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Gillan's Inn: Gillan's Inn

Ian Gillan is now celebrating forty years in the rock business and to mark that occasion, Gillan's Inn finds the Deep Purple singer revisiting some old Purple, Gillan and Episode Six classics with an army of guest artists. Aside from current and past members of Deep Purple (no, not Ritchie Blackmore), Gillan enlists the talents of Joe Elliot of Def Leppard, Ronnie James Dio, Jeff Healey, Joe Satriani, Tony Iommi, Johnny Rzesnik, Uli Jon Roth and Janick Gers. Despite the fact that the album was recorded in different parts of the world, Gillan's Inn very much feels like a live jam on a night out at the pub. This is not a gimmicky all-star project!

Ian Gillan's vocals are in great shape and those trademark screams are all over this record. Listening to Gillan's Inn, it's remarkable to think the man is sixty years old. It all begins with "Unchain Your Brain", originally the opening track from Gillan's classic Glory Road album. Joe Satriani contributes a monster guitar solo; this track is arguably heavier than anything Ian Gillan has recorded with Deep Purple in a decade. "Hang Me Out to Dry" absolutely smokes the version found on Toolbox, again featuring Satriani on blistering guitar leads. Tony Iommi guests on an updated "Trashed" and with Roger Glover on bass and Ian Paice on drums, we have what could only be termed Deep Sabbath!!

As for the Purple songs, Gillan chooses "Speed King", "Demon's Eye" and of course "Smoke on the Water". But Gillan's Inn also contains some nice surprises and my favorite has to be the gorgeous take of "When a Blind Man Cries", one of the most underrated Purple songs. Album closer "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight", the Bob Dylan classic, is given a country polka treatment (!) with prominent accordion courtesy of Ron Davis. The DVD side has a special bonus track of "Can I Get a Witness".

Gillan's Inn has been issued in the controversial Dual Disc format, with standard CD on one side, DVD features on the other. What's the controversy over? Well, these Dual Discs don't work on all players and there is no way of knowing whether or not any given CD player will read the information until you actually purchase the disc. Anyway, the CD side is mastered surprisingly very low; for better sonic results, flip it over and insert the disc into your DVD player. The DVD menu lets you choose between a stereo and 5.1 surround mix. The surround mix is very good and showcases Nick Blagona's intentional basement garage rock production values to great effect. There are some nice bonus features as well: an audio commentary track from Ian Gillan, a video featurette on the making of the album, and some bootleg video footage of Deep Purple with Joe Satriani in 1994. You can also choose your own mix of "Smoke on the Water" and view photos of the album session while listening to the audio portions. But wait, there's more! Discographies, hand written lyrics and a nice essay as well as a few more goodies await you and your remote control.

While casual Deep Purple fans may not find much of interest in Gillan's Inn due to a lack of new songs, those of us who grew up with Gillan's music will love this release. It's a lot of fun and it's obvious that everyone involved had a great time as well. Cheers Ian!! Here's hoping for forty more years in the business.

CD Song Selection

  1. Unchain Your Brain
  2. Bluesy Blue Sea
  3. Day Late and a Dollar Short
  4. Hang Me Out to Dry
  5. Men of War
  6. When a Blind Man Cries
  7. Sugar Plum
  8. Trashed
  9. No Worries
  10. Demon's Eye (DVD side only!)
  11. Smoke on the Water
  12. No Laughing in Heaven
  13. Speed King
  14. Living On Borrowed Time
  15. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight

Added: April 29th 2006
Reviewer: Steve Pettengill
Related Link: Ian Gillan Official Web Page
Hits: 3449
Language: english

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