After leaving Deep Purple in 1973, Ian Gillan went underground with a series of solo projects. The second incarnation of his efforts are captured in this live recording called LIVE IN TOKYO 1978 or (the night of the broken strings) produced by bassist John McCoy for Angel Air Records. GILLAN marked a return to the earthy roots of rock and roll. Tiring of a "jazz-fusion" concept, Ian and keyboard player Colin Towns pulled anchor and set sail for more exhilarating waters, inlisting McCoy, Steve Byrd on guitar and Pete Barnacle on drums.
Riding a wave of success in Japan throughout his career, it is easy to listen to why Ian chose to reinvent himself in Tokyo. Twelve tracks are covered here, with ten originals (mostly co-written by Towns) and two Purple classics ("Smoke on the Water" and Child in Time"). The result is an impressive arsenal of rock firepower, highlighting the individual talents of each member in the band. From the wielding of Steve Byrd's scorching guitar licks, most notably and impressively on "Back in the Game" and "Tokyo Flight", to John McCoy's thunderous bass tremors felt on "So Low" and "Dead of the Night", to name a few. Steadied by Pete Barnicals secure foundation behind the kit, Town's virtuoso talent is allowed to roam free throughout this rousing set, while Ian's remarks to the crowd are candid, his wailing is unbridled and in vintage form. "I'm your Man" and "Fighting Man" are great songs. This set really cooks! PLAY IT LOUD!