AN EDITOR REMEMBERS...    Issue 40  November / December 1990

And the DPAS gets blacklisted as we roll with the news of Joe Lynn Turner and fail to curb the sarcasm meter sufficiently. Which is fair enough; we don't put in all this work just to try and get free passes, but rather because we share the passion of so many fans for the band. And this move just pushed the envelope too far for some.

I actually wasn't as hard on Slaves & Masters as a lot of people like to pretend, and certainly there is nothing there which hasn't been said by members of the band since. What probably did for me was a prominent second page spoof rejection letter, as if getting the tape from an unsigned band.

If the band had grumbled about the DPAS before, after this we were now no persona non grata in some quarters - and remain so to this day. My main regret looking back is that it could have been wittier. And perhaps stuck at the back of the magazine! Some members liked the LP, many more had fun coming up with alternate titles (Grave And Disasterous, Slaves To The Master etc.), but at the end of the day a lot of us felt deceived when the central tenet of the reunion had been the Mk 2 line-up, and here we were being dished up a new line-up of Rainbow, no matter how it was dressed up.

As for the ex-singer, Gillan was off and running with Naked Thunder with loads of live reviews, mostly very favourable too - which was good, as the album had seemed less adventurous than we'd expected. On the archive front, there was good news with the release at last of some classic Dio era live Rainbow from Connoisseur which we were heavily involved in getting out. Despite a lack of time for the mix, the end result is still the most powerful statement that this band has ever made on disc.

All this and on textured paper to boot! Looking through, I'm reminded of us being visited by Magnus Danielsson - who got across for one of the Gillan shows with his Swedish mates, and turned up in next doors garden at half three in the morning, scaring our two female neighbours stiff. "We though the vikings had landed" they told us afterwards. I'm still not sure how we managed to fit them all in the house to this day. It was nice to see Magnus again earlier this year and see him still as passionate about the group as we are. Even if we did reminisce in the slightly more upmarket surroundings of Chatsworth House farm shop restaurant. But that's really what this fan club has been all about for me.

ALBUM REVIEW : Slaves & Masters
SINGLE REVIEW : King Of Dreams
ALBUM REVIEW : Naked Thunder
NEWS : No Good Luck Single
NEWS : Naked Thunder Tour: USSR, Brazil & Europe
LIVE REVIEW : Doncaster
NEWS & LIVE REVIEW : Donnington
SINGLE REVIEW : The Last Note Of Freedom
NEWS : Solo album


Slaves & Masters - Album Review

Maybe it was naive of me to expect them to have come up with material which demands to be listened to. That's what made Purple special. Would Deep Purple still be inspiring adoration twenty years on if they'd been turning out albums like this for all that time? I think not.

Joe Lynn Turner is a very competent vocalist, and let's face it didn't exactly force himself into the band, but his singing always seemed so samey to me. Very occasionally it went beyond that; maybe on Jealous Lover, certainly that glorious live take of Stranded. It's hard to listen to the album and ignore the JLT factor, but when you do much of it is pretty ordinary anyway.

The idea of evolving the album from jamming has given a laid back feel which might have been better tempered by a hard edge at times, but at least Ritchie seems to enjoy the looseness and, while he doesn't turn in much to tingle the spine, his playing does work in a group context. The opening trio all have promise instrumentally - especially KING OF DREAMS - which chugs along with some inspired keyboard work, delicate and subtle, and attractive little touches of guitar. The band are almost rocking on THE CUT RUNS DEEP, and life really returns come FIRE IN THE BASEMENT once the predictable opening riff is out of the way. I'm reminded of LAZY at times, a real fast shuffle powered along by Roger and lan. FORTUNETELLER is slow to start but picks up - with Ritchie kicking out a little as it reaches the end. More than can be said for TOO MUCH IS NOT ENOUGH. It's the sort of idea that needs a stylist like Robert Palmer to carry off. The plodding cowbell and cliched synth work really is plumbing new depths. So to WICKED WAYS. Fnally we see Paicey livening up and I quite like JLT's "bring on the band of angels" bit. The addition of Ian Gillan's talent on some of the tracks might have cracked it, but elsewhere we're looking at a group who seem to have lost all sense of purpose.

King Of Dreams - Single Review

King Of Dreams / Fire In The Basement
RCA 49247/8 : Europe : October 1990

Issued as 7" (with edited a-side, 12" (with edit and full version), and 5" CD with logo printed on. As expected it's a multi-country pressing, made in Germany for sale across Europe. The music? Hardly the most likely choice of hit from the album. All formats had cover art similar to the LP. Poster have LP art on, and there are white flyers too.


Naked Thunder - Album Review

Production wise it's very up to date but somewhat sparse, at times there is almost nothing happening. I think this has perhaps shown up weaknesses in some tracks. That's the downside of it all for me. On the other hand some of the tracks are so catchy it's practically a crime they aren't hit singles. The two opening cuts, GUT REACTION and TALKING TO YOU really seem to hit the mark, as hard hitting as any stadium rockers, even if the latter does come over as Son of Living For The City on first hearing. The following two numbers fail to really capitalise on the opening salvo, NO GOOD LUCK has promise despite horrible keyboards. NOTHING BUT THE BEST has survived the journey from Garth Rockett but comes aver a little on the corny side lyric wise and soon runs out of steam. LIVING ON BORROWED TIME has some cracking vocals, which ought to have dominated the track. Instead the rather bombastic sections tend to overpower it.

LOLITA has a weary chorus line and comes from the Coverdale song book - pass! The second side also has its ups and downs. NOTHING TO LOSE just fails to make it, very empty sounding in places. LONG & LONELY RIDE is, despite some more annoying synth work, one of my favourites. Surely a likelier single choice than those used? The vocals are way ahead of the backing in places. LOVE GUN finally sees them letting rip a little, a real touch of Gillan magic. BRAZOS? Think I'll stick with the Moonshiners video version. They've been unable to resist tinkering with it, losing the essence of the early version I heard in the studio. On the whole most people's reactions have been very positive.

No Good Luck - Single News

NO GOOD LUCK / LOVE GUN - ROCK & ROLL GIRLS (the latter a non LP track), was issued on both 7" , 5" CD and 12" . The 12" came in a rather suspect "In Rock" sleeve. Suggested by Ian as an early idea for the LP he quickly thought better of it. However Teldec decided it might stir up a bit of controversy and used it on the 12". It failed to get a reaction, except from people who like me thought it very poorly painted! Ian asked Teldec to knock it on the head, so later copies came out in the same photo sleeve as the 7" & CD. Ironically because the single didn't sell well, this later design is much rarer!

In Germany they went with a different single initially: NOTHING BUT THE BEST / HOLE IN MY VEST - MOONSHINE, 7", 12" & 5" CD. HOLE IN MY VEST is unissued in the UK.

Naked Thunder, Album & Tour - News

Ian's NAKED THUNDER tour kicked off in May with two dozen shows in Russia. The set revolved around recent material, Gillan Band tunes and older rock & roll classics. He decided not to do any Deep Purple tunes for the first leg of the tour. While in Russia Ian also got married again. Not another woman we hasten to add, but his present wife - again. After the Russian tour Ian returned briefly to the UK, where he and other stars of the Smoke/Armenia project received gold discs, presented at the Soviet Embassy on June 28th.

For Naked Thunder Ian signed to TELDEC, and got put on EastWest records here, part of the VEA conglomerate. They seemed prepared to put some effort into launching the album. However the follow up was less than wonderful; Ian told us he'd had people complaining they couldn't find the album. For my own part I was able to find just one copy of the 12" single here. The CD I've yet to see at all here.

In August the band were in Rio filming the video for 'No Good Luck', then doing half a dozen shows before returning to the UK. On 24th they were filmed in concert at Central Television Studios. They are being shown on a programme called Bedrock (which goes out at something like 3am in the morning!), and will then be flogged on video-cassette via Castle Communications. Ian's band includes Steve Morris from The Moonshiners, Chris Glen and Ted McKenna on bass and drums respectively come from MSG, and The Sensational Alex Harvey Band in the 70s. Tommy Eyre on keyboards was in the Gary Moore band with Ian Paice, Dave Lloyd was singer with rock band Rage (previously Nutz), while second guitarist Mick O'Donoghue was in Grand Prix.

Doncaster - Live Review

They've built a modern leisure centre in Doncaster, with the games hall doubling as a concert venue. I enjoyed the show, Ian was in particularly fine form, and the material well chosen. Some people have complained that there wasn't enough from the Gillan Band days but Ian did cover a lot of that ground on the Moonshiners tours. It was magic just to hear the riff to Demon's Eye and like others I was fooled by When A Blind Man Cries, as the intro was just like the old IGB Child In Time start. The band were generally tight and professional, especially the rhythm section, and Morris seemed to play well, though the mix didn't make much of his efforts. The secod guitarist seemed superfluous to me, and I wasn't overawed by the keyboard player even though he spent most of his time on a Hammond. Image wise the backing singer didn't fit too weil, but as some people have said if using one helps Ian out then it's perhaps a sensible idea.

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Castle Donnington - Live Review

Judging from the lack of reviews not many of you ventured out to Donnington on August 18th. Anyway Meurig Thomas risked the festival. "DC was on Radio One Friday 17th, first on Mike Read's show plugging Donnington, then later on Roundtable with Andrew Lloyd Webber reviewing the singles, which interestingly included Gillan's No Good Luck effort. I was suprised how good the overall festival was, I'd vowed never again after Knebworth but the day was a scorcher, Unlike DC, for the first three songs he was just shouting out of tune, He never reached any of the high notes and there was "techno" delay to assist his screams, Oddly enough the highlight of the show was Is This Love, normally a pretty bland song, but he sang it well without screaming once, Ain't No Love was OK but got "metalised" nearer the end, Basically Aerosmith blew them off stage, I don't know how it sounded on the radio".

Well nor do I. I fully intended to give it a whirl, but when I switched on at an estimated start time I discovered the band were about to go off! From the appalling way they were treating Still Of The Night - complete with singalong bits - I'm glad I did miss it. For those not in the know the entire gig was aired live on BBC Radio 1. The following weekend MTV Europe aired interviews and bits of footage from the festival in a long special. I think most people were surprised as DC had gone to great lengths promising a new set with lots of oldies and guest appearences by former members. In the event the set was exactly the same as the US tour and no ex-snakers trod the boards... Slip Of The Tongue, Slide It In, Judgement Day, Slow An Easy, Kittens Got Claws, Is This Love, Cheap An Nasty, Crying In The Rain, Fool For Your Loving, Here I Go Again, Bad Boys/Children Of The Night. encores Ain't No Love.


The Last Note Of Freedom - Single Review

The Last Note Of Freedom +2
Epic 656292 6 : UK : Sep 1990

This had a lot of airplay but failed to emulate two other 45's from the film, After listening to it I must say I'd rather hear David tackling this sort of stuff than churning out another LP like Slip Of The Tongue. His performance has real feel. Indeed it's probably some of his best singing in a long time. I'd recommend it as evidence that David does have a future beyond endless retreads of Whitesnake's back-catalogue. I think I recall him saying he'd written it too but the lyrics are credited to Billy Idol - the ignomy! To boost chart action chances, there is also a 7" (the edit sounds stronger than the LP version on the 12"), a 5" CD (which has both 7" & LP takes) and if you look hard enough a 7" poster edition, with a live pic of the man on.


Solo Album - News

Glenn Hughes is making good progress with his solo album. The plans were to have the album finished by August 1990, followed by release in January 1991, along with a single, both on the Bronze label. The tracks feature a variety of musicians, we've run through most of the names before. On June 18th he did a week's work with guitarist Pat Thrall, who was in the UK and had a few days spare from his duties with Asia. Also helping out down at the Nomis studios near Hammersmith were Dave Holland and Mel Galley, Glenn's old Trapeze cohorts. They planned to lay down a couple of the numbers which Glenn and Mel had written for a possible Trapeze reunion project some years ago. Finally two of the tracks left off his solo album are being reworked for the soundtrack of Highlander II, with Stewart Copeland (ex-Police) involved.

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also in the magazine...
Rainbow Live In Germany 76, news......The Legendary Joe Meek, book review.....Olympic Rock'n Blues Circus III
.......Superdrumming III ..... Glenn Hughes, Play Me Out / Four On The Floor ..... Ian Gillan, Naked Thunder Tour Reviews ..... Whitesnake news .... video column .... questions & answers ..... vinyl & cd reviews ..... Jon Lord interview


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