Issue 20  December 1979
Looking back at Issue 20 over twenty years later, all I can say is; was I really such a cocky bugger? At the typewriter obviously yes, hopefully not so much when away from it. But this all mattered such a lot! Purple had been gone three years and already Blackmore was losing the plot big time....
Issue 20 was typed on a budget priced electric typewriter, laid out on A3 sheets with loads of added photocopied bits, photographs which I printed to the right size in the darkroom and letraset headings, then the whole page was reduced (by the patient women at the xerox bureau) down to A4 while it was being run out. The bureau was miles out of town, two bus rides away. Mercifully they delivered the end copies back home where we'd collate and staple them prior to posting out. The front cover was a first, being litho printed. I was so chuffed at getting David to pose for the camera that it seemed worth the extra cost. I even got a ride on the tour bus from the hotel down to the Sheffield City Hall. Badges were also available, with a Made In Japan design, for the hugely inflated price of 30p! Send your pennies to the old Herbert Road address... Interesting to recall my first comments on the newly purchased copy of James Gang's first LP with Tommy, which (never having heard it before) I was fairly pleased with overall. Also my play list for the time, with (as well as 'Bang') loads of great early Talking heads costing me an arm and a leg and a nod to other new wave acts like Yello and Lene Lovich.!
VIDEO REVIEW : Since You Been Gone
RECORD REVIEW : Mr.Universe (UK)
RECORD REVIEW : Mr.Universe (Japan)
LIVE REVIEW : Sheffield City Hall


Since You Been Gone - Single / Video Review

As the single charted, the pic. sleeve copies disappeared very early on, rapidly making them collectors' items. Dedicated fans got it mainly for the non-album b-side, 'Bad Girl'. It's in a similar vein to the LP, though contains more guitar than is normal these days. Lyrics are as lousy as ever though!

The promo film was screened on Top Of The Pops on September 20th, the first TV spot for Blackmore and Glover in eight years. Looking at Ritchie's fingers gliding about the guitar, I forgave him everything almost at once. Bonnet looked daft, but also as if he could laugh at himself maybe. It all hinted at what they could be like live, and almost made me eat my words about my 'Down To Earth' review.


Mr.Universe (UK) - Album Review

I recently rated the last studio album, issued only in Japan, as the best ex-purple disc to date. This comprises five tracks from it (three of which have been re-recorded), plus five new tracks. So how could they go wrong? Well they have. How they can honestly turn this out after that Jap. LP is beyond me. The material I can take, what I can’t take is the abysmal mix. It is just bloody terrible. Gillan’s vocals are buried, and though the drummer is presumably playing a whole kit, only the cymbals can be heard.

Mr.Universe (Japan) - Album Review

This contains five tracks from the UK edition (which sound the same to me), plus four new ones. Of those, 'Your Sister's On My List' is quite catchy, and has lyrics which you would expect with a title like that! 'Move With The Times' is kept going by bass, drums and piano (sort of Pot Black style!). 'Sleeping OnThe Job' is very catchy, but not as good as the live version, because Gillan is mixed down too far. 'Street Theatre' is a short Towns instrumental, probably destined for a stage opener some day. Overall, that spark which made Gillan 'Gillan' outstanding is absent.

Sheffield City Hall, 13th October 1979 - Live Review

Gillan were at the Reading Festival on August 25th, and the gig was taped and relayed on the Friday Rock Show later. There was also a half-hour In Concert broadcast by BBC Radio on October 6th. A full tour of the UK then followed, which lasted right the way through October.

Sheffield City Hall was a superb show, easily the best I’ve seen from any IGB / Gillan line-up since they began. The intro ‘Second Sight’ blasted out, accompanied by searchlights into the balcony. The band filtered on, and launched straight into ‘Secret of The Dance’. Ian had to work hard to prevent himself being overshadowed by the band, and he has always been better for a struggle on-stage. It’s hard to pick out an outstanding track, they were all good, and also I was too absorbed in it all to be remembering individual bits.

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Lovehunter - Album Review
"I wasn't over fond of 'Trouble' and approached this apprehensively. However it is very good overall, sounding stronger and less cluttered than its predecessor; Jon fits in well, contrasting his playing with that of the guitarists, yet still blending in and holding it all together. David's vocals are some of the best he's done for ages, really soulful. He's superb on 'Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues', which has a strong, moody feel. I'm not happy with the drumming, and after seeing them live with Paice, I'm even less happy!" Peter Judd.

Tour News

Dowell's departure (see Issue 19), was deemed necessary as he wasn't really a rock drummer. Cozy Powell was no.1 candidate to replace him, but due to contactual reasons it wasn't feasable. It was then heard that Ian Paice had been raving about Whitesnake after seeing them at the Hammersmith charity gig earlier this year, so they gave him a call...

The latest phase of Whitesnake's career began at the Reading Festival on August 26th. The BBC taped the set, and broadcast it a few weeks later. The band flew to the US on Sept. 17th for a week of general promotion, ending with a single concert in LA on Sept.23rd. After that it was the UK"s turn, with a 23 date tour kicking off in Portsmouth on Oct.11th.

Sheffield City Hall, 23rd October 1979 - Live Review
Just before the crowd began to get impatient rather than expectant, the hall lights dimmed. There was a blast of sound and light, and the place was transformed. The 1978 dates just paled into insignificance. I know we moaned about them needing a decent drummer, but I couldn't foresee just how he would bring them into focus like this. Guitar-wise things seem curiously ego-free for a rock band today. It's all very good humoured. Out front Coverdale was working harder than I've ever seen him do. At the end the crowd were shattered, they could barely twitch after stomping for so long.

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also in the magazine...Deep Purple 'New Live & Rare' EP reviewed....Rainbow 'Live In Australia' bootleg album review.... James Gang 'Bang' review...readers' letters....
Rainbow 1979 US Tour Dates + review of Rochester show...
Gillan UK 'Mr.Universe' Tour Reviews....Whitesnake 'Lovehunter' UK Tour Reviews..
.Deep Purple Gig List 1972-73...Jon Lord BBC Star more...


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