuring the Deep Purple line-up of Gillan, Morse, Lord, Paice, and Glover.
Lots of rarities, a bunch of familiar favorites, and of course the new tunes make WhoCares a must own for Tony Iommi & Ian Gillan fans, and remember, it's for a good cause. It's that simple folks.
1. WhoCares "Out Of My Mind" Featuring Jon Lord, Jason Newsted and Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden)
2. Black Sababth "Zero The Hero"
3. Ian Gillan feat. Iommi, Ian Paice and Roger Glover "Trashed"
4. M. Rakintzis feat. Ian Gillan "Get Away" (first release on a Gillan album, only released in Greece before)
5. Tony Iommi feat G.Hughes "Slip Away" (first time on CD)
6. Gillan "Dont Hold Me Back"
7. Ian Gillan "She Thinks Its A Crime" (vinyl single B-side, first time on CD)
8. Repo Depo feat. Ian Gillan "Easy Come, Easy Go" (previously unreleased)
9. Deep Purple feat.Ronnie James Dio "Smoke On The Water" (live with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)
1. WhoCares "Holy Water" (first time on an album)
2. Black Sabbath "Anno Mundi"
3. Tony Iommi feat. G. Hughes "Let it Down Easy" (first time on CD)
4. Ian Gillan "Hole in My Vest" (7" vinyl single B-side, first time on CD)
5. Gillan & Glover feat. Dr.John "Cant Believe You Wanna Leave me"
6. Ian Gillan & The Javelins "Can I Get A Witness"
7. Garth Rockett & The Moonshiners aka IG "No Laughing in Heaven" (rare track)
8. Ian Gillan "When A Blind Man Cries" (Live at Absolute Radio, previously unreleased)
9. Deep Purple "Dick Pimple" (previously unreleased studio recording)